Lately, I have been on a huge declutter-kick – and it’s been quite refreshing! I’m the type of person who gets attached to items (usually for sentimental reasons), even for items that I’ll never use again, like those pair of shoes I wore over 10 years ago – something about them, I just can’t let go of them – until now.
I have been purging my room(s) of all of these unwanted and unused items. The other day I emptied out three boxes of old shoes (that I haven’t worn in years) and just tossed the majority of them all in one bag to be sent out to a donation box (including that one special pair of shoes that I loved for so long).
For me, I always have the intention of being well-organized, but it never seems to happen. I tend to accumulate a lot of things with very limited space, which can be distressing to look at. For me to take on this task and tackle the clutter, I have been doing things slow, but steady.
My first task at decluttering my room was to start with one single area/space: my desk draws. I can’t even tell you the amount of unwanted papers and items can accumulate over time. Something as simple as cleaning out a few desk draws really inspires you to keep going. It doesn’t feel like this long, arduous task anymore – just a bunch of doable mini-tasks.
So, I started out by cleaning two draws. Simply emptying everything out onto the floor or desk, and beginning the sorting process. Will I use this item again soon? Can I easily repurchase this item? Does this belong in here? – Asking myself simple questions like that makes the sorting process much easier. By asking myself these questions I can purge away the useless clutter while reorganizing the things that I already have. When I did this, my draws went from filled to the brim to more than half empty. It’s amazing how a simple task like this can make you feel so accomplished. It’s wonderful and it creates an amazing domino effect.
The next step for me: cleaning and reorganizing my shelves. In my room, 3/4 of my room have shelves, so bad habits can form (ie: placing items onto these shelves and thinking “I’ll put this away later”) – Just like with the draws, I take this on one section at a time. I take everything off of one section of a shelf, clean/wash it, and reorganize the items I have taken off: asking myself the same questions: Will I use this item again? Can I easily repurchase this item? Does this belong on here?
For now, this will be a daily process I will take on.
My next task that I have planned is to go through old storage boxes that are kept away upstairs. Although these aren’t a huge priority, since they’re located in a room that isn’t designed for hanging out, I do want to tackle this before it becomes out of hand in the future.
What I’m planning to do for this, is also quite simple: empty out one box at a time and sort it all out. Additionally, I’m going to buy some real storage boxes, instead of the half-broken cardboard boxes that they’re stored in. If I’m going to store items, I want it done right. Along with really good storage boxes, I’m going to label each box with a description of its contents. That way, if I need something, I can easily find it.
As I mentioned earlier, I tend to accumulate a lot of things over time and although these tasks do sound fairly simple, my biggest issue (that I’m beginning to overcome) is having the ability to throw out items that I won’t use or look at ever again.
The other night I looked at an old high school binder that had a bunch of writing and drawings on it (mostly from myself and some friends) along with useless school homework and papers that I’ll never have the need or desire to look at again. I’ve held onto it for so long, but I decided that it was time to throw it out. At one point this simple little binder held value to me, mostly sentimental value from my high school days, but it serves no purpose. I have plenty of sentimental memorabilia from high school (such as pictures and notes from friends): I don’t need this binder. So I tossed it out.
Something so simple took me so many years to finally get the courage to do. To most of you, this probably sounds silly – to others, this might sound like a hard thing to overcome. But believe me when I say: it gets easier.
My Thanksgiving weekend starts today and I wanted to get a head start on the upcoming new year: I want a cleaner space. No. I need a cleaner space. Something about being in a clean and well-organized space puts my mind at ease and it helps me focus on other tasks.
So how about you? What motivates you to declutter? Conversely, what hinders you from decluttering?