There will be small and sometimes undetectable signs of success as you declutter your home. Whether you’re working towards a life of minimalism, or you just want to lessen your load a bit, there will be signs of progress and success that may easily go unnoticed. At least in the beginning.
And the reason it’s important for us to take note of these tiny changes, is because the work of decluttering our home is hard, often grueling, and can be filled with mental and emotional strife.
It can be a lonely and self motivated effort to get rid of years worth of accumulated possessions. And so, when we’re in the middle of it, it can be easy to get lost or disheartened. But, you can find small signs of progress in your decluttering – if you know where to look.
As we plug away through drawers, closets and tiny corners, slowly, signs of our hard work start to pop up like the feisty, fearless flowers of spring. Reminding us of the beauty to come. We just need to know where to look, and someone to remind us of our hard work. Let me remind you of all that you have done.
Here are 6 signs of success that you might have missed as you declutter your home:
1. The purchases that you make are no longer made in haste
One of the biggest decluttering feats is the part where we stop acquiring things by whim or impulse. It doesn’t necessary seem like part of the act of decluttering, but if we keep getting more, then we keep cancelling out the fruit of our decluttering labours. So, if you’ve noticed a stronger disdain for the idea of taking unnecessary things into your possession, this is one of the great signs of success as you declutter your home.
It can be hard, especially in the beginning. Because purchases or the excitement that comes from them may be a high that we have enjoyed for years. But if we’re acknowledging the mindset of needing less, we’re doing well, and we’re getting somewhere.
2. You are better at finding things when you need them
It might not be always, but sometimes when someone asks you where something is, perhaps you can tell them the answer with definitive certainty. Where is the 9 volt battery for the smoke detector? You know! As you get to know your home and your possessions better, there is no more mystery. Slowly as you declutter and organize, the fact that all your stuff logically and easefully belongs in a certain place makes finding what you need actually quite fun. Also, the fact that you can physically get to all the spots, makes it easy to find things too. So, if you noticed that you can find things you’re looking for easier, it’s a great sign of success in decluttering your home. And that all your hard work is paying off. Good for you!
3. Your home just seems to work for you
Slowly your home seems to be becoming just what you need. Getting things, doing chores, making dinner, whatever it is, it just seems to flow better than it did before. Where once, making your favorite meal was slowed by digging through cupboards and drawers. And filled with stops and starts as you searched for the spices, or the bowl, or another tool. Now the stuff is just where it needs to be, and it makes the endeavor a bit more fun. And a lot easier. If everything is in its place and we know the place, things just get better and better. And we find ways to do things more and more effectively in our space as we go.
4. You feel a new level of calmness when you come home
When you step into your home from a stressful day out, maybe you can feel an ease. There is a calm that wasn’t always there as you get into the door and feel your home around you. Where there may have been stressful piles of things that were calling for your attention, there may now be a sense of serenity that ‘cluttered you’ was not privy to. As you slowly etch out the ways that your home and possessions are able to work for you, the stress of what you need to get done is unnecessary. It’s been taken care of. Because you have been doing it. Leaving a confidence, a certainty and a well deserved pride for the work that has gotten you here. Take a breath (and a bow). Well done 🙂
5. When people come visit they say, “How are you always so tidy?”
We may be aware that it’s easy to go blind to your clutter. But we might not be as aware that it’s also easy to forget the changes that we’ve made in our decluttering. So, when someone comes to visit, with their fresh eyes, they may just be able to remind us how good our place is looking. Sometimes I forget how much decluttering I’ve done, until my mother comes by and says something about my tidiness. And I am reminded of how far I’ve come. Another part of this is the fact that it’s just so much easier to keep a place tidy with less stuff. So if someone mentions the place is looking tidy, it could be a sign that you are doing well.
6. You feel lighter, and more excited about the future
Once we have purged things that may have caused feelings of guilt and uncertainty, simple things can feel easier. What we have kept has likely been done with intention. And so, what we do have is more likely to inspire and excite us. And what we have chosen to discard, leaves that spec of space that we need to breathe. It leaves that integral bit of room for inspiration, delicious uncertainty and for new ideas. Once we lighten our load, we might feel it within ourselves that there is room to grow and time to change. And there is.
A life of less clutter is worth the effort that it takes. And the intention within the effort isn’t meant to end. I hope for you that you’ll never feel like you’ve done it. Or like you’re done. Because minimalism and decluttering is a practice. It is not a destination. And there is no finished.
Success in minimalism (or in decluttering) is the daily mentality that we carry with us. It’s that little voice of reason that comes up when we suddenly think that we should probably just buy that thing before we’ve had a chance to think it through. It’s that calm within that grows with time, and that love for all the spaces in between.
It is the respect for the things that we have kept. And the quiet ease inside of us, knowing that we have enough. And, knowing that enough is enough.
If we are working to lessen our intake and we’re choosing things with intention and with thoughtfulness, we are doing well. And we are amazing.
About the Author: Lyndsay Allison blogs at lyndsayallison.com on Mindfulness, Minimalism and Simple Living.