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Decluttering 101

Carley Hall blog post decluttering mama blogger mama lifestyle new mom new year

new year new me decluttering 101 baybee boutique lifestyle blog for mamas

This post is late. No apologies needed, I'm sure. But yes, I would like to acknowledge this post is late. Honestly... we got caught up with a huge influx of orders and haven't had time to perfect this post. 

So let's get right into it! Do you want to declutter your mind? Let's start by decluttering everything around you... Decluttering is good for your soul. Promise! And although it is hard to let go of some of your prized possessions (3 years of Vogue count as prized possessions, right?), it's just good for you.

A little background on me, just so you understand where I'm coming from. I go through cycles of being overly sentimental and then easily overwhelmed. I'm a scrapbooker by nature. I keep ticket stubs, handwritten notes from my mom, hospital bracelets, my kid's artwork (every single piece), etc. The trick to keeping myself from feeling overwhelmed is I keep all these mementos in a box in my closet. When I get the opportunity, I take an afternoon to organize everything into a book, then promptly pack into a cedar chest made by my grandfather. I also organize J's artwork into a binder in that same cedar chest. I just want you to understand that I do keep things... I just don't keep every thing. And the stuff I keep is neatly organized to prevent me from feeling overwhelmed.

There are two basic things I keep in mind when I declutter my home; a 3 step method & a timeline.

Method

I use the '1. Keep it, 2. Toss it, 3. Donate it' method. 

Items I keep: If I know I will need it, use it, or love it within 90 days I keep it. It's a simple rule.

Items I toss: I'll give a little example here since some of what I toss can be described as unconventional. For example, I toss user manuals. I have yet to find a user manual that is not already PDF'd online. I do, however, keep OLDER user manuals for some appliances or items in our home. Another exception is I check for registration cards prior to tossing and make sure those are completed and mailed off before I toss the rest. Pretty much anything that I can find online gets tossed. This includes recipe cards (except the sentimental ones handwritten by grandma), old packaging for electronics, and CD's (OMG SO MANY CD's). Also, who needs a billion plastic bags? No one... and I also toss those old novelty cups (the one's that held that $7 cheap light beer from the last baseball game)... the list goes on and on.

Items I Donate: If someone can use it, I donate it. This includes clothes I haven't and WILL NEVER wear again, shoes (same thing), and household items. Every once in a while, I actually hold a garage sale first and use all the money to put into my son's college fund. One time, I made nearly $700 and that wasn't from any big items... all from clothes and nik-nacs. Not joking. Whatever is left is promptly loaded into my SUV and taken to Goodwill, Salvation Army, a women's shelter, etc.

Warning about hazardous household items: Car batteries, paint, and other hazardous items cannot be put into the regular trash and cannot be donated. Nearly every city has a "hazardous household waste" dump that you're able to drop off these types of items without charge. Set a day aside at the end of your decluttering to do this... believe me, it feels so good to get rid of the 10 gallons of random, old, touch-up paint that can never be used again.

Timeline

This is very important: set your own pace. Set goals, but don't beat yourself up if you cannot meet them. I usually do my decluttering over a span of 2 weeks. 

Monday: Living Room/ Den
Tuesday: Play room/ J's room
Wednesday: Master bedroom and guest bedrooms
Thursday: Kitchen, dining room, and laundry room (in our case, a utility closet)
Friday: Hallway closets and other random nooks and drawers
Saturday: Take a break!
Sunday: Have your S.O. help you with garage/ attic spaces since those items will likely be lots of heavy lifting. Organize all your items in the garage or another space until you can plan your next steps.

Go room by room, set a timer. See how fast you can get through it. Set boundaries as to what items are sentimental and what items are not. There's a difference between a handmade clay pottery set your husband made in grade school, and a $6.99 vase you grabbed at Ross. Keep the pottery set. Trust me.

Week 1 is the decluttering; Week 2 is resting/ going back through and making sure nothing is missed; And by the second weekend I'm set up for my garage sale.

I do this process of decluttering every season. It's like clockwork, and it's necessary for my sanity. Do you have any tips for decluttering? Share them below! 



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