I’ve been going through boxes in the garage and getting rid of a lot of junk. But I still found myself bringing a boat-load of boxes of stuff back into the house. I’ve come up with 4 simple steps to further declutter.

  1. Pick a finite area you want to declutter.
  2. Pile like items with like.
  3. Pick your favorites out of each pile.
  4. Get rid of the rest.

Oh, stop with the wailing and gnashing of teeth! I’ll show you how it’s done.

1. My finite area: the boxes from the garage.

boxes of craft supplies

Can. Not. Keep.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

2. The piles. After unloading the boxes, I found I had these major categories:

Books

Books

Papers

Papers

Jewelry making supplies

Jewelry making supplies

blue velvet

Sewing supplies

Scarves

Scarves

Decor

Decor

 

3. My favorites.

  • I boxed up half the modern books, but I still have to go through Great-aunt Helen’s old books. Yes, I’m procrastinating. Yes, I said it was simple. I didn’t say it was easy.
Helen's books

Most of Helen’s books

  • I threw away and recycled some of the papers, maybe 25%? The rest is in the bin so I can put it away in the art studio. The prints are of a sketch I made of Split Rock lighthouse (say that 10 times fast), on Lake Superior.
Split Rock lighthouse

Remaining papers

  • I’m keeping all of the jewelry supplies. Don’t try to make me feel guilty.
  • I bagged half of the sewing supplies, including many yards of beautiful blue velvet, fit for a queen.
Remaining sewing supplies

Remaining sewing supplies

  • I bagged half of the scarves, partly because I’m feeling a bit guilty about not paring down the jewelry making supplies.
Remaining scarves

Remaining scarves

  • I boxed over half the decorative items, and I’ve got to admit, I almost started wailing and gnashing my teeth! I brought the pitcher and trivet all the way from Portugal. I bought the iron cross in New Orleans, the year before Katrina flooded the city. I bought the pipe from an Indian reservation way out west, decades ago. I used to collect pipes, but I gave most of them to a Native American friend years ago, and this was the last one. This was the toughest pile out of all of them.
Remaining decor...sigh

Remaining decor…sigh

4. Get rid of the rest.

  • I got 2 boxes and a bag packed, which brings my total to 204. I put it in the car (Gypsy Blue), and I’ll take it to the nearest donation center this weekend.

Like me, you may feel torn. You may feel sad, or angry. That’s normal.  Over time, the pain will ease and the memories will fade.

One last bit of advice. Some people suggest taking a picture of a beloved item before getting rid of it. Don’t do it. It will be a constant reminder of what you no longer have. Make a clean break, and don’t look back. You’ll be okay, girl, you’ll be okay.

Stay tuned….

p.s. I shared this at:

Chic on a Shoestring

Classy Clutter

Cozy Little House

I Heart Organizing