Declutter Action Plan
Is your kitchen cluttered? How about your closet? Your car? Your junk drawer? The list goes on and on. For me the answers are Yes, yes, yes and yes. That is why I am striving to declutter throughout my entire house.
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Every single space where I could put something (a drawer, a closet, a shelf, a box, etc.) is full. Does this describe your home too?
Every room in my house is cluttered with stuff – too much stuff. Much of it is stuff I don’t really need, but I thought I did when we brought it into our home.
Some of our stuff is out in the open, but most of it is hidden. But, I know it is there. And it weighs on me.
If you are like me, then even your brain is cluttered. Our lives are so busy. We have so much going on. We have so much stuff for all the different things we do and want to do. This list is endless.
If you have children at home your life is very busy. Not only do you have to do your things, but you also have another list of things to do for your children. And, you want to do them all. I was there once. I remember it well.
Perhaps you are like me now with your children grown and no longer living at home. You still have a lot to do. Our lives are just as busy as they were when our children were home. We’ve filled that time with many other responsibilities.
Some of us have grandchildren now and we spend some of that time with them. What a pleasure that is! My grandchildren live about 700 miles away. I treasure every moment I get to spend with them.
But, back to our clutter.
What’s the problem with clutter?
- It makes us even busier.
- Clutter takes up a lot of our time.
- We have to move several things out of the way to get to the item we are looking for.
- Clutter causes us to search for things that we know we have – somewhere.
- We can’t find things we know we own because there are too many things blocking it from our view.
- It costs us money (since we can’t find something we have to buy another one).
- Clutter creates chaos and more clutter in our brain (so much stuff to keep straight).
- It causes us a lot of stress.
Is it possible that we have too much stuff?
For me, that answer is “Yes, absolutely”.
We may be far away from belonging on an episode of “Hoarders”, but we can still have too much stuff.
Many years ago, I had a Declutter Action Plan and made the effort (over the course of 2 years) to get rid of a lot of stuff. I was successful. Although I was nowhere near a minimalist, I did reduce my stuff by well over 1,000 items. That was great and left me feeling wonderful! But, honestly, I still had way too much stuff!
If you are interested in following a Declutter Action Plan, I have found one that I believe you will love. Tracy Lynn has two different plans that are superb. The first is a 3 week course called Declutter and Simplify Bootcamp. Or, if you feel like you will need support for a longer time, her Declutter in Minutes Planner may be exactly what you need.
Then I got married and my husband moved in with all of his stuff. Together we bought more stuff.
I adopted some new hobbies and got stuff for those hobbies. He did the same. It has been an endless cycle of buying more stuff.
Yes, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of things along the way (we moved two years ago and truly, we did get rid of a lot of stuff before we moved), but we still have way too much stuff.
Even our dog has too much stuff. It’s not his fault. How many toys does one dog need? Or how many food and water bowls? What about the number of dog beds we own?
It’s not all our fault.
Let’s face it. We live in a materialistic society. We are eager to accumulate material goods. Everyone and everything seems to encourage us to buy more.
The television advertisements, billboards, sales papers, magazines, online advertising, etc., tell us that we need more stuff – newer, better, more, etc. We are bombarded with possible purchases all.the.time.
Do your friends all have new stuff? Does everyone at the office have a new dress/necklace/shirt, etc. We should too, right?
Did our neighbors buy a new car. Don’t we need a new car too? I’m not even talking about the old “keeping up with the Joneses”, it’s simply ingrained in us that we need more and better stuff.
It’s hard for us not to buy stuff. Have you ever tried to go just one week without buying anything (other than gas and groceries)? I’ve done it and I can attest to the fact that it is not easy.
We are simply in the habit of buying, buying, buying. It is an extremely difficult habit to break.
I say “Enough!” I am tried of having so much stuff, always buying new stuff (it may be just new to me because I love yard sales), and always bringing more stuff into my home.
When we buy something, it creates another issue. Because then we need to find somewhere to keep it.
