12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life
I love to declutter. In fact, I love it so much that I seldom have a chance to accumulate enough for proper decluttering. In my mind, a really deep declutter is more than just about cleaning. It's an opportunity to change our lives and reorganize our world. If you need to change things up in your own life, consider a deep declutter. It can help you in lots of unexpected ways. (See also: 25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today)
1. Move on From the Past
Decluttering our homes can help us move on from the past — processing previous relationships, old jobs, and ideas that didn't work. While there's certainly nothing wrong with a bit of sentimentality, holding on to everything can sometimes hold us back.
2. Gain Good Karma
Most of our homes are filled with very useful things that we have no use for ourselves. Free up space by freeing up objects. Donate clothes, cookware, tools, and toys to charities for a tax write-off and good karma points.
3. Clear Some Mental Space
It's difficult to feel at peace in a disordered environment. Too much stuff clutters our homes and muddies our minds. If you're in need of a mental or emotional reset, try a bit of declutter therapy.
Decluttering is the first step to getting organized. A deep declutter can set the stage for redefining spaces, establishing new habits, getting control of bill paying or budgeting, or setting up a home office.
5. Find What You Already Have
Do you know what's hiding in the back of your closets or the darkest recesses of your basement? Maybe there's a few things back there you could actually use. Avoid buying duplicates or triplicates by rediscovering what you already own.
6. Make Space to Pursue Hobbies
Decluttering our homes can create new space to pursue those hobbies we've put off for so long. Clear out an area in the garage for a woodworking shop, turn the attic into a craft studio, or remake a bedroom into a home office.
7. Make Some Extra Cash
Decluttering can be a cash cow if you're willing to sell on eBay, to a consignment shop, or at a well-planned yard sale. Somehow, cleaning closets doesn't seem so daunting when there's a few bucks to be made.
8. Save Money on Storage
Last August, I wrote about why self-storage is a really bad idea. A big part of the losing equation on storage is the cost. Emptying and eliminating the storage spaces that have become satellite homes for our stuff frees up money. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a stuffed wallet than a stuffed storage locker.
9. Reignite Old Interests
Sometimes life gets in the way of our passions and hobbies. The process of decluttering can unearth interests we've tabled and projects we've long forgotten. Declutter with a sense of discovery and stay open to reenergizing those old pursuits.
10. Share Memories
Decluttering can uncover treasures to be passed on and shared with family. A couple of years ago my mom stumbled upon some old photos and silverware that belonged to a late relative. We sent these heirlooms to the relative's granddaughter who loved receiving them and will cherish them more than we ever could.
11. Reduce Your Footprint
When we know exactly what we have, we can skip unnecessary purchases. Likewise, owning less means there's less to store, less to clean, and less to maintain. Decluttering can help reduce our footprints (carbon and otherwise) and help us to live greener lives.
12. Turn a Bad Mood Good
To put it in not-quite-clinical terms, clutter is a downer. Although it may take us awhile to work up the motivation, cleaning and purging our homes of clutter can recalibrate our mood and improve our outlook. Our personal spaces are important and taking the time to spruce things up is a wonderful way to honor ourselves.
In a world where sometimes it feels like we have to beat back clutter with a stick, ridding our lives of unnecessary objects is practically therapeutic. The results can be wonderful and the high can be habit-forming. Now grab some boxes from the grocery store and start emptying the attic!
What's the most surprising or valuable thing you've discovered while decluttering? What's your decluttering schedule or strategy?