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Declutter your Way to a New Life.

butterfly emergingI didn’t see it coming, but a major declutter and spring clean changed my life—for the better.

It was a number of years ago and, at the time, I was struggling to pay my mortgage—frequent rises in interest rates meant it had spiralled to a level beyond my means within a year and a half.

I was in a pickle.

Then a friend asked me to half-housesit-half-rent her home while she was in Africa. The proposal was for me to pay a rate that covered her (much lower) mortgage—freeing me up to rent out mine and reduce my living expenses by €600 a month.

It was a Godsend and I was all up for it.

And to prepare to rent out my home, I embarked on a two-week long, intense decluttering and deep, deep cleanse. I cleaned every nook and cranny and divested the attic of all the things I was saving (because I might decide to use them again, “some day”).

It wasn’t my idea of fun. But it was essential at the time. And at the end of it, I woke up one morning with a single thought in my head: “I’ll sell the house.”

It came out of nowhere—I was rather attached to my lovely little house and hadn’t been considering this as an option. In fact, I was doing all I could think of to hang onto it.

But the thought was implanted—out of nowhere—and it just felt right.

Overnight, I had let go of my attachment to my home. And the idea was freeing.

I put the house on the market at the very start of the decline of the Irish property market in 2006. It was in positive equity at the time. Had I not done so, today it would likely be in negative equity and I would probably still be living in Dublin, working in a corporate job and hating it—and generally stressing about how I would keep my little house.

I think I would probably be struggling—mentally and emotionally, as well as financially.

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Photo via Flickr

Posted in Decluttering, elephant journal, transformation

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