Decluttering is an immensely powerful and life changing experience. It is never something you should force on someone else, because they must be open to the transformation which is about to occur. Clearing out the clutter in my home was one the best things that I could have ever done for my life.
Decluttering will shift how you see yourself and the world around you dramatically. It will increase the value of your surroundings which will contain only what you love and cherish. I shared my experience of decluttering while living with others who are not, and you will be surprised how living by example has more impact than you think.
It is difficult to explain the power of decluttering to someone who has never done it. It must be experienced for yourself.
This past week I flew to my hometown to help my parents declutter the house in which I grew up using the KonMari Method. I wish I had known about this method when I began this process for myself in 2010. By using the KonMari Method, which is so efficient, you can achieve a fully decluttered home in six months or less versus what took me almost six years. You can read all about the KonMari Method in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
With the KonMarie Method of tidying, you approach decluttering by categories beginning with the easiest category (clothing) and ending with the most difficult category (sentimental items). My parents were overwhelmed seeing all of the items of a single category laid out carefully in one specific room. To assist the process, the only thing that I did was help collect items in a category throughout the house while organizing the items that they felt “sparked joy” from what was going to be donated. I gave no opinions on what to keep during the process, and did my best to keep them encouraged.
Every morning my mother collected all of the donated boxes and bags, and we took them to their appropriate donation location before embarking on the next category. My father was a trooper during the process as he had never done this process before. Keeping them encouraged and taking breaks when needed was necessary. Eating well helped too!
Everyone has their own amount of clutter that contributes to a space.
No matter how neat you think you are, no one is 100% exempt from clutter. I found this to be the truth when I started the decluttering process after getting married. It is so easy to see someone else’s clutter. Yet when we take responsibility for our own, that’s when the decluttering process really takes off. Taking responsibility is so empowering, while taking any other approach gives your power away to another.
It was not possible to completely declutter my parent’s home in less than six days, yet hopefully they did get a great start to finishing this life changing process. It was a pleasure to see the beauty of where I grew up, and also get a chance to spend time with my parents and visit friends. Decluttering is a lot of work though.
You must be brave when facing your past, and also be brave to create space for the future.
If you desire to increase your income or get a new job, bring a new romantic partner into your life, have more clarity and energy, or simply love the home in which you live, begin the process of decluttering your home completely one time. It may take you a month, it may take you six, but your life will never be the same afterwards. It will open doors in more ways than can be explained.
Stop thinking about decluttering, just do it! If you’re helping another through the process, be compassionate and be their cheerleader!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)