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Declutter Now!

Updated on April 11, 2013
We're decluttering before it gets this bad
We're decluttering before it gets this bad | Source

Do you think you could pare down to 20% of your current possessions and live happily?

See results

Goodbye Junk: I'm Decluttering

Confession time, I have a lot of stuff, I NEED to declutter now!

I wasn't always this way, in fact, pre-husband and kids, I was definitely what you would have called a minimalist. (I don't even think I knew what the word "declutter," meant back then.) I tended to move around a lot, at least once a year, and my priority was keeping myself portable. I had a futon mattress and an army duffel bag of clothes and that was it. Looking around at all that I have acquired in the last 11 years, I wonder how I did it? No, not how I lived with so little then, but how I acquired so much crap in such a short amount of time? As I’ve said in previous posts, our family chant is becoming “What’s important? PEOPLE! What are we getting rid of? STUFF!” Clearly it’s time to take action.

Every year our village has a village-wide yard sale and I plan to declutter big time. Did you know we only tend to use 20% of our possessions? Staggering isn't it?I don’t think I can get down to 20%, but I feel confident that I can at least reduce what I have by 20% and maybe make a little money too. Watch out family, Mama’s clearing house!

In my quest to declutter, every time I pick something up I will ask myself:

1. Have I used this in a year?

2. Could I borrow this in the future instead of owning it?

3. If the house was burning down would I take this with me?

To declutter these things that are hitting the road:

Books

We have E readers and the library is two blocks over. The girls can pick their top ten books each and then learn to embrace the library.

CDs

These are becoming total relics, in a digital age they have become obsolete.

DVDs

I’d like to include blurays on this list too, but my husband would have a heart attack. So the DVDs are going and we have made a promise to each other not to buy another movie. Netflix and streaming are now our best friends.

Bye, bye buddies
Bye, bye buddies | Source

Toys

Wow do our children have a lot of toys. Can they reduce down to their top 20? We’ll try.

Kitchen Gadgets

My husband and I are both guilty of accumulating these. Things need to have a multi-use to stick around and have been used in the last year. How many coffee makers do we really need?

Clothing

Let’s face it, most of us just wear the same ten things over and over again and hang on to a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit. Time to surrender the fantasy and let go.

Knick Knacks

Dust collectors, they are not overly useful, but often emotionally charged. Can I separate the emotion and the memory from the stuff? This will not be easy.

Bye, bye Christmas clutter
Bye, bye Christmas clutter | Source

Seasonal Decorations

I am ridiculous about Christmas. I have an entire storage room dedicated to Christmas decorations. I've lost the true meaning of the season. It’s time to let go and get back to what really matters.

Fitness Equipment

We fell into that home gym trap like so many busy parents do and now we just have an unused, expensive treadmill/clothes hanger. Goodbye!

Wow just looking at this list is embarrassing. So much stuff!

Source

Turning a new leaf

I'm ready for my de-clutter fantastico journey to begin. The boxes are out and I am filling them little by little each day so that in two weeks our house will feel a little lighter. But how do I keep from slipping back into the patterns that allowed so much stuff to come through our doors? I'm setting some new ground rules to help.

New rules we will be living by:

1. Don’t buy what you can borrow or share.

2. Nothing comes in without something going out

3. Wait 24 hours before making any purchase that isn’t a basic necessity like food or basic clothing

How do you de-clutter?

Are you ready for a change? Do you consider yourself the Yoda of de-cluttering? I'd love to hear some of your tips on how you've de-cluttered and got back to a simple, organized life.

Comments

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    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Good luck with your move 1 of the 2patricias. Joint yard sales are always a good idea, even of just for the moral support. Thanks for reading.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      My husband and I are hoping to move next year, and are working very hard on reducing our stuff.

      The other Patricia recently had major renovation work at her house, and went through a similar exercise.

      If we lived a bit closer, we could have had a joint yard sale, but that didn't work out.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much MarleneB. I have to admit, it's a daily struggle to keep the stuff at bay, but life seems a lot richer having let go of the clutter.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      I love, love, love your ideas. I am going to adopt your family chant, “What’s important? PEOPLE! What are we getting rid of? STUFF!” I like all of your decision tips, expecially the one where I have to consider what I would take if the house was burning down. This is truly a very helpful hub. I'm pinning this one to my board for reference.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I must admit - I tend to collect clutter! I constantly to keep it at bay, but it always sneaks back in. Right now I'm really trying to get rid of stuff because I am moving in about two months - thanks for the helpful tips!

      Voted awesome.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Hawaiianodysseues, thank your your lovely comments and the vote up. I promise you that once the de-clutter ball gets rolling it feels fantastic. Who knows maybe you will find some forgotten treasures and be able to make a mint selling them on eBay.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Thundermama, I seldom vote up and across the board of adjectives, but this time I didn't hesitate a bit in doing just that. Why? Because your Hub really hit me to my core! Yours is an article I definitely want to share with my better half. As an eBayer, our "Garbage In, Garbage Out" seesaw is definitely stuck at a 45-degree angle with the excessive weight being on the former side. I like your simple, down to earth, and practical suggestions. Cheers to you and your husband for being great examples. I'm starting NOW to implement some of these ideas. Thank you so much!

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      LL, so glad to hear that I am not the only one who has resorted to "alternative," uses for their fitness equipment. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Laurel Lee profile image

      Laurel Lee 

      6 years ago

      Your suggestions are great. I had to chuckle when I read about your treadmill/clothes hanger. We have a cross country ski machine/kitty litter holder.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      A list is an awesome idea, I think we can deduct donations in Canada as well. Thanks for the great tip!

    • profile image

      brokenwingsautism 

      6 years ago

      I have lived in my house 11 years too. I had never lived in a house that long in my life. I need to follow your list to declutter. I just hung new kitchen cabinets and that helped in that area, the cabinets are bigger but emptier since I keep getting rid of stuff that was in the old cabinets. I keep a donation box with a list in the box, then I know what I can deduct from my taxes, at least in the US. That helps a lot.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Michelle, I love the idea of an ongoing box to keep the clutter busting going. Thinking about having one on each floor of the house.

    • MichelleRobert profile image

      Melissa Michelle-Robert aka Mim 

      6 years ago from Hiding out on the Bayou

      Great article on how to free yourself of the clutter. I always find such a freeing feeling when I give things to a good cause and enjoy the spacious look of my home.

      One of my best idea is to constantly keep a box in the house that is devoted to discarded but usable items. Then when you know you are passing a thrift store for a charity, I just drop it off and start a new box.

    • jaswinder64 profile image

      jaswinder64 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada.

      Good Article, good advise.

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