Year of No Clutter, doesn’t that sound like the dream? I knew as soon as I picked up this book that it was going to make me want to clean. And I was right.
Year of No Clutter centers around author Eve Schaub, as she tries to clean out her family’s hell room. You know that room (and probably have one). It’s that room where you just stick everything. Well hers had gotten a bit out of control. She knew that she should clean it, but kept putting it off. Thanks to her editor’s insistence that she get started on her next book, the hell room became her next project.
One of the things I loved about Year of No Clutter is that she directly addresses one of the major problems that I have with getting rid of things: what if I need it later? What if I regret getting rid of it? HOW WILL I COPE WITH THAT FEELING?! (Okay, maybe the all caps was a bit much there.) Her answer? Well, there isn’t really an answer. In some cases she was able to just take everything and toss it. In some cases she had her moments of regret (she was that person that went back to Goodwill). In other cases, she realized that if she really needed something, she could just buy a new version.
The book itself was a little jumbled (I couldn’t tell if some of the stories were taking place during her year or at other points). But the author’s voice was funny and relate-able.
So am I now ready to conquer my “hell room“? Hell yes.
Instead of hell rooms, I have hell piles. Or hell corners rather. Places in my apartment that just attract clutter. It drives me crazy. Especially when a corner will re-clutter within a week of being clean. Inspired by Year of No Clutter, I decided it was time to attack these spaces.
Here’s my plan of attack:
I made a list of every space that needs to be de-cluttered in my apartment. I had planned on the goal of cleaning one space per day, but my over scheduled March has already gotten me off of that plan. Instead, I’m trying to do a few spaces at a time, whenever I have a spare 20 minutes. The nice thing about really dividing up all of these sections is that each section really won’t take that long to de-clutter by itself. Plus, I only have to focus on that space and not the rest of my apartment mess.
As I’m going through that decluttering list, I’m also focusing on two ways to stop bringing more clutter into my apartment:
- Stop with the freebies. One of the problems with being a blogger and also going to events around DC is that I walk away with a lot of freebies. In some cases, it’s great and I get products that I’ve wanted to try out. In other cases, I end up with a lot of extra clutter. It’s not fun. Lately when I’ve gone to events, I’ve been a lot pickier about taking free trinkets (most of the time I end up saying no). If it’s a company sending me things, that’s a different story that I deal with on a case by case basis. Mostly it’s less of a problem because I love the companies that I work with, so I’m often excited to get packages from them (and will use what’s in there).
- Throw out mail/boxes right away. Ugh. Junk mail and boxes are the biggest problem children for me. Even though the trash room is down the hall, it always seems like so much effort to bring my cardboard boxes there. Well no more of that. From now on, I want to never start a week with empty boxes in my apartment. For junk mail, instead of bringing it all up to my apartment, I’ve started sorting through it in my apartment’s mail room. I’m able to sort through everything into three piles: toss it there, needs to be shredded, and needs more attention. It’s cut down the mail I bring up to my apartment by 90%.
My other main issue is clothing, but that is a whole different blog post that I’m actually working on for later this month. Like always, I need to clean out my wardrobe. I also need to get better about actively selling all of the items that I’m ready to sell. As I just mentioned, that’s going to be a whole post by itself (that will hopefully get to you by the end of this month).
I’ve also come up with an incentive for myself once I’ve accomplished all of this. Besides having a cleaner home (which is always a good incentive), I’m also going to finally be allowed to start redecorating/organizing. I’ve gotten fed up with my kitchen organization, so once everything is cleaned out, I’m allowing myself to go a little crazy with some new drawers and dividers. I’m also going to take some time to redecorate my bedroom now that it has lovely white walls.
This project is by no means going to be easy. I’m a pack rat by habit (I hate it though). However, Year of No Clutter has helped me to accept that clutter may always be a part of my life. However, it has also helped me to realize that clutter doesn’t have to take over everything either.