A few years ago, I packed my home up into boxes to move to a new house. We didn’t end up moving, and I was stuck with all my stuff in boxes. At the time, I was very disappointed. But, it turned out to be an important learning opportunity with a positive outcome which enabled me to do something very important.
My disappointment meant I didn’t have the energy to unpack immediately. My head just wasn’t in it. So, I only unpacked what I needed for that week. After that first week, there were special items I missed having around me, so I unpacked those. Within the first month I had unpacked what I really needed, what was very important to me, and nothing more.
I realised I had been harbouring a lot of stuff I thought I needed, wanted, or would be useful one day. But it was all just cluttering my home and my mind. The important outcome of not having all that extra stuff surrounding me was that I had space, both physical and mental, to re-evaluate my life, see what I wanted to do next, and think about how I wanted to live.
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
It seems, when you still have stuff from your past cluttering your home it becomes difficult to see the changes you really want to make. Your stuff holds you back. I recommend clearing out the clutter to make space for the new. Once I had everything out of the way, I began to see how I could make my home’s style a better reflection of who I am now and what I’m aiming for.
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
I don’t expect you to go and pack up your whole house as I did to figure out what’s worth your space and what isn’t (although if you can it works well). I do have a strategy that I think can help you reach the same results, incrementally – pack up a room at a time.
Go into a room and pack everything up. Take this opportunity to clean the room top to bottom, repaint, or make any changes you want to make.
Leave this room overnight or for as long as it takes for you to go in there to do something. Then, unpack only what you need for that task or for a week.
Throughout the first month only unpack the things you need. Leave everything else in the boxes.
After a month, unpack the things you really miss having around you. Be strict about this. You must already have the items in mind to be able to unpack them. Try to stick to the items that are in line with your current mindset and desired style. Don’t rifle through boxes and pull out stuff just because it has a memory attached to it. All your stuff comes with memories or sentimental value, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should keep them forever.
After that first month, anything that remains in boxes you should consider donating, selling, or throwing away.
Move from room to room in this way and, if you are honest and strict with yourself, you should’ve cleared out plenty of clutter. And what’s left will be a carefully curated selection of items that still resonate with you.
What I can guarantee is you’ll have made space both mentally and physically to re-evaluate your needs, plan for the future, and provided yourself with the opportunity to restyle your home in a way that is more fitting with your desired taste and lifestyle.
To further help you declutter, you might want to read famous Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It is jam-packed with quote-worthy motivation and revelations.
Disclaimer: Some of the book links in this post are affiliate links and if you click through them to make a purchase I’ll earn a commission. Whether you decide to buy any of these books using my affiliate links is completely up to you. I am grateful for your support and thank you for reading.