Now that the presents are opened, it’s likely that you’ve got a lot of new stuff — especially if you have kids. I’m ashamed to admit it, but our guest bedroom was already so full that we could barely open the closet after we tidied the room for visiting family on Thanksgiving. With the gifts we received from generous friends and family at Christmas, we can’t even clear a path.
And we’re moving. In four months. Yikes.
So I’m starting to take serious stock of our stuff and start digging our way out. If you’re struggling to find room for all your new toys and clothes and electronics, maybe it’s time for you to take stock, too.
Here are some tips to make it easier on you (and me):
Take inventory and ditch the excess.
Is your silverware drawer overflowing? Do you have so many t-shirts that you can’t even close your drawers? Weeding out the excess is a great place to start clearing clutter. Keep only what you can fit in your space, and only keep the best. Now is the time to throw away holey t-shirts and socks, tarnished silverware, and anything else you’re keeping around just because you haven’t had time to get rid of it. If you think someone else can use it, then be sure to donate it!
Be honest with yourself.
It’s likely that your bread machine works perfectly. After all, you’ve only used it twice, so it’s practically brand new. But it’s time to stop telling yourself you’re going to use it someday if it’s been collecting dust and taking up space in your kitchen for two years. The same goes for your skinny jeans. If keeping one pair motivates you, that’s fine, but if you have a second wardrobe in a smaller size, it’s time to donate. Get rid of the clothes you’re not wearing, the kitchen gadgets you’re not using, and the electronics you’ve never used.
Use it or lose it.
I’m guilty of hanging on to things I don’t need for sentimental reasons. I tend to take Peter Walsh’s advice when it comes to this: if you love it, find a way to use it. If it’s crammed into a box in a closet, you’re not giving the things most important to you the respect they deserve. Start going through your sentimental boxes and finding a way to give these things a new life. For instance, I’m turning my wedding dress into a baby quilt. If there’s no use for the item, and you’re only looking at it when it’s in your way as you clean out the storage closet, it’s time to make some tough decisions.
What are your rules for clearing clutter?