Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Clear Your Clutter And Take Back Your Space

with 3 comments

Having a cluttered home is a constant drain on energy, focus and can drag you down. A home should be a place where you can move about freely and the things you need are in easy reach and the things you cherish are there for you to enjoy. Finding the shoes you want for a special occasion should not be a grueling adventure.

To live our lives we need a proper space in which to work and play. Everyone has a junk drawer where we toss those items we are not sure we’ll need again but for some their homes are their junk drawers. The key to maintaining a proper space is to not bring in unnecessary items  in the first place. When you do need to bring in more items it is important to let go of old items. Buying a new pair of pants means you should toss or give away and old pair.

Maintaining an uncluttered space is counter to our consumerist society. We are constantly told that we need things to be happy. If we follow the advice of advertisement we find ourselves more unhappy than before, but then they tell us to purchase their totally cool new organizational system – more stuff.

Toss, Give Away or Keep

It is important that we question the need for everything we currently have and then make a decision – toss (preferred), give away or keep (boo!). That TV in the basement collecting dust could be used by a college student who is working his way through school. A family who is going through tough times could use those old clothes you will never wear again. Just imagine some kid somewhere wearing that old coat as he goes to school in the morning.

Give it away if you don’t plan on needing it the near future. If you find you do end up needing it you can visit a thrift shop and get another one when you do.

When in doubt, throw it out. If you are not sure someone could use it, throw it out. Some may argue that we should reuse everything we can to save the planet, but for some that kind of thinking keeps them in a prison of their own clutter. We’ve kept things for years on the slight chance someone could use it but unless it is something practical like clothes or a useful appliance, we are fooling ourselves that someone needy will suffer without that fondue set (Seriously, who gives someone a fondue set for Christmas?!).

Don’t Be a Collector

One of the most despicable phrases in the ad world is the term “Collector’s Edition”. There’s the presumption that if we keep this item long enough it will be worth a lot of money some day. Do yourself a favor and don’t get caught up in the collection disease. Nobody is going to spend big bucks for your old copy of the “Die Hard The Ultimate Collection”. On Ebay I saw the original VHS version of Rocky (1984) sealed for $21. Someone kept that treasure in their basement for over 20 years and all they can expect is $21. They didn’t even get to watch it.

Of course some things are more collectible than others. Vinyl LPs do have a market but even then we are not talking big money unless you have something extremely rare. If you do want to keep a collection make sure you have the space and that you get enjoyment from it. If you have a den where you like to display your old comic books then that has personal meaning for you and brings you pleasure. Still, I’d rather collect experiences than items.

Be a Disciplined Consumer

Buy only what you need or enjoy. Don’t make spontaneous purchases. You should make a list of things you need before you go shopping. If you see something else you like make a note of it for possible future purchase. I like to think of stores as my personal storage units where the things get better the longer I leave them there.

There was a widescreen TV in Best Buy I had my eye on a few years ago. I decided I didn’t need it right away so I would leave it at the store until I did. Years went by and the technology has advanced to make that item obsolete. Now there’s a new 3D-HD 65 inch display that I’m currently not purchasing until I need it. The truth is that my current TV is fine and I can continue using it until it stops working. Sure, I’d love the newer features but it’s not worth my money, time and space.

Your space is more valuable to you than any item you bring into it. Any thing you buy or keep has to prove its worth before it can take up any of your space.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Life, People, Productivity

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Great post!…Sometimes our minds gets cluttered too and have to be resorted!

  2. I try to stick to the rule that if I have not used something in a year, then it is probably something I can get rid of. I am definitely not a collector. Good post.

    Manage Better Now

    February 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  3. Chris MacLellan brings up a good point; our minds seem to have the same problem collecting clutter. A hoarded mind can resemble a messy workplace. Both distract production!


    March 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

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