Hello, my fellow declutterers,
I have been a busy girl since last I wrote about unstuffing and decluttering, here. Have decided to go room to room evaluating all of my stuff. Then dividing it into three groups: keep, donate, toss. While PC had ball practice today, I ran around like a chicken without a head. Wanted to do a quick clean of the house but also had my spring decorations to hunt up and somehow wound up cleaning the linen closet and my scrapbooking stuff. Got my 10K steps in before PC was home!
Decluttering Bibles (Resources on decluttering not how to declutter a Bible)
You might remember that I have been reading Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup.
Actually “reading” with my ears using Audible. Which I love doing. Except it makes taking notes on what I’ve read a little harder.
Both Soukup and Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing suggest that we really evaluate carefully all of the belongings, items, stuff we have accumulated.
Soukup prefers going room by room, while Kondo encourages getting all of one kind of object together in a pile (all books, or all linens or all knick-knacks), and touching each one to determine its fate. I would be crazier than ever if I started making piles all over everywhere. So, I am going room by room, with the exception of my occasional detours to the linen closet.
Unstuffing the Master Bedroom
I started here because I knew it needed attention. But my nightstand is a small, three-drawer piece of furniture so it wasn’t too overwhelming for my first stab at decluttering. Not to say that I haven’t decluttered in the past but I am doing it this spring with more zest for getting rid of things.
So this was the top drawer in my night stand.
Quite an assortment of stuff. I seem to be an unintentional collector of pretty boxes and little bags! The woven green shape in top corner is a bag full of more pretty bags. And some bookmarks. The Kendra Scott box and Rustic Cuff pouch are empty but apparently too cute not to keep. Til now.
Just took the Bed Bands out of the drawer and onto my bed. The tiny Post-its went into my agenda. The black camera case found the camera that should have been inside it. They are reunited and it feels so good. Both now residing in my larger camera case. References for the cleaning lady we hired then let go were tossed, along with the mini maraca and wooden whistle. The housekeeper was good but I persuaded PC to let me keep cleaning the house.
This plastic basket below was covered by the green bag of bags. At least all of its contents are corralled into the confines of the basket. But that brings me to a decluttering tip that I have read over and over. Decluttering is not the act of finding a container to put things in. It isn’t about buying the largest Rubber Made storage crate in which to “store” your stuff. I am a champion at corralling and containing my stuff.
Decluttering is removing permanently. The act of ridding oneself of pretty bags and empty boxes. And extra AC chargers, fans, felt hair accessories for a newborn purchased for one’s now six year old granddaughter.
Tossing someone’s sun glass lenses. Not mine or PC’s. Sorry if they belonged to you.
And decluttering is about keeping what you really want, need and use. I needed that shea butter cashmere hand cream desperately. My hands are so dry from shelving books and washing them constantly. It went right in my purse (which, at times, can be a bottomless pit of clutter corralled by the confines of the handbag itself. But that’s for another day.)
Took time out to cool off before tossing my fan.
I was given a number of fans, some by students, at the heyday of my menopause. Gratefully, I seem to be beyond that now. I can keep the memories of those thoughtful gifts but goodbye, fans.
Second and Third Drawers
The other drawers contained similar treasure.
More bags full of goodies, an endless supply of cords and bookmarks and old holiday costume jewelry. I took pics so I could remember the items that had meaning for me but that no longer really brought joy.
Once the drawers were cleaned out and organized, I had three bags of “trash” and a bag of things to put in the Candlelighters donation bin.
Then I gave a once-over to the top of my nightstand, which can become a great flat surface to catch-all. Mine looks like this once everything is pretty well cleared away.
Not too bad. At least I can hit snooze on my alarm clock without upsetting the apple cart. And while my dresser may appear somewhat congested with ‘stuff’, most of the stuff is photos, and my perfume. Oh, and my penny-saving container.
Moving right along, it was time to tackle the inside of my dresser. It has six drawers and looks like this. Wait a sec! It has eight drawers. Ha! I really don’t pay much attention sometimes.
The top left drawer is for socks and undies…panties, that sounds prettier. Although most days my panties look more like undies. The top right drawer is where I keep tights, panty hose, boot cuffs and lingerie. Like half slips and those suck-it-all-in Spanx undies. Never to be confused with regular undies that let it all hang out.
One of the tips from Tidying Up I have utilized with success is the KonMari clothes folding method. I have been folding my active wear tees, pants, shorts and sweatshirts using this space-saving technique and it has made finding things in my dresser so much easier.
I found this pin that demonstrates how to ‘properly’ fold clothes.
And then I changed it up to better suit my needs. Which is also the way I follow recipes! And make Easter garlands. Apparently one should fold clothes a certain way, then roll them in order to stand them upright in the drawer. Check it out, here.
Mine don’t stand up as much as they are just rolled and squished into the drawer like sardines in a can. But I can see what I have much better.
From the top down, this is the first drawer on the right.
Probably not decluttered by Kon Mari standards but I can see what’s in there and find things. Boot cuffs, tights, panty hose, half-slips and the sucky-in-y lingerie.
