In order to create more abundant, fulfilling lives, sometimes we have to declutter things that no longer serve us. This helps us make more room for the things that do. We all have things that we hold on to – items that have moved with us over the years, people we have known since youth, dreams that we created for ourselves in high school or college. But how often do we pause and question their value in our present lives? How often do we keep carrying these things with us, never taking the time to wonder whether or not they still serve us?
We’ve put together a system to show you how to declutter things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. Sometimes all it takes is sitting down and actually paying attention before you even realize you have various items, people, and dreams that you are simply tolerating. Today’s article will cover the prep work for decluttering our lives as well as decluttering accumulated items in our homes. The next article will cover more intensive declutter work focused specifically on people and dreams.
Before we can work on decluttering our lives, we have to understand where we want to direct our focus. What do you want most in your life? How do you love to spend your time? Who do you love to spend time with? What items or places bring you joy when you are surrounded by them? Spend some time making a list of your top values.
Some example values may include spending time with family and friends, being in nature, spending time playing music, free time to create, volunteer work that fills you up, playing a sport, exercise, attending your child’s extracurricular events, etc. There are no right or wrong answers so long as your values feel authentic to you and only you.
What are tolerations you may be asking? Tolerations are anything that contribute stress to our lives and little by little suck the energy out of us. We may become so accustomed to the things that we tolerate that we don’t even notice them anymore. But believe us when we say, we all have them! How do we go about decluttering them? The first step is to identify. Tolerations can be items or issues in your house, little or big problems in your life, activities you dislike, chores, draining commitments, etc. Essentially, anything you would prefer not to have in your life or your home. Get started by brainstorming as many tolerations as you can think of.
Once you have identified these tiny energy sucks, get creative. How can you eliminate or reduce the presence of these things in your life? Can you practice saying no? What about repairing something that is broken? Is a friend available for help? As you free up more of your life, you will invite more energy and joy into your daily existence.
When we hear the word declutter, most often we think of accumulated junk. Papers, books, clothes, toys, etc. Things that take up space in our house that we would rather not have there. But as we discussed in the previous step, sometimes we grow immune to these items and don’t realize how much energy and stress they cause on a regular basis. We wind up just tolerating them.
How should we go about decluttering things? There are many ways to complete this process but one of the best ways is to start with a room in your home and envision how you would like it to look. Streamlined? Clean? Next, consider how you would like to feel when you come into that space. Do you want to feel relaxed? Are you craving a calm, tranquil space? Do you want a cheerful, colorful room that invites play? Does your space induce sleep or is it warm and cozy for romantic time?
Once you have a clear idea of what you would like the room to look and feel like, it’s time to start asking yourself which items you can part with. As Marie Kondo says, which items no longer “spark joy?” Which items have you not worn or used in months? Which items are you highly unlikely to use in the future? Do you really need thirty different shirts? Do all the books on your bookshelf hold special meaning or are they just gifts that you never read and never will? Consider these questions as you declutter the items in your rooms, one by one. If something holds a special memory but you’re on the fence about parting with it, it might be a nice idea to take a photo as a rememberance.
If you are really on the fence with certain items, consider putting them in a box in the back of your closet. When six months go by, if you have not used the items, go through the box again and see what you are ready to part with.
This activity comes easier for some and is much harder for those of us who are very sentimental. Regardless, it’s a good way for us to begin taking a deeper look at our lives as we consider what we are ready to part with. The ultimate goal is to create more freedom and abundance in our lives.
To help you along this journey, Von created a printable tolerations checklist and video tutorial. Be sure to use this awesome freebie as you begin decluttering items in your home.
The video explains how to get the most value out of the worksheet. You can view it here:
Next week we will dive into decluttering relationships and dreams that no longer serve a function in our life. Stay tuned for more!
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