I've been decluttering for a looong time. The idea first occurred to me after the second time I moved 30 milk crates of books into a walk-up second floor apartment during my college years. Most of the books (and the milk crates, for that matter) were gifted from my boyfriend at the time when he moved out of state.
I wanted those books, and the desk that came with them. I've wanted everything anyone's ever given me, just as much as I've wanted everything I've picked up myself at antique stores, estate sales and even Target.
But I didn't want to move it all, again, up a flight of stairs. So at some point, I donated a lot (not all – no where near all) of the books. Then I moved into an apartment with my husband with an ELEVATOR and I had a really great idea. Instead of just collecting books, I'd sell them! It was awesome! We went out nearly every weekend and I bought books with abandoned, sometimes in lots without even looking at them. Then I lined the apartment with shelves and listed the books to sell. And I sold a few and everything was all right. It wasn't clutter; it was a business!
More Room for Stuff!
Then we bought a house. We moved the books. But the process of organizing the books again proved to be too much, given everything else that was going on, so I once again donated some books.
We still have a lot of books. I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who has one book that they're actually reading and no other books. Just the thought of that makes me a little panicky.
Deep breath, deep breath...
Okay. But that doesn't mean I can't get rid of some other things! My goal this week is to get rid of seven things a day. Some of the rooms of the house aren't too bad; other rooms are housing the things we've moved out of the “good” rooms.
Beautiful, Useful and Sentimental
Every once in a while, Eric and I do this thing we call “Beautiful, Useful or Sentimental.” It involves looking every item in a room and categorizing it. If it doesn't have a category, it goes. If it falls under Sentimental, it has to be evaluated more closely. Do we really like having it around if that's the only purpose it serves? Ideally, things fall into more than one category.
Try it out in one room of your house and see what you find. I recommend the living room or dining room, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, in which case you should start in the kitchen.
I'm going to start with the china cabinet, my office/exercise/dressing room, and the basement. If you're also decluttering, please share your “finds” as we go through the week. And if I get rid of something you want, let me know and it's yours.
Read more about this challenge: