If you don’t ask the right questions, you will never get rid of the amount of stuff that you actually need to and see the difference in your home that you are longing for.
So many times when decluttering, the cupboard is opened the question is asked: “What do I want to get rid of?”
But this means you’re trying to focus on “what can I live without?”
That focus is completely wrong. We don’t want to live without things- that goes against our human desires. We want full, big, abundant lives! If we think we are removing things, then, of course, it’s hard to let it go. We don’t want to live without, be without or be in need.
Simply asking yourself a different question helps shift that focus.
The question is not “what do I want to get rid of?”
The right question is: “What do I love enough to keep?”
The focus then changes and instead of having fear in the back of your mind (but what if I need it??) the focus turns to what actually brings enough value to you that it deserves space in your home and your life.
The space in your home is valuable property. Whatever takes that space up, should have to earn it. Does that item deserve something so valuable to you?
3 questions to ask when decluttering:
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- Does it help me live the life I want to live?
The first step to take before you can really let go of the majority of the clutter, you need to come face-to-face with your fantasy self.
Many times we collect things and own things because we have a fantasy life we want to portray. An unrealistic ideal that we keep in mind of what the perfect person looks like. “To be a good mom I need to cook gourmet meals, head up the PTA, host elaborate dinner parties, sew quilts for everyone I know.”
Generally, this ideal we have for ourselves is completely unattainable:
“I milked heritage jersey cow this morning, while the dew was still on the grass and churned this butter for my family’s breakfast of flaxseed and buttermilk pancakes, with, of course, the fresh buttermilk!”
We can’t even begin to live up to that ideal, and most of the time we don’t even want to.
When you look at your real life, the one that you enjoy living… maybe it’s just curling up on the couch with a good book and take-out?
There is nothing wrong with the life you enjoy living. Don’t you think it’s time to embrace it?
Be real. Accept who you are, what your talents are, and let go of that “ideal” that you have believed you were supposed to be.
Allow yourself to be you.
Write the story of the life you want to live.
Life is something that is going on right now and when it’s over, nothing can be done to change it. If you aren’t happy with the life you are currently living, take time out to write down what it would look like if you were living the life you want to be living.
What things are important to you?
What things do you want to take priority in your day?
Life doesn’t always happen the way we envision, but it doesn’t mean you give up on the things that are important.
You can be very flexible with your time, and be open to things that tend to be part of life: family illness, overtime at work, conflict in relationships.
Take time to do what you need to do in those cases, and when your days go back to a more normal rhythm, take the next step you need to take: Take time out to pray, pick up the book to read, make plans for that trip you need to take. Do the next thing to grow where you want to grow.
What do you love this (item or activity) enough to allow it space your life?
More helpful articles:
- Join the Yearly Decluttering Challenge
- Decluttering the House (Even with the Children Running Around)
- The Secret to Decluttering Your Schedule
[Photo Credit: Steve Johnson]
Free PDF: how to shift that negative self-talk
Subscribe to get this free worksheet and our latest content by email.