Like many creative people I live on the messy side. I love to keep every little thing whether I need it or not. Well, I guess I’m not actually messy, rather, I am storing up for another day. Ok, let’s get real I’m a hoarder! I keep scraps of material, paper, paint, or whatever looks like it could be useful for a “some-day” pile. I love crafts, DIY’s, decorating, anything that involves a project that gets my creative juices flowing. Then I look around at all my “some-day” piles and get completely overwhelmed, knowing I will not use half of it. Things just end up sitting in boxes shoved in a closet or on a shelf. As the clutter slowly takes over, it feels as if it crowds my creativity and becomes a burden. I begin to feel my anxiety build and my home is no longer a place of calmness for me. If you have ever felt like this or feel this way right now, don’t worry, I have some tips that will hopefully help you. It has made my life less stressful and more organized.
- Have I worn it in the past 12 months? This doesn’t apply to seasonal items but if the whole summer went by and I never wore that sundress, it’s out.
- Does it fit? Try everything on! I know it’s a pain but you’ll be glad you did. Get rid of everything that you’ve been holding onto, maternity clothes, clothes you’re hoping will someday fit, etc. If you don’t love it and it doesn’t fit today, get rid of it!
- Is it damaged? I tend to hold onto clothes even when they are thread barren because it’s my favorite shirt or sweatshirt. You don’t need them, they are only taking up space. Throw them out
- Am I just keeping this because I don’t want to waste money? I had many brand name clothes that needed to be altered, didn’t have a complete outfit to wear with, or I just didn’t love it anymore. I was holding on to them because of the amount of money I had spent and felt like I was being wasteful. Letting it sit in your closet is being wasteful. Instead, consign those items or donate them to an organization where someone else can be blessed.
2. Furniture and Storage Containers
In our home, we had quite a few random side tables, countless little kiddy chairs ( because mini chairs are just so cute), storage containers, baskets, and bins that were completely out of control. I had bought loads of these storage bins and decorative baskets to make my home look organized. Unfortunately, it looked more like Ikea threw up a modge-podge of junk that was unbearable to look at anymore. I realized it was time to get rid of everything and to quit organizing things we didn’t need.
- Is the furniture structurally sound? We had some cheap lamps, bookshelves, and side tables that didn’t meet this recommendation, so I threw out the ones that couldn’t be donated.
- Do you have the room? I had a habit of trying to “fill” the blank spaces in our house. Something needed to be in every corner and decorated so it didn’t seem ’empty’. Now that I have gotten rid of extra furniture and stuff I have learned to love the ‘blank space’ and simplicity.
- Does it fit your style? If you’re holding onto furniture and decor items that do not fit your style either get rid of it or repurpose it by painting it or doing an inexpensive update. If you know you will not repurpose it then donate it to someone who would use it.
3. The Kitchen
The kitchen is a black hole of multiples of everything in complete excess. It is ridiculous what I found in my kitchen. I had 4 different coffee makers. I love coffee but 4 is a bit overboard. Spatulas galore, 4 sets of silverware, countless random pieces of flatware, cups, mugs, tableware, etc. Every time I opened my Tupperware cabinet the lids would come tumbling out.
- Do I need those 10 spatulas or 20 coffee mugs? That cool as seen on TV gadget you just had to have and never used it or broke it the first time you used it? Those ads and commercials can be very convincing! Throw out the multiples. Get rid of pans, cookware, utensils, and gadgets that are broken, or you don’t use. Lastly, the Tupperware. The drawer or cabinet bursting with it. Throw out any Tupperware that is missing lids, containers, ones that are broken, and pare down to a reasonable number that you need.
4. Electronics and Technology
- Anything that is outdated convert to a DVD or store on an external hard drive. VHS, Floppy Disks, slides (I know some of you still own these things).
- Then there’s the endless amount of extension cords. In our house, we tend to have an obnoxious amount of extension cords, so I kept 2 for outdoors and 1 for indoors. Realistically that’s all we needed.
- If you have an extensive DVD collection collecting dust (like we did), get rid of the ones you no longer watch. If they are scratched up and do not play correctly, toss them.
5. Love it or Leave it
I have found as I’ve looked at everything in my house piece by piece, there were a lot of things that we didn’t like. There were conversations of trying to figure out “why do we even have this?” or “is this YOURS?” (in a criticizing tone of course). Making space for the things we truly love and bring us joy makes our home so much more relaxing, freeing, and homey.
It can be a tough task and even overwhelming at times. Especially if you have A LOT of clutter like we did. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy and sometimes even fun. You start to feel a weight lifted of your shoulders! When you’re going through this process of sorting and getting rid of everything don’t forget to ask yourself some of these questions.
- Have I used this in the last year?
- Is the only thing that’s keeping me from getting rid of this item that I don’t want to waste money?
- Am I holding on to this for sentimental reasons?
- Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?
- Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future?
Hopefully these tips will help you! Stay tuned for my next post on minimalism and how to incorporate your kids in the process.