The Holidays are over and the gifting is done. I am still in the process of making returns. During the holidays did you buy something you don’t need? Receive gifts from others that you can’t or don’t use? Guilt often keeps us from discarding or donating those items. And then the stuff we don’t need or don’t want accumulates in closets, in drawers, in attics and basements and the spare room. Believe me, I see it in every home I walk into before we go to market. Then the question becomes what to do with it. I have said it before many times. Make clutter busting a regular ritual. As part of my new year routine I am tasking myself with the following: if I open a drawer that is considered a catch all drawer I must move something out of it into trash, recycling, or donation. Today I found restaurant gift certificates from 2013 that we “won” at charity auctions. Why was I hanging on to them? Half of the restaurants were out of business. Those and a myriad of other “keepsakes” went into the recycling bin. The next drawer I opened had two ipads from long ago sitting on the top, no longer used. After a quick google search I found a place to take them– Moms Organic Market has a recycling bin that will take them and old phones.
Many often wonder: how do you climb out of the escalating mountain of things–toys, paper, books, toys, clothing and more? Evaluate what things are really important to you and your family. It takes a lot of discipline and diligence to let go. Marie Kondo may not be the sensation she once was but her sentiment is still strong–keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.
This is a great time of year to declutter, whether you plan to move tomorrow or in 20 years, before the warm weather calls you outdoors. One of the greatest burdens people have when moving is the stuff they accumulate and trying to get rid of it. Furniture from parents, grandparents, college and grad school that is damaged, despondent and in the way. Do you know how many households could use a bed, a dining table or a chair? Alive is an organization that serves those who have less and will pick it up and take it to a home that can use it. They will also take food.
Here are some ideas that will help motivate you to start decluttering each day. Limit the time you spend uncluttering. Set realistic goals. Take the first step and find a starting point. Begin with the easier things first. Tackle a drawer per day, for example. Over weekends, tackle bigger jobs. Before the holidays on a warm afternoon, Marty and I hauled out all the stuff in our garage attic. We took pictures of items and sent them to folks we thought could use them and they collected them. The rest we asked our landscaper to remove and he found a home for everything. Remember, this stuff took years to collect, so it will take time to unload. Make a plan to start somewhere!