Declutter Tips: How Much is TOO Much?
Fourteen days ago, I challenged myself to declutter 15 items from my home for 15 days. This would allow me to prepare for my yard sale we are having Saturday and I would be getting rid of at least 225 items in about two weeks time. I posted some pictures of how I did for the first five days. I have still been plugging away at it and taking pictures, but I probably won't be able to post about that until after the sale - I am knee deep in preparations at the moment! But, I wanted to share some more decluttering tips with you to help make the process easier for you if you struggle with letting things go anything like I do!
My last post on decluttering tips was how to help yourself remove some of the emotional attachments almost all of us have to our possessions. This time I am going to post some tips on how to let go of the multiple items we keep in our homes.
I might need this one day. This is a valid concern. You very well might! But think about what holding on to items in your home is costing you. You must find a place to store them and this could be taking away from space you have for things you really do need and love. You also have to put them away when they inevitably get pulled out. And you may have to clean those items as well. This all takes time away from doing the things you really want to be doing.
How terrible would it be to have to go buy this item again if you decide you do need it. If it is something you haven't used in 6 months to a year, chances are you won't miss it once it is gone!
What if the other one (or ten) of these items breaks and I now need another one? This is another reason to hang on to items. It goes along with my first point. You MIGHT need it one day. But, on the other hand you may never need it and then it has just been taking up valuable real estate in your home. If you can purge the extras from your home you went spend time looking for things and try to keep up with finding a space for it all.
I don't have ____________ when I need it. Let me explain. There are times when I think we need more sippy cups or pacifiers or coffee mugs. Or another example would be feeling like I don't have enough clothes for my kids or my husband and I. For me, this is often because things are not cleaned and put away in a timely manner rather than actually needing more of a particular item. If you and your spouse drink coffee every morning, you need two coffee mugs. Maybe you need a few extras for when you have company. So quite possibly you could need 6 to 8 coffee mugs. Do you need 16? Probably not. Maybe you don't have the ones you need in the cabinet because you don't have a routine in place to have the dishes cleaned each night before you go to bed.
The same thing happens with clothes. I will find myself thinking I need more pants or shirts for the kids, all the while their hampers are overflowing with dirty clothes that have not made it to the laundry yet. When the laundry is all done, I can hardly close their drawers they are so full!
So how can you decide how much is too much? To evaluate if you have too many of an item and whether or not you can live with letting some of the extras go, you must first gather up all the like items in one spot. For example, gather up all those coffee mugs. Make sure they are all clean and ready to go. Keep the ones you use on a daily basis. If you have space keep extras for company. Do you really need all of them? Probably not.
I have a confession. I am a pen hoarder. But if I actually go through each room in my home gathering up all the stray pens, plus go through my office supply cabinet, I would probably never need to buy a new pen again. More than likely, the pens will dry up before I ever get a chance to use them! Now is the time to let those items go!
This can be hard, especially if you live with another person who does not understand what you are trying to do. In these cases, try to compromise. Maybe you have too many of a particular item and you want to declutter some of the excess. Perhaps you could agree to have one that is in working order for use in your home every day and keep an extra in a storage space in case you need it down the road. You will still be able to eliminate so much excess from your home.
As you clean out and declutter you will probably find multiplies of items that were purchased because you couldn't find the first one. This happens to anyone who doesn't live in an organized, clutter-free space. Let these extras go - sell them, donate them, give them to a friend. As your spaces become cleared out you will be able to find exactly what you need when you need it.
Do you have any tips that help you when you are going through the process of decluttering your home?