De-Cluttering My Life… One thing at a time.

I’m sure everybody feels like they have too much ish going on. With work, school, family, and social life, there’s SO much that has to be done, SO much that should probably be done better, and SO much constantly on our minds. This is the case with me too. Over the past year I’ve been trying to focus on small things will help me de-clutter, de-stress, and live a little lighter. Instead of thinking about what MORE I need to do, I’m trying to have to LESS to manage.  I’m not putting a time limit on these things (again trying to DE-stress, not add additional things to my ever-growing to-do list), just spending a half an hour every so often, getting rid of ish I don’t need. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Completed: 

*Closets/Drawers

I’d give my left pinky finger if that were my closet, but it’s not. We ladies ALL have way too much in our drawers and closets. I know I do. When it got to the point that I could no longer find the pieces I needed and putting the laundry away into packed drawers was stressing me out, I knew I had to get rid of some things. I used the age-old method of decision making when it comes to clothes: if I hadn’t worn it in over a year, OUT it goes! It was wonderful. This took me about an hour, but I actually felt so liberated. I’m super nostalgic so getting rid of some things is usually harder because I always think back to the times when I wore something the most. But do I really need a tiny shirt I can no longer wear? Do I really need those ripped-all-to-hell jeans I wore all the way through college that I can’t believe haven’t fallen apart? No, I decided. So out they went. Six bags of clothes, shoes, old purses, belts I no longer wear, off to Goodwill! It felt so good, I actually did this 3 times last year. The other two times were smaller affairs and only included a bag or so of shirts and stuff, but it still felt nice. Now, if I’m going to buy something new, I try to get rid of a small bag of other stuff, just to keep myself balanced in the wardrobe department.

*Car

Charli! I love my car. It’s the first one I’ve ever gotten to choose and it’s perfect for my life. But I hate when I get in it and am immediately stressed out by the inside. I’ve gotten better over the years about getting rid of trash quickly. I no longer have to keep clothes, shoes, accessories, and fitness equipment in it like the college days of never knowing where I might end up and what I might need that weekend, but I still have stuff in there that doesn’t need to be there. I was looking for something I thought I’d lost  last week and checked my console and glove box. They were both FILLED with ish! So I took 15 minutes and took every single thing out of there. I found my heart rate monitor that I thought I’d lost (and now have to replace the battery because it’s completely dead). I had about 100 papers in my glove box that needed to be tossed or filed away: bank deposit slips, travel receipts, pay stubs, titles, a million insurance cards from years past, etc. And put back in only the necessities. I love it!

Tango’s white dog fur on my black interior is another story. I make it a point now to vacuum once a week. It’s almost impossible to keep the back seat constantly clean with all our trips to the park and Tang’s constant shedding, but with my new $40 pet hair mini-vac thing I bought from Target a few months ago, it’s way easier to stay on top of.

*Desk
This actually is my desk. I don’t want to see all the stuff in it, so these cabinets and drawers are great. Not so much junk, but tons of papers in my files that were making it difficult to fit more documents in my filing cabinet each month. So I started small: taking out files that I don’t use regularly but can’t completely get rid of (past years’ taxes, insurance files, and the like), putting them in a smaller box in the attic, and throwing out ones I don’t need. Then I went through the files that were left to see if any old papers can be shredded… I don’t think I necessarily need car insurance papers on a car I no longer drive from 6 years ago. Anything I was unsure about got scanned and saved onto my computer. Shredding papers was surprisingly fun… There were 6 grocery bags full of shredded paper that I got to dispose of! This has made my life so much easier. I no longer dread filing things away because it’s faster and easier now that there’s room in there. The stacks and stacks of papers piling up on my table/desk are no more!

Still To-Do: 

* Storage Unit
This is next on the list… and kind of what I’m working on at the moment. I have a couch and chair, a dresser, and a couple boxes in a tiny storage unit I’ve had for the past two years since my divorce. It’s all been just sitting there. And I don’t need it. I put stuff in there until I moved, but when I moved in with Tamara, she already had a fully furnished house. There’s no reason for me to move, but no reason to keep paying for a monthly storage unit either. It’s only $50 per month, but multiply that times the two years I’ve been here and I could have bought an all new furniture set and not had to worry about it. So I’m slowly working on selling the furniture (putting that money in savings for new furniture down the road) and taking one more bill off my checklist.

*Garage
This one I’ve been dreading for a while. It’s not a lot (we are two chicks in this house, it’s not like we have a bunch of tools and crap). I put a few boxes in there when I first moved it, just because I didn’t feel like going through them. I’m sure I don’t need anything in them, seeing as it’s been over two years and I haven’t needed a single thing from inside, but it’s just a hassle and I haven’t made the effort to go do it. It probably won’t take me but 30 minutes to do it. I’m gonna wait until it warms up a little more though… Cleaning out boxes in sub-freezing temperatures sounds even more shitty.

Now I’m not acting like an organization saint here. These 3 things were done several months apart, even though they could have been done in one afternoon. Whatev! As Rafiki would say, “It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past!” So I’m just gonna take a deep breath and tackle the storage unit this weekend. Anybody need some new furniture? : )

What have you (or what do you need) de-cluttered in your life? 
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Comments

  1. a couple of weekends ago, I got a plastic storage unit, with 3 wide and deep drawers. I cleaned out the closet in my office, which was just stacked full. I got rid of two boxes full of stuff, filed and organized papers, started a new file box for the 2014 years, and filled that storage compartment with my art materials, art work for sale, and puzzles. Now things don’t fall out of my closet when I open the doors!

  2. The move is forcing me to de-clutter! At least one thing gets de-cluttered a day. The true test will be if I can keep it up after the move 🙂

  3. Nice work! Shredding does free up a lot of space that could be used for something else, so it’s a good to shred those which are no longer useful. De-cluttering is never easy, but shredding makes it easier somewhat.
    Ruby Badcoe @ Williams Data Management

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