This all started for me a little over a year ago. Every day a large chunk of my time went to laundry, dishes, picking up after littles, and cleaning up messes. It was exhausting and a huge waste of my time! I knew it was time to make some changes so I could get my time back to use for worthwhile pursuits.
There are ideas that come into your head which have the power to transform your life. Dwelling on what is lovely is a concept from the bible that has stuck with me and has changed everything! The past year has been a year of transformation for me- a year of letting go and tidying up. It has been beautiful for me and my wellness and a gift to my family. My hope is that as I share with you over the next few weeks what I have learned I inspire you to join me in seeking what is lovely and that you and your life may be better for it as well!
CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
I have been a sentimental collector as long as I can remember. I have memories of myself as a small child holding little scraps of paper, closing my eyes and picturing the memory that piece of paper was tied to and with a title wave of emotion placing it back in my drawer thinking that I could never get rid of that tiny scrap for all that it held. Through the years, the reasons why I held onto things have changed, but it was still taking a toll on me and my time. Now not everyone is sentimental. There are many reasons why we don’t let go of things. Can you see yourself in any of these?
Practically, in order to be able to pursue what is beautiful, worthwhile, of value we must have the space and time to do so. This means we need to let go…
Our first goal was to get rid of 50% of what we had. Every person’s goals will be different. Maybe you have a problem area in your home you want to tackle first: the closet, toys, kitchen gadgets or the garage? Or maybe you are like me and want to do a total purge. Either way here are some “rules” to help you get started:
- A place for everything and everything in its place. This is a great place to start. Piles of papers and books everywhere or toy bins that are overflowing can create serious clutter and chaos in your home and can feel very overwhelming. If you start by creating a home for everything, i.e. a key hook by the door for keys, an organizer on your desk for bills, you will significantly cut back on the confusion in your home. Do you have too much stuff to fit in your designated spaces? Time to get rid of some stuff…
- Does it serve a practical purpose? Do you use it frequently? Do you love it? Does it bring you joy? You can ask yourself these questions as you go through your home. If the particular item does not fit into these categories most likely it is something you should let go of. It is hard in the beginning, but once you get started you will quickly realize how great it feels to de-clutter your home and clear out a lot of the stuff that is just taking up space and creating messes.
- Let your items serve a better purpose. One of the best motivating factors for me in getting rid of things it to decide on a benefactor before I get started. Do I want to have a garage sale and donate the earnings to a specific charity? Is it time to pass down some of your kid’s toys and clothes to another family? Do you want to donate everything to a church’s or nonprofit’s thrift store? Can I give my unused clothes to a women’s shelter? Or do I want to host a get together where my friends can come and go through what I no longer need to see if there is something they would love? Whatever you decide having a plan for the items you are getting rid of before you start may help to motivate you to let it go!
- Stop being the beneficiary of people’s charity! Do family members always get rid of their old furniture or other unwanted items by trying to give them to you? Are you a sucker for anything labeled FREE? It is time to learn how to kindly say no. Odds are the furniture, clothing, or anything else someone else is trying to pawn off on you is not your style and is not something you would have picked for yourself! Now, if you have no couch and you really need one and someone is offering you a couch that is in great shape, by all means, take the couch. But before accepting anything from others make sure it is something you really need and love!
Still having a hard time letting go? Here are some ideas to help you decide:
- Label it with a date and see just how long it takes you to use it for the first time. If a year later you have not touched that item- let it go.
- Put all your hangers backward in your closet. Only, turn them around once you have worn that item. Is there a hanger that has not been turned around in a year? Odds are you are not going to wear that particular item and you can let it go.
- A picture is worth a thousand words… or items. If there is an item you are holding onto for sentimental reasons, but you never use it maybe you can take a picture to hold onto the memory and let the item go.
- My friend over at Treehouse Daily had the brilliant idea of putting everything you are unsure of in boxes in the garage. Whatever you have not pulled out after a year is already all boxed up for you and ready to be donated or sold!
Once you begin the process of letting go, be forewarned, it is addictive! It is also extremely beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. Clearing out the clutter in the home has been linked to:
Not only that, but it frees up your time to seek God’s beauty and to love and serve others more! So, it is time to let go my friends! Let go of clutter. Let go of junk. Let go!