The benefits of de-cluttering

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It’s almost time for me to say goodbye to this place! I’m excited to move on, but I’m also a little nervous. I want to make sure that I start off on the right foot as I enter to the “real” world. One way I want to do that is by cutting down a bit on the amount of stuff I have. It seems that I’ve been around here long enough to accumulate a bunch of clutter that I don’t need. So, I’m trying to consider ways to use my move to cut down on the excess. Experts, what sorts of tips do you have for someone trying to live with less?

Your goal is an admirable one! While the amount we choose to own is a matter of personal preference, many of us find that our accumulating possessions gets out of hand, fast. It’s human nature to acquire and hold onto things, and statistics show that we do so now more than ever. In America, as in many other places, many of us have too much stuff!

How much stuff are we talking? Try a staggering 300,000 individual items in the typical American home. We’re consuming too much stuff. We spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches than we do on college educations, yet nearly half of us have not saved any money. Even when we curb our consumption, we’re left with all the stuff we already own! Science tells us it’s hard to throw away stuff, and mental health disorders related to the uncontrollable hoarding of possessions exist.

There are good reasons to choose to declutter, even if you do not suffer from any related mental health problems. Clutter is bad for us; experts agree that it is bad for our mental and physical health to surround ourselves with excess stuff. Plus, if it’s someone else injures themselves on your property because of your clutter, you could even be in legal trouble, warn personal injury lawyers!

You’re picking a wise time to do this. The process of moving puts you in contact with all the possessions in your home. It’s a great time to take a hard look at what you have and consider whether you want to move it to your next home with you.

You’ll be tempted to toss things in boxes, of course. When you’re already working hard at packing, it’s tough to also take the time to sort your junk drawer. However, experts urge you to resist the urge to throw things in boxes unexamined. Instead, use your move to declutter, taking the opportunity to examine each of your possessions before they end up in boxes headed for your next home. Consider the usefulness of each item, and keep less useful items only if they truly matter to you.

Also, consider storage units. Sure, they may not be “minimalist,” but there are plenty of practical reasons to choose storage units over a serious minimalist push. If you’re living in a small space, a storage unit can store possessions that are seasonal, bulky, or otherwise appropriate for storage. Some things we own are too important to throw away, yet inessential enough to our day-to-day lives that we can keep them outside of our homes. For de-clutterers who are practical, not dogmatic, cheap storage units are often godsends.

“The more things you own, the more they own you.” – Unknown

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