The word alone brings contentment. Achieving it can be, to put it, simple.
I’ve gone through my stages of keeping everything because I “might use it someday”, but found myself coming home and feeling restless. I think we can all agree that when we come home, we want it to be like flipping through the pages of a Pottery Barn magazine. Everything in it’s place, it’s all coordinating and every dust bunny has been zipped up by the vacuum. While this is not an everyday luxury, there are some ways to help us feel like we aren’t being surrounded by years of collected “I’ll use it somedays.”
This brings us back around to that magic word. Simplicity. It sounds too good, but I promise it can be achieved. In this category of living, it’s important to keep tunnel vision. Looking at the entire house and seeing it all as something that needs to be simplified as a whole leads to an overwhelming chocolate eating stress attack. Go ahead, finish that last bite of chocolate, grab a caffeine fix and focus on one small clutter that we can fix right now.
Let’s set some guidelines for how we are going to get away from clutter.
___ ASSESSMENT— When was the last time I used this?
Cleaning products/bathroom supplies – Have I used this in the past month?
Clothes/Decorations – Did I use this last season?
Household items: bedding, kitchen accessories, office supplies, storage items. – Have I used this in the past year more than once?
___ PERFORMANCE — How regularly do I use the item?
___ PRACTICALITY — Why am I holding onto this? For a “maybe I’ll use it” moment? Because I’ve had it forever and It’s hard to let go?
___ DETACHMENT — If this were to be misplaced would I actually miss it?
Do we have our clutter spot picked? Remember make it, small, like really small. For example, let’s pick our bathroom drawers, not anyone else’s but your own. Pull everything out and go through the list of things above, sorting everything into piles as you go.
i.e. ASSESSMENT – I’ve got two face washes, cotton pads, tooth brush, sea salt spray, hair brushes, three eyeshadow quads and a long list of other products a girl needs.
PERFORMANCE – set aside the items you use on the daily. Those go somewhere easily accessible. Then move onto the things you use maybe once a month for certain occasions, but things you do find yourself going back to, put these in the back of your drawer/cabinet. Now what’s left?
PRACTICALITY – Why are you holding onto these items? Are you really ever going to use that eyeshadow palette with all the blues ad greens? No? Throw it out. The lotion that doesn’t smell just right but somehow stays in the drawer? Out.
DETACHMENT – If you still have a small pile of things you don’t have a place for, ask yourself “Have I ever thought, man I really need this so and so item?” If the answer is still no, out it goes.
Anything left should go into the every once in a while pile. Once the next clear out cycle comes around and you still haven’t used those remaining items that ended up in that basket, you got it- out they go!
My tip is to keep going with the smaller areas in your home until you have become more familiar with the above steps. Give and take wherever is best for you. When you’re ready, go to bigger projects and keep stair stepping your way until you find yourself in a refreshingly light home. Keep the cycle going on a yearly basis to stay clutter free and simplified.