I can always tell how crazy my life is by how cluttered my home feels.
When I am dancing through my daily routine, whisking along with life and everything is flowing smoothly, my house stays organized. But the minute my day gets complicated I notice the clutter beginning to pile up.
I swear I spend a ridiculous amount of time moving things from where they end up to where they belong. I guess that is simply part of my job description.
Because I hate it so much, I have found I am loathe to bring new items in the house. For every dress I buy I try to give away at least one garment. For every toy my kids receives as a gift, I attempt to throw away one that is broken and worthless.
By keeping the clutter in my home to a minimum, I have found I can keep my home looking grand using a minimum amount of energy.
But it wasn’t always this way.
I like to think of myself as a “collector” and it is not easy to keep from getting carried away with filling my home with stuff I really don’t need or want. I have learned a few tricks that keep me from being overwhelmed by too much stuff.
The Two Questions Of Clutter Busting
When I am cleaning out one of my closets or drawers that really needs organizing, I ask myself two questions.
Do I really need or love it?
If I really need or adore something then I keep it. If not I go on the next question…
Does it have a place to live?
If the item is something that already has a storage place in my home, then it gets to stay. If it has no place to live then I either need to make a space for it or get rid of it.
Now I happen to be a very decisive person, so the two questions are quite easy for me to use when I am clearing the clutter. Where I get tangled is when I have to actually give or throw away the discarded items. I just feel so guilty about it! Sometimes I would rather shove that item into a closet and forget it. And by sometimes I mean all the time.
It turns out I am not alone in my guilt. I have come up with 7 main reasons people, including myself, hate to throw things away.
- Afraid of change
- Might need it in the future
- Holds memories
- It was a gift
- Spent good money on it and then never used it
- Don’t want to contribute more to the huge garbage piles
- Too expensive to give or throw away and not sure what to do with it
Can you think of any others?
I don’t like to feel guilty, and I am inherently lazy, so when I am faced with something that makes me feel bad about myself and takes too much time to solve, I want to shove it somewhere and try to forget about it. It is a constant battle I have with myself to fight the guilt I have when getting rid of something and the desire to be clutter free.
So here is what I do. For the items that I am having a hard time getting rid of, I place them all in a box. Then I put the box in my garage and forget about it. It takes about 6 months for my husband to be annoyed by it so when he finally says something about the box he keeps tripping over, I know I can let it go and I make him do it! It boils down to me filling the boxes and then he is responsible for actually getting rid of the junk. Isn’t that what teamwork is all about?
It might be a bit convoluted of a solution, but it works for me. So for those of you who are looking to declutter your own home, I would start small. Try cleaning out your junk drawer by asking the two clutter busting questions for each item. For the things you are having a hard time getting rid of, place them in a box and hide it somewhere. At some point in the future you will stumble upon the box and you will realize you don’t need or want anything in it, therefore it will be safe to give or throw away. And if you have a partner, make them do the dirty work and get rid of it!
Click through for more clutter busting tips:
- My 2 Step Process For Cleaning The Clutter
- How To Organize Your Junk Drawer
- Clean A Room In Only 5 Minutes (*For emergencies only!)