I may have mentioned a few times how much I hate clutter. Yeah like a few hundred times probably. But I hate it. Clutter doesn’t seem to bother some people like my husband, and some of my co-workers. It has come to my attention that clutter makes me a less productive person. Clutter clutters my mind. Personal flaw?? maybe, but that’s just me.
Why do places get cluttered? Think about it. Is it stuff that we don’t need? We don’t have room for? or maybe clutter is just things that are not properly put away. Do we have somewhere to put it? and if not then why did we get it in the first place? Did we actually need it? If we come to a point where we don’t need said item why don’t we get rid of it? O.K. O.K. I am getting ahead of myself and causing my blood pressure to escalate. I will circle back to this.
When I was growing up we didn’t have clutter at our house. We lived in a tiny house and we didn’t have a lot of extra things so we didn’t have a lot of clutter. We used everything we had. That happens with seven kids. My mama cleaned constantly. She hated clutter even worse than I do. Maybe that’s where I get it. I always wondered why she made such a big deal about things being out of place. But now I see where she was coming from.
If you have a small space and you don’t have room for a ton of things why do you get them? Maybe it makes you feel better having something new, maybe a treat for you, maybe you bought more than you needed of something like for a project and it just gets pushed back into a closet or your garage when the project is finished. Maybe you have a sentimental attachment to something a long lost relative or friend, spouse or your child gave you and you just can’t part with it. This is where you have to make the decision of what to keep and what to let go. Of course you are going to keep some of those things. But if you are like me and my husband we have been in our house for over twenty years. We can’t continue to accumulate without letting go of some things.
I vowed to make this year the year I reduced the unused and un-needed things in our house. I have done pretty well so far. Every week I take several bags and or boxes to our local Good Will. Which in our area is called SAMS. The donated items are sold and the money helps people in our area who cannot afford their electric bill or medication. I also donate to a place near my house that collects money for our local animal shelter. I love that these items will bring help to people and fur babies.
I will share with you what has worked for me:
Because I work forty plus hours a week away from my house and take care of my mother in laws needs outside of her assisted living center, I don’t have a lot of time to invest in a huge decluttering that would include every room, closet, garage and basement. If you have time for that, great!!! So here is what I did
1. Right after Christmas I collected several empty boxes from work. I put those in my basement and whenever I had a free hour or even thirty minutes I would work on filling them with things I needed to get rid of. Small bits of time really add up. And it makes the job not so overwhelming.
2. I went through my closet in my bedroom first. I did not even gather any of my husband’s clothes I did only mine at this point. I went through the clothes piece by piece and placed what I didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t wear into large bags.
3. I then went through the clothes a second time and looked for stained t shirts old scarves and Pjs and things I knew I wouldn’t wear or donate and I threw those out. (One time I almost got the bags mixed up. Don’t do that)
4. I went to SAMS once a week with a trunk or car filled with bags and boxes. The first three weeks were only clothes and shoes. I am still going every week.
5. I then started in my basement and started filling the boxes. I had several boxes of books, magazines and household items. I took those in and now have another load in my car ready to go. I usually go on Wednesday when I meet my sisters in town for Sister Lunch.
6. Last Sunday I cleaned out a closet near the laundry room. This closet had gotten so bad we would just open it and stuff things in and slam the door before everything came crashing out. It took two hours to clean it out. I threw away two bags of things that we could no longer use, I discovered a ton of cleaning supplies, and I found a box of things to donate. Now the closet looks so nice I just stand in front of it with the door open gazing adoringly at it. My husband walks by shaking his head at me.
7. Before I make a purchase I ask myself if I really need it, or do I already have it. I shop what I have first.
8. I go through my pantry before going to the grocery store. I had so much waste and clutter in my pantry because of this. I often joked that I could live out of my pantry for a month without buying anything.
9. After I have totally finished with the purging I will keep a box in my car and one in the basement and I will continue to get rid of the things I don’t need or use. I don’t want to get so bogged down with items that I don’t need that I can’t find a starting point to get rid of them.
10. Stay focused this is an ongoing process.
It feels so wonderful to start seeing spaces where once there was only clutter. I feel lighter, more focused and free!!!!! WHOO HOOO!!!!! Let me know what works for you.
Love your day your way