Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Starting Out On the Right Foot

I love the new year because it means a chance to start fresh! A clean slate.....and a great time to reset our homes and change them into a wonderful refuge! If your family is like ours, you've just been inundated with an onslaught of new toys, gizmos, clothes, and gifts that now need new homes. If your home was already feeling crowded and cluttered, these new items may be just the things that finally pushes  you over the edge or being frustrated to overwhelmed with the state of your home!

I'm a firm believer that ever item in a house needs a permanent(uncluttered) home and if homes are at a premium, then the only solution is to evict some items to make room for those items that are really treasured and loved. I want to add here, that sometimes the item that needs to leave may be something you just received. SHOCKING, I know! Many times we receive things that we don't like, enjoy, or need and while we should be thankful for the kindness of the giver, we don't need to keep the item. This is a great opportunity to bless someone less fortunate!

Have nothing in your house

that you do not know to be useful
or believe to be beautiful.
-William Morris

I've always loved this quote and feel that it really is the basic question we should be asking ourselves when we go through items to decide whether they make the cut. If we keep items around that we don't enjoy or use these items are basically sitting their taking up space, causing us stress, and adding work to our already busy schedule. Everyone wants to organize what they have, but the truth is you can only keep organized what you have space for.....clutter and excess cannot be organized.

Photo Credit

There are many ways of getting rid of that excess, but I'm going to share some of my favorites.

  • Go big or go home! 
    • This one is my favorite, I'm an all or nothing kind of gal! This decluttering method kills two birds with one stone because you are purging and cleaning at the same time. It starts off with taking everything out of the room and placing it in another area, such as the hall. If this seems too overwhelming, use this method on one area within a room, such as a dresser. Take everything out, clean the space, and then only bring back into the room the items your really use and love, and put everything left over in your donate box or trash box! I love doing this method because once you've finished the space, you have a beautifully organized, minimalized, and sanitized space. It's like an entirely fresh start!
  • Challenge Purging!
    • When I first started my adventure into decluttering and living a minimalized lifestyle, I did the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Not only was it the encouragement and support I needed but it also gave me an attainable goal to reach. By breaking it into small chunks it didn't overwhelm me or take to much time out of my normal day with my littles. It helped me reach my goal, and once I got started I quickly exceeded it. I got to know the donation place guy by the first name! The bags of things could be trash, donations, or items to sell. Just get stuff into those bags and once you start you see and feel the weight of excess lift and you are inspired to give things away you never thought you would part with.
  • Hanger Switcharoo
    • Clothes have always been a hard item for me to part with. Because I'm tall it is hard to find items that fit well and when they do, I like to hold onto them. But just because an item fits the body it doesn't mean it looks good on you, that you like it, or that you ever wear it. This is basically the easiest way to purge...ever. Simply turn all your coat hangers around backwards and as you wear an item turn the coat hanger around. At the end of 6 months or a year whatever items are still in there backwards, simply grab them quickly and toss them into a bag. Unless it is a special occasion item or maternity item, if you haven't worn it in that long, there's a very good chance you never will and someone else could benefit from that item.
These are just a few easy techniques I've used and still use yearly to keep my house from feeling full and overwhelmed with stuff. I hope these ideas help you in your quest to start the new year off right!

What are some of your favorite ways to purge your home of unwanted items?

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