One day you walk into a room in your home and realize how much you’ve accumulated. There is so much stuff!
It happens in what seems to be a short amount of time, but in truth, the accumulation happens over many years while raising children or pursuing a career.
Then, something changes. For me, the change came when my husband passed away. After his burial, I decided to undergo a major purging throughout the house.
Not only did I have to remove his items, I also needed to review everything in my house. Clutter was in every corner. It was always there but often not noticeable until a life-changing event occurs.
Here’s a visual of what the first room looked like. Can you identify with this?
- Items on the floor piled high so you can’t walk comfortably
- Papers and things chaotically stacked on shelves
- Similar items in different places – a waste of money!
It took a few weeks for me to separate and donate my husband’s possessions. That’s understandable. When we expire, there’s a lot of items for loved ones to handle. Going through all of his things made me think about what my daughter would have to process when I leave this earth, and I don’t want the same burden on her.
As I began packing items that no longer serve me, I started to see what I have in a new light. No longer would I save clothing or jewelry for a special occasion. I’m wearing and enjoying everything I have on a regular basis. When my time on earth is done, I will have worn and touched all that I own.
Today, go from room to room in your home. Look at what you have. What do you need, and what serves no purpose? Don’t wait for a catastrophic event to do this. The task seems daunting at first, but believe me, you’ll be happy when it’s done. What you end up with is:
- More space
- Knowing where everything is
- Enjoyment of all your meaningful possessions
This is not an overnight task. However, it’s worth all your effort. If you’re ready to transform your space, here are five steps to begin.
1. Start with one room. Choose a space that’s easy to finish in terms of time and labor. That will give you inspiration to continue when you’re ready for the next room.
2. Identify what you no longer need. Whether it’s paper, clothing, or figurines, let it go if it serves no purpose.
3. Get boxes from a free source such as a retail store or warehouse club, or use large trash bags to pack the items you will donate or discard.
4. Shred old papers that include your personal information. Buying a cross-cut shredder is worthwhile, as you will need it again for future purging.
5. Transport the items you are purging once a week, or call a donation center for pickup (I did this to donate my husband’s clothing). You don’t want this stuff hanging around for a long period of time.
Finally, my most-valuable tip to you is to spend no more than 20-30 minutes a day purging the room. This shortened period hastens the process, and it also keeps you motivated. You don’t want to lose focus or feel as though you don’t want to continue. Even if you only remove three things in 30 minutes, that’s more than was accomplished in many years. Pat yourself on the back.
This is your space! Manicure it as you see fit so that when next month arrives, you are happy to step into beautiful surroundings that you created, surroundings that you deserve to enjoy.