Beauty in Simplicity: Steps for Decluttering Your Life

Recently, someone made the suggestion that clutter is actually physically exhausting, in addition to mentally and emotionally exhausting. They theorized that because humans are constantly scanning their environment, a cluttered environment takes more brainpower to continually process, which makes you tired. Whether or not that’s the case, one thing’s for sure – clutter can make the most beautiful life seem dreary and exhausting.

istock_000005475259xsmall.jpgThere are several ways to beautify your environment and reduce clutter at the same time. Some of them involve spending money, but many require nothing more than a creative mind and a willing spirit.

  • Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s behind a cabinet door, in a drawer or in a bin, it’s invisible. Invest in attractive organizers, cabinetry and storage centers to keep your rooms clutter free. Plus it makes cleaning a snap – just toss it in, close it up and you’re done!
  • Less is more. Every possession you own requires time, energy and money to store it, maintain it, upgrade it and so on. Buying and having less means freeing up these resources for other, more enjoyable things. And by using the library for books, online music services instead of buying CDs, tool rentals instead of keeping a workshop on hand and so on, you shift even more of the “care burden” off of your shoulders.
  • Set a goal. Decide to sort and toss 15 items a week. Or pick a type of clutter, such as office supplies, clothes, knickknacks, etc., and commit to paring them down to the bare minimum. Better yet, enlist a “goal buddy” to share accountability with. Nothing motivates you quite like having to explain inaction to someone else.
  • Only the best. Nothing is uglier than a cheap item that’s shabby, broken or dated. Buy the highest quality you can afford and opt for timeless styles over trendy fashion to increase aesthetic longevity. And remember – it’s often cheaper to buy a high quality item once than to replace a cheaper version over and over.
  • Open the circle. Clutter can be viewed as a form of dead energy. By letting things pile up, you prevent them from being used by someone who actually needs them and your own energy stagnates instead of flowing freely. Go through your clutter and rank everything from “Use everyday” to “I didn’t realize I had one of those,” and from “Love it!” to “Meh” or even “Ugh.” Anything that you don’t use frequently and that you don’t love should be given to someone who can and does.
  • Quantity kills quality. What’s more stunning – a single gorgeous flower in an amazing vase set off by lots of clean, open space, or a room cluttered with a dozen cheap, mediocre arrangements? A single focal point or a minimal display is always more visually arresting, more attractive and more interesting, plus it allows you to invest in better quality items.
  • Resource reallocation. As I mentioned above, cutting clutter saves you a ton of resources. This means you have more time, money and energy to spend enjoying life. Use those savings to buy some beautiful art, upgrade your wardrobe, improve your home or simply take a few hours to rest and refresh yourself.

Copyright 2008 David Bohl and SlowDownFast.com. All rights reserved.

Thanks to E3 Success Systems for including this post in the Carnival of Success Principles, to My Dollar Plan for featuring this post in the Festival of Frugality, to Creating a Thriving Business for inclusion in the Carnival of Healing, and to Living by Design for including this post in the Living by Design Blog Carnival.

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