Nothing makes me more anxious than being unorganized.
Those days in the house when there is stuff everywhere, and no matter how much you clean up, the “stuff” just keeps reproducing! I’m not usually an anxious person, but this gives me anxiety.
I used to love “stuff”. Home decor, jewelry accessories, little knick knacks everywhere! Then about two years after college I realized what a toxic relationship I had with said “stuff”. I came to demise it. I felt claustrophobic, like I would tear my hair out if I didn’t get away from it. And quick!
Enter: spring cleaning… and moving!
My husband and I have moved about 5 times in the past few years, giving me an excellent excuse to purge! It’s like spring cleaning, but every six months, and followed by a relocation. But I cannot tell you how much stuff you find when you have to pack everything up. The back of the drawer you rarely open, that corner of the closet you rarely look at, that shelf in storage that you never need. Where has it all come from!? But best of all, why did I ever buy it? I’ve obviously gotten along just fine all this time without it… considering I never even knew it was here. I’ll tell ya, the number of trash bags I have filled tossing that junk is mind blowing! And such a weight off my shoulders.
But, if you’re lucky, and like most people, you are not moving every six month! So, other than the traditional “spring cleaning” (which isn’t too late to do, by the way!) how do you declutter your house consistently and save that anxiety for other things… you know, like adulting :-/
First, pick a room, and have it be the room where you spend most of your time. For a lot of people that’s the living room, or maybe the kitchen! If you have drawers in these spaces, start there. Empty out the entire thing! I mean it!! Don’t try and move things around because that’s how you miss things or make excuses. If you pour out the entire thing then you can see everything, and reorganize everything when you put it back in.
*general rule of thumb: have a trash bag or a plastic grocery bag with you at all times. You will always find things when you are decluttering. And you’ll end up like me, with trash piles throughout the entire house.
After you’ve hit the drawers, start with the cabinets! Now, really think about how you use that space. Should things be organized to be more efficient? Maybe the utensils should be closer to the plates, or to the dishwasher? It may take a few weeks to remember where things are and you may inherently go back to that drawer where things used to be, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Now… the closets 🙂 start with yours. And start small. So if you have a dresser, start with the smallest drawer, then work your way up. Now, this stuff should not go into a trash. Pick your choice of give-back, whether it’s to Goodwill, Salvation Army, House of Ruth, make sure these items go to a good cause! If you have not worn something more than once in six months, put it in the “wait” pile, meaning if you don’t wear it again in the next six months, then it’s see ya later! But, if you haven’t worn something more than once or twice in the past year? That one for sure goes in the giveaway pile. We’ve all been there, you could make excuses forever as to why to keep something! Use this rule and hold firm!
Another rule of thumb to keep your closet looking tidy and to keep things from overflowing, every time you buys one of something, you have to give one of those items away. So if you buy a simple white blouse, then you have to put aside a simply white blouse to give away. Otherwise you’ll likely end up with 13 shirts that look practically idential! You know you’ve done it.
Now, don’t forget about the pantry!! Just go through and start with expiration dates! Seriously… you’d be shocked. Then after you have taken everything off their shelves, thrown away everything that expired in 2014 :-/ now it’s time to organize! Shop the links below for some of my go-to’s and my new obsessions for organizing any space! But the pantry is the perfect spot for all of these. I find that you can have the exact same number of everything, but if it finds its way in an organized manner, like in one of these bins, or in a basket, then the game has changed! All of a sudden there is more room, things have their place, and the world is good again!!