Month: April 2021

decluttering your home

4 Tricky Truths that Put the Brakes on Decluttering Your Home

When you’re 50+, decluttering your home is a typical activity when your next move is a downsizing move. The kids are grown and out the door. Home maintenance is becoming a drag.

In other words, your interests are evolving or your needs have changed.  Either way, a simpler setup in a smaller space appeals. It all makes sense.

To be honest, you might be feeling the proverbial midlife crisis (which I prefer to call a “midlife opportunity“). Bottom line: you yearn for something different, now that your life feels different! 

So when it’s time to start the downsizing process, does it unfold smoothly? Well … maybe not so much! Trust me, I’ve experienced all the glitches and more! Now what?

For now, sit back and relax. Read about these 4 decluttering facts that catch many of us off guard. Once you know these uninvited visitors tend to pop in unannounced, you can be prepared to show them the door! And then continue clearing space for your next exciting life chapter! Let’s go!

This post is about how decluttering your home gets easily sidelined when 4 facts hit us hard during the process!

how to declutter your home
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Truth #1: Hardly Anyone is 100% Ready to Let Stuff Go!

 

Deep down, no one really wants too much stuff! We feel the weight of it when we open a full closet or jam-packed cabinet. We see it when we are searching for something else in the house. And we grumble about it when it gets in our way. 

But when we have available space, it’s easy to hang on to things for now or for “someday”. Many of us were raised to not be wasteful. Others are simply more relaxed with what comes into the home and never leaves.

Yet there comes the day when it’s time to get serious about decluttering your home.

You feel sad to say goodbye to things you loved or needed at one point. And then your progress slows down And stops. Why is it so hard to get rid of what you truly don’t need or use? 

Well, our things are more than just things! They represent where we’ve been, who we’ve loved, and where we’ve longed to be. Even though the memories will stay with us, we still balk at releasing the symbols of our life story.

So we hang on, and, before you know it, there are dozens of boxes labeled “miscellaneous”. Where will these boxes land in the new place?

declutter your home
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Truth #2: Family Stuff is Sticky with Sentiment!

It’s a relief to release the odds and ends we accumulate over a lifetime. Goodwill is a common recipient of those items. Outdated clothing, obsolete reference books, assorted knickknacks … off they go!  

But when it comes time to consider Grandma’s silver tea set or your high school yearbooks, it’s a whole different story. We may not display all our inherited or nostalgic items but they can still conjure up heartfelt memories.

And now as we gaze at these things, it’s difficult to part with them. It feels like we’re dishonoring memories of loved ones or our own personal history! 

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few select items like a tea pot, a serving platter or a picture collage. Displaying or using treasured pieces makes a home uniquely our own.

But when they go from the old closet to the new closet … when they’re not claimed by your own children or used in your new home … does their continued storage make sense?

declutter your home checklist
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Truth #3: We Lose Objectivity When It's Time to Sell!

Remembering what we paid for certain items makes it difficult to digest what today’s buyer is willing to pay. How about the low starting bid for the folk art collection you lovingly curated all these years? Or consider the pennies on the dollar you make when selling your 1990’s designer duds.

Of course, there is money to be extracted out of specific categories such as MidCentury Modern furniture or rare coins.

But the fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of 55+ aged sellers looking to offload housefuls of similar items. It’s really a buyer’s market, for the most part.

Again, you can make money but it will take time and effort to do so. And it calls for the willingness to price based on today’s demand … regardless what you paid for it!

tips to declutter your home
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Truth #4: Decluttering Your Home is a Bigger Job Than You Expect!

When things are hidden in drawers, closets and cabinets, it’s easy to underestimate just how much stuff we have! If you’re a highly organized person, even you can have far more personal belongings than you think.

Day One of decluttering your home is generally overwhelming for everyone! We work all day in one room. And then we realize how many more rooms there are to go.

Of course, you don’t accumulate all your belongings overnight. So it follows that it won’t be an overnight process to sort through when decluttering you home, either.

We can be in denial about downsizing as part of our future. But adopting a pragmatic stance that it’s inevitable can be quite helpful.

With that in mind, start early and declutter often.

If you want to pass things down to your children, ask them now! Don’t assume they want or can take everything. And don’t be offended if they say no. After all, isn’t that how we ended up with some of our own inherited stuff?

Would we want them to take something unwillingly and then just stow it in a closet? That’s passing along guilt, too!

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This Post Addressed the 4 Facts That Will Slow You Down When Decluttering Your Home.

Decluttering ahead of a downsizing move is not for the faint of heart, no doubt about it!

In order to minimize the mindsets that can hold you back, start decluttering your home now, even if you don’t have your next destination finalized.

In fact, carving out a specific time slot each day or week to focus on decluttering will really put you in a good place. It’s surprising what 20-30 minutes a day will accomplish over time. 

Knowing that you’ll eventually have one or two fewer bedrooms or less storage space is enough intel to release what’s currently in those areas now. And be sure to allow for “breathing space”! 

Ultimately, the most important things are not “things”. They are “experiences”, which take up hardly any space at all!

Your Turn!

