Welcome to March. The warm weather in Israel has been perfect for Spring Cleaning. So we’ve lightened the load in the Sassen household!
Clutter. It’s one of the toughest jobs of managing a hefty household. I sometimes think our “stuff” breeds like rabbits while we’re sleeping. But after ignoring the mess for too long, clutter will rein free, your sanity will be compromised and you’ll feel like you’re living in a garbage dump.
Well, that doesn’t have to be your forever story. In this post I’m going to share with you 4 Benefits of Clearing Clutter. It’s time to get rid of stuff so you can have MORE CALM, PEACE, AND SPACIOUSNESS IN YOUR LIFE.
I’ve found that when there’s less stuff in my life, I feel more alive, joyful and optimistic.
Here are 4 Benefits of Clearing Clutter
1. Less stuff = less distractions. Clutter in your house competes with your kids, spouse, and pets for your attention. Thankfully, our goldfish and guppies are pretty quiet. But as a wife and mama of eight, there are lots of folks vying for my attention. To help me stay focused, I need to keep my home as neat and as organized as possible.
2. Less stuff = less stress. When there’s stuff all over the place and the clutter starts to build, I have been known to have sudden outbursts of “I feel like I’m living in a machsan (storage room)”. I feel dis-ease in my mind and in my body. To me, less stuff means greater calm, ease, and spaciousness.
3. Less stuff = more time. Another one of the benefits of clearing clutter is that when you have less stuff you have more time. More stuff means more time cleaning it, dusting it, sorting it out, picking it up and putting it away. You might also waste time looking for things like your keys, your sunglasses, and a matching pair of shoes.
And even if you have space to neatly organize and store lots of items, too many choices wastes your time. Think of it this way, if every morning you have to choose between a blue shirt and a white shirt, you can get dressed pretty quickly. When you have a blue, a white, a red, a black, a striped, a flowered and a polka-dotted shirt – and you try mixing and matching each top with a few different bottoms…time ticks by pretty quickly.
Getting rid unnecessary items means less time organizing and more time earning money and enjoying life.
4. Less stuff = more money. When you buy less, you can spend your money on meaningful experiences and invest your money in your future. Less stuff helps you reach financial independence more quickly.
So now that you appreciate some of the benefits of clearing clutter, sorting things out and getting rid of unnecessary items, here are…
Five ways we cleared the clutter and lightened the load in the Sassen home this week
1. The attic. Six years ago, we built two small storage spaces under the sloped roof of our house. One space is so small that I can’t even stand up straight for fear of banging my head on the ceiling. Those tucked-away nooks have been a godsend for out-of-season clothing, suitcases, sukkah decorations, the children’s art projects, summer fans during the winter months, winter heaters during the summer, and more. But those nooks also attract “stuff” like mighty strong magnets.
Last Friday, my husband Jonathan and I dove head first into decluttering the attic. After tossing tons of things, we can now easily access our seasonal items and everything else that truly belongs in storage.
Here’s a short list of things we’ve “blessed and released”: a huge bag of faded, stained and stretched out kiddie clothes that we deposited in the clothing recycling bin; some soft cotton tees that I cut up into rags; heavy old suitcases, worn out wedding props and a few art projects (shh don’t tell the kids) that went into the dumpster; and, an above-ground swimming pool that my kids outgrew and which we gave away to a family with younger children. Plus, the pool ladder that was on the balcony.
2. My desk. See my before and after shots below. My desk was an eye-sore and it was totally distracting. There were piles of papers and more “stuff” everywhere. Calendars for 2013 and 2014 (what was I thinking!). I shredded a few kilos of papers and recycled even more. I organized files and paid an overdue bill to the National Insurance Institute. Yes, I miss payment dates too sometimes!
3. The playroom. We threw out a bunch of toys with broken and missing pieces. Games and toys that my children have outgrown, were passed on to the grandkids.
4. My Kenwood mixer. I love to bake challah and I do it almost every week, kneading the dough by hand. More than 10 years ago, I bought the Kenwood thinking it would be easier and more efficient. Unfortunately, the motor isn’t strong enough to knead the amount of dough we need for our large family. So I keep kneading by hand (I actually really love to do it!) while the Kenwood gathers dust. Fortunately, one of my married daughters adopted the Kenwood last week – and we have more space in our kitchen!
5. The garage. Honestly, I can’t even tell you what my husband cleaned out of there. But I know it looks neat, nice, and spacious. Thank you, Jonathan!
So, what about you? Would you like to feel greater calm, ease, and spaciousness in your life? Are you motivated to get going with your spring cleaning and clear out some clutter?
If so, let’s talk about….
Ten Rules of Organization
In this 10-minute video, my friend Rebekah Saltzman, Personal Organizer and Owner of Balagan be Gone, shares the simple and easy-to-follow steps you need to take control and conquer your clutter. Rebekah calls them her 10 Rules of Organization. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro-organizer or just getting started, I’m sure you’ll find something new and useful when you watch the video. I love her step #2. Watch the video or download this easy checklist to find out what that is.
Ace Your Space Summit
Would you like even more organizational tools? Can you imagine what it would feel like if your entire life was completely organized? Or what would open up for you if you could clear out the mental clutter like negative emotions, an over-stuffed schedule or habits that no longer serve you?
My friend Leanne Pruett is on a mission to help people take control of their physical and mental clutter and transform their lives. And to that end, Leanne is hosting a FREE online event, Ace Your Space: Clear Your Physical and Mental Clutter to Transform Your Life.
It starts March 19th, and you’re invited to attend! Reserve your spot and get free advice from 20+ experts (including me!) in decluttering and space planning, including authors, professional organizers, interior designers, financial experts and mindset gurus.
When you join us for this series of powerful conversations, you’ll discover that you’re not alone. More importantly, you’ll learn practical, actionable strategies for clearing the clutter from your physical and emotional space, including tips and hints to declutter every area of your home, from big complicated spaces to small spaces that won’t stay organized—so you can finally feel calm and centered in your space (rather than overwhelmed!)
Plus so much more.
You’ll discover that with the right information, systems, and mindset, you can clear your clutter and live life exactly as you want to—and you may even experience transformation beyond what you can imagine now.
I am seriously excited to listen in on this interview series, as well as speak during it, and I know you’ll love it too. So, click here to register and conquer your clutter, once and for all!
Summing it all up
There are so many great tips and useful resources here. I bet you’re ready to dive in and enjoy the benefits of clearing clutter in your home. Let me know in the comments below how it’s going for you.