I took one last day to relax before I go back into the trenches next week. I know that I have said that before…but the inspiration that I got from Eve has me all pumped up to clean again. It’s mainly those big, daunting piles still remaining in the middle of my problem rooms that have had me stalled out, but she reminded me of a strategy that I’ve seen in several of the myriad clutter books I have bought over the years:
1) Start small — five or ten things to sort through. Until those five or ten things have been completely dealt with, don’t start with anything else.
2) Sort into three piles: KEEP, GIVE AWAY, TRASH. Alternatively, if that feels like too final to start, you can use KEEP, MAYBE, GIVE AWAY.
3) Look at each item and be objective. Do I really need my program from my graduation ceremony? If the answer is a definite “Yes”, put it in the KEEP pile. If the memory is enough, TRASH. If you aren’t sure yet, MAYBE. The goal is a SMALL KEEP pile, a large TRASH/GIVE AWAY (DONATE, SELL, whatever) pile, and no MAYBE. If something goes into the MAYBE pile first time through, look at it again in a day or two and see if you have come to a different conclusion.
4) Look at the KEEP pile. Is there a way to “miniaturize” it? Can you take a picture of the stuffed animal your boyfriend won at the County Fair and give the actual animal to a deserving child who could have some fun with it instead of leaving it on the shelf? Would a scrapbook of those old letters from your grandmother take up less space than the shoebox they are stored in now? (And be easier to read and share.)
5) Get rid of the GIVE AWAY pile as soon as you can. Pass along those games to the nieces and nephews. Sell the duplicate books to a used book store. Hold a garage sale. Donate the clothes that don’t fit to Goodwill.
6) Put the TRASH out for the very next pick up so that you don’t have a chance to change your mind.
I think I will print out a copy of today’s blog to pin up in whatever room I am working in next week so that I don’t forget either!
Happy 4/20 everyone. I’m out of here. 🙂