Mindset

Motivation to Declutter

Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going (Even When You’re Not Always Feeling It!)

Uncluttering may be one of your 2021 resolutions, but with the year half over (gulp) have you actually felt full-on motivation to declutter?

Or is it one of those annual goals you just can’t seem to completely execute, no matter how much sense it makes?

Just like anything that’s “good” for us … drinking more water (and less wine!), dropping some pounds, walking a few more steps, or scrolling less on social media … these goals remain out of reach without consistent follow through.

But trust me: the motivation to clear space (or to do whatever is on your list) is actually within you … really!

Without a doubt, everyone falters at some point. We get distracted, bored, indecisive, or just plain tired of what we need or even want to do. But don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up. Instead, let’s do this together!

I’m here to help, so today, let’s begin with unpacking five fabulous tools which I promise will get you in motion and get your clutter out the door!

And as a bonus, I’ve got a link at the end of this post to 5 FREE tool printables and then  you can start your space clearing journey today!

motivation to declutter
godisable jacob | pexels

Today's post provides 5 terrific tools that unleash your motivation to declutter so you can get this done!

How to Get Motivated to Declutter your House
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Tool #1: A Charter For Your Motivation To Declutter

The best place to start is by asking yourself this initial question: “What’s my motivation to declutter?”

Now I can almost see you blink and hear you say, “Wait, what? Isn’t it obvious? I’ve got too much stuff!”

Well, yes! Certainly, one of the end goals is the same for all of us: less stuff, more space. But it’s our “why” that is unique for what drives each one of us to yearn for clearer space in our homes.

Therefore, creating a “Charter”, or vision, for how you want your home to look and feel is important. And because our homes are truly a reflection of ourselves, what you really want to focus on is yourself!

Complete 3 statements which form the basis of your Charter

             -> I need to declutter my home because…

             -> I want to declutter my home because….

             -> I hope to free up time/money/space so that I can…

For example, consider Janet, who is habitually late for everything. She struggles to get out the door because she’s never quite sure where her keys, her sunglasses, or sometimes even her phone have landed. She rarely entertains because her house is perpetually messy.

Her motivation to declutter is organization. The statements she jots down may sounds something like “I need to declutter because I’m constantly trying to find things. I want to declutter because I’d like to have friends over for dinner but I’m embarrassed they’ll see how chaotic my kitchen is. I hope to free up time so I’m not feeling anxious on a daily basis because I’m always behind.”

When Janet glances at her decluttering Charter, it incentivizes her to get started. In other words, it breaks the general goal down into deeply personal, specific desires which resonate with her. It fortifies her to keep going. That’s the power of a personal decluttering Charter! 

Also, know that a personal Charter is a for-your-eyes-only statement.  It’s the ammunition for why decluttering matters to you alone. So be honest with yourself: How do you want to feel? What do you truly want to achieve and why? The answers will help set you free!

Motivation to Declutter House
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Tool #2: A Tracker For Your Decluttering Mood

Now, create short opening and closing rituals for your decluttering session by capturing your current mood.

Feelings often dictate what our next action will be. So if you’re feeling anxious, distracted, lethargic, or any other number of negative emotions, your decluttering session could be in jeopardy!

Simply jot down a couple of words, a smiley face, or a frowny image to reflect your beginning state of mind. If you’re not in an upbeat mood, add a few words to explain what’s bothering you. Then “park” your concerns here. Tell yourself that you will set aside time to address what’s gnawing at you (and be sure to follow through).

Even when you don’t have a solution to your worries, just acknowledging what’s weighing on your mind is surprisingly helpful for lightening your mood. And now your decluttering session will be much more productive, too! 

When you’re done, give yourself a star for powering on! You’ll feel accomplished after most sessions. Oh, there will occasional stints which are emotionally difficult when you are sorting through sentimental stuff. Take time to process those feelings. Guilt is one of the most common emotional demons to descend!

Just remember that your possessions are merely symbols of people, places, and events you’ve experienced. Releasing the things in no way dishonors who and what you love.

Keep the love. Release the no-longer-needed stuff.

motivating yourself to declutter
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Tool #3: A Summary Of Your Decluttering Accomplishments

Next, document which room you worked in and what stuff you released.

As time goes by, you will be amazed with what you’ve accomplished. Even just 20-30 minutes a day will yield noticeable results. One drawer, one shelf, or one cabinet cleared at a time gets you closer to your decluttering goals. 

Seeing your efforts in black and white solidifies the progress you’re making. Which makes continuing so much easier. How can you stop now!

In fact, you may even choose to reward yourself along the way, as you achieve certain milestones. For example, every 30 days of decluttering or each time an entire room is cleared, indulge in a small pleasure like fresh flowers or a scheduled massage. You earned it!

By the way, if you’re feeling a little fuzzy about what’s true clutter in your home, this post will help you see things with new eyes: Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

How to declutter your mind
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Tool #4: A List of Your Decluttering revelations

Meanwhile, as your list of decluttering accomplishments grows, pause to review what kind of stuff you’ve kept.

Is it a little eye opening to see what you’re releasing? Are you taken aback with what you’ve amassed? Join the club! 

Many of us are thinking, “How did I end up with so many __?” or, “I don’t wear most of what’s in my closet!” and even, “I have organizers but I’m not really organized!” Indeed, seeing exactly what we have a habit of overbuying or stashing away is the real epiphany for all of us.

