De-cluttering your life is the self-help du jour. And for good reason.
Whether you are just thinking about de-cluttering your life, or have embraced the process, I can tell you from experience that it will benefit you and the planet in multiple and surprising ways.
I’ve always loved the feeling of cleaning out long overlooked drawers, giving away clothes I don’t wear to my sisters, or selling furniture that I no longer love. It’s a feel-good act to clear out unwanted, unused, and unloved stuff from your life.
I purposely live in a small home because I don’t like having to furnish large spaces I rarely use or maintain things I don’t need. And, the small space keeps me disciplined about not re-accumulating.
De-cluttering Done Right
To gain the most reward from your de-cluttering process you need to do it right. If you simply fill your trash-can with all the things that you no longer want you will not reap the blessings available from the process.
To really benefit you and the planet, de-cluttering has to be done with an awareness about the items you will get rid of.
The planet’s resources and the many people involved in producing the shirt, chair, or package of food in your home demands reverence. When you decide to get rid of something it means you can find a better place for it to be back in the world with someone who will use it, love it, and want it. Friends and relatives, consignment shops, and donation outlets are all good candidates for reusing the things you no longer want to keep.
7 ways de-cluttering will help you and the planet
- It makes you realize you actually feel better when you are surrounded by less stuff. There is less to maintain, worry about, and think about. When the spaces around you are free of clutter, your internal space is also freer. Free to dream. Free to create. Free to relax.
- Once you get rid of things that no longer serve you, you are less likely to bring more things back into your home. You are more aware of re-cluttering and undoing all the work you did to un-clutter in the first place. So, you naturally start to consume less.
- You become a more conscious consumer. Conscious consumption saves you money and time and is one of the best ways to heal the planet. When you do buy something it’s because you need and love it.
- The act of de-cluttering will spill over into other parts of your life. After finishing the de-cluttering of my home spaces, I went on to clean up my email inbox, my i-photo file, and my computer desktop.
- De-cluttering becomes a metaphor for living more simply. Simplifying can be applied to every area of your life. I even de-cluttered my eating habits. I realized I don’t need as much variety in my cupboards, and that eating more simple meals is healthier. My body and the planet both benefit.
- De-cluttering is a gift to the next generation. Not only are you modeling a simple, less consumer-oriented lifestyle for younger family members, you are also ensuring they don’t have a huge mess of things to organize, and get rid of when you die.
- Most people feel a deep sense of sadness about the state of the planet, and powerless about changing it. Perhaps the most surprising gift that comes from the act of de-cluttering is that it’s an antidote for this kind of ecological despair. De-cluttering our life allows us to take a stand and do something tangible towards our goal of a more sustainable planet.
Resources to support you in de-cluttering your life
Best selling phenomena, Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below about your journey with de-cluttering your life.