Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Decluttering


I'm at that stage in my life where I am acting on that wonderful quote..."the most important things in life are not things"... and I'm decluttering my life like there is no tomorrow. I am not just decluttering things per se but simplifying every I do in my daily life... from what I eat, to how I start my day, what I wear, how I run my business.... to even our daily family routines. I am adopting a 'minimalist mindset' and I find it is very freeing and a lot less stressful. It's rubbing off on my boys too, much to my delight. They don't want for much and are very aware of how unimportant 'things' are in the big scheme of things. I don't know about you but I think boys are pretty basic. All my boys need is their family, each other, their lizards, a soccer ball and their Nintendos (only on weekends!) and they're happy.

I subscribe to a wonderful website, 'Be More With Less', a website about simplifying your life and really living. Courtney has the most wonderful informative links in her twitter stream too. I find I read some interesting link of hers every day.

Her latest blog post is an absolute beauty....."50 Ways To Leave Your Clutter".

Here is her list:


50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter
  1. Empty one box from your storage space.
  2. Donate one box from your storage space without looking inside.
  3. Hide something.
  4. Put a box near a door that you can easily place things to donate.
  5. Read Joshua and Ryan’s new book for extra inspiration.
  6. Designate one surface as completely clutter free.
  7. Open your mail before you come in the house.
  8. Don’t leave anything on your counter tops that you don’t use frequently.
  9. List your books on Paperback Swap. (Note from A-M: try GIVIT here in Australia).
  10. Sell your gold.
  11. Give meaningless jewellery away.
  12. Choose one winter hat. Donate the rest of them to a homeless shelter.
  13. If there is exercise equipment you haven’t used in 90 days, use it or list it on Freecycle (Note from A-M: try GIVIT here in Australia).
  14. Give pots and pans away that you never use, even if they are part of a set.
  15. Check out Project 333 and dress with less.
  16. Stop comparing. You don’t need everything they have.
  17. Let go of sentimental items.
  18. Stop shopping sales.
  19. Opt out of junk mail.
  20. Don’t buy something you don’t want to get something free that you don’t need. (aka stay away from the make-up counters)
  21. Figure out where to donate your stuff.
  22. Give away holiday decorations that you don’t use this year. Next year, you won’t remember what you gave away.
  23. Conquer your junk drawer.
  24. Have one last yard sale.
  25. Hire a truck to pick up whatever doesn’t sell at the yard sell.
  26. If you don’t have a CD player, get rid of your CDs.
  27. If you get rid of your CDs, you can dump your cassette tapes too. 
  28. Don’t worry about keeping things just in case. 
  29. Copy your favorite recipes from cookbooks and get rid of the books.
  30. Don’t buy stuff to store your stuff.
  31. Hang with like minded people. 
  32. Stop getting organized.
  33. Set gift giving expectations with friends and family.
  34. Decide what you will take with you when you leave. 
  35. Stop attaching stuff to the people that gave it to you.
  36. Get ready to move to a much smaller space.
  37. Live on a boat.
  38. Clean off the outside of your refrigerator.
  39. Just use one.
  40. Leave your kitchen cabinet doors open for 48 hours.
  41. Spend time with people who don’t have enough.
  42. Don’t send lengthy email messages.
  43. Pick up an object and ask these questions. “Do I use this?” “Do I love this?” If the answer is no, let it go.
  44. Start a volunteer project with your gift giving friends and agree that your gift to each other and the world this holiday season will be love and time.
  45. Enjoy your newfound time and space.
  46. Clear your work space of anything you aren’t using that day.
  47. Instead of adding a task to your to do list, just do it.
  48. If it’s broken, fix it.
  49. Remember, if you aren’t happy being clutter free, you can buy everything back.
  50. Put people before stuff. Every time.

If you head to Courtney's site HERE, she has links in her list to previous posts she has done on each topic. Some of the organisations she links to may not be too relevant for those of us in this hemisphere but in terms of donating to an organisation, I so recommend GIVIT ... HERE. I did a post on GIVIT a while back HERE.

Do you have any favourite decluttering tips you'd like to share with each other? I like Courtney's last point, 'people before stuff'. We're all out there working hard to buy stuff we don't need, when we have everything we need right now.

Speaking of decluttering, I am unpacking 3 pallets of lights at my shed this morning and then 'decluttering' them.... that means, if you've bought them, you should get them tomorrow or the next day! Hooray, at last!

Have a great day! I'm going to start with a good breakfast!


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18 comments:

  1. Excellent post and tips. My life doesn't function well when I'm surrounded by stuff. I currently live bewteen a shed and an unfinished house. The "stuff" drives me mad and I can't believe how much I have tossed out.But it's so liberating when the space around you slowly becomes a clutter free zone.

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  2. Nothing aids a de-clutter like moving house, we moved earlier this year and I am amazed at how much guff we managed to accumulate over the years. I managed to live out of a back pack for many years, and yet when we moved house the removal truck was packed to the gunnels!! I still have a way to go with the de-cluttering thing.
    I love the idea of keeping a box handy, to put in things to donate.

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  3. Hello A-M

    I love the image from the Red Chair Blog - those words are very sensible! Love it.

    The 50 Ways are well... Interesting for me.

    She has taught me a few for sure (I think every person in the modern age needs de-cluttering)

    Modern housing magazines are teaching us to live a de-cluttered life by their photos.
    And - Ikea makes a fortune out of storage and re-arranging ones life.

