I loved all of your feedback on my post yesterday! It's comforting to know I'm not the only one with a ton of clutter. I thought that today I'd extend on the topic a bit and give you some of my own clutter-clearing strategies and show you some of the progress I've made. Maybe it'll help one of you kick the clutter!
tips and tricks
1) Get rid of the garbage first: Sometimes cleaning out a really messy area can be overwhelming. To sidestep that feeling, I look for any garbage and get rid of that first. If you're cleaning out a drawer throw away miscellaneous papers or old candy wrappers (are those just a problem in my drawers..? moving along...). If you're working on a closet, get rid of stained clothes or garments that have holes in them, are ratty, or are falling apart. It's a great place to start because you don't have any emotional attachment to the trashy things!
2) Does it fit?: All of us have clothes in our closets that don't fit us. I have clothes that have NEVER fit me. If you get rid of the things in your closet that don't fit, you'll have more room for adorable things that DO fit. And I'm not just talking about that pair of jeans you bought in a size zero in hopes of losing enough weight to fit into them. If you have clothes that you never wear because you don't feel comfortable when you wear them, then its time for them to go! I also have "fit" issues in other cluttered areas of my life. I have craft supplies that I will never use, tools from my days as a fashion design major that are taking up space, more yarn that I'd care to admit that I own--go through these items and decide if they still fit you.
3) Keep your memories: A lot of times its difficult to get rid of out things because they have special memories attached to them. While it might seem difficult to get rid of the dress you were wearing on your first date with your beau, if it doesn't fit your life anymore, its time to let it go. I've read in a lot of places (The Happiness Project included!) that it helps to take a picture of the item then let it go. That way, you'll always be able to look back at it, but pictures take up MUCH less room than actual objects.
4) Sometimes, you should keep it: This completely contradicts my last point. Sometimes, you really should hold on to a sentimental item. I keep a big memory box for those items for a few reasons. First, all my important items are stored in the same place. Second, they aren't taking up place in the day-to-day places of my life. Try to limit the amount of items you keep (this is where a box comes in handy) but you should definitely keep some things.
5) Do it again!: Once you've done your first round of clutter-clearing, do it again. Sometimes just the act of getting rid of things will make you realize you don't actually need all of the things you decided to keep. It gets a little easier the second time around! Trust your gut, if you think its something you don't want then let it go.
6) Have fun: This is the most important tip. Put on some music, watch a sappy movie, or do it with friends. Whatever you have to do to have some fun with it, make that happen. Then it feels less like a chore and more like fun :).
So that's my strategy! But, what about you?
When I asked for your strategies in the comments yesterday, one of my fabulous readers suggested the One Year Rule. If you haven't used something in a year, its gone! This is a great way to get rid of clutter. Sometimes I can't remember the last time I used something and that's generally a sign that I can let it go. Thanks so much Amanda.
If you keep leaving your tips I'll keep adding them to this post.
What tips do you think I should add?