5 Things to Elimnate From Your Home
Clutter… also known as the seeds of chaos can work its way into your life and strangle the joy out of our daily ventures faster than you can blink. I’ve now been living in my home for ten years, and we all know from experience that for some reason during the first decade of living in our homes we tend to collect the most stuff. I, for one, must have a clean organized space. Otherwise, I won’t get a single thing done. Also, my home office needs to feel light and airy and free of junk to remind me of a worry. My creative chi just doesn’t flow well if I’m surrounded by chaos. At that point, you know it’s most definitely time to find things to eliminate from your home.
No worries. After participating in a 30-day decluttering challenge sponsored by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less, I was able to narrow down the five most common types of clutter and also offer a few tips on ways to keep these nuisances under control.
Here are the 5 most common things to eliminate from your home and a few suggestions on how to go about doing so.
1) Clothes – Those gym shorts from your high school/college/pre-baby yoga class. The little black dresses you just never had the time to find a reason to wear. Those sweet little flip flops you bought from the Express, the ones everyone wore, oh say, ten years ago…
All of these items create clutter, invading our lives one corner at a time until suddenly the mess has grown out of control. How do I know this? Because I’m currently fighting this demon. It has taken me months to clear my home of clutter that began accumulating the day my sister and her son moved out two years ago.
The best way to handle this silent space thief is to follow the golden rule of fashion. And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with what color to wear after Labor Day. Nah. It’s simple, really. All you need to do is replace/donate/giveaway an item each time you buy something new. Since I’ve started blogging about fashion on this blog, I have followed this rule more closely than ever before. Give the buy-donate method a try. It works.
2) Paper – Oh boy, I almost put this baby first. Why? Because mail, old college notes, book drafts, magazines, (and did I already say mail?) can pile up even faster if not more so than clothing. For me, it’s harder to decide which piece of clothing to get rid of. Sometimes it takes me weeks to let go of an item I’ve only worn once or twice in 10-years! That’s why clothes sits at the top of my list.
However, many people worry about someone stealing their identity when finding themselves faced with getting rid of paper clutter. I don’t blame them. Identity theft is on the rise and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. And the technology gets more and more sophisticated each year.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself:
- a) Invest in a personal shredder. Staples sells a very good one for under $40.
- b) Use a shredder service if you’re like me and your paper piles are taller than your home. Check the local newspapers and keep an eye out for community shredding events. Here in the City of Alchemy & Medicine, we have these offered several times a year.
- c) Don’t sit the mail down with the intention of dealing with it later on. That moment won’t ever come. Trust me. I know.
3) Clutter – This group consists of all the little miscellaneous things that tend to make tiny homes around the items listed in groups 1,2 and 4. Old appliances and television sets haunt me each time I walk into the area that will become our entertainment room next year. The time has come to deal with all this. We’re planning on doing a major pick up and haul away.
4) Old Shoes – Women around the world unite! Except this time, we’ll be getting rid of shoe clutter instead of adding on to the burden. How many of us have kept a pair of heels we’ve either never worn or only stepped out in twice? I’m totally guilty. This is yet another hard one for me. Shoes make such pretty closet decorations, don’t they? 😀
Same rule applies here as it does with clothing. Take a long, hard look at your shoe collection (This will be tough. I can relate). Start taking inventory beginning with the oldest pair. Swap/donate/toss (depending on the condition of the shoe) one old pair for each new one you’ve bought. You can do this. I have faith.
5) Video Games/Movies/DVDs – Here is a simple list of solutions: Copy. Donate. Restore… in no particular order. Don’t over think this one or the advice won’t work. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.
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