My last blog started this conversation on why and how you can live with less. (Click HERE to read that post.)
Several of you posted comments about decluttering on my Facebook notice of the blog post. (Thank you! I love comments!) One that made me chuckle a bit is from my dear friend Marilyn, who was recently widowed.
“A new life-style can make you see how you don’t need several coffee pots if you don’t drink coffee (one Keurig is fine for company) and why am I keeping tools that I don’t even know what they are used for?”
I’m sure we all have items like this. As we declutter, ask yourself: If this something you must keep? Is it of value or importance to another family member? (If so, perhaps you should give it to them.) Does it provide something of historic interest? (If so, you may want to consider donating it to a historical society – but make sure you ask them first. Often they have limited storage space.)
To make it easier to start decluttering, let’s focus on the kitchen area.
Do you have several spatulas or other kitchen utensils of the same kind? I have so many, they no longer fit in the ceramic holder. Do you use them all (and often)? If not, out they go?
How about coffee cups? There is a reason there are shelves of coffee cups at thrift stores. We all seem to collect them. Keep those that have a connection – they were given to you by a friend or family member, they are from a special event, etc.; determine how many you really need; and give the rest away..
If you are like me, you may have old pans that have become scratched and the finish is worn? Do you really use them all? Does something fall out every time you open a cabinet door? If so, it’s time to get rid of a few of those pans.
How about flower vases (another popular item at thrift stores)? I think, at one point, I had about two dozen vases sitting in various cupboards. They were not valuable vases – just those collected over time from gifts of flowers. Most of them were either given to others or went to the thrift store (hopefully to be used by others).
How about plastic containers? Do you have the lids for all of them? If not, out they go. Too many plastic bags? Return them to the store or take them to a thrift store or other organization for their use. Some creative folks are recycling plastic bags by turning them into woven animal mats.
Have you looked at your stored canned goods and boxed food products? At least once a year, I go through my cupboards to remove outdated or partially used items. How about spices? I found some in my cupboard that once belonged to my mother. She passed away in 2002. And, yes, they are no longer in my cupboard.
Much like many of you, I have a carch-all drawer. Recently, I sorted through that drawer, removing the ‘stuff’ – papers, receipts, twist ties, etc. – and either throwing them away or putting them where they belong. I also dded small open containers for the small items. Amazingly, there is now extra room in the drawer. Just a word of warning, though … it’s very easy to fill the drawer again because it is so handy. A periodic purge makes it easier to keep this in check.
One area I need to tackle is the area under the kitchen sink. It is packed full of cleaning supplies – in various stages of use. A lot of the items have not been touched for quite some time because they are pushed to the back of the cabinet – with many items in front of them. Not only do I need to decide what to throw and what to donate, I also need to rearrange what is left so I can actually access the items. This might require some thought …
Just to note … decluttering is the first step. Learning to buy less is also important – if, for no other reason, than to eliminate the need to keep decluttering. I, like many others, love a good sale – but, I am now making a very concerted effort to ask myself if I really need that item – sale or not.
Just think – if you do just one of the decluttering activities listed, you are ahead of the game. Try it … just one of the activities. It gets easier as you go – and you will feel good about what you have accomplished.
Thanks for reading! I hope you will return!