Monday, March 17, 2008

Should I Declutter?

I have been reading a neat blog, Unclutterer, and it has gotten me really thinking about all of the "stuff" in my house.

I used to live in a 679 square foot house that literally had no closets in it. Although I longed for closet space, one of the things I liked about the house was that I couldn't bring anything into it without getting rid of something else to make room for the new item.

Last summer, I got married and moved into my husband's 1650 square foot 3-bedroom home. It's a beautiful house (that's it above), and I especially love that there is a ton of built-in storage.

After I moved in, we had a huge rummage sale and got rid of all of our "doubles". Our house is now pretty uncluttered; in fact, we have empty drawers and shelves! Even so, I feel like we could really get rid of a lot of excess stuff.

How do you get the ambition to declutter when your house is more than big enough for all of your possessions? Do you even bother? Any advice?

ps- We don't want to downsize since we're hoping to have kids in a couple of years.


SpillingBuckets said...

I just discovered your blog and on a unlrelated note... My cat is Charlie too! And yours looks super cute!!

Ok now to actually reply.

I find it really hard to declutter coming from a mother who keeps everything! But I have gotten better over the years. My general rule (which I have to really enforce with mental effort) is to once a year I go through the closets and anything I haven't worn or used the entire year gets tossed or donated to charity or sold or whatever (out of the house). Once you do that the hardest part is not replacing it with new clutter.

Becky@FamilyandFinances said...

Welcome, spillingbuckets! Charlie is a good name for a cat, I think :)

Going through closets once a year is a *really* good idea. I just found out that my sister-in-law might have a rummage sale in our garage this summer, so that would be another good excuse to clean out closets!

Thanks for stopping by!

Becky R said...

check out she is a great home helper. Her site is all free. Her advice is to do anything for 15 min. a t a time. And once a day get a plastic bag and fill it with 27 things to get rid of (1 catalog junk mail counts as one thing.) Also look at stuff and say: do I use it? do I love it? if no get rid of it. Use freecycle to give away stuff that still has life left but not for you. I find I can do anything in 15 min. increments. It also feels nice to bless others with stuff I never use. -Becky in NJ

pdig said...

Having just bought a plenty big townhome (for one person), here's my strategy (from numerous other posts i've read over the past year - none of this is my original thoughts).

First i ask the question "How much will this cost?" and then answer truthfully.

My next step is to ask myself "Will i use and appreciate this in the future?" and then answer that honestly as well.

These two questions usually scare me into a state of indecision strong enough to keep the acquisition at bay. If not, i try to wait a week and see how i'm doing without. Usually i can delay acquisitions quite a long time.

Note: I know my weakness -- Tools. I haven't found a good way to keep myself from purchasing tools. Thankfully i haven't needed a new tool in a while. (fingers crossed)

Fabulously Broke said...

I LOVE decluttering because even if the drawers are empty, I like spacing everything out

(in the midst of that RIGHT NOW)

Becky@FamilyandFinances said...

@Becky: I like the 15 minute idea and I'll have to check out flylady

@pdig: Very good advice! I use the "wait a week" one a lot. My husband's weakness is tools, too. I'm surprised you haven't bought many lately considering the new home purchase. That's pretty impressive :)

@fabulously broke: Spacing things out is a great tip, too!

Thanks for all of the ideas :)

Ms. M&P said...

I completely agree with spillingbuckets. I try to go through things once and year and toss the things I haven't used once a year. It seems to work!

I live in a 700 sq. ft. space with my husband. I completely understand the need to toss something if you buy something else! It keeps me honest with my purchases.