Our stuff is everywhere. It’s packed in our garages, our basements and our closets. We have it sometimes hidden under our beds and stashed away in kitchen cabinets. Sometimes it’s just sitting there collecting dust, other times it might make it’s way to the trash when an unexpected sighting occurs. How does it all end up there? Years of living in our homes sometimes create these mountains of unused, unworn items. As time goes on we’re busy living our lives. We’re watching our children grow and doing what we can to keep them active. We’re heading to work so that we can maintain a good life, take vacations and occasionally relax. We are also accumulating more stuff as time passes. Our inability to purge what we do have suddenly creates crowded garages, basements and at times just closing the door and ignoring it. So where do we begin letting it go?
Enjoying life is #1 on our lists. Yes the cleaning can wait if it’s a beautiful day. Sitting down on a rainy afternoon to dive into a book or watch a movie is also so important for our well being. Our ability to stay busy is just as important as the act of taking it slow. So sometimes when we think about the purging process we say to ourselves, I will get to it another time. Have you ever considered the idea that another time could be today, and that it could actually be fun? Starting today and going through the process will free up time in your future calendar. Having fun with the process might make de-cluttering a frequent occurrence. Those days when you’re relaxing will be even more amazing because you will never say to yourself, I shouldn’t be doing this when there is so much to get done. Here’s 3 fun ways to de-clutter and a list of a few of my favorite organizations that make giving back not only rewarding but very inspiring.
1. One day a week create a challenge. Have everyone choose 5 things- 5 to donate, 5 to toss and 5 to bring back to where they belong in the house. Even if the kids aren’t interested, you still just got rid of 10 things and 5 are back where they belong!
2. Take pictures of the rooms in your home that are cluttered then visualize how you would love for them to look. Visualizing in our minds how we want to transform our spaces is a powerful tool in starting the process. Decide what can stay and what needs to go, even take the photo with you to work and ask some trusted co-workers or friends. Before you know it you will have purged the space and now that room is your favorite spot in the house. An improvement in one room will spread throughout the house.
3. When you shop have a one in one out challenge. If it’s clothing head over to the closet and donate or toss an article of clothing, a pair of shoes or even a piece of jewelry. Maybe you purchased a video game? Head to your child’s video game collection or even your basement where items are hiding. Donate or toss one item and that new item will replace it. This rule can be the same for magazines, kitchen gadgets and even books.
Here are links to some of my favorite organizations that give back. Read their inspiring stories, share them with friends and thank yourself for a job well done throughout your de-cluttering journey. Also look within your local communities for more ways to donate.
Shoe donations http://www.soles4souls.org/
Bra donations http://freethegirls.org/about/
Greeting card donations http://www.stjudesranch.org/shop/recycled-card-program/
Professional attire donations http://www.dressforsuccess.org/whatwedo.aspx