Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Place and a Space

I have been continuing on the journey toward minimalism and moving stuff out of the house.  I've gotten rid of at least 6 more black yard waste bags full of stuff.  I've given away another 10 books to a friend.  I've used some of my craft supplies to make kits for a class I'm teaching.  I've taken another large black bag of clothes to a high school clothes closet.  My son decluttered them from his closet here.  I have a new brown grocery sack started with some sidewalk chalk and bubble blowing supplies I removed from a coat closet.

Those brown grocery sacks are key to ongoing decluttering.  I keep one in an inconspicuous place in the living room.  I add to it as I come across things.  When it gets full I add another and when I have three full ones, I put them in one of the large black bags.  Having somewhere to put things as I come across them makes decluttering part of every day life.  Every member of the family knows the its location and its use.

I have slowed a bit this month and have been feeling quite lazy.  The main entertaining rooms are almost complete not counting shelves, drawers, and walls.  Almost all of the stuff in boxes, bags, etc. on the floor has been gone through and decluttered.  Those things staying have been put away.  This means that with a quick sweep/vacuum, I am ready for company.  That is a great feeling but I'm not done yet.

My goal is to have every room cleared.  Every surface decluttered: floors, walls, shelves, drawers, and closets.  The visual space is calming to my mind and it seems to satisfy something deep in my soul.  Space is good.

At this moment, I have gathered the extra supplies I had out on the dining room table and am getting ready to put them away in the craft room in their designated places.  When I walked in that room this morning, there was a moment of feeling overwhelmed.  That is how clutter always makes me feel.overwhelmed.  I realized it would just take five minutes or so to get the things organized and ready to go downstairs.  Five minutes later, they are.

Having a place to put your things makes a difference.  When I have things I don't need or more than I need, it is overwhelming as I have no where to put the stuff.  I notice it is the same for laundry.  After the big closet clean-out a couple years ago, ongoing purging has meant made putting away my laundry a five minute job.  Things have a place and space to go.

Keeping up what I have done so far is very doable.  However, I notice when I buy anything new, if I am not replacing a used up item, it takes a minute to figure out where the new item is going to go.  This is a part of my thought process whenever I buy new things now.

Recently, I purchased a countertop water filter.  We drink a lot of water and having purified water is important to me. However, I did not know where I was going to put it before it arrived.  First, I couldn't picture the exact size of the item and second, I wasn't sure how far the spout was from the bottom of the container.  I didn't know if I would need to purchase and additional stand.

The packaged arrived and it sat for several hours as I delayed unpacking it while I figured out where I would put it.  I determined that if it would fit under the upper cabinets, it could go one place, if not but it was not too wide, it could go in another.  If neither would work, it would have to stay on the island until I could purchase a floor stand.

Well it has found its home and we have been using it for two weeks.  I had to move an item somewhere else before I could place it.  Since I had been decluttering that pantry, there was room for the other item in there and all worked out.  I may still decide on a floor stand but for now, its place works.

I do find myself asking, "Where will I put this when I get it home?" whenever I am shopping.  I like that I am more mindful of my space and a thing's place before it comes into my home.  Still a ways to go but the progress I have made is noticeable and  appreciated each day. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thirty-one Day Decluttering Grand Total is...

I began my fall cleanup October first and started strong.  My goal was to declutter five items each day.  Mid month, illness delayed my efforts but I picked up the challenge again in November to complete my thirty-one days.

It was interesting how varied and random my items were.  Some things were mine, some were items left from my children, and some were from my teaching years.  Items came from every room in my house and although I'm glad to have it all out of here, it's hard to see a big impact because of that.  It amazes me how I can take bags of stuff, big black lawn bags of stuff, seven so far, out of this house but not see a huge impact.  Of course, I notice as I am more in tune to details but I doubt my husband has noticed.

As I decluttered and came across empty containers or emptied baskets, I gather them all together and now have three apple boxes full of containers.  I gave a couple away to a friend who stopped by and when asked, picked out four containers for items she was trying to organize.  When I am finished with my whole house declutter, any containers I do not need will be donated.

I found letting go so much easier at this point in my life.  I was hanging on to a lot of my teaching items in case I go back into that field but was able to let go of a lot of it.  I now have a bunch to donate to the local teaching center and to a local preschool.

I will continue to declutter as we head toward the end of 2018 but of course this time of year is busy so I will not have a daily item goal.  Today, I came across six rolls of wallpaper that will be the beginnings of a new donation pile.  This coming week will find me tackling the holiday decorating so that should generate some more things as I focus on the meaningful decorations and let go of the rest.

I think the process of focusing on meaningful things has really helped me make a mental shift which makes it easier make decisions about which things are important and which items  I still want tp be a part of my life.  I can glimpse a bit more the life I imagine and therefore can work toward.  I feel that simplifying my surroundings will open more room for creative space and time. Oh, and the grand total is two hundred and one items!