Face the Facts to Help You Declutter

Face the Facts

On Instagram last week I posted a picture of the bags I was dropping off to the thrift store.  I do this every week as there is always something that has to go.  I keep a donation station in my linen closet and throughout the week add stuff to it that I no longer need or love or have the room to store.  Anyway my blog friend Marcia, the Organising Queen, left me a comment that said this:

“I got rid of about 10 things from my already sparse bathroom yesterday!  Had to face facts.  Am not a bath person so all bath oils, fizzy bath bombs and bath salts went.”

I’ve been thinking about that ever since.  How many of us hang on to something because we want to be someone we are aren’t?

I can so relate because many moons ago I thought I had what it took to be a scrapbooker.  All my friends were creating beautiful books for their families and were having a good time doing it so why couldn’t I?  I wanted to be that person too.

Only I wasn’t.

scrapbook-station

(an old picture of my scrapbook station)

No matter how many supplies I purchased or how much I organized and arranged it all (that really was the best part!), it just didn’t make a difference.   The stuff sat there taking up valuable space in my kid’s playroom before I admitted to myself that it just wasn’t going to happen.  I finally admitted what I think I knew all along but felt I was too invested in to do something about.  It was time to face the facts.

I wasn’t that person.

It was an expensive lesson to learn let me tell you but gosh how freeing it was to pass along most of my supplies to someone who was that person and get on with my life.

So as we go into this 31 day organizing challenge, take an honest look around the space you have chosen and ask yourself what facts you need to face about what you’re seeing right there in front of you.

Do not hold onto things out of obligation or for that “someday” when you might be THAT person.  Use your space for living in the present.  Live your life in the here and now for who you are today.

It’s okay to part with those things just as Marcia parted with her bath stuff and I my scrapbooking supplies.  Give them to someone who will use them or to your local thrift store.  Sometimes we just have to cut our losses and move on.

Reclaim your space so it’s a useable space today.  What you gain in return is going to be so worth it.

Let’s do this.

What facts are you facing about your stuff?

Related posts:

Let Go of the Dream

Projects in Progress ~ are they holding you back?

Filed under: Organizing Basics, Purging

Comments

40 Responses to Face the Facts to Help You Declutter

  1. 1
    Barb Garber says

    Wow, this is so me. I haven’t scrapbooked in a long time but I’m reluctant to get rid of the stuff.

  2. 2
    angela says

    So Need this for the boys room

  3. 3
    RealMomofNJ says

    OMG this is me. This is SO me. I feel like I can now look at my clutter with fresh eyes and free myself from my hopes of someday being something I’m not today. Thank you. Wow.

  4. 4
    Heather says

    That’s me with my hair stuff. I literally wash and wear with the occasional clip or ponytail holder. I have tons of products and serums and heat protectant and crimpers and blow dryers and curling irons, and specialty tools and salon supplies and various sizes of round brushes. I *really* want to take the time to play with my hair more and have “done” hair, but I just…..don’t. Still not ready to pull the plug (literally – pull the plug of the $300 dusty blow dryer). But I wonder if I’ll ever be someone who does my hair.

  5. 5
    WPS says

    Those books that I bought for book club that I didn’t read, I’m not going to read them. I can’t even keep up with the new books. It’s not worth hanging on to them for 15 years on the off-chance that my kids will read them… or is it?

    • 5.1
      Deanna says

      Sell them on Amazon:)

      • 5.1.1
        WPS says

        I hadn’t thought of that! I could use a couple of dollars. I have several that are like new. I’ll have to figure out how to become an Amazon seller.

        • 5.1.1.1
          Laura says

          That’s a great suggestion!

  6. 6
    Kristen says

    Oh, wow. That’s the cross-stitching stuff. A nice BIG box – kits, patterns, fabric, thread, beads. I spent a lot of money and time assembling that collection. And I haven’t picked up a tapestry needle in – eek! – 20 years?

    And sometime in the past two years that BIG box migrated from the craft room closet to the living room and took up residence on G-grandma’s steamer trunk. It’s NOT ornamental.

    I need to mine it for thread and beads that I *do* use with other projects, and get the rest out to the charity craft store.

  7. 7
    Kimberly @ FireDancer Designs says

    I am struggling with getting rid of my son’s schoolwork. He brings home a crazy amount and he is only in Kindergarten. I know that I don’t need to keep every little thing he brings home and I have tried to go through it and get rid of some of it (I managed to get rid of about half of it). It doesn’t help that he sees the amount of stuff he brings home and if any of it is missing he looks hurt and doesn’t understand why I would EVER want to get rid of any of his precious work. Ugh. It’s frustrating.

    • 7.1
      Deanna says

      Take pictures or scan his artwork and make a photo book for him. There are several great sites…shutterfly, snapfish,my publisher,etc.

      • 7.1.1
        Laura says

        That’s exactly what I would have suggested. Thanks Deanna!

    • 7.2
      Deb says

      Photograph it. Keep a folder, then someday clean it up and have a photobook made of them. I find things that I have a very hard time giving up are fine if I photograph them first.

  8. 8
    Michelle says

    Great thoughts. Recently I found a couple Bath and Body Works lotions…I do use them, but ended up giving them away as a gift because I thought why continue to keep them for who knows how long before I get to them?? I had already forgotten about them and probably would forget about them again!

