Committing to live a clutter-free life means you are committing to remove the chaos from everyday tasks. If you have ever felt like there just wasn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your list, then you can probably benefit from decluttering. Davonne Parks, the author of Chaos to Clutter-Free, asks, “Have you ever wondered how many hours of your life you’ve spent looking for lost stuff?” When you think about all the time you waste looking for things in your home, you start to realize how much time you could have for more fruitful activities when you know what you have and where it is.
Davonne is an organizational decluttering junkie living in the beautiful hills of northeastern Kentucky. A homeschool mom of two girls, she spends much of her free time helping others get rid of clutter. And she has offered to share some of her wisdom with our readers so that you too can start enjoying a clutter-free life.
The 3 Fundamentals of a Clutter-Free Life
1. Less is More
“As you declutter, remember that the less there is, the less there is to clean. And, the less stuff there is, the more usable space you will have,” Davonne explains. “Decluttering isn’t just time spent; it’s a time investment. This investment will make a difference later when you are spending less time looking for lost items or putting out clutter-fires every day.”
“After decluttering my entire house, I was shocked to discover that even though I spent far less time cleaning than I ever had before, my home stayed cleaner than it had ever been.” –Davonne Parks, author of Chao to Clutter-Free and www.davonneparks.com
When you make a conscious shift to invest your time and money in experiences over material things, some experts say, you will truly find happiness. While many millennials embrace this philosophy, it can be a much harder change for older generations. The Great Depression is often blamed for influencing generations of people who can’t let go of stuff. When you grow up with next to nothing, you tend to place a higher value on material things once you acquire them. This depression-era mindset can be easy to understand, but hard to cope with. Ask anyone who has had to clean out the home of an older relative who was, as they say, a pack-rat. Ultimately, it can cost more in time and money to hold on to items that don’t add much value to our everyday lives, so when it comes to clutter, less is definitely more. According to Davonne, “The less stuff we have, the more special each item becomes.”
2. Decluttering is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Davonne advises: “Don’t burn yourself out. You still have dinner to cook, laundry to fold, and myriad other responsibilities. If you plan so much decluttering that you crash and burn after two days, you’re sabotaging yourself and your home. Pace yourself.” Organization experts agree that it is best to start with small projects that feel big. “If you’re new to decluttering, do not even try to accomplish an entire room at once!” says Davonne. “You’ll likely pull everything out, have a huge mess, then wander away feeling entirely overwhelmed and defeated.” Start with a junk drawer, a counter top or stack of papers. Once you’ve conquered small areas of clutter, decluttering an entire room like a bedroom or a kitchen won’t be so daunting.
3. Perfection is Not the Goal
No one is perfect. Say it out loud: No one is perfect.
The goal of a clutter-free life is to create more opportunity to enjoy your home and to spend time on the things that really matter. If you focus solely on perfection, you will stress yourself out and struggle to find time for anything other than decluttering! “Remember that even if you can’t do everything, you can do something,” says Davonne. “It only takes five minutes to unload the dishwasher and two minutes to fold blankets in the living room. Every little bit will help the house to stay under control until you can do a more thorough job.”
Once you’ve made some progress, don’t fall back into old ways. A final piece of advice from Davonne: “Make a commitment to yourself that once an area is decluttered, it will no longer become storage space for stuff you don’t know where to put. For example, after you clean out the entry closet, you can’t come across a broken item in the entertainment center and move it to the entry closet—that’s not decluttering; that’s simply rearranging junk!”
Now that you understand the basic principles of decluttering, you can begin to make small improvements towards a clutter-free life. If you’re looking for more advice to get you there be sure to check out Davonne’s e-books and our ridiculously thorough guide on how to declutter your home.
Enter the “Chaos to Clutter-Free” GIVEAWAY!
We are excited to have the opportunity to give away 5 copies of Davonne’s e-book, Chaos to Clutter-Free, which has more of the sage advice we shared above. There are 4 different ways you can enter below.
All entries must be received by 12:00am EST on May 22, 2015. We will notify the winners via email by 5:00pm EST on May 22, 2015. UPDATE: This giveaway has ended.
For those who would simply like to purchase Chaos to Clutter-Free at a 50% discount, you can take advantage of Davonne’s Memorial Day sale! Visit: http://www.e-junkie.com/227358/product/505220.php, and enter the discount code: DECLUTTER2015. The sale ends Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 11:59pm EST.