So, you might be wondering what clutter (or decluttering) has to do with weight loss. Well, it has a lot to do with it. Weight gain in its simplest form has to do with overeating, but why?
Shouldn’t it be as simple as…eat less you lose weight? If it was that simple, everyone would be a healthy weight.
Losing weight has as much to do with what is going on in our heads as well as what we put in our mouth.
And this is where the clutter comes into the big picture. Clutter and disorganization just get in the way of making the positive changes necessary to get healthy.
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Decluttering Tips for Lean Lifestyle
If you have ever seen the TV show “My 600lb Body”, you will notice that the majority of the bariatric patients profiled in the show live in an overwhelming amount of clutter.
Their homes look completely out of control. And as you can see, that lack of control bleeds into other areas of their life including their health.
Clutter can be paralyzing. You cannot find things. You hang onto things long after they have become useless.
It is this mindset that will keep you from moving forward. It will keep you stuck and no one wants to be in the same spot they were in 5 or 10 years ago.
The hardest thing about changing a cluttered environment can be making decisions about what stays and what goes and not everything can stay or nothing changes.
You can start slow. Once you see how decluttering a small space makes you feel, I am sure you will be anxious to move onto the next space.
Here are 8 tips for decluttering and minimizing:
Take Inventory of What you Own
It is going to be difficult to find things if you don’t know what you have. How often have you not been able to find something you know you have and you go out and buy another one?
Put like items together and all in the same place. If you have duplicates of things and you only need one, consider selling or donating the additional items.
Be careful when purchasing multiples of items. It is one thing if the product will be consumed in a month or two.
Having multiples of consumables that will take more than two months to consume is taking up valuable space and adding to the chaos. Why have multiples when you can buy online and have it delivered within a few days?
Start with One Category
Decluttering can be overwhelming. You can avoid this by starting with one category or small space. Start with a junk drawer or a file cabinet.
A closet is a good place to start. Find something small and get started. See how it makes you feel when it is complete. It may just motivate you to go onto the next space. Even if you do one space each week, you will make progress.
Get your Mind Right
Decluttering and minimizing takes a mindset that is ready for change. Living with less can be empowering, but it takes the strength to want live a leaner and meaner life.
Parting with things can be hard, but doing so will empower you to grow as a person.
I Might Need it One Day
Hanging on to things because you might need it is a big trap. You are likely to end up with a whole bunch of stuff you may never use again.
If you feel you must hang on to it, date it for 6 months in the future. If it has not been needed in 6 months, get rid of it. Hanging on to possessions that have outlived their usefulness, will begin to impact you negatively.
Be Mindful with Keepsake Items
I love this one. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than being able to display cherished memories creatively.
Not only will this step allow you to keep your treasured items, but it will give you a chance to be creative and honor the best times of your life. Have fun with this one.
You still have to be aware that your space is limited and you cannot keep more than you have room for.
CDs, DVDs and Books
Most of these you can actually live without if you choose. The information that is on CDs, DVDs and in books can be stored electronically.
If you like to read from real books, consider getting books from the library or donating them when you have finished reading them.
When was the last time you went through your pantry or refrigerator for that matter? Go through your pantry regularly and check for expired products and dispose of them.
A freezer can be another place that collects foods that can be past its prime. Take inventory and purge every six months to ensure that you don’t have a freezer full of food you did not remember putting there.
Get Rid of Broken Things
You may think you are going to fix it, but if you don’t repair it within a short amount of time are you ever going to fix it?
Basement, garages and spare rooms can easily become filled with things that are meant to be fixed. Don’t let it get the better of ahead of you by not following through. Either have it repaired or throw it out.
Depending on what it is, you may be able to list it online for free. It will save you the time of having to deal with it yourself.
Final Thoughts on Decluttering and Weight Loss
Losing weight and keeping it off not only has to do with what you eat, but it has to do with what goes on in your head.
Stress and other emotions play a big part in how we live the rest of our lives. It all ties back to what we eat, the money we spend, the things we surround ourselves with and we treat ourselves.
It can be overwhelming to get started, but just get started. Begin with one drawer, one table or the corner of a room.
You can have all the fancy storage systems in the work, but unless you get rid of things that have outlived their usefulness, you will soon find yourself back at square one.
If it does not truly bring joy, why have it around? I leave you with a few quotes that bring home the meaning of what it is to enjoy a declutted and simple existence.
“That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
Living with less truly will give you more. Ditch the need for physical things and embrace the experiences of life.