Don’t declutter just to declutter. Or declutter to say that “I only have this amount of stuff.”
The point of decluttering should be to try and find your sweet spot.
This sweet spot is the number of things that are manageable and sufficient for your family, but it’s also not overwhelming.
To get to that sweet spot, Krista shares a few tips for getting started so that you’re not overzealous like I was and throw out things that you need.
Let start with tips to declutter your home.
Decluttering tips for home
First, you want to recognize that you have a problem.
The hardest part is recognizing that you’ve got to do something about the room overflowing with toys.
Next, you want to think about much stuff you are bringing into your house.
You may be shocked in the amount of stuff that comes in even when you have removed quite a bit of things.
I know I removed five garbage bags filled with toys one day, and it still seemed like I didn’t do anything. The reason why is I didn’t realize how many toys my kids had before decluttering.
Start by getting rid of the easy stuff first.
So when I was decluttering the kid’s playroom, I started with the broken toys, toys with missing pieces, or unused toys.
So getting rid of those first five bags was easy.
The next step is a little bit challenging.
You want to go through each item and ask yourself, what value is this giving my family?
When I pick up the Elmo toy still inside the box, I know that it provides no value because my youngest son is terrified of Elmo and cries anytime he goes near it.
Maybe its a toy the kids could play with it now and then.
But not some much the past few weeks. And they might want to at some point.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s giving your family value, right?
So it’s okay to let go of the Hot Wheels that the kids play with once a quarter.
What about decluttering big kids’ toys?
How many times have you gone out and spent all this money on toys for your older kids expecting them to take care of it?
The problem is when kids have too much to manage, they don’t take care of it like they’re supposed to.
Big kids need the opportunity to take care of their stuff.
And to take ownership of their belongings.
One day they are going to have their own house and car, and they are going to need to have the life skill of taking care of their belongings.
If it’s overwhelming for you to walk in a room, clean up, and organize things, it’s a hundred times more overwhelming for the kids.
Even if they are teens, it’s overwhelming for them.
It’s more overwhelming for them because they don’t have adult brains like us where we can think critically, strategize, and find solutions quickly.
One way to help big kids with decluttering is by setting up boundaries.
Let them know that they can have things in their room as long as it isn’t stuffed under their bed, and you can easily vacuum the floors on designated cleaning days.
If you’re noticing that you have to remind your kid more than usual to clean their room, that’s probably a clue that they need help with organizing and decluttering.
They’re at a point where they need some help in making decisions on what to keep and what not to keep so they can get their room and space to a manageable state.
Help your child by doing the same thing I did for the playroom.
First, get rid of the broken toys, missing pieces, or no longer serving first.
Then have your child go through and remove the items that are not providing any value anymore.
How do you get your husband on board with decluttering?
“And my suggestion is what I call the husband rule. And that is just don’t touch his stuff.”
I know how it feels when you look around and see all of your husband’s unused belongings, taking up space.
It is so tempting to take those things to Goodwill. But resist the temptation. And don’t pressure him into decluttering either.
If you look around, you will find that you have things that you can work on first. Or even community areas that you can make simple for everyone.
So don’t touch his stuff. Start by leading by example.
Start by decluttering your closet and getting rid of the clothes that you no longer wear or no longer fit.
Then share with your husband how easy it is to find something to wear.
And you don’t feel like you have nothing to wear.
Many times people, in general, are not likely to do something if they feel like you are forcing something on them.
It’s like that cousin that’s always telling you that you need to eat better and work out, but they eat fast food every day and haven’t worked out in years.
You don’t take her seriously or give what she says any thought. If anything, she probably gets on your nerves, and you wish she shut up.
The same goes for getting your husband on board with decluttering.
Start with leading by example. Because you know you would have a fit if your husband tried to get rid of some of your favorite clothes. So remember that the next time you want to throw away some of your husband’s stuff.
Tips for to declutter your phone
Decluttering digital spaces like email and social media, help decrease overwhelm.
It’s so easy to look at your phone and have it tell you how you should spend your time, what you should engage in, what you should be thinking about, and how you should be feeling.
It’s essential to established dominance over your phone.
If not, you will get consumed by social media. You will get absorbed by other people’s lives, current events, and craziness happening around the world.
One way to start taking control of what you see on social media is by unfollowing or hiding posts.
So whenever you see something that makes you feel negative. Or afraid or worried or panicking or anxious, use the button in the corner and hide those posts.
You can control what we consume by doing things like unfollowing, hiding, snoozing.
The same thing goes for email. If you are receiving emails that are making you feel negative or not providing any value, unsubscribe.
Instead of your phone dictating to you how you feel during the day, start making the algorithms work for you.
By regularly hiding and snoozing posts, you can help curate a feed that you look forward to.
Links mentioned in this episode
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