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The Big Declutter - Lessons from TED Talk Experts

The Big Declutter - Lessons from TED Talk Experts

In my last post I talked about the lessons I have learned so far from The Big Declutter of 2018, but now I want to share lessons from some experts in their excellent TED talks.

If you ever have an opportunity to attend the main TED conference or a local TEDx event, go to it! Our local town hosts a TEDx each year, and it is an smazing experience: incredible people speaking with passion about interesting and diverse topics. Whether it’s the “Poo Princess” talking about how to recycle sewage, or the rise of mega forest fires, or the experience of being autistic, when you attend a TED or TEDx event you’ll be exposed to so many new ideas and different perspectives. It’s great!

But for this post, I wanted to focus on the TED talks that are about decluttering, living with less and how to tackle it. Here are 5 that inspired me. Let me know which ones you enjoy the most and, if I’m missing any other great talks, share those too!

Less Stuff, More Happiness: Graham Hill

Let’s start with a short, but powerful talk. Graham Hill tells us that less stuff and less space = smaller environmental footprint, more money and more ease in your life. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he also walks the walk since he lives in a 420 square foot home. How does can he live so small? With these three core ideas:

  1. Edit ruthlessly

  2. Small is sexy

  3. Multi-functional spaces and housewares

In less than 6 minutes, Graham will convince you of the benefits to living an edited life.


The Less You Own, The More You Have: Angela Horn

If you’re not convinced that you’re ready to declutter, you can learn about “the upside of downsizing” from Angela Horn. From the financial benefits like becoming debt-free and finding the money to do what you want, to getting more time and understanding how owning less will reduce your stress.

Watch this TED talk and see if you are ready to try Angela’s two challenges:

  • Say goodbye to clutter with her challenge to get rid on one thing a day.

  • Stop buying for buying sake.


 From Clutter to Clarity: Kerry Thomas

If you feel overwhelmed by life, then clutter could be the root cause. In this talk, Kerry points out that it’s not just physical clutter that drags us down. We also struggle with digital clutter (e-mails, files, photos), as well as mental and emotional clutter (our fears, the “voices” that bombard us with news, beliefs and limitations).

I loved her point that: “Clutter is postponed decisions”, and that the decisions we make determine the quality of our life. A thought-provoking talk that is well-worth watching!


A Rich Life with Less Stuff: The Minimalists

To me The Minimalists sound like they are an indie band. In fact, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are two guys who embraced the minimalist lifestyle a number of years ago and now they have a very successful blog and podcast. In this talk, they share their story of why and how they became minimalists.

If you are struggling with how to start decluttering, why not try the same thing that Ryan did: box up everything you own, as if you were moving. Then, over the following few weeks, unpack the things you need and use. When Ryan did this, he found that after 3 weeks 80% of his stuff was still in boxes. If you did this, what percentage of your possessions would go unused?


Getting Rid of 1,000 Things: Liz Wright

If you are like me, and you are guilty of keeping things just in case you may need it one day, or keeping other things “for best”, then Liz Wright’s talk may be what you need. She challenged herself to get rid of 1,000 of her things, and she shares some of the techniques that she used to reach this goal. Watch Liz’s talk and then find out if you also get the same “high” from giving away or selling your stuff, that you got from buying it in the first place.

The Big Declutter - Statistically Speaking

The Big Declutter - Statistically Speaking

The Big Declutter – Lessons Learned So Far

The Big Declutter – Lessons Learned So Far