Its been a rough, really rough 2 weeks, emotionally. I’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster, hitting giddy highs and sinking into the lowest of the low. It was the worst for me last Friday when I really felt in despair of ever having a solution to my on-going problem with the people responsible for damaging my car. Blogging and work is helping keep me on an even keel as I strive to have some normalcy amongst the chaos.
But last week, after a long hot shower, I sat down, looked around my humble abode and decide that enough was enough. I didn’t want to keep dragging myself down and despairing over things. Yet, in the 2 weeks when I’d been stumbling around like a zombie, I realised that my home had become a big pile of mess. Well, its not just from last week but its been a growing mess that I keep looking at and looking away because I just don’t have the energy to deal with that on top of everything else.
I had my mail, bills, junk mail, bank statements… all littered over my dining table. We joke that I shouldn’t have a dining table because I don’t dine at it, I just use it as a horizontal dumping ground to dump everything on when I get home. I had stuff everywhere, laundry unfolded, mail unopened, press releases strewn all over. It was a tip.
I needed to get things under control and it would have to start with my home and by clearing clutter.
That’s what I did most of the weekend.
I took to task my working room, prepared a large black bin bag and forced myself to throw out everything I thought I’d “need someday” or “will come in handy”. The fact it, most of it doesn’t. They’ve been there for years and never come in handy.
Tip: If it was supposed to “come in handy” and has not come in handy for a year, chances are it will not come in handy, ever.
Papers, junk mail, expired products, all went into the bin bag. I found a spare set of shelves in my storeroom that I could use and set about putting things in their place.
At the end of the weekend, I’d gotten the worst of the clutter sorted, stored or thrown away. I tossed out 3 large black bin bags and I know I have more to be tossed. But its a start. Being able to see my dining table again for what its supposed to be – a table, not a pile of paper – made me happy.
If you too are thinking of decluttering, here’s 4 tips to get you started and what I practised as I went along:-
- Is it old, expired, never used? Things have a lifespan, no matter how much we want to cling on to them. An item of clothing may be too old, or a product may be expired or you may just never have gotten round to using that coffee machine you thought was a great buy all of 2 years ago. Time for them all to go!
- Be ruthless. Too often I keep things “just in case” or “it may come in handy” I have a shelf of nothing but boxes, bubble wrap, padded envelopes dating from 5-6 years ago. I kept them because “it may come in handy”. Who was I kidding? It never did! I’ve kid myself once too often. This time, I got ruthless and out they went.
- Keep a big bin bag at your side. You’d be surprised at how quickly this bag will start to fill up once you start going. I ensure its a big black bin bag that clearly tells you its destined for the bin. Once things go in there, they don’t come back out. That was my policy so I had to think it through before tossing it in.
- Tackle one room at a time. The key is not to be over-ambitious. I started with my working room as that was where my mess really was. By extension, so was my living room so I dealt with both together. It took me the better part of an afternoon and I was exhausted when I was done. But I’m going to tackle another room this weekend and take it from there.
I have a ways to go yet before I can say I’ve gotten the clutter under control but its a start. And now that I don’t have to trip over boxes and get frustrated looking at the mess of a dining table, looking at unfiled mail and bills, I actually feel more comfortable, almost more at peace. Might this translate into real life, I don’t know but emotionally, I feel a little better.
There are a few more aspects of my home that needs decluttering. My wardrobe is a start – clothes I’ve outgrown (and should stop kidding myself I’d fit back into some day), old clothes, clothes I no longer wear. They can all find a better home somewhere else.
There’s the kitchen – the refrigerator and food store is always a good place to start. Expired food is such a waste!
There’s my beauty cabinet – out will go the expired and old products and stuff I don’t use and don’t intend to use anymore.
And finally, I plan to finally set up my guest room 🙂 Its been a work in progress for years and years but really, if I don’t do it now, when then? 🙂
Do you experience the same sort of mind relief when you clear your clutter? Do you have some decluttering tips to share?
I suppose that for me, getting rid of clutter and keeping things organized and neat is my way of getting my life back in order. Don’t underestimate it. It is very therapeutic and you’d be surprised at how much you can get rid of, how much order you can get back and just how much better you will feel at the end of it all 🙂