How do you feel about the stuff you own? Is every possession in your life something meaningful to you, or is your space overwhelmed with too much stuff? If you’re like most people, it’s likely the latter. In this episode we begin looking at the clutter of possessions in our lives, what it does to us, and what we can do about it.
Tip of the Week:
Make sure to protect the precious photos you’ve taken with your smart phone by backing them up and/or downloading them to a safer location.
- Set up your iPhone to automatically back up to iCloud
- Periodically back up your iPhone to iTunes
- Sync your photos from your iPhone to the photos app on your computer
- Activate Camera Upload in Dropbox
- Back up photos from your Android phone to Google
Topic of the Week: Why do we have so much stuff?!
Costs of Having So Much Stuff
- Health & safety
- Focus and serenity
“When your house is full of things from your past, things that only remind you of who you were, you very literally have no room for who you are now and who you are becoming.”
Why Do We Have All This Stuff?
- Want to be prepared. (End up over-prepared?)
- Need for abundance/fear of scarcity
- Sentimental attachment
- The “for now” disease
- Need for distraction
What Can We Gain By Decluttering?
- Save money
- Save time
- Recover energy
- Better focus and more serene life
- Sense of accomplishment
- Satisfaction of helping others
Find more motivation at Simple Life Together with Dan & Vanessa Hayes (podcast, website, and many other resources)
Some Tips to Get You Started
- Create a vision for the space you want, and work toward that.
- Start small.
- Sort into three boxes/bags: things to keep, things to trash, things to donate.
- Set parameters before you start.
- Make a pact: for every new thing you bring into your space, discard or donate one (or two!).
- Make items earn their space in your life.
- Digitize photos and other mementos.
Tool of the Week:
Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living – a great book by Tsh Oxenreider.
I reviewed it on my blog. You can get more info and insight on Tsh’s website.
Some great resources to look at:
- “Clutter Control: Is Too Much ‘Stuff’ Draining You?” by Kathleen Doheny on WebMD.com.
- “You Probably Have Too Much Stuff,” by Carl Richards in the New York Times online, August 13, 2012.
- “Do You Have Too Much Stuff?” by Cynthia Ramnarace on DailyWorth.com, July 2, 2013.
- “Too Much Old Stuff: How to Bust the Clutter,” by Linda Abbit on SeniorPlanet.org, October 8, 2013.
- Organizing from the Inside Out, by Julie Morganstern.
Your turn: What’s your biggest clutter challenge, or your best tip for conquering clutter? What will you do this week to start conquering the clutter in your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Katherine “Kat” Murray says
I found my icloud was filled and was asked to pay money for more space. My instructor shared with me that he opens up gmail accounts just for photos. All the photos are stored in the cloud but only gmail. when filled, just open another email. We have Amazon Prime and now my photos are backed up there as well. The photo storage is currently unlimited with Amazon Prime.
Thanks for sharing another podcast! I really enjoy listening to them. Clutter is something I am working on – I will have my home decluttered by Christmas! This week I went through the pantry, fridge, and freezers and made inventory lists for shopping.
I also like Flylady and have used her tips on and off for several years. I recently resubscribed to try to get my personal routines in order for maintaining my house, my life and my sanity :). There’s an iphone app I’ve been using called “Routines” and it lets you make checklists that are for one-time or repeat daily, weekly, monthly etc and also breaks up your home into zones helps you manage different areas consistently.
I know you didn’t mention it in this episode, but I just wanted to add that I am also a fan of the Fitbit! It was a key player in my recent weight loss. If you are into the Fitbit community, you can add me: https://www.fitbit.com/user/2QBR96.
Thanks again for sharing your life and tips!
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Tawnya. It sounds like you’re making great progress toward your goal of decluttering and organizing your home by Christmas. Good for you.
I’ll have to check out the “Routines” app you mentioned.
Alison Bryant says
Yet another helpful episode, Laura. Loved it. One resource that has helped me over the years is the FlyLady website: http://www.flylady.net/. I’m sure it’s similar in some ways to these other resources. She focuses on “baby steps” and establishing brief daily/weekly routines for decluttering and cleaning.
Alison – I’m so glad you found the episode helpful. And thank you for sharing the FlyLady website. I’ll definitely check it out.