In 2017 I watched the documentary The Minimalist and started culling my entire life. I had so much stuff that it felt stifling to keep up with it. My goal wasn’t to be exactly like them, with only a few items. It was to:
- Have organized spaces that work efficiently for our family.
- Remove any items I never use or wear or care about. Purge, purge, purge.
- Get to the point where I can focus less on stuff and more on experience building – which is my 2018 goal.
In the beginning, the process felt overwhelming, but I had a plan of approaching it room by room. It was difficult at times to keep focused on just one item at a time, but I believe that was a critical element of success. Otherwise it just seems daunting.
I’m no where close to being done and I still have to get control of buying new things. But room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer I make progress. Each space I finish feels like a win and I’ve been so happy with how much more efficient some of the spaces are working.
Here are a few lessons learned and tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Get rid of it – It’s essential to take the trash bin to your life before you worry about organizing anything. I’m obsessed with all the bins and dividers too, but you’ll find it’s much easier to have an organized life when you trash things first. It also feels really good. Who knew there was so much expired stuff cluttering up my pantry?
- Clothes – What I’ve found about clothes is that I have a core set that I wear ALL the time. So when going through my closet I’d ask myself “Would I wear something else before I wore this?” If the answer was yes, then it went into the donate bin.
- Decorations – Okay, I have so many things in this category (Knick-knacks) and it’s a hard one for me to declutter in because several items have sentimental value. But these are the things that stress up your life because they require a place to go, you have to keep them clean, and keep little toddler hands from breaking them. They’re a hassle. I made what I’ll call First Round Progress with these. I let go of a lot but still have a ways to go here. It’s just about mentally switching to not caring about the stuff and realizing your memories are yours. Honestly, I’m not totally there yet.
- Who Knew? – Through out this entire process I found so much stuff I forgot I had. Storing things in bins and hidden away, it just gets lost and you re-buy it. My mantra now is if I can’t see it or have a specific, labeled place for it, then it doesn’t exist. This is something I keep in mind when I purchase something new – where will it go?
So there you have it. I’ll try to keep posting about getting organized in life – because it extends beyond just the clutter in your house.
I’ve included a picture below of my most recent win. Since I purged a ton of stuff it freed up the guest room closet to become my wrapping station. Before all these items were in a bin in the back of my husband’s closet; which made wrapping gifts terribly inconvenient. Now it’s a joy! The shelving is Elfa units from the container store. There was an after Christmas sale. They go on sale all the time, so wait to buy them until sale time.