Decluttering the 60 Blog

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Cut down your closet by 25% by asking yourself one question:  “If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?”  If the answer is no, out it goes!

Years after we moved into our condo, Leslie asked me what I thought about our small-ish place.  At the time, I remember saying that when I was in my bedroom, it felt like I was on vacation.  I had shelves with some collectibles, new wallpaper border, a freshly-painted-red ceiling (quel scandale!), and a small walk-in closet.  It was lovely.  Refreshing. Relaxing.

I think back to that time…it was many years ago.  Since then, Leslie has had her bedroom repainted and redecorated.  Me?  Nothing.  Nada.  Leslie reminds me that “the 80s called and they want their room back.”  Meaning–get off your ass and do some redecorating!

I haven’t felt like my bedroom has been an oasis for a long time.  When I took a “sleep better class” late last year, one of the things I learned was to make your sleeping area your haven.  Light or dark, windows open or closed, but make it comfortable for you.  At the time, I pictured new linens, new paint, new furniture.  And, of course, most of that was out of my budget.

Redecorating my room is a priority.  Marissa, the greatest-girl-on-earth, has offered to help.  I will exhaust with her my demands to do the physical things.  I’ll go through the clothes and shoes for donation, just for starters.  I just read the words “steely resolve” when I Googled “cleaning out your closet,” and that steel is slowly filling my resolve.  I’m ready.

I must dedicate a big portion of an upcoming weekend to go through every single item in my wardrobe (if you can call it that).  Asking myself these seven questions, I’m sure I will have just a few items at the end of Sunday.  If I say NO to any of these questions, it’s curtains for that item of clothing!

  1. Does this fit?
  2. Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
  3. Is it likely I will ever wear this again?
  4. Is this currently in style, and/or does this still accurately represent my style?
  5. If this is damaged in any way (e.g., piling, rips, stains, missing buttons, broken zippers, fading, etc.), will I actually make the effort to get this repaired in the near future?
  6. If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
  7. And most importantly: Do I feel confident when I wear this?

But I’m looking for the physical and emotional benefits too.  Decluttering lowers stress levels. Both visual disarray and the daunting task of cleaning a messy home can trigger stress.  Maintaining a clean, organized home is calming.  And less stuff = more time!  The less you have, the less you have to wash, worry about and organize.

Becky’s Blog, a column on health and fitness, states that cleaning out will create more space in my house and in my life.  The writer believes we all need to open up space in order for new experiences and gifts to come into our lives.  This begins with decluttering the home.

Once I’ve cleaned out and organized, Becky tells me I could celebrate by smudging my home.  This involves lighting a smudge stick (typically white sage), and blowing the smoke around your home. This practice cleans out the old energy and makes space for something new in your home and your life.

Leslie has a collection of essential oils and I’m not sure I’ll light a smudge stick, but I can certainly spray some white sage around.  I’m looking forward to the renewed vacation feeling in my bedroom.  When we are left with essential items that we truly love, we feel less distracted and more at peace.  The same theory goes for our lives: less clutter means more freedom and more space for whatever is next on our individual journeys.

Of course, cleaning out the closets and drawers is the first step.  After that’s done, it’s time to start looking for some new furniture, maybe a new mattress, and a whole new stress-free haven.





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