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It’s hard to believe that just five years ago we lived in a 23 foot tow behind camp trailer. The bulk of what we owned was contained within the camp trailer with a few straggling totes setting underneath and the ‘big’ stuff stored in a 10 x 12 rental unit. When we moved into our current 1600 square foot house and filled it with our belongings it looked pretty sparse.
Somehow over the past several years it has went from sparse to stuffed.
Next summer we plan to move to our new property and into a home about half the size of this one. Our new house likely won’t be finished when we are ready to move up there so we’ll actually be staying/camping in our little shack until it’s completed. The shack is a whopping 96 square feet. We also hope to have a garage put up to store stuff while the house is being finished.
Over the next year we are focusing on decluttering and scaling back on our stuff. I’m actually amazed at the accumulation of stuff that we’ve made over the past five years. Every drawer and cabinet seems to be filled and the closets are crazy full. Some things we ‘need’ but some things we just ‘have’.
With Spring Cleaning time here it’s a great time to also get rid of things. With company here last weekend we worked on our spring cleaning in the weeks leading up to the visit. We’ve pretty much been on auto-pilot since I messed up my hand back in December so the deep cleaning was very much needed. Now we’ll start working on emptying out those full drawers, cabinets and closets.
For Spring Cleaning I like to have a guide. Several years ago Christian Home Keeper ran a series of articles that were very helpful and provided day by day, step by step instructions that I found very helpful. You can find those articles here. And here is a great list that includes a printable that I found recently.
My Decluttering method at the moment is rather casual. I’m tackling the project a little bit at a time. I pick a drawer/cabinet/closet and then set the time, usually for 15 minutes, then work until the time goes off. Hopefully by the end of the 15 minutes I’ve completed the project am finished. Some times I’ll need an extra 15 minutes to finish up. Using this method I don’t attempt to tackle a full closet but will choose to do all of the shelves or the hanging things (depending on the closet in question).
The hardest part for me with decluttering is actually removing the clutter. I take two bags, one for garbage and one for giveaway. The garbage one goes immediately to the trash when the timer goes off. The giveaway one can be more of a problem. I used to take that bag immediately to my car to drop off at the donation center next time I was in town but after hauling things around for months (or longer) I decided that wasn’t a good solution. Now I let Joe know about the giveaways and he drops them for me. This works better since he does go into town every weekday and he doesn’t forget that the bags are in the car.
As we get closer to our moving time I’ll have to step things up quite a bit in order to shrink our things to fit into the smaller space. But it’s likely we’ll only have three people living full time in the smaller house so less people automatically equals less stuff.
Do you Spring Clean? What’s your favorite tips? How about Decluttering tips?