Because of the way I have chosen to declutter ~ slowly and steadily ~ the decision making process is gradual and so far painless. Once I set myself on this path to declutter an average of one thing a day I, by design, have given myself permission to take my time to make informed and considered decisions. Hasty decision making can be a recipe for disaster and an invitation for regrets further down the line.
When I first began my mission there were plenty of items in my home that I knew I no longer wanted to take up space. I began my decluttering process with these items, which was carried out with ease. All the while I was examining my space to identify other items that weren’t really in my radar to begin with. While taking care of the easy stuff my mind was contemplating whether or not I was prepared to part with those items that I considered to be on a higher level of attachment.
Once I made the decision that something had to go, which now turns out to be easier than I first imagined, I then have to divide it from the herd. That is, remove it from its usual position in the house and place it in its point of departure. I have the following departure points located around my home…
- The bin ~ to which very few items have actually gone so far. Oddly enough this ratio doesn’t change much over time because bin items for me are usually natural declutter items that wear out or break over time and are no longer useful to anyone. Being that my clutter situation was never a case of being littered with useless items, this category of items has been limited and sporadic. I am pleased about this because it feels a lot less wasteful to me but at the same time ashamed of the fact that I had so much stuff that was sitting here unused yet useful to someone else.
- The recycling bin ~ Items that have gone there are usually paperwork that has long needed clearing or an overabundance of paper keepsakes that I weeded through and thinned down. Sometimes there have been metal and recyclable plastic objects put there as well.
- The selling departure point ~ this is generally on top of my sewing cabinet in our office space. Sometimes these item sit there for much longer than I would like because we can get a little lazy about actually listing them. Sometimes my husband has already listed them and they didn’t sell and I don’t realise it. Then they sit there until one day I say to him ~ “What is happening with these items.” The answer is often “They didn’t sell and are just waiting for you to do what you want with them.” Too bad I’m not a mind reader, 🙄 the process may go a lot quicker.
- The donation pile ~ This area for me is in the garage right next to the door. I deliberately position it where I will see it often as a constant reminder to take it to the thrift store when there is enough to make the trip worth the effort. This generally happens when my husband goes out of town on business because I have open access to the car. I also put Freecycle items near this area until the appointed collection day.
I have never been tempted to bring anything back into the house because I have given myself ample opportunity to consider my decisions and am satisfied with them. If you struggle with this at all I would suggest getting the items out of the house as quickly as possible. Any items I am not sure about, can’t be bothered immediately selling or I feel I want to document before decluttering I just leave in place until I am good and ready. There is always other items that can be dealt with in the meantime.
Finally having the clutter completely out of my home is what I consider conquering the clutter. The feeling of satisfaction and freedom that comes with every load I deliver to the thrift store, every eBay auction item I post, every Freecycle pick up completed, every “use it up” item whose remnants go in the trash or recycling is like heaven to me. It is a great relief to have decided what can be decluttered, it feels even better when they are separated from the keepers and moved to their departure point but it feels wonderful when they are actually gone.
Today’s declutter item
I gave these coat hangers to my mum and dad when the came to visit. They took them home in their suitcase. I meant to give them more but I forgot to get them out of the box in the garage. Hopefully my friend Amber will take the rest from me today.
- Something awesome ~ Sitting on my back patio enjoying my lunch the temperature in 24ºC, the sun is shining and the birds are singing.
- Something that made me laugh ~ Liam making fun of me for saying something silly. Nothing new about that.
- Something to be grateful for ~ Pest control. That cockroach that interrupted my nice lunch on the patio won’t last long after crawling all over the insect spray the pest man laid down a month or so ago.
- Something that made me happy ~ Finally clearing all the photos on my camera’s memory card.
- Something I found fascinating ~ That I think my MacBook Pro automatically adjusts its brightness setting for different light. When I came in from being out on the patio the screen was quite dark. Perhaps I should have waited to see if it adjusted again but I didn’t. I will have to experiment with it when I am not so busy. It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.