If you observe uncluttered people closely enough in their natural environment, you will see that there are some common behaviours amongst them. I sound a little like David Attenborough here, don’t I? Bear with me!

These behaviours or habits are helpful when it comes to keeping life uncluttered. I’m not talking about super minimalists or ultra-clean people, I’m talking about regular people with regular amounts of stuff.

Here are 6 behaviours they have that help them stay uncluttered:

  1. They acquire intentionally.
    They only buy things when they need them. They think about their purchases for a while before they make them. They think about where the purchase will live, how much space it takes up and how much maintenance will be involved. They think about how long the thing will last, what its end of life will look like and how they can make it last as long as possible.
  2. They place boundaries around their activities and their belongings.
    Uncluttered people think before they take on a new hobby or activity. They consider how many things they are already doing, and what this new thing will add. They limit their hobbies to a manageable number, and they limit the stuff associated with it to a manageable amount. They work on the philosophy that you can do All The Things, but just not all at once.
  3. They let go when they need to
    People who can let go when it makes sense to, do so. They keep treasures, of course, but they can let go of things when it’s necessary to achieve their goals or make their life more streamlined. Their attachment can be strong like the rest of us, but they let go anyway, and reap the rewards.
  4. They don’t worry about what they are missing out on
    They don’t care if they haven’t read the whole magazine yet, it’s been waiting two months to be read and hasn’t been, so it can go. They don’t care if they don’t have the latest gadget or this year’s fashion. They are cool with missing out.
  5. Their worth is independent of their belongings
    When they think of “who they are”, what they own doesn’t factor into it. They don’t define themselves by what they own, but by traits that are independent of material things.
  6. They finish stuff
    Uncluttered people are more likely to finish what they start, from small daily tasks to large projects. They are also happy to quit things if they don’t suit them, rather than hanging on out of guilt or obligation like so many of us tend to do. They finish it, delegate it, or they discard it, and they move on to the next thing.

These are not all miracle cures for clutter, but they are hints and clues as to little things you might be able to do to live your life a little more uncluttered.

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2 Comments

    1. This is such a good question! I wonder if the real question is actually “how (or why) do things make me feel secure?”. What makes us equate things with security? Obviously we can associate shelter and food with security and that makes total sense, but when you’re talking about other things, it’s worth analysing why they might make us feel secure. And if that security is real or imagined.

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