Sourced with thanks from greatist.com
It’s quite common to see people hoarding things at home. For various reasons they find it difficult to let go of their possessions. This can sometimes become a huge problem as it can lead to high levels of clutter. Especially given the small living spaces we enjoy these days in the more urbanised locations. If you find yourself as one such person, the article below could be very useful as the author tales you through a few tips that helps you reduce the clutter with some ease. Or become good at, as the author puts it, the art of throwing away things. Team RetyrSmart
The Art of clearing the clutter ( or throwing away things )
It can sometime be hard to tackle physical messes before tackling mental and emotional clutter and letting go of the past.
A newly cleaned room feels peaceful and spacious — not to mention fully functional, now that the 15-year-old treadmill-turned-clothes-rack has been sent to a better place.
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But clearing clutter is a lot easier said than done. There are lots of excuses we use to weasel our way out of cleaning up, like not having enough time, being too tired, or thinking we’ll use the stuff at some point.
(Maybe that broken pen could be a hair accessory! Maybe that 2016 calendar will be useful on the other timeline! Maybe I will listen to that music album again! Clue: None of these things will happen, and probably for the better.)
Luckily, we’ve got some suggestions to make the task just a little bit easier. Try these tips and watch the clutter vanish
- Set aside about 20 minutes every day to clean
That way, you don’t have to worry about the clothes closet swallowing you whole and regurgitating you in Narnia, or starting a job you’ll never finish. You might not get it all tidied up, but you’ll get into a healthy habit, and it won’t seem so intimidating a task.
- Question your reasoning
Ask yourself: Are you keeping this item because it makes you happy? Or because you think you should keep it? If it’s the latter, just throw it away
- Tackle the “maybes”
When going through items to give away, make a pile of items you “might” need and hide them somewhere for a month. Or, if you live with someone else, get them to do it.
If over the course of that month you find that you don’t need them even once, they’re probably not essential enough to keep. To the trash (or recycling) with them.
- Remember your memories aren’t in physical objects
They’re in your mind. It’s hard to give away sentimental items like a great-grandparent’s dish set, but giving away the dish set doesn’t mean you’re forgetting about the great-grandparents.
Plus, whoever you’re memorializing would hate to think that hanging onto this physical object was causing so much distress. Maybe put aside some time to really sit with their memory, rather than hoarding and forgetting about valuable objects attached to it.
- Dump the stack of old magazines
If you haven’t already read them, you probably won’t. If you’ve read them already, you’re unlikely to browse them again. Instead, keep a folder of your favourite magazine clippings, and donate the rest of the collection to a local library (or recycle).
- Steer clear of danger!
Chances are there are some expired medicines and old makeup hiding in the bathroom cabinet. Avoid an accidental dose of 20-year-old Tylenol and throw that stuff away.
- Digitize it
Throw away old receipts you don’t need for tax day or items you’re not returning. Then scan the rest of the receipts, bills, and other financial papers, and store them in cyberspace. You can even just take a picture on your phone — job done. Those papers don’t need to hang around.
- Make some money
Use that old blender sitting in the attic to whip up a cash smoothie. Try selling unused items (that still function properly) online or in a yard sale or at a second hand store instead of just dumping them in the trash.
- Donate items to charity
You might use that pancake spatula at some point in the next century, but there’s probably someone who needs it right now.
The buzz of knowing you helped someone out (both the charity and the person who needs a cheap pancake spatula so bad they buy it from Goodwill) is a good substitute for the reassurance you get from hanging on to old objects.
- Set up a system
Going forward, try to deal with clutter on a regular basis, and get rid of old shopping bags, used batteries, and ugly gifts right away.
Donate a bunch of unwanted stuff every month, or even every week. And keep your bedroom from overflowing: Every time you buy a new item, get rid of an old one. Don’t deprive yourself of shiny new things, but make sure they don’t transform into a pile of musty old things overnight.
- Extra bandwidth
Clearing clutter is one of the easiest ways to generate extra bandwidth in your brain for calm and focus — once you start.
The real trick is making it seem less intimidating than it really is and working out what objects truly mean to you now, rather than what they might mean to you in the future.