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Clutter can easily overwhelm a household.
In today's society, we have much more “stuff” to manage than even twenty years ago. This clutter comes in various forms – toys, school papers, gadgets, shoes, email, etc. More and more stuff overwhelms our homes. (and storage units are growing at a fast rate!)
Why is it so important to clear your clutter?
In 2017, our household took control of our clutter. For us, it was a year-long event!
Yes, you can go through at gazelle intensity to conquer your clutter in a weekend. But, I wanted to involve our young kids and do a deep clean out of our stuff.
We got rid of quite a bit of “stuff.”
Do I miss any of it? No.
Do I remember what we got rid of? No.
Clutter affects your life in every area.
For me personally, when things start to get cluttered I become a scattered brain and that is just not good.
Reasons to Clear Your Clutter
1. Save Time
According to Newsweek, the average American spends 55 minutes EACH day looking for something. That is a lot of time!
Over the course of a year, almost 14 days are wasted looking for stuff.
Seriously, I can think of many, many other ways to use my 55 minutes looking for “stuff.”
Less clutter = more time.
How would you reclaim your time?
2. Less to Clean
On the flip side of the time coin, you save time because less time is spent cleaning and putting away your stuff.
The less stuff you have, the less stuff to clean.
That reason alone is the main reason I strive to keep extra clutter out of the house!
If you have kids, this is especially true. Two minutes to get out their toys and hours spent trying to clean them up! These are great timers to challenge your kids to pick up fast.
Related Post: How to Organize Your Life & Create a Simpler Life
3. Save Money
A penny saved is a penny earned.
It is easy to pick up an item because things are so cheap. But, think about if you picked up a $1 item for each kid each time you went to the grocery store? See how fast we accumulate stuff and drain our bank accounts.
There are two facets of saving money when you conquer your clutter.
1. One facet is you save money by not needing to replace the lost item.
Have you ever seen the overflowing lost and found at any school?!?! Oh my goodness, it is very overwhelming and sad to see how much money was left behind and forgotten. Learn how to stop losing items at school.
2. Another facet is how much you save by eliminating unnecessary purchases and live with less stuff.
I am not promoting a minimalist society; I am just saying we live with way more stuff than previous generations. Once you start living with less, you don't even know the difference.
Less clutter = more money.
Honestly, those out of consumer debt, tend to buy less things anyway.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to a Frugal Lifestyle
That place when enough is enough.
Every closet and drawer is overflowing. The stack of plates are looking like the leaning Tower of Piza and everyone is too afraid to get a plate down.
That is the point of overload.
Our bodies are not designed to handle things coming at us at every moment. That is when overload sets in. Shortly followed by, a complete shutdown and inability to move forward.
Clearing the clutter needs to happen before the overload stage happens. If not, the task will seem monumental to conquer.
5. Save Sanity
When there is less clutter overtaking the space, it portrays a peaceful environment.
For me personally, I see less stuff “to do” and enjoy my family.
While it takes upfront time to clean out and declutter, it will save your sanity in the long run.
Many times stuff comes in from various places and you must deal with it sooner rather than later. When it comes to gifts, experiences are amazing.
Check out our experience at Great Wold Lodge. It is okay to ask relatives for something that is more than toys and save your sanity, too.
Less clutter = sanity.
Save sanity by clearing your clutter.
6. Save Accidents from Happening
Clutter left out is a hazard. Ever stepped on a Lego? Yep, it hurts.
By conquering your clutter, you are able to protect yourselves from serious injuries. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits. So, why should our clutter be sending us to the hospital and make us get hurt.
Make sure tripping hazards are out of the way. Nothing is on the stairs. Nothing is at the top of the stairs. Entry ways are clear (especially in the need of an emergency to exit).
Less clutter = less accidents.
Protect your family from avoidable accidents.
Related Post: What to Do with Old Stuff (& Make Money)
7. False Security Blanket
This is the hardest reason for people to actually clear the clutter.
Their stuff is providing a false sense of security.
Because I own all of this stuff, I am okay. I need these things for sentimental reasons or it is worth something. Or the every popular one… I may need this *some* day.
All of the reasons not to clear your clutter is providing a false sense of security. All in all, our security isn't from materialistic things.
However, overcoming the need to keep these items that provide you with a false security blanket is hard. (and I totally get it.)
But, if your stuff is overwhelming your house, then action needs to be taken. Personally, I love the section in this book on “Only the Best.” The author outlines how to conquer your clutter in the most difficult and sentimental areas in your home.
Honest Reality of Clutter
Okay, let's be real. This all sounds fine and dandy.
But, what happens 2-3 months down the road. Maybe a month later with kids (or a week). Or even a year later. And the clutter is back in full force?
It is imperative to clear the clutter on a daily basis.
One thing in. One thing out.
If not the capacity will overflow and you will be back in square one once again.
Key to Decluttering Success
Be diligent and figure out what works for your family.
That is the key to success.
No family will organize and flow the same. Do what makes sense for your family.
By taking the time to create organization systems and actually using them, then you will conquer your clutter in the long term.
This is where an organization systems are huge.
- Get a bin to handle mail.
- Corral kid's paperwork.
- Create cubbie systems to organize backpacks and sports gear.
- Pick up storage bins for seasonal items.
- Digitize paperwork with your own cloud backup system.
Also, don't be afraid to shake things up when your previous organization system doesn't cut it anymore.
Related reading… How to Organize your Personal Finances in 8 Simple Steps
Lastly, remember it is imperative to clear the clutter on a daily basis.
Are you up for the challenge? Just remember, clear the clutter room by room. Don't overwhelm yourself and give up.
Save time, money, and sanity. Plus no accidents. Yes, life will be good.
Resources to Start the Declutter Process:
While adding the book collection goes against your efforts to clear the clutter, you can pass along these resources and help a friend or family member struggling with the same thing.
- More of Less: Find the Life You Want Under Everything you Own
- A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living
- The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life
- The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
- You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too
Financial Reasons to Clear the Clutter:
- How to Overcome When Ends Don't Meet
- 9 Surprising Advantages of Budgeting your Money
- How to Organize Your Life & Create a Simpler Life
- Overcome Societal Norms to Succeed with Money
- How to Organize your Personal Finances in 8 Simple Steps
- Learn to Save Money Fast – Save $1,000 in a Month