Yesterday I confessed my 10 things to let go of. You’ve had a day to think about it and figure out if any of those apply to you – or if you have your own clutter categories. This is the year(!) to reduce, reuse, donate and generally declutter your life. Once you decide to clean out all that accumulated stuff, organization will be a breeze.
Make Space For New
It’s so nice to create space in the house, in the cupboards, in the closet. As we move through our homes, take a moment to really look at that closet bursting with coats, toys, sports equipment, cleaning supplies, linens. Notice the drawers that don’t close easily because they’re filled with 30 pens that don’t write. Time to make some tough decisions.
Over at Thrifty Decor Chick, Sarah got a start embracing this very idea. Her article tells how her annual process usually involves cleaning the rest of the house and dumping everything in the basement. Then the basement takes 9 months to sort through. This year she started in the basement and the result is astounding.
Her post walks you through how she arrived at this transformation point. Now she actually has empty shelf space so when she uses the same techniques upstairs, there is actually room to store the ‘keepers’ down here.
How to Decide What to Keep
Generally we tend to fill the space we have. Even if it’s filled with things we don’t really need. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is let go of something – whether you purchased it or it was given to you. As you’re cleaning, sorting, simplifying, try asking yourself these questions – they help me. (It will help if you start a reject/donate pile and a “I can’t live without it pile”. Which one should be bigger?)
- Do I love it? The most important question. If I can’t answer with an unequivocal yes, it’s out.
- Does it represent special memories? Even though I don’t NEED it, if it stirs pleasant memories each time I see it, keep it.
- Do I use it? As in, have I used it in the last year. I’ve pulled open bins and found things I haven’t even THOUGHT of in years, it’s out.
’Do I use it?’ definitely applies to my candle stash. I keep bits and pieces and candles with no wicks (because I’m going to dig them out so they burn again, right?), gift candles that I don’t like the smell, etc. Now they’re gone and I’ve pared back to what fits in the alloted space and that I actually use.
- Am I keeping it out of guilt or because I ‘should’? Referring to yesterday’s article, if it fits the ‘guilt’ or ‘lazy’ category, it’s out.
- Am I hanging on to something because I might need it someday? Will I really wear that size 6 glitter sweater again? Am I really going to knit that afghan or make a quilt? Absolutely not (the sweater), and …… maybe someday but will I still even like the yarn? It’s out.
- Will someone else love it or use it more than me? Some of my things are just … on the fence. If that’s the case, try to think of someone who could give it a good home and share. (But don’t take offense if it gets relegated to their “guilt” pile because they’re also decluttering.)
What have I missed? Do you have other factors/questions that you consider when deciding whether to pack something away or keep it?
Over at The Intertidal Years Rita also decided to simplify her life and rooms. If you follow the link you can see the stellar results in each room of her home.
Look how much more appealing the space is when the visual clutter is eliminated. There are no new furnishings, just a tidy and inviting space.
Now That I’m Organized
Now that you’ve cleared the clutter and can close your closet doors on that tidy linen closet and push the junk drawer shut without the scissors catching, take a deep breath and put your feet up. You have just accomplished a major feat and deserve a break.
As you look around your newly tidy and organized space, what do you see? Apparently there’s no rest for the wicked because I see projects to be done. I have a wall to stencil, drapes to make and hang, a wall to paint, a guest bathroom to decorate….. How about you? Are you able to enjoy the fruits of your labor or do you just see more labor? What projects are you tackling this year?