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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!

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
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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
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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?

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

clutter meaning
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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!

online selling platforms

8 Tried and True Online Selling Platforms for Offloading Your Excess Stuff

With so many online selling platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones will be the best choice for you?

The app field is crowded and it can be confusing! So today, I’m sharing 8 online selling platforms that have stood the test of time.

The key is to match what you have to sell with the platform that will maximize your return in a reasonable amount of time.

Selling your stuff is not your full-time focus, right? That’s why it’s critical you select the best venue to showcase your stuff and sell it quickly. Because you have other things to do, too!

So grab your coffee, have a seat, and let’s check out your options!

online selling platforms

Today's Post Reviews the Pros and Cons of 8 Online Selling Platforms So You can land on the best place to sell your stuff!

best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 1: eBay

eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for over 25 years.

It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price.

In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price.

There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, too … not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!

eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers.

But on the flip side, customer protection …even in falsified complaint situations …. can be at the expense of a legitimate seller.

Also, it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery.

However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.

For eBay selling details, check out the step-by-step guide here.

Or, listen to this tutorial over here.

 

where is the best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 2: Amazon

Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites.

It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff.

Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You pay a fee only when  your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.  

In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers

Lastly, go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling right here. 

online selling items
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 3: Etsy

Etsy takes us into a narrower market when it popped on the scene in 2005. 

It’s positioned as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. Currently ranking as #3 behind eBay and Amazon,  it’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products.

Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells.

The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses.  So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.

To further explore this online selling platform, head here.

 

top online selling platforms
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 4 & 5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane

These two online selling platforms are still relative newcomers.

Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky.

Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:

  • Bonanza
    • Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
    • Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
    • To get started, click here.
  • Ruby Lane
    • Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
    • Excellent customer service reputation
    • To get started, go here.
Facebook and OfferUp
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 6 & 7: FB and OfferUp

Facebook Marketplace groups are  definitely trumping Craigslist these days!

Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well.

These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered.

You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.

OfferUp merged with LetGo  in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace.

It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online.   

The scoop on using OfferUp is right here. 

what is the best online selling platform

Online Selling Platforms | Option 8: Craigslist

Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website!

You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re completely on your own to work with buyers.

Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items.

When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.

Craig’s List has been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other online selling platforms such as FB Marketplace and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out?

Find a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial over here.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post shared 8 online selling platforms to help you rehome your stuff and to deposit some dollars back in your wallet, as well!

There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms.

But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.

Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!)

Swedish Death Cleaning Clears Space for a satisfying Second Half in Life!

Swedish Death Cleaning, or “Döstädning”,  has rapidly garnered interest all over the world! Yet it’s not a new Swedish phenomenon. And despite the ominous sounding name, it is not about cleaning or dusting after someone has died! 

Instead, it refers to a national steadfast approach of streamlining your own stuff when you reach the second half of your life. After all, what will become of the possessions we have accumulated over our lifetime? Who will deal with all our stuff?

So is it a movement that makes sense for us? Margareta Magnusson, renowned author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” thinks so! And what a gem of an author, who described herself as “somewhere between 80 and 100 years of age!”

To be clear, it is actually considered to be a joyful process! You retain things embedded with the best memories and release items associated with negative experiences. You sort through, making decisions with what stays and what goes. 

Today's post shares the 3 Swedish Death Cleaning steps Margareta recommends to enhance this popular process. 

the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning
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1. Announce Your Decluttering Intentions

Declaring your Swedish Death Cleaning plan creates accountability for you to follow through!

Just like boldly stating a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, share your plans to begin your döstädning process. This alllows your family and friends to support you along the way.

And as you progress, your everyday life feels smoother and more efficient. This will also provide momentum to keep going strong.

Moreover, the resulting byproduct of a simpler and better organized life is not reserved for just those over 50. Folks of all ages are encouraged to adopt this decluttering practice!

After all, the sooner you take stock of what you’ve accumulated, the quicker you hone in on what matters now.

what is Swedish death cleaning
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2. Embrace Your Swedish Death Cleaning Phase

Understand that this is a slow, deliberate process.

It’s not a marathon! It should not be rushed.

In truth, the Swedish Death Cleaning process is really a revisiting of your life. You are examining what gave joy and what caused sorrow; what is meaningful and what is no longer relevant.

By taking your time while examining your possessions, you honor your past. You reflect on what has shaped you thus far. And you begin to formulate where you want to go in the future.

In a way, you can think about Swedish Death Cleaning as an ongoing personal retreat with therapeutic benefits!

Swedish death cleaning book
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3. Reward Yourself Frequently

Because this is not a race, your Swedish Death Cleaning sessions should be reasonably short.

Therefore, allot a specific amount of time. Focus on a particular small area, such as a drawer or a closet. Then immediately follow your session with a favorite activity. For example, every 60 minute clearing session might be followed with 30 minutes of reading or walking.

Ultimately, the point is to remain upbeat and energized after your sorting sessions. After all, you’re still in your prime years when you start the process. There is time to rewrite your narrative if you so decide.

