Today I’ve got a fantastic guest post for you from Britt over at Tiny Ambitions. Britt is a minimalist, a simple living advocate and a tiny house enthusiast. So pretty much everything I’m not, which is why I’m so thrilled to have her input on the blog this week. Minimalism is something I’ve always been interested in but have never had much success pursuing. As much as I want to simplify life, I still like stuff. You might not be onboard with full-blown minimalism but there are factors that will be helpful for everyone, and reducing clutter is definitely one of them.
Without further ado, here’s Britt to help us get our clutter under control…
I know it seems weird to even consider that your stuff is costing you money. How could something you have in your closet or your kitchen cupboard cost you anything – you already own it?! But, when you stop to think about it, it becomes clear how your clutter is costing you.
1) Your Clutter is Costing You Time
This is simple – the more stuff you own, the more you have to spend taking care of it. And, time is money, as they say. More clothing means more time spent trying to find something to wear in the morning (and more money spent on doing laundry). A bigger house means more time spent on the weekends keeping it clean (and more expensive repair costs when something breaks). That time could be better spent doing a hundred different things (like sleeping, or if you’re so inclined, side-hustling, exercising or adventuring).
2) Your Clutter is Costing You Money
Did you know an entire industry has been created just to contain our overflowing amounts of stuff (and it’s been experiencing record-breaking growth)? This is partly to do with smaller living spaces overall (like, teeny, tiny condos in cities), but it mostly has to do with the fact that we just have too much stuff. If you’re paying someone to house your stuff for you (or making weekly trips to the container store to organize your stuff), it’s time for a clutter-vention. That’s money that could stay in your pocket, with a little finesse and decluttering on your part.
Not to mention – your clutter can’t make you money by sitting on a shelf.
3) Your Clutter is Costing You Space
Look around your apartment/house/condo right now – what do you see? Is your clutter overwhelming your space? Would you actually really like where you lived if you could see it? Your clutter is probably taking up precious square feet out of your living space. That’s living space that could actually be used for… living. (And no, I don’t mean you have to get rid of your couch).
4) Your Clutter is Costing You Peace of Mind
It’s been firmly proven that clutter is bad for our mental health. The stuff we own is literally affecting our bodies. Our collective clutter is bogging down our brains, causing us undue stress and keeping us from the important things in our lives (which aren’t things at all).
So, what can you do about it? If you’re ready to stage your own clutter-vention, here are some tips for getting started.
Start Slow and Let It Go
Maybe your first attempt at decluttering is just your junk drawer. Maybe it’s that bag in your linen closet that you haven’t looked in five years. Wherever you choose to start, pick something small that you know you can tackle like a boss.
Decluttering is as much of a mental game as it is a physical process. Do you really need seven different flower vases when you only ever use one at a time? No, probably not. But, you’ve probably been holding onto them for (presumably) a good reason. Everyone’s tolerance for decluttering is different. But, you can give yourself permission to let things go that are just taking up space in your life.
Go Room by Room
There are a ton of different methods out there on the interweb that you could follow to declutter your space. But, like Occam’s Razor, the most logical decluttering solution is probably the best. I prefer the Room by Room method. Start in one room of your house and don’t move on until you’ve finished your decluttering process. This way, any clutter chaos is contained to one room at a time. Plus, if you’re like me, your stuff is probably compartmentalized in different spaces anyway. But, if it’s not, I promise to not judge you for having a waffle maker in your bedroom (ok, I’m judging you a little bit).
Sell What You Can
Your clutter doesn’t have to sit in your house, taking up space and time. Put that clutter to work for you! You can sell your items online using eBay or Etsy (depending on if it’s a vintage item), or a more local buy/sell tool like Kijiji, Letgo, VarageSale, Carousell, etc. Last, but not least, you can let someone else do all the work for you and consign your best items at your local consignment store.
While it’s unlikely you’ll make all of your money back from your items, selling your clutter has two-fold benefits – less clutter in your house and more money in your wallet. Selling your items also comes with the added peace of mind that your stuff is getting a second life in a new home.
Donate or Recycle The Rest
While it would be nice to imagine that everything we own is in pristine enough condition for us to sell it, that’s not always the case. If you have items that are severely damaged or are just plain worn out, your best option might be to find a local recycling depot that can repurpose or re-use your items properly. For example, your old laptop from 2008 might be collecting dust and not worth selling, but it might make a great donation to your local school for kids to learn on or even to refurbish.
It might seem daunting at first to even think about decluttering your space. But, it is well worth the time and effort. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide to decluttering, check out this article.
Thanks again to Britt for sharing her knowledge, and if you’d like to follow along with her simplifying journey then head over to Tiny Ambitions. She’s also a great follow on Instagram (cute cat alert), so check that out too!
This post was proofread by Grammarly.