In the past several years, the concept of “decluttering” has benefitted from a massive surge in popularity. Gurus and experts in a range of disciplines have enumerated the advantages of decluttering, from creating more space in your house to producing psychological benefits.
Most of us have at least some experience decluttering a home, whether we’ve bought into modern philosophies on the subject or not; after years of accumulation, you have to get rid of items you no longer need. But how can you prevent clutter from accumulating in the first place? Wouldn’t that be better?
The Advantages of Minimizing Clutter
Minimizing clutter and preventing clutter are, in many ways, better strategies than decluttering every time the clutter accumulates. While decluttering may always eventually become necessary, you can greatly minimize your effort and keep your home cleaner.
Consider the benefits:
- Cost savings. Part of your job while minimizing clutter is buying fewer items that you don’t need. Over time, this can help you save money, allowing you to divert your funds to more important things (like saving and investing).
- Time savings. If you take a few seconds to put items in their proper place, you could save minutes of cleaning later. On a large enough scale, you could end up saving yourself dozens, or even hundreds of hours.
- A cleaner house. Policing your own clutter accumulation will result in a more consistently clean and tidy house. Your clean house isn’t a temporary reward after a rare decluttering event; it’s a new normal.
So what does it take to see these benefits?
Rethink How You See Furniture
Furniture takes up a lot of space in your home, whether you realize it or not. Making a handful of changes to minimize your accumulation of furniture and make the most of your space can provide a host of psychological benefits — and keep your home as open as possible.
One way to do this is to invest in furniture that serves multiple purposes simultaneously. For example, Innovation Living sofa beds are compact, lightweight, and comfortable — and they can be used as both sofas and beds.
Improve Your Storage Options
First, you can improve your storage options. You won’t have to deal with piles of shoes spilling into the hallway if there’s an efficiently organized shoe closet where you can store them more conveniently. There are many options here, including:
- Shelves and drawers. Adding specialized shelves or drawers to a room, or to a closet, can make it easier to take advantage of vertical space – while reducing the tendency for clutter to “spill out” into main living areas.
- Compact storage. You can also take advantage of spaces that aren’t being used for anything else. For example, investing in an under-bed storage system could help you store several items using only space that was otherwise unoccupied.
- Organizing structures. It’s also beneficial to use more obvious, surface-level organizing structures. For example, you can have a slotted mail organizer to conveniently sort and store your incoming mail.
Create a Place for Everything
Next, make sure you establish an official resting place for everything in your home; don’t just let your items fall where they may. For example, you might have a miscellaneous “junk drawer” where you keep everything from batteries to paperclips to scissors. But what truly “belongs” there and what doesn’t? Where should your coats go? Where does your mail go? Where do you put your car keys when you come home after work?
There are no right or wrong answers here. What’s important is that you have an idea of where things should be stored when not in use.
The next phase of this strategy is to consistently ensure that each item you use or come across ends up in its respective assigned location – and ensure your family members do the same thing. If you return each item after using it, you’ll never have to worry about making a clean sweep to get rid of items that have accumulated over time.
Reduce Acquisition of New Items
After that, you can start practicing a kind of minimalism. Oftentimes, clutter accumulates because we end up acquiring items we don’t really want or need. If you stop acquiring those items in the first place, clutter will never form.
Here are some ways you can accomplish this:
- Set a strict budget for yourself. First, set a strict budget for yourself and be careful not to go over it. If you want to splurge on something, consider splurging on an experience like a meal at a nice restaurant rather than some tangible item.
- Give yourself time before buying anything. If you feel like you want to buy something, take a moment before doing so. In fact, take a day – or even a few days. If you still want it after that waiting period, go ahead and buy it. But you might find that most of your time, your will to buy disappears.
- Consider donating or repurposing gifts. You can’t help what’s gifted to you. However, you can choose to donate or repurpose gifts you receive that you don’t want or need.
With these strategies, it’s a near certainty that your home will accumulate less clutter – and accumulate it at a slower rate. Stay consistent with your goals and your tactics, and the quality and cleanliness of your home will improve.
Why Kareem Hassan believes self-employment is the key to true freedom
To those working a 9-to-5, self-employment often presents itself as a daunting choice; there is a considerable risk involved but, at the same time, a lot of freedom to be enjoyed. On the other hand, freelancers and entrepreneurs also have to deal with ‘clients from hell’ at times, making them question whether self-employment was the right choice. According to Kareem Hassan, whatever be your view of being your own boss, you cannot deny the freedom that comes along with it. Here, he explains why he believes self-employment is the key to true freedom.
Kareem Hassan runs a 3D printing service and trades collectibles, which have catapulted him into immeasurable success. From early on, Kareem knew that he wanted to be his own boss; he wasn’t cut out for the 9-to-5 grind. Fueled by his passion for entrepreneurship, he began working to create a business where he could truly love and enjoy what he does.
True success to Kareem means freedom, both financial and time. It also means the freedom to be able to share your knowledge with others and to do what you want, when you want. In addition to running his business, Kareem Hassan has also ventured into creating digital art and investing in NFTs. He says that all this would not have been possible had he been working a regular 9-to-5. Instead, he would be stuck doing the same tasks with minimal returns and an even lower growth ceiling.
Another reason why Kareem Hassan vouches for self-employment is that it enables you to retire early. According to Hassan, being your own boss gives you the freedom to stop when you think you’ve accumulated enough wealth and secured enough investments. Once you achieve what you want and have your financial future secured, you can retire from work and pursue anything you want in life.
When he first got started, Kareem Hassan was not sure where this journey would lead him, but he had a firm conviction to see it to the end. He dropped out of college after two years to take care of his family. He began by investing the little he had in collectibles like comic books, rare items, trading cards, and toys. Seeing an opportunity when the popularity of comic books regained momentum in pop culture, Kareem jumped at it and established his business.
According to Kareem, besides success, freedom is the greatest thing about self-employment. Your time is your most valuable asset, and having time freedom is like having a blank canvas; you can fill it with anything you want and create magic. Knowing this, Kareem Hassan says that he wouldn’t trade that freedom for anything. He also points out that self-employment lets you choose the people you surround yourself with and create diverse networks.
Even as he explains these benefits, Kareem Hassan cautions people against assuming that self-employment is the easy way out. In fact, the entrepreneurial journey can be one of the toughest roads to travel, but it is also worth every sleepless night. Moreover, working at something you are passionate about gives you a broader view of everything, making it easier to navigate these challenges.
Despite the challenges of entrepreneurship, Kareem Hassan says that being your own boss is so much better than working for someone else. “When done right, self-employment allows you to live your dream life,” he concludes.
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