Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Declutter your home - flow chart

Of course there are complications, but the main thing is "have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful".
I would also like to add "that makes you feel bad"
. If an item reminds you of unpleasant things or makes you sad, get rid of it. You don't need any reminders of the unpleasant stuff in your life.
If an item reminds you of unpleasant people, get rid of it.
If an item makes you sad, ashamed, angry, afraid, stressed; get rid of it.
If an item doesn't make you glad, happy, pleased, satisfied, calm, at ease, get rid of it.

Get rid of the tons of craft material you are saving "because you could make something out of it". If you don't have a specific use for "it" right now, AND your home is a mess, get rid of it. Give it to someone else to make something of.

Collect all the materials, tools and instructions you need for a project in one place; box or basket or bag. Put a date on it. If you haven't taken the time to finish that, give up. You most likely are NEVER going to finish that. Unless there has been an upheaval in your life, like someone died or you are in the middle of a move or change or work or something other Big, that is the only reason why you "may" hang on to UFOs. (Un-Finished Objects)
These things just weigh you down and give you bad conscience. You don't want that.
I promise you, that when you have cut your "projects to do" list in manageable size, you will be a lot happier and actually will finish the projects you have started. That gives you more self-confident and you will be finishing even more projects. Just be careful not to have mote than five projects at a time. Also, set a deadline. If you haven't finished a project to that date, you most likely never will. Move on.

Don't hang on things you can't use. 
Things have "best before" date. Some things can be fixed to become useful, but there are things that cannot be fixed. If you have something you don't use, think about if you really need to have it.
Why don't you use it?
Is it because it's too small or big, or is complicated and difficult to use, or it's not sharp enough or right size or color or material, doesn't work properly, is broken, dirty, unpleasant to touch, see, use, is associated with an emotional load?
Can you fix it?
If you don't like the thing but need it, can you replace it with something you like?

All the things you decide to keep, gather them in "stations".

Keep all your clothes and all the equipment needed to take care of them in one (or two) places; wardrobe and laundry station. "All the equipment" includes things like clothes brushes and stain removals. The only equipment needed that doesn't need to follow this rule is the sewing machine and all the equipment associated with that, and only if you use it to sew other things. If you only use your sewing equipment to mend your clothes, keep it with the clothes.
The same about the iron. That is good to keep in the laundry station, so that you will iron the clothes before you put them in the closet.

all your cooking things in one place,
all your baking things in one place,
all your paperwork in one place, with a shredder in place over the garbage can so that you will shred the trash post immediately, and with a letter opener to make opening the letters easier.
I have a pot full of bookmarks in my bookshelf. I love bookmarks.
I have all my library books on one shelf, together with the library card and library bags (a couple of sturdy canvas bags... I am a huge user of libraries :-D)

All the things that belong together, that are used together, are kept in one place, in the room where they are used.

Boxes for stuffs

- crap baskets - every person in the household has a basket or a box, where their "lost things" are gathered. Everything found out of place is returned to each person's basket and in the end of the week the people take these things and put them in their right places.

- recycling

- "keep", "give", "toss", "sell", "fix", "return", and "gifts" which in our household is called "the mathom box".
It's best to storage these in a neat container that you can't see through... so that you won't see the things you have already once let go, and get the idea of that you want to save it anyway. Don't.

Things you don't know what to do with

Go through these things with the mindset "would I buy this if I was shopping?". If not, let it go.

The idea with decluttering is not to "live minimalistically because you should", or "you get the bad reputation of a hoarder when you hang on things". You declutter because:

- the more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to keep your home healthy. For you. An unclean and messy home is a home filled with unnecessary health risks.

- the more stuff you have, the less of it you actually can see, use and enjoy of. When you clear up space, you see your things better and can appreciate them. You get the access to your things. You clear up working surface to actually do the things you want to do.

- things get easily spoiled, broken, damaged beyond repair when stored in piles.

- the more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep your home clean, the more work you need to do to clean it, the more time you must waste in cleaning. Decluttered home is easy and quick to clean.

You DON'T NEED to give up all "your stuff". You just need a place for all your stuff, so that it's easily accessible, that you can use it, that you can see it and love it, so that you won't lose it, or break it.

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