Monday, March 2, 2009

Simplify: Part 2 - Decluttering

During the Christmas season I discussed how I was simplifing my life for the holidays and I promised to show later how I was simplifing my everyday life. This is another installment in the series and I will periodically post more throughout the year.

This time I'm focusing on cleaning out the clutter in our house. I'm a natural born pack rat but I'm doing everything I can to overcome it. If you look at my grandparents on both sides of my family, you will know where it came from. After cleaning out two of their houses in one year, I realized it was amazing I'm not worse. I've known this has been an issue for years and have been slowly working on improving my habits. I know it will be a lifelong journey but I can say I've greatly improved over the years.

With a baby coming, we have decided to move our toddler to the room next door. The baby will get his room since we have never redecorated it from the nursery. He is excited for the new room but it is taking forever because this was our catchall room. It started as a scrapbook room and a guest room but quickly became the dumping grounds for anything we needed to keep the toddler out of. I would work on cleaning it out a little at a time but never did that great of a job. Now that I'm trying to completely clear it out, I'm realizing just how much junk is in there and wondering why I've been keeping some of it all of these years. Of course, there are some things I want to keep and now I have to find a new home for those items. Needless to say, the majority of our house is being cleaned out at the moment. And the best is very freeing.

We decided a while back to have a garage sale this spring. I made myself set a date on the calendar so that I have deadline. I've already filled an entire shelving unit in my garage with sale items and I have several boxes tucked in corners all over my house (I hope I remember where it all is when the sale comes). As I get little parts of my house cleared out, it feels wonderful. Just this weekend I commented to someone that it was nice to have cabinet space in my kitchen again. (Side note: we have a ton of cabinets but most of our stuff is only in the high cabinets due to a very curious child). I felt like I was bursting at the seams before but now I have room to grow. The amazing part is that I really only got rid of a few coffee cups and random wedding presents that hadn't been used since we moved in to the house 4 1/2 years ago.

My biggest tip for simplifying by removing the clutter is to take it one area at a time. If the kitchen seems overwhelming, start with just the junk drawer. If your child's room is too much, just go through their closet. Once you get one area done, it is much easier to keep going.

What are you doing to simplify your life? I would love to hear your ideas.


Jordan'z Mommie! said...

So true! Even though you can't SEE the closet, you KNOW that it's spotless, and it makes everything seem so much better. Amazing how that works...We just bought a pantry for our back hall-the kitchen has like, 10 cupboards, it's horrible-making the back hall a huge PILE of stuff we couldn't fit in the kitchen. Not to mention the tops of our cupboards, and the top of our fridge was cluttered. Decluttering is good! =)

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