We’ve reached Day 4 of the decluttering challenge! According to Mridu, this is the last day of hard-core decluttering before finishing up the challenge with some clutter prevention techniques.
Today our assignment is:
- Get 2 containers – one for tossing items and one for items you’ll donate
- Set a timer for 40 minutes
- Go to your target areas and hit all the catch-all areas – hidden corners, the inside of drawers and cabinets, etc.
- Gather items which fall into the following 3 categories, and either toss or donate them:
Cost Based Clutter
These are things that you hold onto only because you spent money on them; ex. a pair of shoes that were expensive, but that you probably won’t wear again. Mridu reminds us that we shouldn’t hold onto items just because there was a monetary investment involved; instead, we should learn from the mistake for future decisions, and let them go!
This fresh perspective was helpful as I looked at the clothing in my closet – if it’s out of style, doesn’t fit, or ugly, then why am I holding onto it?? I was able to say goodbye to a bagful of items, including a pair of shoes that I wore on my honeymoon, which was fourteen years ago!
Mridu’s advice is so true – hanging onto a bad investment doesn’t turn it into a good investment – so you need to just let it go!
Dream Smashing Clutter
This is clutter from activities, hobbies, or events that either never ended up happening or that aren’t a part of your life anymore, ex. scrapbooking, sports activities, etc. Even though you’re not using the items and probably never will, you’re holding onto them because tossing them represents saying goodbye to a goal or dream.
For me, this meant selling/donating books that have been staring at me from the shelf, unread, for far too long. Also, giving up on craft projects which I undertook years ago but never finished (or barely started!) like certain sewing projects and scrapbooking. These projects are obviously never going to be completed, therefore I’m tossing the supplies related to them and gaining clutter-free space instead.
And those cute beaded purses that I imagined myself carrying to formal parties? Since (a) I don’t ever attend formal parties and (b) they’re probably out of style now, I think it’s safe to say goodbye.
This is anything of which you have too many. Mridu points out that having too many of one item causes your decisions to take longer, clutter to creep up, and they just take up too much comfortable space in your home.
I had two main categories that I really cleaned out – craft supplies and clothing/socks. I found a great deal on socks at Target recently and bought 2 packs, but never got rid of any of the old ones. No one needs that many socks! And overall the 4 of us had too many items of clothing. By the time I was finished, I had gathered seven bags of clothing to donate!
And hearing the word abundance made me realize that I needed to attack my craft supply stash – did I really need 40 pages of black construction paper? That was just the beginning, and here is my craft pile (with some guilt clutter mixed in) to toss, donate, and recycle.
Today’s challenge was difficult because it put me face to face with money ultimately wasted. It also made me admit to some goals that I had given up on. But I almost feel as if a physical weight has been taken off of my shoulders with the amount of stuff I’ve moved out of my house! It’s such a relief to get the “dead weight” out and have fresh, clean spaces in their place.
Which brings me to a closing challenge from Mridu – if you have items to donate – get them out of the house – now! Seriously, go donate them today or you’ll probably end up hanging onto them and undoing all your hard work.
Join me for the last installment in which we’ll bring the 5-part challenge to a close with tips on preventing clutter from forming in the first place!
Are you participating in an organizational challenge right now? I’d love to know about your progress! Share below in the comments or connect with me on Facebook.
Want to see more posts on the decluttering challenge?