I've gathered a few of my favourite excerpts from the book Organized Simplicity. I'd love to share a few, and add some of my own thoughts swirling around in my head.
"You're not a victim. You allow each item in your home to be there. Do you love it all? Do you find it useful or beautiful? The surprising effect of getting rid of the things that you don't love is that you grow deeper in love with the things you choose to keep. Your kids love every toy they own. You'd gladly wear every pair of jeans in your closet. You like all the music in your CD collection. Simplifying is not parting with love. It's gaining it."
Stuff, stuff, stuff. This is a HUGE obstacle to being able to organize my home. I'm not a hoarder per se, but I do hold onto things that quite possibly have a future use. I hold onto things related to sentimental memories (different than something that actually has a sentimental memory in itself.) I hold onto items that are worth a lot, even if I don't use them much.
No more. "I am not a victim." I love that phrase in the book. If I don't like the clutter around the house, then I can get rid of it. Nothing is saying I have to hold onto it all. As I was reading the book, things kept flashing into my mind, things that I never would have previously gotten rid of, but suddenly seemed superfluous and annoyingly in the way.
I have a nice set of dishes we got for our wedding (not super expensive) but they can't go in the dishwasher so I never use them. These are not practical and so they will go.
I have a lovely decorative shelf with glass shelves, but it's hidden in our basement because it is impractical to have around with little boys and a house full of people. While I love the shelf and it's very beautiful, my priority in the house is to have a home where the boys can play freely and safely and this piece just doesn't fit. It must go.
CDs and DVDs. Too many we never listen to or watch. I will be much more ruthless in cutting down our collection.
Knick knacks. I've never been a big knick knack person, but they have started to pile up over the years. When I read about the difference between an item that reminds you of a great memory (like a souvenir of a trip) and an item that is a memory (like a childhood teddy bear) I was suddenly able to look around the house and tick off a bunch of things sitting on shelves and mantles that just don't need to take up the space anymore.
Toys. Toys, toys, toys. The bane of my existence. We have too many. We have too many the boys have never played with. Toys are hard, because 90% of them were gifts, and I feel really bad about selling/donating gifts. But we're bursting. What I want out of the toy room is a place to be creative, make music, do puzzles, and play together. Right now it's just a place to gather the toys, with no room to actually play in (which means the toys migrate around the rest of the main floor, which I can't stand!) At least half of the toys need to go.
Clothes. I'm pretty good with keeping the clothes under control. One bin per size. One extra bin per adult for the off-season. One bin of extra shoes. But I know there are several pieces of clothing I could still cull from our closet.
And so I will finally bend to the boys' pleas and have a yard sale in the Spring. There are still many things we have to hold onto until our expected baby grows a little older, but that's just time and season. I want more organized simplicity in my home and this spring I'm finally going to get it!