How to Declutter Your Home and Your Head

People have too much stuff.  Do we really need it?  Do we ever use it after the initial need?  Do we have the space?  Probably not.  If you do not need it, if it has no sentimental value to you, throw it away! Actually, the cause of clutter often is that you once felt something for it or thought you needed it, but time has proven that A). You don’t, and B). That the time that has gone by is way too much. 

Last summer I helped my family go through my grandmother’s house and decide what was worth keeping and what was worth dumping.  Here is a little background on my grandmother: she is a class 3 hoarder and bibliomaniac.  She had everything she could ever gather in 90 years in her house.  Rooms of books, magazines, and newspapers, artifacts that may have had value before she washed off any trace or it wore off (for example, a copper milk jug that could have been worth a lot with its label still intact).  She had boxes of bank statements, letters, journals, bills (including a funny gas bill for her car from the 1940’s that had 3 dollars as the total price instead of per gallon).  She had clothes that were decades old and very threadbare.  She especially had things that once she “filed” them, she never thought about again.  Yet despite that, she felt she still needed them.  I love that woman, but she could not throw anything away!

After decluttering her, everyone in our family re-evaluated their own clutter.  We all took it upon ourselves to not turn into our matriarch and get rid of things.  We all had our own processes.  Grandma’s daughters went through it slowly and meticulously.  They are busy ladies they do not have a lot of time.  The other family did similar things.  But what did I do?  I practically took a bulldozer to my stuff.  I used to be a bit of a packrat (genetic I guess).  But I took this decluttering project as a way of getting rid of material goods, as well as mental ones.  I learned to let go of outer and inner stuff.  I decided to file sentimentality away and get rid of things I did not use, or no longer held the personal value they once did, I also forgave, I purged regrets and grudges.  Now, I am a happier person.  There is space in my living space and in my head space.  And I feel much better now. 

Now let us compare me to my grandmother.  She could never throw away a material piece of anything, but, she also had trouble getting things out of her head.  I think there is a connection, no?  She held firmly to her independence, her grudges and regrets, she would get a thought stuck in her head and we couldn’t claw it out.  She thrived in clutter, disorganization, mess, and pure chaos.  Since her generation we have evolved from that mindset into a neater and saner one by her grandchildren’s (my) generation.  But I do not want anyone reading this to need that long to evolve.  Do. It. Now!

Do exactly what I did, evaluate your situation, realize what you really need, find an organizational and filing system, go on a path of self-actualization, do whatever else you can think of to purge unneeded things.  If you are already on the path or never had the problem, then that is wonderful!  But if you have not, you may want to reconsider how you live.  Because remember, if you do not declutter, someone else will have to do it for you down the line.  Let’s just say if my grandma knew what we threw away, she would probably die.  Literally, that is what would get her.  Let your decluttering be on your terms, but also know that it is good for you and everyone you love to declutter and teach them how to as well