Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Decluttering 101

I've never been much of a packrat, or at least that what I tell myself. I'm not one to hold on to items for sentimental value, or even because I may need it one day (if I haven't needed it in the past 3 years, chances are I won't need it in the next 3).

But now that I'm in the midst of decluttering my home pre-baby, I'm finding that I have a lot more stuff than I thought.

Fortunately, when I do go through my collection, it's usually easy for me to let go of things. The bad part is that I don't let go of nearly as much as I need to. If I want to live the minimalist life I'm envisioning in my head, I've got to get serious about getting rid of all the junk.

And I am trying. I've even discovered a few tricks along the way.

The number one, most useful, easiest, best trick I've found is this: instead of pulling out items you want to get rid of, pull out only the items you really want to keep, then get rid of everything else.

I'm finding this tip especially useful for books, because I don't habitually reread books, so there are very few I actually need to have on my shelf. But if I go through looking for books to toss, I'll fall into the trap of thinking, "Oh, I liked that book all right, I think I'll keep it," or even, "I never got around to reading that book, I'll get to it eventually." WRONG. With Baby on the way, I'm about to have less time to read than ever before, so if I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, chances are I'm not going to.

But it also works for other things. Take clothes, for example. Most of us have more clothes than we really need, and I, at least, wear only a select set of them on a regular basis, and what's more, we know what that select set is (hint: look at your laundry basket for a couple of weeks). The trick is, which ones DO you wear, not which ones do you think you might wear? That's the tough part.

Of course there are going to be things you don't wear on a weekly basis, or seasonal items you won't wear for another few months. I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about the shirt that's slightly uncomfortable, or that makes you sweat, or that doesn't quite fit, or that you're not sure if it's really your color. All of those, out they go!

It's not as hard as it seems, and it's actually quite liberating. I'm looking forward to getting rid of more stuff this weekend.

After the football game, of course.

1 comment:

Theola Chanel said...

I AM a packrat. I try to do minor decluttering on a fairly regular basis, but I still have closets full of clothes I might fit back into someday. I have come to the conclusion that even if I do manage to lose weight and regain my high school figure (sadly, still not saying a lot) I'm not going to want to wear clothes that are old enough to drive.