I’m a proud member of a VA All-Stars Group, and when this group launched nearly a month ago, we were given a document to help us with personal development by developing healthy, beneficial habits.
I’ve recently discovered that while I’m organized, even my junk is organized. This just means I’m great at hiding it! Soooo, I made the decision to challenge myself to get rid of one item (or more) per day.
I invite you to participate with me – it’s not as easy as it sounds, I promise! Are you willing to take on the challenge and start living more simply? Let’s do this!
When I began, it was just before the official start of spring, and I love spring cleaning and getting my house ready for a season of fun. To me, getting everything organized before the summer starts just means I can devote more time to entertaining guests and less on trying to find space for things as events or dinners happen.
We live in a townhouse, and we have a mere 1,050 square feet to work with, which, for a family of four, is a reasonable amount of space. The kitchen is way too small, for my liking, and I feel claustrophobic when more than one person is with me in the room. However, we make it work for our family, and my husband and I have recently fallen in love with tiny houses on wheels. I love the idea right now… not sure how I’ll feel if we live in one!
We’re entertaining the idea of retiring to one of these tiny homes, but in order to do that, we need to get rid of a lot of things. And, um, the garage is on the chopping block, too (hint, hint oh husband of mine).
Think of each room individually and methodically get into each nook and cranny. Go through boxes, drawers, cupboards and all compartments.
If you haven’t used it in 6 months, what are the odds you will use it soon?
If you haven’t used it in a year or more, you likely will never use it.
If you have two things that have the same purpose, get rid of, or donate, one.
Have sentimental things, such as cards or kids’ crafts from early school days? No one says you have to get rid of everything. I recently went through a box of Tyler’s first toys and donated the majority of them. I kept a couple of the most important items and boxed them. Then I took pictures on my phone of each one and uploaded them to a Google Photos folder that I shared with him and my husband. The memories will stay, but the stuff can go!
Collections of cards from a special occasion don’t have to go in the garbage or recycle box. Reuse them to make something pretty for your home by using a craft punch and punching out portions of each card. Glue them to a pretty paper and frame them. Here’s what I did with our wedding cards:
I also want to do something similar with baby shower/arrival cards.
Set up boxes to donate items
Have a large box or two set up in your basement or garage, and each day, toss your one item into the box. When it’s full, donate it, and begin again.
Getting ahead of yourself
Once you get started, it’s difficult to just keep it at one item. I found myself easily getting rid of several items in one go. When you have everything in front of you, and you have that ruthless frame of mind, it’s easy to get rid of more than one item a day.
Go for it! If you can get rid of more than one item, do it.
If this method doesn’t work for you, and it may not, perhaps think of it in a different way.
When you buy and bring home one item, get rid of or donate two other items. One in, two out. It keeps it simple and still clears the clutter.
After 30 days of this, you will have developed your new clutter-free habit. Definitely, reward yourself but don’t do it by bringing home another item, as that defeats the purpose =)
Instead, phone a good friend and catch up. Schedule a manicure. Go for coffee with a friend. Or treat yourself some other way that doesn’t result in bringing home items you will only need to eventually clear out.
Don’t feel bad if you miss a day
Go easy on yourself. If you miss a day here and there, it’s fine. Throw away or donate extra the following day to make up for it. The goal is to declutter, and it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you keep moving forward.
What helps you declutter your home?