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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Get the Clutter Out!


I am joining Katie at Kitchen Stewardship’s Spring Cleaning Carnival “Get the Junk Out!” today. I have linked to Mandi at Organizing Your Way for the meme. 

Disclaimer: I am an organizational wanna be. My house is full of clutter. With 9 people comes stuff, lots of stuff. However if I was honest, and I am I would have to confess that 80% of the stuff is mine. Mostly books. Loads and Loads of books. I heart books. Whenever it is time majorly declutter I start with my books. It saddens me so to let any book go. I know I must, but it is like giving away a good friend.  Today I put about 50 books in the pile to take to the Pickens. Books I love but are no longer necessary or even relevant to my life.
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I have several strategies for decluttering my house and keeping most of the clutter at bay.
  • Daily I walk through with a grocery bag and I fill it with random trash – papers, broken toys, old magazines. This keeps the trash at bay.
  • Weekly I do the same walk through this time looking for things to send to the Pickens. As I do laundry I put the clothes to go in a basket in my laundry room. I then walk the bag/bags to the car to drop off at the next opportunity.
  • Monthly – or so -  I do a big declutter of an area. Today it was a bookshelf that housed my crafting books. I am no longer a Girl Scout leader and these fabulously wonderful books are now just clutter.
  • Seasonally I go through everyone’s drawers and pull out all that no longer fits or will not fit next year and put it into the box to go. I also clean out my attic in the spring and fall each time getting rid of more and more!
Sometimes it is necessary to be ruthless. Ask yourself if you really need the item, does it make you happy? Does it have a purpose? Could you share the item with someone else?

One of the most important things in decluttering is NOT cluttering to begin with. Before you buy something ask yourself the same questions plus these next few.  Is it a need or a want? Can you borrow the item if necessary? Do you already have something that would work?

Many people do one thing in, one thing out to help to keep the stuff from accumulating. I am not that disciplined but I do try.

Be sure that you are using the principals of reconomics: reduce, reuse, recycle, rehab. Remembering the following when you make the decision to either declutter the item, or to purchase another.
The Reconomy is good economy. Good for the planet, good for the pocket book. Recycle, resell, reuse, rehab. Buying, selling, donating and sharing "gently used" items rather than always going for the brand spankin' new gizmo or gadget.
The Reconomy also promotes simplicity. By getting rid of the stuff you don't want or need anymore through selling, donating or sharing your life becomes simpler.
Not only does each item that is reused, recycled, rehabbed and or resold help both parties it one less thing that needs energy to be produced, it reduces the size of your personal environmental footprint and one less thing landing in the landfill.

I never have garage sales - I don't live in an area that has a high enough traffic to make it worth my time. I have found it so helpful to take a bag or two at a time instead of letting it pile up.

How do you go about decluttering in your house?

I am also linking this to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.


  1. Thanks for coming by my blog today...I love your name and the de clutter thing is right where I'm at. I did my kitchen last week, with the help of my mom!!
    I might jump into your declutter links.

  2. I love the idea of using a schedule like yours to 'declutter.' My biggest area to clean is our attic. There's an awful lot stored up there--mostly holiday stuff. I've been taking a bag or two to the Salvation Army store every few weeks. I'm mostly trying to get rid of stuff because my husband will be retiring soon and we'll move into a smaller house. I won't need the 10 boxes of Christmas decorations I have up there! (Don't even ask about the other holidays!)
    Sometimes you never think you'll get to the end of it, but a little at a time has to make a dent eventually.

  3. @ mom2fur: The attic is the bane of my decluttering. I don't have a basement or a garage, so everything goes up there. That is why I tackle at least some of it 2x a year!
    @ Rene' - it is always more fun to declutter with help!

    thanks ladies for stopping by!

  4. ohhh, decluttering. I am always doing it, and yet it still always needs done! Kudos to you mama, and good luck!

  5. There's so many great tips in your post -- the need to be ruthless and not accumulating clutter to begin with are huge lessons!

    I don't mind decluttering my own books (and honestly, now I prefer to just download them to my Kindle, so there is no clutter), but I have a hard time decluttering children's books. We have a ton, and I can't bear to get rid of any of them!