Clearing the clutter is essential to be more with less. Just because you don’t see your clutter, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That sounds like an obvious statement, but until I prepared for the yard sale of the century (and the last yard sale I will ever have), I didn’t know what I was up against. When emptying the clutter from a storage area in our garage and a big shed on the side of our house, I thought I might be recruited for an episode of “Hoarders”. I’ve never seen the show, but I have seen sneak peak previews and it’s not pretty.
As a family of three, we are pretty tidy, even our garage “looks” pretty good. Or should I say, “looked” pretty good. Now that we have consolidated the hidden clutter in our two car garage, we can’t even fit one car inside. As I walk through my garage now, two questions come to mind. 1. Why did I think I could afford to buy all of this stuff? 2. Why did I hold onto it for so long? The actual answers to the questions don’t matter as much as the fast that I think and act differently today.
We set up a good system for clearing the clutter. The garage is divided into three rows.
Row #1 Sell It
Row #2 Trash It
Row #3 Save It
So far, the “Sell It” row is much bigger than the rest, and after we finish sorting through boxes, we are going to take a really hard look at the “Save It” row and make sure we are saving for the right reasons. The initial sort has been quick and obvious, but the next step is going to be some be more with less soul searching and really clearing the clutter!
5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Clearing the Clutter
Evolution – If you can let go of the same stuff you’ve held onto for years, even though you moved it from state to state or house to house, and never took it out of the box, you are starting to understand that your stuff doesn’t define you, and that you have enough.
Hidden meaning – Look at what’s in your “Save It” row. Are there hobbies or passions, things you haven’t taken time for, waiting for you? This collection of goods that you cannot part with, tells you something about your life.
Kids don’t want the clutter either – Now is time to drop the, “I’m saving this for my children” excuse. My 14 year old daughter has been an integral part of this process and she didn’t want to keep her 84 stuffed animals, baby clothes or other items that I was “saving for her”. It was fun to take a walk down memory lane, but getting rid of the stuff, does not get rid of her childhood.
Clutter attracts clutter – As you start clearing the clutter, you will feel compelled to go through your house and get rid of more. Likewise, if you bring more clutter into your home, it will multiply.
Don’t wait – Clearing the clutter doesn’t have to wait until you move. In fact, attempting to shed your stuff during something like a move, might be counter productive. Your focus may be on the actual move, new location, or selling your home, instead of actually clearing the clutter.
Where is your clutter hiding?
- Spare bedroom?
- Trunk of your car?
- Storage rental?
- A friend’s house?
Clearing the clutter that you don’t see every day will be nothing less than liberating! All of that stuff that you have hidden away weighs you down and holds you back. Let it go, and make room for good stuff, which usually isn’t stuff at all.