In my last post I talked about getting over your fears of decluttering, but why declutter in the first place? Many of us feel like we should organize/get rid of things, but have you ever thought about the reasons why? Understanding the benefits can go a long way in motivating you to finally get to the decluttering you have been putting off.
Less Decisions = More Time
This one is huge. Our days are made up of micro decisions (the internet claims we make 35,000 decisions a day): what to wear, what to eat, what to read, which email to respond to first, how to bribe your toddler to eat something besides cereal. If you’re like me, by the end of the day, your brain is exhausted. Simply having less reduces the amount of choices you have, and consequently the amount of time you have to spend deciding between them.
Just looking at and processing a large volume of objects can be exhausting. This is why circuses do not look like spas and vice versa. This isn’t to say that everyone should live in a white box, but rather that you should be in control of what you look at every day. Your walls and shelves should be filled with the things that make you happy; the amount of things you are comfortable with is completely up to you. Wouldn’t you rather look at your favorite things instead of a pile of random stuff you’ve been meaning to organize?
Freedom from your future to-do list
As a crafter, I have a tendency to save things because I might want to make something out of them later. Over time, those projects add up to the point where I can’t conceivably expect to finish them all in my lifetime, and more, after a few years they become stale and boring, and I’m on to the next thing anyway. The same goes for the sushi mat you might use to make sushi someday, or the curtains you might put up someday if you ever buy a house with an extra bedroom. Being able to decide what you’re going to do each day is incredibly liberating: free yourself from everything you might get to, eventually.
Less to clean and maintain
For large items like furniture, maintenance is obvious. You need to dust surfaces and vacuum upholstery every once in awhile, even if you’re not using those pieces on a daily basis. But what about those smaller items that are shoved away in the closet? Surely you are not expending any time maintaining those things… but what about the time you spend thinking about them? There are definitely some people who can happily shove stuff into a dark corner and go about living their lives with no ill effects. But if you’re like me, that mound of junk weighs on your mind, taunting you with it’s presence. Do you remember Monica’s closet from Friends? Shiver…
Appreciation for what you have
If most of your stuff is crowded away in “storage”, you probably have little idea of what you own. Unless there is a specific use for what you are storing (decorations that come out seasonally, for example), ask yourself why you still have it. If you have a collection of anything really, chances are the item you were so excited to find and buy has now been dwarfed by the new things that were so exciting to obtain. The really special things lose their luster when surrounded by more of the same.