In the first part of my 4 blog post series, I shared with you how a quick de-cluttering lesson transformed my mother in-law into a lean and mean de-cluttering machine. Within an hour she had eliminated 25 items from her home.
In yesterday's post, the most important point I wanted to reiterate is if you are feeling too overwhelmed at the task at hand then simply begin your de-cluttering process with a small project. I then suggested six items that can easily be eliminated from your home.
Today, I will continue by expanding on two more teachable moments that you can use to de-clutter your home as well.
#3 - Unloved Gifts Should Come With An Expiration Date.
Gifts are yet another example on how quickly clutter can accumulate throughout our home without any fault of our own. Just because someone has given you a gift does not mean that it must serve a life sentence in your home. Most of us keep gifts out of guilt. We are afraid that we will insult that person or lose the memory attached to that item. Although my mother-in-law received these gifts to commemorate a special occasion in her life, she understands that she doesn't need to keep her angels to keep the memory of that day alive. Her special day is brought back to life every time she looks through her photo albums and awards. Once she acknowledged that fact, she felt confident in her decision to begin downsizing her gift of angels.
Remember that gift basket of lotions and bath salts or that ugly sweater you received for Christmas 10 years ago? Their time has passed and it's time to place an expiration date on these unloved and unwanted items. Dig them out of the deepest corner of your closet shelf and give yourself permission to let that item go.
4. Discover The True Treasure Amongst your Clutter.
When working with a client, not only do I share my expertise as a professional organizer but I also get to play the role of an undercover detective. To help clients discover the true treasure amongst their clutter I listen for the clues hidden within their answers.
For example, when I first asked my mother-in-law the importance of the angel that sat on her mantel, she provided me with a simple answer with no true emotion in her voice. When asked if she was willing to let the item go, after a few long moments of silence, she said yes.
The first clue I uncovered was during that moment of silence. That was her moment to contemplate her motives behind keeping that item. If that item had any special meaning attached to it, she would have quickly defended the reasons as to why she loved the item and would not be able to part with it.
That was made evident when we started to weed through her wine glasses. As I was taking out a Emblem Club wine glass she immediately said ""Oh, put that back, I am keeping that one. That is a special glass from one of my conventions!!" She demonstrated a strong conviction in her voice and I knew there would be no negotiating on this one. Her reaction gave me a quick clue to discover what items were of importance which helps to sets plan for discovered found some treasure within her clutter.
Your Challenge: Become your own private detective
Your challenge is to look around your home to discover what is treasure and what is clutter. Let's begin by evaluating your coffee mugs, which tend to be a big clutter culprit in most homes.
Pick up each mug and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you love this mug?
- Have you used this mug in the last 12 months?
- Do you really need this mug?
- Does this mug reflect who I am today?
- What is the worst that can happen if you eliminated this mug?
- Would this be the one mug you would choose to take with you if you had to evacuate your home?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, give yourself permission to let go of this item.
While playing detective in your kitchen, as promised, here are 5 more items that can easily be eliminated from your home.
- Expired Boxed and Canned Goods
- Flaked Cookware
- Rusty Cooking Utensils,
- Chipped glassware and mugs
- Stained and smelly plastic containers
See how easily you can de-clutter 25 items from your home? Don't forget, after you have completed the challenge, send me a photo as proof and you will automatically be entered to win a free copy of my soon to be released e-book "An Organized World". So what are you waiting for, I triple-dare you to start de-cluttering today.
The 5th teachable moment will be revealed in the fourth and final of my 25 Item De-clutter Challenge series as well as another cheat-sheet with a few more items which can be easily eliminated from your home. Happy De-Cluttering!!