Before I had children, I was a neat freak. (Funny how children can almost instantly change that quality in a person!) I loved to make sure that everything was in its proper place – except for whatever I had stuffed into my notoriously messy closets.
When Friends was still on TV, I remember howling with laughter as the super neatnik Monica opened her closet door – and massive amounts of stuff were haphazardly crammed inside. It was particularly funny to me, because I always had at least one closet that was an absolute disaster zone.
Part of my problem lies in my approach to cleaning. When I declutter a room, I gather everything in a pile and then take it to a central location to sort. (The location once was a closet, but now it’s the basement.) However, I usually get too busy to really clean and all of the piles gather and get out of control in a hurry. Finally, when the mess gets too unbearable, I take the time to sort things out.
A green approach
I’m afraid this pile approach to cleaning is pretty ingrained in me. While I’m not actively seeking ways to change my tendencies, I do want to explore green ways to deal with my piles once I’m sorting them.
When I end up simplifying my life by getting rid of some of my possessions, I need to find ways to recycle them – either by repurposing them in my home or passing them on to others.
How to declutter
Television shows like Clean Sweep and cleaning approaches like Flylady all suggest decluttering with three boxes – one for things to keep, one for things to give away, and one for things to throw away.
As a rule of thumb, keep things you love and use. Organize these belongings.
Throw away garbage or broken things. Or, recycle, if they can be recycled.
And give the rest. Join me again tomorrow as I’ll discuss what you can do with the things you plan to give away.
I’ve come clean and admitted the messiest places in my home. Where are yours? Do you have any decluttering goals for 2013?
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