Over the past few months, I’ve been on a slow and steady declutter. I was initially inspired by Cait at Blonde on a Budget. She’s removed 70% of her belongings over the last year. While excellent in principle and it has certainly worked for her, it was too extreme for my taste. I took a more tempered approach.
I didn’t want to go too fast. I am a hoarder in nearly every sense of the word. The only part I’m missing is where my stuff because a hazard to myself and others. I also have intense connections to seemingly meaningless things. I have a habit of tackling projects too big, getting overwhelmed and leaving stacks of crap in piles. I wanted this to be different and permanent.
I started with my closet in June. A very good place to start.
Through the purge, I got rid of a little of everything. Lots of clothes, several stuffed animals, and a purse. I also got rid of a blender, a few hangers and some office gear. I hadn’t looked at this picture since that first purge and I’m happy to report that I haven’t missed a single item.
A side effect of cleaning out my closet was realizing that my hangers all had a nasty sticky film on them. In to the tub with you! To combat this nasty sticky film in the future, I opened and hung up two “keep dust off” closet organizers. It will be interesting now to see how much I wear the items I can’t see.
After the closet, I tackled the bathroom. There was a lot of organizing to be done, but I wasn’t compelled to get rid of much. Most of the stuff I had was good, but I had too much of it. Instead of trashing it only to buy more in the near future, I vowed to use up all the bottles in my bathroom.
In July, I encountered a major set back. My darling sister decided she no longer wanted any toxins in her home. She took the band-aid approach and decided to get rid of all of the “toxins” at once. She got rid of a LOT. Nearly all of this stuff was essentially new.
As the designated hoarder in the family, I took most of it. Some of it found a new home. But most of it is still mine. I have a lot of “using up” to do. I’m not going to be buying any household products for a long, long time.
Over the month of August, I started to rethink how I do things around the house. I’m practicing refusing bags and paper when presented. I also started planning alternatives for items that my household uses regularly.
- I was initially inspired to adopt the “no poo” method for cleaning my hair. However lately, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for this approach and instead I’m planning to buy shampoo in bulk from my local co-op.
- I’ve started collecting my organic matter in a separate container (gallon ice cream bucket) away from the trash. This allows me to go longer between taking the trash out and prevents pests in my apartment. I’ve yet to start composting my organics. Baby steps.
Overall, it’s been a fun process. I enjoy challenging how I do things while minimizing the amount of stuff I own. The less time I spend maintaining my stuff, the more time I’ll have to enjoy everything else.