I took another car-full of stuff to Goodwill and the dump today. As usual, it gave me another little “downsizing high.” I enjoy the realization that I am another car load closer to being able to move from this big house. Do you get a rush from freeing yourself from stuff?
Most people feel energized and satisfied when they organize their stuff. So do I. For a down-sizer, organizing is a completely different concept and mostly ineffective. Decluttering feels better.
The key is that organizing your stuff is temporary. Decluttering is permanent.
Think about it. How many times have you organized your garage, your work room, your closet, or even your attic? I will bet it is more than once. That’s because you are constantly putting more stuff in those spaces. You are also moving the unimportant stuff around so that you can find something that you really need. When that happens, you become less organized – again.
Compared to organizing, decluttering provides multiple benefits.
Decluttering saves you time because after the stuff is gone, you don’t have to organize it anymore.
Decluttering saves you space. Open spaces in your life can be calming and provide a feeling of freedom. When your home is decluttered, you may realize that you are paying for space you don’t need. That is highly motivating for a potential down-sizer.
Decluttering saves you money, in several ways. Many people – like me – have purchased new stuff, e.g., shelving or containers, for the sole purpose of organizing the old stuff. That’s not money-smart. Also, after you have entered the decluttering mode and appreciated the emotional benefits it provides, you are less likely to buy more stuff you don’t need. Less shopping means less spending. You may even save yourself the embarrassment of buying something you already own because you forgot that the older version was buried somewhere in all of your other stuff. That has happened to me on several occasions.
Decluttering can benefit others. Your unused stuff could be valuable to someone less fortunate.
I don’t think there is a downside to decluttering. If there is, I haven’t discovered it.
So – are you a declutterer or an organizer?