Monday, September 26, 2011

Thinning the Herd

In the past when I've gotten rid of things, for the most part, it was because we had to. There were several years when we had the obligatory garage sale, but other than that, whenever we moved we've dejunked. We downsized when we moved the the house before last because there was no real storage. The amount of stuff we found in the basement as we were moving was shocking. I swore never again. But nearly 12 years in this house, we've got it packed to the rafters. Or at least it feels that way.

Since I'm not in a panic of needing to have it gone by the time the moving truck arrives, I'm giving the process some thought, and I'm employing a couple strategies. The first is to attack an area and just dig in. I did that last week for the sewing cabinet and knitting supplies. The second is just to make a small change and watch it spread. When I decided to take a break from using the dishwasher, when I realized I was hoarding dishes, utensils, storage containers so I could fill a dishwasher and still have tools to use, I discovered just how full my cupboards were. It became easier to thin the herd when I had it all in one place.

One day I took about 15 minutes to go through my storage containers. I kept only the name brand ones that I prefer, and the disposable ones I used to take to work hit the recycling or the box for the cottage. I made sure I only kept the containers with matching lids. The rest are gone, and the cupboard I used to dread is now under control.

If you could thin the herd somewhere, which herd would it be? Can you focus on one small section, a cupboard, a drawer, a stack of paper for 15 minutes and see where it leads? Leave me a comment and let me know.


adriene said...

I think I would go for the "junk room" down in the basement, where all the "I don't know where to put this" stuff lives. It's mostly my stuff... clothes, Christmas decorations, luggage, and random junk. I need to figure out how to better store this stuff so it's not all willy-nilly, but more than that, I need to figure out what's actually in there!

Anonymous said...

I need to take this approach. I have a bunch of things I haven't used since I moved to my current place. Some are things to hang onto for future use, stuff that's been passed down where I'm not at the right life stage. But a lot is just clutter. It's just finding the time/energy amid all the other competing demands...

Marie Edwards said...

Personally I started with my "storage" room last year. I threw out 5 "yard" size bags of trash and donated numerous bags of clothing. I even went through my kitchen cabinets earlier part of the year, though I need to do that again. My desk area is one that tends to "re-clutter" it's self. I agree with Jennie ... it's about finding the time and energy. But I do need to schedule some time to do it.