Once we acknowledge our own clutter habits, it becomes so much easier to continue releasing what we truly don’t need or use any more. And this enables us to shift our behavior, as well.

Now, we can be more mindful with what comes in the door. Especially since we declared in our Charter what we hope to accomplish with our decluttering efforts!

At any point if you get stuck with the decluttering process, this post will gently but firmly get you back on track: How to Start (and Continue) Decluttering When Overwhelmed.

how to motivate yourself to declutter
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Tool #5: A Roundup of Personal Decluttering Mantras

Lastly, when the going gets hard … and it will happen from time to time … having a few key reminders will fortify when we get stalled.

When you are faltering with your “keep or release” decisions, that hesitation is usually a sign that the item does need to go. And you know it deep down, as well. However, there is an underlying emotion which is holding you back. This is the critical time to pause and identify what you’re feeling so that you can let the item go anyway!

For instance, is Guilt the culprit for too much stuff in your wardrobe? Use the mantra, “This isn’t my style any more”. If it’s Disappointment that’s holding you back from releasing things from a relationship that went south, try a mantra like, “I did the best I could at the time”. Whatever negative emotion is at play, remind yourself, “Now I know better!” Doesn’t that feel better? 

In other words, give yourself grace to start over over. Forgive yourself for past actions and decisions. Or as I like to say, “Shift your stories!” Life is like a book of chapters and you as the author can turn the page and write a new one!

With this realization, your motivation to declutter is sure to be front and center as you look forward to where you want to head next!

The Wrap With Mary V
Mary V | Shift Your Stories

Today's Post was all about uncovering the motivation to declutter by using 5 powerful tools so you can clear space like a boss!

If decluttering was easy, we’d all have perfectly uncluttered homes right now!

  • Overcoming inertia is the biggest obstacle to getting started. 
  • Creating a systemized approach which captures your needs, wants and dreams will keep you going.
  • Acknowledging your feelings and countering the negative emotions with positive affirmations will shift you to where you want to be!

Are you ready? Grab your free printables here!

clutter

Clutter: Control What Creeps Back in Your Home Using These 7 Savvy Strategies

Shut the Door on New Clutter!

As clutter gets kicked to the curb, your home will start to look and feel different. More spacious, open, and airy. But maybe it seems a bit bare, which is unfamiliar, if you’ve had a lot of stuff for a long time. Now what happens next?

Well, if you’re not careful, you may start to stock up again! Your half-full closet beckons you to add a few more tops. An end-of-season sale entices you to pick up new bedsheets. Or Amazon Prime Day ads convince you to shop for Christmas in June. Uh-oh, here comes the clutter!

How do you resist the habit of amassing clutter yet again? The key is to form new shopping habits which replace your old ones! 

clutter
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Today's Post Provides 7 Smart Habits To Adopt Which Protect Your Home From Bulging with Clutter All Over Again!

clutter-free meaning
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Habit #1: Get Comfortable Living With Less

It required effort to pare down your things. It also takes time to adjust to a more minimalist decor and wardrobe.

Seeing space in your closet, pantry, or bookcase will be a “new normal” for many. So often, when we discover something that we like, we automatically stock up on more. Find a navy sweater that fits well? Great! Why not get it in red and in beige, too?

No wonder we end up overpacking for vacations: we have too many clothing options! Decision fatigue is real!

And over-abundance applies to other rooms, too. For example, consider your living room. Perhaps you cleared out dozens of knickknacks and books which accumulated over the years. Naturally, your space will look a little empty at first.

But give yourself some time to appreciate the clarity and simplicity of displaying only your favorite things. Now they can really pop when they are on display, front and center!

Remind yourself what constitutes clutter. In fact, here’s a refresher to keep things clear: Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

Then observe a 30-day retail shopping ban on all non-essentials. During that time, appreciate the beauty of less: less running around, less dusting, less spending, and less chaos.

And then feel the value of more: more space, more clarity, and more freedom.

clutter meaning
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Habit #2: Stick To Your Shopping List

Creating a plan keeps us on track. Whether on your phone or an old school piece of paper, have a plan before heading to the store. Without a strategy, it’s easy to succumb to whatever catches our eye.

Grocery shopping? Take a few minutes to create a meal plan for the week. Shop your kitchen inventory first to ensure you actually use what’s there. This avoids pantry clutter.

Clothes shopping? Review what you have now to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. Keep your current lifestyle in mind. Otherwise, it’s oh-so-easy to succumb to an on-trend outfit that will rarely make it out of your closet.

Clearly, a shopping list is like a map: it provides direction to keep you heading where you want to be!

clutter storage
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Habit #3: One In, One Out

Donating or tossing out an old item whenever a new one is purchased is fundamental to keeping your home streamlined and clutter free.

Do you find yourself hesitating to release your existing jacket/book/lamp? Maybe it means you don’t need the new one. Perhaps you’re just feeling tired of the current item. Having a new one would feel exciting. I get that, really!

Or, it could mean the old one served you well and so you’re a little sad to let it go. I get that, too. Just take time to figure out if you truly need both.

Ask yourself, “Will I continue to use both of these? Will having more than one make sense and make my life easier?” If the answer is “yes” to either question, keep ’em both. If not? Let the old one go!

