January declutter

I moved my bed out of my bedroom for a couple of days (because of some minor but messy repairs). As my sofa is pretty uncomfortable to sleep on, I just set my bed up in my living room. Having the bed, sofa, etc. all crammed into one room made things a bit cramped, but it wasn’t too bad as long as I made my bed and tidied up each day, which I do anyway.

When I was able to move things back in, the first things I grabbed were my laundry baskets. I hate my laundry baskets. They are very utilitarian collapsible cloth bins. Because they collapse, they always look untidy. I’ve never had room for both of them in my closet, so at least one has always lived “hidden” behind other furniture in my bedroom. But, when I brought them back in, I thought, “no! no way in hell am I cluttering up my sleep space with these things anymore.” 

This meant that I was going to have to make space in my closet, which I knew would be an annoying task because of it’s odd and somewhat useless design (a rod that’s half hidden because they could be bothered getting doors that are wide enough and awkwardly sized shelving on one side). And, of course, my closet was crammed full despite having done a major declutter/purge of unwanted things about 2 years ago. I was really good about not bringing in extra new things all last year, but I had also kept some things that I wasn’t sure about because, as badly designed as it is, I do have a lot of storage space.

And, that, right there, is a big part of my problem. I kept things because I had the space.

Having read a lot about minimalism, living simply, etc. over the past few months, I know that I should only be keeping things because I need them or because I love them (preferably, a bit of both). I should not be keeping things “just in case” or just because I have the space.

I decided that I needed to do another big declutter and that I would use my empty bedroom to review every item in my house, from my biggest pieces of furniture to my smallest scraps of paper.

The first thing I tackled was my bedroom closet. I don’t have a lot of clothes, but the closet had become a catch-all for other things: craft supplies, extra notebooks, my rarely used scanner, etc. Some of those things could stay (ex: my collection of quilt batting, which is messy looking, so I’d rather leave it in a closet), but most were banished. If they didn’t fit with the collection they belonged to, then I clearly needed to review the collection.

Next, my storage closet. Ideally, this is where I would store all my rarely used items (camping gear, quilt batting, etc.), but I have found that I tend to expand to fill my space, so I decided to clear this closet out as much as possible. It was pretty much full and it now 5 items, most of which are only there because I’m a bit lazy (ex: I have a bag for shredded paper so that I don’t walk to the recycling depot each weekend).

Slowly but surely, I made it through each room and each space. My kitchen was a two day project. Scanning all the odds and ends of documents I found took hours (thankfully, spread out over a few days). My storage solutions for craft supplies had to be completely overhauled (not because I needed more containers, but because I had too many).

I was amazed at how many “for now” solutions I had and at how few of them were needed. With the exception of my sewing table (which I want to replace with a drop-leaf table), I got rid of most of the things I had kept “for now” because I either wasn’t using them or I needed to get off my butt and replace them (ex: a timer that is unreliable – I can just use my cell phone!).

Several bags of clothes and linens, several boxes of random junk, and my sofa (something I’d been planning on doing for a while) are all still piled up in my bedroom (not having a car means that getting rid of things can take a couple weekends), but that’s OK.  

I managed to make more space, clear out cupboards and closets, and end up with a dozen empty containers and boxes. Oh, and I got rid of the second laundry hamper, because I really don’t need two.

I feel like I should be surprised by having so much more to get rid of, but I’m not really. I can take several attempts to whittle down your possessions and it requires regular reviews and/or vigilance about not bringing unnecessary things into the space. 

What I was surprised about was how much I’ve been enjoying having all my things in one space. Without the sofa, my living/bed room set up is very nice. It’s cozy, I have easy access to everything, and it’s easy to tidy. I think that I might miss it when I moved my bed back into my bedroom. 

 

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