I flew from Hawaii to California for college with two footlockers and that was all.
When my husband and I moved after less than three years of marriage, all our belongings fit in a mini-van, small pickup truck, and one tiny car.
This year I have been decluttering and organizing my home a little better. This project is going slower than I would like because although it is easy to throw or pass things on, it often costs money to get organized.
There are seasons in life that bring changes and the need to declutter
- When a baby grows out of clothes or toys.
- When summer clothes are swapped for winter.
- When winter clothes are swapped for summer.
- Before you have too much junk!
- As the children grow up and move out.
- When a spouse or parent passes.
- When you can’t see where your bedroom is any longer!
I remember being in an elderly relative’s home who had gathered and accumulated too much over the years. I determined to avoid this dilemma as much as possible.
In our Walmart and Amazon culture, this is easier said than done.
It is refreshing to live with less and here are some reasons why that will be refreshing:
1. Throw out items that hold no purpose anymore
Stop being sentimental and saving that toy or your ten year old’s baby clothes. You are more than likely to get pregnant once you give your baby items away. Been there, done that!
I have emotions attached to everything that I own. That means that as I hold and look at each item, I think of reasons why I should hang onto it.
Separate your emotional ties with each item and ask yourself, does it really serve a purpose anymore?
- Throw away
- Relocate to the right storing spot
2. Live simply and lightly
My kitchen counters have only what I absolutely need on them. The rest is stored in the cupboards or downstairs.
Does your living room have too much furniture and clutter that does not belong? Throw out what needs to ‘go’ and organize in closets anything that does not hold a specific purpose for a living room. Do the same in the rest of the rooms in your house.
3. Organize closets so they are useful
There is a useful purpose for many of our belongings. What causes problems in many homes is having belongings stashed in closets without organization.
Before organizing your closet, take every single thing out. Go through the process above and decide whether it should be thrown out, donated, or relocated to its rightful spot.
- Install closet organizational shelves
- Use baskets, cloth or plastic bins
- Label the baskets
- Label the shelves
- Return items to the closet after use
4. Put throw away items in the garbage!
It does you no good if you pile the ‘throw away’ items in a room or corner and they stay there for weeks. Get them out of the house that very same day to the trash can. That way, they will be picked up by the garbage truck on the next pick-up day!!
5. Put ‘donate’ items in your car!
Have you ever kept bags of donation clothing in your closet waiting to take to the Goodwill? I have! Not only have I done that but I have mixed the bags to donate withbags to store in the attic for summer. Ask me about that favorite white skirt that ended up in Goodwill!! That is what procrastination has done for me!
Get the donate items right in your car and drive them to the good will drop-off bin as soon as possible. Just saying!!
6. What if you need those items in the future?
I have been there, done that. In fact, once I gave away a very old pair of work shoes that belonged to my husband!! That taught me something that I will pass on to you:
NEVER EVER GIVE YOUR HUSBAND’S JUNK AWAY WITHOUT ASKING FIRST!!
As to the other things you might someday need, if that happens, you can know that someone needed them in the meantime and God will supply your needs in the future.
7. Why gather and accumulate?
I have been thinking about Ecclesiastes a LOT this summer. Solomon accumulated everything from silver to women. Like 1000 women to be exact. It brought him nothing but misery and emptiness.
We have the feeling that we are going to live forever (even though on this earth that is far from the truth) and we gather and accumulate so much.
Walmart and Amazon makes that so easy. Advertising makes us feel like we need it all and by today!!
Think before you buy or bring something home. Remember that doing things for the glory of God is all that matters.
8. Having less takes less time to care for it
The more you have; the more time it takes to care for it!
Isn’t that the truth!
We can buy so many clothes and gadgets that we will never have the time to use or wear them.
I have a deck swing, 2 porch rockers, and a glass deck table and chairs. In the summer I often think how I need to take the time to sit in all of them. Kind of the Goldilocks mentality!!
That is just an example of how we can gather through buying too much from the store and not ever really have enough time to enjoy it all.
Half the time we will need to spend so much time working to pay up the credit from buying it, or cleaning it so that we end up too tired to use it.
Decluttering until you have what you need will give you so much more time to rest.
Your home will be more cluttered while raising your children but there is a huge difference between having too much stuff and not having everything perfect and picked up!!
When was the last time you decluttered? Does this challenge you to take one area of your home and work on simplifying how much you have?
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