Joyful Downsizing: Why Declutter?

Kim Kubsch

Statistics and data reports show the importance of embracing a clutter-free lifestyle. So why declutter?

Clutter Collects

The average American home contains approximately 300,000 items. Yes, you read that right! Having so many possessions can make it challenging to stay organized and find what we need when we need it.

Here’s another eye-opener: National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) research reveals that 80% of our items are never used. Some of that 80% could be family photos, sentimental items to pass down one day, or items stored away with the hope of later use. But, truth time, there’s no way all of those items we’ve kept fall into that category. Some of it is simply clutter.

Clutter Clouds Your Focus

It often appears that the amount of stress people experience at home is directly proportional to the amount of stuff they and their families have accumulated. As the clutter builds up, so does the pressure, tension, and overwhelm within our living spaces.

The effects of clutter on mental health are far-reaching. Increasing stress levels, clutter can amplify feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and can cause decreased productivity and an inability to make decisions. Instead of home being our happy place, when there’s too much clutter, it can be a hard, stressful, or triggering place to be.

Clutter Cuts into Important Moments

Clutter can also take a toll on our social lives. Around 12% of Americans worry about how cluttered their homes look when they have guests over. It’s like a constant cloud hanging over their heads, hindering the joy of socializing at home.

But it also interrupts time with the people in the same house as you! The average American family spends a whopping 5 hours and 54 minutes each week cleaning up. That’s valuable time that could be spent doing things we love, connecting with loved ones, or simply indulging in some well-deserved self-care.

So, clearly, decluttering goes beyond just having a tidy space. It’s about reclaiming your peace of mind and creating room for what matters most. Now that you know why decluttering matters, it’s time to take action!

Always start small. Try one of these three items to declutter today:

1. Empty out expired items

Take a peek into your pantry, fridge, and even your makeup drawer, and take a close look at the labels. Trust your senses. If you spot an expiration date that has come and gone, or if you notice any signs of decay, it’s time to toss it.

2. Toss old technology

Toss that old phone or iPad or other electronic devices. As you collect them, assess whether they’re in good enough condition to donate them or if it’s possible to recycle them.

3. Clear out mismatched containers

Open your kitchen cabinets or storage spaces and assess your collection of food storage containers and water bottles. Then start pairing lids with their rightful containers. It is time to toss missing pieces or mismatched items. When you come across cracked containers or latches that no longer work, just let them go!

Why declutter? In short, for a better quality of life with less burden and more pleasure.

Stay tuned for monthly articles about decluttering, downsizing, organizing, making transitions, and clearing of estates.

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