I’ve been in a clean-out mood lately. We moved into our place just over the summer and things have been so crazy since then that I feel like we haven’t been able to really get our feet under us with getting this place where we want it. Well, I shouldn’t say WE, I think Jay would be fine with having no pictures on the walls or leaving boxes in the closets until we move out again. So over the last week or two I’ve been making him help me clean out a little and get some organizing done that I’ve been putting off.
This past week we went through our bedroom and reorganized and rearranged the furniture and then attacked AC’s room and, more specifically, his closet that has turned into a catch all for crap. We got through a lot of it, threw out a bunch of stuff, donated some clothes, and I’m so much happier with the way we laid out the bedroom. It feels a ton more open and I even have some room now to put a small bench at the end of our bed. Success!
It makes me feel better when things are pared down to only what I want or need and not just random stuff that has accumulated. However, I know that for some people it’s really hard to get rid of stuff. Here are a few tips that might make it a little easier…
- Remember you love each other – When going through your stuff, tempers can sometimes flare and the partner you think you know can turn into some kind of alter ego that wants to keep the striped t shirt from high school that now looks like a crop top over his belly. Take a breath, remember you love them, and pick your battles. Is a shirt really the end of the world? No it’s not, but if they keep it, make the agreement that it never gets worn outside of the house. That’s how you compromise in a marriage and stay happy. After all, he hasn’t said anything about the rolling suitcase of makeup you have in the linen closet. Yet.
- Determine what the goal is – What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to make more room? Figure out what you actually have? Re-organize and re-decorate? All of the above? When you know what the end game is, it’s easier to get going. If you are getting rid of stuff you know you will need lots of trash bags, if you are just re-organizing, you can go and get some plastic bins to store your items. Have a goal in mind and stick to it.
- Compartmentalize – Do small projects and focus on one job. Pick one room or one closet or one box. If you start to look at everything that needs to get done, you will quickly get overwhelmed and then you will give up. If you keep your projects small you will be able to get them done quickly and will feel like you are making progress.
- Why do you want to keep it – When going through your stuff, you have to ask yourself what the reason is to keep those items. Do you really use them? Do they even fit anymore? Is it just because you have emotional attachments to it? My general rule is if I haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, I don’t need it. There are some items that can of course be exceptions to that. Things like furniture you have in your basement that is great quality, but maybe you just don’t have the right place for it yet. Or even antique items that are worth money but maybe don’t go with your current decor. For clothes, things like expensive gowns or shoes don’t necessarily get cut either, But for most things, the one year rule works really well and keeps you from having a ridiculous collection of crap. Try to keep emotion out of it as much as possible.
- Be confident in your decisions – Once you have decided to keep or toss something, don’t go back and forth a million times. What is your gut reaction? Go with it. It’s usually the right one. Unless you are a hoarder, then you need to do the exact opposite. Or get yourself on TV.
- Enjoy your end result – No matter how hard it was to do, give yourself a minute to enjoy the end result. Look at your empty shelves with happy awe, sit in your newly rearranged living room and feel some relief when you go to open your closet and can actually find what you are looking for! It makes it all worth it…