Welcome to the One Delightful Podcast where we are on a journey to simplify life to create space for what matters. And trust us, if we can do it - anyone can!
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On this week’s episode along with checking in + a segment we're calling 'HGTV Report Card', we dive in to part 2 of a 3 part conversation about how to declutter literally anything.
Last week, we talked about how the decluttering process is actually pretty simple. It's just 3 steps: 1. Choose and empty out a space. 2. Sort the stuff you emptied to decide what stays and what goes. 3. Put the keep stuff back in the space.
But - there are so many roadblocks every step along the way that can completely derail our clutter-free plan. Whether its lack of time, lack of motivation, or emotional attachments to that Easy Bake Oven that is broken but you just can't part with ... decluttering is hard - BUT ITS WORTH IT!!
Why is it worth it? Put on your scuba gear and go deep with us for a minute. There's an underlying assumption in our consumer driven world that more stuff will make us happier ... which is not necessarily true. We all know that, but do our buying/accumulating actions back that belief up?
More stuff = more work for more money to be able to buy the stuff.
More stuff = more work to have to maintain/clean the stuff we have
More stuff (for example, clothes) = more time/emotional stress to decide what to wear
Mo' money, mo' problems (not incredibly relevant, but seemed appropriate)
And - did you know that there is actually a link between clutter and depression????? That blew our mind, but actually makes sense, and just to be real, explains a lot in our experience. Have you ever been here: At the end of the day you want to relax, but as you see all the stuff around you that's in the wrong place, it puts you on edge ... which leads to feeling like a failure because we can't do something simple like keep our houses straightened up ... which we can't do because we're so tired from the work we had to do to buy the stuff ... which leaves us in a vicious cycle of guilt.
Do you feel me? Do you want to feel like this anymore? I know I don't! Stuff isn't what makes us happy, its what we do with our possessions, and more importantly, the people that we use them with that make us happy. Less stuff gives more time for what’s really important.
So, what do you do after you've chosen a space and emptied it out (more on that from our last podcast)? It's time for Step 2: sorting time (insert Harry Potter sorting hat joke here). In this step, you go through what you've emptied and decide what stays and what goes.
What can be so hard about that? I'll tell you what's hard: how stinkin' emotionally attached we are to so much of our stuff - stuff that we never use, but something in our heart just can't let it go. The big obstacle in this step is that getting rid of stuff can be emotional work! We've heard it said that CLUTTER IS INDECISION (in caps b/c this is the story of my (Katie's) life), and the indecision of whether something can stay or should go can totally derail the sorting process.
Here's what's helped us overcome this obstacle:
First, ask three questions about each item
Do I use this item regularly (set a time - in the past 3 months, this season, in the past year)?
Do I need this item?
Do I love this? Kon Marie says you should touch (which Philip thinks is a little weird but does it anyway) each item and ask, does it bring me joy?
Second, sort the times into 3 piles:
Keep - the things you answered yes to the above questions to - I use it. I need it. I love it.
Going Bye Bye - stuff that doesn't stack up. I don't use it. I don't need it (the cost in the space its taking up isn't worth keeping it). I don't love it (get rid of those clothes that make you feel bad b/c you can't fit in them anymore!!)
Tip - for some people, selling stuff on eBay or Craigslist can make it easier to part with. For some people, giving stuff away to someone who will actually use it will make it easier to part with
Tip - go digital w/docs and memories as much as possible so you can get rid of the physical stuff, but maybe have a small memories box for each kid and yourselves.
This changed everything for us: PURGE-ATORY, a middle place for things you're undecided about, where you set the things aside for a month + if you don't think about or need them, you can feel better about purging them. With purge-atory, instead of getting derailed by not being able to decide if something stays or goes, it can go in the purge-atory box and be decided on later.