Inside: Learn 7 ways you simplify your life by getting rid of clutter.
Before I started decluttering my house, everything was a major project. Simple tasks such as washing dishes or folding laundry easily took an hour.
And complicated tasks? Forget about it! We spent so much time trying to survive and live around our clutter that the thought of doing bigger projects gave me anxiety.
If you live in the midst of your clutter, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Getting rid of clutter, no matter how fast or slow you do it, can leave a lasting impact on the way you feel about your home and your life.
Here are seven reasons decluttering helps you simplify your life.
7 reasons decluttering helps you simplify your life
You spend less time looking for things.
I used to hate when people said “Everything in its place and a place for everything.” Mentally, I snapped back, “Don’t tell me what to do! I’m a free spirit! My things can go wherever they want.”
But, in the last four years on my decluttering journey, I’ve learned the saying is right.
You don’t have to color-code everything and keep it in alphabetical order. But having a simple system for where items belong makes a huge difference in how you feel at home.
If you know where something is, you can go right to that location when you need it.
By stripping away the things you don’t need or use, you’re left with only the items that have value in your life. This makes it much easier to find things.
You feel less anxious.
For years, I lived in a cluttered home without realizing how much anxiety it gave me. This anxiety showed up as negative self-talk: “Why can’t you get it together? What’s wrong with you?”
Once I started to see massive progress, I started to understand my emotions.
Less clutter means I can find my keys, even if I threw them on the kitchen counter instead of hanging them on their hook. Less clutter means we get out the door in less time.
Most importantly, less clutter means I yell at my kids and my husband less.
You intentionally decide what is most important.
If I asked you what your priorities are, what would you say? Most likely you would give me a generic list: “My kids. My spouse.”
Decluttering forces you to narrow down exactly what is a priority to you.
How specifically do you want to spend time with your kids? Watching through that stack of movies? Or baking cookies?
The keepers give you a clear idea of what you value and how you want to spend your time.
You stop buying duplicates.
Have you ever bought something you know you have on hand, but you bought a duplicate because you couldn’t find the original? Yeah, me too.
Decluttering makes room for the stuff you need so it’s not all shoved into a box. The items have “room to breathe”, making it easy to find what you need.
Have you ever played one of those parking lot games? The one where you move cars back and forth to get your small car out of a parking lot?
Here you are, trying to get the one thing you need (your small car) out of the lot, and the things you don’t need (that dang bus) get in your way.
Overstuffed cabinets are the same way. You waste time by shifting around twenty different things to get the one thing you need.
You might even avoid shifting altogether because it’s much easier to go to the store and buy it.
Instead of having 100 items shoved into a closet, decluttering gets rid of the 95 items you don’t need so it’s simple to access the 5 you do.
You stop buying things you don’t need.
The more you declutter, the more you develop your decluttering muscle and the easier it is to make decisions of what to keep and what you get rid of.
When you build your decluttering muscle, you develop your critical thinking skills for making purchases.
How many times have you bought something intending to use it, yet months later it sits in its original packaging? I’ve done that too many times to count.
Your decluttering muscle helps you when you’re in the store aisle, deciding whether to buy something. “Do I need this? Will I use it? Will it junk up my house?”
The more you declutter, the better insight you have as to whether you will use an item before you buy it.
Learn more: How to Build Your Decluttering Muscle for Speedy Decluttering
You have more fun.
Do you know how many times we finger-painted when the kitchen table was cluttered with books, unpaid bills, and dirty dishes? Nada. Not even once.
When you get rid of the clutter, you have the room for fun things, like baking or crafting. Maybe you’ll pick up that long-lost hobby or teach your kids a new skill.
Daydream for a moment. Think of all of the things you’d like to do if you had space. Would you start a business or volunteer more at your kids’ school?
When your home is mostly clean most of the time, you have space and freedom to have more fun.
You gain more energy.
Clutter drains your energy. Back when we were up to our eyeballs in clutter, we didn’t want to look at the mess, let alone dive into decluttering.
When every simple task takes a monumental amount of time, you procrastinate. And you know what happens when you procrastinate? The task keeps getting bigger and bigger.
My kitchen used to be a mess. Dirty dishes filled the sink. Dirty pots and pans piled up on the counters. It was a monumental task to clean the kitchen, so we avoided it.
But eventually, there was no free counter space to cut veggies and there were no clean dishes in the cabinet.
By this time, the pots had food crusted on it so hard, it had to be soaked and then maliciously scrubbed with muscles of steel. Most times there were more dirty dishes than the dishwasher could handle, leaving dirty dishes on the counter to wait.
It would take me 1-2 hours to clean the dirty dishes. There is nothing that will sap my energy more than two hours of dirty dishes and hard scrubbing.
Compare to now. Our kitchen is mostly clean most of the time. We easily rinse off food particles in a matter of seconds.
It takes me less than 15 minutes per day to clean the kitchen. And it takes much less energy to force myself to clean up the kitchen, even when I’m exhausted or don’t feel like it.
Cleaning the kitchen is one example. The energy multiplies when combined with the whole house.
Folding and putting away the laundry. Tidying up the living room. Picking toys off of the playroom floor. All of these tasks take less than 15 minutes to complete when your house is decluttered and under control.
In fact, you can do many of them while giving your kids a piggy-back ride, playing in the playroom or playing hide and go seek.
Coupling these tasks with something you enjoy doing will give you so much energy, plus a mostly clean house. Win!
How will decluttering simplify your life?
What would you do with the time and space you reclaim through decluttering?
Would you spend more time with your kids? Read more? Work out more?
Maybe you’d get back to your love of cooking before it turned into a nightmarish chore. Or maybe you’d knit enough baby socks to sell at a local craft show.
Defining the reasons decluttering would simplify your life provides motivation when the going gets tough. Fixing years or decades of bad habits is hard work but so worth it.
If you liked this post, you’ll love…
- The 5 Clutter Busters You Need to Do Right Now
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- Why You Should Stop Cleaning and Start Decluttering