So this is the third day we’ve been “iced” in. This is clearly not snow, as you can walk on top of it. I even saw a video of a kid ice skating in the street. My kids are bouncing off the walls and I’m so ready for this mess to go away, and them to be back in school. I’ve been working from home most of these three days, but I’ve also spent a little time cleaning too. It’s forced cleaning, and here’s why.
I finally hired someone to paint all of my doors and baseboards. As much as I would like to do this myself and save the labor cost, I simply don’t have the time, or the desire, to do it. My time will be better spent doing other things and the guy I hired really needs the work, so much that he drove here in the icy crap to work in my house. It’s a win-win.
Having baseboards and closets painted is basically like moving. It’s a good opportunity to not only clean everything, but to purge. I still have way too much stuff and I need to keep downsizing. I’m a hoarder. Not to the extent of the people on the TV show, as those are the most extreme cases, but I’m a low level pack rat. The few rooms I have downsized are really making me think how much stress and hassle it is to own so much stuff. It’s simply not needed. I listed a bunch of stuff on freecycle and it all went within a day. I have so much more to get rid of! Being in my house with all this stuff is making me crazy!
My garage is now the “last stop” in the process of purging. Everything from my house is going out to the garage, from there, it will be sorted, purged then the remaining items will be organized, cleaned and brought back in. I can honestly say, not much as come back in.
When purging and organizing you stuff, here’s a few tips that might help. I could write a whole book on everything I’ve learned through this process, but I’ll just share a few of the major points.
Sort the mess.
Have bins or boxes set up for all of the “stuff destinations” you have planned. You’ll stay in gridlock, shuffling things around with some basic sorting plans. Here was my destination list:
- eBay / craigslist
- thrift store
- someone I know that wants this
Waste not, want not.
Keep in mind that you might not want this stuff, but that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t be blessed by having it. It’s not any additional work to take things to a thrift store versus the city dump. And freecycle? People will come get it right from your house, you don’t even have to take it anywhere! Less physical work and just a small amount of time on the computer listing it on freecycle.org.
What to keep, what to part with.
This is the most difficult part of the process. My first question to myself is, “Can I easily get this again if I need it?” Other questions might include, “When is the last time I used this?” or “Do I see a need for this in the near future?” Go through this process. If you’re hung up on an item, put it in the keep bin. Once you’ve done this process once, go through it again. I sometimes make 4 or 5 passes through my stuff. I’ve purged a lot and so far, I’ve had no regrets of anything I gave away.
Once you’ve purged a room, keep the clutter out by having an area to put things. My garage is the “catch all” for every room. The clutter goes out there in a designated spot, and rarely does any junk make it back into the house. When organizing a room, don’t pack everything in, leave space for a few new things and space to stay organized. Also, when cleaning out a room, take everything out. Start from scratch. It’s easier and you will be able to purge more and organize more easily.
Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a few of the biggest helpers in downsizing. I have to say, it’s a long process, but it feels really good!