Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Journey to Minimalism: Progress

I have found that some of the biggest motivation is to look back at what I have accomplished, so I'm going to document a little of it tonight.  That, and I have actually had some of you ask how my journey was going-thank you for asking!

In one of my first posts on minimalism, I mentioned how I started out in the storeroom.  Well, I decided to tame it down a bit and try somewhere that I would have quicker results.  So, I turned to the master bedroom.  I mean, YES, there are 4.8 billion things in the storeroom that could probably go, but no one-including me-sees it very often.  I wanted a room that I would see EVERYDAY and could use it to encourage me on my journey.

I have also read a million and one blog posts and self help books on how to declutter your house.  They all have their own suggestions, routines, lists, etc.  But, I decided to scrap all that and do my own thinking.  Not because I am stubborn {though I am, lol}, but because I just didn't like their ideas.  No worries, I liked some of their ideas and use them when ever I can!!

First thing I did?  I cleaned up the room.  I have heard a phrase-'you can't clean clutter.'  I believe it is credited to Flylady (who has been a help to me in the past).  And while she is partly correct, you also can't sort clutter in a dirty room!  Now, I didn't do a deep clean or anything.  I did, however, make the bed, pick everything up off the floor, put things away that had a home, and vacuumed the floor.

What did this do?  First, it gave me a clean space to work on.  Clean breads clean, and I want all the clean I can get!  Second, it shows me how much clutter I really do have. If I have piles of things laying around after I pick up, I know what things don't have a home.  And lastly, when I get done sorting things I surely do not want to clean afterwards!!

After the room was picked up and vacuumed, I was ready to start sorting.  I have heard of all sorts of places to start sorting, but I like to start in the closet.  Why?  Because that is the most likely place to find things you don't use.

Let's face it.  The clothes laying on top of your dresser {or on the floor next to your bed} aren't things you haven't worn in 2 years...they are the clothes you wore last week!  Or the clothes you just bought!  But, they are laying on the dresser because your closet is full! Likely, full of things you don't wear.

And, forget clothes, my closet is the black hole for things that I don't know what to do with and things I want to hide from my children.  Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, Valentines gifts, you name it, they were there.  Then there were all the trinkets and jewelry from my past, gifts my children had given me, a few broken toys that need to be fixed, suitcases, shoes, and more.  Like I said. The black hole.

Our closet houses my clothing, Explorer's clothing, and my husband's clothing.  Going through every inch of our closet actually took about 4 different days.  I am only able to spend about an hour each time, so I was careful to only pull out what I could handle in that time.

My system:

1.  Choose the area of attack
2.  Pull out each item one by one and determine keep or not
3.  Clean off the shelf or vacuum the floor, depending on the spot
4.  Put back the things I wanted to keep in an organized manner
5.  Put trash in the trashcan
6.  Put donate in the donate
7.  Take pictures (yes! right then) of the items to sell and take them to the sale pile
8.  Upload and list sale items the same day

Some other things I did to my closet:

1.  Turned all the hangers around the wrong way
2.  Aside from maternity clothes, pajamas, and a couple things I would only wear around my house I hung up EVERY.SINGLE.THING.
3.  Purged down to just 10 total pairs of shoes, this includes boots, tennies, flip flops, dress shoes-everything!
4.  Purged down to just 2 pairs of jeans I would go out in (well, actually, I only had 2 that fit-trying to see the bright side).
5.  Decided that one dress for winter wasn't enough and ordered a second :).

More on number 2.  Some of my clothes-heavy sweaters, for example-cannot be worn year round, but MOST of my clothes can.  We have VERY fickle weather here and, as long as you own a couple of cardigans, you can wear almost any shirt 10 months out of the year.  It isn't worth my time or sanity to store clothes away for 2 months.  PLUS, there is always the, well NO I didn't wear it in the last 6 months because it was stored away and I couldn't find it!  So now, everything I own is hung up and every hanger is turned backwards.  Which means, come June, if a heavy sweater is turned backwards guess what?? It goes!!  I have a lot of purging to do in my shirts and I'm interested to see what I don't end up wearing.

Now, I'm really not ready to post the before and after photos of my room, yet.  I've still got some more areas I want to tackle and I'm not willing to share the before unless I can also provide the after KWIM?  But, what I do have to share is this:

This is one of about 4 large bags of stuff I took out of the closet!!  You name it, it was in there, lol!  I was so surprised to see how many bags the stuff that I didn't want or need filled!  I mean, my closet was full, but it wasn't THAT full, or at least I didn't think it was! 

I have my bedroom about half sorted.  It takes a bit of time going through every SINGLE item you own.  But, the way it looks afterwards is so worth it!

Anyone else doing a purging project?  How is it going?  I'd love to hear!!

Have a GREAT day and God Bless!


Michele said...

You inspired me months ago to het started. So glad to see your update! Our bedroom is one of the places I have been avoiding...maybe soon! ;)

Anonymous said...

woohoo on making progress!! I haven't done any in a while but I need to do some of our bookshelves soon! They are all full!

Homeschooling6 said...

I agree about taking a picture. I do this too (what blogger doesn't. Lol. It's great seeing the progress from what it looked like before and when your done.

Great with getting rid of 4 large bags.

Great post!

Mommy to the Princesses said...

Can't wait to see the before and after pictures. Great job!

Brianne Olim said...

I love to organize and purge. It is my favorite form of therapy! I never thought of turning hangers backwards to see what you are really wearing. I am going to give that a try! Keep on going--- I can't wait to see the finished results.

Kerry H said...

Great tips!