Here are the next three drawers. Can you get some idea about how the clothing in these drawers is rolled? Hard to roll a boot cuff or a pair of tights in the drawer above. But tee shirts I can roll all day long. And as you are emptying your drawers and rolling things to put back in, evaluate what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away. Put donation items in a bag or box and same thing with those things your are throwing away. If they remain out in plain sight, it is easier to change your mind about donating or throwing them away. Packing them up so you can’t see the items makes them less a temptation for reconsidering.
Sports bras and shorts in the second drawer. Not terribly rollable. Graphic tees rolled in the third drawer from the top. And the most rollable drawer of all. Well, the drawer isn’t all that rollable but the drawer with the most rollable clothes has my tanks and plain tees.
In color order, no less. I love looking at them. Give me just a minute.
Ok, moving right along. Having my tees and tanks rolled helps me to see them all better. Rather than using the same old two or three on the top of the folded piles, wearing them, washing them, and putting them right back on top again. This way I see all of my choices and my activewear outfits look more put together and less like random.
Like I said above, the top left drawer is sockies and panties. Although I haven’t rolled my panties to this point, I am thinking I may try. There’s that rule, you know, where your panties should match the color of your top. You know that rule, right? And I often have to dig through my panties to find the right color. So, if I rolled them, maybe that would make finding the perfect color a lot easier.
Socks are already rolled. Sports undies are on the far right. You know, I am going to roll these babies tonight.
The second drawer down houses my pajamas which are rolled kind of haphazardly because they come in all shapes and sizes. Winter flannels and delicate nighties.
Next comes, winter active wear like long-sleeved tees and lightweight workout jackets. Rolled. And the bottom drawer has full length and capri workout pants. Mostly black so no color order but they are rolled.
I try to roll my long active wear bottoms so that I can see the colored trim where there is some in order to match outfits more easily. One must be matching even at the gym, riding bikes or walking the kitties.
After your dresser drawers are organized and all rolled up and your nightstand is clutter-free, it’s time to tackle the rest of the master bedroom. To help declutter or unstuff elsewhere, it helps to first determine the other purposes of your bedroom. Do you read, watch TV in your room? Is there an area that you use as a home office, maybe with a desk? Or maybe you have a vanity where you apply your makeup. My sister had a treadmill in her bedroom for a length of time. Do you workout in the master bedroom? Determine the different activities you do in the bedroom…minds out of the gutter, girls. You should have a zone for each activity.
Reading Zone (kinda)
I do read in my room. In fact, I only read in my room. Poorly worded. I read only in my room…I do other things in there, too, but that is really the only room where I read. So it makes sense for me to have a book shelf and books in there. And a rocking chair which I have read in at times, although I most often read in bed. I don’t allow books to pile up on the nightstand or dresser, they are put away on the shelf with the exception of the one print book I am reading and my Nook.
This bookshelf might look a little jumbled but it is mostly books on the bottom shelf, pictures and a couple of mementos on the other shelves. I have my seasonal goals blackboard there to remind me of what to work on accomplishing. In my loft, where I craft, are several other shelves of books but most of them are children’s books I use in library lessons.
Not so cluttered upclose. Probably need to go through all of my adult books and purge some. I don’t reread books and someone else might benefit from them. But I am a librarian and there are some books that would be hard to let go.
We do keep our Bibles and my devotional workbooks in the kitchen. For a couple of reasons. They are easy to grab there as we go to church. And I tend to do my devotions at the kitchen table while I eat breakfast. Is that where I’d find your Bible? I have tried to make my kitchen island a kind of work station, too, and often plug in my laptop there and sit on the bar stools to work on this blog. Ala my friend Michael Ann who blogs at Out and Back.
All of my essential oils (except the few I wear) are on this shelf with my diffuser. It points toward the bed. And if the oils spill or drip onto this shelf, the finish won’t be ruined like a wood surface would.
Beside my night stand and almost out of sight, I have a power strip that is my charging station. My Nook, iPad and phone can all be charged there. I also have a charger for my Clarisonic and a charger for my Amope pedi file and my rechargeable mani kit. With all of these devices, you’d think I was a fancy lady.
PC and I both have charging stations in the kitchen, too. Mine is next to the Bibles. I use it for my phone, wireless headphones and iPod, all things I grab when we go to the gym.
I don’t have a vanity or a desk in my bedroom and never have done work in the bedroom. Aside from occasionally cutting out something for school. I put on my make-up, such as it is, in the bathroom.
Going to leave the closet for a post all to itself. Exhausted from just unstuffing the master bedroom. Besides, I did a mini-purge of my closet about two months ago. But need to take another, more critical eye to what escaped the last cut. Will be researching tips for helping us declutter and unstuff the closet so hope you will come back for that post. Going to go out on a limb and say I will publish that post next Thursday, March 30.
Hope you will return then as I try to make head way decluttering that area. Going to be tough. Will need to rest up and eat plenty of spinach between now and then.
Are you doing spring cleaning this season? If so, where do you begin? Do you go room by room or do you clean all of the baseboards one day, blinds the next? Please leave me your favorite spring cleaning/decluttering/unstuffing tip in a comment below.
Hugs and kisses,