Thursday, February 28, 2019

Spring Cleaning Plan: Declutter with Classy Event Organizer - *Free Printable*

Happy Last day of February everyone!  Tomorrow starts a new month, and we only have two and a half more weeks until Spring!  I don’t know about you, but I feel like Spring-time is a clean slate, sometimes more than the New Year, because the days are longer, all the bright colors are motivating, and everything is starting to grow, making a fresh start!   

Something that I usually do in spring is clean, everything from washing windows to wiping down all the baseboards in the house.  I’m sure you’ve heard of “Spring cleaning” before!  Along with the regular “cleaning” part of Spring Cleaning, I usually do my annual decluttering during this time as well.  This year however, I decided to take a different approach.  I’ve done the whole “15 minutes a day” cleaning, room by room cleaning, three boxes: keep, toss and trash approach, but still nothing really “sticks”.  I always end up with the same items being dusted off and put right back to where they were hiding.  I’ve bought organizing baskets, made my own containers, etc to store all the stuff I’m keeping, however my house has always felt cluttered, even after I’ve decluttered! 

Now I’m not a huge fan of the minimalist look, I like to see my stuff, and I like the memories they bring when I pass by a tray that holds my jewelry that my sister gave to me for my birthday, or the pink bowl holding bottle caps that my grandmother passed down to me.  These items bring me joy, but sometimes that joy is over shadowed by the not so joyful feeling of clutter.

I did listen to two audiobooks (thank you hoopla) in the last two months that I feel have significantly helped me deal with my clutter.  (Side note, if you have never tried to listen to an audiobook, I suggest you try!  While driving, while doing laundry, or washing the dishes.  It like multi tasking to the max!)  The first book I listened to was “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo (which I listened to before I even knew she had a show on Netflix).  The second book was “Grace, Not Perfection” by Emily Ley, the owner of the Simplified Planner.  Although these books are completely differently, one of the points that both of these books had regarding “decluttering” was to not feel guilty about getting rid of something.  Thank it, and just LET IT GO!

The Theory:
Now, for those of you who know Marie Kondo’s method (Konmari), in my opinion, the theory of picking each item up and asking yourself if it brings you joy seems a little corny.  My friend and I joke about this anytime we pick anything up now.  Even the handy dandy Husband will pick up my cat and ask if we can get rid of her because she doesn’t bring him joy (yes, so funny).  But this theory of sparking joy is something that I think a lot of us are missing as we live amount our mountains of possessions.  Emily Ley’s theory was to simplify life, only keep the best, the favorite and the necessary.  Seems rather similar in theory and very simple.  I decided to try a mix of the two “decluttering” methods from these books and see how I did.

Both of these books were also similar in the fact that they both gave “permission” to let things go.  Don’t feel guilty that you don’t use an item anymore.  For example, I’ve had half of my closet full of beautiful dresses, skirts, suits, clothes, etc. that don’t fit because they are too small.  Some of them I’ve had for 10 years or so.  Each year I did my spring cleaning, I kept these items because “one day” I’ll fit back into them, or I felt guilty because they were rather expensive when I bought them.  (Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem!)  These items no longer sparked joy.  They sparked guilt and sadness that I was no longer that smaller size.  When I gave myself permission to get rid of anything that didn’t spark “joy” or make my happy I was able to open up my closet and find clothes I had forgotten about.  I kept two of my very favorite dresses that were still a bit small, but I just enjoy looking at them, the rest of them were I the “get rid of pile”.  It is so freeing to be able to let go of these items and not feel guilt.     

The De-Cluttering Plan:
The KonMari method is about going through your possession in category, not by room and I understand this theory as she explains it in her book, however I already know that I’m not going to store my novels with my cookbooks or vice versa.  I like my cook books in the kitchen. And I like my novels stored in my library shelves.  So, I decided to use the Emily Ley theory of going room by room and mix it up with the KonMari method of sorting category by category.  This way will also keep my messes of pulling everything out blocked off to one room and not the whole house as this process can take several months. 

So here’s was my plan, and how I decided to organize myself. 

By using each “room” in my house as a first category, I made a list of what sub categories I store in that room.  I decide to start this de-cluttering in a room that we call my “closet” room.  It is a guest room that houses my clothes, shoes, hand bags, make up, etc.  I thought this would be the best room to start as it wouldn’t disrupt normal everyday life and it was clothing was the first and seemed like easiest category in Mari Kondo’s book. 

I made a checklist (see below for printable) and started to go through all of my clothes.  I first started with tops, so I pulled out all of my tops (folded/hanging, tshirts/sweaters, old/new, etc.) and placed them on my bed.  I went through each item, picked it up and decided if it “sparked joy”.  Some items were easy!  However, some items were hard.  I through those items into a pile to go through last.  By the time I got to those last few items, I was prepared to make a final decision. 

I then continued through my list and parred down my clothes to about half (okay, maybe like 60%). I ended up with so much space left in my closet which I thought would make it feel barren and sad, but it actually felt freeing.  After the first day of my decluttering, I tackled two “sub categories” and I could actually see what was in my closet the next morning.  Trying to find an outfit was “easy”!  WHAT?!  And even more exciting, I found a pair of new sweatpants with the tags still on them that I totally forgot that I purchased months ago.  I’m wearing them as I type this, and they are so soft and warm.  The ease of getting ready in the morning was such a great feeling that I couldn’t wait to get back to my decluttering that evening.  Also, I have now ingrained in my brain that I never want so many items in this space that I won’t over-buy, or keep items due to guilt again.    

After going through several “sub categories” I found myself with a very large pile, (about 4 trash bags) of clothes.  I found an app called “Poshmark” where you can sell (and buy) almost anything, but the sales are usually geared towards brand name clothes and accessories.  I decided to take a few pictures and see if I could sell these items.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I posted a few items that were brand named and actually made some sales!  I turned those clothes that were sparking negative joy into some moola!  Poshmark is like having a garage sale 24/7, and you don’t have to try and make change for anyone or deal with those pesky neighbors who just want to see what you have to sell (please tell me you know what I’m talking about here).  Never heard of Poshmark, but want to try it out?  Just use my code “JSandlin10” to sign up and get $5 just for joining!  For full disclosure, I’ll get $5 if you make a first purchase!

I’m almost done with decluttering my closet room, and it feels fantastic!  My next task will be the room I am usually in the most during the week which is my kitchen.  I will tackle each category as I did before one at a time and viciously keep or get rid of each item.  I am actually rather excited to see what comes out of that category! 

You might be wondering how you keep from creating this same decluttering issue in the future, well I have a solution, my friend.  For example, each time I fold and put away my clothes, I take an extra second (it only takes one or two) to check over my clothes and ask myself if the item still “sparks joy”.  This mental process each and every time I go through my laundry will keep me from having to spend days and weeks going through my closet and having to do an annual decluttering each year.

The Checklist:
To help me stay organized and on track I made my own checklist to put in my planner so I can cross off each item when it is complete.  Oh the sweet, sweet, feeling of crossing something off a to do list.  I wanted to share this checklist as a printable freebie to give you some inspiration to join me in this decluttering journey once and for all!  

Check out my printable (full page of A5 planner size) and print it as is or as inspiration to create your own and share it on my Facebook page!  I would love to see what you are using to declutter and spring clean this season!


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