  • Have you recently started reducing your stuff? 
  • Which decluttering fact challenges you the most?  
  • In hindsight, what would you do differently?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering ideas

Decluttering Ideas to Release Other People’s Stuff (Without the Guilt!)

Consider using the decluttering ideas in this 4-step process so you can finally let go of things left behind from your loved ones.

Without a doubt, we all hang on to stuff for various reasons. But guilt is often the main culprit.

I mean, just think about your kids’ childhood stuff stashed in the attic. Or what about your mom’s Lenox china for 16 hidden in your dining room hutch. And Grandpa’s beer steins and National Geographic collection buried deep in the basement.

What’s wrong with this scenario? If you love all these things and cannot imagine life without them, then absolutely nothing!

But if thinking about these examples creates tension in your body, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider what’s occupying valuable space in your home! The stuff may be out of sight but it weighs on your mind. Time to set yourself free!

decluttering ideas
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Today Features Decluttering Ideas That Honor What Matters To You!

decluttering your home checklist
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Step 1: Begin With Your Why

>> Do You Want To Function As A Storage Facility?

If it’s a temporary situation, put a time limit on how long the items will be tenants in your home. It’s universal that our kids leave stuff in our home when they depart the nest. And it’s easy for us to hang on to the remnants of their youth. The memories are deep and heart-filled.

We have the space to store their sentimental mementoes … or do we?

Is it possible their stuff is occupying space you could use for your next chapter? In fact, on a larger scale, is their stuff holding you back from making your own physical move?

So, yes: Determine if other people’s things are preventing you from forging ahead!

minimalist decluttering checklist
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>> Initiate The Convo With The Kids Now!

Now you might feel a little uneasy with this idea. Yet they may simply be assuming it’s A-OK to leave their excess stuff with you. They need to hear how you feel about it!

Also: understand there is benefit for both sides. Your adult children can then adopt a lifelong habit of identifying what matters most to them, too!

To be honest, most Millennials are open to decluttering ideas and goals. They already choose to live in smaller spaces. They seek to travel lightly with their possessions. So the timing for this dialogue is spot on! It can be a session of recalling happy times. This, in turn, leads to deliberate choices of what items to keep and what items to release.

decluttering bedroom checklist
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>> Now Address The "Permanent" Guests In Your Home!

Who’s this? I’m referring to inherited items or gifts from family members or friends. They can be everywhere! Some are stored in boxes or closets, out of sight. Others may be sprinkled throughout your home. 

You know logically these things have an “expiration date” with hanging around. Either they aren’t to your own taste or or they are not useful or necessary for your lifestyle.

They may be something you do appreciate, but you truly don’t have the physical space now or where you may be heading next. Even harder, they may evoke bittersweet or difficult memories of a particular time in your life.

Ask yourself: Do I truly need or want these items in my home?

minimalist decluttering checklist
image from pixabay

Step 2: Sort Items By Donor

Next up is staging the items so that you can see exactly what you have from whom. For example, everything from your Mom could be gathered in the spare room. You can then see at a glance what you have from one person.

Now this may be challenging if your house has things from Mom in every room! If that’s the case, then just segregate her things in each respective room and take a picture. In this way, you can review the entire collection at once or within a few images.

The purpose of this activity is to understand exactly what we have from Mom, Dad, Grandma,  and so forth. Often we balk at releasing something simply because it belonged to someone in particular (and I get that, really!)

But we get bogged down when we assign high value to each and every single item thy owned or touched. Is this realistic?

For me, I think about it this way: “How do I want my son to remember me?” I am most passionate about 3-4 things and so he’s welcome to keep just a few items that define those interests. He doesn’t need to curate a Mom shrine with everything of mine!

In other words, be selective with how you decide to honor your beloved family member.

how to start decluttering when overwhelmed
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Step 3: Select What To Keep

 

No one has  unlimited space! Which is why solid decluttering ideas include deliberate choices that truly epitomize your beloved family members.

If your Grandma was a tea drinker, a gardener or a deeply religious person, then keep her favorite tea cup, her cut glass flower vase, or her rosary beads. This makes it easier to let go of her ceramic knickknacks or crocheted afghans. You get the idea!

Certainly, you can increase the number of items if they take up less physical space, like pictures in a photo album or a digital picture frame. But consider truly narrowing down to the essence of that person… because you want to leave space in your home for you!

Once you have your choices defined, you can have fun with how you’re going to display the items. They won’t need to be hidden out of view any longer.

Perhaps you’ll create a gallery of framed photos. You might use some glassed shadow boxes to showcase costume jewelry or prized medals. In other words, incorporate the treasures into your present decor.

Paring them down to a select few will truly let them stand out as a testament to your family history.

best decluttering tips
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Step 4: Release The Rest With Love

 

Understand that gifted items from our family were given in the spirit of love. The intent was never to bog you down with something that didn’t bring you joy. Acknowledge the kind gesture but let go of what doesn’t suit your taste. Gifts shouldn’t come with strings attached, don’t you think?

Figure out the highest and best use of the things you will not retain. Start with your own family, in the event your children or siblings would appreciate and welcome any of those items. The key is this: ask!

