For the past few months my husband, Marty and I have been getting rid of stuff, de-cluttering and organizing! Now that all three girls have left the nest – we have boxes of memorabilia, boxes of out of date papers from the old business, etc. At the beginning, we had more than we knew what to do with and how to start. Let me just tell you, that this has not been an easy task but well worth the effort. Getting rid of stuff doesn’t exactly come easy but we are learning, taking it step by step, and loving the results! So I thought I would share a few tips – maybe this will help you make the plunge into a happier clutter free life!
- The less you have, the less there is to clean!
- Saves money! (we are now saving $235/ month on a storage unit we didn’t need)
- Makes everyday life simpler, especially when trying to find things.
- A more peaceful environment.
- Better use of our living space by having what we really need, not what we think we need.
The first thing is to get on the same page as your spouse or significant other to make sure you have one! There is no way for two people to agree on what to get rid of, if they don’t have strict guidelines in place. Otherwise, you will have one person purging and the other one keeping the same things you are trying to purge. The last thing you want is to have to spend more time than you need or duplicate efforts. We used these as our guidelines for what we wanted to keep, get rid of, or donate:
Have a spot for everything, or get rid of it!
Bills, bags, books — each item needs its own space. If there isn’t a specific spot for an item on a shelf or in a basket somewhere, it will never be put away, and be left to sit out. Therefore, it’s got to go!
You only need one.
If you have two of something, consider when you will use it. If your answer is, 5 years from now on that one rainy day – purge it! This may not work for everything, but for stuff like scissors (how many pairs of scissors do you need?), Tupperware (there are only two of us now so not much), etc. Really dig deep and consider – when will I be using this in the future?
If you don’t use it or like it, purge it.
I finally realized I can’t salvage everything and if it’s not in use, it needs to go.
My house still gets messy, but with half the stuff, it takes much less time to pick up and put away. We are saving money on storage every month and are less overwhelmed when we walk in the house or trying to find something. Marty and I are determined to stay clutter free by not buying things we don’t need. Now that we know what we have, it is easier to say we don’t need things when shopping because we already have it! Don’t let things consume you and your living environment. I encourage you, my friends, to let home feel like home again and start your de-cluttering project. For us, it will always be important to keep evaluating and editing what we are accumulating to make sure we are not going backwards. “They say” for everything you bring into your home, at least one thing or two should go out the door.
Also, consider these alternatives to just throwing stuff away:
- Donate, donate, donate!
- With 3 award winning daughters, we had lot of trophies that they did not want anymore. Instead of just tossing them – take off the name plates from all the trophies and make one plaque. Consider donating the rest to a local high school. They recycle them by decorating and using them for speech and debate tournaments.
- Old books and DVD’s can be sold to Half Price books. You might not make a bunch of money, but hey, its money you didn’t have before!
- Make old T-shirts into quilts.
- Take a picture of all your awards/ accomplishments and make a scrapbook instead of keeping it in a book.
- And last but not least, we have been selling, selling, selling on our local Facebook swap page – “Lakeway Swap”! Great alternative to Craigslist. Takes a lot less time by simply uploading a mobile upload straight from your phone and posting a little bit about it. Before you know, it you will be addicted!
Happy Purging my friends!
The greatest compliment I could ever receive is a referral from you. Please let me know if your friends or family are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate!