Clear Out the Clutter
by Terri Bonin
Summer is here, and if you haven’t gone into Spring cleaning mode yet where women pull out cleaning supplies and turn the house upside down like the world depends on it, then during these summer holidays it’s time to declutter and clear out all the unnecessary items we tend to accumulate through the year!
It’s a rhythm of life.
But before we dive into the How of Spring Cleaning, let’s talk about WHY it’s an important rhythm, and cover one important step to do BEFORE the dance with the wet vac begins…
A. Ultimately, home is just more comfortable when it’s not cluttered and filthy. Husbands look forward to kicking up their heels in an orderly abode in the evening. That in itself is worth the project. It’s fun to please the hubby. Clean says, “Welcome home, honey! I care about you.”
B. Moms welcome unexpected guests with NO PANIC or embarrassment. Because the house has been deep cleaned.
C. When the dining room is dusted and the glass doors on the china cabinet sparkle, little girls long for tea parties with their mommas. Mentoring opportunities arise in the presence of peace and orderliness. It’s worth the effort.
But before we start…there is ONE THING TO DO FIRST! Get rid of some stuff! Let me remind you that LESS STUFF means LESS CLEANING. Declutter, give away, and sell unneeded items. Be ruthless. Are those 12 porcelain figurines REALLY A BLESSING, or are they really outdated dust catchers?
I find it easier to fluff the house up to presentable, without all the extra bits of wood, hay, and stubble to dust and re-situate. I’ve been purging and trimming our stuff down for a few months now and my honey recently commented that the house seems extra clean to him lately. Being a bit unobservant the inconspicuously missing objects have not alerted my hubs to my daily toss-out routine. I guess those things were not as important as I thought they were for so many years. He simply thinks I’ve turned into a skilled house cleaner…Let’s not tell him.
So de-cluttering makes CLEAN easier to achieve (or at least fake,) but it also lowers bubbling stress levels, since it gives a sense of orderliness on the home front. I’m all for less stress in the home! Aren’t you?
Marketers have convinced us that MORE stuff satisfies and MORE stuff is where contentment hides.
If getting rid of a bunch of your beloved belongings befuddles you, read what Francine Jay says about it in her book, Miss Minimalist:
1) Less stuff = less stress.
The fewer possessions you have, the less you need to worry about maintaining, repairing, insuring, protecting, and paying for them.
2) Less stuff = more freedom.
Possessions are like anchors, tethering us to our houses (to store them), and our jobs (to pay for them). When you don’t have a houseful of stuff, you’re much more mobile and able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
3) Less stuff = more time.
It takes time to plan for, research, and acquire a purchase (from driving around to stores, to surfing the web for consumer reviews). And it takes time to clean maintain, and keep stuff in order once you own it. The less stuff you buy, the more time you have for other (more pleasurable) pursuits.
She lists more and I agree with all ten of her points. I challenge you again this week to scoop off, hide or sell the little accessories scattered around your place. Your husband may not even notice they’re missing. After a while, you can go through any boxes and decide what you want to keep and what you can part with.
Remember, ultimately low stress, beautiful homes tidy easily and juggle as few little pieces as possible. So before you pull out the cleaning supplies, have a GIANT garage sale and lessen the objects that need scrubbing.