How to Face the Clutter

wooden-box-349703_1280Facing the clutter of your space is never a fun thing to think about but we all have it.  Ask yourself, do you have an attic, basement, or outside storage facility where you currently store things?  If so, when was the last time you accessed the items in it?  When was the last time you actually went to those spaces and inventoried what was on and in the boxes, bags, and shelves?

I know it’s a hard thing to think about, but the reality is we often take items we don’t need and store them.  Ultimately forgetting they even exist because out of sight, out of mind is definitely a true statement.  I encourage you to make a promise and a plan to go through your storage space and really access everything that’s in it.

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • When was the last time I used this item?
  • Do I like this item?
  • Does it meet the lifestyle I have today?
  • Am I storing this for me or someone else?
  • Why am I storing this?

These questions will help you identify items you are keeping unnecessarily.

For those of you who have lived in your home for a long period of time, you will discover things that were from a different lifetime.  For example, are you storing baby items and you have no plans of having another child?  If so, why are you keeping them?  Are the items for someone else? If so, give them to the other person or better yet, ask them if they even want it.

As we discussed in a few of our earlier posts, many times people don’t want the stuff we think they do.  What about the drawings and items from your child’s school days?  You know, the child that is now a man with his own family.  Yes, it’s time to let those drawings from 5th grade go.  Better yet, you can scan them into a book and make a coffee table book out of his/her art.

[See our photobook post here]  Creating Your Photobooks | The Happiness Bucket

That to me is a much better way to honor their childhood art than in a box in your storage area.

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I don’t mean to give you a hard time, but I find it is better to rip the band-aid off than to try to gently take it off…that takes longer and ultimately causes more pain in the end.  So, today commit to tackling your storage area.  I guarantee you will thank me in the end.

Navigating the Storage Facility

Now, for those of you who are storing items in storage facilities that you have to pay for, I encourage you to set a goal of getting to the smallest storage space possible and/or eliminating it altogether.  This will take a little work but you can do it.  In many cases, you are storing items that you don’t need or want, or you are holding onto a dream you had years ago.

If you have a snow shovel and live in Florida, I think you can probably let that item go.  It no longer meets your environment or lifestyle.  It’s ok, sale or donate it.

The key is that often the storage spaces are the easiest to declutter because you have already detached yourself from the items.  It makes it a little easier than with items in the living space of your home.  Start with just one box and begin to really review what is in it.  I promise you it won’t be as hard as you think it is.

For the items that you end up keeping, make sure to inventory them and clearly label your box.  Also, write the date of the box and commit to reviewing the items again in 6 months to a year.  This will allow you to regularly review the items to see if they should be kept.

Check out my resource library for further assistance in getting rid of the clutter.

About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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