There’s something about Spring that’s filled with refreshing motivation! Perhaps it’s the sight of sunshine, and the bulbs sprouting in my flower beds that’s given me all kinds of inspiration to declutter. My Maybe on Monday challenge of the month is a massive spring decluttering, and to establish an in and out policy to avoid future pileups!
Our clutter problem dates back to when we first got married. My husband is Canadian, and because of the slow process of filing for immigration, we couldn’t live together in the same country for the first 2 years of our marriage. So… we maintained 2 separate households – and now both households worth of stuff is combined into 1, hence the need to get rid of some things! It’s definitely discouraging to see the boxes worth of things sitting in our basement just waiting to be gone through, but I’m excited for what’s on the other side – freedom from the stuff!!!
Our house in the U.S. has been semi lived in over the last several years but wasn’t maintained much. Between both of us working, and the 12 hour road trips back and forth on the weekend, there’s not much time to mow the grass or weed the flower beds. In fact, the last time my flower beds were weeded was 4 years ago for our wedding reception! 4 years is a long time for clutter to pile up let me tell you! So… I just wanted to share my little story with you today because maybe you have an overwhelming situation too, and stuff can be a real burden when you’re not using it!
1st I need a plan of action:
As you might imagine, I have a few projects to tackle! So, instead of worrying about all of it, my plan is to tackle it in little pieces!
1. Do a little something everyday!
Yesterday, I bagged up all my extra winter clothes. One bag to keep, and another bag of things I no longer wear to get rid of!
2. Set a timer for bigger tasks!
There just isn’t enough time in a day to get some projects done. Instead of putting off the bigger tasks, I’ve been setting a timer to spend 30 minutes working on it before moving on to other things. I’ve been shocked at how much can happen when you devote a full 30 minutes of your attention to a task several times per week. I’ve already made it halfway through our flower beds, and gone through several totes of things from our last move!
3. Develop a morning and/or evening routine to take care of everyday business!
I’ve developed a checklist of everyday things that I try to make it through both in the morning and the evening. For instance, in the morning I unload the dishwasher, and in the evening I go through the mail throwing out the junk and filing the important things to be taken care of. Lest you think I’ve got it together, I should let you know that my receipt organizing, (read lack thereof) is a total disaster, (my accountant would be so disappointed – so let’s not tell him)! I’m working on a pile of receipts that I’ve been jamming into a folder for the last 3 months! Once it gets out of hand like that, it becomes one of those ‘work on it 30 minutes a day’ kind of projects.
4. If you don’t use it – lose it!
This is the one I probably need to work on the most! I struggle to get rid of things because I’m sure I’ll have a use for them sooner or later. This kind of thinking results in a whole pile of undone projects, and odds and ends that are bound to be useful at some unknown time. What I’ve found for myself is a lack of things that I could use in everyday life, and lots of things I haven’t even looked at in years! My main goal in decluttering is a clean slate, with only the things we actually need and use at the end of this project!
What’s your favorite tips for keeping the clutter at bay?