Something snapped in me this week.

The clutter that surrounds me is overwhelming at times.

TOO MUCH STUFF.

My mantra lately has been “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Right now everything does not have a place.

I have been reading articles about de-cluttering and the psychological reasons clutter.

It’s a rough one, if someone wanted to come do it for me (or at least hold my hand) I wouldn’t hate it.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I know it will be worth it.

Hello Kitty, Hello Addie

I took before pictures of my bedroom last night. When I look at my bedroom, I just see my bedroom. When I look at the pictures however…whoa man, that’s an entirely different story.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

I’m working on it Will, I’m working on it.

Do you have any clutter advice or words of encouragement?

Comments

  1. There is a large black plastic bag of toys missing pieces and long ignored at the end of my driveway. Don’t tell my son or Woody, please. I’m doing similar “cleansing” in my home… Actually your post from a few weeks/months ago where you said “one day you will have a grown-up bedroom” echoes in my head daily. I want to have a grown-up bedroom too. I want my house to be MY house, not the house that we inherited from his parents that still stores his brother’s childhood stuff (get a warehouse, dude!) I no longer have to daydream about what “my house” will look like. I can make this house be mine in every way that matters.

    Go Casey!

    Go Keri!

    Clutterers unite!

    ::hold me::

    Casey Reply:

    @Keri, Dude, you and me both. My goal today was two bags of clothes, two bags of garbage and a full run to Goodwill. I’m already halfway done.
    My heart won’t stop beating really hard because I keep telling myself “It’s just stuff. You don’t use it. You never will.” but I figure it will get easier. I hope?

  2. I need clutter help myself. My desk was covered with a paper pile. I threw it all in a laundry basket last week and hope to attack it today. I love your mantra and the quote and need to live it!! Good luck!

    Casey Reply:

    @kristen, That’s what I’ve had to do with a few things, just dump it all out/over/off/in and start over.
    Good luck!

  3. I find the kid stuff overwhelming. My basic rules are if any pieces are missing or I haven’t seen you play with it in the past month, out it goes. There are exceptions of course and it helps to purge when no one else is around.

    I find I have alot of guilt associated with my clutter. It was a gift, I paid good money for it, I might use it someday…you get the idea. It helps me to think of each bag leaving my house (for the trash or thrift store) is improving my mental health and allowing me space to showcase the things I really love.

    good luck, we all need less stuff.

    Casey Reply:

    @Karen, Yes, the guilt. I’m trying really hard to appease that side and say that by donating it someone else will find joy in it that I never could.
    I’ve read a lot that sneaking and tossing kids’ items can cause some serious emotional harm if you don’t actively involve them in the process.
    Or perhaps that’s just another level of guilt.
    Regardless, I’m going to be careful about what I do with Addie’s stuff, Vivi? Eh, She doesn’t care.

  4. One room at a time, one closet at a time, one drawer, cupboard, etc. at a time. Be ruthless.

    Casey Reply:

    @KDA, Yes. It all started with the junk drawer. Trash day can’t come fast enough.

  5. Another thing . . . if you have a hard time giving away things, try to find a charity that is close to your heart. For some reason, I couldn’t bear to give my daughter’s baby clothes to Goodwill, b/c I didn’t like the thought of random people pawing through her stuff. But I didn’t mind giving it to St. Vincent de Paul, which screens people for their needs and helps them “shop” for items, or Birthline, another Catholic charity for mothers and their babies. These felt more personal to me.

    Casey Reply:

    @KDA, Thank you!

  6. Casey,
    Try reading Sink Reflections by the Fly Lady. She’s a little cray-cray but has some great ideas on decluttering and making momma’s life easier! I especially liked her 50 fling – going into a room and flinging 50 items in a trash bag and not looking back. It’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate!

    Casey Reply:

    @Lisa, I’ve heard a lot about this Fly Lady. I’ve shied away from her because of the cray cray, perhaps if things get desperate I’ll seek her advice.

  7. I feel like de-cluttering is a constant process for me, but that’s probably because I live in a small house and I have a short attention span when it comes to tasks like that.

    Last year I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and she had a lot of great organizing/de-cluttering tips to share. Like you, she has two little girls and shared ways to get their toys under control, as well as all of the closets in her house. Her ideas might help! It’s a great read either way.

    Casey Reply:

    @Lauryn, I’ve dabbled around some Gretchen Rubin stuff, perhaps it’s time to really make the leap.

  8. Must be something in the air! I have been bitten by the Organizing Bug hard- part of it is undoubtedly pregnancy nesting. But maaaan it feels good to go through all of our stuff & purge & sort & declutter! Good luck, have fun :)

    Casey Reply:

    @jen, Cody asked me today if I was pregnant it got that serious.

