Friday, June 19, 2015

Minimize the Mess: Stuck in a Rut

My journey to live with less has not been moving along as quickly as I'd like. Items haven't been selling very quickly, so they've piled up. I haven't been donating as often as I should. Perhaps worst of all, too many things have been entering the house.

We haven't exactly been following the "one item in, one item out" rule very well, but it's hard when you live with other people who aren't on the same page as you in this journey. My significant other, and son's father, donates roughly 1 shirt for every 10 he brings in. However I can't force him to do anything, so I'll just focus on myself and what I can change. 

Tips for Breaking out of a Rut:

  • Set a timer for 20 minutes everyday, and use that time to declutter. When you've been accumulating things for years like our family has, there will be A LOT to go through; and when there is a lot, the idea of tackling it all can seem extremely overwhelming. Completing even a little each day won't be so overwhelming and you'll still be making progress. 
  • Make a game out of it! The Minimalist wrote this inspiring post, called Let's Play a Minimalism Game Together (click here to read it). At the beginning of any month you donate one item on the first, two on the second, and on you go until the end of the month. 

Tips to Keep Things From Piling Up:

  • If it doesn't sell in a week, donate it. Obviously this rule doesn't need to apply to everything. For example, if my coffee table didn't sell in a week I wouldn't donate it. 
  • Plan a weekly donation trip. Even if it's one box, I feel better getting it out of the house. I really can't stand the way it looks when I have boxes piling up by my front door. 
  • One item in, one item out. I've mentioned this rule a few times, because it's pretty important. We haven't been following this rule, and it lead to too much coming in and not enough leaving.

On the Bright Side!

I sold the coffee table finally! It was a great table, but it was a clutter trap (just like every other flat surface in my house). It was also disproportionately big compared to our living space. Without the table, there are no obstacles to walk around and it opens up the room, making it feel much larger. Getting it out of the house, and making an extra $40, was just the kick I needed to get motivated again!

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