Hello, Miracle Noodle Fans! It’s Teri, once again. Today I want to talk about something that can distract you from reaching your own health goals. It’s not food, it’s not drink, it’s not even about exercise, but it is something that will distract you and keep you from reaching your best potential. It’s something I am working on currently in my own house.
I’m cleaning up my act.
What do I mean? I mean I am letting go of a ton of garbage. Well, maybe not garbage, but things. These things have been holding me back. You see, my mother held on to all my things from childhood. When I moved back to Minnesota in 2010, she unloaded the stuff on me when I bought a house. Into the attic it went, forgotten about. That is, till my husband and I decided we needed to get rid of clutter everywhere, to clear our minds. For our sanity.
When Jon and I moved in together, we collected a lot of items we thought would be cool to have for decoration, but then we would get distracted and it would get pushed away for later. There are decorations we purchased for our wedding, things we bought for amusement because they were a buck or two, and stuff of our own we just were not willing to part with.
There are mementos and objects from my grandmothers, trinkets from childhood, and the other night we found my Pound Puppy Collection from my 80’s childhood. Remember those? However, we are now in our late 30’s. We are trying to move, clean out, and live a little simpler.
I know I am not the only one with this dilemma. I think to some extent, we are all guilty of putting things out-of-sight to deal with at another time. We tell ourselves we will get to it, but then we don’t. We keep pushing it off. So why is this an issue?
We can’t move forward without being able to let go of the past. Yup. Things are just things. Some items and momentos are healthy, but too much of anything can turn into mental and sometimes physical clutter. So you may be wondering, “what can I do to let go?” Well, I’ll tell you. Here are my tips.
8 Tips to Let Go of Clutter
1. Take it a little bit at a time.
Don’t try and unload or go through all your stuff in one sitting. Try a couple of boxes a night, or space it out so it doesn’t become overwhelming. It can be hard to go through things if there are memories or sentimental feelings attached to them. Heck, sometimes you may want to weed through a box, and then do a second pass to get rid of more from that container. I do that. It helps me let go gradually.
2. Try the “If I haven’t used it in a year, it goes” rule.
Honestly, if you aren’t using it and you don’t see yourself using it within a year, then it’s time to consider getting rid of it.
* Ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?”
If the answer is “no,” it’s time for it to go.
3. Know that things are just things.
That’s right. Things are just things. Things cannot replace people. They may remind us of them, but that’s what’s great about the digital age. We can keep endless photos of people, events, and things even.
Have a hard time giving it up? Maybe take a photo. Then donate or gift the item if it has value to someone who will appreciate it. I know some kids in our family that are going to love some of our collectibles. You have to realize there is no reason to feel guilty of getting rid of things you no longer need, even if it was a gift. This is hard for some. Knowing you are not throwing away the thoughtfulness of the gesture helps.
4. Get a support group.
I am not joking about this. I belong to a minimalist group for local women in our area. We all post things we get rid of and we participate in a monthly challenge. I have been purging so much stuff the last couple of weeks and have been too happy to box up and drop off to various locations to take photos. But, I am doing it. Seeing others doing the same has really helped.
5. Organize a neighborhood event.
My neighbor did this a number of years ago with the intent of getting rid of/trading clothes. It was a potluck, too! It became a great idea for a social gathering. Everyone brought what they were willing to get rid of. What was left over you could take back, or donate locally.
4. Try consignment shops.
Do you have some really nifty goods? Wanna make a buck or two? Try consignment stores. I like this better than having a garage sale because you won’t be tempted to bring it back into your home.
You do the world a favor when you donate. Depending on what organization you prefer – Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, a local thrift store that takes donations, churches, or USAgain. There is somewhere that is willing to take your stuff. Jon and I like USAgain for our clothing items. There are dropboxes in 16 states. For a list of locations, check this site.
I hope this helps you! I think we all feel better when our home is free of clutter. It can be carthratic to let things go. Who knows? You might make space and restructure things for a little zen area for yourself.
Want to talk about it? I’m here! Comment below if you like, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* After writing the article, our copy editor said I had the same sentiment as author Marie Kondo in her book The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. Great minds must think alike! I’ve been using that sentiment for years. Anyhow, check it out by clicking here.
Teri Tenseth Market is a Personal Trainer and holds a diploma in Nutrition. She is also the Social Media Manager for Miracle Noodle. Have a question for Teri? You can find her online on Facebook, Instagram, and at Twitter @fcpchick. Alternatively, she can be reached by email at email@example.com.