Declutter Your Life

Excessive clutter is often a symptom and a cause of stress and can affect every facet of life, from the time it takes to do things to finances and overall enjoyment of life. Clutter can distract us, weigh us down, and in general invites chaos into our lives. Often times, however, tackling the clutter can seem an impossible task if you don’t know where or how to start. By devoting time to getting rid of the clutter in life and maintaining things relatively clutter-free, you’ll reap the rewards of pleasing living areas, reduced stress, and a more organized and productive existence.

At the house, simplify your rooms, clean out closets, and clean out the drawers. Drawers are a good place for things to get shoved into.  Empty them out and sort them by whether you’re keeping, tossing, or donating.

I always try to separate a want from a need when I feel the need to purchase. Even when the calling to buy is strong such as a need, I still debate and after a day or so if I still need it, then I'll go ahead and buy it. Outside of food, there are a very few things that I would categorize as a need. When I go to the grocery store, I never load up on items and instead will buy only the supplies needed for a meal or two and maybe stock up on a few long lasting items. This way, I don't pile stuff into my house and neither I am then forced to eat all the food for regret at having thrown it away. I don't own fancy gadgets, still have an old cell phone, no TV, I read more, and not because I am poor or can't afford these things, I choose not to because for me, life is still being defined and I want to keep myself ready and free for my next decision, which will be a lot easier if I am not tied down with junk and debt.  Once you’ve successfully decluttered, whether it be one area or all the areas mentioned above, clutter will inevitably begin to creep back into your life. You must be vigilant in weeding it out on a regular basis, or it will just take over your life again.  I have automated this process, for example, if someone gives me a gift, I prefer cash but if I do get a gift like a shirt or something, I take another shirt or two and donate them, this way I still have the same amount of stuff in the house.  I also take detailed inventory of the items in the house and if something hasn't been used in a long time, then it's a good candidate for being donated.

Forming these habits takes time and the most important thing is having discipline and imagining something better for yourself. In my neighborhood, people love decorating their homes for Halloween and Christmas, some go overboard and there is nothing wrong with it, except when you look at the waste and the junk we end up storing from year to year in our homes that ultimately ties up our lives. Getting rid of clutter is about freeing up your lives so that you have the freedom to be more mobile and agile. If you don't like where you are or what you are doing, cleaning up your life is a good start to move you forward.

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