Purchases bring people joy, at least momentarily. The feeling of buying something provides us with an instant dose of dopamine, which seems to be in short supply these days. That and the fact that we’re spending tons of time at home means that people are buying stuff more than usual, racking up boxes and objects that they don’t really need.
Decluttering, although not very fun, can be therapeutic. Much like cleaning and organizing, the act of getting rid of things can make us feel like we’re in control and putting our lives in order. Most of the time, visual clutter also contributes to our mental clutter, which is why it’s so beneficial to get rid of stuff.
Here are 4 tips that can help you let of things as you go about and declutter your home:
Visualize the mental benefits
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Think of decluttering not only as an aesthetic solution but as a mental one too. Objects are charged with emotion and difficult to let go of because of their connection to our personal insecurities, which is why the process can be difficult. Expect some emotional responses and pace yourself, repeatedly asking yourself if you really need these items.
Set realistic goals
There’s no need to get rid of everything you own and living a minimalist lifestyle. Be realistic with your goals of decluttering. Starting off small with minor changes that are easy to accomplish and that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. Set a schedule or weekly reminder that helps you get things done.
Get help from friends
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If you need some support or someone to hold you accountable, reach out to a friend and have them on the phone when going through your stuff. This friend can provide you with some perspective on whatever item you’re considering discarding, letting you know if there’s some use to it, if they’ve seen you wearing it, etc. Having a friend on the phone can help you feel better and make the whole activity more fun.
Decluttering is not the same as organizing
While organizing and decluttering are two sides of the same coin, they’re different and should be treated as such. While decluttering results in more organization, the process will result in letting go of items you no longer find useful. It’s more final and could involve more stress than when putting things in their place.