New Year’s Resolution: Declutter

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”      ~William Morris

The beginning of a new year brings new resolutions. For some reason, mine almost always deal with eliminating clutter in our house. I am not a hoarder type, however I do find myself always holding onto things “just in case” I might need them in the future. With this being my one major roadblock, I needed to create a solution that would allow me to get rid of things, without sending me into a “what if” panic attack. This is especially true when I think about creating extra space in my closet.

Therefore, I am using a new decluttering method that will help me to get rid of things, but still allow me to hold onto them in the event that I regret tossing it.

The steps are simple:

1. Grab a garbage bag and head over to your closet (or toy room, or office, or living room…)

2. Fill up your bag with items that you no longer use or wear on a regular basis

3. Close up the bag and mark it with a tag reading “Bedroom 2011” or “Toy Room 2011”

4. Stash the bag in your attic or basement where it will be out of sight.  Chances are you will forget you ever put that bag in the attic, however in the event that you regret getting rid of something, you can sneak into your attic and remove the item from the bag.  Just remember to tie it back up tight!

5. Next year, at this time, when 2012 rolls around dig out the 2011 bag.  Do NOT open the bag, simply toss it into your car and take it directly to your local GoodWill or Salvation Army.  They key here is not to look in the bag.  If you haven’t needed it in a year, chances are you don’t need it at all.  Peeking inside will only get you thinking, oh “I might want to hold onto this, just in case.”

Repeat this cycle every year and your clutter will slowly start to disappear.

I have finally reached a point in my life where I realized I cannot hold onto every single meaningful artifact in my life and save it for myself, my children, my future grandchildren…etc.  In fact, the more I hold onto, the less special it becomes.  I would rather have a few really meaningful items than bins full of things I didn’t have the heart to get rid of.

I read this quote once by someone named Stephanie on an organization board and it resonated with me:

“Present Me is tired of holding onto future Me’s crap. Future Me will just have to deal with it.”

Sorry, future me, your stuff just got sent to Goodwill.



Filed under Family

6 responses to “New Year’s Resolution: Declutter

  1. Thanks – I needed to hear this!

  2. Pingback: What She Shovels » Blog Archive » Simple Meaning

  3. I totally agree with the more you have the less meaningful it is. Not to knock scrapbookers because I am one on occasion, but I suddenly realized one day that what are the kids going to do with 1 huge scrapbook for every year of their life when they get out of college at age 20. They won’t have space for that and it won’t be as meaningful to them as a few select books of select moments. The same holds with the rest of our stuff. I began a decluttering mission myself in 2009 when we had a flood in 2/3 of our house. It is amazing how stuff you had stuffed into the back of the closet doesn’t seem so important anymore when you have to decide whether to dry it out to save it or chunk it. Obviously I was forced to declutter some things, but there were still massive amounts of stuff that remained above where the water went. From now on I use the “would I keep it if a flood came” rule in my house. Thanks for letting me share. Guess I should write a blog about this.

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