  9. 9
    girlfromwva says

    When de-cluttering, donate to thrift stores such as Hospice, Goodwill, etc. and also don’t forget the local women’s shelter can always use donations.

  10. 10
    Linda Stoll says

    Laura ~

    I love the way you said it – we’re hanging on to stuff ‘because we want to be someone we are aren’t.’ So many of us have this ‘fantasy self’ that’s never going to happen, and all that gear takes up valuable real estate that could be better used in another way.

    This is such an albatross, isn’t it? I know because I have been there … and here’s what I had to say good-bye to …

    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2011/08/are-you-living-in-fantasy-world.html

  11. 11
    Bob says

    “Donation station”- love it! Got to set that up immediately!!

    My wife and I recently moved from a 5 bedroom to a 2 bedroom with a semi-finished basement. What a life altering decision that was!!

    We thew away numerous items on the fly, which was painful at the time, but proved to be genius later.

    It’s funny what little you actually need to survive!

    I’m going to donate my old books that I know I’ll never read again…

  12. 12
    MemeGRL says

    So hard to do when you WERE that person–my pre-kids scrapbooks were awesome. But once the babies came–to my immense surprise and guilt–all scrapbooking stopped. Maybe this is the year I cut the losses–thanks for the inspiration!

  13. 14
    Kim @ Homesteader's Heart says

    Okay, this hit a little to close to home. I have craft stuff coming out of my ears. So much so that I don’t know what to focus on so nothing gets accomplished. I need to figure out what I like doing best and stick with that.

  14. 15
    Ann says

    This is one thing (out of many) that is sooo hard for me–letting go of things. I will definitely be taking this to heart as I start working through the piles I have accumulated!

  15. 16
    Robyn says

    Excellent post.. I did this about 2 years ago.. Like you no matter how much I tried I just was not a scrapbooking person.. So all the stuff I had I gave away or threw out.. I have so many ‘things’ in my house I’d like to get rid of but because of my location a yard sale would never work..I thought about EBAY but their fees are so expensive by the time you sell something and pay their fees you’ve lost money.. I thought about a consignment shop but not sure how all that works.. A thrift shop? I guess that means you would be donating to the shop right? Thanks for any help :)

    • 16.1
      Laura says

      Yes thrift stores can either be individually owned or owned by a non-profit similar to Goodwill. My local thrift store supports our local hospital so all profits go to the hospital to buy much needed equipment and things. I have no reservations donating all my stuff there.

  16. 17
    Mridu says

    Laura,
    This post hit home! Even being an Organizer myself, I need to hear these type of reminders. And I think the “bath stuff” really resonated for me. I’m not a bath person either but I’m sure I could find a bunch of bath-related stuff in our house.
    I think every round of decluttering you do, you become more ruthless. That’s why I like to go through my closets and cabinets every 2-3 months. Things that I couldn’t let go of a couple months ago, seem like no brainers now.
    Great post, thanks! :)

    • 17.1
      Marcia @ Organising Queen says

      yes, true, you do become more ruthless. I honestly thought there was nothing more to remove from that bathroom :)

  17. 18
    Crystal says

    Books are my weakness. I can get rid of anything else, but books are so hard especially kids books.

  18. 19
    Lee Brennan says

    How insightful to see that I hold onto stuff thinking someday i will be different than I really am. Time to get rid of it and make room for the real me.

  19. 20
    Tawnya Toland says

    Thank you for this post! I am not a scrapbooker or a menu planner or a journaler or a bath supplies person. My mother in law gave me a scrapbook and a few completed pages as a baby shower gift with my oldest son almost six years ago. I did a few more pages and left it. I’ve used the paper I bought but the book itself and some of the cute stickers and stuff are in a closet waiting to be tossed!
    I’ve bought cute calendars to help with menu planning but my daughter plays with them instead. Cute journals set on a shelf waiting to be used….confession….I love school supplies so I have cool notebooks that I bought years ago! I let my daughter use my bath salts that were given to me as gifts over the years.

    I do love organizing though so that is a keeper!

  20. 21
    Marcia @ Organising Queen says

    Thank you for the link!

    Incidentally, when I was doing the declutter on the weekend, I told myself that all the crafting stuff is next.

    I’ve tried a lot of different mediums over the last two years and I really only like playing with paper and card, maybe because they’re so practical and I can actually use the cards, etc. afterwards.

    BUT the beads and punches and whatnot need to go – I will be sure to take a pic and instagram it

  21. 22
    Phil B says

    Thank you so much for this post. It’s made me come to terms with the fact that however much I still want to be the person who wears beautiful stiletto heel shoes, ever since being pregnant with my (now two year old) daughter I find them awkward to walk in and being a busy working mum I don’t go out often enough to warrant keeping more than two or three of my favourite pairs! I need a serious purge! Having joined in with the organising challenge this month though this will have to wait till April as the back room is going to take all of my spare time and energy. But this has definitely opened my eyes on this (and a few other areas – I’m never going to read all those gardening/DIY books so why not give them to someone who will?)

  22. 23
    Rashelle says

    What a lovely post. I was just thinking, if we give up and part with items that are no longer “us” by donating them, we in turn are giving other people a chance to be more of themselves. A humbling thought!

  23. 24
    LovelyLively says

    Wow profound – decide if you are that person !

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