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Embracing Minimalism: Less Can Be More


If you’re facing a move or just tired of managing your family’s enormous amount of stuff, you can create a plan to help your family move on from under the clutter.

The average weight of items you have in each of the rooms in your home is 1,000 pounds. So, for a four-bedroom home with a kitchen, dining room, family room, living room and extra storage areas, all your belongings could top 8,000 pounds. That’s four tons, or for comparison, around the average weight of an elephant.

The cost of moving that mountain of goods is high, so the more you can downsize, the less it will cost you to move when it comes time to relocate.

Buying stuff is easy, but storing, managing, and clearing it out is the hard part. Having to deal with overflowing drawers, stuffed closets, jammed cabinets, cluttered spaces, and packed garages/basements/attics can lead to anxiety for many. Before you lose your cool, consider some proven methods to make your home more peaceful and less cluttered.

Corral Everything

  • Counters, tables, the floor, and other flat surfaces are not storage areas.

  • If there’s no room for a new item to have a permanent home, reconsider what you’re storing in drawers, closets, cabinets, and other storage areas to make room for it.

  • Don’t just box up old or unused stuff and take it to be stored off-site at a storage rental facility. Once items are boxed up and out of sight, you’re unlikely to use, review or deal with them, resulting in costly monthly storage rental fees.

Curb Purchasing

  • One great rule to institute is for every item brought in (whether it’s a gift or purchase), another item must leave the premises either by selling it, donation to a charity, gifting to another person, or being thrown away.

  • Determine where a new item will live in your house before you purchase it. Every item you don’t buy saves you not only money, but the mental stress of dealing with it. Eliminating purchases also avoids debt if you carry credit card balances.

  • Before you purchase something, investigate whether you can borrow it first. For books, music, and videos, check out your library.

Clear Items Daily

  • Unpack boxes as they’re delivered.

  • Sort through the mail only once and take immediate action on items that require it.

  • Put away groceries and other purchases promptly.

  • Dispose of packaging and bags appropriately and promptly.

Clean Regularly

  • Don’t think of cleaning as a singular event. It should be an ongoing regular task. Your stress level will go down because you’ve stuck with a schedule — vacuum on Tuesday, clean toilets on Wednesday, scrub showers on Thursday, etc.

  • Don’t just make donations of goods to charities around the holidays or end of the year. Go through your belongings with a critical eye regularly and donate smaller amounts more often.

Consider A Professional

  • If the stuff in your home is overwhelming you, consider bringing in a professional organizer. An organizer can address all your belongings, the size of your home, storage possibilities and more.

  • Hiring a cleaning service can also bring you happiness if you save time avoiding chores you don’t want to do or don’t have the time to complete.

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