Last week we talked about simplifying our homes by eliminating duplicate items that take up space. You know, household items that we have two – or twenty – of. Things like tools, nail polish, paint supplies, folders, paper, clothes, etc.
Today I want us to seriously think about the items in our homes that go unused. You know, those things that are shoved in the back of the cabinet, stuck on top of the highest shelf, hidden in a container that’s never opened, moved from one location to the next because they’re just in the way…you get the idea.
The clutter I’m talking about is what makes you want to move into a bigger house. It’s the stuff that adds ZERO value to your life. It’s the stuff that you could put in storage and never miss.
But guess what?
Our home isn’t meant to be a storage unit. It’s meant to be lived in.
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If you REALLY want to simplify your life, get rid of clutter you don’t use.
I personally think this is a tough one to take action on. But once I get on a roll, I can’t seem to get rid of enough stuff. There’s room in the closet. There’s space on the shelf. There are empty containers. There’s room to play. Room to live. And less to clean and organize!!
Here are few examples of actions I’ve taken this year:
- I’ve been categorizing and selling baby items that my youngest has outgrown. I don’t have room to keep those things boxed up and stored “just in case” we have more kids. So if we ever have another baby in the house, I’ll just search Craigslist for the needed items and use the money I made selling the old stuff. Plus, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t “need” as much for the next baby as we had for the first two.
- Kitchen appliances that are never used have been put in the yard sale box. I don’t know about you, but a cluttered kitchen is no fun to use. I’ve had quite a few gadgets over the years that are meant to make cooking easier, but it never fails that I reach for the same knife, cutting board, and pans for 99% of my cooking.
- Formal dresses stuck in the back of my closet are a thing of the past. Don’t judge. I bet a few of you have a few crazy items taking up space in your closet too
- Books that we’ve read, will never read, or we’ve outgrown are gone. We are avid readers in this house, so our bookshelves can be cluttered with reading material if we aren’t careful. The problem is, when our bookshelves start to look like they belong inside a library, we become immune to them. We don’t even look at those books. It’s too overwhelming! I’ve found that having only a few options make reading more appealing. Plus, we’re kind of into Kindle books now. They don’t seem to take up as much space.
- Magazine subscriptions are cancelled. I used to be so bad about putting magazines in a pile to read when I “have time.” The problem was, I never seemed to find the time before the next edition came in the mail. Before I new it, I had a pile two feet tall.
These are just a few of the many examples I can give. My clutter problem areas probably look different than yours. But I wonder if reading these few examples have made you evaluate some of the clutter in your own home.
What you can do about your own clutter.
Take a few minutes today to look around your house for items that are just taking up space. Could you be brave enough to fill up ONE box with that clutter and hide it away for a month? If you need anything in the box during the next 30 days you could easily access it. But if you don’t need those items…well, you could free up some space and simplify your life.