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7 Things I Learned While Decluttering

What I have learned from Decluttering My Home:

1. Less is not always more. I say that because it could be offensive to say the blanket statement of less is more. There are people actually out there living their lives on less and I just don’t think that they would agree. But before I decluttered my home I operated in an eclectic decorating style which was my excuse to just have stuff everywhere. No empty square footage or wall space in my home. For a long time I liked that because it made me feel at home but then slowly and surely I began to feel claustrophobic in my own home. After going through this process I still have to fight back the urge to over decorate but it has now made my home feel more light and airy and I love it.

2. If you forgot you had it, you don’t need it. There are so many boxes full of stuff in my home and when I got rid of the furniture that held them they were unearthed. And I felt like a treasure hunter as I opened these boxes to find things that I had completely forgotten about. Things that at one point were very useful and I packed them away for future use. But I had to realize that if it has been multiple years since i have opened this box and not once in the meantime had I gone looking for any of these items then i definitely didn’t need it now. I had to tell myself “place the entire box in the trash Paige, you don’t need any of it”. Harder for me than you can imagine.

3. Some things can be re-purposed and restored. There are so many things that I hated in my house because I had them for so long. It wasn’t that they were torn up, I take care of the things in my home. It was honestly that I was just sick of seeing them. After trying to sell certain items, with people trying to haggle me offering far less than what they were worth I decided I would save myself the stress and just repurpose them. I went into my garage and found a gallon of white paint, then went to work. Not only does my space look cleaner with more white flooding the room but honestly these pieces of furniture turned out looking much better than I thought they would. Now if i tried to sell them which I wont, I honestly think their value has even raised. When you take to painting something you start the task thinking that this needs to look perfect but a little imperfection can look quite charming. Don’t be so quick to get rid of furniture because right now it is all the rage to repurpose things and though it takes some time it can give you the refreshing feeling you are looking for without having to spend the money of buying all new things. If your not creative like that ask someone you know who is, and let them help you decide what can be done before you throw it out.

4. My house is bigger than I thought it was. It is absolutely amazing how getting rid of somethings have opened up my home entirely. Realizing that there is no need to put something in available square footage means that there are some empty spaces. At first I was very uncomfortable and unbalanced but I gave it some time. Now that it has been about a week, I am completely comfortable with those open spaces and I am actually loving them. My house feels more open and clean. The everyday small messes don’t frustrate as much now because my house is generally less cluttered.

5. Rearranging can actually take care of the itch to start over in a new house. Since I have moved out of my home and been on my own I have moved every 3 years. I would use the excuse that my lease is up as a reason to start the search and move spaces. Each time we went bigger which was needed for multiple reasons. But the truth is that around that time I would become increasingly annoyed with my living space. I would begin to find all of the faults with my current home to build up my own case. When in all reality i was just bored and ready to change up the scenery. No matter how much I liked the new space I chose I would begin to get the itch in the 2 ½ year mark. Now here is the thing, I had the same set up in those moments that I did the day I moved in. It is so funny when I think back but never once have I rearranged my furniture to freshen up the look and feel of my home. Growing up my mom would do this quite often so I have no idea why I never considered it myself. Now that I have rearranged my space I legitimately feel like I have moved and started over without all of the packing and unpacking.

6. Just because someone gave it to you does not mean that you have to keep it. Here is the deal, I am just going to be honest, I have extreme hoarder tendencies. I absolutely used to hoard and just use the excuse that I was an avid collector but I just couldn't throw things away. Now that I have recognized I have a problem I have been very proactive about trying to correct my hoarding ways. I throw things away or send things off to goodwill now more than I ever have. Every 3-4 months I purge things out of my closet and it is crazy how much I manage to get rid of every time. During this process though the things I had the hardest time getting rid of were the things that other people gave me. For some reason regardless of what the item was I would feel like I owed it to the person to keep it, like they would be offended if they found out that I no longer wanted it. This was specifically hard with decorative items I had been given. So even if it didn’t go with my decorative style I show cased it anyway, showing my appreciation. Hence my cluttered life. I have made the executive decision that if someone gets upset for such a silly reason especially with me in my process of recovery than they themselves might need to work on some things. Chances are, they probably won’t even remember.

7. If your collection is collecting dust its ok to let it go. This may just be something that showcases my past "hoarderism" and maybe people don’t really have collections like I used to but if you do this is for you. Maybe just consider sending your collection to goodwill if it is collecting dust. Mainly because that just typically means that is not something that carries a lot of meaning for you, at least not anymore at this point in your life. Even if at one point it meant a lot to you, sometimes you have to learn to let things from the past go. There will be some things that never lose their value to you or their importance but for the things that do its ok to recognize the season of your life has changed. Its ok to let go of things, especially if those things are taking up space and cluttering your life. List of collections I have had to let go of; porcelain dolls, stuffed animals from claw machines, pogs. Things I have collected and will never let go of; my grandmothers stationary, and the rocks me and my grandfather found the last time we went on a walk together. But they have found a space in my home and they silently tell a story that is important to me.

There is beauty in ordinary

There is beauty in simple

There is beauty in new

& beauty in used

You can actually have a really functional space without losing character in your home, but your character will drown if surrounded by clutter. Yes it takes time to do, you may want to set aside a weekend for the project. More than ever though I understand why so many successful people teach it as a prerequisite to growth, success and destiny. Because you must clear the mechanism for it to function at its optimal level. It may seem like a waste of time, or you may “function well in chaos” but chances are you are lying to yourself (because I know I was) and you just don’t want to take the time.

If you are ok with where you are, then by all means ignore all of this. But if you are ready to change and you just don’t know what is going to the thing that catapults you into your destiny than you may want to tackle this first because it is going to be the only thing that is completely and entirely under your control.

Good Luck

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