In other words, you can change your direction! 

You can be more in control than ever with the legacy you leave to your loved ones. How empowering is that?!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared 3 Swedish Death Cleaning Aspects Which Clear the Way to Your Next Life Chapter!

Your turn!

  • Have you started examining your own possessions?
  • What do you want to happen with your stuff when you’re gone?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering your life

Decluttering Your Life Is Essential for 3 Surprising Reasons!

The benefits of decluttering your life …. well, aren’t they obvious?

On the surface, yes: less stuff to deal with…boom!

But have you ever realized just how insidious clutter really is? It’s more than just having too much physical stuff in your home. In fact, it negatively impacts your life in many other ways, too! 

Once you understand how it slows you down, you’ll want to start releasing the things that no longer support where you’re at. And more importantly, you’ll want to begin releasing the stuff that holds you back from where you want to be!

So let’s take a look at how decluttering improves three areas of your life: your health, your relationships, and your productivity.

Decluttering Your Life
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This post delves Deep into why decluttering your life is a necessary practice for your total Well Being!

declutter your life checklist
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1. Decluttering Your Life | The Effect on Your Health

There are numerous studies that have examined the impact of clutter on our health and the verdict is in: it causes stress!

No shock there, right? I mean, all we have to do is look around our homes. When we see the excess stuff, who doesn’t feel their anxiety rise?

Now don’t get me wrong: of course our homes look a bit “lived in” as we go about our daily lives. Hardly anyone I know has a completely pristine, perfectly organized home 24-7.

But it’s the cabinets, drawers, and closets filled with what we don’t use or need that really turn the pressure on.

In fact, if we take this a step further, there are actually 3 sub-aspects to how clutter stress can play havoc with our health.

- The Physical Impact of Clutter

Firstly, elevated stress leads to high levels of cortisol. Of course, we all experience occasional flashes of stress during the day, some days more than others. But when it’s a prolonged state, it can lead to high blood pressure, increased fat accumulation, loss of calcium from bones, and elevated blood sugar.

Oh my gosh, this sounds like a daunting recipe for aging. doesn’t it! So clearly, we benefit when we take a few minutes daily to remove household clutter from our homes.

- The Mental Impact of Clutter

Secondly, when we have way too many things coming at us, the stress hormones released harm our peace of mind. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and even reduced cognitive abilities.

Have you ever heard someone say (or said it yourself), “I need a mental health day!” Clutter is one major reason why!

- Emotional Impact of Clutter

Thirdly, long-term clutter causes sleep disruption and mood swings. Feelings of agitation, restlessness, and fatigue make our daily routine feel heavy. Our energy is not at its prime. Everything feels like such an effort to complete.

Yikes! Clearly, when our physical surroundings are cluttered, our brains feel that way, too!

declutter your life book
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2. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Relationships

Naturally, when we are feeling under siege, our relationships sputter and stagnate, as well. It’s difficult to focus on nurturing and strengthening our personal relationships when we ourselves are overwhelmed.

Joint activities and shared interests are challenging when we don’t know where things are. Divorce rates rise. Children or others living in the household pick up on the tension, too. To put it differently, clutter is like a virus that infects us and those we love!

Even our friendships can be impacted negatively when clutter gets out of hand. Folks are embarrassed about the quantity of stuff in their homes. They become resistant to having friends drop by. It’s harder to maintain close connections when our stuff gets in the way. 

And oh, our girlfriends are SO important! They support us, they advise us, they laugh and cry with us! They ARE love! Who would ever want clutter to interfere with the fellowship we crave and enjoy?

Who wants to prioritize things and stuff over the people and experiences? No one willingly … but it happens when our stuff holds us back.

 

declutter your life
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3. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Productivity

Lastly, our productivity, or ability to move ahead smoothly and efficiently with our tasks and goals is compromised by clutter. It tugs at our attention when important papers, notes, and contacts are scattered across our tables, hidden amongst our emails, or buried in texting threads.

Oh sure, I’ve read that some of the most brilliant, famous minds like Albert Einstein or JK Rowling are among the most disorganized folks around! Yet I can’t help but think that they are in the minority of those who can be messy yet manage to concentrate fully on their craft.

We are given only so many hours in each day. How do we want to spend that time: hunting and searching for lost or misplaced items? Sifting through stuff we no longer need or use? Who want every task to take longer than necessary because our things get in the way … anyone?

If you think about it, when we spend our time and energy wading through clutter of all kinds, it slows us down and prevents us from realizing a fair return on our efforts. Who has time for that?

 

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This post shared 3 key areas where decluttering your life will provide a phenomenal return!

Ready to start removing clutter from your life?

Not sure when you’ll find the time? Try fitting in a decluttering session right before or right after another habit you already perform.

This is called “habit stacking“. The association of the two activities helps with making decluttering a part of your regular routine.

Even blocking out as little as 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results!

Your turn!

 

  • What is your biggest obstacle to getting rid of clutter?
  • Do you live with someone who can’t let things go?

Share what’s on your mind … And thanks for stopping by!

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