Mission: Decluttering

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source: liferphotos

source: liferphotos

I’m stealing Sarah’s clever tagline for this post because I really have made decluttering my mission for the next few months. In fact, I set a goal for myself to get rid of as much stuff as possible before our fourth child is born in August/September.

Ironically, after I mentioned my plan to my husband (to which he responded with an exaggerated eye roll…), Sarah also posted her Five Signs You Have a Decluttering Problem, which was a good reminder that I need to be sure I don’t get rid of things that we’ll later need (and therefore have to repurchase) and also that I don’t forget about the other people in my family and how my decluttering might affect them.

That said, my mission remains the same, but I’m hoping I can be reasonable about it without becoming obsessed and forgetting what’s important.

Why Declutter?

My home is fairly organized already, and we’ve always been committed to keeping it free from clutter. However, I continue to be amazed at how fast we amass stuff. It’s frustrating and means that we have to constantly reorganize to make room for more, and I’m not even sure where the stuff is coming from!

One thing I do know, though, is that unnecessary stuff not only wastes space in my home but also wastes my time and energy as I have to sort through it, move it and think about it. And since I’ll soon have four children under five years old, plus one who needs to start kindergarten (we’re homeschooling), and I work at home, I’m looking for anything that will save me time and energy.

A Decluttering Plan

My plan for decluttering is actually really simple. As I have time and energy, I am tackling one small area of my home at a time. I always start by pulling everything out so that I know what I have and can decide how to best organize it before putting it back. Then, I decide which things really need to be kept, which things can be moved to storage instead and which things can be thrown or given away. I’m trying to think more in terms of need and less in terms of want, without going overboard and eliminating all of life’s little joys.

A Plan for the Future

As part of this process, I want to be more conscious about the things that create clutter in our home. What is it and where is it coming from? Is it necessary stuff that needs a designated space, or is it a junk that we need to stop before it even comes inside?

For example, I have a growing pile of magazines from free magazine subscriptions. Here’s the thing, though – I rarely ever get around to them, and I don’t really even have much desire to read them. So I’ve decided to take a few minutes to call and cancel those subscriptions. Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re a good thing.

I also have a nasty craft habit, and I often pick up a few craft supplies for some big idea without knowing where I will put them. They end up stacked in my laundry room, taking up space (and taunting me!), and I already have plenty of craft supplies that I need to either clean out or use up before I buy anymore! (Well, except for this adorable material I saw to make a quilt for the newest baby…and…)

How about you? Do you tend to be a keeper or purger? What’s something you’ve gotten rid of only to later regret the decision?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

8 Responses to “ Mission: Decluttering ”

  1. This is one of my hot buttons! Clutter! Nothing takes up time, space and energy like clutter! We move every couple of years and it turns out to be a blessing. I don’t want to move junk I don’t need. So we have a good purge every couple years. In the meantime, I just pick a room or closet or cabinet every once in a while and de-clutter. On top of that, and you’ve got it right in your article, we try to stop clutter before it enters the house! Every once in a while, I go crazy and throw out too much. Stuffed animals and the amount of space they take up drive me crazy! So, I packed up a huge box of animals and put it in the basement. No one asked about them for months, so I gave them away. Within a week, my daughter started to ask about her big blue bear. It was suddenly her long lost favorite. She asks about it all the time now. She knows it was packed away but I haven’t told her it was in the box that I gave away! Oops!

    Marci’s last blog post…Don’t get too busy for your husband


  2. Ok – I’m a packrat. Not OCD, but I tend to save everything that even remotely could be useful (or used in a craft that I will never do). I have tons of craft supplies, rubber stamps, and yarn – more than I can use.

    Of course, when you have that much stuff you can’t find what you know you already have!


  3. I’m totally a keeper/packrat. I’m actually visiting here tonight because I need some declutter HELP! I have BEFORE pictures! LOL!

    Briana’s last blog post…Free TV Converter Box Coupons


  4. I used to collect a lot of things and keep way too much stuff. I have improved a lot but still have a way to go. I have a very small house and that makes it easier in a way but also a lot more difficult. With 4 kids there is a certain amount of stuff that you have to have, but at least I know that I can’t bring too much in. Now if I could only convince the kids (10,8,5,2) and the grandparents!! But on the positive side I don’t think I will ever have a problem with getting rid of too much stuff.


  5. As we say over at the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge blog (http://365daysofdecluttering.blogspot.com):

    Clutter comes in many forms–sometimes obvious and sometimes not. Physical clutter is obvious, although defining it is a personal opinion. Mental clutter manifests itself into visual clutter. When you purge the physical clutter, the mental clutter will follow it out the door!

    As for me, I didn’t have much left to declutter in the grand scheme of things when beginning my own 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge. But, decluttering doesn’t end. We all consume. We all buy. And we all have the potential of letting clutter in the door or keeping it here when we get more stuff.

    P.S. I clicked on the transcriptionist link in the About the Author section and it no longer works.

    Suzanne’s last blog post…365 Days of Decluttering Challenge Meet TCOY


  6. [...] are many ways to approach it. Having a definition and goal in mind – such as when I set out on my decluttering mission – before you get started will help you stay motivated and make hard decisions about what to keep [...]

  7. I am looking for some advice please. I care for an elderly women who’s house is falling apart due to lack of maintenance. Example is she pours buckets of water down the toliet to flush it. She doesnt see anything wrong with this? She has paperwork stuffed in her couch cushions. EVERY WHERE! If I try to clean up she always stops me and it stinks so bad!!!


  8. [...] for visiting!I don’t often do product reviews here at Doodles’ Place (I’m on a mission to declutter, and product reviews in general tend to lead to more stuff), but when  One2One Network announced [...]

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