How to De-Clutter

How to De-Clutter

(or Keep your hands off of my stuff!)


How many times have we heard a friend or even yourself say “I have got to get rid of some of this stuff! I would like to simplify my life!” And yet year-by-year very little gets done. What is the Dilemma we face? Are there benefits to decluttering? Are there reasons for putting it off?


If you have a house cleaner coming into your home, she can give you myriad reasons for getting rid of unnecessary items. A more thorough cleaning job can be accomplished in general. Perhaps you have many bottles of perfume or makeup on your counter in the bathroom. It takes time to pick all of these up, sanitize the counter and put them back in their place. Perhaps you have many Keepsake items on display on the furniture in your home. Each of these needs to be dusted, the furniture shined, the items neatly put back. If you have many items on display on the floor, effort must be taken to make sure cobwebs and dust bunnies don’t accumulate around and behind these items. In the kitchen, it is possible to have so much on the counter it can take double the time to remove and sanitize perhaps taking time away from other more desirable options  like cleaning the fridge. Or stove.


Perhaps right about now you are saying “Who exactly is determining an item unnecessary? Seeing my My grandmother’s high chair and my great uncle’s toy amongst my things makes me happy!”  This is very logical and should be respected. We all have to weigh the peace that having everything orderly, neat, and clean can bring versus the enjoyment of having all of our beloved items out on display.  More things take more time.


Is there a way around the “to declutter or not to declutter” debate?  Keep in mind, there are ways to have things and clean them efficiently.  Even collections can be displayed in such a way that take attention less often. But, if you find yourself overwhelmed by your things, stunned into non reaction by the thought of having to straighten up for your cleaner, perhaps you could benefit from a little decision party. This does not have to turn out to be a forever decision. Perhaps you want to have a place for your things that you love but could trade out with other things that you love, on a rotating basis throughout the year. Perhaps limit yourself to two organizing tubs that you place your beloved knick-knacks in, and then in a few months take them out and trade them with some of the things that you’ve been looking at for the last few months. Much satisfaction can come from giving items away to someone you know will appreciate them. Perhaps to younger family members starting out who share your Nostalgia for family history.


As far as items that you use for daily personal care or in the kitchen maybe they could be in a basket that can tuck underneath a counter top out of the way when it is time to clean and sanitize.


The conflict between simplifying your life and schedule and having your things around you seems to be at the root of much discontent. We must weigh how much joy the things give us compared to the thought and upkeep they require.

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