Fewer choices can be liberating, but so can the convenience of having a few more things, if it saves you time or if it involves things that you use frequently. 

In other words, pause to figure out which option matters more!

making space clutter free
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Habit #4: Beware Of Shiny Object Syndrome

Window shopping is both pleasurable and dangerous! “Just looking” can quickly morph into an unplanned purchase.

Whether you’re strolling at the mall or browsing online, the temptation to buy is real. Unless you have incredible self-control, it’s difficult to distinguish between true “need” and “want”!

So consider avoiding situations that may compromise your intentions and your wallet. Only carry your debit card or cash when you’re out for lunch and shopping with friends, to avoid the unintended purchases.

Also, create Pinterest boards for things that catch your eye. Just saving those images can be a substitute for the endorphin rush of actually buying something new.

Above all, be mindful of your expenditures. Keeping track of where your money goes can be very revealing.

Because knowing what your retail weaknesses are is the first step towards stopping new clutter in its tracks!

how to reduce clutter in your home
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Habit #5: Be Mindful Of The Internet

Ads appear everywhere when we surf the ‘Net, Facebook, or Instagram. We are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to buy!

Anything you looked at on the Internet  gets tracked with cookies. Then those items “mysteriously” spring up in the sidebar as you browse. But nothing is a bargain if you really don’t need it. Saving 30%? In fact, you’d be spending 70% on something unnecessary!

We are subtly (or sometimes not-so-subtly) coaxed to buy this or that in order to look good, feel better, or be relevant.

It takes stepping back to thoughtfully determine when we truly need to make a purchase. 

This is why avoiding impulse purchases is critical. Especially around the holidays, when retailers are stellar at playing off our heightened emotions. Buying more is not the only way to show our family how much we love them! Nor do we need to reinforce our own self-worth with acquiring more clutter, do we?

Equally important, pay attention to which sites you tend to head to, when you’re online. Pare down the ones that will cost you money. Stick to the ones that enhance your quality of life without impacting your bank account.

clutter definition
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Habit #6: Revamp Your E-Mail Lists

 Even our email feeds are filled with suggestions to buy! Are we truly VIPs or are we simply being targeted to buy?

Retailers lure us with promises of special discounts when we opt in to their mailing lists. They know that sending you regular notifications of “flash sales” or “advance VIP notifications” will increase the likelihood of a purchase. Your best defense? Disregard the ads.

Shop only when you decide it’s time to replace something essential.

In fact, consider taking one of these two actions: Have a secondary email account dedicated to on-line purchases. This keeps the compelling ads out of your primary account.

Or, sign up for the mailing list in order to qualify for a discount. Then, unsubscribe once you’ve received your item. This eliminates the stream of subsequent emails with purchase CTAs (Call To Action).

Ultimately, this puts you in charge of when to buy!

how to live clutter free
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Habit #7: Be Grateful For What You Already Have

In a go-go and keep-on-going world, it’s easy to overlook the value of a pause.

But part of an empowering mindful practice is to take time and appreciate all that we have right now. Consumerism is a pervasive and powerful movement. It dictates constantly looking for the “next best thing”. It urges us to constantly upgrade. And it hardly gives us a moment to use and enjoy what we have right now.

Clutter is frightfully simple to amass but painfully difficult to release. Once you’ve made headway with decluttering, carve out a few minutes to realize how it entered your home. Then, shift your shopping habits to prevent clutter from creeping back in all over again!

If you’re just beginning your decluttering journey head here to start strong: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

And if you’re feeling stuck in general, it might just be about being between life chapters. It’s not uncommon so take a breath and find your center here: 5 Ways to Harness Your Midlife Transition and Avert a Midlife Crisis!

Ultimately, we all experience twists and turns as one chapter ends and another begins. Small pauses along the way are the key to getting our bearings and moving ahead … one step at a time!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Was About 7 Terrific Tactics To Stop Clutter From Accumulating Again!

When we are bombarded with shiny things to buy, it’s ever so easy to succumb! We take a break from work or whatever the task at hand to reward ourselves. Or we schedule a shopping jaunt with friends. We enjoy the preliminary thrill of buying something new. 

However, are you shopping out of “need” or “want”? It’s the “want” items that usually morph into clutter. 

Give your newly cleared space a chance to provide clarity and peace of mind.

Take time to revamp your habits so you can live large with less clutter!

Your Turn!

  • Do you think shopping is a sport?
  • How do you manage your spending so it doesn’t manage you?

Drop your thoughts below …and thanks for stopping by!

declutter

Declutter Like a Boss With The PopUpPurge™ Book Release!

This Post Introduces the PopUpPurge™, a Soulful Guide to Declutter for Clarity at the Midlife Milestone!

When you’re 50+ or better, you’ve already lived quite a full life! And when you pause to take stock and start to declutter, are you a little shocked with just how much has accumulated over the years?

Take heart, it happens to us all! Lots of activity has taken place in your home. So it makes sense that there’s going to be a lot of physical evidence as a result.

But are you making real decluttering inroads? Maybe not so much. As you look at family photos, travel mementos, or Grandma’s china, the memories start flooding in. It’s so much harder than expected!

How do you declutter without feeling like you’re throwing away your past? Or someone else’s?

And so decluttering is deferred to another day. But when will that day come?

