Decluttering- Less Is More & Tips For A Simpler Life

I have been obsessed with finding out why people are so tied to their stuff. Some of the facts I have learned are mind-blowing to me. Full disclosure- one of my favorite mantras is ‘less is more’. I prefer my home environment to be sparsely filled with things because I prefer space to junky stuff, clutter, and a chaotic environment.

My minimalist lifestyle started the first time I became responsible for cleaning my own home. It took me about a minute to realize the less stuff I have the easier it will be to keep clean. That is all it took to sell me on the idea that less is more!

Voices of the governing Institute report that One out of every 10 Americans rents offsite storage. It has been the fastest-growing segment of the commercial real-estate industry over the past 40 years. The United States now has more than 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently there is 7.3 square feet of self-storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation.

poster reading The average American household contains 300,000 items. on left side is a potted green plant

Overconsumption Creates Clutter in Our Homes and Minds

In a world driven by consumerism and the constant desire for more, it’s easy to find ourselves drowning in a sea of possessions. The consequences of this overconsumption are not confined to our physical spaces but extend to the cluttered recesses of our minds.

I want to report my findings about the interconnected relationship between overconsumption, physical clutter, and the negative impact it can have on our mental well-being.

Daily Mail reports we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items. The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list

If this is not enough reason to declutter your home I don’t know what is!

A Manifestation of Overconsumption

Our homes are meant to be sanctuaries, spaces where we find solace and tranquility. However, the overabundance of possessions can quickly turn this haven into a cluttered environment.

The incessant pursuit of acquiring more stuff, fueled by online shopping and a societal emphasis on material possessions, contributes to the overwhelming presence of physical clutter.

Understanding the Levels of Impact

Researchers from various universities have explored the implications of excessive clutter on both our physical and mental well-being. Studies reveal that a cluttered environment can lead to elevated stress levels and decreased focus. The negative impacts of a clutter problem extend beyond the tangible mess; they seep into the very fabric of our daily lives.

beige backgound and text that read 25% of homeowners can't fit a car inside of their two-car garages per the US dept of Energy

The Negative Impact of Physical Clutter

Living amidst chaos has its consequences. Physical clutter not only creates a disorganized living space but also affects our mental state. The constant visual overload of too much stuff can be overwhelming, leading to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. I can’t focus in this kind of environment.

The inability to find necessary items amid the disorder further exacerbates the negative impact of excessive clutter. How much time are you wasting looking for your keys, phone or a pair of scissors when you need to cut something? This would frustrate me no end.

One Touch Rule

I love the one-touch rule so much that I just have to mention this again! I have all my friends doing this now too and they report the rule is helping a lot.

The one-touch rule is simple. When you use something – put it away immediately upon finishing your task. Need a pair of scissors to cut something? The scissors should live in a dedicated space. Use the scissors, and put the scissors back in their dedicated space immediately upon completion of the task.

This will save you scads of time!

Check out my new free Shift Into Action course I made for all my cluttered friends!

Too Much Stuff!

The rise of online shopping has only intensified our struggle with too much stuff. The convenience of a few clicks to acquire goods has fueled a culture of instant gratification, often resulting in the accumulation of unnecessary items.

When you can’t easily find something do you open up your Amazon app and order another one?

The ease of obtaining material possessions online has led to a surge in the quantity of belongings, contributing significantly to the clutter problem.

Digital Clutter

We are living in the digital age now, and in addition to our physical spaces, we now have another source of clutter.

The overconsumption of digital content, constant notifications, and an influx of information also clutter our digital environment.

The overabundance of data and the need to stay constantly connected can lead to a mental overload akin to the stress induced by physical clutter. I have to silence everything when I at my desk working. The constant distraction would drive me batty!

A great place to start decluttering your digital life is to clean out your inbox. You can do this mindlessly while you are streaming content on the big screen! Other solutions are unsubscribing from unnecessary email lists, and organizing digital files.

Embracing Minimalism

As a countermeasure to the negative impacts of overconsumption and clutter, many individuals are turning to minimalist lifestyles, including me. Embracing minimalism involves a deliberate choice to simplify one’s life by decluttering both physical and mental spaces.

