After the Holidays, I always feel the need to declutter and organize. Perhaps it’s the indulgences of the season, from food to parties to shopping. It’s a bit overwhelming, and I don’t know about you, but it helps me to get my “ducks in a row.” It gives you a sense of order, and it will simplify your life.
Of course, the best time to do this is before the holidays. That way you can donate your items to the needy or a charity. You could sell some things on ebay to make some money. But who has time before the holidays arrive? From Halloween on, we are thrust into the spirit of consumerism, whether we like it or not.
A big step towards the road to simplicity is clean up and eliminate the odds and ends that clutter up your home, your office, your car, and your life. As you begin, remember the motto, “If you haven’t used it in a year or more, get rid of it.”
Don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture of decluttering.
- Start with one small area of your house. It’s OK to start small.
- Write down a plan of attack. Make a list of the areas to clean, and cross them off as you go.
- Turn on some upbeat music.
- Set yourself a time limit if that makes you work better, and finish the project before time’s up.
- It’s OK to make a mess before it gets organized. It’s part of the process.
I started with a large closet in my laundry room. You know the one (you probably have one yourself), it has everything in it from school supplies, wrapping paper, pet food, light bulbs, barber shears, and stuff. Lots of stuff. My husband always complained about it. You had to shove the overflowing things back in to shut the door.
Be sure to finish the area that you started. It will give you a sense of accomplishment. And more room! You’ll find when you organize and purge the excess items, you’ll actually have more room and know where things are. You’ll also find things that you forgot you had, and many times, went out and bought it again! We’ve all done that!
Go from closet to closet, area to area, room to room, and begin to declutter the entire house. Don’t forget the basement, kitchen and pantry, closet shelves, and drawers in furniture. I found I had a food processor, a hand-held chopper, another small food processor, and a salad shooter. Do I really need all of this equipment to chop a carrot?
You’ll be amazed about how many things that you have that you know longer use. We all have things we just hang on to…perhaps they’re pretty, perhaps a friend or relative gave them to you, perhaps they have sentimental value. The sentimental things are the hardest for me. I kept items because I loved the person; I didn’t love the glass jar with the big blue eagle on it. Once I separated the two sentiments, it was easier to let it go, but keep the fond memories of the person.
But are you ever going to use that broken pot? What about those hundreds of greeting cards you received from years past? I’m not saying it’s easy at first, but the more you make that conscience desicion to get rid of it, the better you’ll feel and the easier it’ll be next time.
I’ll next go over the steps I use when I declutter an area, and what you can do with the unwanted items.