How long will you wait for your own new chapter to unfold and flourish?

declutter

The Power to Declutter Successfully Is Now Within Reach!

If you’ve given this your best shot and sorted on the basis of what sparks joy, how’d that go? What were you able to release? How much actually went out the door? Were you able to sleep on your bed that night? Or was there an enormous pile of clothing in the way?

How do you move ahead and declutter anyway, when guilt, regret, or perfectionism stops you in your tracks? Sigh … it happens to all of us!

Well, this is exactly why I wrote this book, “PopUpPurge™: Release Midlife Clutter & Reclaim Inner Clarity”!

Because it’s never really just about the stuff. It’s about the emotions we’ve wrapped around our things that has us stuck.

When we can face the memories, limiting beliefs, and old stories that hold us hostage, we can begin to let go of what no longer (or maybe never) serves us well.

In fact, here are 5 compelling reasons for Women Over Fifty to start decluttering now, using the guidance within this book! 

how to declutter your home
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#1: Who's In The House Has Changed

There are all kinds of possible scenarios now. On the one hand, the kids are grown and likely on their own. You might be on your own, too, due to divorce or death. Or maybe you’re in a new relationship … which means more stuff entered the house! 

On the other hand, have people moved back in again? Was it just two of you for a while, but now the kids and/or your parents are with you? After all, we are dubbed the “sandwich generation” for a reason!

Whatever your current status is, does the stuff in your house make sense for who’s there now? Are there duplicates all over the place? Conversely, is your home frozen in time, even though what you currently need and us has changed? 

For any of these scenarios, decluttering is the perfect activity to create an environment that supports whoever is under your roof now!

For a primer on sorting out clutter, head here: Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

declutter your home
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#2: Our Full-Time Focus Begins to Shift

Careers may be winding down or have come to an abrupt end. You may be contemplating a new one. The days of working for just one employer until you retire have become a thing of the past.

And if your full-time focus was raising your family, they’re full blown adults by now. So you’ve likely been given your parenting “pink slip”, right?! To be clear, we are always parents but how we interact with our children changes when they have left the nest.

With these inevitable changes, are you ready to pursue the passions you shelved in the pursuit of being practical? Good for you! But have you cleared out the stuff from your former job first? Or is that still occupying space and collecting dust?

how to declutter
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#3: Our Health May Have Taken a Turn

We can take good health for granted. Especially when we’ve focused on taking care of our family … it’s how Moms operate! 

Yet sometimes, unexpected health issues crop up, catching us off guard. When it’s something life-changing, it definitely gets our attention. Now, the time ahead of us becomes even more precious. 

What kind of legacy do we want to leave behind? Not everyone is eager to ponder this topic. But putting it off will not change the fact that when we are gone, someone will have to declutter our stuff and decide what to do with it.

Do you want to get it in order yourself? Or do you expect your kids to do this? How did your parents handle their legacy? Was it left to you?

Lots of important questions here to answer, right? Which is why Swedish Death Cleaning is the iconic decluttering concept of an entire nation! (Here’s what that’s all about: Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!))

declutter meaning
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#4: "Me Time" Is Calling Our Names

 

Finally! You don’t have to shoehorn your personal interests into a calendar chock full with other people’s agendas. You can be unapologetically front and center again!

When we’ve supported the interests and priorities of our family for a long time, it’s new territory to switch gears. Oh, certainly we’ve carved out time for ourselves, too. But to triple or quadruple that “me time”? It’s a luxury that we’ve earned!

But first: is there room in the house for what lights you up now? Or is it bulging with idle hobbies, crafts, and possessions from someone else’s past?

And if you’re uncertain of your next move, you’re not alone! This post shares about arriving at the midlife mile: 5 Ways to Harness Your Midlife Transition and Avert a Midlife Crisis! 

decluttering tips
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#5: We're Entering A Platinum Period

Living lighter is the key to feeling lighter! As Midlife Women, we are on the cusp of writing a new chapter in our lives. We turn the page when we declutter and clear space for where we want to head next.

Not quite sure where “there” is for you? You’ll uncover it as you release what you no longer need, use, or want in the house.

Remember how it felt when you graduated from high school? Whether you went on to earn an advanced degree, immediately entered the work force, or opted to exclusively raise a family, you had your whole life ahead of you.

Once again, you’re at a similar junction.  How exciting to decide your next move! And decluttering is the perfect vehicle for discovering where “there” is once again!

Ready to harness clarity? Then this is the best book for decluttering your life! Download a Free Chapter right here! And then grab the rest of the story. 

Prepare for a confident shift into a joyful future that you create!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Announced The Release of The PopUpPurge™ Book Which is the Perfect Guide To Declutter Your Home & Your Life!

Design the next chapter of your life through letting go of what you no longer need, use, or love.

Six of the chapters are dedicated to the common emotions that have us stuck. But now you can get moving again!

Small steps executed regularly add up to big results.

Your turn!

  • What’s your personal decluttering journey been like?
  • Which things are the hardest for you to let go?

Join the convo below … And thanks for stopping by!

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?

This post provides what you need to let stuff go: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools To Get You Going!

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?

Check out this post for the resource which releases stuff and guilt: Declutter Like a Boss With The PopUpPurge™ Book!

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!

Discover savvy ways to resell your stuff over here: 15 Premium Places for Selling Used Clothes to Clear Space in Your Closet.

