- One truck load, even with the cab full of stuff to a local charity.
- One huge week of trash pickup, imagine 2 cans full, bags, odds and ends propped up next to the cans. Imagine me hiding behind the curtains to see if they would TAKE IT ALL!
- One straight week of work.
I've arrived at a place that I feel more at home in. I'm almost there, but need to still take care of some miscellaneous spaces and sell a few high ticket items. We did donate 95% of the stuff we got rid of, but decided it would be worth our time to auction or craigslist items that were in excellent shape and of good value.
My journey was inspired and nurtured by a few books:
It's All Too Much, An Easy Plan For Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin
Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley "The Fly Lady"
Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones
I started with Peter's book, I enjoyed his style of decluttering and helping people work through their stuff on his TLC show years ago called Clean Sweep. I believe he now has a show on Oprah's Network called Enough Already. Peter really has a no nonsense approach to tackling your clutter problem. Once I let go of the excuses and started to do the work, I was amazed at how quickly I began to feel confident and gained momentum.
One of my biggest hurdles was our one and only storage closet. It's a walk in closet off of our guest room, it's 11.5 feet by 7 feet and just last month, I COULD BARELY WALK INTO IT. It was my dumping zone, I would sort out things, throw piles of the girls' stuff into a laundry basket and plop it into the walk in closet. It become a nagging sore spot to me, I started to keep the guest room door closed, trying to forget what was just a closed door away.
Today, my closet looks like this:
I wish I had the courage to take photos before, but honestly I couldn't do it. ALL of our files are down to one bin (right corner, blue lid), the striped boxes behind it are the girls' artwork and school mementos, the top shelf green bins are 2 Christmas, 1 Easter/Halloween. The shelf straight ahead to the left is games, puzzles, some toys, and organized items such as ribbon, stationary, etc.
The best part of the photo above? You can tell it's a CEDAR closet, it's not so jam packed with stuff from floor to ceiling that you can't even see the walls! Open space. I have empty shelves and lots of hanging space for the future! It feels so great to know that closet is no longer bursting at the seams.
I also worked my way through all the other closets in our home, our cabinets, my pantry, the buffet! No space was left untouched. What a feeling.
On a related and random note, during this entire process, I also purged my hair. I'm still warming up to it... I cut about 5 inches off!
Best of luck if you are ready to do the work! Have a little faith and a lot of patience and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, no matter how overwhelming the task feels.