Reduce The Clutter - by Kalei
Too much of almost anything complicates. Think about too much stuff, media, food, sun, medicine. The ancient romans knew "Dosis facit venenum." It translates to "It is the dose that makes the poison."
Too much property, too big of a house - you pay more in mortgage and insurance, clean more, spend more time mowing lawns, and you worry more.
If you have too much stuff, you spend more time cleaning, organizing, sorting and searching for it. You probably already spent too much time buying or acquiring it.
If you feel you have too much stuff try identifying your clutter.
A good first step is, to define the meaning of “Valuable”, and in the next step you then can identify things that are of value to you.
Valuable is not identical with “I paid a lot of money for it” or “I might be able to sell it for a lot”. To me value means I interact with it or use it, I like it or love it. Things that have precious memories attached to them, or are just beautiful - and remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder - are valuable. Value does not mean that it was useful, I used to love it, or I might need it in the future. Value happens in the present. Just now. Your definition of valuable may or may not be identical with mine, spend some time thinking about where your definition is the same, and where it differs. Make your definition as simple as possible. I recommend you take a few minutes right now and write it on a piece of paper.
Once you are aware of your initial definition of valuable - often the definition will change or evolve during the de-cluttering process - start sorting. It is great if you have a lot of time, often it is hard to let go of too much at once, but whether you do it fast or slow, de-cluttering brings an incredible relief. Get a few boxes, containers or even plastic bags, if possible label them. One for donating or yard sale (or one of each), one for recycling, maybe one for borrowed items or items you should return, library and stuff to be repaired are other good candidates. Maybe you picked up a lot of stones or seashells that you want to bring back to a beach. Another one that usually works well is an “Undecided” box, for things you are not sure about. Happy sorting :-)
Some pieces that fell under my definition of “Not Valuable” were precious antiques that I was able to sell for good money, some were children’s toys that now bring joy to other kids. I had 6 yard sales, donated 2 pickup loads  and several carloads to charities and libraries. A cactus and succulent collection started a beautiful desert garden at a nearby elementary school. I moved from a 4 bedroom house with a 3 car garage to a one bedroom apartment, while I did use a storage unit during the move I kept reducing and was able to empty the unit within a year.
Drastic moves like this are not for everybody, but any amount of clutter reduction will free up space, externally as well as in your mind. It increases spare time almost instantly, and it can save a lot of money. In my case the savings were substantial: More than 60% of the rent, 80% of the utilities, 2h per day commute time, cleaning time was a fraction of what it was before, things were organized better, so I spent a lot less time searching.
For some people a good approach is to spend 15 minutes or half an hour each day searching for clutter. Or, you might pledge to get rid of 5 or 7 or 10 items per day (putting it into the boxes counts as getting rid of). Or maybe dedicate a weekend to go through all your stuff at once. Or hire a clutter consultant or a space organizer to help you. Everybody is different.
Once a box is full follow through and get rid of it. For a yard sale you have to wait until you have enough stuff, I often recommend against yard sales for first time de-clutterers especially when the clutter clearing is a slower process because the yard sale boxes tend to be clutter themselves. I actually saw people go back to the boxes several times to check if they had put stuff into them that they could still use, and that is very counter-productive to the de-cluttering process.
As boxes and bags of stuff leave your home you will feel lighter yourself and will breathe easier and sleep better.  Just resist the temptation to go out and buy stuff to fill the newly created spaces...
If you like to read more, there are lots of good books available on clutter, go check them out at your local library.
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