Don’t assume you know what others will want. Listen and then accept their decisions. After all, it’s their home and so it’s their choice.

From there, it’s entirely up to you if you would prefer to realize a monetary return. Yet know that any selling activity will take time and effort, depending upon the demand for that item.

By investing a little time up front, you’ll realize if going the re-sale route is worth your while.

If you decide to bypass the resale step, there are so many local charities that can deftly route your donations to the highest needs in your community. 

Please don’t overlook the value of donating! It in no way means you are throwing money away or dishonoring your family member!

The money has already been spent when the item was first acquired by your relative. There was joy and use of the item until it was passed along to you. Now, you’re simply “paying it forward” when someone less financially fortunate eagerly and gladly accepts the item for their own use.

Isn’t that a better outcome than having it collect dust on a shelf or hide in a cabinet?

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Dug Into Decluttering Ideas About Releasing Sentimental Stuff Without Guilt

When incorporating these decluttering ideas into your own routine, remember to work at your own pace. You control the process and no one is judging you. Even 15 minutes a day will have you ahead of where you were before you started.

Sentimental clutter is the hardest stuff to deal with … but it provides the biggest emotional release when it’s moved out so you can move on!

You can do this … I believe in you!

Your Turn!

What’s your sentimental clutter status? 

  • What will be your biggest challenge to release?
  • What decluttering ideas can you share with us?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by! 

decluttering your life

Decluttering Your Life in a New Season Leads to 3 Priceless Developments

Midlife changes can be unsettling, even when you know they’re going to happen! Decluttering your life is one of the best proactive strategies you can take to prepare for a new chapter to unfold.

What kind of changes am I referring to? Kids growing up and moving out on their own. Relationships ending due to divorce or death. Even our health can take a turn, whether temporarily or permanently. And careers are not bulletproof, either, are they!

When change arrives with one of these midlife events, do you feel stuck? Shocked or mournful? Are you resistant to something different? Now what?

Reframe change in a positive manner: Embrace three amazing benefits when you focus on decluttering your life for a new season!

decluttering your life
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Today's Message is About the Remarkable Perks That Arrive when Decluttering Your Life!

decluttering your life checklist
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Benefit #1: Enhanced Mental Clarity

 

Decluttering is a powerful movement these days for good reason: the square footage of our houses has increased substantially over the last 50 years! It stands to reason that the quantity of household stuff stored within has also followed suit.

Of course, we accumulate many things along the way as we live a full life, raising a family, and pursuing our interests. But when the household size shrinks or our own activities shift, now we have excess items which are no longer needed or used.

And when we allow them to continue taking up physical space, they also command mental and emotional space.

In fact, unused things can actually emit negative energy! They crowd out the potential to substitute items that support where we are now or where we might head. This is what leads to feeling stuck.

It’s uncomfortable to be in between chapters of our life, knowing one is winding down but feeling uncertain about moving into the next one.

Yet when you begin decluttering your life to remove outdated belongings, you open space not just in your home but in your mind, as well.

Releasing the old with love helps prepare us to welcome the new with hope. We regain perspective about life’s inevitable changes.

Now we are receptive to something different … something new … something that resonates and invigorates our next act!

decluttering your life quotes
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Benefit #2: Simplified Daily Routines

 

Most would agree that it’s draining when we have too much stuff in our home. Maneuvering from one room to the next can be challenging. Locating a particular item takes extra time. Maintaining more stuff than we use takes additional energy.

Wouldn’t you revel in a home where everything has a place and a purpose? If you think about it, stuff we no longer need or use really becomes a distraction in our daily life.

So consider how light you would feel with space between your things … the things that matter most to you now! Imagine not worrying about running late. Or feeling confident with where things are in your home. How many times have you bought something at the store, only to discover that you already had three of them hidden in a cabinet or drawer?

Indeed, paring down to the essentials which support your current routine is an ultimate self-care bonus when decluttering your life! 

how to declutter your bedroom
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Benefit #3: Sharpened Perspective

 

Change can be difficult, frustrating, sad, and scary, particularly when you’ve been happy with the status quo. But it’s also an integral part of how life unfolds.

Accepting the role it plays in your life experience is the first step towards taking charge of how you want your narrative to continue.

We can’t always direct our circumstances but we can control our response to our new direction.

There is no time limit for how long the process should take. Everyone has varying amounts of things and stuff. Each of us needs a unique amount of time to make space clearing decisions. So honor the process that works best for you

Decluttering your life is a cathartic process as you accept change. How exciting when you view where you’ve been and then imagine where you’d like to head next!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Was About Decluttering Your Life To Welcome A New Chapter Full Of Promise and Perspective!

 

When one life chapter closes, step into the new one by decluttering your life.

Life is change. When we don’t change, we stand still. Make peace with moving forward.

Trust that something beautiful will develop … You!

Decluttering Your Life Thoughts: Your Turn!

  • Which room, drawer or closet will you tackle first?
  • What has decluttering your life done for you?

Drop a comment below … and thanks for stopping by!

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