Why have a post on decluttering in a blog about having fun with kids? The main reason is this:
Stuff causes stress. We all know this instinctively – we go away to a place with big, open, clear rooms and sweeping lawns and immediately feel more relaxed. Why, then, do we feel the need to have so much stuff in our homes?
I believe that it’s because of how difficult it is to part with possessions once you have them. I don’t want to downplay this – it really is difficult. My husband and I have been regularly getting rid of possessions for the last 5 years and we still find it difficult (although my easier that it was). However, I think it’s beneficial enough to your life write about doing it anyway. 🙂
For tips on how to declutter your home and click here. For now, I’m going to talk more about the benefits of living a more minimalist life.
It makes it clearer what’s important in life
Once you remove the distraction of excess possessions you can focus on the things that are really important: treasured possessions and people.
Imagine a life with only the things you really love and the people who are important to you around you. That’s the aim of decluttering.
It’s easier to pack for travel
If you find it hard to pack you’re not alone, but you can make it easier. If you have fewer possessions it’s much easier to sort out what you really need with you.
It’s like being in a fancy restaraunt where you only have a choice of a few dishes. It’s usually pretty easy to pick, and you’re happy with your choice because you know it’s going to be good.
This goes for clothes, equipment, toys, shoes and anything else you can think of. Packing should be like choosing from a menu in a good restaraunt – quick, easy and satisfying. You should be able to look at your possessions and quickly filter out what you need for the type of holiday you’re taking.
It helps you focus on your children’s current developmental needs
Living in a 1 bedroom flat with 2 kids, we don’t really have a choice – we simply don’t have room for lots of toys. However, even if we did I would try and keep the same amount of toys as I do now because I like the ease of monitoring my son’s developmental progress through the toys that we have and how he plays with them.
Ever been at someone’s house who has tonnes and tonnes of toys, but whose children still seem bored? Yep, we all have.
Children get bored of an grow out of toys really quickly. Yes, it can be tough to get rid of toys that have emotional attachment, but is it really worth keeping a whole bookcase full of things that never get used anymore?
Keeping too many toys is dangerous because it tempts you to expect them to just ‘go play’, when really we should be taking them out to the park, museum or creating social engagements for them. A few toys that your kids are interested in are a good thing to keep them entertained in the house, but too many are a problem.
Too much clutter means the gems get lost
And I’m not just taking about the possessions you find in the attic that end up on the antiques roadshow.
Having too many toys means that the good ones ignored. Once I decided that my toddler had too many toys and cut them down to about a third. I didn’t just stick with the toys he currently played with – I chose the ones I thought he might be interested in now. When he came home he immediately started playing with toys and books that he’d previously been ignoring.
If you don’t want to get rid of toys, then it’s ok to pack away a set to circulate back in later. Just be sure they will get used in the near future. Try as you might you will get duds – toys that were gifts that just aren’t very good, toys that you love but your kids hate or toys that your children have just grown out of. These toys should go.
A clean and clear home is much easier to airbnb
Airbnb isn’t for everyone, but if you can make it work then it drastically cuts the cost of your holidays. We often find that our flights and a good portion of our accommodation are paid for by airbnb. It’s one of the reasons we manage to go away so much.
However, to airbnb you really do need your space to be clean and clear. Partly because you won’t get the necessary reviews and bookings otherwise, but also because you need to be able to pack away your possessions so that renters won’t touch them.
When we first airbnb’d our flat we took a car full of stuff to my parents. After this we decided that it was so annoying to do that that we did a major cull of our possessions. I would say we got rid of 75% of the contents of our flat. And never regretted it.
Now we can easily pack possessions away into cupboards and have one lockable cabinet that we put anything we particularly care about in.
It generally takes us a few hours to get our flat ready for airbnb, plus a clean. Well worth it to make the cost of your airfare back!
We’d love to hear your decluttering stories – comment below to share!