7 Easy Steps to Get Rid of Stuff and Breathe Easier
We all have stuff. It’s just what Americans do. We collect stuff. Some of us have more of it than others, and some have a more challenging time controlling that stuff.
Having too much stuff can cause a ton of stress.
There is an efficient way to get rid of all that stress-inducing stuff, a few secrets of which I will share with you here today.
#1 – Identify what room needs to be de-stuffed first.
This is the key. If you look around the house and think, “I need to get rid of ALL this stuff”, you will get so overwhelmed that you will just go watch an episode of “Orange is the New Black” instead.
Choose one room. Any room. If you want to start small, do so. Like the mudroom or the laundry. Or even a dresser drawer. Completing the task of de-stuffing that room or drawer, will make you feel so good that it will make you want to tackle a larger room next.
#2 – Give yourself time to start and finish the project and prioritise it.
This is key. You need to make a date with that room that you won’t break. If you try to do this “when you have time” well, you know. Most likely, it just won’t happen.
When planning your week, choose an hour or two (or more) and put them on your calendar IN RED so you will see it, remember it and not change it. If it’s on your calendar, you will likely complete it!
Also, Salvation Army (and other charities) will pick up stuff from your house for free. So, call the Salvation Army and set up a pick up date with them. If you have a deadline to work around, you will be more likely to stick to your throw away schedule.
#3 – Turn on Spotify and set up your speakers.
Throwing away is way easier when done to music. Get out your favorite playlist, wear some comfy clothes and get ready to get down to it.
#4 – Start in one corner of the room.
This is a my special secret and one that WORKS!
In the chosen corner of the room, garbage bag in hand, throw things away. Things that you aren’t using that are broken, that are expired. Put them in that garbage bag. Things you are still using, and keeping get placed nicely back where they belong.
If you aren’t sure whether or not something needs to be thrown out, consider when the last time was that you touched that thing or even thought about it. If it was over 3 months ago, it’s gone. Acknowledge and be thankful for its role in your life, and then say goodbye.
If you come across something emotionally fraught, just put it back and get to it later. Don’t let it shut down your learning out process.
Work your way around the room, repeating this process over and over. Don’t skip ahead. Do all four sides of the room. You can do them all in one session or spread them out in more manageable chunks.
#5 – Use the middle of the room.
As you throw away the things that are broken and leave the things that aren’t, you will come across things that can be 1. recycled or 2. given to the Salvation Army. Put those thing in the middle of the room, in two piles. When you are done, you can put the recycled stuff at the curb and wait for the Salvation Army to pick up the rest.
NOTE: if this step is overwhelming, dividing things into two piles, skip it and get a giant garbage bag. Put it all in the garbage, and don’t look back.
#6 – Take a minute and look around.
Stand in the doorway of that room. Appreciate how de-stuffed it is. Notice how it makes you feel. Less stressed? Recognize that YOU DID THIS. All by yourself.
Appreciating your hard work is a great way to be inspired to keep it up. I used to keep my dining room clean so that whenever I walked by it, I was reminded of what I could do.
If you can do this, imagine what else you can do….
#7 – Do not buy more stuff.
I know this seems obvious, but it’s what we do. We go to Sam’s Club and think, “Oh, look. This croquet set is so cheap, and summer is coming, and we could play together as a family and….” The reality is that it may get used once and then put away to gather dust.
Consider purchases carefully before making them. You will not only reduce your stress, but you will save yourself money. Money you can use for a massage or something else that will make your life better.
Getting rid of stuff can change your life. De-cluttering your house can de-clutter your mind, freeing it up for way more important things.
Choose what area of your house you would like to start on, set a date, put it to music and throw things away.
Decluttering your house will free you up for bigger things! How great would that feel?
Get in touch with me NOW to get yourself started. You will be glad you did!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.
I’d even advise to spend just 20 minutes starting on the smallest room or area. That first step of action can be the toughest to break past.
There’s a similar approach in “Getting Things Done” by David Allen with respect to getting control of your work and workspace.
Music … what a great suggestion!