    Jennifer Reply:

    @Casey, ha! Making the poor guy all nervous ;)

  9. Maybe it would help if your older daughter got into it with you – and you could teach her about giving things to people/organizations that need them more than you do? I’m currently trying to work on this with my husband…

    Casey Reply:

    @Kate, Both Addie and Cody need the encouragement. Addie’s amazed with my finished room and wants hers to be the same, so there’s hope?

    kate Reply:

    Well, there’s always hope, right?! And if not, do it for them and then take all the credit when visitors comment on how fantastic your home looks and feels! Tonight, I am purging old nail polish. Sianora My Baby Got Sauce in red, circa 2002.

  10. I ask myself, would I want to move this? Because to me, to waste the time of packing something or for it to take up packing space, drives me crazy. If that makes sense? Like when I’m unpacking and I’m taking the time to unpack it and put it somewhere, I have been like “Why did I move this!!”

    Although, I frequently purge my house. I’m talking, go through my children’s toys/clothes, kitchen stuff, closets, several times a year. I thought I was doing really well, but we are going to put our house on the market and move and woo dog, have I ever purged! I can’t believe the stuff I got rid of because I don’t want to move it.

    Not to mention, our realtor has a stager come tell you what you should do to make it show well. She basically told us we were way too cluttered and didn’t need most of what we had. That helped to purge.

    Anyway, good luck! You can do it! Just take it one area at a time. Do you really use the item? Do you even like it?

    Casey Reply:

    @Alison, EXACTLY. I hate moving. That’s a great way to think about it!

  11. When I declutter, I often ask myself “how does this make my life better?” If I can’t find an answer to that question pretty quickly, I have to let it go. Letting go of stuff makes room for better things in your life…more time, clearer thinking, more space to breathe.

    Good luck and take it one step at a time. I tackle one room/drawer/closet/corner a week. The sense of accomplishment fuels my drive.

    Casey Reply:

    @Nancy (@ Spinning My Plates), There is certainly a sense of accomplishment going down around these parts.

  12. I see the January purge bug is alive and well. I’ve caught it, too, as I do most January. The difference is, I get an extreme high from getting rid of stuff (with a few exceptions. As I went through drawers the other day, I realized I have a warm sock hoarding issue). There are many times that I am looking for something only to realize that I’ve given it away.
    Best of luck to you in your endeavors, and if you need any warm socks, let me know.

    Casey Reply:

    @Shannon, Ha! I’m good on socks, but if you need any nursing bras? I’m your girl. Or creme colored tshirts. I think I have 20?

  13. My husband is fantastic at throwing stuff away, I am not, like at all. My worst thing is clothes. I have clothes from high school but I don’t want to throw them out “just in case”.
    Ugh, I feel the need to go home and start attacking my closet now!

    Casey Reply:

    @KaraB, Yes! I was going to get rid of my skinny pants because I figured they’d never fit again BUT THEY DO FIT NOW BOOM. But now what do I do with my *ehem* roomier pants?

  14. My words of encouragement: once you’re rid of it, you won’t miss it, and you’ll start to realize how much less “stuff” you need. Getting rid of crap is so freeing!

  15. I’ll gladly come hold your hand! I’m a chronic thrower-awayer. Heirlooms, childhood memories. Eh… chuck it.

    It helps (at least with me) having another person talk you through the purpose of an item and if you really need it. I’m just the person for the job. Hopping on a flight NOW!

  16. OH! A few things I keep in mind when I get rid of things:

    1) Have I used it in the past year?
    2) Would this be hard to replace in case I ever need it again?

    Most of the time the answer is a solid no.

  17. First, yay for you!

    Second, pease hire me. No, wait, don’t. I would do it for free. I LOVE organizing. I ave a label maker and everything! Seriously, it’s a problem. People make fun of me for it…a lot.

    Third, I don’t care how cheesy baskets are, they are your friend when organizing kids. My boys can throw shoes in a basket. They cannot get them in a line on a rack.

  18. If you really feel the pains of not wanting to throw it away, put it in a box, add the date and if it’s still on te shelf with duct tape intact six months later, do NOT open the box – take it straight to Goodwill.

    I echo the Fly Lady … it’s a bit nutso, but I really like her and the concept!!

  19. UGH, barf, I need to do this too. Every time I think about it I get overwhelmed. :(

  20. Robin-Heather says:

    Have you tried the 100 things challenge? I try to donate, throw out or recycle 100 things from each room. It sounds like a lot, but it’s easy to do and really cuts down on clutter for our family! It’s so much easier for me if I have a goal as well as a stopping point.

  21. Casey -

    I stumbled upon your blog sometime last year and have been following, but not commenting. LOVE your stuff and love that you are tackling this battle that we all seem to deal with.

    Leo Babauta writes a lot about de-cluttering. Both in the physical sense of getting rid of stuff, but also in the metaphorical sense.

    Check it out here:
    http://zenhabits.net/transformations/

  22. Oh my gosh do we have clutter. I’m alright with it and then suddenly it completely overwhelms me. I just can’t stand it. I’ve got no answers for you… but if you ever come across some clutter-fairies I’d be happy if you sent one my way!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] January was all about decluttering. I’d say I did a 65% effort with another 20% just waiting for warmer weather. The other 15%? That’s what the spare bedroom with a door is for. [...]