Every January I get this overwhelming feeling to declutter my home and get rid of unnecessary stuff. Putting away Christmas decorations and throwing out the tree feels so good to me and that is what jump starts my decluttering. It may have something to do with the feeling that comes with the start of a New Year. Starting over and starting fresh. I am doing this in a more extreme way than I ever have before this January. Certain things that I just couldn’t let go of before I am not hesitating getting rid of now.
Last year I read the book by Marie Kondo, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and it changed my world. I started discarding in the order the book suggests, starting with clothes. I then moved on to books, and then papers. I threw out bags and bags of stuff. I also bought a paper shredder and shredded probably 30 pounds of paper… I’m not even kidding. It felt amazing and liberating. I got rid of the two annoying, eye sore piles of miscellaneous stuff on our kitchen counter top. Check out that post here! I had plans to keep going but life got crazy and busy and I never actually finished discarding and tidying EVERY category.
One year later I am happy to say that our clothes are still folded as Marie suggests. I will never go back to the old way because this way makes so much more sense. I have also done better with controlling piles on the counter top and keeping up with discarding or shredding papers right away. But many areas in my home continue to accrue clutter and I feel like I am constantly “picking up” the same areas and things over and over again. So I knew it was time to finish the Kon-Mari method in my home. No more procrastinating! And no more holding on to things that don’t bring me joy!
This last weekend, I convinced Dax to help me tackle our three storage rooms in the basement. Yes, three. Ridiculous I know! I counted at least 30 empty boxes that we threw out from these storage rooms. Most of them pretty large… including the box to our 55″ TV that we bought over two years ago. We kept all these boxes “just in case” and NEVER needed them. I was SO excited to discover how much space we had once we got rid of all that stuff. We took one load to the dump and one to the thrift store to donate. I have also sold several things online. It’s a lot of work to tackle your clutter and sometimes hard decisions must be made. But if you simply ask yourself what is suggested by Marie Kondo- “Does this spark joy?” it will make the hard decisions a little easier and you will know when it’s time to let go of something.
Life is messy… kids are messy. So why not just ignore the clutter and accept it as part of life? Well I have three reasons why you should confront your clutter and resolve it once and for all!
1. You will actually be able to find and utilize what you have
Shortly before we cleaned out our storage rooms, I bought light bulbs because I thought we didn’t have any. Well….. come to find out we had several boxes of them haha. It’s hard to utilize what you have when it’s lost in a mess! More than once I have searched and searched for something I knew I had but didn’t know where I put it. Organizing what you have and keeping similar things in the same place definitely helps with this. What is the point of having something if you can’t find it or don’t even realize you have it?
2. Rid yourself of the guilt you feel when you see things in your home that you never use
This might seem like a weird concept to some people, but when Marie mentioned it in her book I could totally relate! Especially with clothes. I would see a dress or shirt hanging in my closet that I wore maybe once or twice ever and feel guilty for not wearing it more or liking it more. I have also done this with home decor in the past… I feel guilty for not wanting to hang up a certain clock or picture. I once loved the item.. but not anymore. When you declutter your home and get rid of things like this…. you no longer have to deal with that dumb guilt. Bottom line: if it doesn’t spark joy then don’t keep it!
3. When you declutter your home, you can also clear (or declutter) your mind
Life is busy and chaotic. We all know this. Adding a cluttered house on top of that only adds to the stress. Messy rooms have always been a distraction for me. When I was in college, if my room was messy I absolutely could not focus enough to study. I had to stop and completely clean my room or go to a library. The feeling that comes with an organized, decluttered, and sometimes quite empty space is so much more calming. When my home is clean and decluttered, I can better focus on other things that require my attention. You will notice this even more if you clear away clutter in an extremely messy area of your house… the contrast will be intense!
I hope this inspires all of you to take on your clutter! I highly recommend “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Nothing will be left to question when it comes to discarding and tidying in your home. I’m still not completely done with my decluttering journey but I’ve made huge leaps over the past couple of weeks. I’ve also learned a little lesson about letting go. It was surprisingly easy… I just had to make myself be a little more practical. So get to work! And let me know how it goes!