Letting go & decluttering your home
Posted by MELISSA ARTEAGA
We have more time than ever to be home, to see and observe the beauty around us in every picture, every shelf, every corner of our home. You might have come to realize there are more “imperfect” spaces than you wanted, but hey that just means you have LIVED in that home, and these things are bound to happen.
Maybe after these few months at home, you realized that there’s a little more than what you need – or want, on your shelves, on that beautiful bookcase or for the sake of this post, every hiding space you find on your way when picking up and organizing. And that is perfectly ok, I even think it is normal – or at least, I hope it is and I am not the only one hiding pens in the silverware drawer when trying to get my kitchen clean. But there comes a time when we have to let go of what we have been holding onto and get rid of certain things. Specially since a cluttered and unorganized space can give us anxiety and a feeling of claustrophobia that we really don’t have room for right now. (See what I did there?)
Once you decide to start decluttering, start by throwing away things that are broken, things that are no longer useful for anyone and things that simply were meant to be in the trash a long time ago. Then, make piles for things that are going to be donated and things that are definitely staying.
At this point you might begin to think that everything must stay, but trust me, that’s not the case. An easy way to go about is to ask yourself: Why am I holding on to this? Usually we like to hold on to things because they bring an emotional response. You might feel guilty about throwing away old cards and letters, or clothes that don’t really fit anymore, just because they have a nostalgic value. If this is the case, there are things you can do to keep these memories and sentimental value always present, without having to keep everything. You can start a journal or try a scrapbook if you are crafty, where you can post photos of the clothing item, or even glue the cards to your book. This will keep things organized and will use up way less space than before. Take a photo of that sweater you haven’t worn in ages, put it in your book and write why it is so important to you, but then take the sweater and put it on the “To Donate” pile and move on.
Usually, if we haven’t used something in 2 years, we really have no use for it. This sounds harsh, I know, but it is the truth. Go through your home, start by rooms and once you finish each room move on to the next one. Make peace with the fact that it will get messy before it all looks pretty.
After you are done decluttering, it is time to start organizing. You don’t have to be an expert or an organized person for that matter. You just have to be smart about how you put things away and how you use up the space in each room. A lot of rooms in our homes are used for multiple purposes, think about what you do in each room and break up the room into sections according to what each area is used for. Then, start using drawers, shelves or furniture to put things away. Try to put things away thinking in how often you use each item. Meaning, don’t put your pens in a box in the highest shelf of your book case, you don’t want to use the ladder every time you need to take a message.
Use up every space and think of what you and your family need. You could add a reading corner with a little bookshelf, your comfy sofa and a mini play area for kids to your living room and it can still look clean and organized.
Remember, every family and every house are different, do what works for YOU and YOUR family!