Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of Clutter

PinExt Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of Clutter

less stuff Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of ClutterIs the clutter in your life weighing you down?

When you keep less stuff, you will enjoy more life.  I’m not any kind of radical minimalist.  I like my stuff as much as the next guy.  In fact, I’ll confess right up front that I have a lot more than what I need.

However, I can also say that I have a lot less than most people.  By ridding myself of stuff that I don’t use, I’ve reduced the clutter and therefore increased my quality of life.

The stuff laying around in your life that you don’t use is nothing more than noise.  It is annoying, distracting and it prevents you from enjoying the real beauty of life.  You simply can’t see or appreciate this beauty when you have so much extraneous stuff clogging up your life.

Less Stuff for Greater Living

It is easy to over-value possessions in our culture.  Many people are guilty of going on buying binges that tend to clutter their lives with tons of stuff to store and maintain. 

Every single item you own takes away a bit of your freedom.  It consumes your resources.  In what ways does this happen?  Well, here are a few to think about:

  • Possessions obviously cost money you could have spent elsewhere.
  • Possessions take up valuable space in your home.
  • Possessions use up your time arranging, storing and maintaining them.
  • Possessions drain you of mental energy as you figure them out and suffer buyer’s remorse.
  • Possessions force you to work more than desired to afford the resulting bills.

Of course, it isn’t just material possessions that can clutter up your life.  You can also have too much stuff in the form of hobbies, appointments, projects and even goals.  When we are too scattered, our focus is so spread out that we rarely do our best at any of it.  This seriously reduces our chances of experiencing real success and happiness.

How to Have Less Stuff and More Life

I’ve experienced all this personally. A few years ago, I realized I was overburdened with stuff that I had bought. I sold a bunch of it and although some things were hard to let go of, I really haven’t missed any of it. Once it was gone, I felt relief instead of remorse.

Here’s how I would suggest clearing the clutter from your life:

1.  Start With Decluttering One Area

It is easy to get overwhelmed with the prospect of cleaning up the clutter in your life.  If you’ve been collecting stuff (possessions or activities) for a long time, you may feel a bit of panic at the thought of trying to dig yourself out.  That’s why I highly recommend focusing on one area at a time.  For example, if you want to clear the clutter from your home, don’t think about all of it at once.  This is probably too much for you to wrap your mind around.  Start with one room.  Get this one area cleaned up before you go on.  This will give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you keep going.

2.  Be a Clutter Cleaning Zealot

A zealot is someone that is fanatical and uncompromising in their pursuit.  You need to go after cleaning up your clutter with zeal.  The decision on what to get rid of is easy if you take the right approach.  I recommend always leaning hard toward tossing things out.  Cut things from your life with gusto!  It might seem a bit scary in the moment, but trust me, you’ll be happy you were radical once your life is cleaned up.  That stuff you have is a much bigger anchor than what you think.  Lifting it and throwing it overboard takes some effort, but it sure will lighten your load.  Make it your goal to get rid of so much that your family will wonder if they are next.  icon smile Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of Clutter

3.  Simplify Your Schedule Too

As I’ve said, clutter is a problem that goes beyond just physical items.  Examine how you spend your time.  What clutters up your day and your mind?  Is all that really adding value to your life?  If not, then develop an exit strategy and execute on it.  It is easier than you think to untangle yourself from all the complexity and multitasking you are doing.  Focusing your thoughts and actions is one of the most powerful things you can do to super-charge your life.  You can’t really be happy when you are spread so thin.  Simplifying your schedule will give you more time, energy and clarity to get what you really want.

Embrace More Life After You Have Less Stuff

What do you want more of in life?  What makes you the happiest?  Clearing out the less valuable clutter will allow room for what really matters.  Once you’ve simplified, then you can concentrate on living a greater life, one full of purpose and meaning.  The process of decluttering will help you clarify your priorities.  It will bring a lot of things into greater focus so you can really live for a change.  I’ve gone through this process and I can say that it makes a world of difference.  I hope you find it as beneficial as I have.

Where do you have too much clutter in your life?  What is it costing you?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  It will help you organize your thoughts and it will help others as they read about your experience.

Photo: Copyright PhotoXpress.com

PinExt Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of Clutter

9 thoughts on “Less Stuff More Life: Rid Yourself of Clutter

  1. Hi, Jeff. Great article. I believe this is why Leo Babauta has struck such a strong cord with his products on simplifying our lives. We live on digital and material overload in many of the developed countries. I’m bookmarking your article, because more and more, I believe my theme for next year is going to be Simplify and Organize. :)

    • Steve, I’m sure you are right about the popularity of Leo’s stuff. He’s struck a chord with a lot of people. We could all beneift from making simplicity a greater focus in our lives.

    • Annette, you are so right. Why do we think we need all that stuff. It usually just clogs up our lives. It sounds like you’ve already figured this out. My hat is off to you. In my mind, the less we have, the easier life becomes.

  2. Thanks for this article Jeff. I just took the dive and de-cluttered some of my art gatherings. I left them and felt sick then one week later I couldn’t remember what I actually threw away but I do feel great when I look in my garage and can see that it really has walls instead of box after box. I want to do some more clearing but was feeling a little shaky; your article has given the next push I need. Off to the garage now.

    • Rosemary, it can certainly be hard to let go of things. Somehow we become attached to our stuff. However, letting go can really be liberating. I’m glad you found motivation from my article. I hope your garage project is a clean sweep!

  3. Pingback: Link Love: The Summer Can End Now Edition | Money Talks

  4. Try one room with a vaulted ceiling, skylights, arched windows, recessed lighting and heated floors.

    Shelving, cupboards, closets, bureaus, desks, tables or lamps are not needed.

    Try a luxurious sofabed and chair to sleep, lounge, study, dine and entertain.. Store minimal wardrobes in baskets beneath the furniture. Use a computer for media. Store handy items in a tote bag.

    Use a portable stovetop and one-pot recipes. Cover the sink area, an under-counter fridge and washer/dryer with large cutting boards. Stack minimal kitchen items behind a small set of curtains beneath the kitchen sink. Store utensils in a single basket. Dry dishes on towels.

    In the bathroom, try a tiny corner sink without a vanity. Hang towels on hooks. Store cosmetic baskets on the back of the toilet. Store soap in the shower. Try a full-length mirror and clothing hook on the back of the door.

    Try a swivel sweeper and one multi-purpose cleanser. Clean by hand, rinsing in a sink.

  5. Great article. It has helped me today have the motivation and courage to let go of things.

    I’ve been flat broke, an alcoholic and depressed, but things got better recently (money and stability wise) although suddenly things got really bad just in the past 6 months.

    I came in to some money and went on a spending spree – gadgets, furnishings, sports equipment, you name it – all things I could never have before. And then I thought “why am I still not happy”. I had everything I wanted. And if I didn’t have it, I just bought it. But in the end, I kept thinking I was happier years ago when I lived with my parents and only had one small room, with just a few possessions.

    This morning I got up and lept out of bed and just did it. Took a full scale attack on the place. Put up for sale what I could, gave the rest away and threw out things. Yeah, sure, I’m losing money on some things, but who cares when FREEDOM is coming back. And with freedom comes the real me, and the ability to travel again and go out with friends more and workout more and enjoy the outside world again.

    Thanks for the support with this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge