I’ve decided that my official job title should be “Clutter Manager”. HA! I can see it now, on my resume, I’ll put on it that I’ve been a clutter manager for 18 years. I was going to make the title of this post “Decluttering Advice from a Hormonal Postpartum Woman”, but decided that I may make you want to run away scared. :) I wouldn’t have blamed you if you ran. LOL
OK, so… you know how I challenged you to get rid of 20 things a day for the month of April? I’ve actually stayed on target this past week. Yesterday was my first day to slack and not quite make the 20 on that specific day, but another day, I got rid of double, so I’d say I’m still on track. Yay me!
As I’ve gone about the house trying to get rid of things, I’ve realized a few things…..
1. It’s harder to declutter if you’re not also organizing your space.
When I first decided to take on this challenge, I figured that it would be really easy to find 20 things a day. I could go from my closet to my kids’ rooms to the messy bathroom cabinets, etc. I didn’t take into account how much I would need to do more than just grab a few things and throw it into a bag. I mean, yes…..the first few days, I could think of several spots where I could do that, but as the days have gone on, I realized that I need bigger blocks of time. In fact, day 1, I started by going through my girls’ closet and getting rid of around 20 dresses. In an effort to find some room in that bedroom, I ended up going back into their room and getting rid of about 20 more on another day. That brings me to point #2.
2. You may have to declutter the same space more than once.
It drives me crazy! I will declutter something rather well (or so I think), but then go back a few days, or even a week or a month later and think, “why didn’t I get rid of that?”. Sometimes, it takes going back 3 and 4 times before you really see your stuff for what it is. If you’re not using it, why keep it? Don’t feel bad if you go back and decide you need to get rid of more. It’s actually a good thing. Decluttering is a process. It is a process of the mind and how it is learning to let go. It’s not easy! Especially for a sentimental woman like me. :)
3. The deeper you get, the harder it may become.
Especially if you have a fond memory attached to it or if you’re somehow emotionally attached to it. For example, I ran across a dress that originally belonged to my now 14 year old daughter when she was 4. It has been handed down through the girls and isn’t looking it’s best any more. It wasn’t too bad, but it had a stain on it. I wasn’t going to get the stain off (as I’m horrible at stain removal and taking the time to do it). I know this about myself. The last daughter who could fit into it, did not wear the dress very much at all because every time I put it on her, the stain bothered me. Why, then, does it bother me to get rid of it? I really had to wrestle with myself on if it’s OK to get rid of it. Still sometimes, I worry that I made the wrong choice. Why should I wrestle with it that much? I shouldn’t. When I start doing this, the main question I ask myself is an extreme one and one that you may find kind of silly, but it is this: ”Would I be upset about losing this item if my house burned and this item burned up?”. The answer to that question, when talking about the dress, is no. In fact, I may be relieved to not have to make the decision!
4. You may want to establish questions and/or rules for yourself.
Do you find yourself wavering back and forth on if you should or shouldn’t keep certain items? How do you make those decisions? My answer is to ask myself questions.
- Do you love this item?
- Will you miss it if you no longer owned it?
- Do you have a place to keep this item? If not, is the item worth finding a place to keep it?
- Would you replace this item if you couldn’t find it?
5. Have a plan on where your decluttered items will go.
Obviously, trash should go in the trash can, but where should the other items go? I have a friend (and a husband for that matter) who would happily throw clutter away in the trash. For me though, that causes me extreme anxiety. LOL. I cannot throw away something that others may want, need, or pay money for. It completely stresses me out. I place them all in a plastic trash bag and put them by the front door. That way, the next time I go out the door, I can take those items to the local thrift store to donate them. It doesn’t work very well for me to put them in my car. If I do that, I will forget that they are there. If I leave them by the door, I won’t take them until I’m ready to go and drop them off right then. My husband has been known to drive my items to the thrift shop to get rid of them for me, too.
Have you taken the challenge to declutter this April? You don’t have to do 20 things a day, but, try to pick a goal and run with it! Living a life with less stuff to manage is definitely a goal that will make you happier! I’m getting happier every day! :)
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