Three boxes of books, a set of bunk beds, bags of clothing and shoes, toys, sheets and comforters left our house last week. And we don’t even miss them.
It started with an item on my to-do list: put away last year’s school books and shelve next year’s books.
While dusting books, cleaning shelves and finding homes for the books we removed, I started noticing books that we really didn’t need to own. I’m a sucker for a used book sale, but I’m not afraid to get rid of books that have outlived their usefulness. So while I searched the numerous bookshelves in our house for titles on the curriculum book list, I removed as many books as I could and boxed them up.
Meanwhile, my husband decided that our college-bound son should go ahead and pack up his bedroom so we could paint the walls in preparation for its new occupant. That meant moving a trundle bed out of his room and into another bedroom, taking down bunk beds, and acquiring a full-size bed from a grown child for the newly-painted room. Sort of like musical beds.
And while you’re moving all that furniture, may as well get rid of some stuff.
Don Aslett said, “Getting the clutter out of your life can and will rid you of more discouragement, tiredness, and boredom than anything else you can do.”
I have to agree that getting clutter out of my life gives me energy and a feeling of freedom.
Clutter sneaks up on us. A few things here, a few things there and before you know it, your house runneth over.
Many years ago we moved into a house temporarily. We knew we would only be there a couple of months so we didn’t unpack most of our stuff. It sat in the garage in boxes until our next move.
It was amazing how easy it was to keep that temporary house clean. We had three little children and they only had a few toys and clothes. We had basic furniture and kitchen utensils, but far less stuff.
I don’t necessarily want to go back to a life THAT stark, but it was a good lesson.
Sometimes older houses are harder to “look” clean because of chipped paint and old carpet. But clean surfaces and an uncluttered view go a long ways toward a neat and clean feel.
You can still have stuff (within reason) but it helps to keep it hidden. Cabinets, dressers, shelves, drawers, baskets and boxes can corral your necessary items. They can be sort of messy on the inside but they look neat on the outside.
[break][/break]Start by looking at your house with visitor’s eyes. What have you stopped “seeing”? A pile of papers, an overflowing magazine basket? Keys, receipts and dust on a bookshelf? What’s on top of the refrigerator?
You have two options:
1) Don’t get overwhelmed. Start small. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and get rid of one clutter area.
2) Don’t get overwhelmed. Do the Big One. In other words, declutter ALL the books or a whole room. It’s a mess in the middle but there’s such a feeling of power and relief when it’s done.
One decluttering session leads to another. Now that the books are done I’m in the mood to do the kitchen. I like to start a new school year with a freshly decluttered kitchen because I know that ain’t happenin’ in the upcoming months.
Look around your house with fresh eyes and see if you have some places that would benefit from decluttering. Reward yourself when it’s done and enjoy new energy and your streamlined surroundings!
[break][/break]Please leave your comment below!