Inside: I started thinking about what I’m keeping in a more intentional way and these 3 questions are so good for decluttering!
When I was a kid I used to have a lot of collections. A sticker collection, a collection of those cheap little plastic charms for my charm bracelet, and even a candy collection.
I know crazy right? I was the kid who would save my candy in the bottom drawer of my desk. Not sure what I was saving it for –but it was out of hand.
Now in my adult life I realized that I still have this saving mentality and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. So I changed the way I think about what I’m keeping and it has me on a purging spree!
The kind that even had me creating a checklist of places to clean out that I’m sharing and you can download too!
Recognizing my clutter problem
We recently opened a nice bottle of wine that we’d been “saving for a special occasion.” Problem is, when the special occasion finally came and we remembered to open the dang thing, it had turned. Ain’t nothing special about that!
I hit my breaking point when I was recently going through all of the boxes of “stuff” that had been stored in our office for years.
Boxes of stuff that had moved with us over 3 times, but had never left the box.
Instead these things just sat in a box in an empty room until those rooms had to become bedrooms for our kiddos and finally ended up in the office, which as you know had become a crap dumping ground that I finally overhauled.
It started out being really overwhelming, but my decluttering method broke up the tasks into short chunks of time and made it all less overwhelming and in the end, it turned out better than I could have imagined.
I know I’m not the only one with this problem.
I go on a lot of walks through my neighborhood and almost no one parks their car in their garage cause it’s so filled with stuff that it’s impossible! I’m one of those people! (UPDATE: See how my new decluttering habits got my monster of a garage under control!)
And frankly I’m sick of it!
My home means so much to me. I put a lot of time and energy into making it a really nice place to be and yet I have these dumping grounds that secretly drive me nuts!
Sometimes they’re big (like my office or the garage) and sometimes they’re small, like the closet in the guest bedroom, but they’re cluttered up with often unnecessary things that are also cluttering my mind!
So I’ve changed the way I think about these things and it’s allowed me to declutter like I’ve never decluttered before!
And the result is amazing!
My old mentality of holding onto something cause I might need it someday is so bogus! How can I expect the things that I really do love or that are useful or important to shine (or be found in a timely manner) if they are hidden by a bunch of crap?
And why were we so concerned with price per square foot when we were buying our home if we were just going to fill some of those square feet with junk that we don’t need or use?
I know I’m a bit fired up, but seriously people, my new way of decluttering is life changing and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have, follow these same steps one little space at a time.
First ask yourself these three questions…
Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Or is it sentimental?
Now here’s where the key mental shift comes in…
If you hold onto everything (or too many things) because everything is special in some way, then really nothing is very special.
Think about that for a minute.
In order for the things that truly hold meaning or that are your best of the best to really shine and be appreciated, they can’t be crowded by the less important.
With that thought in mind I went through my things and limited what I kept down to the most beautiful, most useful, or the most meaningful things and let go of the rest.
By beautiful I mean if you saw it today in a store would you fall in love with it and have to have it in your home? If the answer is yes, then by all means, keep it!
By useful, I mean it actually gets used regularly or it makes your life easier in some way.
A perfect example of this is leftover project supplies. If it is something that can be used on many different projects, by all means keep it. But if it was leftover from a very unique project and will most likely never be used again, get rid of it!
For something to be sentimental it’s got to tell your story in some way.
Now I know that this is the hardest category and if you are anything like me you are going to sit and ponder certain items so you may have to go through a space more than once so that you are left with the best of the best.
There is no freedom in holding on to every single thing, memory, or story. So pick your favorites and let the rest go!
I know it ain’t easy. Just yesterday I had to be firm with myself when I was going through my fabric (and you know I love me some fabric).
I told myself that from now on I was going to store my fabric in the bottom drawer of my new built in. What that meant is that I had to get rid of a lot of fabric because I had way more than would fit in the drawer.
I had to be real with myself. Yes I love to sew, but do I really need enough fabric on hand to be able to create more projects than I even have planned? Nope.
And do I really need to keep small scraps of fabric, just because I love the print, and I might come up with a way to use them one day? Nope.
After making some tuff decisions, I ended up with a drawer full of fabric that I absolutely love and have plans for. The rest went to a local program for at risk teen girls and I love the idea that they are going to be able to use it for crafts and sewing projects.
I want you to try this.
Pick a spot in your home and ask yourself the 3 questions above for each item.
Start somewhere small and easy (without a lot of sentimental things.)
Like maybe under your bathroom sink. Lord knows you have hair and makeup products under there that you want to use or want to like, but the truth is you don’t. And they would be of better use at a women’s shelter.
And can you imagine the next time you have somewhere special to go, not having to dig through all of that crap to find the product that actually does work.
Donate or throw away what you are not keeping right away.
Pick 2 small spots in your home that could use a good decrapifying session over the next week and tell me what they are in the comments below.
Your home and your mind will be all the better for it, and it’s going to pave the way for you to really showcase your home decor style!
Ok. Time to go get your decluttering on! Grab your checklist and get ready to hit all of the tuff spots in your house!
If you found this helpful, and are really ready to change the way you feel in your home and want a step-by-step plan check out my class The Declutter Method.