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!

Head here for a simple yet powerful decluttering plan: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

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
image from pexels

Today Features Decluttering Ideas That Honor What Matters To You!

decluttering your home checklist
image by winson from pexels

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!

For a deeper dive into uncovering your “why” in your new life chapter, head here: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

minimalist decluttering checklist
image by craig adderley from pexels

>> 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
image from pexels

>> 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
image by robert stokoe from pexels

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
image by kelly sikkema from unsplash

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. In fact, here is what will absolutely get you on your way: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going!

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

Uncluttering 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! Uncluttering 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 uncluttering your life for a new season!

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

decluttering your life checklist
image by pixabay from pexels

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 uncluttering 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
image by christina morillo from pexels

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 uncluttering your life! 

This post provides clarification on how to begin: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

how to declutter
image by pixabay from pexels

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! In fact, here’s a simple yet powerful way begin: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going!

Uncluttering 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
Mary V

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

 

When one life chapter closes, step into the new one by uncluttering 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!

clutter definition

Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

With an actual clutter definition, we can clear space like a boss so much more easily!

Someone once said, “Release the clutter in your life and set yourself free!”  Sounds good, right?

But, wait … what exactly are we supposed to get rid of?

We are all different with what we’ve got stashed and stored in our homes. It follows that the reason we hang on to certain things will likewise be unique.

Yet while there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to decluttering, it is possible to create a universal clutter definition.

This can be the starting point for all of us. After all, there are always going to be the obvious things that need to hit the curb immediately. Think expired, worn-out, or broken items.

From there, we can then define our own personal parameters for what to keep and what to let go.

Clutter can’t be released until we know how to identify it! Shall we do this?

clutter definition
image by maddie zen from pexels

This Post presents A Basic Clutter Definition, Which Is The First Step To Successfully Clearing Space In Your Place!

clutter meaning
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

A Common Clutter Definition is "Anything you don't need, use, or want any more."

What do you think about that?

I mean, really: if you don’t need it or don’t use it, it’s just occupying valuable space!

On the other hand, if you want it or love it, that definitely stays!

When we have a clear idea on how to view clutter, it becomes so much easier to identify it in our homes. Additionally, it also makes for a smoother process to part ways with clutter.

Ready to go a little deeper?

clutter free meaning
image by one shot from pexels

Clutter Definition Part I: What is "Need"?

When we say we “need” something, we are affirming that something supports us where we are at in our lives.

It makes our daily routine possible. It helps us get things done. We’d be kind of lost without this stuff!

Think about the basic cookware in your kitchen … your coffeepot, your microwave or your instant pot. 

So we’re talking about things that maintain our lifestyle now or the one we are heading towards.

On the other hand, what about all the stuff that never or rarely if ever makes it out of the closet or out of the drawers? We should view our belongings with a critical eye and determine if they truly deserve a place in our homes.

So this leads to the next concept of what we actually reach for as we go about our days.

how to reduce clutter in your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Clutter Definition Part II: What is "Use"?

Now this is shining a light when we refer to utility!

In other words, we are talking about stuff that we actively rely on. We might not use these items daily or weekly. It might just be a couple times during the year. But they’re definitely serving a purpose.

On the other hand, if things are sitting idle, waiting for “some day” or “just in case”, imagine the negative energy they emit. They’re gathering dust, taking up space. Which then causes guilt.

Who needs that vibe in the home!

making space clutter free
image by river from pexels

Clutter Definition Part III: What Is "Want"?

Here’s where we’re really getting to the crux of things!

When we say we “want” something, it generally means we see value with it playing a role in our lives. We are talking about something that represents an important person, place or experience. What they do is bring a smile to our faces or inspire us to achieve something more. 

Once again, the items that we want will be unique to each of us. But what they have in common is that we love them!

Personalization is what makes our house a home!

However, the key to maintaining a practical quantity of things is this: do we still feel this way now. And how many of these things do we keep?

Is our house a home or a museum?

clutter-free meaning
image by anastasiya gepp from pexels

So Now: What Should Go?

 

At last, with this universal clutter definition, all kinds of things start to come to mind that we should release, don’t they?!

A short list would include:

– It’s no longer your style

-You have too many duplicates

– It was an impulse buy, now collecting dust

What else would you add to this list? 

It’s so easy to have clutter creepage in our homes, isn’t it? Mail arrives daily and lingers on the countertop. Makeup samples and faded towels are crammed in our bathroom cabinets. Our clothes are a range of sizes and eras. We can’t even see everything we own at a glance!

Moreover, many things can be in perfectly good condition. But we just don’t care for them, use them, or need them anymore.

Sounds like it’s time to dig in with some overdue decluttering sessions, don’t you think?

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap:This post created a common clutter definition so we can confidently release what we no longer need, use or want!

Choices we’ve made about the stuff in our homes can be overdo for examination.

With an established clutter definition, you will now start to see a pattern with what might be overdue for releasing.

Take some time to walk through your house. Open your closets and drawers. Look at your belongings with fresh eyes.  

After all, decluttering clears space for new items which truly support your next season!

Your turn!

  • What do you think about this clutter definition?
  • What kind of clutter seems to be your Achilles?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

midlife transition

5 Ways to Harness Your Midlife Transition and Avert a Midlife Crisis!

Our midlife transition kicks off when we turn the page and enter a new chapter of life in our 40’s. 

