Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rule #10 Have a specific place to keep things that need to go

Here we are at the last of the Top 10 Dejunking Rules.....thanks for joining me on this journey so far! It's been amazing!

But don't worry. I still have a LOT more to say! (haha...were you honestly worried about that?)

In the upcoming months we are going to delve into the how to's of dealing with all sorts of things like papers (that's a HUGE one), storage units, yard sales, organizing kitchens and laundry rooms, kids keepsakes, books, photos and scrapbooks, knick knacks and collections, and holidays....just to name a few.

I'd also like to hear what YOU would like to "talk" about so feel free to send me your suggestions via comments or email.

But before we get ahead of ourselves...

here we go with

Rule #10 Have a specific place to keep things that need to go

One of the mistakes people make in dejunking and organizing their spaces is they believe it is a huge one-time "life event."

The bottom line is STUFF IS ALWAYS COMING IN so it needs to constantly be going out.  We talked a little bit about this in my blog about when something new comes in, something old goes out. The truth of the matter is, we are too affluent and stuff is way too easy to acquire. If things are coming in, other stuff just HAS to leave. Otherwise drowning occurs :) And none of us wants that.

This makes sense to most people and they generally agree that things need to be leaving. But one problem they usually have is they don't have a place in their home to specifically hold things that need to leave. Instead, they start making piles. And guess what? Piles are really just ugly clutter mountains that make our homes look disheveled and us grumpy. To put it mildly, piles should really be avoided at all costs.

Instead, a "get rid of'" container is a much better way to go.

Let me show you what I mean:

One of the things I have found we are constantly needing to get rid of at our house is articles of clothing (jeans, shirts, socks, and shoes) Why you ask? Because with active, growing children things never stay in great shape or fitting their bodies for very long. So I have discovered that having a specific bin in my laundry room for things to go out (labeled "Goodwill" here) is an absolute necessity.  Why you ask? Because in our house the laundry room is upstairs and I found that if my only "get rid of" pile was out in the garage, there were piles laying around upstairs (in the bedrooms and the laundry room) for the time it was convenient to get it to the box in the garage. Capiche?

Having this bin upstairs near the bedrooms really makes a difference in my ability to "corral" that
pile of clothes, socks, headbands, little knick knacks and even books and bags that I come across that need to be gotten rid of.

And when it gets full (like you can see here), then I take the time to pull it out and take the whole bin downstairs to the garage.

Meanwhile, this is the garage area where I keep those larger boxes that hold things that need to go. There are a lot of ways to deal with this. I'd love to hear what you do.  Here is what I do.

The bin with the green lid used to hold my charity items and when it was full I would transfer the items over to bags or boxes and take them to the local Goodwill. Then a couple of things changed. First, I was getting tired of having to transfer everything over to other containers when it got full and thought "why not just have "disposable" boxes to hold it in the first place?" And second, I started realizing that I was donating enough stuff that if I could store it for several months I could make some good money at a yard sale.  So between those two ideas, that's when I started picking up apple boxes from my local grocery store's produce department and filling those boxes instead.  For me, when a box is totally full, my husband puts it up in the rafters of our garage and it stays there until June when my neighbors and I host a multi-family yard sale and get rid of it all. (Putting on a yard sale is not for everyone but I love it and will be telling you all about how to do it successfully in a future blog post.)  If putting on a yard sale is really not for you, this system still totally works because when the box is full you can simply put it in your car and drop it off at any number of charitable organizations who gladly accept such things (yet another future blog post idea!)
So now what I use the large Rubbermaid bin with the lid for is to store "keepsakes" for my children. Remember my laundry room bins?
The one labeled "storage" is meant for two things. Clothes that come through that are not the correct size for my children currently and thus need to be stored away for when they grow a bit OR it holds clothing items (mostly) that my children really want to keep as a memento of their childhood or something wonderful in their life. An example might be a tee shirt from 5th grade graduation or a scarf from youth camp or a sweatshirt from a sports team. We don't keep a lot of those things but occasionally something is special and needs to be kept as a special keepsake.
And so that is what I keep in the big "green lid" bin. And then once a year, when that box gets full, we pull down each child's keepsake box (kept up in the rafters of the garage) and put things in it. Of course, just like we talked about here, bins force you to make decisions about what to keep and not. And it is the exact same thing here. When we pull down the keepsake bins and start evaluating what is already in there and what we have ready to put in, tough decisions sometimes have to be made. Remember our mantra "We wish we could keep everything but we can't?" Yes, that is used in full force here. And it works. (Keepsakes are another topic I am going to really delve in to at some point on this blog so stay tuned!)  So that is what the "green lid" box is for. And the two apple boxes are for selling at a yard sale or hauling off to the charity of your choice.  Hope that makes sense?

The bottom line is this:  things are constantly coming into our homes and they need to be constantly leaving. When you have a specific place (or two) to keep items that need to be said good-bye to, it keeps your prime spaces clear and your house less cluttered. Remember the goal is to have a place for every keeper and put every keeper in it's place, and that includes things that won't be a keeper for much longer. Have a place for them and you'll be much happier with the way your home looks and feels.

Until next time...happy shoveling!

Next blog post: Managing the Paper Chase Part 1

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