Lindon and I just moved into a new home. It’s 70 miles from the valley where we each have lived for over 30 years, and at 47, we’ve certainly accumulated our fair share of things.
And yes, while we’re pretty pared down and decluttered, we still have stuff.
Many of you joined us last year for our ‘30 Quick Declutter Do’s’. We personally decluttered day by day right alongside each of you – and boy are we glad we did. When it came time to start packing up our 4 bedroom home, I must have screamed, “Thank you Lord Jesus,” about a zillion times. The 30 days of decluttering made a HUGE difference in scaling back the stuff in our closets, pantry, cabinets, etc., and this translated into loads of time and energy saved when packing. We were both feeling pretty darn grateful!
Ironically, we still found a boatload of things to give away. It’s amazing that even while strategically decluttered, there was still more to do. Our front room was the staging area for donations, and half of that 16 x 20 room was taken up with all the things we no longer wanted or needed.
Now at this point, we’re not only feeling grateful, but perhaps a bit smug too. I mean WE KNOW how to declutter, right? Darn tootin’ we do! We’ve got some mad decluttering skills! Walking our talk felt good. Really good.
But that feeling was short lived.
Ironically, it was in the UNPACKING that we learned the biggest lesson.
You see, we downsized from 2200 sq. ft. with a garage to 1040 sq. ft. NO GARAGE. And, to top it off, the people we are renting from are using one of the bedrooms for THEIR storage, so we are realistically down to 940 sq. ft. Talk about culture shock.
It’s not so much the size of the living space which is daunting, but the lack of storage that is providing the biggest challenge.
So here’s where the ‘schooling’ came in.
I tell you as sure as I sit here that if there was a dumpster in the back yard of our rental, I would have most assuredly thrown away HALF of what I spent so much time packing and moving. No doubt about it.
When I was packing things up, I thought I’d made very intentional decisions as to what was needed and what wasn’t. But it was in the UNPACKING, especially in light of the small space we were moving into, that the true worth of what we brought with us was revealed.
I told Lindon I felt ashamed. I had failed us. Even though compared to most, our home is quite decluttered (people mention it to us frequently!), for me personally, I felt overwhelmed with clutter… and it felt awful.
What a HUGE reality check for me. For us.
If you really want to declutter, to eliminate the unnecessary, ‘pretend’ you have LESS space than you actually have. A LOT LESS. Don’t just try to make the areas you have simply look more organized, but go beyond that by running through mock case scenarios. As yourself some creative questions:
- If you were downsizing to HALF the space you currently have, would you keep the item you are considering?
- If you didn’t even have enough room to store your basic necessities, and the item in your hand would have to sit out on the living room coffee table, would you still keep it?
- If the item was packed away in a box for 6 months, would you know it was missing? Would you care?
- If you were going to move several times in a short period, would the item be worth packing up over and over again, or is it truly not worth the hassle?
It’s interesting that on the front side, packing and moving has a VERY DIFFERENT look and feel than on the back end. When you’re unpacking and frantically trying to find a place for everything, you really start to consider if your things are worth the work and effort.
Why does decluttering matter and why should you care? Because physical clutter creates mind clutter, both of which drain your time and energy from the things that matter most.
Learn from our experience – Declutter Now! and find freedom from the debilitating bondage of clutter. Click here to follow the 30 Quick Declutter Do’s and take a comprehensive, all-encompassing approach with each task to multiply the success of your effort!Never miss a blog post! Sign up by providing your email in the box at the top, right. Thank you & God Bless!