It’s a marker for the typical milestones experienced in your life’s journey. The kids are grown and (almost) on their own. You’ve been married for a couple decades now (unless you’re starting over … or perhaps you’re on your own again). Your career may be at its zenith.

This is normally the cue for a midlife crisis … or is it?

The proverbial “midlife crisis” can definitely be bypassed if you consider this decade as more than just a halfway point! 

To be clear, it’s not uncommon to pause and wonder where the years went. When you’ve power-housed in the home and on the job, it’s easy for time to fly. And then we may start to regret what we didn’t do.

However, if you thought turning 21 was the point of infinite possibilities, that’s true. But with the wisdom and experience of another 2 decades under your belt, now is yet another opportunity to define who you are and where you will head next! 

Map out your midlife transition by embracing these 5 activities in your life today!

Today's Post Focuses on the 5 behaviors that make your midlife transition a joyful journey!

what is a midlife crisis for a woman
image by leah kelley from pexels

Step 1: Be willing to change

Change does not have to be a dirty word! 

Oh, I get that it’s challenging to see the bright side of it when a beautiful season or phase of your life is ending.

But what if you viewed your life as simply “evolving“? That it’s not so much an end to something. Instead, it’s a continuation in a different direction.

A midlife transition means you’re heading towards something new that can also be beautiful, too!

When you think about it that way, midlife is an exciting time. 

It’s the cusp of our life unfolding once again. In fact, we are even better equipped at this age to make decisions that truly support our interests and goals. How empowering is that!

In short, when we change our outlook, we can embrace the changes in our journey. After all, many changes are unavoidable or inevitable. So why not accept that and then control what you can?

Your attitude and your next move are always up to you!

midlife age
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 2: Be willing to declutter

Decluttering is at the heart of what I advocate to all “Mid-Lifers”! 

You’re in a new season of your life so it stands to reason that your stuff is ripe for change, too.

As your activities and interest change, so should the things that take up space in your home. The same goes for items which supported a larger household. And wardrobes are an obvious area to sort through, as well.

Not only do you make room for what resonates with your new lifestyle. Your donated or resold items benefit someone else who is at a different point in their journey, as well. Certainly sounds like a win-win to me!

Don’t feel you need to sort through everything in one fell swoop!

Honestly, it can feel overwhelming when you look at everything with critical eyes. So start small. A drawer, a counter, a shelf or a closet. Even just 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results.

The key is to incorporate a small session into your routine. Imagine the space that opens up for new possibilities when you clear out the things that don’t matter anymore during your midlife transition and beyond! 

the midlife transition is characterized by
image by SHVETS production from pexels

Step 3: Be willing to reassess

Take time to reassess what matters to you now. 

It’s thrilling yet perhaps a little intimidating to pivot in a new direction. For a long time, you may have been involved in activities because they supported your children, your partner/Ex or your career path.

Now you’re finally able to focus more on yourself! Similarly, your own interests may very well have evolved, too.

Now is not the time to rush into anything nor assume you will continue with the “same old”. 

Instead, honor your midlife transition season by thoughtfully reflecting on what sets your heart on fire. Consider what pursuits stimulate your mind.

It’s OK to try something and learn it’s not for you. Be a risk-taker with pursuing something new.

In other words, don’t shortchange the potential for great things in your new season!

difference between midlife crisis and midlife transition
image from adobestock

Step 4: be willing to connect

You don’t have to head alone into your next season!

To be honest, I don’t recommend it. Sure, there are times where you need personal space to reframe your midlife direction.

But having support from solid friends is critical for balance and fellowship. Interestingly, we sometime lose these connections when we are going full bore with a career.

Relocating across the country for work opportunities can also play havoc with our support system. In fact, this happened to me. And only when I left that business did I realize I had more work friends than personal friends! As a result, I needed to recreate a circle because fellowship and connection matters!

midlife meaning
image from AdobeStock

Step 5: Be willing to protect

Last but not least, pay attention to how you feel, physically and mentally.

Who wants to be held back from pursuing their dreams and desires when their health is an obstacle?

Let’s be clear: this may not always have been a priority when we were younger. We made sacrifices taking care of our family or climbing the corporate ladder. There were all-nighters and car-pooling while under the weather or aches and pains we disregarded. We basically put ourselves second after others … hello, motherhood!

However, our midlife transition period is an ideal time to put our self-care first once again!

We can, we should, and we deserve it!

For us to step confidently into our next act, we need to ensure that we are listening to our bodies and our emotions. For example, annual physicals, regular exercise and clean eating are paramount to participating fully in the interests and activities we desire.

Likewise for our mental health. After all, wouldn’t it be a shame if you couldn’t pursue your new goals because you didn’t properly nourish and care for yourself?

Dedicated “me” time to decompress, meditate and reflect on our life’s journey are just a few key ideas to maintain balance during our midlife transition.

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: Today focused on 5 actions that enhance our midlife transition as we create a new life chapter!

A midlife crisis occurs when we long for the Past and we resist the Future.

A midlife transition happens when we take time to reflect on what is within our power to enhance where we head next.

Change – Declutter – Reassess – Connect – Protect

Let’s do this with confidence and joy!

declutter and downsize

Declutter and Downsize: Lay the Groundwork for Really Remarkable Results in 2021!