    I already do a few of the list of 50 and need to do a few more. I don't like all her ideas though.

    have a busy day and watch that feverish stanley knife opening all the boxes.

    take care lovely

    x loulou

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  4. That's it, I have to get rid of some things today. I always feel good when I do it. xx

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  5. Loved the list! It makes perfect sense. Sometimes I act just like that and get half of the house into those donation center. Clothes, shoes, decor, books, toys... nothing is forgotten. It feels really good afterwords, a good Feng Shui rule : De-clutter!

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  6. I am big into decluttering at the moment as well. I can't think properly when the house is full of things. Some of my best ideas are ones that other people have told me...
    1. scan the pictures that your kids do at kindy and store them electronically so you don't end up swallowed by a mound of paper (admittedly this only works for A4 and not collage!)
    2. have a box that you put things in to donate and add things that you are no longer using and the key here is to actually HAND IT IN rather than let in linger!
    3. If you bring a new thing into the house you must throw/donate the thing you are replacing- don't have 2 'just in case'!

    Also, my friends and I clothes swap/rotate for our children- we all have girls/boys at different ages and passing around the clothes has saved us all money and time. They don't always need new things.

    A-M - I am finally getting my electrician to hang my kitchen lights today so will email you some pictures! they've been sitting in the boxes in the corner of my kitchen since bringing them home from your shed- it's called delayed gratification!!! can't wait.
    K xx

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  7. AM I loved this post being a Hardcore Declutterer myself.

    I know people who can't park their cars in garages because they are filled with stuff and I also know people who buy storage boxes to store stuff they never use or need and wouldn't miss. I think it is unhealthy to invest too much importance and meaning in an object.

    With clothes I always ask, Is this the image I want to project? Do I love it? Is it flattering?

    I make regular visits to the Salvos to get rid of read books, clothes, kitchen stuff. I too have got rid of new saucepans never used because they just sat there taking up space mocking me.

    My biggest tip is that decluttering is a journey. You have to be in the mood and in the zone and you have to be prepared for the emotions that divesting yourself of things that remind you of the Bad Times can stir up.

    I got to the point where I didn't want reminders of past mistakes around me.

    After a declutter you feel wonderful, like you've scaled Everest. And who doesn't want to feel like that?

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  8. Ah, snap! I'm doing the same, A-M. Anything to clear my headspace! The Great Unpack is proving quite liberating. And the things I'm finding! You wouldn't read about it - seriously. And what a feeling of liberation when one box is de-cluttered - isn't it good for the soul?! J x

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  9. Love your post A-M so much so I'm going to read it again. I am also decluttering my life and it feels so liberating, Love it. Have a wonderful day xx

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  10. Such a great, and very timely, post for me. I spent the afternoon cleaning out my drawers and closet and came up with 4 bags of clothing to donate. I told my son that I am learning to embrace minimalism. He just shook his head and said elegant minimalism, since I still have so many dishes, etc.?...and I said yes, that's what I'm aiming for! ;-)

    Kat :)

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  11. I don't know what to say. I am with you all of the way. My eyes were open after watching "The Story of Stuff". I feels so good to have a clean room with out a lot of stuff and clutter. Our world is shifting. People first, not stuff. It has been fun, walking down the road to enlightenment together with our boys. Blogging has become so much more challenging since I do not value things like I did in the past. It's pretty awesome to see the world waking up to what is really important. The best things in life are free.
    Love you, Heidi

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  12. We declutered when we moved to a rental in Feb. Then again when we moved last month. Yet the house still feels cluttered!
    Too much fabric and craft stuff, too many books, too many toys.
    I'm going to plan a garage sale and get rid of it ALL.

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  13. Hi A-M, love your new look!

    I realised that the less opportunities I gave myself for window shopping and trawling aimlessly around shopping centres, then the less Stuff I acquired. Now I find I am out of the habit of shopping so much.

    My husband has always been a Master Declutterer. I have to watch him as he sometimes makes independent decisions on what can go.

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  14. Great decluttering tips! I've just read Corinne Grant's book, "Lessons in Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder," and it had some brilliant lessons about decluttering, especially in terms of how to let go of the past. I highly recommend it. I also think the Story of Stuff (google it)gives an eye-opening message about consumerism. xx

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  15. Would printing out this list and sticking it up somewhere be considered adding to the clutter??
    I seriously need to take note as I find it so difficult to let things go. I have boxes of 'things' that I keep just for sentimental value...I don't think that I could follow this list completely I would feel that I was giving part of me away. However, I do relate to quite a lot of it and need to take note.
    x

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  16. A-M,
    Fairly fresh to the blogging world although I have been reading your blog from afar for a while now... very similar interior loves! A lot of my pics havent made it to the blogging world as yet. Thanks for the decluttering tips, something must be in the air because that is what I am doing too.
    Taking note and inspiration as we speak.
    Louwink ;)

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  17. So much is good advice but, *please*, take it from me, as someone who is both older and into family history: No. 17 ...sentimental items...they are of the utmost importance after the fact and are completely irreplaceable. Yes, let go of other crapola by all means but your child's finger painting for Mummy, or your grandpa's medal or loveletters to GM will fill you with such joy and pride in years to
    come. ...And fill your children with joy that you were the careful keeper of them and so passed that joy on to them.

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  18. Hi A-M,
    I wanted to say thanks for sharing Courtney's site! I am always looking for help in that area. Though I have made tremendous progress..which I never give myself credit for. (I am right now ; )
    But I still feel I could easily slip back to the old ways, do you know what I mean?
    Thanks for sharing.
    Jennifer

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx