Clutter is a common problem plaguing families today. In fact, it is so much of a problem that many households can't use their garages because they're so full of junk. Still others rent storage units to hold their ever-growing boxes of stuff. Sound familiar? Some families, however, are finding out that less is more. Less junk means more time, more enjoyment and more peace. If you're thinking about decluttering your home, motivate yourself with this list of four ways decluttering will make your family happier.
Decluttering helps you appreciate what you have.
When you have less stuff, you tend to appreciate what you have so much more. This is true even for children. Some children have so many toys that it's not unusual to find toys that have never been played with more than once or twice. Rather than spending quality time playing with a single toy, children toss one, then another, then another every few minutes looking for something to hold their interest.
Psychologists say that the problem is worse with toys that predetermine play, that is, toys that can only serve a single function. Blocks, for instance, can be turned into a fort, a house, or a ramp for racecars, but a toy soldier will likely only be assigned to a soldier role. Fewer toys that serve many purposes can help you and your child reduce clutter. And if you give your child only a few to choose from and rotate the rest every few weeks, you'll find that the children play with the toys longer and in more creative ways.
The same is true for adults, too. When you have a closet full of clothes, for example, you have a hard time deciding what to wear for work. If you narrow down your closet to a handful of classic pieces that mix and match well with each other, you'll be able to grab an outfit in a couple of minutes, knowing that you'll look put together and professional.
Decluttering is less work for everyone.
Junk removal is challenging enough some days, but cleaning up after kids is all the more difficult. And when your home is cluttered with too many belongings, it seems like a battle that you just can't win. Clutter makes its way onto the tables, countertops, floors and every other surface in your home. Rather than enjoying your time together as a family, you spend much of your day going from room to room, picking up toys, clothes and paper that isn't where it ought to be.
Getting rid of clutter makes cleaning and organizing easier for everyone. Less stuff in the closets, toy box, or junk drawers means less stuff that can spill over into other areas of your lives. Both you and your children will appreciate the fact that getting rid of your junk means less time spent on chores and more time spent on fun activities.
Decluttering makes it possible to have guests over without being embarrassed.
Have you ever been mortified when a friend or relative stopped by without notice? Were you kicking toys out of the way and trying to hide your teetering pile of junk mail as you let your guests in the door?
Clutter is embarrassing, and not just because your friends know you have a messy house. Clutter affects how you see yourself. It leads people to feel stressed, helpless and overwhelmed—that's not exactly how you want people to see you, is it? By getting rid of your mess, you can feel more confident in yourself and in having guests in your home.
Decluttering helps you focus on what's important.
It's easy to lose yourself in your stuff. Too many material possessions make it difficult to determine which items hold more value. Decluttering forces you evaluate every item you have in your home as you decide if it truly deserves a space there. Each family member should be responsible for evaluating his or her own stuff.
Sometimes people develop sentimental attachments to objects that remind them of another person or a pleasant memory. Keep only the most important objects, taking pictures of the rest to preserve their memory. If you don't use it, don't need it, or don't want it, toss it out. It's an excellent way to help your children learn which items hold more value according to how much their toys are used.
If decluttering your home seems overwhelming, start small. Begin in one room and work your way from there. If even one room is daunting, start with a corner. The more junk you get rid of, the lighter and happier you'll feel. Make it fun for the kids by turning it into a competition. The child who gets rid of 15 items the fastest gets to choose the next movie for movie night!