Once in a while, I would get into the junk drawer and organize it: twist ties and clips in a labeled plastic bag, turn on and make sure the flashlights worked, toss old expired coupons…just to have the drawer messy again in a few days. Our junk drawer was the classic IN BOX of the household.
In addition to a junk drawer, I personally was collecting too many gadgets in the kitchen, tons of square pillows for the bed or sofa, clothes I would find at the thrift store yet rarely wear, sentimental items that were gifted to me but had gone unused, unfinished crafts and unread books.
Don’t get me started on the “fix it” box of broken earrings and clocks that no longer ticked.
SO MUCH STUFF!
I’ll share with you some processes I have found in my efforts to Lighten Up that can make the task easier to unclutter your physical space.
First, be gentle with yourself. You have stuff because it invokes a certain feeling. And be gentle with the feelings.
Grab a glass of water to stay hydrated. Put on some music. And dive in!
Start with a small project, like a closet or a cluttered box or a drawer of underclothes. If you think it will take 30 minutes to clean it out, plan on 60 minutes. Overestimate the amount of time it will take! Only start and finish one project before beginning another.
Take everything out from where it is and have a different clean container with which to repack or store the items.
Have three <reused> boxes ready to go labeled DONATE, TOSS and/or RECYCLE, and KEEP.
As you begin, each item will talk to you. Hold it and interview it if necessary. Some items are begging to go into the trash. Some items are still useful and would like to be rehomed because you are not actively using them or deeply cherishing them.
What you’d like to keep, separate the items out into like/same/similar piles. For example, if you’re cleaning out a sewing kit, put all the needles together, all the spools of thread together, all the elastics together, etc.
If you’re not sure if you can part with something, put it in a separate box with other items you’re not sure about and when the box is full, seal it up and then date it. If it’s not used in the next year, donate the box -- without opening it!
I’d love to hear how your process is going!
And PS: We are now down to one storage unit instead of two since our move!
Michele Duncan King