We all have a touch of hoarder inside of us. We hold onto things that we think we’ll use again or are of some value. The truth is “out of sight, out of mind” falls into place and we’re stuck with junk drawers, memory boxes and attics filled with stuff that we forgot about.
I’m a saver. I’ve gotten better over the years but I still have a hard time throwing away broken frames, half used craft supplies and glass jars. I think I’ll use this again. Maybe I will but probably not. I mean I save empty glass jars for bacon grease because that’s a practical application but the box of unused frames is just sitting. I keep thinking I’m going to create a lovely art piece for the bedroom but the truth is I look at them every few months and pretend it’s not there.
The result of just letting it all go is helps you achieve living a clutter free, less messy life. Imagine the freeing feeling you’ll have knowing there is a cleaned out spot in your home. A spot that doesn’t need your thoughts or attention.
Getting rid of things doesn’t mean you have to throw it out. Donating and recycling is always an option and should be first thought before heading to the trashcan.
We all have to start somewhere so feel free to take it slow. Work on this list 2 -3 items at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed or don’t feel that de-cluttering is going to take too much time.
- Old Clothes. If you don’t have technical skill of a seamstress to alter and repurpose old clothes into new creations then let it go. Jeans that haven’t fit for 5 years are probably out of style in color and silhouette anyway. This goes for your children’s clothes too. It’s time to clean out closets and drawers and make room for new, better fitting, better looking styles to go with a new you. Keep working on your weight loss goals but AGAIN, a new you deserves new duds.
- Old Technology. Does your current computer even have a disk drive? Have your memories professionally transferred to digital format and get rid of the VHS tapes, floppy disks, walkmans and obsolete cables. Don’t forget those old remotes.
- Plastic containers. Unless you practice Once a Month Cooking there is NO need for an entire cabinet of Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers. First go through and get rid of mismatched lids and bowls then keep the ones you know you’ll use. Make sure they fit your fridge and freezer and make sure lids close tightly. With the recognition of hazardous BPS this is a great time to weed through the pieces that could be the most dangerous.
- Coffee Mugs . How much coffee do you actually drink? Do you really need 4 mugs with your name on it plus the 3 other touristy mugs that others have brought back from your during their travels. Keep the few that you love plus a couple more for guests.
- Old Food. Scour that pantry, cabinets, basement storage and even the fridge for anything expired. Don’t stop at expired though. Pull everything that you know you’re not going to eat like that vegan cheese pasta topping or super spicy wing sauce that set your tongue on fire. Double check your spices. Now is a good time to set up a system so you know what you’re not using so you can get rid of them. Turn everything backwards and once it’s used turn it so the label can be seen. In a couple months toss those that are still facing the wrong way.
- Magazines. This is something I find really hard to do. I love leafing through magazines and getting ideas for crafts or recipes but when my pile starts getting too high I know it’s time to start minimizing the stash. I pull out recipes and put them in a binder full of sheet protectors for later use. Crafty or design ideas are also ripped out and stashed with the appropriate supplies.
- Medicines and Health Products. Our hall closet is sifted through once a year because there is nothing worse than reaching for children’s pain reliever in the middle of the night to find it expired 4 months previous. Resist those sales that make you stock up on the same cough medicine unless you plan on sharing with another family. Keep the staples on hand, cough relief, pain relief, allergy medicine antacids, first aid supplies and cough drops.
- Hangers. Don’t keep the terrible wire ones from the cleaners or the flimsy plastic styles from the mall. Hangers aren’t expensive so you can easily buy good ones as you need them. Choose a style and color and moving forward stick to it.
- Cosmetics and Beauty Items. Mascaras and Eyeliners have a very short life due to their exposure to the eye. Face creams and foundations may last longer but it’s important to keep a close eye AND nose to everything that you use on a regular and not so regular basis. Smell things as you apply to make sure they don’t smell rancid. Look at your eye shadows and bronzers to make sure they aren’t appearing wet or shiny in a way they didn’t before. Wash your brushes monthly also.
- Office and School Supplies. How many pens can you find if you opened every one of your junk drawers? It’s time to downsize them, the notepads and the leftover folders from last years class. Keep items that are new and appropriate for your child’s age (toss the Wiggles pencil case when they are in Middle School). Check each pen and marker so you know they work.
We don’t let our lives be over run with old and broken toys, shoes that don’t fit and furniture that has live well past it’s life. Don’t let the rest of your home get in the way of being clutter free and organized. Start with a room or a closet or a family member; just start somewhere.