It IS January, so I almost feel obligated to blog about decluttering. It seems to be the popular thing right now and I see a lot of people on social media getting off to a great start!
I know I am trying to be more positive, but I do feel compelled to remind everyone that decluttering is an ongoing process. Very few people are able to declutter their entire home in 30 days and live clutter-free ever after.
2018 led to a lot of decluttering for me- both intentional and forced. We lost our sunroom to flooding and mold. So, theoretically we have decluttered an entire room! It is nothing but a concrete slab these days. Having to absorb the contents of that room withing the rest of our house meant I had to make some changes.
I used to always stand by the decluttering mantra, “If it doesn’t make you smile, it isn’t worth your while!” but I had to declutter some things that I really liked. At some point I decided the space we gained and the reduced stress was more important.
Craft supplies make me smile but my sunroom was also used as my craft room. I had to minimize my craft supplies in order to move them to a corner of my bedroom. I got rid of 75% of my ribbon and trims, 90% of my yarn, 50% of my scrapbook paper and stickers, 50% of my paint, 50% of my zippers, some fabric, and a lot of junk. I also have a plan for 2019 to keep myself in check when it comes to buying craft supplies: I received gift cards for Joann Fabrics and Michael’s for Christmas and I am going to try to keep all of my craft purchases within those limits.
In 2018 I decluttered 58 garbage bags of stuff (plus the sunroom)! I kept a consistent clutter-free mindset for slow and steady progress. I also went through some more intense decluttering sprees in the Spring and Fall with some of you joining me on the challenges.
I still have a lot of work to do in 2019 but I decided to break it up differently. Each month I am going to focus on decluttering and organizing one room in my house. I always start in the kitchen because it is the busiest room in the house. When my kitchen is clean, I am happier and everything runs more smoothly.
I have blogged about kitchen decluttering HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE but even seeing those old pictures makes me cringe a bit. I have come a long way in the past few years. My husband installed a microwave range hood last week and we lost some cupboard space, but I still have room to spare! A year or two ago there would have been stuff sitting on the counters for weeks until I figured out where it should go.
One of the biggest changes that I made is in my grocery shopping habits. I have stopped stocking up. I don’t have a separate pantry so food storage takes up several cupboards. Stores try to trick you into buying more than you need- Stock Up Sales, 10 for $10, Buy 4 Get a $5 Gift Card, etc. If you have the space and will definitely use the items, that is fine. I don’t have the space. Unless I plan on using that item within the next week or so, I don’t buy it- even if it is a really good deal! I live close enough to a large shopping area that I can make a shopping trip once a week. We go through 3 or 4 gallons of milk each week so I need to restock often anyway. I was able to free up a lot of cupboard space this way.
Do you have any good tips for decluttering or organizing in the kitchen? I know a few people like to declutter along with me so I set up a facebook group where we can support and encourage each other. Facebook tends to hide posts from my public page and I share a wide assortment of content there, so this might be an easier way to check in with each other. You can join it by clicking on the link below:
(Graphics courtesy of freepik.)
I have blogged about kitchen decluttering in the past, so here are a few more posts that you might find helpful to get you started: