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Home Reset: Mindset Edition

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In January it’s hard to motivate to get things done, at least it is where I live. Blue sky is elusive and the grey adds to the insult of short days. Doing hard things requires energy, which for me is in short supply this month – but a close friend to energy is mindset. If you have the right mindset going into something hard like decluttering you have a better chance of completing it, even if your energy is low.

Any kind of reset in your home requires decluttering, and successful decluttering requires a shift in the way you think about the things you own. In this post I’m going to cover 7 ways to shift your decluttering mindset and if you can adopt even one of them you will have a much easier time resetting any space in your home. Let’s get into it.

Owning less is better and easier than organizing more

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you just need to be more organized when really you just have too much stuff. Getting organized is hard work if you are managing a lot of stuff.  You may get there with your initital effort but maintaining it is another story. Organization systems should be making your life easier, but if you are organizing clutter you are really just shifting workload around, defeating the purpose of organizing.  Simplify your home first and you won’t find yourself with the extra work of keeping all your clutter organized.

Every item costs more than you realize

Every item must be managed through its lifecycle. Begin to see every single thing in your home as something that needs to be taken care of in some way. Then ask yourself how much you really want to take care of? This mindset is also super helpful for making very intentional purchases.  When my husband insisted on getting a full size trampoline for our backyard one Christmas all I could think about was how much work eventually getting rid of it was going to be (P.S. it ended up blowing up and over our backyard fence during a windstorm, effectively ending its life!)

Prioritize experiences over physical things

Once you’ve committed to owning less, you will begin looking for ways to spend time with your people, do things you enjoy, and simplify gift-giving. Experiences are a great way to add value to your life without all the clutter. I have many clients who are decluttering as part of a down-sizing effort; they intend to live with less and travel more, leveraging the freedom that comes with an empty nest.

Decluttering isn’t wasteful

Keeping things that aren’t being used is. There are 2 scenarios here that I encounter a lot. 1) There is an item that had a season where it was being used and that season is now over. In this case there was never waste; the item was purchased and used for an appropriate period of time.  Now that time is over. 2) You made a bad purchase and spent money on something you never used. In this case the waste happened when you bought the item. It already happened so now you just have a reminder that it happened.  Donate the items you aren’t using so they can be used again – that is the opposite of waste!

Life is too short to live with things you don’t need or love

Everything in your home should be functional or beautiful or both. Folks who keep a lot of stuff often do so because they are unwilling to part with something that is ‘perfectly good.’ Perfectly good things that you don’t use or that make you cringe when you pull them out aren’t enhancing your life. Keeping a functional AND beautiful (i.e. it’s perfectly good AND you love it) filter on your possessions is a great mindset to apply to your remaining years – they will be happier if you do!

Decluttering is not a loss, it’s a trade

Think of trading ‘things’ for more time, peace, joy, and experiences with the people you love. Parting with things is hardest in the moment, but that moment passes and you are left with a home that is a joy to live in. A decluttering mindset unlocks the path to a decluttered life full of the things that matter.

If you’re storing your stuff for the future, it’s at the expense of living in the present

This one is HUGE and goes out to all of my people with storage units full of things they ‘may’ need someday. Don’t let guilt and the thought that the small chance you will need the things you store away keep you living in clutter. That stuff weighs on you even though it’s not visible. And in the case of storage units it’s costing you money that you could be spending on something else, or saving, or investing for that future you are worried about!

Do you recognize your own hangups in any of these mindset shifts? Adopting a few of them as mantras will really help you make progress in your efforts to declutter and will continue to pay dividends as you use them for deciding intentionally what kinds of things come into your home going forward. Discover your decluttering mindset and improve the quality of your life!

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