Our current house is half the size of the previous place we had up north. So when we moved in, I struggled to make everything fit, and started seeing the need to declutter. Life here in our peaceful valley is slow and simple too. Which helped me rethink my values and priorities.
Yet it’s odd, because the idea of decluttering seems quite alien to many Italians! Many here prefer holding on to stuff “just in case.” We helped clean out a house after the owner’s death. And it was astonishing the amount of rubbish we threw out. Bottles, bags, broken things, and countless useless items.
Anyway, excess stuff makes keeping things tidy much more difficult. People often think a smaller home is easier to clean, and it might be quicker. But I find it harder to maintain order. One thing out of place and everything seem messy. As a result, I took to decluttering, and I continue to do it. Much to Hubby’s dismay! He’s more in the “just in case” camp. 😐
But I have found so many positives to having a simplified home. So I’d like to share the benefits we reap, and that you too could reap from decluttering!
10 Great Benefits of Decluttering:
1. Less stress
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 even seen) in years! In trying to make everything fit in our tiny home, we were forced to evaluate on that basis. Do we use it? Do we need it?
2. 😌 Greater peace of mind and relaxation
Research shows that stress levels spike during the time we spend dealing with our stuff. Not having to fight (either physically or mentally) with all that stuff can also bring peace of mind. Sifting through surplus possessions saps energy and focus. And it becomes challenging to truly relax.
3. ⏱️ More time and increased punctuality
A simplified home can streamline your life. It saves time. Not only the time you would have spent searching for things. But also the time you would have needed to clean and maintain all that stuff! And it can end last-minute searches for keys, a handbag, or missing shoes – and help you overcome tardiness.
4. 💭 Improved focus and clarity
According to one study, clutter can make it harder to focus and process information. As a result, we are more likely to arrive at rushed, frustrated decisions. And the increased drain on mental energy also tends to make us tire more quickly.
5. 🎨 Enhanced creativity
The energy we spend searching for things or dealing with excess stuff eats up our time. Time that we could devote to the things we love! Like hobbies, time with friends and family, relaxing, or even doing nothing!
6. 🤧 It’s healthier
Dust, insects, and spiders (shudder) hide among clutter and in uncleaned corners. And the risk of household accidents is also more likely when you have excess things to trip over!
7. 👫 Better relationships
Many family arguments occur because of stress. Less stuff and becoming better organized can reduce that risk. People are also less likely to have guests if their home is messy. Don’t trade peace of mind and harmony in relationships for a pile of useless stuff!
8. 🛍️ We can help others
Could friends or neighbors use things you don’t want? Or a family struggling to make ends meet? Many charities also need donations of clean, usable stuff. Or how about immigrants, refugees, or the homeless in your area? And did you know that pet shelters are always on the lookout for old, tattered rugs, blankets, and towels?
9. 💰 We can 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! It be an effective shopping deterrent. After getting rid of unnecessary stuff why would you buy more?
10. ☁️ It can move our values to a higher plane
By letting go of “stuff” we start to see that it really has no lasting value. It can be a useful tool useful for simplifying life. But not if it becomes a burden. By recognizing this truth, we gain a deeper appreciation of eternal treasures. Things like time with people and God, making meaningful memories, and helping others.
I’ve seen that stuff often becomes a hindrance. It may not seem that way at first. But as we had less and less, I discovered that for each thing that passed 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 meaning for us. A peaceful, restful life built on relationships, memories, and a wealth of 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?
Images: Broom by Orzalaga | Graphic made on Canva. | Emojis from Emojipedia.
9 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning? Time to Declutter!”
Well, my friend, you certainly bring up valid points–and, honestly, a little challenging. I’m not fond of the process of decluttering–though I love the results. It’s getting started that’s a bummer–I know I should, but I can think of a million other things to do instead. Thanks for the reminder and the awesome results a decluttered space can offer.
You’re so right, Dayle. Decluttering can be hard, especially all the decisions it brings. To keep, to toss, to give away??? It can seem so much easier to shove it back in the closet – than to have to deal with it. But that actually means having to deal with it over and over again!! Anyway, happy decluttering if that’s what you decide to do.
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Yes, I definitely see the benefits of this. Great points!
Thanks Ruth! Yes, I think decluttering is the way to go. Sometimes we’re bogged down by stuff – but we’re so used to it that we don’t even realize we’re bogged down!
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I’m a big fan of a place for everything and everything in its place. That becomes much easier if many things don’t have to be squeezed into one tight place! Another benefit of paring down belongings: less time is spent taking care of stuff (maintenance and cleaning), allowing time for more meaningful pursuits. Preach on, Sheila! I have much yet to embrace about simple, slow living!
I agree Nancy! – there’s nothing like it! You know right where to find things, and don’t have to try to stuff them in with too many things when tidying up. And about still having progress to make, what I have discovered is that simple, slow living is a lifelong journey – not something you arrive at in a quick 1-2-3!