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I am just over 6 weeks into my goal of decluttering one area of my home for every single week of 2015. I am loving all the people who have joined in the challenge with me and are active over in the Snail Pacing Goal Achievers facebook group.
Not all the members of the group are working on decluttering as I made it open to anyone working on a goal in 2015, but most are and the support has been great.
With so much of the year ahead of me, I am surprised by all the project has taught me already.
6 Things 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home Has Taught Me So Far
1. Rooms seem much larger, brighter and cleaner when you have less stuff.
For about a good week after I finished decluttering the last area of the library, I couldn’t come down the staircase of our home without saying “wow I can’t believe how much bigger this room looks”.
I know it should be a no-brainer less stuff of course equals more space, but for some reason it shocked me just how much more space we would gain.
2. It is quicker to pick up a room when it is clutter free.
Before decluttering the library I use to spend at least 10 minutes a day tidying it up and then throw my hands up and say “good enough for the friends I keep” and moved on to tidying up another room . After decluttering I can clean up the whole room including straightening the shelves of the built in bookcase in 2 to 3 minutes tops.
3. Decluttering doesn’t really take that long.
Before I took the time to break down every inch of our home into 52 different areas, I was overwhelmed by the idea of a full house declutter. I would read books swearing a whole house declutter job could be done in a weekend and feel mentally frozen by that revelation. “Where on earth do I start?”
Having a plan and the knowledge that this week I just have to concentrate on this area, has really help me see that decluttering doesn’t take as long as you might think. All the projects I have done so far have taken me under an hour with some taking less than 30 minutes.
Will I ever take on a full house top to bottom declutter project? Nope, I did it once when we moved from British Columbia to Indiana and although it worked great to get our house sold much faster than expected it is overwhelming and exhausting. I would only recommend it to those wishing to get their homes ready for realtor showings.
6 weeks in and I am thinking, this 52 week to a simplified home project is going to be a year after year goal. I much prefer doing things at a snail pacing rate.
4. A great decluttering session starts with a good decluttering routine
A few weeks in I got a good decluttering routine going. It goes like this
- Asses the area and decide the best way to attack it (for example do I empty the area out all at once or one drawer or box at a time)
- Grab the recycle bin, a garbage bag, a box for giveaways and a box for things that go else where.
- Clear out area (as much as I am doing at one time)
- Clean cleared area
- Go through stuff, recycling, giving away and placing items in other places box.
- Put what is left back in area.
- Put recycling and trash away, put things to give away in my husbands truck (more on this in the next point)
- Finally take the box of stuff that belongs elsewhere and put the contents away.
- Step back and take in the progress I made.
The hardest part is step 8 and 9, by then I just want to admire my decluttered space, but I force myself to deal with the items no longer going in the space first.
5. Get rid of the giveaway box right away.
If you let the giveaway box sit in your home too long, you or the kids, or you hubby will become tempted to take the item out because “surely you could use it some where” or “well my aunt so and so did give it to me” or……….(put in your excuse here).
The longer the box sits there the more excuses that you create to keep it.Since I am the worst one at this in our home, I am trying to be very disciplined about marching the giveaway box right to my husband’s truck the first minute he is home, and having him drop it off so I can’t try and sneak things out of the pile before I place it in the drop off box at the thrift store.
6. Decluttering is contagious.
Since I started this project I am noticing that my cleaning husband who usually just cleans around clutter is actually going through piles and dealing with the items in them. He has taken 2 or 3 boxes worth of stuff to the thrift store that he found while tidying up that he figured we no longer needed. He did ask me to check the boxes to make sure he wasn’t giving away something I wanted to keep, and I can honestly to say, I didn’t keep a thing out of those boxes.
I am loving this as it means less work for me as the year goes on.
If you have been joining along what have you learned so far about decluttering?
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