We recently moved from a house with a yard and garage into a condo with no garage and no extra storage. This was the perfect opportunity to go through everything that we owned and be extremely intentional about what would be coming from our old place to our new one.
For a year or so before the move I had been reading about minimalism and other intentional living ideologies,taking certain elements and implementing them into my own life to get rid of excess stuff and create my ideal living space. Having gone through my things and discarded or donated what I no longer used I was surprised by the amount of stuff I still owned when it came time to move. Its shocking the things that we store away and because they're not in front of us everyday we forget about them, like the stuff I’d put in the garage so that it was out of the way.
There’s a lot of info to be found out there about organizing and decluttering and making the best use of space in order to store extra stuff. What I've found is that the less stuff you have the easier it is to organize. Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of things you're not using anymore, and even if you're not moving you can simulate it by taking everything out of of its storage space and going through it. This can get overwhelming if you take every single thing you own out of closets and storage containers so it’s best to break it down into categories so that it’s more manageable. For example some categories could be clothes, books, DVDs/CDs, kitchen, sentimental items, the list is endless depending on your hobbies and the size of your family. You can even break these down into sub categories like shoes, winter clothes, summer clothes within clothing.
Once you've figured out the category you're going to tackle, first take everything that falls into that category and put it in one place like on the kitchen table or in the middle of the floor so you can go through and see what you have doubles of, what you have thats damaged or no longer of use. Now start by separating these things into three categories, keep, donate/discard, and a maybe pile. For example if you’re going through your kitchen stuff and you have 5 knives for the same purpose keep your 2 favourites and donate the rest. Even if you have the space to store the extra stuff, if it’s just going to sit there unused I urge you to donate it and free up the physical and mental space that it takes up. It’s refreshing to let go of items that we’re no longer using and the more you make a habit of doing it the easier and better it will feel.
For all the items that fall into the category of things you're not ready to get rid of but don't really use, put them into a box and place it in the closet or garage and if in 3 months you haven't needed any of those things or missed them then get rid of them. Before you start decluttering you might think its too much work to take everything off of the shelf or out of the drawer to go through it, but it’s an important part of the process to remove everything even the things you're positive you won’t be getting rid of.
Once I started getting rid of my excess stuff, it made me realize that what I really wanted wasn't more things and that actually having less stuff made me feel happier and allowed me to enjoy our space more. Whether you’re getting ready for a move, cleaning up your house to stage it for sale, or just want to live in a more intentional space then I hope todays post will help you get started.
For more tips on de-cluttering and the mindset change that can come with it stay tuned during the month of march.