Having fewer things makes me happier. It took me some time to acknowledge this, because I was attached to my things. All my things. Everything I owned. Even the things I didn’t remember owning because they were buried in my closet.
To me, clutter was a habit. On one level, it gave me satisfaction. It made me feel as though I’ve accomplished something. It made me feel successful to own many things.
In reality though, it caused stress. I always had to find a place for my things. And sometimes, when space was not readily available, I would put things anywhere. When I needed something, I couldn’t always find it. And things sometimes looked messy.
It also caused me stress because instead of doing things that I should have been doing (like working), I just wanted to organize my stuff. It caused me stress because it added so much to the amount of time it took me to clean my house. I had to organize my things before I could even start to clean.
So I started to declutter. I started slowly. What I found was the more things I got rid of, the more I wanted to get rid of. I also found the more organized I am, the more productive I am. Decluttering gives me an instant sense of accomplishment, even if I achieve a small decluttering task. So I encourage everyone to declutter.
The bottom line is that a decluttered home for me reduces stress and increases productivity and happiness. It worked for me!
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. By setting a time limit, this becomes a manageable, less overwhelming task. After all, you don’t have to declutter your entire house at once – just do a little every day.
- Throw out 25 pieces of trash and/or find 10 items to donate/give away. Immediately take the trash out and pack the items to donate/give away in a box and put the box in a place where you won’t regularly see it (e.g., trunk or garage).
- Take your donation out as soon as possible so you won’t be tempted to go through the items and put them back in your closet. If it takes a few days before you get rid of the box, fight the temptation to go through it!
- Repeat daily or weekly (whatever works for you).
- Enjoy your new space.
I’d love to hear from others that have found happiness through living a less cluttered life. Please feel free to share your comments.
(Photo Credits: Intentional Happiness)