Hello. Hola. Kon’nichiwa.
I spoke about decluttering with family around recently, and I have promised to offer up some practical advice to making this process successful. If you haven’t already checked out that post, feel welcome to pop on over there and meet my family!
So here are those promised 5 tips!
- Hear other people’s stories.
This was one of the most motivating tricks I used during my decluttering process. This helped me to not feel alone – like I was not the only one experiencing this difficulty. I remembered their stories as I was going through my stuff and I felt encouraged, despite everything that my family was saying to me.
- Find one reason for why you are doing what you are doing.
You are decluttering for a reason. Do you like the idea of a spacious home? Does physical clutter translate to mental clutter in your brain? Whatever the reason, your decluttering journey serves a purpose for you. True decluttering rarely happens out of obligation. Remembering the reason for doing a difficult task, helps you to complete that task. If you are doing something without a clear purpose in mind, you will become easily discouraged.
- Tape that reason to your wall.
Take that reason, and write it on a piece of paper – nice and big. Next, tape the reason to your wall. Place the paper in a location that you will look at frequently as you are purging. This serves as a great physical reminder to yourself of your purpose. You may find that you are less distracted and can more easily make those difficult decisions. Having a physical reminder also can help keep the reminiscing problem in check.
- Play videos while you clean.
This does not work for everyone, so only use this tip if you need to. I have read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and although I agree with some of her points, I disagree with others. Kondo instructs that you should not listen to music or watch television while you clean. This does NOT work for me. At all. I need to have something playing in the background while I clean – I go a little crazy if I don’t. If you are like me, feel free to whip out your Spotify account, just make sure you don’t get distracted.
- Talk about your journey with your family.
Something that helped my process was informing my family of my decision to live a simple life early on in the process. I had explained my journey to them and told them exactly what I planned to do. Although they still caused me some trouble part way through, my throwing out stuff did not surprise them. They weren’t upset because I had already primed them, so to speak. You may actually find that your family does not get in your way at all – wouldn’t that be nice!
Last, but DEFINITELY not the least, learn to reminisce without holding on! This is one of the biggest tips that I can give you (and I guess that makes it 6 tips, not 5!) Learning to appreciate things and not hold onto them can take time. It’s hard to do sometimes, but it’s necessary if you want to accomplish your goal. Appreciate those items, take a photo if you must, and move on. You have a whole future ahead of you with new memories waiting for you anyway!
I really hope this is helpful or encouraging to you! Share your tips on decluttering with family in the comments below! I’d love to hear them!
Good luck to you, where ever you are on your journey!
Also as promised, some photos of sentimental items I decided to part with: