“Why on earth should I bother?” you ask. “If I’ve managed with
these things, this stuff, all this junk, thus far, I’ll just carry on! But wait! Before you decide against decluttering your home, let’s look at just a few of the (many) benefits found in simplifying and organizing the home!
When we moved to this area and into a house half the size of what we had, we started seeing the necessity of decluttering. Our house was bulging with stuff! Life here in our peaceful valley is slower. And we started really seeing the value of slowing down to refocus on the truly important things of life, too.
Yet it’s odd, because the idea of decluttering — seems quite alien to most Italians! Many here are really into hoarding. It goes along with their frugal, sometimes miserly, streak. We have actually helped empty homes after a death, and it was amazing the amount of sheer trash we threw out. Bottles, bags, broken things, and countless useless items. Things that, undoubtedly did little more than complicate living for them!
So I’d like to share the benefits we reaped, and that you too could reap from decluttering!
We all know how frustrating it is when we can’t find things, don’t we? Especially if it means digging through stuff we haven’t used (or possibly even seen) in years! In trying to make everything fit in our tiny home, we had to really evaluate on that basis. Do we use it? Do we need it?
Greater peace of mind and better relaxation.
Research shows that stress levels spike during the time we spend dealing with our stuff. Not fighting (either physically or mentally) with all that stuff can also bring peace of mind. It’s a lot harder to focus if we must use extra energy to get everything done. And it’s harder to truly relax when we’ve still got so much to do.
More time and more punctuality!
A simplified home saves time. Not only the time spent searching for things. But also time cleaning, on household tasks, and even cooking! And knowing right where everything is can even help you not be late. No last-minute searching for keys, handbag, or missing shoes.
Greater focus and clarity.
Clutter, according to a Princeton University study, makes it harder to focus and process information. And as a result, we are more likely to make rushed, frustrated decisions. The increased mental energy used also tends to make us tire more easily.
Greater creativity and more time for things we love.
All the energy spent searching for things and on processing stimuli overload eats away the time we could spend doing the things we love!
Dust, insects, and spiders * shudder * hide among stuff and in uncleaned corners. And the risk of household accidents is greater when there’s stuff around to trip over too!
Many family arguments come about because of stress. Less stuff and more organization greatly diminish this risk. And many people also find themselves more willing to invite guests in when their home is clean and orderly. Why make the losing trade-off of stuff over friends?
We can help others!
Many charities need donations of good, usable stuff. Or sometimes even our own friends and neighbors. That jobless family or one that struggles to make ends meet on one income. Or perhaps immigrants and refugees in your area. And did you know that pet shelters are always on the look out for old, tattered rugs and blankets?
We save (or even make) money!
Many declutterers make money by having a garage sale, jumble sale, or selling things on eBay®. But we have found that decluttering also saves us money! Why? Because it helps us shop less! After cleaning through and getting rid of unused, unnecessary stuff, it really wouldn’t make much sense to go out and buy more of the same, would it?
It moves priorities to a higher plane.
In letting go of “stuff” we start to see that it really has no lasting value. That it’s a tool, useful for aiding our life. But never meant to become a hindering burden. And as this becomes clearer, it highlights the eternal value of life’s true treasures. Like God, family, friends, meaningful memories, and helping others.
Put simply, we found that stuff often becomes a hindrance. It doesn’t seem that way at first. But as we had less and less stuff, we found that for each thing that went out the door, some (or all) of these benefits came in. And it’s helped us create a life centered around the things that have true mean something for us. A peaceful, restful life built on relationships, memories, and new experiences. So what are you waiting for?
If decluttering can enrich your life in these ways, isn’t it worth thinking about? Why not start today!