How to Declutter and Bring More Joy into your Life

You know what feels good? Decluttering.

Last night I cleared out 4 large drawers under my Ikea bed and here’s the result (Charley supervises while Namo sleeps peacefully in the background)…

In the pile are 46 items I’m giving away and that does NOT include the tattered clothes I’m throwing out. 46 items I haven’t used in months (and in some cases years) have been energetically and physically clogging up my personal space. Time to make some changes.

The book that taught me how to declutter is Marie Kondo’s international bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s genius and here’s why….

“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.”

The whole point in decluttering, is to be happy.

She encourages us to “Imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn’t this the lifestyle you dreamed of?”

Yes, Marie, it is.

It’s simple and here’s her process…

1. Visual your ideal lifestyle and WHY you want to feel that way

I recently saw the movie Minimalism and it lit a fire under me to get rid of things I don’t need. My motto for 2017 is SIMPLICITY.

For me, simplicity equals less stress and more time to enjoy the things I want to be doing.

It drives me crazy not being able to find things because I have too much clutter to rummage through. It’s an unnecessary stress and costs me valuable time and energy searching for things.

What is your ideal lifestyle? Is it to live in a peaceful environment which allows space for your creativity? Is it to have an organized home so you can spend more time with your family? Decide why it’s important for you to declutter and it will give you the boost of energy to see it through.

2. Gather ALL your clothes.

First, gather all your clothing in the house and put in a pile on the floor. Make sure you have emptied every drawer and closet. Leave no dresser drawer unopened.

3. Pick up each item and ask “Does this Spark Joy?”

If it does, keep it. If it does not, dispose of it. Marie advises, “When you touch a piece of clothing, your body reacts.”

When I picked up each piece I noticed some clothes felt tattered and limp, long past their expiration date. I also had various jeans that didn’t fit yet my ego wanted to hang onto them in the hope that I’d squeeze into them again someday.

However, the feeling of “someday” does not bring me joy, so they got tossed into the donate pile.

By the time I had neatly folded and put away the items to keep, I peered at the pile and realized how much I’d been keeping that doesn’t bring me joy. I had been holding onto things of my past that don’t accurately reflect who I am today. Reality check.

Today I woke up feeling energetically lighter, more spacious, and grateful to be donating items to places that can use them. I’m on a roll and next is the kitchen…

What about you? Are you holding onto stuff that takes up space but doesn’t bring you joy? Have you experienced the elation that comes from decluttering?

I’d love to hear your experience, share in the comments below.

Giddy up, and tidy up,

Devon

2 replies
  1. Diane Dustin
    Diane Dustin says:

    Hi Devon,

    You are absolutely CORRECT … Decluttering is Amazing! Recently, in January, I divested myself of nearly everything I own. I felt like a slave to my belongings, and I was tired of dragging around the anchor of debt (while not a lot, certainly monthly payments that were unnecessary.) I was exhausted from the feeling of feeling tied to a life that was not bringing me any JOY.

    I tried on every single piece of clothing, and if I wasn’t prepared to walk out of the house at that moment while wearing that item I got rid of it. I sold some at consignment and made over $500, I gave some away to friends and family … and got to experience their joy at receiving these gifts. And, the balance went to charity. The consequences of this purge … none so far! Every morning now, it takes me less than a minute to get dressed!

    More than just the clothes …. I rented out my home to a young couple who have practically nothing of their own, and what they do have is typical of two young people just starting out … leftovers from other people and family, or picked up from Goodwill. I asked them if they would be interested in my household stuff and furnishings and they said yes. I went through the entire house and put a price tag to everything (even the TV) … with an option of a complete buyout for a discounted amount. They pounced on the opportunity and bought every last item. I walked away with only those few perfect clothing items, my books (which I cherish), my truck, and a small bag of toiletries. Everything I own now fits in my truck (well, except for my horse & tack, which is at the barn).

    I found a small room for rent in a friends home, for a couple hundred dollars a month. I am banking savings like crazy, and my goal is to have enough cash at the end of 2017 to afford the horse property that I want … so far I’m on track. Every dime I received via this divestiture went to pay off those annoying credit card balances. I now pay only my small rent payment, my truck payment, Insurance and any other absolute essentials. I wear my blinders whenever I go into a store. No more buying just for the sake of spending money, or because I am bored, or because I thought it would make me feel better about myself! I don’t go to the clothing stores … what I have is perfect, and it is enough! I’m so excited to have a plan, to have flexibility, and to have a goal! I don’t believe I have felt this liberated since I was a child!

    Getting back to JOY!

    I look forward to seeing you soon,
    Diane

    Reply
  2. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    LOVE this!! My husband out of town this weekend. I’m adding this to my to-do list. I especially like the “I’m throwing away the jeans that my ego is holding onto hoping to get back in them someday”. Gone! Xo

    Reply

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