What are you supposed to do when you want to declutter, but family and friends give you too much stuff?
How do I get my family to give us clutter free gifts? This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get, and it's one of my favorite to answer. It requires you to take radical responsibility for your home, and everything inside it though. Short answer: you can't get them to give clutter free gifts. You can't control what and how much they give either. There is something better you can do, though.
You are the gatekeeper of your home
This means that you, and you alone are responsible for what stays and goes. You are not responsible, nor can you control what others choose to give you.
Here's the thing. gift giving is not about you. Gift giving is about the giver. They want to express love, gratitude, appreciation or some other form of endearment for you.
The gift truly is in the giving, meaning the thing is usually not what is important.
Great news for you because you can now declutter those gifts without guilt!
How to take radical responsibility for your home
If you didn't like that first answer, well, you might not like this one either but that's okay. You're still reading which means you're ready for it.
Your home is not cluttered because other people give you gifts. Yes, there are rare circumstances where maybe it's crossed a serious line, but for most of us the issue is our own clutter, buying, spending and consumption habits.
When you are the gatekeeper of your home, and take radical responsibility for what's in it, the gifts you receive are not a burden any more.
When you declutter you can accept gifts freely, without frustration, burden or guilt
I used to feel extremely guilty for not being grateful for the gifts my kids were given. The truth is that when they were given gifts, all I saw was more work for me, or wasted money (that wasn't even mine in the first place).
The reason these gifts felt this way was because I was not being a steadfast gatekeeper of my home. I allowed it to become overrun with clutter, and I wasted my own money on things I didn't ultimately need or care about.
So receiving a gift from someone else reflected those feelings back to me.
Declutter so you can give and receive gifts freely
And if you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your kids. I remember trying to mask my feelings of dread and burden from my kids when we received gifts and I am so much happier now that I can accept with full gratitude rather than resentment.
If you need help fully decluttering your home once and for all, get into Decluttering Simplified. Not only will you declutter your entire home, you will also learn how to become a skilled, mindful and graceful gatekeeper of your own home.