Spring Is on Its Way…Get Rid of the Stuff You Don’t Need or Use
Unless you are living under a rock, you have probably heard of the KonMari method of decluttering. It’s either because of the Netflix show or the book that came out a few years ago. I’m going to write my own take on decluttering based on what I have found works well for me. In my defense, this topic has been on my list to write about since early December, so I’m not completely jumping on the bandwagon.
Spring is Coming
I’m not sure what it is about spring that makes us want to declutter and lighten up our spaces. I always picture hibernating animals emerging from their spots, shaking off the dust that settled while they slept and warming themselves in the sunlight again. The human equivalent is putting away heavy bedding and throwing open the curtains to enjoy the sunlight. Our ancestors even took up the rugs in the spring, because their main function was to insulate the floors. One of the results of that was that the rooms looked less cluttered since there was less pattern in them. I’m not saying to roll up the rugs in your home, but I do have some other tips that might help.
How Long Have You Lived There?
Growing up, I moved a lot because my father was in the military; we rarely stayed anywhere more than a few years at most. This meant we were regularly packing and unpacking everything, plus we had a family weight allowance for our home goods. That meant that there was very little opportunity to amass a lot of clutter, my mother was constantly purging. I am not nearly as ruthless as she is, but I learned a lot from her.
I have lived in my current place for over 6 years now, and all of a sudden it seems too full. So, the past few weeks I have been making a conscious effort to get rid of something every time I go to put something away. That relates to tip 1, for every new thing that comes into your home, get rid of something. If you do this consistently, you should never have too much stuff around, right?
Can You Find Things Easily?
If you are always saying, “I swear I have one of those, but can’t find it right now” you probably have too much stuff. Tip 2 is taking a hard look at what you currently have. Even if you have been scrupulously following tip 1, that doesn’t address what you started with. Marie Kondo says to get everything of a classification out at once to decide what to keep and what to purge.
For instance, get all your shoes out from wherever you keep them and put them in a big pile. For some of us, that might be a really big pile! Then make a decision what to keep. You may not have realized that you have several items that are almost identical or something that is very worn. For me, it’s easier to do it in small chunks like this instead of my entire wardrobe. So, I go through shoes, dresses, jeans, t-shirts, etc., as individual projects. This helps keep it from being overwhelming, I can finish each chunk in a short time. Same with the rest of the house, just do a small section at a time.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Tip 3 is not to bite off more than you can chew. If you know you have the attention span of a toddler for jobs like this, or can only block out an hour here and there, be realistic! I can deal with a few hours at a time, then I need to stop and do something else. Realistically, in two hours, I can go through several kitchen cabinets or a small dresser of clothes. Remember, you are taking everything out to look at it, then only putting back the things you will be keeping.
Now You Have to Get it Out!
The most important part is to get rid of all that stuff right away. Box it up, take it to your car, and drive to a donation center of your choice. As you are boxing it up, however, make sure that you are throwing away the worn out and broken items. I was told once that I should never donate something I wouldn’t keep. That was an eye-opening statement, now I am more aware of what I am giving away. I think tip 4 is possibly the hardest one. As I look at the things I don’t want or need anymore, I frequently say to myself “I should sell this, it has value.” Then I remind myself that I rarely follow through on doing that, and that is why I have too much stuff!
What Does this Have to Do with Saving Money?
I can tell you from personal experience, keeping a limited number of things around and being able to find things when you need them is a money saving plan. I had to buy a hacksaw this week because mine is lost somewhere in the garage. It was an inexpensive item, but little things like that can add up over time. Another thing that seems small but adds up over time is paying too much on your monthly bills. Let BillCutterz team of Savings Experts help you get control of your bills. Take a few minutes to sign up, submit a PDF of your bills (ditch the paper ones, it’s more clutter!) and relax while we take care of the rest.