Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
While we have plenty of old pros here at 365 Less Things, we have plenty of drop-by readers and lurkers, some of whom are probably in denial about their need to declutter. So here’s my checklist, roughly arranged from the most obvious to the most subtle clues that you should use if you think that maybe you don’t really need to declutter.
- You rent a storage unit.
- Your garage, basement, or attic looks like a storage unit.
- You have a whole room devoted to storage.
- You have a door in your home that you cannot open.
- You have a door in your home that you cannot open safely or without throwing your body in front of the opening as you pull on the door.
- You wish you had a room that you could devote to storage.
- Or worse, you are considering moving or adding on to your home, just for storage.
- You sometimes wish that your house would just burn down so you wouldn’t have to deal with it any more.
- Your friends offer to come over and help you get organized.
- You are surrounded by possessions that you do not like or enjoy.
- You are surrounded byÂ possessionsÂ that were given to you by someone who is dead, and you do not like and enjoy them.
- You believe that more storage is the solution to your problems.
- You do not have friends or family over.
- When friends and family do come over, you need at least a week’s notice, and it’s a stressful week.
- You cannot use the furniture as it is intended to be usedÂ becauseÂ it is used as storage.
- You have make-shift storage (i.e. overflowing baskets, laundry baskets, a bunch of stuff bundled up into a table cloth and hidden in the garage, etc.)
- You got remarried, moved in with parents, etc., and now you have two (at least!) of everything.
- Anyone has ever said the words “fire hazard” while looking around you home.
- Anyone has ever said the words “estate sale” while looking around your home.
- Your closets are so full that you have to use your body as a wedge to get something in or out.
- You shop and hide the evidence.
- You shop for non-consumablesÂ more than once a month.
- Shopping is your favorite hobby – or one of them.
- You buy things because they are a bargain.
- You buy things because you “might” need it and aren’t sure if you already own one.
- You buy duplicates because you don’t know what you have or where it is.
- You buy for a current hobby at a rate that outpaces your ability to do that hobby. Â (You buy dozens of books at a time, dozens of yarns skeins , dozens of patterns, hundreds of Legos, etc.)
- You don’t overbuy on yourself, but on your children or grandchildren…well that’s another matter.
- Your living room looks like a preschool classroom.
- Your children don’t play with half their toys. They don’t even know what half their toys are!
- You pulled a bunch of stuff out of a closet to organize it, and it’s been sitting outside the closet for more than two weeks, with no progress being made.
- The phrases “I might need it some day” “I’ve never used/opened that” “But I spent so much money on it” and “I intend to do XX project with that some day” have come of out your mouth sometime in the past 6 months.
- You don’t know what’s in the boxes in your attic, basement, garage, storage unit, etc.
- If the IRS (or your country’s taxing agency) called you for an audit, you could not lay your hands on the proper paperwork in less than 5 minutes.
- You pay bills late because you don’t know where they are.
- Your pantry looks like it is the store.
- You regularly throw foods away because they’re expired, you bought too much, or you do not like what you purchased.
- You have supplies for crafts or hobbies that you no longer do/enjoy.
- You cannot find everything in your house in less than 5 minutes.
- You have ever uttered the phrase “It’s in one of five places.”
- You own duplicates of useful items, but you really only need one.
- In the past year, you have not given away, sold, or donated any goods to charity.
- You have to step around anything on your floors, except furniture.
- You love to save little goodies from your travels, but you never look back on them.
- You take dozens of pictures at every conceivable event.
- You never delete an email.
- You save articles on decluttering and organization, but that’s as far as it goes.
- You have a sofa or bed side table that’s actually a stack of reading material.
- You have clothes in more than two sizes.
- You think that if you just had a $1000 gift card to The Container Store, everything would be all right.
- My friends offered to help me get organized.
- I did not know where “away” was. (As in the phrase, “I’ll put this away. Where does it go?”)
- My furniture was being used as storage.
- I had laundry baskets of storage all over the house.
- I did not have friends or family over. (We had several years of birthday parties at Grandma’s house, for example. Now we frequently have parties and gatherings.)
- My living room looked like a messy preschool classroom.
- I wished that my house would burn down.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter under the bed ~ One young reader (not mentioning any names) was decluttering under her bed last week due to Moniâ€™s blog post. I donâ€™t need to tell you how much easier it is to keep this area dust and lint free when there is nothing to clean around or move.
Today’s Declutter Item
Here is something that was being stored in a drawer under the end of my bed until they were sold on ebay recently.
Something to be grateful for today
I have been making progress on our household inventory. It has been a good opportunity to do some declutter fine tuning in the kitchen. It should be plain sailing after the kitchen is out of the way because that is where most of the small individual items are.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast