Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Cleaning and Decluttering

We in America love our stuff.  We love a good bargain, the newest of everything, the thrill of the hunt.  In return we end up with homes packed to the brim, basements overflowing, and renting storage units that hold our treasures.

I think we all know that stuff doesn't make us happy.  I mean, there's nothing wrong with liking nice things.  But we have a tendency to lean towards excess.  I know I'm guilty of it myself, and I have a few areas where I really struggle.

  1. Books!  I love books.  But I have books in the basement that I bought in high school, have moved with me every time I go somewhere new, and have now been in the basement for the more than six years I've been married.  The main reason I have trouble with resisting books is they're cheap.  I buy most at thrift shops, garage sales, book sales, and online swapping sites; I have good intentions to read them all, but really, I could read a book a week and probably have enough to last me the next five years at least.  
  2. Fabric!  I love fabric.  And when I find it on sale, I have a hard time saying no.  Even, if I have no plan for what I'm going to use it for.  I've already talked about my fabric hoarding problem and my plans to limit my fabric buying.  Unfortunately, I haven't been very successful.  I've been sewing more, but not enough to justify having so much fabric sitting around in my stash.  
  3. Food!  Yes food.  I like to have whatever I may need on hand for when I want to bake or cook.  Which is all fine and good, but really, I have two grocery stores right in town.  If I really needed something that I didn't already have, it wouldn't be that hard for me to drive to the store and get it.  It would literally be like a fifteen minute trip.  I also have a tendency to try a new recipe that takes a specific ingredient and then end up with 3/4 a bottle of agave syrup, or cardamon, or some other item that I end up having to find some use for.  So it's time to clean out my kitchen.
So what's the plan?  (Because as Pinterest has already taught me, "A goal without a plan is just a wish.")

Here's what I'm hoping for.
One of my first posts was about how the book Simple Abundance changed my outlook and really helped me curb a lot of frivolous shopping.  I was able to limit my clothes buying and stop buying home decor items that I never really had a plan for, but now I have to tackle the big three: books, fabric, and food.

  1. I'm going to start giving some of it away.  Keep your eyes peeled on blogs for giveaways of fabric, notions, patterns, and books.  (Hint: the first giveaway will be up tomorrow.)
  2. I'm going to make a conscious effort to use it before I buy new.  So be on the lookout for recipes using up some of those random spices or items I have in my kitchen that I'm betting some of you have too.
  3. I'm going to be making some donations.  Our church is having a thrift sale in June with the proceeds going to support community projects.  I already have a box started, and I have a feeling there will be more boxes before it's all said and done.
  4. Be a more conscientious shopper.  I've made great strides when it comes to clothes shopping and can now walk away from clearance racks if there's nothing I need even if it is a super deal. 
 Why clear out clutter?  Clutter is not conducive to being creative.  I spend hours looking through my stashes of fabric looking for the perfect piece for a project.  I buy peanut butter without realizing I already have two jars in my pantry.  No one wants to create in a space crowded with random odds and ends from other projects and stacks of books waiting to be read.  It's suffocating after a while.  And it's time to thin everything out so there's room to breath again.


  1. Love this post. I need to learn how to stay organized. I'll buy something, then won't be able to find it, so I'll have to buy another!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

    1. Oh, I've done that! I don't know how many partial packages of paper plates I have! I finally gathered them all up and put them together in one big box and I'm trying to use them up. :)

  2. I inspired that you're creating an actual plan to reduce clutter. My husband and I keep talking about how we want to get rid of the clutter in our houses, but a plan would probably actually make that happen.

    Also, I'll be checking that book out.

    1. Well, right now I have a big box sitting in the living room full of things to be donated that is kind of driving me crazy, but it helps me remember to be winnowing things down. :)