Monday, November 08, 2010

The Attack

I get tired of having too much stuff around the house.  I am constantly annoyed with losing something I know I saw yesterday but I can't find today.  It's not that I dislike cleaning, it's that I don't like cleaning around stuff.

If you're like me, or if you do not like to clean, sort or fool with stuff, have less of it.

Here's how I get rid of clutter in my house.

I engage in what I call Drawer and Shelf Attacks.  I can go along for a few days or weeks and be comfortable with the level of possessions in a particular room or area of my home.  Then it hits me.  I need to clean it up and sweep the counter, shelf or drawer of extra stuff.  The first step is to dump the easy stuff.  In my first run through of an area, I grab the obvious clutter which in my house is usually papers-newspapers, receipts, mail. I try to keep up with it on a daily basis but when I get lazy it's amazing how quickly the mess will spread. 

Secondly, I open a drawer or cupboard and take a critical look at the contents.  Do I care?  Do I love it?  Is it useful to my life right now?  If I love it and it's useful, I find a home for it.  If I'm not sure, I set it aside for a later decision.  For example, if I haven't worn that shirt in a year, I'm probably not ever going to wear it.  Even if I think I love it.  I put the hanger around backward and watch to see if in the next month or so I pull it out and put it on.  If not, then I know I'm ready to let it go.  If I don't love it or use/wear it, out it goes into the bag I reserve for discarded items that will make its way to the car and then the thrift store donation site.

A third way I attack the shelves and drawers is by applying the Equilibrium Rule:  get a new item; get rid of one.

I realized this weekend that I have been picking away at the little things which have been piling up on the shelf between our kitchen and family room.  Obviously, it was beginning to annoy me.  I feel an attack coming on.  Tomorrow, I'll be doing another Drawer and Shelf Attack.

8 comments:

Tracy said...

Laughing and crying at the same time... because what you describe could be me too, Willow! I go through the same thing. Some weeks I'm fine. And then later, all the stuff gets to me, even stuff we do use. As I grow older, having a lot of stuff just isn't for me. We have a small house and there are time when the kitchen feels a bit too, too small... But I wouldn't trade a BIG house loaded with stuff for anything. Little, less and organized... that's the aim, anyway. ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Roxie said...

You're a better woman than I am. I rather love the comfy feel of being crowded by my posessions. I admire the open, uncluttered surfaces of zen-like simplicity that I see in some homes and many magazines, but i am like a hamster, nesting in my stuff.

ellen b. said...

Sounds like a battle cry. Enjoy. I attacked my sock drawers! :0)

Knitting Linguist said...

I think it must be that time of year - I'm starting to feel a similar sort of attack coming on! In my case, it's my closet; I think it's finally time to get rid of all of those clothes that are too big for me, but that I somehow keep around (for what? who knows!). Thanks for the inspiration :)

Hollace said...

I need to do this throughout my whole house. I am a collector because I do decorations for events and I see the "possibilities" in so many things...But, I hate the clutter and confusion. A conundrum.

Mogul Myra said...

Great strategies! I've had to get rid of lots of things since moving into an efficiency apartment.

Barbara said...

You did well. I have a good de-cluttering every January.

Freedom said...

We have mounted attacks throughout our house. We're in a full on war to purge all the useless clutter from our home. We have just gotten fed up with all the junk in our house. It's been an eye opening experience to see how much stuff we have sitting around our house that never gets used. And after clearing a space, we feel so much better. My closet, for example, is now a much happier space after cleaning out all the clothes and other things that never got used.