How much can we declutter leading up to Jan? I have no idea how to answer this question. I mean I know how to answer the question but I do not know how to proceed in my life with decluttering. With my things outside of clothes, I have downgraded a lot. However, as it comes to life. I am at this middle crossroads. Life for me has changed so drastically from what I thought my life would be like. Thinking purely about clearing your mind, and beginning a new year, decluttering is a big deal that takes a lot of effort no matter what anyone says.
Turns out physical things can be as much or at the least triggering for your mental health. Here is one of many things I have to unload: Once I kept things because I wanted my kids to have memories of me and my life. I wanted to show them their heritage. Let their hearts love my grandparents through my stories, pictures, etc. Now there will be no babies. There will be no generation to carry on the name of my Papaw, there will be no one calling just because they want mama’s comfort. Now I do have two teenagers that I love like they were my own. I love them and want the best for them, but I will never be their mom. They have one. I will never be the call when something hurts or bothers them. I’ll never be the first call on holidays.
How do I declutter those things? Getting rid of all the “one day I will want this for the kids” stuff. Decluttering is often just thought about with physical things. But honestly, it is not just that not in a million years can decluttering be any more needed as in your thoughts and feelings. However, for me, I am struggling. I do know a thing or two about physical decluttering and that is where we are moving into.
When I help someone declutter, my first suggestion is to buy new clear bins/buckets. Label the bins “go through”, “trash”, “give away”, and “put away”. The idea behind these labels is to get a speedy clean. In the general idea that you can make weekly or even daily cleans on a smaller level.
1. Take one room at a time.
2. Completely take it down to the bones, i.e., only leave the bed, dressers, sofa, tv, etc. depending on the room you are in. (obviously this is only for those big cleans like spring cleaning or winter cleaning)
3. You take it down by using your bins, and the four labels.
4. Anything you need to read or look through goes in the “go through” basket. Anything that is trash goes in “trash”. Any items you know you don’t want but that look good enough to give away or donate go in the “giveaway”. The last basket “put away” is things that have a place like a shirt you love, a blanket, a video, a book, etc. that most of the time all have known places but have somehow got into the one room.
5. Once you have the room emptied and the bins filled, put away all the put-away items. Then it is time to go through the “go through” bin. Separating it just as you were. Put away, trash, give away. This honestly may be the longest section. We get that. But now you have one clean room that maybe things throughout the house will go into, so now you have places to put things that belong. Once the go-through basket is cleaned out. You want to put away anything in that bend, and then back with bags to gather up the trash and bag it to toss out, and then bag up the giveaway items (have them neatly stacked in the last room you’re going to clean.
6. Once all the bins are empty and stored in the next room you’re going to declutter, it is time to deep clean the room, dust, vacuum, sweep, spray air freshener, etc.
See that it all comes together. You don’t have to hire a team or get stressed, you just need a plan. Decluttering is partly something I have always been good at but living with an extreme collector and stepson who is also a collector I sometimes feel like I am going crazy.
Have you ever tried decluttering a kid’s bedroom who has autism? The first mistake I used to make was scheduling a day clean/or letting it go into an entire day. I have found that after more than 3 hours Andrew gets entirely frustrated and tears will come. Truly the best plan is to give a scheduled time – You have one hour to clean up your room or you won’t have phone privileges. This is harsh sounding but then what has never been done before suddenly becomes something that can not only be done but be done within the time range. The second part is purely up to exactly how dirty a room is. Before I fell, I would go into his room to inspect it and then give my suggestions for making it better or sit right down and march him through the steps. Since the hospital, I have been feeling like life is much too short, his room being clean comes second to say watching a movie together. It’s just not as important anymore. Time is the leading need. I just need more time with the boys before they are no longer boys.
With the other rooms of the house. I don’t know how to make items decrease. Even the way I would originally clean is lost here. This house is where things come to die. I too am guilty recently of having some large items that take up room. I recently took this approach in the living area. I was happy but my spouse was not so much. Ending the day with complaints that I move things too much… I do move things too much. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to not have so much clutter. I try and see life through the things the boys and Jeremy see without forgetting my needs as well.
Having stepped away from online life recently has done nothing but give me time to cry and overthink. Since I am not processing all the muck in my head and my future, I need to busy myself with something once again. Is this healthy NO… I am trying to run from my inner thoughts and it just isn’t what I should do. I will keep trying to keep up and learn how to be gentle but not forget I have needs as well.
So, the question to you the reader is if you have stuff that you have hung on to for your kids one day, DID you give it to your kids? or Those of you that thought you would but do not currently have kids and will not have kids have you long ago got rid of the stuff you were keeping for “One Day”?
Share your advice in the comments…