We discovered, almost by accident, the joy and satisfaction of a decluttering chain reaction.
Stay with me here, have you ever been cleaning out a closet or garage and find supplies for an activity you have long since stopped pursuing? You realize you most likely won’t be doing that activity anymore, so you decide to donate the piece you came across. Here’s where the chain reaction part comes in to play- if you pause to think about it, you may have a whole slew of corresponding items that could also go.
But 1st, our favorite decluttering segment.
Why on Earth do you still have that?
Up for consideration, a giant box of Splenda packs. It ends up what we thought would be a love it or lose it poll, turned into two boxes of donations for Bethany’s local food bank. Since she was making a trip to the food bank anyway, I urged her to also check her pantry for items that could go.
It is surprising that our Why on Earth do you still have that? segment has revealed we are often unsure of where to take our unwanted items. This happened to me with a few baby blankets last week. Nobody wants to “throw away” a perfectly good item you know some else could use and for one reason or another the local donation center is not a good fit.
Sometimes you are holding on to that item because you are not sure where it should go once it leaves your home. As we have found, a friend can offer that outside perspective to suggest a good place for those unwanted items. Hey, you can even ask around on Facebook! That could be your best option for finding a few local places that would love to reuse your donations.
Decluttering Chain Reaction
During Why on Earth do you still have that?, we discovered more that goes along with a 700 count box of Splenda packets; like coffee cups, stirrers and coffee sleeves. Once Bethany admitted she was not going to run a coffee cart again, it was time to say goodbye to all of it. A Decluttering Chain Reaction! Never one to miss a good decluttering party, let’s hunt for more chain reactions.
Do you only stream your movie now but still have all your DVDs and player that you never use? Have you got rid of your VHS player but still have VHS’s? Or as we discovered, are you like Bethany and still have cassettes but no way to listen to them? Since we missed our love it or lose it poll, here is our new poll. Do you still have your favorite mix tapes laying around too?
It can be a change in lifestyle that starts a chain reaction. As I am working on streamlining our financial papers, it is quickly becoming clear I need less organizing containers, less mail dividers, less files, less overall paper organizers. If you are getting rid of one item, consider any coordinating items you might have?
I also sadly discovered I don’t need our juicer. Here I am on Instagram, shamelessly touting the citrus haul from my neighbor.
Now my neighbor has moved and the new neighbors changed their landscaping and removed their trees. It is time to admit that I won’t be receiving this much citrus fruit again. Instead of holding onto the juicer, I am going to pass it along to someone who can enjoy it and actually use it.
Sometimes it can be so easy to see changes and growth in others, like in kids for example. When it is time for a real bed, we make space in their room and get rid of their crib. But for ourselves, we move on too; our tastes change, our hobbies change and general circumstances change but often our stuff tends to lingers. What can you start a decluttering chain reaction with?
Listener Question: Toy Overload
Speaking of kids, we have a listener question about organizing a playroom for two toddlers. Laura is having a hard time decluttering all of their toys.
Step 1- pick your favorites
When we are feeling overwhelmed with an room, it helps to focus on the items that are your favorites or the toys you are undoubtably are going to keep. Set those chosen few aside in a box or bin. Once you know your favorites are safe, it can be easier to declutter with reckless abandon! Maybe that is just me…
Step 2- limit how many items you have out
Another great strategy, especially with toys for little ones, is to be selective with the number of toys you have out at one time. I go into more detail about how I did this with my own kids in this post, Toy Overhaul Part 2. It is a blog post from six years ago (note the grainy, tiny pictures), but the strategies listed stood the test of time. I am even still using the labels I made all those years ago for my youngest, now 3 years old. Here they are on our toy baskets from a home tour a few years ago. (Boy, I am glad we got rid of that rug!)
We can’t wait to hear about any decluttering chain reactions you have discovered! You can leave your comments below, share on social media #atobpodcast, or send us an email Hello @ AtoBpodcast.com.
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