The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Emily at So Damn Domestic.
You did it!
You were motivated.
You knew what your goals were for decluttering your home. You kept your focus, and you worked hard, a little bit at a time. You chipped away at your excess. You let go of the idea that the memory is preserved in the object.
You asked yourself different decluttering questions than the usual ones, avoided making common decluttering mistakes, and you even worked up the nerve to say NO to the clutter that has pretty convincing arguments for why you should keep it.
You gave unloved items to someone who will give them new life. You sold valuable things quickly, and paid down some debt, bought groceries, or padded your emergency savings.
You’re noticing that you suddenly have more time to spend with your family, pursue your hobbies, and do whatever the heck you want to.
But when you look around, if things still look a little… well… cluttered?
… Then maybe you missed decluttering these 3 things.
You’ve decluttered your clothes.
But did you declutter the hangers? Want your closet to have a little bit of breathing room? You’ve got to make a commitment to having less. And that means you no longer need those 53 empty hangers that used to hold the items you said goodbye to.
Check your shoe storage if you’ve gotten rid of a lot of shoes. Maybe you can just line up your few remaining pairs on the floor. Maybe you don’t need huge shoe organizing cubbies anymore. I don’t know, maybe you do. Think about it. Only you can decide.
You might even consider decluttering your dresser, hanging most of your clothes, and using baskets for things like socks and underwear in your closet. Or downsize your dresser to a smaller one.
You’ve decluttered your kids’ toys.
Your kids are using their imaginations more than ever, and you are convinced that having fewer toys out at once is the way to go. Maybe it’s time to declutter toy shelves, the train table, and other large furniture.
If you’re committed to only keeping out a few toys at a time now, where’s the harm in that? Plus, the extra space will give them more room to play and use their imaginations.
I mean, have you ever seen a couple of kids in an empty gymnasium? They have a blast!
You’ve decluttered random things around the house.
What about decluttering storage containers they were in, like baskets, plastic boxes, and so on?
When I purged the blazes out of my craft stash, I kept thinking that area still looked cluttered, and I couldn’t figure out why. Oh right. All of those empty boxes were “perfectly good” so I kept them. How silly is that?
Once I got rid of the containers, I could actually SEE the empty space I had created.
Here’s the thing. “Extra” space invites clutter.
If you have 20 empty hangers in your closet, and you buy a new dress, you just add it into the mix. If you have no empty hangers, and buy a new dress, it’s a reminder to consider getting rid of a different one you don’t wear as much.
If you get rid of the kids’ dozens of stuffed animals they didn’t play with, but keep the giant basket in the play room, you may end up with more toys out at one time than you know is ideal, just because the kids have a place to put them.
Random household items being gone is a great thing, but newly-empty storage containers can be clutter too, especially mismatched ones. Reduce this by having all one style that can stack together in one area of the house, out of the way, until you need them for something else. I wrote about the all-one-style of storage containers I prefer in my post about Real-Life Garage Organizing.
So, you thought you were finished.
But it turns out, you had a little more work to do. The nice thing is that these are some of the easiest things to get rid of. Rarely does a random box or a collection of clothing hangers have sentimental value. The biggest argument these items make is, “You might need me one day.”
But you know what? You won’t. You’ve committed to not having extra junk around anymore. You’re finished with that. So look that wicker basket in the eye, and firmly tell it…
“I’ve outgrown you.”
Emily Chapelle is an expert homemaker, having set up 7 homes in just as many years. She helps busy and overwhelmed women change their homes from chaotic to calm, 15 minutes at a time, so they can focus on their true priorities. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic. Her ebook, Finding the Awesome – 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less, has been downloaded over 2,137 times, and you can get it for free.