The older I get, the more I realize I can’t function well with a bunch of stuff around me. My husband feels the same way. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some “stuff” we love and some “stuff” we can’t live without, but for the most part, most of the “stuff” in our life isn’t necessary. After we had our two girls, we ended up with more stuff. You know how fast it can all add up — toys, clothes, books, games, stuffed animals, art supplies, and more. Stuff is everywhere and I feel like it multiplies overnight while we are sleeping!
How my journey started:
I started a journey of getting rid of unnecessary things in my life in January of 2015 after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo – a #1 bestseller! This book was the game changer for me as it motivated me to get my act together and do something about our clutter. I also listened to several inspirational stories by The Minimalists. Their YouTube video inspired me to want to live a rich life with less. My husband was totally on board with me and agreed to let me “do my thing” and get rid of as much as we could. If we didn’t use, love, want, or need the things, we made a decision to let go of these items and donate them.
Why I decided to get rid of my things:
Why did I get rid of a lot of stuff and why do I continue to get rid of more of our stuff? Because my stuff weighed me down. My stuff controlled my life. Looking back, I spent a lot of days wasting time cleaning and organizing a bunch of stuff instead of playing with my kids or enjoying our time outdoors. Before my decluttering mission, I owned several storage bins to hold a lot of my stuff thinking I was the queen of organization. All I was doing was hanging on to unnecessary stuff thinking I’d need it one day. Now, I refuse to own storage bins and I’m still weeding through my things and getting rid of the last few storage bins that I own.
Understanding the problem:
I’ve always been good at decluttering, but I was never good at controlling the in-flow. Stuff was coming into my home as fast as it was going out, and I couldn’t figure out why I felt I was getting nowhere with decluttering. I finally realized that the only way to get somewhere during this journey was to control the in-flow and to stop buying and bringing home all of the “stuff” I thought I needed. I controlled the in-flow and after a few months into simplifying my life, I finally felt that I could breathe again.
The positive changes after giving away our stuff:
A lot of positive things started happening in my life after giving away most of my things including:
- I had more time to do things I love
- My business grew
- Our income increased
- I workout more and eat better
- My spiritual life improved
- Family life improved
- I can focus easier than ever before
- I feel calm and less anxious and my mind feels clear
I feel like we own a lot less now than we ever have before as far as stuff goes, but the interesting thing is that we are so much happier now than we’ve ever been. I’ve even found time to meal plan and create a personal budget, whereas before, I never felt I had the time to think about these things. I’ve only seen good things come out of this journey and because of this, I continue to maintain this new lifestyle with less. I do NOT want to go back to where I was before and I know that I’ll have to dedicate time each month to make sure we keep our house clutter free.
How you can control the clutter and get your life back!
If you’ve been feeling down in the dumps or anxious because of the clutter and stuff around you, it’s time to take control over it! Start slow and work on one area at a time and slowly (or quickly) get rid of things that you no longer need, use, or want in your life. This will free up some space and time in your life to do the things you’ve been wanting to do! Once you start to see the benefits of letting go of the things in your life weighing you down, you’ll want to keep going. I wish you success with your new journey to a simplified and rich life with less!