Sharon has inspired me to get more serious about decluttering and to track my progress.
So far in 2012, we’ve gotten rid of 87 items: 80 of those were donated and 7 were sold on Craigslist. The earnings from the Craigslist sales were $210 and It’s Deductible tells me that so far we’ve shaved $96 from next year’s tax bill with the donations.
Those kinds of results motivate me to keep going.
The last decluttering/donation we did coincided with me bringing out the Easter decorations. As I went through the box, I found myself putting more things in the donate pile than in the keep pile. Many more things.
The stuff I decided to let go of generally fell into one of these categories:
- Things that no longer fit our life. (My 20 and 16 year-olds won’t be using the Easter craft items or wearing the fur bunny ears.)
- Things that are no longer my style. (The bunny cookie jar is cute, but he’s been in my basement for years.)
- Things that simply accumulated. (I kept the sentimental Easter baskets that we still use, but got rid of all cheap, freebie ones that we’ve collected over the years.)
- Easter-themed kitchen items. (I can use the pretty crystal deviled egg plate I already have; I don’t need a special Easter one. Ditto the Easter egg salt and pepper shakers.)
Easter wasn’t the only holiday to be scaled back. These Christmas platters went in the pile too. I have plenty of white and clear glass serving pieces that work for any occasion or holiday.
As I declutter the things that aren’t important to me, I find myself making different decisions about new purchases as well. Before I buy something (or even take something for free) I ask myself:
- Will I use it?
- Do I want to store it?
- Do I want to clean it? Maintain it?
- Do I want to spend money on it instead of putting the same dollars somewhere else?
Sometimes the answers are yes, but often they are no.
Organizing guru Peter Walsh puts it this way:
“What you have in your home should be honored and respected.”
I definitely wasn’t honoring those egg salt and pepper shakers.