Why Decluttering is Worth It: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Living with Less

published Jun 18, 2017
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(Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck)

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting into a decluttering groove, of riding the high of letting go of things, of piling the back of the car high with bulging bags bound for anywhere but the over-full garage. But that’s not the end of it. Once the excitement subsides, you’re left with a space that has, well, space and you’ll begin enjoying the benefits of a life with less.

You’ll have plenty of storage

Having less stuff means an end to, or at least a reduction in, stressing about your lack of storage space. Rather than attempting to eke out every inch of storage and tetris-ing your way into enough space, you’ll enjoy the breathing room bestowed by empty space.

There’s less to clean and organize

Just imagine not having to dust around a bunch of knick-knacks on the shelves (the pictures and stories of why they’re important are archived in a small, flat album instead). And imagine weekend activities un-tethered from the the guilt of not tackling that chaotic guest room closet.

You have the option of down-sizing

If your home is stuffed to the gills and functioning as a storage place as much as an abode, chances are you’ll automatically reason that you simply can’t move. But with a home that serves primarily as your residence and also houses the stuff you need to live, you’ll have the option of downsizing, of freeing up funds for sending kids to college or traveling the world.

It’ll be easier to travel

I recently pared down my wardrobe and I’m actually looking forward to packing for an upcoming trip to CA. Because I only kept clothes I love and feel comfortable in, I don’t have the complicated option of wearing my good jeans only sometimes or “not wearing out” my favorite cardigan. It’s great in daily life and it’ll make choosing clothes to bring a cinch.

You eliminate decision fatigue

Having too much stuff takes so much energy, and not just when it comes to storage and cleaning. Having to choose which item to use when is exhausting. When picking which of four formal dining room table cloths to use for an event, for an example, an inner monologue something like this could ensue: If I use the lace one, anything that’s spilled might get enmeshed in the fabric. And I don’t really know how to clean that table cloth anyway. But the teal one doesn’t go with the decorative napkins I picked up and throws off the entire color scheme. On the other hand, the white one is way too boring and austere. If there’s one, you just pull it out and throw it on the table.

You have more time to focus on what’s important

Freedom from the time and energy it takes to deal with a bunch of stuff gives you not only physical breathing space, but mental and emotional breathing space as well. When I pare down my children’s book collection, I’ll be able to choose from only books we both love for every night time story and I’ll exchange time spent bemoaning the state of the books on the shelves to actually reading. When I don’t have to wrestle to get the ice cream maker out, I actually make ice cream — and keep up a summer tradition with my kids.

Essentially, when you get rid of things, you end up trading things for time and people — and those are at the heart of the very best reasons to do anything.