The signs of spring and summer, are often something as classic as yard sales. Spring-cleaning, (which really should happen with every seasonal change) is really about purging your house of junk. And look, we all have it!
What may surprise you, is how liberating and cleansing the removal of life debris from your home can truly be. Spiritually speaking, which may be a bit far fetched for many people (but hear it out anyways) – there is a universal adage that says when we refuse to let go of the things in our life – we restrict the ability for new things to come our way. And this is absolutely 100% true when it comes to the hoarder like personality that many of us take on in the spirit of storage.
What it translates to is the fact that keeping those tote boxes piled up high in the garage, shoving things into the attic to be saved for later, and piling more upon more – only makes you a prisoner in your own home. Too much stuff, can get in the way of life. And when too much stuff piles up on too much more stuff, you eventually run out of room both literally and metaphorically for more in your life.
Lots of people grew up with parents who refused to throw anything away. Ever. And this included every memento of their childhood, newspaper or articles of clothing that have long since become out of style. For these people, the ingrained belief that you have to hold on to everything in life as tightly as possible, is a limiting belief. Sure, things are stored and put away with the outward intention that there may come a time when it will be needed again. Or you are saving it for a yard sale. Perhaps you are keeping it until you ‘get up enough stuff’ to call the Salvation Army in for a pick up. But the truth is that people often simply keep stuff around, useless stuff – for the sheer reason that they get some sort of emotional comfort from the things.
Purging your house of junk, is a great way to get a new and clear perspective of many things in life. For one thing, the environmental chaos caused by having heaps of ‘crap’ all over the house can make life stressful to say the least. It also can make it difficult to manage tasks in the home, or find the simple things you need daily to function effectively. How irritating is it when you have to push aside 30 things just to find the nail clippers? Plus, when you go through all the stuff, you have accumulated – you can become more aware of your needs versus wants. How much of the stuff that has now been deemed useless, is something you paid for with a credit card? Can you see any patterns provided by your impulse to buy or collect stuff around the home?
Sometimes, saving things for later is simply a matter of being thrifty. You keep the bouncy seat because you might have another baby. You store the extra set of dishes because you may need them one day. However, consider this. Always trying to save and plan your future needs around what you can store in your home, doesn’t put much faith in how you really believe you will be provided for when the future arrives. And, ask yourself, is there really any benefit to cluttering up your home just so you can keep old shoes and hundreds of items that you “might use” one day. Sure, it would be nice to sell all of this stuff and make a buck, but the bottom line is that likely you don’t have the time or inclination to do so. And should you have a yard sale, chances are you won’t unload most of the stuff you have because it is useless! So why not donate, give away, or put the stuff that is making your life complicated to use somewhere else. This way you can truly live in the space you have, with the things you need – right now!
There is nothing more fulfilling than going through a child’s toy box and getting rid of all the broken bits and pieces of happy meal toys that reside untouched for years at the lonely bottom. Yet many folks find it difficult to make the same purges with their child’s intact toys (that are collecting dust in the corner) or outgrown clothes.
Is it because getting rid of these things, means that phase of your life is over?
Often, getting rid of things in your home IS clearly, about moving to the next phase of life. But what is so bad about that?
Expert organizers suggest that you go through your home one area at a time. Ask yourself, are you ever going to use this item? And if you haven’t used it in 3 months or more – then really, is it that important? Then start making piles, or stuffing trash bags full of stuff that you don’t want, need, or use. Some of it will just be trash. Other stuff will be things you can donate to local charities. What will amaze you is the fact that you won’t miss any of these items in the days ahead. But you will feel a huge sigh of relief that you have more space in your home, and that you have streamlined and simplified.
If there are some things that are sort of useless, but you just aren’t ready to part with – then store them sensibly for later. Additionally, make sure that your steps to stay organized aren’t actually making you more of a junk collector. Often, baskets, totes, and organizers end up being catch alls that accumulate clutter and junk. Same with toy boxes and chests. So be careful having too many of these areas around.
Another great idea for keeping your home junk free, is to isolate one place (or tote) in your home where family members can put stuff that they are ready to part with. Then every few weeks, the outdated sweater your husband gave you, the old radio that doesn’t work, or even your child’s collection of My Little Ponies that she has outgrown, will be collected, and then donated to people who can use the stuff you no longer do.
The last piece of advice is this. If you are one of those minimalists but live with a family that seems to collect stuff constantly, try this! Send them out for a few hours, and secretly trash and ditch all the things that they don’t use anymore, need, or want. Just make sure you have all of the junk out of sight before they return, lest they try to retrieve their ‘things’ from the trash bag.
Just think, by removing the ‘junk’ from your life…you will actually make room for the things that you actually want and need now!