Get rid of the excess.
We all know we need to do it, but it can be hard to not only find the time but to let go of the things that crowd our homes, our minds, our lives.
One thing I like to do before the holiday season is go through my house and rid it of excess things we don’t need, want or use anymore.
The reason is two-fold.
First, it helps me feel more organized and less cluttered as we pull out and put all the holiday decorations up.
We’re putting so many things up around the house that not getting rid of the excess drives me a little batty.
Secondly, having two kids adds up to a lot of toys/stuff in the house. Add in one of their birthdays being ten days before Christmas and there is a steady stream of presents pouring into the house during the holidays.
I like getting rid of things we no longer need so all the presents we receive have a place in our house. It helps me to feel less overwhelmed as about all the “things” coming into the house.
However, I know it’s not always possible to accomplish such a feat during the crazy holiday months. In fact, with family coming and going, holiday preparations and holiday parties on top of your everyday life I know getting rid of excess things probably wasn’t on your to-do list.
And for the first time in quite a few years it wasn’t on mine either.
Actually, it was.
I just didn’t get to it before we left to go to Virginia for Christmas.
So if your life this past holiday season was anything like mine and you didn’t get a chance to get rid of things before all the new things made their way into your house follow these easy rules to get it done fast!
DO Go Room by Room
When I used to try to purge and clean I resembled a spinning top.
I would literally spin from room to room getting rid of odds and ends, and accomplish nothing except making myself dizzy.
Through the years I’ve learned that in order to be effective I have to concentrate on one room at a time.
I pick one room and just start.
Then I don’t stop until that one room is completely finished.
This might mean only accomplishing one room at a time.
And yes, only getting through one room at a time can be extremely frustrating, but I promise taking the time is so worth it.
It’s so much worse to have 5 slightly finished rooms and nothing completely finished.
DON’T waste time
One of the biggest obstacles to getting rid of the stuff in your house is time.
I’m already strapped for time in just my day to day routine so finding time to set aside to specifically purge each room in my house can be challenging.
And I know I’m not the only one out there that has no time because let’s be real having no time is kinda a mom’s jam right about now.
I’ve seen recommendations to set a timer and then when the timer goes off move on.
I honestly don’t do that, but I do set a framework of time in my mind.
I assess the space I’m about to clean and give myself a time limit based on that.
It might be 1 hour per room or I might just work in one room until I’m finished. Do what fits best into your life and makes you feel the most accomplished.
DO Create piles
My husband laughs at the piles I make when I’m getting rid of things, but I’m telling you it works!
Those piles are the key to my purging success.
I create various piles based on different categories.
I usually make four specific piles.
For the donation pile I ask myself a few questions,
“Could someone use this?”
“Is it in good enough condition?”
“Would this be something someone could need?”
If the answer is yes, then into the donation pile it goes.
If the answer is no, then they go into the trash pile.
The trash pile if for broken toys, worn clothes that I can’t donate and anything else that wouldn’t fall into the other three categories.
The re-organization pile is for those items that need to be put away somewhere else in my house.
The friends pile is for the items I think others in my life can use. I never used to do this before, but in the last year I’ve had friends look over my clothes before I donated them and gave away candle holders that could be used for props for my friend’s photography business. Now, I always ask my friends first.
My piles usually form in the hallway or other common areas so I can clear each room out.
As you go from room to room having piles on the outside keeps your “workspace” clean and let’s you really see what needs to stay and what needs to go.
Don’t Overthink the Process
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I keep the excess out of my house.
One of the things that has helped me is not overthinking the process of purging.
I don’t go back and forth on whether or not I should keep an item. I put it in one of my piles and move on. I don’t agonize over letting go of things because they are just that…things.
I truly believe this is the biggest struggle people have when they’re trying to purge their excess stuff.
And I understand the struggle.
I truly do. It can tough to let go of certain things because of the memories or value we associate with them. But it’s not a reason to hold onto things we don’t want, need or use.
The benefit of purging is so much more than just a clean house or making way for the presents you received for Christmas.
It’s the ability to let go of the things weighing you down.
It’s the chance to get back more time for you and your family because you’re not having to constantly clean up your “things”.
And in the end that what learning to live more minimal means.
Do you have specific do’s and don’ts for your cleaning/purging rituals? What makes you successful when you’re getting rid of excess?