Monday, January 17, 2011

10 things I learned from Project Declutter

1. You probably don't need 75% of the things you've been hoarding.

2. It's very hard to part with 75% of the things you've been keeping for just-in-case, so the trick is to put all these in a bag (or 10) and let them simmer for a few days, like really good soup. Revisit, and you will find your attachment has lessened. Strike while the iron is hot and GET RID OF THEM NOW.

3. Your family, particularly the elders, will prevent you from decluttering, because they are a generation of hoarders. Where do you think you get it from? That rattan mat from your previous place that you've been keeping in the store since you moved into the house five years ago? They will say keep it in case guests come to stay. Are you kidding me? On a rattan mat? The solution is to invite no discussion. Unless they bought it, it's yours to get rid of. Even if they did buy it, ask them whether they have a place to store it if they want to keep it (and the store is not a "place"). If the answer is no, out it goes.

4. Decluttering is on-going. We accumulate stuff like they're going out of fashion, so every few days, terrorize a drawer or something.

5. Your kids will also prevent you from decluttering. Guess where they get the hoarding gene from? Best to do it after they've gone to bed.

6. After you've identified the 75% that you want to get rid of, it's alright to track back on about 10 items. But, be VERY STRICT. Choose the 10 items with care. I now have in my possession (still) my collection of five Baby Blues comics, a beloved suede jacket I've had since uni days, Angelica's Winston dog plush toy and her Ernie doll, Lauren's first ever pair of tiny leggings, that she outgrew after two wears and a Tweety Bird doll inherited from my sister. Thank goodness for the 10-item rule.
7. It takes longer than 60 days to declutter.

8. You can read some books to help with the motivation factor, but it ultimately boils down to you. YOU have to make the decision to clear things out from your life. Things, people, emotional baggage. Same difference.

9. After you have cleared your life of unnecessary clutter, you will become a different shopper. You become more discerning, choosing only things that you will want to keep around for a long time. You will also choose to surround yourself with only positive and beautiful things. Things, people, memories. Same difference.

10. You will feel the urge to throw something out right now. Go with it. It's good for you.

Here are a few pictures from a little garage sale that I did to celebrate all that decluttering. My girls were my first two customers, as they pored over the little kiddie section, which was full of their things anyway. So lesson No. 11 is that if you want your kids to want anything, tell them you're throwing it out/ giving it away/ selling it.
Have you decluttered today?

2 comments:

Vonvon said...

This post is very timely! I, we, my girl included, are hoarders too. ;) My girl refuses to let me pack away the Xmas tree that she set up by herself! And it's 2 more weeks to CNY! This is one example.

And me....oooo.....60 days to declutter....I think I'll be very happy if I can declutter 50% of my stuff before Thanksgiving! Haha!

OK, this post is definitely a motivational factor. I have been wanting to do that for the longest time. But besides a hoarder, I am a great procrastinator too!

'nuff said!

Elaine said...

me too! This was a HUGE project for me:P Read back my previous posts on Project declutter and you will see how conflicted I was about getting rid of stuff. Still am:) But it's fun once you get it started. have fun decluttering!

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