HI Blog Readers,
This post is going to be primarily about my commitment to reduce the # of items in our home by 50% in 2014. Early in the year I started referring to this commitment as 50% reduction and posting my triumphs on social media. I love it when people ask me how things are going!
After 12 months of intentional purging I would say that eliminated at least 30% of the items in our home. If I don’t count the basement, we definitely hit 50%. The basement is a beast unto it’s own. I am proud of all the progress we have made and proud to say, that we are making the same commitment for 2015–and this year the basement counts.
I have learned a lot about myself and our family through this process. I thought I might share a few things, as well as, share some sources or ideas for anyone wanting to some de-cluttering of their own.
- Spending habits change when you are focused on eilminating
- For the first 6 months of the year I made myself give away 2 items for every 1 item I brought in. (So if I bought a shirt, I had to give away 2 shirts)
- I am a total bargain hunter. I LOVE a good deal. I still do. However, now I am able to see a great deal on something and leave it at the store. Often times the item will go into the cart (sometimes more than once) but after a moment of reflection, it goes back on the shelf. (I do not own the collectors edition of the Polar Express book and movie even though it was 50% off. That one was hard to pass up. My kids LOOOOVVVEEES trains, but we have it the movie on the DVR and already own the book).
- My impulse buying has drastically reduced. I think about where the item would fit, be stored in my home before I buy.
- My house has grown in size!
- My closet is plenty big. When I purged all the things that didn’t fit, or that I didn’t like there was plenty of room for what I liked and need. (I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in here: I am very unlike the average female in this one-so husband’s please don’t read this and say to your wife “Amy says….”.
- It is possible to walk through the living room without tripping over toys.
- The dining room has a floor! (Our dining room houses all of my husband’s PhD work. Boxes and boxes of papers got to leave the house forever after he finished Comps).
- The less you have, the easier it is to know what you have.
- It has been so freeing to know what we own and where to find it! Instead of wondering “Do we have a 3 hole punch?” I know-yes! and I often I know where it is! (or at least should be!)
- We have not had to run out and rebuy things we already own because we can’t them. (See #1)
- If the answer to “where does this go?” is “Just Stick it in the Basement/Garage”it is a problem.
- Even with all the progress we’ve made we still have a long way to go. There are still a lot of things that we are tossing in one of these 2 areas. However, I cringe inside everytime we just toss something in one of these areas. A lot of things have been either been put in a trash or donate pile on the spur of the moment thanks to intentional reduction.
- Reduction can involve non-physical things as well.
- We had too many bank accounts. Closed one we didn’t need.
- I had too many emails accounts, stopped using one. I still have 3, but 2 are for my jobs.
- My DVR list—way smaller.
Ok–so now for my ideas, tips, sources
Most importantly just keep moving!
If your personality is to pick one thing and stick with it until you are through-great run with whatever you like.
If you get easily bored, try one thing for a while, when you notice lag, try something else. Just keep moving! A couple fun things I have found or heard of recently are
40 bags in 40 days. http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/40-bags-in-40-days-2014/ -We did this over lent. It was fun and surprisingly easy.
2015 in 2015 http://nourishingminimalism.com/2014/12/2015-in-2015-decluttering-challenge.html I saw this one on facebook and it cracked up. It is beautifully simple. The goal is to get rid of 2015 items this year. Print off the chart provided on the website, and mark an X everytime you get rid of something.