The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Clutter

When you hear the word, “lies,” the ears hurt a little, right? It sounds like such a harsh word, full of negativity and blame. Funny how words can do that, but rather than candy-coat the situation, we want to keep it real.

Let’s talk clutter. What is clutter? Clutter is anything that is taking up space in your life that is untidy, or unnecessary. We all have it. It begins to trickle into our lives, and sometimes we don’t even know it is there, until one day, you realize you have a bunch of items you don’t need, nor use, and you start telling yourself a ton of reasons why you have those items. Most of those things you tell yourself are lies. Yes, lies.

Some of the lies you may tell yourself:

  • NAME OF ANYONE gave this to me, so I must keep it.
  • I paid NAME AN AMOUNT for this, so I should keep it.
  • This is rare/one of a kind, so I need to keep it.
  • I may need this one day, so I will keep it.
  • I got this when I was NAME ANY TIME IN YOUR LIFE, so I have to keep this.

Here’s the thing, there may be times in your life, where you find something and are so relieved you still have it, but that feeling is short lived, right? Admit it. How often do you find something that you haven’t seen in a while, and get excited, and then begin to implement that item into your daily life, bringing you immense joy and happiness, each day after? We would be willing to bet, never, or rarely.  

Similar to what we discussed in the blog, Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge, take an assessment of your clutter. Hold each item and ask yourself a few things:

  • When did I last use this?
  • Is it broken, or can it be repaired?
  • Does this item serve a functional purpose in my life?
  • Does this item bring me joy?

If you find that the item is just clutter, give it to someone who will be able to use it, or find joy with it. If you are unable to find anyone, and it is in working condition, donate it to a thrift store where that special someone will find it, and use it.

If you are overwhelmed with the amount of clutter you have, and don’t know where to start, we suggest playing the Minimalism Game. We play the game at the beginning of each year, as a way to declutter anything that has trickled in, throughout the last year. We also take regular assessments of our items, seasonally, and get rid of items that we do not use, so it makes the Minimalism Game, fairly challenging. This is a good problem to have, folks.

I (Shannon) want to tell you a personal story about my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago. She was admittedly, a sentimental junkie. Anything that someone gave her, especially her grandkids, she kept. We often tried to get her to declutter, but she would make excuses as to why she needed those items. When she passed away, several family members, including myself, went to her home to pack up items,  and get rid of anything that could not be used, donated, or that someone in the family did not want. We had at least 10-15 storage containers of clutter- usually cards, handwritten notes, crafts, etc. that we, her grandkids gave her. What do you do with them? Who wants to bring those home and store them again, adding clutter to their lives? These items may have brought her joy, and perhaps she opted to keep them for that reason, but it made me very well aware of how I do not want to put that pressure on anyone, once I am gone from this Earth. I would rather my family and friends have fond memories that they can share about me, rather than feel immense pressure to keep storage containers of papers, and old crafts, because they feel guilty about getting rid of it.

I want to conclude this blog with the fact that, I am not a cold-hearted person, who did not want anything of my grandmother’s. On the contrary, I did keep her Bible, which includes handwritten notes, and highlighted passages, throughout. It brings me vast amounts of joy and serves as a functional purpose in my life. My wish for you, is to declutter your life of the things that do not matter, and make room for the things, and moments that do.  

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