01b72d01ea70cce06770af3771b9c44308c124462bMy goal is to spend as little time cleaning as I can. Since I do not have the desire or means to hire household help that means that I need to be intentional in being as effective as I can be keeping my home clean and orderly.

I like to watch Love It or List It and Love It or List It, Too. I have noticed in many cases when people say their home is too small and there is not enough storage that the genuine problem is too much stuff.  We are reluctant to let go of our stuff, even when there is so much of it that we cannot find and use what we have –so we buy more!

When I first began to declutter and organize my home in the 1970’s, I found so many duplicates. I had stowed items randomly in drawers, cabinets, and closets. Since that time I have gone through my home countless times and donated so much, that I should not have bought in the first place, to charity. When I finish a round or decluttering all the way through my home, I start over.

There are questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is this useful or beautiful? Does it work for its purpose in my home?
  • Is it in good repair?
  • Would I buy this today for my current needs?
  • If there was a fire would I replace this?
  • If there was a flood would I try to repair this?
  • Even if this has value, does it make me miserable?

Many of us make progress in decluttering when we move from one home to another. What if you don’t plan to move any time soon if ever? Move out one shelf, one drawer, one cabinet at a time and move back in. In one small area—

  • Take everything out of the small area you are dealing with
  • Designate that area for a purpose—what goes there?
  • Put back what belongs there
  • Put other items where they will belong—do not attempt to reorganize that area—its time is coming—SOON.
  • Throw out trash. If it cannot be repaired do not keep it.
  • Have a box for items to be repaired—do not put broken items back.
    • Make an appointment with yourself to fix the items in that box—it will take far less time than you think it will.
    • Gather what you need for repairs—glue, needle and thread, tools
    • Repair the items and then put them away.
  • Your space has value—do not keep what you will never use.
  • You may want to keep some duplicates and put them in the areas where they are used—scissors are a good example. I have scissors in each desk, in the kitchen where I use them for everything to opening packages, cutting up chicken, herbs and other food items, and cutting coupons from packaging. Wash the scissors in between uses. I confess I have 3 pair of kitchen scissors because I use them for everything.
  • Label some items with the place they belong—Kitchen, Office, Craft Room. I either use a Sharpie or make a label depending on which will work better.
  • Corral your papers in one area. Paper clutter is one that keeps on happening because new papers and paperwork keep coming into your home. Deal with what needs to be done with paperwork and then toss what you do not need for taxes or record keeping.  Only keep the best of the best of your children’s school papers in a tote designated for that purpose.
  • Shred papers with personal information on them including credit card offers.

In addition to moving out and moving back in to each area in your home, shop your home. If you were shopping today for something for a purpose:

  • Would you buy that?
  • If you have several which one(s) would you buy?

Each time I go through my home I open every drawer, cabinet, and closet and look purposefully at each thing stored there. This helps me remember where everything is stored, and to continually determine if my stuff is earning its place in our home and lives—this is true whether you are considering clothing, craft materials, kitchen paraphernalia, linens, food items, electronics or anything else.

Think, be mindful of your home and your life. The people in your life are, after God, your top priority. Don’t have so much stuff there is no room for life there.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

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