Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Little Word

I've been working hard to keep my yearly word going. If your not sure what I'm referring to see this post.

Over the weekend I worked on our closets. The boys had so many clothes that every time they would remove one item, three would fall to the ground. I noticed that they had about 10-15 shirts that were their favorites and worn most often. So I grab a large box and I started looking through the closet. Anything I didn't like, was stained, or just looking shabby went into the box. Then I looked at what was left. I made sure they had a few "nicer" shirts and their favorites, plus a few extra. In the end, I filled 4 lawn size garbage bags. I also did this to my closet and dresser.

Today I tackled the kitchen. I went through all my cabinets and really looked at what I had and what I used. I figured with 5 of us in the family, do we really need 20+ glasses. Now I know we have company, but usually I'll break out the nice stemware for them. So again, do we need 20 glasses and probably 40+ plastic cups. NO!

I asked the same questions in each cabinet. I know some people will say "you can never have enough of _______" but I think you can have too much of anything. If things are hard to get to because there is so much crammed in the space, there's too much. If you don't do something because in order to get the items you need it will take you too long to dig them out, there's too much.

I filled three boxes with glassware, kitchen utensils, bowls, cups, plates, etc...

Now that my shelves are cleaned and wiped down and I can actually see space between items and feel so much calmer. As I've been clean out different areas of the house I realized stress leaving my body. It's so nice to walk into a room, closet, storage area or open a cabinet and see things neat and clean.

I still have more then enough, but not too much. The key is figuring that out and really asking yourself some questions and answering them honestly.

Do I use it? When was the last time I used it? If it's been more then 1 year, you don't need it.
Does it fit me? NO - get rid of it. Don't save it for the "when".
Why I'm I keeping it? If it's really that important to you then why has it been in a box for years? Take a picture of it and get rid of the clutter.
If you are saving things for the "what ifs" you don't really need it. For example, What if next Christmas I want to make bread to give as gifts. I need the 12 loaf pans I have. If you haven't made bread in the last few years, it's probably not going to happen. So keep 1 or 2 pans and donate the rest.

Oops....sorry I got on my soap box there for a minute. Seriously, removing unnecessary items can be so freeing. Give it a try.


  1. I love it! I use freecycle to get rid of stuff and make sure it doesn't end up in the landfill.

  2. I went through this process myself over the past year and made many trips to Goodwill. Now I actually wear everything in my closet (okay, maybe one or two exceptions, but almost everything)! And I don't have a ton of extra tupperware in my cabinets. Looking around, I'm thinking it might be time for another pass through with some boxes. But you are right, getting rid of STUFF is so liberating!