Put Your House..On a Diet …

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Put Your House..On a Diet …

You know how it is over the holidays..a bite here..a bite  there.. and the next thing you know, you’ve gained five pounds! Yipes!! I’m back on track with my diet again..but wow—those little bites over the holidays sure do add up in a hurry!I think the same thing must surely happen to our houses.  A bag here, a box there, and the next thing we know, we’re getting stressed because there’s just not enough room in the drawer, the closet, or the cabinet to breathe. And after the holidays, WOW..it’s just become a crisis!
Marketers must surely be aware of the holiday factor when it comes to clutter. Why else do the stores pull out all of their containers and line their main aisles with them first thing on January 2nd?  Yep, we’ve all bitten off a bit more than we can chew. All those treasures start to look like trash and we all know we’ve got to DO something..NOW. 

Our first thought of course, is to GET ORGANIZED.  So we go out and buy a bunch of buckets, boxes, and baskets to HIDE OUR UNSIGHTLY BULGES. This makes about as much sense as buying some extra large clothes to hide our holiday weight gain.  Why is it that we all instinctively know that DIETING is the solution to excess weight gain, but we don’t get it that DE-CLUTTERING is the solution to excess stuff building up in our closets. It’s really a no-brainer when you think about it.

As FLYLADY says, you can’t organize clutter!!! This is a VERY important principle. Out of sight is NOT out of mind. You will still feel stressed. Organizing without decluttering will always end up making you feel like you need a bigger house in the same way that gaining too much weight makes you feel you have to go out and buy a larger pair of jeans. This is not good.  It seems like a quick solution to the problem, but it will come back to bite you eventually.  

Just as certainly as I know that there is a simple and fairly painless way to lose weight (eat healthy non-processed foods), I have also discovered that there is a pretty painless way to get rid of all that excess stuff. We all know that the de-cluttering process is painful, because it’s stressful, because we try to do it ALL AT ONCE. This is similar to trying to crash diet. It doesn’t work! We just get overwhelmed and quit.
What we need is a way to methodically get rid of the excess stuff OVER TIME. This way we develop a habit of STAYING streamlined in our possessions. What is this great method? I discovered this only a few weeks ago, and I was so excited about it that I could hardly wait to share it with you.

Just as we build clutter over time, bag by bag, box by box, we have to start doing the same thing but REVERSE THE PROCESS.  We are always buying new things so it stands to reason that we have to always be throwing away old things at the same time. We need a new habit. FlyLady has one golden rule for getting control of your home…De-Clutter 15 minutes a day! 

Every year, I save shopping bags and boxes from new purchases or shipping boxes so that I will have plenty of options for shipping out my Christmas gifts each year. It’s amazing how regularly boxes of various kinds show up at our house. Also, we bring home shopping bags of various kinds on a regular basis too. My new plan for the year is that whenever a box or bag of any kind enters the house, my job is to RE-FILL THE BOX OR BAG with OLD STUFF!  This is GENIUS!!! (If I do say so myself. :o)  I had a blast the week after Christmas taking all those miscellaneous left over boxes and filling them with excess.

The next time you are about to throw away a shopping bag or empty box…STOP yourself..and take five minutes to empty a drawer or pull some things out of the cabinet..and before you know it, you will have lots of free, streamlined space.  It’s a great way to start the new year!

Linking to Raising Homemakers Link Up Day


Jill said...

This is so true Donna! My to do list for purching is long...I've already started on the girls clothing again. So much to do and so little time!! But little areas at a time do help. Have a great day!

“Old World Goodies” said...

WOW...what a great and "oh so tue" post, and reading about it, let's me know I am still not done and need to continue, down that path. I still fight with myself...lol... where things should be or if it the right spot..lol..
Great job on that post ....and cont working on them goals..:-D..

Ky said...

Brilliant! We've just moved house this week Donna, and I'm appalled at how much stuff we have that we don't use or need. I'm going to declutter as I'm unpacking and putting things away. The charity shops are gonna love me!
I've also decided a similar thing to you, to do this year. Every time something new comes into the house, something old has to go. It's just ridiculous how much stuff we all have or how much stuff we thing we need to have. And it IS really stressful.

Happy decluttering. xx

Needled Mom said...

You make me want to get started on a big project right away - the pantry. Thanks!

GlorV1 said...

That's a great idea. I just decluttered my linen closet and how I plan on decluttering my personal closet. It has clothes I don't use. Time to wash, dry, fold and pack in a bag, and donate or if no good toss out. Thanks for a great idea. A little at a time.

Caroline said...

oooh, Donna! Yes, this does come to a head in January, doesn't it? I love your analogy with losing weight. And by taking it in small steps. Yes! I can do this!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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