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Too Much Junk? Pretend You’re Moving

We live in a world where we’re tempted every day to fill our homes with junk—more clothes, books, gadgets, and anything else that strikes our fancy.

I used have a bad habit of buying stuff I didn’t really need, and I had a closet full of clothes I rarely wore. And I would fill my office with scrapbook supplies, craft projects, and magazines, even though I never had much time for my hobbies.

But all that hoarding stopped a few years ago when I discovered a way to resist the urge to fill my home with junk and clutter—pretend you’re moving!

Chris and I moved 6 times in 4 years, and we never EVER want to move again. Ya hear that, universe?

Because we’ve moved back and forth all over the US, we’ve gotten pretty good at packing up our worldly possessions.

While moving is always exciting, I’ve noticed a mindset shift that happened for me during our move from Chicago to San Francisco back in 2011.

Since we were moving from a large suburban home to a tiny apartment one-forth the size, we had to be very strategic with what we kept and what we left behind.

You can ditch your clutter and downsize your overstuffed life if you simply pretend you’re moving.

Look at everything in your home and ask yourself, “Would I take this thing with me if I moved?”

This strategy helped me get rid of tons of so-so things like clothes that were just OK, old paperwork and files, and lots of packaging. We took all our DVDs out of their plastic cases and slipped the disks into clear sleeves in binders.

We also digitized all our music and recycled the CDs and cases. You wouldn’t believe how much space that alone created!

As we paired down our possessions, I could feel this weight being lifted off me. I didn’t realize how that extra clutter was filling up my life. It felt like I could breathe again.

When I’m shopping, I really evaluate whether I need something or if it will just become clutter. If I decide I wouldn’t take it with me during a move, it stays at the store.

Now that we live in Orlando, Florida (and will never EVER move again!), we have another large suburban home. However, because we’ve done so much downsizing, we have 2 rooms that are completely empty and little furniture in the rest of the house.

My good friend Heather, who is also my event coordinator/personal chef/yoga instructor, said in her sweet way that our home looked “sparse.”

Well, maybe it’s a little empty, haha! But at least I know anything we buy in the future won’t have to be hauled across the country.

How do you resist filling your house with junk and clutter?

In the comments below, share your best clutter busting tips.

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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