Purfylle: "All The Stuff" - clutter is stealing my craft time

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"All The Stuff" - clutter is stealing my craft time



I am overwhelmed with clutter. There is so much cleaning and sorting to be done I struggle with how to face it. I have to clean and sort every time I want to craft. Eventually I said 'Enough!' and begun to de-clutter.

I've learned a lot about de-cluttering since I began to tackle 'All The Stuff'. Here are some things I wish I knew when I first began the de-cluttering process.

Stop value judging 

I should do/sort _____________first.

Do the bit you feel inspired to do, just because the kitchen cupboards need doing but you feel like sorting the button container doesn't mean you shouldn't do the button container until the kitchen cupboards are done.

If I were to wait until the kitchen cupboards were done neither would get done. It's ok to do the button container first. It all needs doing. It doesn't matter which bit you do, every bit you do is a big win.

This is an expensive item.

It might be, but the financial value is not worth your sanity and time.

This has sentimental value.

But the sentiment is not the item, the item just represents the sentiment. Honour the memory by allowing the item to no longer clutter your life.

I need/want this.

REALLY? So why has it been neglected for all this time? Let it go.

This *should* have a home.

What's wrong with it being where it is? Let it stay there for now. It is most likely where it needs to be for getting used, put it into a basket to keep things in one place for now if you must and worry about a proper furniture home for it later.

'I should keep this because ______(eg: it would be wasteful to throw it out aka:'judgement')________'  

No. No 'becauses'. Give yourself permission to let go without judging.  

Remember it doesn't all need to be done NOW. You got one thing done YAY. That's one more thing then before. That's a good thing :o) be happy, don't tell yourself off for not getting more done.

THROW STUFF OUT 

This is the single most valuable tool in de-cluttering and getting organised, don't worry about sorting and cleaning and finding homes for stuff just yet. Pare back. Throw stuff out. Throw stuff out, throw stuff out, did I mention throw stuff out? Get excited about throwing stuff out. The rest will follow quite naturally as you have less and less clutter.

This is where you start every time you don't know where to start. Overwhelmed by the kitchen? Open a cupboard and see if you can throw something out from that cupboard (or recycle or donate).

You don't have to do the whole cupboard (remember 1, don't value judge) just throw a few things out and when you start hesitating move on. Then open the next cupboard and throw something out. Try to throw something out every time you open a cupboard, or once a day, or when you're on the phone, or every add break. Do whatever works for you.
  • Throw stuff out whenever you find something that should be tossed. If you pick up a t-shirt and realise it's got a stain you failed to get out, throw it out now! Then go find a clean t-shirt and finish getting dressed. 
  • Throw it out if it's broken, even if it could be fixed. Don't value judge it with 'This could be useful if....(it were adjusted/fixed/painted/whatever)' it's not useful right now. See it for what it is - a time and space waster. 
  • Throw it out if it's dirty, even if it could be cleaned. Keeping it until you clean it so it can be donated or recycled will weigh you down. Just get rid of it, don't value judge the 'wastefulness of throwing it out' because you are wasting your life by holding onto that clutter. Alternatively, if you plan to keep it for yourself and use it 'when it's clean'  put it in a location where it will be annoying until you deal with it. You'll soon decide if you can be bothered cleaning it or if you'd rather just get rid of it. 
  • Have a permanent location for donations, once something goes in there do not ever look in there again. Just pick up the whole lot and take it to goodwill. Start filling up your donation box again.
  • Keep a small waste bin in lots of places around the house so things can go straight into the rubbish. I keep a waste bin in the laundry, lounge room, bathroom, craft room and bedroom. It's surprising how much they get used. 
  • Keep a donation bag in the bottom of your wardrobe. You'll be surprised how quickly you fill it up. Apply this idea in the craft room, or the kids room, or the garage, or where ever it is needed. 

Designate homes for everything

Do this last, it is the least important part of the process. It will happen quite naturally. If you start here you will just end up with clutter again. 

  • If there isn't enough room for everything to fit in it's home, pare back until they fit. 
  • If you use it regularly it needs a home. Once you've realised your yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks make you happy and you reach for them all the time make a space for them, buy a cabinet or draws if you need to. What doesn't fit has to go. 

Living with other people - Lead by example

I used to think that if I did everything it would always fall to me to do it. Well I eventually realised the value of leading by example. I'm still not going to sort out other peoples stuff for them, however by demonstrating the value I'm getting from less clutter helps to make a clutter free state seem the norm and can inspire others to make their own de-cluttering journey. 


Those hard decisions

Leave them to last, you'll find it easier to tackle them when de-cluttering has become a part of your routine.

All the Stuff

Today I threw out stuff from the kitchen, stuff from storage, stuff that was dirty, stuff that had sentimental value, stuff that was broken, stuff that I'd forgotten I had.

Yesterday I threw out stuff from my wardrobe, stuff from my crafting stash, stuff from storage boxes, stuff I've held onto for years and years.

Last week I threw out stuff from the patio, stuff that could be fixed, stuff that might be useful someday.

The week before that I threw out stuff in the garage, stuff that didn't belong in the garage, stuff that turned out to just be rubbish.
empty draw - proud moment

SO MUCH STUFF! 

There's still more stuff to go. There will always be stuff that needs to go.

Over the weekend I realised I had gotten rid of enough stuff that some of the remaining stuff was really useful and it didn't have a home.

I was always looking for this stuff and moving it and relocating it and wishing I could put my hands on it. It was just my notepads and some stationery stuff, not ridiculous amounts, perhaps still a little too much but we bought a small set of draws for it and I filled those draws up with all the bits and there is still one draw empty. I'm really enjoying that empty draw.

I actually don't want to fill that draw up. This is a totally new experience for me. I've always loved filling up draws to get the STUFF out of the way. I like having stuff, but too much stuff does not add value to my life.  I've enjoyed my stuff and now I'm enjoying not having 'All the Stuff!' and amazingly, my crafting time is spent more on crafting and less on making space for crafting.


2 comments:

  1. Hi thanks for sharing on How To Get Organized At Home, I love to hoard things thinking it will do for some project down the line and if it has a home why throw it away if it is broken, but I am making a determined effort not to keep things that I don't really need. Thanks again for sharing:)

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    1. It's hard to get rid of things that are useful isn't it? I'll hold onto something for years thinking it's useful, finally throw it out and a week later wish I hadn't because I had a use for it. But if I hadn't thrown it out would I have thought to use it? I'm learning that I prefer the space and doing without then holding onto it just in case.

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