07 January 2015


I feel an urge to get the gunk out.
Out of my body.
Out of my home.
Out of my mind.
Out of my car.
Out of my email inbox.
Out of my Facebook feed.
Out of my Instagram feed.

Embrace simple.
Embrace enough.
Embrace lack of busyness.
Embrace rest.
Embrace calm.
Embrace a good book.
Embrace a nice soak in the bath.

Buying our house this year was a catalyst for removing a bunch of unneeded stuff. Clothes. Dishes. Knick Knacks. Guilt gifts. {You know, that fill-in-the-blank that So-and-So gave you that you just have to keep just because.} Once I started, I wanted to keep purging. It felt good, y'all! And, let me tell you, having stuff crammed all over your house does not feel as good as organized space and knowing that every item in your home has a real purpose. It was hard at first, yes. But, like I said, once I got started ...ten million pounds lifted! I swear, I started sleeping better.

Here, lemme help you:

1) Cut the cord. They are things. They do not have souls. No, you do not have to keep it. Someone else could get use out of it, or you can return it and get something you will use. Perhaps this seems harsh. But, here's how I see it: not using it at all and keeping it out of guilt is just wasting So-and-So's money. Waste is waste, even when it's sittin' pretty in your closet.

2) Move "maybe" items somewhere else that's not valuable real estate (attic, another closet, storage under the bed) and put it in your calendar to revisit it a year from now. That part is important. Otherwise, you are just shifting junk. You will likely find that you didn't use it like you thought you would, and that you totally dig your new clutter-free world.
I came to realize that I was feeling guilt every time I walked past that coat I bought but never wear, or the boots I paid too much for and put on twice. Are you going to suddenly start wearing them after months years of them being there just because of how much you paid? Nope. Get 'em outta sight. Rip the band-aid off, honey! Somebody would love to have them. Stop being greedy. Get over the fact that you wasted the money. You won't ever get what you think it's worth. But, it ain't worth jack laying around, am I right?

3) Set up a swap with friends. Your cardigan for her lamp.Whatevs. Put the rest on Craigslist or a local Facebook sales page and use the money for something purposeful. Pick a place in your house and put it all in a pile. Deal. With. It. Don't you shove that mess back in the closet!

4) Try to choose useful items that also serve as decor.  I try not to buy anything that I can't picture being used at least three different ways in my house. It may be hard to think outside the box at first, but once you embrace your space as yours and not worry if other people think it's weird, it will start to come naturally. Two {or three!} birds, one stone, shugs: 
  • Use books that you want to keep throughout your home to create height and interest on mantels, coffee tables, even in the floor. If mismatched colors bother you, turn them the "other" way so the pages side is showing instead of the spine. I use books in almost every room of my house, and I am constantly shifting them around.
  • Organize and store items with pieces that are also easy on the eyes, like gorgeous vintage tins or jars as storage containers, or a bright, happy cart. Use stacked cigar boxes to add appeal to a vignette while also hiding rarely used remotes, or ugly items that you like to keep handy like paper & pen, lip balm, remotes.
  • You can use furniture however you please. There are no Misuse of Furniture Police. Just because it's "supposed to be" a dresser doesn't mean you can't stick that baby in your living room, and hide tablecloths, magazines, candles, china, photo albums, whatever yo heart desires in there! Get rid of your giant coffee table and choose a grouping of three smaller tables instead. You can move them around for versatility, and it adds visual interest. Bathroom medicine cabinet in your mudroom? Why not? Check yourself in the mirror on the way out, store keys, loose change and other smaller items on the shelving inside. Use a trunk as a side table and store extra blankets and pillows. 

5) Set aside a day every three months {or whatever works best} to clean up your feeds, inboxes, and incoming paper: social media feeds - I was amazed at how much more at ease I felt after de-junking my feeds from things that were of no use to me, file away or shred paper stacks, unsubscribe from junk emails, catalogs, magazines you don't read, etc. Donate paper publications to your local library or a nearby school. Students use them in art classes or for crafts. De-cluttering your brain is just as important as de-cluttering your environment. They absolutely go hand-in-hand.

For me, once I started these habits, I felt yucky if I didn't keep them up because I didn't want to ruin all my hard work by backsliding. Good luck to you in purifying your surroundings, and mind!

What helps you manage all the "stuff" in your world? I'd love to hear your tips!


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Yay! Welcome back.

I've had that Ikea cart pinned to buy for an eternity. It's time. Maybe this weekend?

Everything I own must answer yes to two of these three questions:
1. Is it useful?
2. Is it beautiful?
3. Do I love it?

I am ruthless with things and get rid of a lot of things people would keep.

Southern Sass said...

I need to get rid of so much junk. I love that cart! Someone said they have them at Sam's now. I need to go find one.