That has been my motto these last two months - If you haven't looked at it, touched it, worn it, or even knew where it was, into the donate bag it goes. I read a great article recently about someone who downsized from thousands of square feet to a couple hundred and was pleasantly surprised on what she was ok with letting go. Birthday cards, clothes you're "sure" you will wear again, etc etc. However her and I didn't see eye to eye on one suggestion - Throwing out things like your graduation announcement or invitation to your first baby's shower, those are things that I love to find of my past and I can only imagine my kids will appreciate that I kept them. You know what I really didn't need to be storing anymore? All my pregnancy tests from the kids - Ya, I know, you don't want to be friends anymore…
It is amazing how freeing it has felt to throw away throw away! With each bag I filled and tossed my mind felt less cluttered and I was feeling more and more inspired to keep up with housework. The other best part is I feel less inclined to buy things that aren't absolutely necessity. Target trips don't take a few minutes actual shopping plus a hour of wandering and impulse buying because the thought of driving the clutter back in keeps my will power to say no strong.
Here are some ideas to get you started getting rid of all the stuff.
Photos, cards and crafts crap - Some major purges I did included going from six bins of photos down to two. It was time to let go of blurry photos, ripped photos, and thousands of duplicates. Pictures of people that I don't share my life with anymore or had any real good memories with, the seven thousand wallets from the fifty-five different formal dances I went to, and more. In the craft closet I went from two sets of drawers and six bins down to one set of drawers and three wonderfully organized bins. I threw away tiny scraps of paper and fabric that I was now sure I would never need. I threw out sixteen of the seventeen versions of each type of crayon, marker, and glue stick that we had. Half finished projects and supplies from projects that didn't make sense on their own went. I just let it all go.
Clothes and toys - Tim, the kids and I all cut our closets in half. There was no more mourning over clothes that would never fit again or things that needed major repairs. Going forward I am going to be more purposeful with my buying. Only purchase things that we really love, that will last, and will stand the test of time and trends. Toys are a huge issue in this house as I am sure they are in a lot of houses. Bottom line we had way to many - It was my fault too, I had real issues with letting go of toys that I carefully picked out and spent a lot of money on, even if no one ever played with it and it was pink and probably wouldn't interest Robin down the line. I got over that last month, thank god. We picked out the few toys that each kid really played with on a daily basis and the rest went. Then those left toys were divided in half and will be rotated monthly.
Furniture, documents, and keepsakes - There was at least five pieces of furniture or large storage that were sharing the same purpose - Storing documents that we were pretty sure would be important one day and trinkets friends gave us or we collected randomly years ago. Tim and I spent two hours one night sorting and shredding what we didn't need down to a few relevant items that are all now in one functional file box. The trinkets? If it had been stored out of sight for this long then its feelings wouldn't be hurt to hit the trash. Boom - five pieces of small random furniture now in the garage sale pile.
Kitchen gadgets you never use or have something else that can do the same thing.
Toys missing pieces or are slightly broken
Organize really special notes, tickets, etc into one nice book and chuck the rest.
Puzzles and games - In our house puzzles are usually one time use so we like to cycle them through goodwill.
That's it, you're ready to get started! Do you have some great ideas of things people can shed from their clutter? I'd love to hear them - I might use them myself!