This will be a two part blog. Part I – De-cluttering your space. Part II: Organizing your space.
Part I: De-Cluttering your space.
Before you can achieve the end goal – a clutter-free home – you need to first de-clutter your space. Then naturally, your stress-level will go down. I am nowhere near the end of the process, but getting there. You will see in Part II of this post that I have tackled yet another three areas of my home.
A few years ago, I was hit bad with the fact that my house was over-congested with stuff. I felt so overwhelmed physically and mentally from spending all my time cleaning. And to top it off, no matter how much we ‘cleaned up’, the house would be a mess again within the same day. BTW – for those that don’t know, I share a 2100 square foot house with 4 people, plus a pup (pup is the least materialistic one luckily). So think about one person’s things MULTIPLIED by 5!
My daughter picked up a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo, which I read in just one sitting. The book is about the art of really cleaning up. It is not just about shuffling your stuff from room to room, but actually purging them. The author recommends collecting everything by specific category (and has a specific order, such as clothing items first, mementos last), thanking each item for what they did for you (for example, a great shirt that made you feel like a million bucks when you wore it years ago but now hangs in the back of your closet), and then donate or get rid of the items if they are overused already. I remember cracking up out loud at midnight, at the part where the author writes about knowing what is in the “trinket box” – JUNK that we just can’t throw away. I still have many of those boxes today. 2018 end of year resolution: get rid of the trinket boxes!
Since I have been through one major cycle of the purging process, this is my new life:
- It takes about 30 minutes to tidy up the whole house before guests come.
- Without all the ‘deep cleaning’ – I can spend time doing other things that I enjoy.
Top 5 take-home tips:
- If you don’t need it, don’t buy it in the first place.
- Don’t buy a lot of storage type furniture. You may feel that you need more open shelving, footstools, organizing boxes, etc., but they actually make you store more and more unnecessary stuff. A friend told me about their families rule: if you buy one thing, you need to get rid of one thing.
- Get rid of excess storage units (like shelving, boxes, furniture). You would be amazed at how much useless stuff you store in these places. Storage units also take up a lot of space. For example, a 24″ x 24″ stool takes up exactly 24″ x 24″ of valuable floor space.
- Collapse empty cardboard boxes. You may be saving them for a future move, but you can always tape them up again later. If you don’t collapse them, they take up a lot of space.
- Donate things that you don’t need. If you haven’t touched an item for “X” amount of time, donate them.
Everyone likes to see before and after pictures. So, what you see below is the conversion of my dining room into my TV room. I swapped my dining room with the TV room and vice versa. So, now I have a nice chandelier in my TV room. This room is the first room that you see when you enter the house. I used to want to cry because the dining room table was so messy from my kids. I could not avoid looking at the constant mess every day and it ate away at me. I decided it was time for a change. While my hubby and older son were away at camp, I took it upon myself to make the swap. It was quite a change – but a great one! In fact, my hubby says he should go away more often. In a nutshell, to clear up the floor area. I got rid of a lot of excess furniture and decorative floor items and plants. The room below was actually meant to be a combined living/dining room. So now, I have one large well laid out room.
Before and After
Pictured on the left: my former dining room Pictured on the right: my current TV room. The two black ottomans are amazing, as they have hidden storage. A great place to throw things in before guests come over.
In this thing called life, just make it happen and move on…
How is your de-cluttering coming along? I would love to hear from you!