Tag Archives: housekeeping

Can’t Seem to Stop the Clutter?

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Do you feel like you’re drowning in clutter? Do you give yourself a set time and day to start de-cluttering, yet a few days or weeks later, the same problem creeps back? It is incredibly frustrating, and when you’re in the thick of your de-cluttering journey it can be tough to recognize where you are going wrong. So, let’s take a look at some common de-cluttering mistakes you might be making…

You don’t simplify things when you de-clutter – In order for your home to stay clutter-free, you need to make sure that your house flows in a logical way. So, what does this mean? Well, check out top simplifying tips online for inspiration. But here’s the gist – Things in your home are always easy to take out. If you want something or need it to complete a task, you’ll get the item out. However, putting those items back can prove a bit more difficult. For example, if you need a pan for a recipe you’ll dig to the very back corner of your cupboard to fetch it out. (Especially if you have a craving for whatever that recipe is!) But once you’ve done the washing up, it might sit in the drying rack for DAYS before it makes it’s way back to the difficult to reach spot in the cupboard. This is where clutter starts to build up. Instead, make sure that everything has a logical place, with most-used items in the most accessible locations. 

You get emotionally attached to everything – Many folks have a stuffed animal that they’ve held onto since their childhood and they want to keep it to pass on to their children or maybe just because it means a lot to them. There is sentimental value. And there’s nothing wrong with this. But, when you are holding onto, say, ten different stuffed animals, it becomes a bit of a problem. Once, when I was feeling weirdly attached to an outdated piece of technology, my husband asked, “Do you want to put it in a shadow box and display it on the wall?” (Not in a sarcastic way but genuinely trying to problem solve.) This felt a little ridiculous and putting it in perspective this way made it easy to part with. If you’re still feeling reservations, take a picture of the item. 

You don’t consider what makes you truly happy – Think about your happiest memories  and identify what made them so great. Was it the people you were with? The place? A certain time of year or a feeling of security? Most importantly, was it the STUFF? Chances are, the “things” involved in your memories – the clothes and the knick-knacks and the books and the home decor – don’t factor high up in this ranking. Consider a de-cluttering thought exercise that will help you part with possessions.

You don’t follow the one in, one out rule – Whenever you buy something new, do you remove something old from your house? If not, then this could be a huge contributing factor as to why you can’t keep on top of your clutter. Once you have fully down-sized, your house will feel serene and tidy. So, whenever you bring something new into the mix, you need to make sure you accommodate it by getting rid of something else. 

You haven’t got your partner on board – Perhaps your partner is letting down the team? If so, you need to have a conversation and get them on board. Related: Here’s an awesome article about why couples should split emotional labor

Not tidying up after yourself – This can be one of the most difficult changes to make if you are a naturally messy person. However, repetition breeds habit and no-brainer systems help create repetition. Whenever you use something, make sure you put it back in the right spot. Put systems in place that help you do this. Yes, this isn’t fun, but once you get used to it, you will start doing it naturally, and your house will be cleaner and more enjoyable as a result!

Hopefully, this helped you pin-point where you might be going wrong in your de-cluttering journey, and you’ll be well on your way to living clutter-free. Commit yourself to this advice and you’ll start to notice a significant difference within your home. Good luck!

Where do you go wrong when it comes to de-cluttering? Have any tips for going clutter-free? I’d love to hear. ❤ As I mentioned in this post, I’m still a work in progress myself! 

P.S. I love this post from A Beautiful Mess about de-cluttering a book collection. Definitely an area I struggle with!

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April Resolutions — How Did I Do?

Happy May, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in April…

April Resolution #1. Spring clean my closets and drawers. 

I don’t know what it is but every Spring I get this terrible, insatiable urge to THROW EVERYTHING I OWN AWAY. Is that weird? Maybe it is something to do with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Hoarding everything away in a little nest during the Winter and then purging once the weather starts to get warmer. Whatever the case, my space starts to feel cluttered.

Instead of tossing stuff willy nilly, this year I evaluated what areas needed decluttering the most and focused my efforts. I hadn’t done a proper Kon Mari (ie. throw everything you own on your bed and go through it piece by piece) clothes clear out since moving to Florida and it was high time. So I definitely wanted to tackle my closet and dresser. Organizing my desk drawers has been on my To-do list foreeever, and so has our linen closet. So those went on the list too.

How did it go? Well, I Kon Mari’d the HECK out of my clothes and was able to rid my room of TWO TRASH BAGS full. (It still boggles my mind where this stuff comes from!) All the drawers are done…save for one pesky desk drawer that accumulates crap no matter what I do. (But doesn’t everyone have a crap drawer? Isn’t that like a law of LIVING?)

The linen closet still hasn’t happened. But there’s always this month!

 

Going forward: Declutter the dang linen closet! Oh, and actually transport those two trash bags that are in the trunk of my car to a donation location.

April Resolution #2. Examine spending habits through the lens of happiness. 

Recently, I signed up for a FREE Money + Happy Bootcamp through one of my fave blogs — Yes and Yes. The whole thing was chock-full of helpful advice about how to navigate spending habits while staying in tune with what brings you joy. (Sound helpful? You can sign up in the sidebar of the site.)

One exercise that really resonated with me asked us to take our bank statement and go at it with three highlighters. Pink, yellow, and green. The pink highlighter was for regrettable purchases. The yellow highlighter was for necessary purchases (like bills and groceries). And the green highlighter was for those purchases that brought about happiness.

Since taking the mini-course, I’ve kept up this highlighter rigmarole and have found the visual wildly helpful. And since I had data for the entire first quarter of the year, I thought April was the perfect time to crunch the numbers, evaluate how I did, and decide if there were changes I wanted to make going forward.

I pin-pointed a few trends. I got a clear picture of how much I’m spending and on what (as well as if the “what” brought me joy or regret).

 

Going forward: I will continue to go through my bank statements with highlighters every month and examine the results more thoroughly each quarter. I’ll try to get my pink purchases down and my green purchases as up as my bank account will allow. 😉

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in May!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Four months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!