Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Three weeks to go till Tiny Baby comes (!!) and I am a big, nesting mama bird. Like I'm down to washing walls and re-hanging frames (not sure why nesting hit me so hard this round)?? Of course I'm gutting the closets and swiping all the surface junk, too -- you know, those real *happy* items that get plopped, tossed, or stuffed somewhere. The cleaning-out feels so good. Mama Bird's flying higher these days!

I wanted to share the approach I take to de-cluttering, since as I said last weekend, I'll be writing more practical, helpful posts around here. I learned how to make the cleaning-out magic happen years ago at a Relief Society activity. The instructor was an organizer by profession and she just kind of changed my life, since going through this process regularly has made the atmosphere in my home so light. As in not heavy. Because don't you think a house can gain "weight" with stuff and just feel heavy?? Maybe I'm odd and uber sensitive to that, but that heavy feeling stresses me out, so learning how to keep the stuff in my house to a minimum - keeping my house fit, per se - has helped me really like my life.

IE, taking the girls' closet from this below...
To that below last weekend made me really like my life. I mean, my house lost 10 pounds - for good - in a half-hour. ✊
Here's the stuff-burning, pounds-shedding process (it's so simple!)...

1. Face the stuff with two bags in hand - one for donations and one for garbage. Stepping up to the de-cluttering plate is often the hardest step, but seriously, just do it. Focus on the fact that in 30 - 60 minutes, your house will have lost POUNDS! You will literally feel lighter.

2. Separate what you cannot get rid of because you 1) need and/or 2) love the item that much. Be super honest with your feelings here (do you really love it??) Then run the remaining questionable items past the three "clingy" traps (I know you've already heard them!):

"This was a gift!" 
"I paid a lot of money for this!" 
And "I might use it later!" 

If it's been one year since the item was used (or even remembered, right??), regardless of the three reasons above, TOSS IT. Accepting reality on this one can be rough, too, but you've got to do it! Again, the weight. Just think of the house weight going poof. Forever!

3. Smile. Your house (and your heart!) finally feels lighter.

Here are a couple closer "before" and "after" shots of the girls' closet for kicks. The top shelf before...
 And that relieving "after!"
I de-cluttered my closet again last weekend, too, and, yes, I've since really liked my life. My closet's "before" shot is only kind of embarrassing, but whaaaatever...๐Ÿ˜‰
Liking that "after" much better. Seriously the sight makes makes me breathe like I do in a savasana after yoga. Namaste, you clean, de-cluttered closet!
A couple closer shots of this space, too - here's the "before...
 And that happy, happy "after!"
It took me about 30 minutes to burn off all that stuff and lose the house weight in each space. I tell you, once you practice this process, it goes fast (if only burning excess stuff off the body was so slick, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰)

I'm always amazed at how I think I've de-cluttered my spaces down every time I go through this process (I do it once at the start of every season), but then I fill up at least 2-3 bags of more stuff that needs to go, like that big bag that went this clean-out. It's weird how there's always something else to shed. And it's wonderful.
Honestly, cleaning my house - especially this way - is one of the things I love most about mothering/homemaking/just living in general. Your efforts are simply fruitful. The results are as instant as a microwavable packet of oatmeal. Nothing backfires, goes south, or sasses back, since stuff can't speak. All you get out of trying to do a good job in this arena is happiness. 

Give it a go this spring or else, sister. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Happy house-weight-loss!

PS, I've been taking our donations to our local IRC since last August -- knowing that our still-good, but not-for-us items are going to people that have some pretty immediate, dire needs has made this process even better. Google your local center (you'll be glad you did)!


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