clear the clutter : 5 questions for the organizer in you

When we finished our basement 5 years ago, my number one fear was losing all of that wonderful storage space.  You know the kind where you just can’t find room in the house for something…

…and you simply put it in the basement?

Uh, huh.  That kind of storage space.

With the addition of actual rooms (and a bathroom!) for family use, we soon found ample space was left in our basement for what we truly needed to keep.  Squeezing down to a smaller room for storage instead of an entire basement forced some serious decluttering to take place.

Half a decade later, I’m pondering again as we remodel and construct new rooms; considering what to keep and what to clean out.

You don’t have to be involved in a large house project to declutter or reorganize.  If your home is like ours, stuff just seems to find its way in throughout the year — taking time to move some back out again is important.

5 Questions I’m Asking when Decluttering and Organizing

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1.  What purpose does this item serve?

I’m double-checking that we actually use certain items, even if only for special occasions or certain seasons.  If it has true purpose for our family, it stays.

2.  Do I really like this item?

Now, this one is a bit tricky.  I’m not suggesting getting rid of everything we don’t absolutely love in our homes.  However, there are some items that are purposeful, but I don’t like the look, it’s getting old, etc.  So as I clean out, a wish list of sorts is being made.

A contented wife’s wish list let’s call it, keeping grateful while I wait to replace.  Some items though, I have no idea why they’ve stayed with us so long – we don’t need it or like it!

3.  Do I have room to justify keeping this item?

Answering this question has helped to continually keep our basement storage to a minimum.  As we expand, I’m intentionally keeping storage space nearly the same.  It’s w-a-y too easy to collect more stuff just because of available room.

4.  Can I give this item away to help, bless, or provide for another?

I’m a recovering organized pack-rat…oh yes, I am.  It’s hard to tell there’s extra in our home because usually it’s stashed away in a neat tub or bin or pretty basket.  One day years ago, it hit me that I was keeping clothing from one child to the next — but it would be about 3 years before the ‘next child’ wore those items!

I’m not knocking anyone else’s practice, each family has to decide for their own, but I began to think of how many other little girls could be wearing those clothes while we were waiting for our child to fit them.  Was I not trusting God to provide in the years ahead?

I was at peace with slashing that time frame by half.  Often, I simply donate items so others could find use instead of us automatically storing away.

5.  Does the item have sentimental value?

Again, because of my former ‘keep it all’ tendencies, I used to find this really difficult — everything had a place in my heart!  But, it couldn’t in my home.  So, I’ve taken pictures of items for safekeeping or created ways to display them for enjoyment instead of hiding them in a box.

So, happy spring cleaning if that’s what you’re up to!  I hope to get rid of several bags and boxes this week….

 

 {photo credit}

 

linking up to: Big Family Friday

 

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