I’ve been on a mission to say “Goodbye” to the junk in my house, clear out the clutter, and make a more organized, peaceful home for myself and my family. It’s been an ongoing mission for some time now, and I’ve made a significant amount of progress. Along the way I’ve figured out three simple rules that I’ve used and I thought I’d share them with you here.
1. Say goodbye to the junk. If you don’t want it, don’t use it, don’t like it, don’t need it…. Donate it! Someone else can use it, and then you can feel good about getting it out of your way, and helping someone else at the same time.
2. Find a home for everything. If it’s worth keeping, then it needs to have a specific home. A place where you can say, “Oh, that goes here.” Or a place where you’ll think to look when you’re looking for that item later. 😉
3. Carefully consider what you’re bringing in to your home from now on. The dollar section at Target is tempting and seductive. Oh that’s cute! Oh, this would be fun for the kids…. But ask yourself: ‘Will this ultimately end up as junk or clutter for me to deal with later?’ If the cuteness or fun is worth it, then go for it. If it’s going to just sit around and be clutter later….leave it.
Getting rid of junk makes sense. Keeping yourself from filling the house back up with more junk makes sense. But why is finding a home for everything that you’re keeping so important? Well…. Here’s why:
Yes, this shameful pile is embarrassingly mine. No, I didn’t pile it all up just for this post. I could give you excuses about why it’s all there, and that we’ve got extra company and had to move things around to make room for them to feel welcome. I could tell you that this is just one tiny corner in an otherwise de-cluttered room. But the bottom line is that this is stuff with no home, or things that didn’t get put away, because setting it here to put away later way just ‘easier’. Here’s what was piled in there:
1. Rug- too nice to give away, but not sure where to use it.
2. Box of large cars/toys that should be in my boys room.
3. Pile of blankets that needs a home for the summer.
4. Extra chair that goes with our kitchen table.
5. Sleeping bag- definitely needs a home!
6. Tub of photos, cards, and other keepsakes. Needs a better home, for sure.
7. Earphones/plugs… belong in the garage but they keep migrating in the house on my 5 year old’s head…
8. Favorite Lego Star Wars book. Belongs on the bookshelf in the bedroom.
9. Boogie board. This one boggles my mind. It has no home. It has no purpose. My sweet mother in law insisted on bringing it back from vacation on the plane. Years ago. Why we have it in land locked North Texas I don’t know. Needs to go. To her house, I think. 😉
10. Toddler dump truck. My boys don’t play with it anymore. But it’s one of the few little boy toys left around here. That makes it harder to part with. Time to find a little boy who would love it like it deserves, and let it go.
11. Yoga mat- Has a home, but ended up here. Because once there is a pile of stuff with no home, it’s so easy to just add to it.
12. Plug in Spiderman video game. Never opened. Christmas gift. We need to hook it up or pass it on to someone who’ll use it.
13. This one must be hiding under the chair. A.k.a.-I must have gotten distracted putting the numbers on the arrows and skipped 13…. 😉
14. Another unopened toy that some other child would be thrilled to have. A good lesson that we are blessed to excess, and need to share our blessings with others.
As you can see, a few things with no home can make a big impact. In fact a lot of the stuff in that pile DOES have a home. But this is what happens. A few things without a home get set to the side to figure out where to put them. It becomes a “Stuff to Put Away” pile. Then something else gets added to the pile. And soon it’s a mountain of stuff that needs to be put away, some with homes, some without. The bottom line for me is to keep this from happening from the beginning. Find a home for everything. If it’s worth keeping, it’s worth taking the time to find a place to use it or store it.