Ever been on a holiday? You pack your bags, and there's only a limited amount that you can fit into that bag.
You have to plan, put a little bit of thought into what you will really need, and be ruthless in cutting out anything that isn't absolutely essential.
You find out that you can cope just fine with a third of what you originally thought you would need.
What does this have to do with decluttering?
Packing light might seem like an inconvenience, but isn't it funny how when you have only a few things you are carrying with you, that you seem to make do and get along just fine? In fact, you are more than just fine. You are efficient. Everything you need is in one place, it's easy to find, it takes you seconds to get it, and you can then just get on with your day.
Because you are spending less time organising your things, sorting through your things trying to find something, cleaning your things, or figuring out which new things you want to add to your home... instead you just have what you need. This requires very little maintenance, capital, and takes up very little time.
You spend your Sunday exploring where you are. Eating delicious food. Starting up conversations. Trying new things. Taking notice of what is around you.
Is this realistic?
Of course living like this just isn't feasible for most of us long term, but could there be a middle ground? What if you were to cut down the things in your house by half. How to you think you would feel with more space to move around in? How much faster would you be able to find things? How much time would you save?
Does that thought make you uncomfortable?
The difficulty with decluttering for many of us is that the things that we are keeping are actually valuable to us, or serve an important function, but maybe just not today. If you've loved the idea of decluttering but haven't been able to bring yourself to just throw away or donate perfectly good belongings, a self storage spca could be just what you need.
How to declutter without throwing valuable things away...
The key is to take inventory of what you have, how often it gets used, and the real value of it. Anything that doesn't hold sentimental value, doesn't really serve a purpose, or could be stored electronically (such as old paperwork) can be safely ditched or donated.
The other items you own that you want to keep for the memories associated with them, or that are useful but may only be used every few months, or could be needed in the future but not now are perfect candidates for self storage.
Keep detailed records of what you have in storage for future reference, store items that you will be needing to access towards the front of the storage unit, and find a facility that is either close by or easy for you to access.
You have the reassurance of knowing you haven't needlessly thrown things away, yet the breathing space at home to live like a minimalist. Plus, self storage is a lot more affordable than you might think, as you can choose spaces that are just right for the amount of belongings you need to store.
Unlike that spare room you are paying rent for... that is used for storage.
But I don't really know self storage works!
If you want to find out more about how self storage works you can read our article "Got storage problems?"
Or you can check out our storage space estimator here >>