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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Start De-Cluttering Now For A Fresh New Year

I look around my house and see all this stuff we have accumulated. Some of it is part of our story, treasured gifts and keepsakes from each other and those we love, but a lot of it is just STUFF.

Stuff just takes up space, crowds your living space and even affects our moods. When you come home and the first thing you see is cluttered spaces or disorganized things, it takes the wind right out of your sails. It causes anxiety and can even be depressing.

If you're like me, the sheer thought of reclaiming your space is daunting, overwhelming and paralyzing. As a crafter, it is especially bad because you look at things and are afraid to get rid of them out of fear that you'll need them later. 

A friend recently added me to a group geared towards de-cluttering and it has had me seriously thinking. I had already began cleaning out a room that had evolved into a junk room over the last several years, and I had already thrown out a lot, but not enough. 

This has become a challenge to myself. Part of this comes out of need. We need to turn that room back into the bedroom it once was, but part of it is a need of another sort. I can't stand the clutter. It took me awhile to realize it makes me anxious to be surrounded by so much stuff. There are so many things we don't even use enough to keep! 

I want our space back. So with 2015 approaching, I am going to try to clear out at least 2,015 items we don't need or use anymore.

I am trying not to be overwhelmed by this. I am trying to look at small areas instead of the whole picture. Here are some areas you can focus on to get started:

Bathrooms
old shampoo/conditioner and hair care bottles.
under the sink and the cupboards - clear out old, outdated products you haven't used. Get rid of any curling irons, rollers, etc that you don't use.

Laundry Room
Clear old products from any cabinets, empty bottles, put hangers on a rod or get rid of extras. Remove anything that isn't essential to laundry tasks.

Closets
Get rid of clothing you haven't worn or that doesn't fit. Donate it to a shelter or charity. Same with shoes. If they are in good condition, pass them on to someone with a need. If they are in such bad shape YOU won't wear them, toss them.

Under The Bed
It can be a great place for extra storage, but don't let it turn into a junk pile of forgotten stuff you don't use. Clear out anything loose. If you need to store things under the bed, be selective. Use under bed organizer to store sweaters, bed linens, blankets or quilts.

Kitchen 
Clear out appliances you don't use or that don't work. Working appliances can be sold or donated. There might be a local repair shop that can use your non-working appliances for parts. Get rid of any gadgets you no longer need or use. Clear out bowls, cookbooks, old spices, plastic shopping bags, pot and pans you no longer use or are damaged.
Get rid of old cleaners, bottles and stuff from under the sink. 

Other Areas
We all stash those papers and projects out kids bring home from school. I once kept every single thing our son brought home. It took me awhile to learn to let go and not keep every piece of paper he touched. Keep what is truly important and let the rest go. I love to re-purpose and recycle things, but over time I have gotten so busy in other areas of my life that I don't get to sit down and craft every day like I used to. I am still trying to let go of my penchant for keeping every box and container.

So can you do it too? I challenge you to clear out the clutter and simplify your living space. Just remember... take it in bite size chunks. Don't punish or stress yourself by trying to attack all of it at once. Come back here and let me know in the comments what you have gotten rid of! 

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