Tuesday, January 21, 2014

declutter your life // one place at a time

 (The space untouched isn't mine so I didn't clean it out.)

One day, my mom told me "Molly, don't end up like me with all this stuff. Throw away the stuff you don't want and only buy what you really need." And at the time, I knew it was really good advice. But I thought to myself "yeah, maybe I'll do that in the future" and over time I kept telling myself "well, maybe tomorrow." Maybe you've thought that yourself too. "I'll start doing this tomorrow." And then it's tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, and so on. And everything just keeps piling up until you finally hit that point where it's just like "I can't do this to myself anymore. I have to do something about it." It sure took me long enough, but it finally happened. I finally got overwhelmed by all the junk that was piling up in my life, and I knew I had to do something about it.

I'm a hoarder, not to the extent of some people, but I like keeping my stuff. But I threw out all these things I knew I didn't knew anymore like magazines I never read, books I would never use again, clothes I haven't worn in the past year, etc. It's hard to let things that have value to you go, but it's important to remember that you don't have a t-shirt to remind you that you once ran a marathon. You ran that marathon, and throwing away the t-shirt doesn't mean you throw the experience away.

So how would one go about decluttering? I've listed a few places in your home where you can start.You could sort through everything all at once, or take it one step at a time so it doesn't overwhelm you.

1. Your closet. The clothes that don't fit anymore? Yeah, you won't be wearing that any time soon. You don't need it, even if it has sentimental value. But you don't need a shirt to remind you that you ran that marathon once or that you were once apart of your high school book club. The clothes you haven't worn for the past three years? Yeah, you won't be needing that either. I'll be honest with you - the clothes I told myself I would wear five years ago were still there unworn and untouched, until I finally took the plunge and donated it. If you're on the fence about something, ask yourself how many times you've worn it.

2.  Your workspace. If you're in college like me, my advice is to rent your books. Or sell them after you're done using them. You know how your school constantly tells you that you can sell them for half of what you bought it for? Yeah, listen to them and do that. Because you probably won't ever need the book again, unless it relates to your major. Things clutter up quickly; your notebooks, your books, your notes, etc. Organize, organize, organize. Organization is key. Use a drawer file cabinet as a place to keep all the things you need (bills, important papers, etc.) You can thank me later. Keep only what you really need and throw out the rest, because you don't need it.

3. The living room. If you're like me, then you have a bunch of random stuff lying around too. I'm a crafty person, and when I want to start a new project (such as crochetting or making bracelets), I buy a bunch of supplies and maybe get into it for two months and then never touch it again. It's hard throwing away things you spent money on, but at some point, you have to realize that you're just creating a bigger mess to yourself. Do you know why people hate the process of moving? It's because they have so much stuff. Stuff that they don't need or use anymore.

4. The kitchen/fridge. I'm going to start off by saying that if an appliance is collecting dust, it's time to say goodbye. It's just taking up room, like all the other things in your home. I clean out my fridge on a regular basis now, but that stew that's been in your fridge for the past two weeks? Or that jar of mustard that's been there for over a year untouched? Yeah, time to throw those things out. In the future, you'll know what foods you like and don't like. (Don't buy the foods you don't like, because you would eat them. And you'll clutter up your space. Like I did for many years. Don't be like me, learn from my mistakes.)

5. Your computer. I can't even begin to imagine how many websites, blogs, articles, funny images, etc. I bookmarked over the years. How many times have I actually gone back to them? Probably somewhere less than 10. However, if you're nothing like me (and if that's the case - lucky you), you look at those things again. Keep them organized in folders. Folders are essential to everything in life; they are your key to organization. And like I've been saying throughout this whole post; if you don't need it, throw it out. (Reptition helps the mind remember, right?)

I hope decluttering your home has helped you in the same way that it's helped me. Tell me how your experience goes! Was it hard letting go of the things you've held on to for so long just for the sake of holding on to them? Do you feel better now that you have less things and more room? Do you notice any difference in your mood or energy levels?


  1. Decluttering is the best! it really is. I already went through my closet and now I need to tackle my computer.. dreading that one.

  2. This was one of my New Year's Resolutions this year. I am a horder too and its terrible. It's no wonder my room gets so disgraceful. Slowly, slowly I am throwing out my 'clutter' and investing in quality rather than quantity!

  3. The idea of de-cluttering my computer is so daunting! I love your tips though.

  4. @Erika Lee It's such a great feeling getting rid of the clothes you don't need anymore. There's still a few things left there that I should throw away, but I'm still a little "what if" on them. And I know what you mean. It's going to take me a while to work on my computer organization. So many bookmarks, folders, and pictures everywhere.

    @Samantha Heather Haha I know what you mean. My room use to look like a warzone when you walked in there; I had to strategically get to my bed. It's so much better now that I'm clearing stuff out. Good luck!

    @Sue // As It Seems Yup, I know what you mean. The computer one, especially for those of us who use the computer a lot, is really daunting. Thank you!