Clearing Clutter – Part 1

Clutter stresses me out. The other day I went into the hall closet to find a perfume I wanted to use that morning before a big presentation. (Confession: I went through a major shopping binge with perfume and have bought so many in the past few years I have one for every occasion imaginable – I regularly use 2 of them). When I opened the hall closet about 5 travel sized toiletries and a jumbo-sized bottle of shampoo fell right on my feet thanks to all the clutter. This is a bad way to start a morning, and left me very stressed out. When you have a busy schedule, spending 10 minutes stuffing things back into a closet will throw everything off. I didn’t end up finding what I initially wanted because I was out of time before I’d miss my train.

Time to do some homework

I just finished reading Getting Rid of It by Betsy and Warren Talbot who claim to help readers “remove building blocks and live their best life.” This is EXACTLY what I needed to find and thank God for writers because when I have no clue how to accomplish something I trust that someone has already figured it out and wrote a book about it. I read this book quickly since it is concise and gives you a road map to get started without a lot of fluff. What else would you expect from two expert minimalists?

Quick and dirty?  Not with these treasures

My father and husband have very similar thoughts on removing clutter which includes a lawn sized trash bag and about 10 minutes. Even though that is a fast solution it can be a big financial and emotional mistake. I don’t want to have to go repurchase things I just threw away! What if something I love is back there? Something that can be moved to a more functional place where I can see it better and use it the way I planned when I first brought it home. Also, there might be some perfectly good items that can be sold or donated.

A better way

A different technique, according to Getting Rid of It , is to set up mini-challenges and go through it one room or space at a time. The hall closet is a good place to start – trying to do that and an attic, closets and a garage the same weekend is a recipe for failure because you will probably get distracted and bail before it’s done. Getting started on any de-cluttering project is tough because it is frustrating and can get emotional. Have you ever stumbled across a box of old photos? Goodbye entire afternoon – I’m off to cry and call my mom and sister.

Removing clutter from my house is a big goal as we head into the Spring. Also, since I am not shopping for much it will be great to have a better inventory of what I already own and make better use of it. Also, if I can sell or barter a few things that will have a great impact on my budget. So, this is my task for the weekend. I’m hoping to finish it and follow up with an organized closet, bag for donations and throw away what I (and no one else) needs. I’m looking at you expired mascara. Is anyone else going through this process now? What are some ways you stay clutter free after you are forced to go through your things like after a move or renovation? Comment below! 

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