It’s hard to get rid of stuff. I know. Holding onto stuff is much easier. I know. Gift bags and tissue paper that I’ve received, I’m holding onto because I intend to reuse them. The same applies to the vases from flowers I’ve received. Shopping bags and take out containers have multiplied in my cupboard. Boxes from recent purchases take up valuable space in my closet. Coupons and receipts fill a pocket in my purse. Face creams, lotions, and scrubs that have been rejected, sit in my bathroom cabinet. I’m not even going to mention greeting cards, instruction manuals, catalogues, adapters, or outdated phones and other devices.
Can you relate? Do you have similar items or even bigger items? Unfortunately, stuff accumulates unless we get rid of it. We have to make a conscious effort to remove stuff from our homes, otherwise piles grow and clutter happens. One successful way I’ve found to combat the piles and clutter is to remove more than you bring in, at least one day a week. If you can do two days a week, that’s even better.
You may be asking yourself, what does that look like? Let me share with you how I removed more than I brought in for a day. Here is a list of items that I brought into my house one day last week:
- prescription with receipt and coupons printed on the receipt
- 5 pieces of mail
- one purchase with credit card slip
- donation receipt
Here is a list of stuff I got rid of that same day:
- everyday trash
- everyday recycling
- returned book to library
- gave 3 lists of resources to a friend
- took old TV to dump
- dropped off 4 pairs of shoes for donation
- dropped off 5 items of electronic recycling
I brought in a total of 11 items and got rid of a total of 16 items. I must admit, I had the urge to clean out the donations and recycling that had been collecting in my garage, and that’s what made this a successful “get rid of stuff” day. The key is to have at least one “get rid of stuff” day a week. Be consistent. That is what will help combat the piles and clutter.
Another successful way to prevent accumulation is to not bring anything in. Have at least one day a week where nothing comes in. I’m not saying leave things in the garage for a day or hid them for a day. I’m saying make a conscious effort to make no purchases and allow nothing new to enter your home for a day. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?
©November 2016 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer All Rights Reserved