Decluttering is harder than it sounds.
For me, it means way more than just organizing my kitchen cabinets. Which I got the urge to do late last week for no reason at all besides the simple fact that my mind was racing a million miles per minute. So, I destroyed my kitchen and redesigned it.
It had nothing to actually do with the kitchen.
I will say though, it feels good to walk into a room that’s fully organized rather than a room with an orange hitting your toes with a thump when you open the fridge.
Last Friday, I woke up feeling overwhelmed, tired, mind-racing exhaustion, and completely disorganized. I felt a mess, from my head to my toes, from my living room to my bedroom. Nothing was right, no one was right, and the kitchen was just all sorts of wrong. The Skinny Pop was starting to go stale (try the cakes – they are amazing), the fruit didn’t have a home anymore, the orange juice was half spilled and sticking tiny onion peels to the fridge floor (we don’t even drink orange juice?), cookies were on every shelf (made out of almond flour, so it’s all good), chips we didn’t know we bought were hidden behind the gluten free graham crackers.
If I just pretend that it’s fine, if I just go on with my days and upload the pretty parts of the apartment, maybe it will all go away. Maybe, like the pictures, none of this will be here. If only life worked like that. But that would be too easy, that wouldn’t be real. That, that pretending and capturing of only the good, that would be living in a dream world. A world that, in my home at least, does not exist. The tomatoes go bad without us remembering they are there, the crumbs from the dog treats get pushed aside from time to time, and the plants get under-watered.
Just a couple of bins, not too much money. That’s all I need.
I’m on a budget right now – well, BA and I both. We are trying to comprehend why we have things we don’t use, and why we continue to buy them, while crying about the money disappearing from the bank accounts. Loans, cars, phones, they are all more important than the organic green juices for far way too much money than they should be, when we could just make them on our own, for far, far less money.
He loves organized things, he won’t be mad.
I convinced myself that BA would accept my invitation to buy new things in order to organize the apartment, in order to organize my brain. I knew he would somewhat approve. I knew he would feel less decluttered, too. So that was that, he RSVP’d yes and we were off to HomeGoods. (We as in me, and him in my mind.)
Major tip: when you get like this, make sure the man of the house is at work, or somewhere else, somewhere besides the room you are about to rip to pieces. It will be better for both of you, trust me. I thank BA daily for putting up with this, truly.
What to do to declutter your mind and home all at once:
+ Write a list before going to the store. I tore apart my cabinets, throwing everything out I didn’t need, and writing down what I was keeping so that I knew how many containers to buy and what sizes (kind of). It was a huge help when I found myself staring blankly at clear containers in every size and shape you could imagine.
+ Throw out things that you forgot where there. No matter what you are decluttering, your bathroom or your kitchen, even your room, if you hid it behind everything there was probably a reason for it. Unless it is an old t-shirt you have been looking for, that’s different. But the chips that have been in there for three months, they are probably ready to move on.
+ Make sure you have a lot of time. If you don’t have the time to do the entire room at once, you may go a little bit more insane. This decluttering process took me, basically, my entire day. I was beat by the end if it – which really helped with my mind decluttering as well. Tired with a freshly organized kitchen = a wonderful night’s sleep for once.
+ Buy things only that you need. This is hard, I know. Coming from the ex-Whole Foods queen. It was a past life (sometimes coming back to me for a few days just to say hi), so I bought containers for my fridge that could only fit a certain amount of fruit and veggies in. They now have a home, and we are now not allowed to buy a month’s worth of peppers that will start to go bad within a week.
+ Be creative. Anything can be anything. Got it? A bookcase can be a bar, a toothbrush holder can be a pen holder, anything can be anything. You don’t have to spend all your money to re-arrange the scene, take it from me and my new budget debut.
+ Have something that pops. I love all white, everything. But, in reality, it gets boring sometimes. I have black and white framed photos in/around my kitchen – so I chose the flamin’ hot cheetos in a jar for a pop of color. Plus the M&M’s. I do 3 jars – two with color on the sides, one with something black or white in the middle (Oreo’s, anyone?) Yes, I’m serious – and for a good pick me up when the days are too long.
+ Breathe. It’s a major step you can not miss when it comes to this type of decluttering. Take a giant deep breath, and start to declutter. Start to throw away things you don’t use, things you don’t care for. Start to throw away things that never did you well. From the cabinets to your mind. If you have to, write it down (for your mind, not the chips).
How are you decluttering? Please do tell.