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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Dawn

De-Clutter Your Life

I was once told "when you've decluttered your life, you're generally ready for a new chapter in life." I couldn't agree more. Last weekend, I spent three days cleaning my room and selling things online. It all started with a romper. I couldn't fit it in my closet and so I started to remove a few dresses that I had for student leadership banquets. Then I moved to scarves, then bags, then I went through my belts. I got very addicted to the rush of selling things online. Anyways, I then started on other things in my room that I could sell. I love organizing, but something about this time was slightly obsessive, I couldn't stop, there was always another drawer I could go through.

All this to say that I eventually stopped cleaning. I had a trash bag of old slippers, broken trinkets, and a lot of stuff. I had the equivalent of three trash bags to sell and donate (sold one and donated two). I had numerous adds on Kijiji and that Facebook page people sell things on. Then I started to think "why did I have so much stuff?", "what did I expect to do with a sequin dress with a chiffon bottom?", "Who really needs 16 lightweight scarfs?".... Then I realized, I haven't had a huge declutter since I started university.

Now I know decluttering can seem daunting. Sometimes overwhelming, but to clean a mess you have to make a bigger one. Living with clutter effects not only your physical surroundings, but it also effects your mental state. Cluttered room, cluttered mind, cluttered spirit. I was surrounded by old ideas, bad relationships, and bad habits that just wanted to creep back into my life. I've started a new chapter and I just couldn't be surrounded by stuff that didn't really have much significance to me. I woke up one morning and said " enough is enough, I need to get rid of this stuff". Life is too short to be living with things that don't serve you anymore.

Here are some tips on how to start decluttering your life and how to actually see it through.

1) You need to be in the right mindset. You will not be able to declutter if you're brain is telling you to keep everything because you may need it someday. You won't need it someday. In your life right now, what do you need to be happy? What in your room makes you happy? Keep those things, don't keep the things you think will be used one day and bring you the same happiness.

2) Start with something you never use anymore. If you haven't used it in a year, it must get the boot. For me, it was banquet dresses. Why on earth I thought I needed a new dress every time there was a semi-formal event is beyond me, but I had accumulated quite the collection. Most weren't even cute anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, save yourself some money and buy second hand, or borrow something from a friend.

3) Go through every drawer. Trust me, there is junk in those drawers and cleaning them out will be easy because most of it will go in the garbage. I still had St.Patricks day beads from four years ago. Just let go of the stuff that really is junky. This stuff can include, but not limited to: anything you got at the dollar store for that one event, stress balls, old slippers, dried out pens, random paper, old class notes, anything that is broken, old boxes for makeup brushes, candy canes, and old cans that held money.

4) This is your own version of "What Not to Wear" Is that shirt falling apart? Do you not fit in it anymore? Has it been hiding in the back of your closet? Do you have multiples of the same thing? Are you afraid that having less will mean you're less successful? Trust me, you don't need 15 pairs of jeans or multiple handbags collecting dust. Simple in-and-out rule, if you want a new something, you must get rid of an old something. If it's something you've owned for many many years and you rocked it at 19, but at 25, its a bit much, yeah, just toss it. It's like my sequin crop top, I am never going to wear it again because it's tacky.

5) Go through things you wouldn't think to go through. This includes and is not limited to: Old costume jewelry, makeup, nail polish, hair care products, makeup travel bags, underwear, face care products, the little samples you get in hotels, towels, and the pantry. All these things will at some point go bad, or they will sit for years before they are used. Go through them and trust me, this is the part that is easy, because you can't use an old bottle of nail polish. Oh and for the love of everything that is good in the world, please don't sell your old makeup online.

6) Keep the stuff you love and not the stuff you like. I was helping someone go through their drawers and I asked, do you love it. Their answer was "I love it" for every single item. If you're decluttering, you already know you don't love everything and you need to get rid of the stuff you really don't love. Is it really love? Or lust? I mean I love my university swag, but I'm not a student anymore and I don't need it in my room. It's in a box in storage now.

7) Make a sell pile. I never thought to sell my old stuff, but man, you can make a little money selling stuff you don't want. It takes a lot of patience and you can't price things really high, but it can work. People are constantly looking for used things, sometimes to sell, or because they don't see the value in buying something new when they can get it almost new, but at half the cost.

8) Make a donate pile. You wont be able to make money off of everything. You can however donate to a good cause, try and think of smaller places that could use a donation more than the bigger chains. Places like the Hospice Boutique are, or the Re-Store with Habitat for Humanity.

9) Give yourself a break. Decluttering can take a lot of energy out of someone. Remember to leave the house and to do something that isn't decluttering for a little bit.

10) Once everything is organized, clean. You will have just dug up so much dust and who knows what else, it's important to wipe everything down. Plus, everything will look super clean and you'll feel incredibly satisfied with what you have just accomplished. It's a form of self-care.

Alright, so there we have it, ways to declutter your life.

Thanks for reading,



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