Studies suggest that adopting a minimalist lifestyle can have positive effects on mental well-being, promoting a sense of calm and focus. I can attest to this!

a poster reading 'women will spend eight years of their lives shopping per Daily Mail UK. I also include a snarky comment by me that says "Not this lady!"

Clear the Mind by Shedding Excessive Clutter

Addressing the clutter problem involves more than just organizing physical spaces. It requires a conscious effort to reassess our relationship with material possessions and digital content.

Letting go of unnecessary items, curbing impulsive buying habits, and decluttering our digital lives are essential steps in unburdening not only our physical spaces but also our minds.

The Long-Term Impacts of Excessive Clutter

The long-term impacts of excessive clutter on mental health are profound. Chronic stress, anxiety, and a sense of being overwhelmed can become ingrained in our daily experiences. Recognizing the negative consequences of overconsumption and taking proactive steps to reduce clutter can pave the way for a more mindful and balanced life.

The cluttered spaces we inhabit are not merely a reflection of our physical surroundings but a manifestation of the overconsumption-driven culture we live in.

By acknowledging the negative impacts of excessive clutter on both our physical and mental well-being, we can begin to take intentional steps towards a more minimalist lifestyle, fostering positive effects on our overall happiness and contentment.

The idea of inching toward a minimalist lifestyle goes hand in hand with intentional living. I am a big fan of intentional living and will be writing a lot more about this. For me, intentional living is as simple as deciding I am going to have a good day.

No, I do not feel joyous, happy, and free every minute of every day. Some days are harder than others. Intending to have a great day has me programmed to reaccess when I veer off track. This action keeps me more or less on the track I intend to be on.

a collage of words like balance and spirit and wellness with blue, grey and  black text

Finding Balance

Achieving a balanced relationship with our possessions involves a shift in mindset. Rather than succumbing to the societal pressure of accumulating more, we can find contentment in what we have.

It’s about quality over quantity, cherishing items that truly add value to our lives, and recognizing that the pursuit of happiness doesn’t lie in the accumulation of stuff. What will we do as the landfills continue to explode beyond capacity?

Love what you have instead of resenting the things you do not have.

Mindful Consumption

The solution to the clutter problem lies in adopting a mindset of mindful consumption. This involves thoughtful consideration before making purchases, a reflection on the necessity and long-term value of an item. By curbing impulsive buying habits, we can prevent the influx of unnecessary items into our homes and, consequently, reduce physical clutter.

Make Decluttering a Habit

Engaging in the act of decluttering can be a therapeutic ritual for both our physical and mental spaces. Taking time to assess our belongings, determining what truly adds value to our lives, and parting ways with the excess can bring a sense of liberation.

This process of decluttering not only clears physical space but also alleviates the mental fog that arises from the burden of too much stuff. This is a good time to replace habits that no longer serve you well with habits that work better for you.

recycle, reduce, reuse is shown in the recycle logo -green and tan

Embrace a Sustainable Lifestyle

Beyond individual actions, a shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle can address the root causes of overconsumption.

Supporting businesses with eco-friendly practices, opting for durable and long-lasting items, and participating in the circular economy by recycling and upcycling contribute to a reduction in the overall impacts of clutter on both the environment and our well-being.

The Ripple Effect

As individuals embrace minimalist lifestyles and mindful consumption, the ripple effect extends beyond personal well-being. Societal change can occur when a collective consciousness recognizes the importance of living with intention and purpose.

This shift can lead to a reevaluation of societal values, placing emphasis on experiences, relationships, and well-being over the accumulation of possessions.

A Future of Balance and Harmony

The journey toward a clutter-free life involves a dual commitment—to declutter our physical spaces and declutter our minds.

Through intentional actions, mindful consumption, and the embrace of minimalist principles, we can break free from the cycle of overconsumption, leading to a future where our homes and minds are unburdened by the weight of unnecessary possessions.

Daily life has so many more interesting options than spending time taking care of stuff. Embrace the life-changing magic of tidying up and living with less to simplify your life.

author pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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