If 2021 is the year for you to declutter and downsize, how do you plan to get this done? 

Sorry, I know: 2020 is barely in the rear-view mirror!

But just like any resolution that you set, it’s important to identify in advance where you want to head and why you want to get there. 

In my personal coaching sessions, I always suggest starting at the beginning. This means getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish.

Think of it this way: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris, would you simply hop on a plane and show up? Unless you’re a total free spirit with unlimited time and resources, probably not! And the same logic applies to your desire to declutter and downsize, too. 

Today I’m sharing 7 key action steps to clarify your space clearing goals so you can cross them off the list this year! 

declutter and downsize

Today's Post lays The foundation for your Declutter and Downsize goals so you can get this done in 2021!

declutter and organize
image by yan krukov from pexels

Step 1: I want to declutter and downsize because ...

Start with identifying why excess stuff messes with your emotions.

For instance, does it stir up uneasy feelings? No one really wants a home crammed with stuff they don’t use, need, or love. Too much of anything feels heavy. 

Or perhaps someone else feels embarrassed to entertain. So they postpone having family and friends over.

Yet another may feel frustrated with searching for things that are hidden in crammed drawers or closets. It sucks up time better used some other way.

And maybe someone feels anxious every time they view items associated with an Ex. It’s like reliving an unhappy situation over and over.

In other words, pause to figure out what your clutter does to bring you down and hold you in place. 

declutter and organize your home
image by LinkedInSales Navigator from pexels

Step 2: I need to declutter and downsize because ...

Next, capture how your clutter blocks you from what you need to do.

Does your clutter prevent you from getting things done? There could be any number of things on hold until you begin to declutter and downsize in earnest.

Perhaps you need to move into a smaller space. The cost of maintaining a large home is not practical.

Maybe the piles of paperwork mean your bills are not always paid on time. The impact on your credit is real.

Or you’re consistently running late because your overflowing wardrobe makes it hard to get ready each day. There’s lot in there but it doesn’t all fit, flatter or feel good.

So think about what genuine needs you have that are hindered by your clutter and make note of them. 

how to declutter and organize your home
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 3: I hope to declutter and downsize so that I can ...

Now jot down your hopes and dreams of things you’d do … if only you had more time and money to pursue them.

What would you do if you had more resources? It’s amazing how clutter can hold us hostage!

How can we imagine something different if we never change? But change is hard to execute if we stay in place, surrounded by what no longer serves us well.

Wish you could attend a culinary school? Want to travel cross country in an RV? These dreams and more could be possible if you didn’t have to spend time and money maintaining more than what you need or use.

When you declutter and downsize into what accommodates your future goals, you can start making those dreams a reality!

declutter and clean
image by ekaterina bolovtsova from pexels

Step 4: Schedule your D&D time

When will you fit in your declutter and downsize sessions? 

It’s essential to have it on your calendar. If it’s not planned, it will be easy for it to be deferred to another day. But when will that day happen?

Everyone’s capacity is different so figure out how frequently you can time block. And think about pairing your session right before or right after an activity you do faithfully. This “habit stacking”  approach helps get it done!

Additionally, start with just a couple sessions a week. This is a new habit so give yourself time to embrace it. It took time to accumulate the stuff you have. It will take time to let the excess go. Don’t overwhelm yourself and then burn out early! 

On the other hand, if you have a hard stop with a pending physical move, work your calendar backwards. With your date in mind, assign each room a set number of weeks to get them cleared.

For example, your kitchen may need 4 weeks but your guest room only needs 2 weeks. It’s just an estimate but as you dig in, you’ll figure out how many sessions are needed in each room to completely unclutter them.

The key is to get started now!

declutter and donate
image by moose from pexels

Step 5: Start Small with your D&D sessions

How small is small? Think a drawer, a cabinet or a closet!

Sure, your goal is to space clear each room in your home. But trying to get an entire room done in one session may be impossible, even if you have a whole day set aside.

For one thing, you may get bogged down early if you encounter sentimental stuff. That’s the hardest to sort through! You may start to justify keeping much of it, even if you know it isn’t practical.

Secondly, breaking a room into sections is a great way to get small wins early on. It’s a manageable session and doesn’t disrupt using that room when your decluttering session is done for the day.

And thirdly, keeping the space clearing sessions to less than an hour is a smart way to keep your enthusiasm high. You may choose to conduct a few sessions during one day, but break them up with other tasks, for variety. You’ll feel much more accomplished when you actually complete a discreet area, as opposed to only getting part way through a large space. 

Manageable chunks keep your uncluttering goals on track!

downsize and declutter
image by negative space from pexels

Step 6: Keep Track of your D&D sessions

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you think about how much more space clearing is ahead of you.

But when you log your results, you’ll realize just how much you’ve already accomplished! Your efforts will add up over time. 

How you choose to track your decluttering is up to you. It can be as simple as photos in an album on your phone or an old school notebook, listing the results of each session.

The point is to keep a record of your declutter and downsize journey. You’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve gotten done. And it will motivate you to keep on going!

Little steps add up to big results!

how to declutter and downsize
image by andrea piacquadio from pexels

Step 7: Keep on going!

You got this … don’t lose momentum now!

After just 30 days, you’ll be amazed how your declutter and downsize sessions have become a part of your regular routine. 

