Since I am clearly not qualified to say a word about anything in the organizing realm, I’m very happy to introduce Mandi of Organizing Your Way to take the reins for this week’s theme. You can find all the past topics and hostesses here.
I’ve always been a very organized person, but for me that just meant organizing all of the stuff around me.
In the first five years of our marriage, my husband and I moved four times. The first two times we moved, I didn’t really even think much of the gazillion boxes I was packing for the move. To me, it just seemed like a normal thing to do.
Our third “home” was really a little basement apartment in my parent’s home, and most of our stuff remained in boxes divided between their house and my in-laws’.
And then, on the day we moved to our fourth home, a funny thing happened (well, it wasn’t funny at the time, but it is now). As we drove down the highway, two boxes went flying off the back of the pickup truck my mother-in-law was driving, their contents smashed on the side of the road.
Looking back, that was really a turning point for me.
We went ahead and unpacked most of our boxes in our new home, resulting in cabinets, closets and drawers that were overflowing with stuff. The idea of limiting the number of kitchen gadgets I owned had never occurred to me before because I was just waiting for that moment when I would be magically transformed from kitchen dunce to world class chef (I’m still waiting, by the way…).
But the only thing that I had lost in those two boxes that was actually a necessity was our paper towel holder, and realizing that made me take a hard look at how much stuff we really had.
A year-and-a-half later we began packing to move to the home we had built on a little slice of heaven – our dream home, really. I was seven months pregnant and it probably would have been easier to just ask some friends to come over and help me box everything up for the move, but I was determined to eliminate as much unnecessary stuff as I could. I began with my kitchen and ended up with dozens of boxes full of extra dishes, Pampered Chef gadgets and small appliances.
That felt so good (figuratively speaking, because the reality is my body ached by the time I was done!), that I moved on to our clothes, linen closet, toys and storage, weeding through each and every item before packing it for the move.
I made half a dozen trips to the Salvation Army during the 6 weeks I spent decluttering and packing, and the result was that it only took my husband and a couple of friends about two hours to load up all of our belongings when moving day arrived.
But do you know what the most surprising thing has been? Here we are three years after that big move, and I’ve taken several more large loads to the Salvation Army and community yard sales. Over time, my home is still becoming less and less cluttered because every time I go through a drawer or cabinet, I am able to see even more clearly which items I use and which I’m holding onto “just in case”.
Benefits of Decluttering
· When you have less stuff, you’ll spend less time dealing with it – cleaning it, moving it, thinking about it – and more time living life.
· The less stuff you have, the easier it is to get – and stay – organized.
· You’ll be more productive and accomplish more when you don’t waste time dealing with clutter.
· The more you declutter, the more thoughtful you’ll become about the purchases you make, which is better for the environment and your wallet.
· You’ll more easily be able to find the things that are important to you.
· Having company over will be much less stressful because you won’t have to spend hours clearing surface clutter before they arrive.
It’s never easy to get started, but over time decluttering becomes second nature!
To Be Continued…
Mandiiiiiii! Helllllllllp!!!! Is anyone else wondering “how???” I’ve read these sentiments before, but having them at my very own blog…oh, dear. It’s like finding $100 in my underwear drawer and not knowing how it got there. I have no idea what to do with this information, and it seems really personal.
I strongly desire to declutter and have that freedom of anti-materialism and less “stuff”. When push comes to shove, though, I’m a saver. I see myself very clearly in the line above: holding onto “just in case”.
Please head over to Organizing Your Way, quickly, without passing Go, without opening any new windows, and without getting distracted by something else. (What? Was that a new @reply coming in? Go on without me, kitchen stewards, I’ll be right there…)
Don’t worry friends, there’s a giveaway to go with today’s carnival, which you can see here. If you’re a blogger, be sure to link up any organizing posts, including laments that you’re not organized, at Mandi’s linky.
Next week is the very last week in the Spring Cleaning Carnival, when we’ll talk about Getting Out the Debt with Claire at Saving Money Plan. I’ve got FOUR items to give away next week, so be sure to mosey on back…if you don’t get distracted by an open Internet window, that is. 😉
Something you don’t want to miss: If you’re already a subscriber, be sure to leave a comment for a bonus chance to win a Nutrimill grain mill before Tuesday at midnight! If you’re not a subscriber, what are you waiting for? I’ve got an Excalibur dehydrator to give away this summer, too. Keep up on what’s going on,and sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.
Maybe Mandi will want to take Nourished Kitchen’s eCourse to help her become a gourmet (or at least functional) real food chef. Want to try your hand? See the 12-week course description here.