Home & Real Estate

Getting Rid of Clutter is Healthy

Our parents always told us to clean our rooms. Organization, cleaning, keeping things in order have long been associated with productivity, being well-mannered, being raised right and so on. So why then is it so hard in adult life to maintain that sense of avoiding clutter? The fact is, humans as a group tend to be packrats. We hang onto all sorts of stuff. Clothes, pictures, music, paper, odd kitsch things we buy on trips and so on. It’s attached to memories, so the pile-on continues year after year. However, like anything that reaches capacity, our homes and closets get stuffed. Then it’s time to clear things out.

Getting Rid of Junk Isn’t As Easy As it Seems

While a good amount of what people realize is no longer valuable can be removed and re-used, some of it is just plain junk. In other cases, it’s so much trouble to move or find a way to re-use things, it just needs to go. Unfortunately, unless someone has their own pickup truck or can borrow one as needed, getting rid of stuff physically is hard. While smaller things can be put in the trash can to be removed by the city weekly, not everything is allowed to go in. Anything that has the potential to be toxic or has chemicals has to be removed correctly. And they exist in all sorts of things; computer motherboards, for example, have mercury and toxic metals, making them hazardous to just throw in the trash when broken.

So, when things become too difficult to get rid of, they get stuck. And that piles up again in our homes. The solution to this large and growing slug of clutter is to bring in experts who can remove things effectively. When clutter gets removed, there is more than just a physical space that is regained; removal also has a mental release, and many homeowners and apartment tenants note a sudden sense of “lightness” when clutter disappears. It’s both therapeutic and physically beneficial to get things organized again in one’s home. Frustration at not finding things reduces, organization helps spend less time looking and more time doing, and a home feels more comfortable versus overwhelming or confusing.

Move Quickly and Decisively

The common advice will be to move slowly so that mistakes aren’t made by getting rid of something that may turn out to be important. In fact, the opposite is better. A rule of thumb is to put anything that hasn’t been used in the last year in a box. After a second year, if it’s still not used and taken out, it’s time for rapid junk removal. Get rid of the box or thing if too big, and move on. It’s now been two years and the item simply has no role in daily life. If it can be sold, liquidate it and use the money for a new experience, savings, a gadget or even a trip. If it can be donated, let someone else have the benefit. But if it is junk, then bring in a service to remove the material decisively and move on.