Getting rid of clutter isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t have much space, storage options or a compact version of the things you really need.
Lately, there has been a generalized passion for the inspiring minimalist trend when it comes to home decor and organization. Series like “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” have popularized the Japanese concepts of minimal possessions. Clearing clutter doesn’t have to be a spiritual experience, but it will invariably improve the look of your home and the quality of indoor air, promoting a calm, clean environment where you can thrive in. Another important benefit is that it will help keep pests from making themselves at home in your home.
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), “Clutter provides places for pests to breed and hide and makes it hard to get rid of them. ” If you’re home or apartment is cluttered, you are more likely to have issues with pests.
Why letting go is difficult
Getting rid of clutter isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t have much space, storage options or a compact version of the things you really need. But have you ever thought of revising the list of things you really need?
There are many objects in a home that we tend to forget about – and it may seem like they’ve just been sitting there forever. Figurines from abroad trips, gifts from old friends, train tickets from your favorite holiday, decorations, clothes, art, dishes, furniture pieces and other items that pile up on your shelves can sometimes give your home a very claustrophobic vibe.
Sentimental clutter is one of the most difficult things to let go of. What for someone else is just an old ashtray that you don’t even use, for you may be a totem of memories and a token from the past. Many times, we tend to escape from reality in our past memories, reliving the good times in our minds. We know very well that our old selves are never coming back, that some people have passed away and we have changed homes. So, we cling to these objects that come from those times, too scared of letting go of them, from fear that we will lose our memories.
How to do it
Here are a few things you can do to make it easier when getting rid of sentimental clutter.
- Don’t feel guilty of throwing away gifts from others or things with memories attached, if this process will make you happier in your home and will contribute to less clutter.
- Instead of discarding the items, try finding them a new home. This will ease your thoughts about parting with sentimental value items. Donate, sell on vintage markets or find a family member or friend that might want it.
- If you have multiple, only keep one. For example, if you have inherited your great aunt’s collection of porcelain elephants, just keep the one you like the most and give the rest away.
- Try to avoid procrastinating and postponing this emotionally charged task – which you might, since it is not an easy thing to do – by setting a clear timeframe and clearing your agenda for that day. Treat sentimental decluttering like an important event.
- Have someone help you through the process. Someone close to you who understands the importance of these items will be able to support you and encourage you to declutter your life. Talk to them about why you want to do this and let them know that you need their better judgment in case you get cold feet.
Clearing your space from emotional clutter might be difficult, but it will greatly improve how your home looks and feels. Gather some courage and start decluttering, you will not regret it.
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