Clearing the Clutter: Part 1

We’re getting ready for this trip and it’s not exactly easy. I have consider myself pretty good at getting rid of things. I try and take a load of items to Goodwill once a week or so and I have a bin that I consistently add items to, but I just recently finished the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which helped me get motivated to do some big purging and clearing this week. There are a lot of concepts in the book that make perfect sense and really helpful, but there are also a few ideas I probably will never get on board with. I agree that when we start clearing out the things in our house we need to really look at what we need and want and start there. Instead of just getting rid of random things, it helps to stop and think what do I really truly need, then, everything else is just extra. The other concept that I agree with strongly is, get rid of anything that does not bring you joy. This is something that has helped make the process a lot easier. If I look at an item and have no idea where it came from or the purpose of it, it is really not bringing me any joy. And off it goes. Another concept that I found very helpful is organizing everything in the house by category.  In my bedroom, this is extremely useful when pairing down clothes. Another idea for clearing is to make sure you take every item out of the closet or cabinet that you are clearing. This way you have a blank slate to start with and you really see how much you actually have when it is all lying on the floor in front of you. Some of the concepts I don’t think I will follow are the ideas of thanking all of your items as you put them away each day. I agree we need to put the items away, in the same spot each time. Everything needs a home. But actually talking to them and thanking my shoes and my watch for its service. It seems a little strange. Greeting the house when you walk in, also a little creepy, but I guess if you do it in your head, it might work. For now I am just sticking with clearing out the items I don’t need.

This week I worked on my kitchen cabinets and my bedroom closet. Little by little we’re getting it done. In the kitchen it was amazing how much expired food and spices I had, that made it super easy to toss. It is also nice to be able to see all the items in the cabinets now. We have tall narrow cabinets that hold most of our food, so getting rid of the things we don’t need and showcasing the food we do eat is what I focused on.

Collage_kitchen before

Collage_kitchen_after

I sure hope you can tell the difference! I know I can. We still have a lot of stuff, but at least we can get to it a little easier now.

One of the big challenges for getting ready for this trip is figuring out what I need to bring to wear. We are going to be on the road for 9 months. We will be in cold climates, warm climates, celebrating holidays with family, going on a cruise, exploring Disneyworld, visiting the ranch, skiing, surfing and so much more. With all these activities, how do you find a small wardrobe that will keep me covered (no pun intended) for the whole time? In my opinion, I think I have a pretty small wardrobe to start with, I work from home and rarely get dressed up, so the extent of my clothes are jeans, tops, skirts and a few dresses. It shouldn’t be that hard. This week I cleared out my closet and started thinking about what I will be taking. Once I have that all figured out I will report back. But for now, this is the transition I made in the closet.

Closet_Collage_before

The 50 lb trunk full of photos is under the hats, sweaters and basket of hats & scarves (left photo). You can’t even see it – not a good use of space!

Closet_Collage_after

Can you see the difference on this one?? Lots more space & I can get to my shoes now! My daughter said I have a walk in closet now, cause you can actually walk in! Another KonMari tip – don’t buy new organizers to organize your stuff, use what you have. I actually got rid of one of the “organizers” in my closet that was just holding a bunch of crap!

The hardest part of clearing the closet was moving the 50 pound trunk filled with old photos and journals, it was not that tough actually moving it, the tough part was not spending my whole afternoon reading my old journals and looking at all the photos. That will have to be a whole day project on its own. The KonMari Method recommends saving photos and mementos for last. With that in mind, I moved the trunk out of the closet and will dedicate another day to just the photos.

Thanks for reading and peeking into my closets and cabinets. It’s go time! More to come later!

Until next time, — kg

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