The house was bringing Baby down. I was a victim of Acquisition Creep, and something had to be done or I’d be wallowing in old prom dresses forever. I realized that I hadn’t had a good Spring Clean since I moved here in 1999.
The closets were loaded down with junk; it was time. So I removed 12 Hefty bags of detritus from the homestead and it feels heavenly. Here is the down and dirty on how to create an airy new space filled with blissful empty shelves. Plus, you can even make some money, if you’re creative. Here’s how to do it quickly and efficiently:
1. Work room by room, and carry Hefty bags with you. The object is to clear out what is uselessly clogging your existence and to straighten and tidy in your wake. Tackle just one area in a room at a time, a desk, a closet, a drawer. First, pull any item you’re bored with that has re-gifting possibilities and put it in a pile.(TIP: Later, make yourself a present shelf in a closet and you’ll always have something for those times you’re on the spot for a gift.)
2. Sort into two categories, “Trash” or “Somebody Else’s Treasure” (Goodwill, Salvation Army). Take a deep breath and realize that everything in your field of vision will have to be decided on, but that is the glory of the whole exercise. You’re in CHARGE.
3. Prepare for surprises. Along the way you will suddenly notice horrors like, oh, your curtain sheers are dingy. Stop and pull them down and toss them in a To Be Dealt With Later pile. You will also spot missing buttons, chipped paint on doors, dust bunnies.Where did this come from?!!?, ask yourself. Get some masking tape, rip off a bit and stick on areas that need help as a visual reminder for later.
4. Line your Heftys up along the walls and keep the center of the room for your sorting mission. While sorting, the main questions to ask are: what is it costing me in space and mental health to keep holding on to this? And, realistically, am I really going to use this enough in the future to keep it?
If you use it once in the next five years does it justify the space? Think duplication. Do you need the hot glue gun if there’s superglue? Did crafting turn out to be a giant bust, but you feel guilty about chucking the implement? Get rid of it and FREE THYSELF.
12 Hefty bags and counting