Make more room for your life

Has anyone else seen the current Ikea advert? If not check it out here. http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/campaigns/storage_ideas.html#newad

It starts off like a dating advert and slowly you realise that all their possessions are keeping them from one another. Thanks to a range of nifty storage solutions, they find their way back together.

I really like the advert slogan which is ‘Make Room for your Life’. It resonates with me as I think you need to clear the physical and mental clutter that we have all accumulated to really enjoy your life.

Ever since the 50’s we have been consistently bombarded with the message that if we buy a specific product, we will become happier. However, research shows that despite incomes rising, people are less happy now than they were 50 years ago. So the stuff doesn’t seem to be working.

One of my tasks last weekend was to clear out our garage. It symbolised our consumer lifestyle, with empty boxes, discarded appliances where we had upgraded and a whole raft of things that we thought ‘will come in useful one day’.

We cleared a huge amount out, with some for the tip, some for auction and a lot for our local charity shops. It felt good to see the space appearing and to know that we could find the stuff that was important to us.

We still have some way to go, and require a few more hours to get it working as a useful space again, but I definitely feel that we have made good headway. We used the following prompts when considering whether to keep stuff;
·    If we had forgotten we had it and haven’t missed it, do we really need it?
·    We don’t need more than one working toaster/heater/kettle etc. If our one breaks, we can buy another, we don’t need to stockpile as if there is an apocalypse coming.
·    Just because someone bought as a present, doesn’t mean we have to keep it forever.
·    If it’s broken are we really going to fix it? Have we already replaced it or found a work around?
·    There are lots of things that relate to projects that are waiting to be done. So the task for this weekend is to complete some of these jobs and clear some more room.

What areas in your house attract clutter? What steps do you use to get rid of unnecessary clutter.

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4 thoughts on “Make more room for your life

  1. Wow I love your blog!
    I have been clearing out my house now for the past 6 months, I have moved 7 times in the past 10 years. An have realised that if I had less stuff moving house wouldn’t be so stressful!
    I vowed to live a simpler less stressful life, as I suffered severly with stress last year and was off work for months. In my recovery I wrote down what I wanted from my life in bullet points ie- less pressure and stress, people around me that I actually like and want in my life!.. Etc etc. Then I figured a way of achieving this!
    So I moved house (again) to a house opposite where my son goes to school, avoiding the stressful and exspensive 60 minute around drive twice a day.
    I got a job within 5 walking minutes away that paid less but was less stress, an gave me more time to work on my singing career which pays more!
    Next step….I sold my car… I was scared but I did it! I was using it maybe once a week, and needed a holiday so I sold it went on holiday!
    Having a car is expensive and I found the upkeep stressful, I’m not saying ill never buy another one but at this time to simplify my life….its simpler for me to borrow a family members car on the rare occasion that I need one.
    The plan for making my life more simple, therefore less stressful was working……
    Next I deleted people out of my life (mainly digitally) that I didn’t like or that were negative/ bad influence.
    And now I’m continuing to declutter and give away clothes I don’t wear, I’m finding things I forgot I had.
    I think generally I buy stuff cos I have too much stuff and can’t find things!! Ridiculous!
    My aim is to (for example) have 3 black t shirts that I like and when they get tatty buy a new one. As oppose to having 20 that I never wear an can’t find.
    I think when my mission is accomplished it’ll change my life. We all accumulate things we do not need a lot of it is down to commercial holidays, valentines day. Easter. Christmas. Birthday gifts, we don’t want or need. I encourage my son now to have experiences rather than gifts for his birthday/christmas because these gifts bring nothing to his life they just clutter it up!

    • Emma

      Thanks for your comments. I definitely agree that simplifying your life has amazing results. Without so much stuff and daily stresses (commuting, demanding jobs etc) it is much easier to feel contentment in your everyday existence and saves you time and money.

      I am also noticing that I don’t need the big expensive ‘pay offs’ (dinner out, alcohol, holidays) as much, as my general stress levels reduce.
      It is quite a departure from the last 10 years of my working life, but enjoying it so far!

  2. Spent all of Sunday clearing out and organising our kitchen cupboards. Think this may be your influence!!! And The Happiness Project (and yes it did make me very happy-threw away sooo much crap) hooray x

    • That’s awesome Hun. I really like getting to the end of the day and feeling like you have accomplished something. Also, the less crap you have, the less time it takes to look after it and find what you need. Well done you!

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