Welcome to the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp! I am so pleased that you are joining me on this month-long unclutter-ing of our homes, and by extension, of our minds.
I am truly not a hoarder, but we have accumulated way too much stuff in our 30 years of marriage. We have a home with an attic, as well as crawlspace storage, so it’s been very easy to stash stuff away without realizing exactly what we are stashing and what we are accumulating.
We are planning on putting our house on the market in the near future and I have no intention to pack, move and unpack stuff that I really don’t want, so it’s time to get this unclutter party started. And January is always a great time to unclutter your home and mind in anticipation of the year to come.
Subscribers of Nourish and Nestle can print off a discard list in the Subscriber Benefits Library.
Or, click the button below to have the discard list sent directly to your email inbox. I find it motivates me to dive into a project with both feet and seeing the fruits of my labors really encourages me to keep going, plus you can keep track of your donations for tax purposes.
This plan has me focused on this one thing for the month of January and therefore more likely to get it done instead of dragging it out over a longer period of time I will also be documenting what I’m discarding which is motivating, but will also be helpful for tax purposes as you can deduct the fair market value of your charitable contributions.
Just remember to try to attach a value as you go along. Here is a site that will give you some guidance as to the value of your charitable contributions.
And because it’ll be even more fun and even more motivating…I am going to weigh what I take out of our home. The load that I take out of my home will be both physical and emotional. I really have no clue what all my discards will weigh, but I’m very curious.
Let’s just say that the number is 500 pounds, which is not unreasonable given the number of books we have in our home. If I do move 500 pounds of clutter out of my home, there will be a huge weight lifted out of my home (literally) and off of my mind (figuratively).
Plus…I’m a quantifier. To be able to say that I got rid of X lbs of stuff is easy to wrap my mind around.
There are many obvious reasons to unclutter our homes, and a maybe even a few not so obvious ones:
- It is easier to keep an uncluttered home clean because there are fewer things to physically clean, keep track of and put away.
- It is easier to organize our home when we have fewer things to organize
- It is easier to find things when we have fewer things to look through to find what we need. I bought my high school-aged son a thin, paperback book about preparing for college several months ago., but now we can’t find it. He has so many books and magazines in his bookshelf and so many games in his closet that we have been unable to locate this relatively thin book. We are a family of readers and I love having books in our home, but many of these books and games he outgrew years ago. So guess what, we had to buy this book again! It’s a little embarrassing to admit this, but now you know why I’m doing this boot camp!
- A 2011 Princeton study found that when your environment is cluttered, the resulting chaos limits your brain’s ability to effectively focus on other things and to process information. Clutter is distracting. You will be much more effective in processing information in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.
- Along the same lines, Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui writes “Everything around you, especially your home environment, mirrors your inner self.” A peaceful, uncluttered environment leads to a peaceful, uncluttered mind.
- There are surely items in your home (clothing, décor, utensils) that you really regret buying. Or there might be a pair of pants that don’t quite fit you the way you want them to. Seeing these items on a regular basis only stir feelings of frustration or regret. If you aren’t using the item or if you don’t find it beautiful, and it’s only causing negative feelings then you need to get rid of it.
- If you decide that there are some things of value in your home that don’t bring you joy or that you don’t find useful, you might be able to earn some extra money by selling them on eBay, on Craigslist, at a consignment store or at a garage sale.
- In your decluttering process, you may unearth things that you forgot you had and actually find beautiful or useful! It’ll be like Christmas all over again.
You may only be able to dedicate the time to this project on weekends. Work on your schedule.
In cased you missed it, I’ve prepared some discard sheets for you to document your discards if you chose to. I definitely get motivated when I can document my progress, but that is just me. I give myself a little ‘you go girl’ each time I reach 50 items/categories. Use the sheets if they will help you stay motivated and accountable.
Here are some general guidelines I’ll follow during the Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp:
Take a few minutes to figure out where your stuff will go. Click here for some organizations that will gladly accept your gently used items, as well as some options for your recyclables.
- I will have 5 bags or boxes that I will take to each room; one for Trash, one for Recycle, one for Donate, one for Sell and one for Relocate.
- I will have my water bottle filled with water, and maybe a squeeze of lemon.
- I will bring a rag and a spray bottle or a bucket of soapy water.
- I will have some great music playing, either on a CD, radio or my Pandora station or Alexa.
- I’ll keep track of what I’m taking out of my home by listing each item or category of the item on the included sheets. Not only will these sheets help me at tax time, but they will also motivate me. If I’ve written down 37 items in a room, I’ll do my best to get to 50. Surely there will be some tchotchke or knick-knack that I’ve overlooked.
- When I’m done with each area, I’m going to weigh what is leaving my home! I’m excited to see what my final tally ends up being.
Interested in More Decluttering or Organizing Posts?
During this 4-week Decluttering Challenge, we will tackle all of the areas of our homes. In Week 1, we will begin to unclutter our nest in the Bathrooms and Bedrooms. Week 2 share decluttering tips for our kitchens, offices, and craft rooms. We will lighten the load in our den, living rooms, playrooms, coat closets, and laundry rooms during Week 3. Our busy 4 weeks of decluttering will end in the Attic and Garage.
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Until next time…