Photo of Katelyn holding a broom.

Living Clutter-Free

Accumulating a lifetime of stuff in our attic hasn’t happened to us yet — moving every couple years has kept the mass accumulation of stuff at bay. But as military spouses know, it takes a lot of work to stay decluttered. Forced purges from PCS’s help us keep a lighter load. Keeping our houses clean and organized isn’t in any regulation, but it sure helps when it comes down to PCS time. What if having a clean and decluttered house has other positive effects, too? With spring cleaning season upon us, let’s motivate each other and learn a few things about organizing and decluttering!

Studies suggest that our environment affects us more than we realize. A dirty, cluttered, disorganized space can have an influence on stress, depression and anxiety. If you think about it, it makes sense. The less stuff I have crowding up my space the more I feel in control. It’s easier to stay on top of picking up the house with less ‘stuff’ haunting my brain. Recently, we stayed with some friends, and their house was really disorganized and messy. No judgement, their lives are so crazy busy, and that doesn’t bother them. But I did notice it had a huge effect on me and my stress level. My house is by no means a cleanliness standard, and floors are covered in stuff almost every night if we don’t stay on top of it every single day. But days when the house is more organized, I find that I’m able to get a lot more done and I feel calmer. So, for the sake of our sanity let’s look at three tips for spring-cleaning and decluttering.

  1. Big wins first. When I’m faced with a seemingly impossible task, or at least a task I’m not looking forward to, I need a big win at the beginning to keep motivated. For me, I always start in the kitchen. For you, it could be your bedroom or bathroom. Start with the space that gives you the most peace.
  2. Turn on the tunes and the timer. Turning on music while faced with a major chore always helps put me in a better state of mind to tackle the task. It also always gives me a boost of energy. Get your family involved, let everyone pick a few of their favorite songs so you can all benefit from the extra positive energy. Also, when we put on a timer it magically motivates my kids to do what I always knew they could do within a certain time frame. It also gives everyone a light at the end of the tunnel.
  3. The purge. Decluttering is so much easier when you prioritize purging. Sometimes purging is the hardest part of decluttering because emotions can be tied up into our things. But having less makes you feel lighter. If I haven’t used something in a year or more, then usually I get rid of it. Motivating yourself by getting rid of enough stuff to have a garage sale can be beneficial when you consider the money you could possibly make too. The less you have the easier it is to organize. And as a military spouse, you know that every house has different storage capabilities or closet space. So, getting rid of it before a move, especially one where you’re downsizing will only be benefiting you in the long run.

While cleaning and decluttering might not be super fun, it’s beneficial in multiple ways. I’d love to hear what your favorite tips are, too!

photo of Katelyn Nixon
Written By Katelyn Nixon
Army Spouse

Katelyn has been a military spouse for six years and enjoys the adventurous lifestyle. To share her experiences with other spouses, she started a blog in 2018.

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