My husband and I moved out of our home state last year on July 3. It is over a year later and I am just now getting through the last of the packed boxes. I went through before we moved and cut our possessions in half, even though we were moving to a bigger house. I sold most of the items and put the extra money into savings for our new home. The items I couldn’t sell but still had some use left, I donated or gave away. So we moved into our new, bigger home with 50% less stuff.
It never ceases to amaze me how much cleaner the house stays when there is less clutter. The house practically cleans itself and is ready at all times for unexpected guests. When there is less clutter I am less stressed which makes me a happier mother and wife. It helps my day run smoother and it frees up time so I can enjoy being with my family.
I try to de-clutter every year before the holidays hit and then again in the spring. Then my house is not only clean and ready for the holidays but my kids rooms are cleared and ready for new items they will be receiving. Clutter can easily creep back into my house at anytime if I do not stay on top of it. That is why I go through it top to bottom 2 times a year. This usually takes anywhere from a 2-3 days all the way up to 1-2 weeks, depending on the state of my home.
When going through my home I do 1 room at a time and I try to take no longer than 90 minutes per room. I don’t want to take all day to do 1 room or I might second guess what I am tossing out. I will also start with the room that is first seen when you walk into my home. I have 3 boxes and 2 bags setup before I start. The boxes are labeled sell/donate, put back, and other room (this box is for items that go into another room). The bags are labeled: trash and burnable (we live in the country, so if we can burn it we do). I then set a timer on my phone, turn on some music, and get to work. Most of the time I try to do this when I can send my kids to grandmas or when they are napping. Yes, they do help with their stuff but for the rest of the house it goes quicker if there are no distractions. When the timer goes off I take out the trash and recycle. I will then go through the other room box and put anything away that goes into another room. Last I will go through the sell/donate box and list items for sale on facebook groups or put in the garage for a garage sale.
Do not underestimate if something will sell. The saying “Your trash someone else’s treasure” is so true. It is amazing what some people will pay for used items you no longer need or want. I do not toss anything before trying to sell it. Most items, even if broken, will sell for a couple dollars for spare parts or because that person has the time/resources to fix it. It is better to try to sell something and not sell it, then to throw something away and find out later you could of made $100. If I can’t sell the item then I throw it away.
When the our home is clear of clutter we save more money (and who doesn’t like to save money?!). It is easy to find an item or know how many of something you have when the clutter is gone.
Clearing out clutter with kids can be hard. I like to get my kids involved in throwing out the junk or donating unwanted toys, games, or clothes. This helps my kids be givers. I have been doing this for 4 years now and in the beginning it wasn’t easy for my kids but now they love getting rid of unused items because they know they will be giving to a less fortunate child who may not have toys or clothes.
Every year I become more aware of what is brought into my home. I want to keep our home clutter free and live as simple a life as possible. I have found that through simpler living my children are more content with what they have and they use their imagination and creativity more.
Contentment is not an easy thing in our society today. Our society today tells us to buy more and keep up with the “Jones”. Contentment helps us manage our money better because we are not tempted to buy something just because someone else has it. I want my children to learn this lesson early on. The earlier they learn it the better off they will be as adults.
How do you keep the clutter out of your house? Are you striving for simpler living?