Decluttering is at the top of my project list now that I am home full time. I have slowly been tackling little nooks laden with crap for a few months and our home is starting to breathe. It feels good to know we can live comfortably with so much less. It is also less embarrassing when friends pop in, although currently I think every surface in the house is under something (because I am cleaning it out!)
I love organization and detest jumbled piles of anything. I have read a lot of advice on clearing out physical clutter and have never considered myself a hoarder. I am, however, a procrastinator and despise waste, so I unknowingly became an accumulator. I still have a long way to go to usurp our wasteful possessions, but here are some general rules that help me get rid of the excess.
- Touch everything once - Deal with an item the first time you touch it. Don't set it down and come back to it. Put it away the first time you have it in your hands.
- Find a permanent home - Ever heard everything in its place, and a place for everything? If something in your hands doesn't have a home, find one immediately or get rid of it. (see first bullet point)
- Start small - Clean up little spaces first so it is not overwhelming trying to decide if you want to keep something and where you want to keep it. Eventually, you will have a whole room that only has things you really want in it.
- Get on the internet - Sign up for your local charity's junk pick-up emails and they will notify you when they will be in your area. All you have to do is let them know you need a pickup and leave it on your porch. Ebay, Craigslist, and Freecycle are also good resources for unloading your unwanted things and maybe recouping some of the costs, but I typically bypass these because I just want it gone and don't want to have a meeting with someone for every item I post.
- Don't bring it home - Now that our budget and needs are different, I scrutinize every purchase to make sure it is truly something we need and cannot make ourselves. This alleviates unnecessary fiscal and physical waste, not to mention the time it takes to buy it, bring it home, store it, maintain it and maybe eventually get rid of it again.