This weekend the Rustic Walks household settled into our new apartment. We moved from our home of three years to a new place just down the street. It was a whirlwind of packing and schlepping, but we made it across the finish line. There’s one thing we can say with absolute certainty: decluttering was the best thing we did for ourselves this year.
We went into 2016 knowing we would be moving, so we took every opportunity to get rid of as much clutter as possible. We cleaned out our closet, threw packing parties just for fun, and thought hard about what we truly needed for our new home.
If we hadn’t rid ourselves of three years of clutter, this move would have been a nightmare. We would have boxed up electronics, clothing, and kitchen gadgets that we never use. Our fresh start would have been weighed down by the excess with which we were burdened.
4 Reasons Decluttering Was the Best Decision:
#1: Less clutter = Less storage
The more things you own, the more storage you need. You may think the clutter is contained in plastic bins and closet organizers, but it’s just waiting to take over your home. Before you know it, you’re packing up knickknacks that haven’t seen the light of day for years. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a total lie. It’s better to confront the clutter head on, and often, to keep it under control.
The more things you own, the more boxes you need when the time comes to move. Only so much can fit into one moving box. Those super-sized wardrobe boxes can’t help when your closet is overflowing. All the boxes in the world can’t tackle your messy basement. Save your sanity by requiring less boxes in the first place!
#2: Decide what to discard, to replace, and to stock up
The best way to see what you have, and to figure out what you need, is to pack everything away. This is the logic behind the Packing Party, and boy, does it work!
We tossed items that were worn out and unnecessary. We made a list of things we needed to replace. As our shelves grew bare and our donation bags piled up, we realized that we held onto a lot of things that we didn’t need anymore. Decluttering forced us to inventory our possessions. Now we know what we can expect to buy for our new apartment. There’s no reason to keep things just in case anymore.
#3: Own exactly what you need
Our new place has 300% more storage space, but we’re struggling to fill it all. We have so many cabinets, but nothing to put in them! #minimalistwins
Are we going to find random chachkies to fill in the empty space? Of course not! We’re fine with leaving drawers half empty and spreading our pantry items across multiple cabinets. It means that we have everything we need, and nothing more.
That’s also why we didn’t balk at downsizing from our old apartment. Sure, we had to donate some furniture to make our belongings fit. We had to make tough choices about our priorities and what items fit our needs.
Donating all the furniture that won’t fit in our new apartment today. I’ll miss our dining room table 🙁
— Ms. Rustic Walks (@RusticWalks) October 26, 2016
But if we could part with a few spare pieces for this move, did we even need it in the first place? We were holding onto old items that we thought we had to keep. But why keep a beat up dining table if our kitchen island will work just as well? Right now, that dining table doesn’t make sense for our living situation. If it doesn’t fit now, it’s okay to let it go. Eventually we’ll move somewhere that can accommodate a dining table, and we can get one that we will love for years to come.
#4: Everything is WAY less stressful
There are two life events that cause the most stress: starting a new job, and moving into a new home. Boxing up your belongings is almost as bad as filing your taxes. We avoid doing it until the last possible minute.
Because we culled our closet three times over, there was less stuff for us to pack. We finished packing in one weekend rather than an entire month. Our movers were able to load the moving truck in one hour. When we got to our new home, we unpacked everything the same day. We could enjoy our new home instead of digging out from under a pile of boxes. It was glorious!
Do yourself a favor and make moving as easy as possible. You’ll thank yourself when you aren’t stuck hauling moving boxes for hours on end.
Decluttering is Worth the Effort
Many people are afraid to start decluttering. They think it will be too difficult to let go of things. And it is hard – there’s no denying that fact. But it’s more difficult to carry the burden of excess. Our life is less stressful, less wasteful, and more fulfilling because we confronted our clutter to make this transition easier.