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Let’s Talk About Decluttering

Let’s Talk About Decluttering
Removing the overwhelming amount of clutter that has piled up is helping me already. Not having to see piles and piles of things removes a lot of mental clutter and chatter from my brain.If you’ve never tried to declutter a room before, you should try it! You feel instantly better and the lessened amount of stuff allows you more mental bandwidth.

Decluttering is usually the first step people take to simplify their lives. It’s often the most accessible, most effective place to begin. But it usually starts with physical possessions. Removing excess junk from our homes naturally encourages us to examine the underlying things which complicate our lives—debt, busyness, mental clutter, just to name a few.

Decluttering teaches us to let go and create space. Owning less enables us to save time and feel lighter—it often causes us to rediscover the joy of giving. I do a good decluttering at least twice a year, storing the stuff for my spring garage sale. I feel clutter accumulates clutter; my trash can turn out to be another’s treasure. How to declutter is a personal choice; however, I thought I’d share how I go around that task.

I believe that decluttering is a mindset, and you must shift your perspective. If you don’t use it, wear it, or if you bought it just because, etc. I understand it’s ok for me to feel guilty about some of the items I’m getting rid of, but it’s not ok to keep them. This is the opportunity for me to make money and free up my space. I look at one area at a time and set a timer to make sure I stay on task!  If I do not focus, it will never get done. I also make sure it is a manageable block of time. I pick up each item and look at it. If I love, it stays; if not, it goes.

I ask have I used this item in the last six months? If I didn’t already own this item would I buy it again? Asking yourself these question as you go through your belongings will give you an eye opening experience as to whether or not you actually need the item in your life. If you haven’t used an item in the last 6 months, or worse, it’s been hiding under your bed for longer than that time period, you may want to sell it. There is a frugal rule of thumb that says if you use something less than 45 minutes a month, you would be better off renting it than owning it. This is especially true for kitchen appliances…which might explain why we see so many bread makers at yard sales. Although you may have had the best intentions upon purchasing the items, the truth is you just don’t use it anymore. Time to sell it!

The Kitchen

There is something refreshing and life giving about a clean, uncluttered kitchen. It sets the tone and culture for the home. It communicates calm and order. It promotes opportunity and possibility. It saves time and ensures cleanliness. The kitchen truly is the heart of your home.

Pick a time—maybe start first thing in the morning—when you have at least a couple of hours for the project. That’s what I did—on a Saturday morning when I knew I had time to finish the project. Make a cup of coffee or turn on some music to put yourself at ease. Clear space on the counters to set out items. Relocate Anything That Does Not Belong in the Kitchen Kitchens are notorious collection areas for odds and ends—mail, kids’ homework, purses, keys, and all that stuff in the infamous junk drawer. Identify a new “home” for each out-of-place item and move it there. Evaluate all the items in your kitchen by asking yourself the right question. The right question is not, Might I conceivably use it at some time? The right question is, Do I need it? If you’ve rarely or never used a tool, bowl, or storage container, then it’s probably not really necessary to keep. Also, kitchens are notorious for duplicates. When you spend less time taking care of a cluttered kitchen, you have more time to make nutritious, delicious meals for your family and linger in conversation at the dinner table. When you make room for loved ones in your kitchen, you prioritize relationships by expanding everyone’s opportunities for giving and receiving love. That’s what makes the kitchen the heart of the home. It’s where body and soul are fed simultaneously.

I try to allocate five minutes per drawer, ten minutes per cupboard, and fifteen minutes for the pantry. I work till the timer goes off then evaluate the items—the same for the bedroom, living room, family room, office. I must break up the decluttering over several weekends so it is not too overwhelming. 

The Bedroom 

This is where most of my the clutter lands. I Put any items that are out of place in the catch-all bin to take them to their proper rooms

If you’re looking for the biggest clutter culprit in most bedrooms, look no further than the closet. Even if it’s often behind closed doors, the closet is often teeming with clutter in the form of clothes you no longer wear and those that never got back onto the right hanger or into the correct stack on the shelf.

Combat this by taking an extra few seconds to hang up or fold the clothes that do not need to go in the laundry hamper and put those that are dirty into the hamper. Spending a little time on front-end maintenance makes decluttering easier and less time-consuming.

The best way to avoid clutter in the form of clothing, shoes, and accessories is to buy less. If the ship has sailed on that, make an effort to get rid of items you don’t regularly wear rather than putting off those decisions for another time.

It takes time but once again, I always break it down into manageable chunks. The easiest way to declutter a closet is first to declutter your clothing by type. That means start with shoes and boots, following would be dresses than denim, etc. It’s easier to decide which jeans to toss and which to keep if you’re looking at your entire jean collection at once. With my bedroom, my rule of thumb is if I have not worn it this season or last season, it must go.

Remember as you’re decluttering that you must decide garage sale, donate, or trash. You want to create a space in your home or garage to set aside the stuff you are keeping for the sale. When you’re done decluttering, you should also clean and mend the items you are saving for your garage sale; this should be part of your process. 

Once you start decluttering, you’ll find yourself doing it regularly.

Remember that if you don’t wear it, it doesn’t bring you joy, or if it just takes up space, it should go into the pile. It’ll be perfect for someone else; they may even need it more. Best of all, it keeps it out of the landfill and puts money in your pocket.

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