I was watching The Nate Show a while back and he had a woman on that said she was super organized. She had everything in bins and on shelves. She had everything labeled. It sounded great to me! Then her husband came out and said “Yeah, ok – but how many bins do you have?! Don’t you know? I counted. 256! You may have them labeled but you don’t even know what is there. It’s all too much!” That’s when I had my “ah-ha moment” (Oprah). I am super type a, and clearly organized. People are jealous of my a-ness in many cases. I kid you not. At one point I almost became a professional organizer! But here’s the thing. I was still harboring too much stuff. No matter how many boxes, bins, organizers, and baskets you have… If you are keeping too much junk – you are keeping too much junk. I’m not even talking about horders. We all have elements of packrat in us, but we can clean out the cobwebs!
That was over three months ago. Since then, I have been on a mission. I started in the closet. Why keep the clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t ever wear. There is security in knowing you have options, but if you know that you shouldn’t opt for these items, get rid of them! I brought a bunch of mine to Goodwill. I’m losing the end of my maternity weight. If the clothes that I saw didn’t motivate me, they left. If they were worn or didn’t make me feel like I had myself put together, they left. It was a regular fashion exodus. Then I did the same thing in the bathroom. If I didn’t like the way something smelled, if something didn’t work well, or there was something that I knew I never used – it left. I donated much of it to the “soldiers abroad” baskets that were sent by a local spouse organization to deployed soldiers. They will enjoy them. I will only use them to get rid of them. I then went to other closets. Useful? Loved? Good condition? Form AND Function? You are welcome to stay. Any of these requirements not met? You’re outta here. Remember, I’d already cleaned out our family’s stuff when we moved to Washington two years ago, then again last year when I had Boy, and this was my third round. I was ruthless. I sent boxes of baby items to family and friends who were having babies. I mailed documents and such to their sources if possible (blank contracts/letterhead from a prior job). I donated anything in paperback to the library. If I love it enough, I’ll get it in hardcover. Otherwise, I probably won’t read them again, so the library will bless others who will more than my shelf will bless me with them. See you later books. I sold furniture that we have kept thinking “maybe it will fit in another house” even though they don’t fit in our aesthetic anymore. Even though there were memories “in” them, they had to go. $400 in the pocket, plus extra space, and a blessing onto others.
In the end, I gained two empty closets, eight empty drawers, a cleared out side of the garage, and an empty desk. I gained filed documents, completed projects, and a whole lot of relaxation when I look around my house. I got rid of items that didn’t fit our style anymore, and gained ones that better suited our needs. Now our house best represents us, and we are more comfortable living in it. Keeping those items, even if they were categorized and such, wasn’t organization for the benefit of our family. It was organization for the sake of organization. What a waste of space, time, and finances.
Even in our playroom, I realized I was binning our family to death and delivering it in a basket! We had too much! I took out the toys my kids don’t play with at all… and the books they’d never read. I donated them to a local women and children’s shelter. They will get joy from them, and I will get more relaxation from the room. My kids will be able to find and use the toys they DO love to their utmost. I’d rather see broken toys than toys in a box. It means they’re loved and enjoyed. Not broken is even better :).
What are you keeping “just in case” that is just taking up space and stressing you out? What could you do without? Why are you keeping it? Would it do someone else more good than it is doing you? Purge. Lose the “weight”. If it isn’t useful and it doesn’t make you smile, get rid of it. It will help you feel lighter mentally! Less is more!