I don’t know about you, but we don’t live in a tiny house. Yet we still don’t have room for all of our stuff. When we moved into our house two years ago, we no longer had a basement.
So, we had to buy a shed to put some of the excess in. For real! We do not want to buy another shed. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice to have a neatly organized shed without too much stuff.
So, again I say “Enough!” It is time to stop this madness and start to remove some of the clutter from my life. I want to get rid of what we don’t need and organize the rest.
How about you?
Would you like to have less stuff too? This excellent article will help you declutter in one weekend. Well, if I only had surface clutter, I could try this. That’s not me – I have a lot of hidden clutter. One weekend is not going to be enough time to get all of the work done.
I want a whole year to declutter so that I can do a thorough job. It also needs to be done in a way that doesn’t add stress to my already busy life.
The first step in decluttering is to develop a new mindset about stuff and shopping in general. Let’s take the next month to start a new way of thinking. Here are some new mindset/ habits we can use to start reducing the stuff in our homes.
8 Steps to a New Mindset about Stuff
Create a Vision Board of what we hope to accomplish.
It’s important for us to set some goals for our Declutter Action Plan and to know what we want the final outcome to be.
Don’t go shopping just to go shopping or because you are bored or stressed.
Are you guilty of doing this? I don’t shop when I’m bored, but I have been known to shop when I am stressed. So, my new rule of thumb will be to not shop at all when I am stressed (and that includes online shopping).
Buy only what you need.
Buying stuff makes us feel good at the time. But how often do we buy stuff we really don’t need. Way too often I’m sure. When making a purchase we can ask ourselves a couple of key questions: What am I going to use this for? Do I have something else that can serve that same purpose? Based on your answers, now decide whether or not you really need the item.
Shop online when possible.
Not being in the store may help you not be tempted to buy unnecessary or spur of the moment items. There are some people who buy too much stuff if they shop online, so if this is a problem for you, then please ignore this recommendation.
I love creating gift guides like this one for fishermen and this one for cyclists just for my readers. This helps them focus on a specific gift for someone rather than just shopping aimlessly (which often results in us buying other stuff rather than just the gift we were looking for).
Get paid to shop online.
See my 3 Ways to Make Easy Money post. There are businesses that will pay you money to shop online. You’re buying something you need so why not get paid to buy it.
Don’t buy something on clearance just because it’s a great buy.
Make sure you need it first. If not, leave that bargain for the next person.
I have a closet full of clothing, much of which I bought on sale or clearance. Yes, I like the clothing, but I certainly didn’t need it all.
At this point, I’d rather have some extra space in my closet instead of the additional clothing. We’ll be decluttering clothing at some point in these twelve months.
Try to use up what you already have.
Here’s an example. If you’re like me, you may have a lot of lotion bottles lying around. Why not use those up before buying another one? Put a bottle everywhere you would typically use them. When they are gone you can replace them.
Truly there are at least 20 bottles of lotion in our home and only 4 places where they get used. We don’t need 20 bottles taking up space, when we only use them in 4 locations.
There are sales on lotion all the time, so you’ll have no trouble replacing them when it’s time. Or, make your own lotion with essential oils. That’s what I will be doing.
Don’t watch shows that just want you to buy something.
You know the ones I mean. The job of these shows and all infomercials are to get you to buy their product. They know exactly how to be successful. Don’t even let them tempt you by watching them. Just say NO.
Adopt these Mindsets as you prepare to declutter your home
Get started with adopting these new habits / mindsets. They are just what you need to help you get started.
Oftentimes we need to change our mindset to reach a goal. It’s time to start planning on taking these steps so that we will be ready to begin the declutter action steps next month.
There are some awesome books out there on decluttering that you could read as you prepare for your Declutter Action Plan. This book has some excellent tips for declutter. It’s filled with wonderful ideas.
And this book is such an inspiring read. It will help you adjust your thinking about all.the.stuff. I highly recommend both of these books as you prepare to declutter.
Hopefully you will have some great decluttering tips and ideas to share with me. I can’t wait to hear them.
We can declutter our home and our life.
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