Keeping Tidy to Declutter Your Home

Keeping Tidy to Declutter Your Home

Ken Arnswald |

Have you ever looked around the house and wondered how it ended up such a mess? Cleaning can feel like it will never be done. Part of this may be attributed to clutter. Sometimes this clutter has nothing to do with your cleanliness. It could have a deeper cause. In fact the mess can even affect your relationships. Read on for tips for keeping tidy to declutter your home.

Keeping Tidy to Declutter Your Home

When cleaning and decluttering it can be easy to get overwhelmed and quit. Did you know this may have a deeper reason though? Some of the mess in your home could be directly connected to clutter. While many will say, “I’m just a bit of a hoarder,” there is actually a reason why people choose to hold on to clutter. If you really want to keep a tidy home, it will start with understanding the why behind clutter.

Is Clutter Really a Problem?

When tidying up the house, there are some who clean around clutter. In many ways, they have become blind to the clutter in their home. Many studies have proven that a household that is cluttered can increase stress and anxiety for those living in the home. These items can make it difficult to find certain items or to use the home to its fullest capabilities. Taking time to remove this clutter can help to maintain a cleaner home and bring peace to those who live there.

There is a Why to Clutter

The real question for many is “why do people hold on to clutter?” When faced with the choice between cleanliness and clutter, many will sacrifice cleanliness to hold onto some items. There is a very real reason why people do this though. For some it is an emotional connection to the item. While others have a financial need to hold onto the items. Let us share a few common reasons why people hang onto clutter.

Reasons People Keep Clutter:

  • Emotional Connection - Clutter isn’t always a conscious decision. Instead, people place an emotional connection to certain items. The idea of throwing that item out is painful because it would mean letting go of more than the item. It would mean letting go of the emotional memory it represents. In most homes you will find a portion of the home dedicated to items that hold an emotional memory for the owner.

  • Financial Insecurities - Another reason some will hold on to clutter is because of financial insecurities. Fears over financial provision can motivate people to hold onto more than they normally might for fear they won’t be able to afford that item in the future. When there is a financial connection to these items it can be more difficult to justify removing them. This is because disposing of them is tied to an idea that there won’t be enough at some future point.

  • Guilt Reaction - For some, the reason items are kept is because of guilt. That item was purchased by this or that person with a purpose. There is a feeling of guilt tied to removing these items from the home. In some ways, people feel like they owe the person who gave it to them and couldn’t possibly get rid of it.

  • Intention Clutter - This is the kind of clutter that comes from intending to do a thing. Maybe the person intended to lose weight, learn to sew, or achieve some other goal. While the intention was there, the action never followed it. Many people will hold onto items like these because to let them go would mean they admit to not achieving that goal.

Deciding What to Do with Clutter

Removing clutter can bring a great deal of peace to a home and let it feel cleaner. For many making the choice to declutter is a difficult one. With some of the connections mentioned above, these items are harder to get rid of than they should be. So how do you decide what to do with clutter? Here are a few simple tips to help you conquer the clutter for a tidier home.

Tips for Dealing with Clutter:

  • Start with the why - Before starting to remove clutter from the home, take some time to deal with the why behind that clutter. Is there a reason it is hard to let go of those items? Taking some time to get to the root of the why behind that item can help with deciding whether it is an item that is needed or not.

  • Is it worth cleaning? - Ask yourself if the clutter in your home is worth cleaning consistently. For instance, a collection of snow globes may sound wonderful. However, are they worth the time you will invest into dusting them or to wipe an all-purpose cleaner over their area? Take some time to look at the cleaning commitment the items imply.

  • Is there a better place for it? - Items that are clutter don’t always have to be removed. Instead, these items may need to be put in a better place or organized more efficiently. If an item can be placed somewhere else where it will not be clutter or where it won’t hinder tidying up, it may be worth keeping.

  • Could it serve someone else better? - When holding onto clutter many think of some of the above reasons. Sometimes taking the time to ask if it can serve someone else better can be a big help. While you may want to hold on to an abundance of clothing, is there a homeless mission or charity that could use those clothes better? Taking time to ask this question can help with decluttering.

What Happens After Decluttering?

If you have taken the time to remove clutter from the home, you might be wondering what comes next. The temptation can be to fill that space with something new. While this might be the initial reaction, it is not the best one. Instead, take the time to thoroughly clean the area. Focus on keeping that area tidy over time. It has proven that removing clutter can help with the look and feel of cleanliness within a home.

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