Updated: Feb 18
I have heard many times that you just can't organize clutter because even with shiny new organizational systems, it is still just clutter in fancy boxes.
Lately my material excess has been dragging me down. Seeing my piles of papers and all these gadgets laying around was filling my head with a lot of visual clutter making me tired.
Sure, I have been doing a lot of fun design projects around my house for the last few years, but I wasn't effectively addressing the accumulation that left my closets and cupboards absolutely stuffed!
It was finally time for me to do some serious editing of my life and surroundings.
TWO WEEKS TO LESS CLUTTER AND MORE (HEAD)SPACE
For the past 14 days I have been decluttering numerous unnecessary objects from my home. Some of the items are ready for the garbage and many of them are worthy of donating. Many of the things I sort through have sentimental or experiential memories attached to them and those are the most difficult to let go or even making a decision about what to do with them. But I can do this - and so can you!
A way I have tackled this challenge of memory attachment is to put it aside and think about what it represents to me. Sometimes, I will put things in a maybe pile and think about it for a little while. By the time I have sorted through dozens of other items, I find my initial resistance to giving the memory item away has significantly lessened.
Another strategy has been to box up the eliminated items immediately and place them in the back of my car so I can easily get them to the donation center and not have time to second-guess my purging choices.
Here is a look at that craft storage closet that was packed full. In the before photo, there are two of the vertical drawer caddies and the after photo I have reduced it to one. Let me tell you, that felt like a huge success!
In my sorting process of this closet, it was particularly difficult to let go of past design school projects, my large rubber stamp collection, and our compact disk collection that were stored here.
Considering that I have not used my 100+ rubber stamps for some time, I chose to let them go. Realistically, I am not likely to use them in the future.
We had over 300 CDs and I was finally able to cull it down to less than 100. Now that I have hand-picked this reduced collection, I am contemplating donating that last 100!
Luckily, the office wasn't a big of a job to clean up as the closets. Having this room come together in a speedy fashion had a quick and positive satisfaction factor. I need that kind of easy gratification once in a while!
To finish up this spot, it was simply a matter of putting things where they belong or deciding to give them away.
This space was also a quick declutter. I tossed out old lotions and donated some empty jars and containers. Again, a few minutes of sorting had made a significant difference in creating a more attractive space.
Clutter detracts from a space and cleaning it up sets me free from some of that visual burden. I don't want to live that way anymore which is why I am committing to limiting what I bring in to my home.
I knew I had some long overdue decisions to make in my clothes closet. It was motivating to me knowing that I would later post this on my blog. With that momentum, I was able to clear out a large bag full of clothing that I no longer wear and were just taking up space and creating visual clutter. The majority of the items still fit, but they weren't my favorite things.
I also sorted through my dressy pants from my time working at an architecture and design firm. When I was working at the firm downtown, I was daily wardrobed in an office-oriented professional style. Nowadays, I wear a lot more dresses or jeans and have no need for the pants any longer and frankly, I find them to be far less comfortable than wearing a stylish dress with tights or leggings.
My criteria for decluttering the closet:
does it fit me well/is it flattering?
do I feel good wearing this?
is it in good condition?
do I wear this regularly? (or will I wear it regularly in the upcoming season)