Real Zen Living – Decluttering Your Home

Zen Quality

If you are finding that your home is becoming more difficult to relax in, it might not just be the screaming kids or the long hours at work. For many of us living in this highly consumerist society, it becomes easy to overcomplicate our living spaces with more and more things.

These “things” are meant to help us accomplish more, be better multi-taskers, or create a kid or pet-friendly environment. Unfortunately, over time, we become overwhelmed: too many toys, electronics, clothes, shoes, and the list goes on. It’s difficult to relax when you lay on the sofa only to find you’re on top of toys, three remotes, and a random shoe.

So what can you do to stop the madness? There are several recommended methods for cleaning, organizing, and keeping your home maintained in its organized state, but generally, most of us find ourselves relapsing pretty quickly. Is there a way to keep the momentum so we can enjoy our homes as the sanctuaries they should be? Yes! Here are some hints to help you get there.

Throw one thing away every day

Once you have gotten your home to the state that soothes you, keep things rolling in the right direction by throwing away one thing every day. If you can’t seem to find something to throw away, pick something to give away. These could be any items, but no cheating—don’t just pick something you were planning on throwing in the trashcan anyway—head into the closets, the junk drawers, the kids’ bureaus, the garage, the attic, and the basement. If you can commit to throwing one thing away every day, you will begin to notice that the time it takes to become “re-cluttered” will begin to spread further and further apart.

A place for everything and everything in its place

This old saying has staying power for a reason: it works. If you set aside a place for everything in your home, you will always know where to put it back when you’re done using it. If something does not have a home, it quickly becomes that object that bounces from room to room. Whatever this object is can never be found when it is needed—so not only is it cluttering a space it does not belong, it is also of no use to you and your family when the time comes to use it.

You can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the things you own and significantly lower your stress by creating a place for everything to “live”—lowering the number of times you have to hear someone scream, “Where is the (fill in the blank)!” definitely helps lower your blood pressure and create a calmer environment for everyone.

Teach your kids to give away their toys and clothes

Once a child is about three years old, they can begin to understand what it means to give something away. You don’t want to stress them out by forcing them to give away cherished items. Sitting down with them once every three to six months to go through toys, books, and clothes they have outgrown is a healthy learning experience. The added benefit is that also helps  to declutter your house. This instills a great cleaning habit in a child from a young age—by the time they are teenagers, perhaps they won’t be saddled with the bad habit of collecting items they don’t need—this will surely add to your new Zen outlook on organization!

Joseph Barrientos

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