Do you ever feel like you shuffle your belongings from one area of your home to another? Or maybe you have an entire room or closet dedicated to storing items that you are holding on to “just in case”.
One of my favorite YouTubers, Rachel at Sweet and Simple Home challenged her viewers to fill up one box of items to donate during the month of January. I decided to join her because “decluttering” is speaking my language! I love the idea of filling up one box each month to donate.
I keep an empty box in our bonus room that is designated for donations. Whenever I realize that I don’t need something, I put it in the donation box. Then once a month the DAV collects my box. It is super easy, and I don’t have to load the donations in my car and take it anywhere!
Our homes become over taken in clutter when we inherit someone else’s belongings, hold on to items from our childhood, or don’t let go of things that we no longer use. But getting rid of clutter not only frees up valuable space in our homes, it can also bring a sense of calmness to our homes and lives as well. If you feel overwhelmed with clutter in your home, why not challenge yourself to fill up one box each month?
When I am deciding whether or not to keep something, I usually ask myself these questions.
When was the last time I used this?
If it has been a year or more, and it isn’t a seasonal item, there is no use holding on to the item. Most likely you don’t need it. When I went through the items in our kitchen, I found several kitchen gadgets that I had hardly or never used. Yet I was still storing those gadgets. Those items in my kitchen cupboards and drawers were getting in my way and taking up space that could be used for items that I actually use.
Will I really use it in the future?
Sometimes I hold on to something because I think there may be a chance that I will use it in the future. I think, “What if I get rid of this, and I wish that I hadn’t?” But that way of thinking is living in fear of the unknown. My desire for a clutter free home has to be more important than the fear of missing an item.
I recently came across an old chair that I just knew was going to be super cute once I painted it and reupholster the seat. However, the chair sat in storage for a few months, and I never had the motivation to work on it. In fact it started getting in my way, and every time I would think about redoing it, I would groan! So after a few months of it in my home, I decided to honestly ask myself was I really going to use this chair. After I was honest about it, I realized that I didn’t have a plan of where to use it. Right then and there, I picked it up and set it on the curb.
Am I keeping it to make someone else happy?
How many times have you kept something that you didn’t like only because it was a gift and you didn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings? When someone you love gives you something, it can be hard to get rid of it even if the item has no use to you. But your relationship with that person has nothing to do with whether or not you keep the gift. This can be a tricky descion that you should carefully consider.
I have some valuable jewelry that I do not wear often, but I’ve kept it because it was a special gift from my aunt. However, I did get rid of a stuffed animal from a college friend. I had been keeping the bear because it was a reminder of my friend, but it was also clutter. I finally got rid of the stuffed animal because it was taking up my valuable space. My friendship was not put in jeopardy over a stuffed animal!
Does it add value to my life?
Going through my clothes and shoes is easy. I almost never have any sort of emotional connection with my clothes. But books, on the other hand, are always hard to get rid of, and I’m not sure why because I’m not an avid reader! In fact after I have read a book once, I hardly ever read it again. Over the years I have been given several books that I haven’t touched in the longest time. They were simply taking up valuable space in our closet. I finally decided to go through these books and get rid of the ones that were not adding value to my life. I only kept books that I use for decor, and a few favorite books that I reread every once in awhile.
Am I keeping this out of guilt?
After my grandma died several years ago, I was given some of her belongings: a quilt, a Christmas music box, and some scarves. I love putting out the music box each Christmas and it brings back memories of when I would go to her house at Christmas. I also enjoy using the quilt and remember it hanging up in my grandmother’s home. However, the scarves have moved them from one drawer to another in our home because I never used them. Even though I’ve never used the scarves, I kept them because I felt guilty letting go of something that belonged to my grandma. This past month when I was decluttering my things, I finally made the decision to get rid of the scarves. I didn’t need to feel guilty about holding on to items that I wasn’t using.
What is something in your home that is taking up your valuable space?
If you want to see what was in my box, check out my video!