I spent the last three months decluttering my home. It made me happier!
I´m still not done decluttering. There are still some drawers left to be decluttered, and my entire home still needs a complete re-evaluation, but I´m getting there.
So what led me to declutter?
Remember from my last post I mentioned about my husband and I wanting to buy an apartment? While my husband was initially uncomfortable with the idea of downsizing, my eyes were fixed on small apartments. With enough persuading, I eventually influenced him to the idea.
However, we didn´t get that tiny apartment beside my husband`s office that I was interested to buy, it didn´t work with the seller. There were two more apartments that we were eyeing – both a little bigger than the first one that we wanted – but they sold like hotcake. We didn´t get them as well.
Yet the idea of downsizing and going less struck me in a really good way. I looked around my rented apartment and realized how badly I needed to declutter. I want to start living with less. I want to go minimal.
The process was overwhelming. Many times I felt frustrated with all the doing that decluttering requires given that I´ve a baby to take care of. My work is often left half undone.
I´m a person who hates leaving a job unfinished, so I was regularly stressed seeing my work lying around while I had to attend to other urgent matters.
But I found inspiration from many motivational videos in Youtube about decluttering, so I kept going. Here are the three things I learned from the experience.
1. Having too much stuff is stressful
Since I had my baby I became regularly stressed. It doesn´t matter if I probably have the easiest baby in the planet, if I get to regularly enjoy a good night sleep since he was two months old, or if I have the most friendly and happy baby, still I was always stressed. I didn´t really know where the stress was coming from, until I figured that it´s from my crowded apartment.
Having another human being join us means having more stuff come in to our flat. The problem was, before my baby came, my flat was already full.
I have plenty of porcelains, lots of jars – big and small, tons of books, and too many home decors.
I have too many clothes, shoes and bags. My huge three-door closet is overflowing, and my husband´s closet is the same. He, too, has too many clothes and shoes.
The problem with having too many stuff is, no matter how you tidy them, they bring that enormous heavy feeling into the room. They suck your energy.
When before I had enough energy to tidy up, now my energy is spent taking care of my baby. So I decided that all the stuff that just sit pretty in my apartment, which take up space but have no prominent use, had to go.
Weeks into my decluttering and even my husband quickly noticed the change. Our flat felt bigger, lighter, cleaner, more organized, and … happier!
It propelled me to declutter more.
2. The less you have, the more you appreciate what you have
This realization still amazes me – the less that I have, the more that I appreciate what I have.
Disclosure: This probably works because I´ve experienced to have too much before I decided to go less. I came from a family which didn´t have much so I always had the longing to have more.
After I removed the many things in our house that we weren´t really using, I started to appreciate the things that were left. These things were consciously chosen to stay according to their usability and value, or if they bring us joy.
You know that saying … if you have too much of a good thing, something pleasant becomes unpleasant because you have too much of it? it´s definitely true!
3. You find joy in simple things.
I have written a lot about contentment and gratefulness on this blog, but if I were to be honest, this is an on-going lesson that I have to re-learn on a daily basis. However, something came out from my decluttering experiment that I wasn´t expecting – I developed gratefulness for everything, like literally everything, even as simple as completing a mundane task.
I find joy in cooking a simple meal. Now I am a wife who used to resent the time I had to spend in the kitchen, so this change is something big.
I find joy in finishing my laundry. I find joy in spending a holiday with my husband and my son at a park without longing/craving for another expensive holiday across the globe or in another country. I focus on the wonderful time that I get to spend with my family. Not everyone has the opportunity.
4. It encourages you to save
Once you decided that you are going to live minimally, it also propels you into frugality. The conscious decisions that you make on what things can stay in your house and what goes will also urge you to consciously decide what things can come in. In fact, it serves as deterrence to accumulating more, which results into savings.
You´re no longer keen on spending money on more stuff because you start to see stuff as clutter. You hated the clutter in your house, right?
Decluttering and going minimalist has made me a frugal wife. Both my husband and I were surprised with how much money we´ve saved as a result. I will delve more on frugality in a separate blog post.
I just wanted to keep things simple, thus I decluttered. But girl, how glad I am that I did. This experiment resulted to more joy, contentment, gratefulness and genuine happiness in my life. Not to mention more savings!
Stay tune on this page for more updates on decluterring (as I extended it to the other aspects in my life) and going minimalist.