Self-Care Tip #2 Declutter
It is pretty straight forward, the less crap you own, the less you have to deal with.
Inside the house are there cluttered areas that you are constantly having to work around or work on to make them look better? Perhaps there is just too much stuff jumping out of all the storage spaces…pair it down. I am not gonna sit here and tell you to hold an item and see if it sparks joy for you, I probably could not say that with a straight face if we were chatting, honestly. No judgement, if it works for you then great, time consuming but great. holding every single item one by one for me… the only thing that would be sparking here would be my temper at all the crap accumulated.
Just be realistic.
Do you use it/have you in the last 2 years?
Kids seem to attract clutter and stuff. Your children have an imagination so they do not need 500 toys. Maybe have a few bins and whatever does not fit either goes into storage out of sight or vanishes. Sunlight is good for them too, so they do not need every video game on the market. Give them a number allowed, sell the rest for their piggy bank and then maybe implement a sell one to buy one rule.
How to avoid the stockpile of shit our kids always receive at the holidays?
In our house, we box up or giveaway what they have outgrown and we limit what we get them to something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read…plus a Santa gift and strategically packed stocking. Then there is still all the nic-nacks family gets them. For birthdays and holidays we let inquiring people know what they would like and what they actually need for school, sports, clothing and educational interests, etc. This helps reduce unnecessary excess. Also, being honest with people about cutting back on toys tends to decrease the crap they give too. Another tip for birthdays is to do a books birthday…request books (with gift receipts in case they already have it) instead of toys…or have guests contribute to a bookworm fund for the kid to pick our their own books.
And then there is the kitchen…
Why are you saving all those spare dishes in the kitchen that you never use? Or those kitchen appliances collecting dust that you forgot about? How many spatulas are in your kitchen? Or whisks? How many waffle makers does one family REALLY need?
If you have not used the dishes in the last 2 years…buhbye. A blender that never sees use is not useful. Consider how many sets of glasses you have vs. how many people are ever at your house at one time. Check your spices, they do go bad…so does flour and most other dried goods and preserving supplies.
So that extra vacuum that has not been used in 4 years… The cleaners you have (although if you are following along with my tips you already paired those down) but never use because it is more work to get to each and every one and then put them back than it is worth… How about cleaning tools? Do you have 3 brooms and hate 2 of them? Do you really need 75 rags for house cleaning? Raggedy old beach towels? Really? How about bath toys? Are there more toys than bath space in your bathroom? Old candles? Vases? Fabrics you bought 10 years ago? 500 scissors?
Are there any clothes that you have not worn in the last 2 years (pregnant time and postpartum do not count). Bag them. Same for shoes, hats, scarves, etc. Costume jewelry. Workout equipment that seemed so incredibly motivating and you swore if you got it that you would use it, hahaha. Well to be fair you intended to so your head was in the right place. 34 pillow cases is too many. You really only need 2 sets of sheets for summer and 2 for winter for each bed…if that.
OKAY OKAY OKAY, before you get overwhelmed let’s pause. Start off slow. Take it room by room. Grab a trash bag and go in to (for example) a bathroom. Get rid of old, unused and unnecessary items (ancient hair brushes, the first of 5 flat irons from 12 years ago, old soap, lotions that expired while stored, you get the idea). Now do this in one room every day for a week (assuming you have that many rooms or spaces, otherwise your goal is 1 bag at least half full a day).
Once you are done with all the spaces? That’s right, GET RID OF IT! Sell or donate what can be used by someone that DOES NOT LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE. (And all the mamas of littles chime in with the “Let It Go..” haha). We usually donate to an Airman’s Attic, but there are plenty of organizations to donate to, some even pick up the stuff for you. You will feel so much better with less clutter! That will be less energy wasted and less time cleaning, organizing, or working around crap you don’t actually need.
How much self-care can you get in with all of this stuff no longer weighing you down?