As you open up space in your home, your heart will likewise feel clear and open. Letting go of what you no longer need, use or want is a liberating step towards inviting all the possibilities head of you!

When your enthusiasm flags (and it happens to all of us), circle back to Step 1-3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this now.  Refresh your memory with what you will be able to do in the future. 

Now you can start to design your next life chapter, freely and joyfully! Step confidently where you want to go next!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post was all about crafting a declutter and downsize plan to clear space in 2021 for where you want to go next!

Feeling inspired to clear out the old to make way for the new?

Fantastic! Take control of your direction. Craft a mini-Manifesto for why clearing space makes sense for you in 2021. This is for your eyes only so be honest. And be prepared for real results to unfold in this New Year!

decluttering your house

Decluttering Your House Demands Fearlessly Facing 3 Constant Challenges

Most would agree that decluttering your house is an activity we can all add to our to-do list. Who doesn’t have more than they need or use. Gosh, we can all readily point out lots of those extra things in our own homes!

But if you’re having a hard time with actually following through, why does it feel difficult? What’s holding you back?

Today I’m exploring 3 common reasons why we accumulate too much: family legacy, storage capacity, and consumerism.

These challenges are roadblocks to releasing stuff that doesn’t need to stay any more. Understanding when they are at play is the first step in the decluttering process. Then we can learn how to overcome them and begin streamlining our homes. 

Are you ready to create serene space and retain just your favorites? Read on!

This post reveals 3 roadblocks to conquer when decluttering your house!

how to declutter your house
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Challenge #1: Family Legacy

When you’re decluttering your house, the sentimental value of things from your loved ones is one of the hardest challenges to face! I’ve seen folks hang on to all sorts of things because they were handed down from a beloved family member.

Think Grandma’s crocheted afghans or Aunt Millie’s costume jewelry collection. Others were raised to maintain a certain type of household, which includes a good set of silver, damask tablecloths or Waterford crystal.

Now don’t misunderstand: I believe in honoring our loved ones!

But when things are collecting dust … when their taste is not our taste … when our lifestyle does not embrace those items … wouldn’t it be time to let them go? 

Releasing family keepsakes does not mean we are rejecting our heritage!

There are ways we can be true to our roots yet avoid filling our homes with things we don’t need, use or love. By all means, pick a couple of items that speak to you. Display them, whether in a photo montage or on an end table.

However, if the item truly doesn’t suit your style …if you’d rather set it back in the closet or drawer … you’re likely keeping it out of guilt.

Recognize that your beloved relative and the item are not one and the same! Instead, release the item to someone who will appreciate and use it.

 

declutter your house
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Challenge #2: Storage Capacity

 

Let’s face it: when we have room to keep something away, we do it! And Americans revel in way more housing square footage than almost any other nation. We have more rooms with dedicated purposes. Think dining rooms or guest bedrooms. 

Fortunately, home builders are moving towards including “flex rooms”. And “great rooms” and “eat-in kitchens” are in vogue. Yet when the day comes that we are ready or need to downsize, it’s eye-opening to look around and see how much we thought we needed, isn’t it?

And when it comes to buying, we may tell ourselves that the new item will replace an old one … but does the old one really make it out the door?

Sometimes, we buy another thing to stock up or just in case. But how hard would it be to wait and buy it only at the time we need it? It seems we have a fear of being unprepared. (OK, maybe one can’t have too much toilet paper!)

Are we really too busy to clear things out, but not too busy to buy new things?

Here’s a thought: consider reflecting on the purchases you plan to make. Is it to replace or to add to what you already have? Do you need it right now? Do you enjoy the thrill of having something new?

This leads right into challenge #3!

 

how to declutter your house in one day
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Challenge #3: Consumerism, Baby!

Today’s consumer hardly stands a chance in the face of pervasive marketing at every turn. Whether TV commercials, infomercials, billboard or magazine ads … it’s everywhere!

And now, nothing is as powerful as social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok barrage us with recommendations to buy something which will make us more attractive, thinner, hipper, happier, you name it.

Every season, there is a new fashion rule for what we should wear. We have pre-holiday sales, holiday sales, post-holiday sales, clearance sales, and even “oops, our mistake, here’s a discount from us” sales!

It’s non-stop and it’s exhausting. It’s also expensive!

But what if we turned off the noise? What if we unsubscribe from retail newsletters and email lists? (We can always sign up again to snag a discount … just unsubscribe afterwards!)

What if we didn’t buy the latest version if the older version we own is perfectly fine?

Know that I am not advocating that you never buy something different! Instead, I am suggesting you purchase mindfully.

My 3-part trademark mantra is this: “Do I need it? Will I use it? Do I love it?”

Then, add to that, “Do I need it right now?” and “What else could I do with these funds?” In other words, thoughtful questions lead to thoughtful purchases!

Now off to decluttering your house!

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: Today was all about decluttering your house by starting with your "why"!

Figuring out why we have too much stuff in our homes will allow us to start decluttering in an easier and more mindful manner. 

Additionally, we can maintain a newly streamlined space which feels soothing, when we know the obstacles that can stop us in our tracks! 

Your turn!

  • Which challenge is hardest for you?
  • How do you keep decluttering anyway?

Drop your thoughts in the comments below … and thanks for stopping by!

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