by Blake Herzog
Decluttering” has become the “it” thing to do at your home. Marie Kondo became the face of the movement after she published The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2014, but there were multitudes of articles and books urging us to do so for years before that, as minimalism became the to-do design aesthetic.
Organizing or disposing of excess belongings is good for both your home and the people living in it, which is why the books and articles continue to appear. American consumers still tend to buy a lot of stuff, but the call of the uncluttered home and hoarding reality shows continue to coax us back.
The fact is decluttering is an ongoing process. Here are some of the reasons to keep at it instead of going through collect-and-bust cycles.
CLEANING IS A BREEZE
It’s much easier to see what needs to be dusted off or scrubbed down when there’s less clutter to block your view, collecting dust and grime in the process. Having more stuff than you have time to pick up or care for properly becomes stressful; just ask your kids who are expected to pick up their room every day but have too many toys and books to manage. Less stuff is also the key to having a home that looks tidy all the time so the thought of someone else coming in doesn’t induce panic.
LEARN WHAT YOU NEED
Going through your belongings gives you a chance to look at how many duplicates you have, what never even made it out of the box, the things you can’t even remember buying, and what’s far too old to be functional anymore. You also learn what you don’t need. Shopping becomes a mission to carry out instead of a pastime, and you come out of it with a lot more cash left in your account.
You also get a chance to dig out your collectibles and mementos and decide which you truly want to organize and hold onto, versus others that don’t spark as much happiness as you expected them to and probably need to go.
HELP YOURSELF AND OTHERS
You’ll be surprised how much of your clutter may actually have value for someone else. Those fancy clothes you’ll never wear again, the jewelry that isn’t quite your style, the outdated but functional electronics — they’re likely to be snapped up on Craigslist or from a local newspaper ad. Or you could donate them to any number of nonprofits supporting people and families in need.