Friday, January 4, 2013

Day SIX of our Journey - Decluttering that STUFF

I think I have found the key to cleaning and decluttering. Almost anything that I HAVE to do but don't necessarily like to do...

Do it with a friend!

When I say, "Declutter with a friend...", it has to be a special friend. 

A friend that has stuck around through those bad monthly times. Those times of crazy hormonal pregnancies and crazy melt downs. A friend who will stick with you through the thick and thin. A friend that really loves you. 

The kind of friend who can say, " I love you but you don't need five popcorn poppers." 

The kind of friend who can handle it when you exclaim, "But we LOVE popcorn and one might BREAK!"

It is important to remember a few things when you find a cleaning/decluttering buddy and dive into it - 
  1. Make a plan before you jump in. Think about it rationally. If you are a new declutterer, don't resolve to get rid of everything. You will go into shock and regret it and get bitter after.
  2. Think of where you want the stuff to go. I know for myself, thinking of giving the excess stuff to people who will need it or turn it into cash to put towards debt excites me. This helps me push through.
  3. Find a friend that is patient and will continue to plow through all the stuff even with your nasty comments about how she just doesn't understand. You need that large tote of wire hangers! 
  4. Find a friend that you can tell your goal and they will hold you accountable. For me, I know that my husband is not a good fit. We both are hoarders (we like to call it frugal!) by nature and we always find some kind of reason to keep everything. Also, I often get very offended when he wants me to get rid of my treasures. (He just doesn't understand. I NEED 73 pair of flip flops!)
  5. Carry out your plan. It will hurt but if you made a realistic plan, it will feel better - not worse.
  6. Remember! Remember that you are going to help your friend in turn go through their clutter. Make sure you treated them how you want to be treated because its their turn to be nasty about their plastic plate collection to you! (We NEED 27 plastic plates. We might have GUESTS!)

All the "conversations" above are just a couple of the crazy pack-rat comments that I come up with. All have been said by me at one time or another. This summer, we decided to get serious about getting rid of our clutter. We get rid of about 30% of our stuff in the downstairs. People have walked into our house and asked if we've been robbed. 

We still have a lot of stuff but we have drastically cut down. 

If I can do it, anyone can do it. It was painful. I wanted to cry. However, it was so worth it. I can clean my house faster and there are many less toys to fight with my children to pick up. We can find and LOVE the things we have even more. 

When I think of clutter and STUFF, I think of a zap to me. It zaps my energy, I have to clean. It zaps my joy because I am continually harping for people to clean up. It zaps my time. I have more time to spend loving on my children and doing fun things with them. 

Getting rid of the clutter has really brought more peace and joy into my life. Have I "arrived"? No way. I am still on the journey to rid our house of unnecessary things but I am trying and making progress. 

How about you? Do you struggle with the clutter and stuff that is all around you? Or do you have a good system to rid your home of clutter?

2 comments: said...

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Unknown said...

Oh my goodness... I need that friend. I guess that's the really bad part of this military lifestyle and one that's been hitting close to home for me lately. While we have good friends, close acquaintences and a whole lot of contacts, I don't have those deep friendships... Not a pity party but you summed it up really well here why that's important. And it's always pretty there in my heart an awareness that I am missing it. Love to you!