Mission: Decluttering

source: liferphotos
source: liferphotos

I’ve really made decluttering my mission for the next few months. In fact, I set a goal for myself to get rid of as much stuff as possible before our fourth child is born in August/September.

Ironically, after I mentioned my plan to my husband (to which he responded with an exaggerated eye roll…), I read a post about the signs that you have a decluttering problem, which was a good reminder that I need to be sure I don’t get rid of things that we’ll later need (and therefore have to repurchase) and also that I don’t forget about the other people in my family and how my decluttering might affect them.

That said, my mission remains the same, but I’m hoping I can be reasonable about it without becoming obsessed and forgetting what’s important.

Why Declutter?

My home is fairly organized already, and we’ve always been committed to keeping it free from clutter. However, I continue to be amazed at how fast we amass stuff. It’s frustrating and means that we have to constantly reorganize to make room for more, and I’m not even sure where the stuff is coming from!

One thing I do know, though, is that unnecessary stuff not only wastes space in my home but also wastes my time and energy as I have to sort through it, move it and think about it. And since I’ll soon have four children under five years old, plus one who needs to start kindergarten (we’re homeschooling), and I work at home, I’m looking for anything that will save me time and energy.

A Decluttering Plan

My plan for decluttering is actually really simple. As I have time and energy, I am tackling one small area of my home at a time. I always start by pulling everything out so that I know what I have and can decide how to best organize it before putting it back. Then, I decide which things really need to be kept, which things can be moved to storage instead and which things can be thrown or given away. I’m trying to think more in terms of need and less in terms of want, without going overboard and eliminating all of life’s little joys.

A Plan for the Future

As part of this process, I want to be more conscious about the things that create clutter in our home. What is it and where is it coming from? Is it necessary stuff that needs a designated space, or is it a junk that we need to stop before it even comes inside?

For example, I have a growing pile of magazines from free magazine subscriptions. Here’s the thing, though – I rarely ever get around to them, and I don’t really even have much desire to read them. So I’ve decided to take a few minutes to call and cancel those subscriptions. Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re a good thing.

I also have a nasty craft habit, and I often pick up a few craft supplies for some big idea without knowing where I will put them. They end up stacked in my laundry room, taking up space (and taunting me!), and I already have plenty of craft supplies that I need to either clean out or use up before I buy anymore! (Well, except for this adorable material I saw to make a quilt for the newest baby…and…)

How about you? Do you tend to be a keeper or purger? What’s something you’ve gotten rid of only to later regret the decision?