When we talk about decluttering, typically we’re referring to material possessions. Too many clothes, an overabundance of craft supplies, more than enough food in the pantry. But there is another way that clutter takes up valuable real estate in our lives and it’s the non-material variety. Mental clutter can be just as draining and detrimental to our well being as it’s physical twin. Doing an edit of all the unneeded thoughts rolling around in our heads can be incredibly freeing.
Expectations Of Perfection
The idea that there is a point at which everything in your home will be perfect is a recipe for disaster. If you think that with enough hard work or the right organizing products, your house will magically look and function flawlessly, you will always be dissatisfied. Our homes are meant to be lived in and trying to maintain perfection is an impossibility. The goal should be having working systems in place that will allow you to live in your home with ease, not to have rooms that are worthy of Instagram. Once you let go of the notion that your home has to look perfect, you’ll be free to think of other things…like planning that get together you’ve been putting off because you thought your house wasn’t good enough.
Comparing Your Home To Others
The expression “comparison is the thief of joy” is one of our favorites because it’s so very true. Has there ever been a time in your life when you were completely satisfied, even happy, with an object until you saw someone had something better? If you’re constantly comparing your home to others, you will continually find fault with your space. Does your sister have an amazing kitchen? Lucky her! That doesn’t mean your smaller, single oven, non-Viking appliance kitchen isn’t good enough. There will always be someone who has more, or better, or shinier things. But if you can let go of wanting what others have and appreciate what is yours, the clutter of envy will disappear leaving more room for gratitude.
Your Possessions Will Bring You Happiness
In a consumer driven society, having more is a deeply ingrained way of life. It’s sometimes difficult to even distinguish the difference between what we want and what we need. But the truth is, attaining material possessions doesn’t bring happiness to our lives. As much as we may try to alleviate our feelings of anxiety or depression by buying new things, owning too much can have the opposite effect. If you can find alternate ways of bringing joy into your life, you won’t be tempted to fill a void with things.
Your Possessions Define You
What we have, or don’t have is not an indication of who we are. It can be so easy to tie our self worth to what we own. The newest phone, the best clothes, the brand name shoes. But trying to keep up with every new thing is exhausting, expensive and can lead to our homes being overfilled with stuff. The opposite can be just as harmful to our mental well being. Not being able to buy “the best” can make you feel unworthy or “less than”. Of course that isn’t true. Letting go of the idea we are only as good as what we own will free up space in our minds to find our true worth.
More Is Better
If enough is good, then more must be better, right? Rarely is this accurate. Too much ice cream will make you sick, too many cocktails will give you a hangover, and too many possessions will own you. If you have to spend your time cleaning, organizing, and maintaining all your things, your time won’t be spent meaningfully. Imagine instead spending time with family and friends, doing some self care or enjoying the great outdoors.
Dealing with our mental clutter is just as important as dealing with our physical clutter. Letting go of unrealistic expectations and not comparing what you have to others will allow you to fully enjoy your life. Take some time to let go off what isn’t serving you…you’ll be so glad you did!