Organized Simplicity: Chapter Nine “Day One” Kickstart Your Cleaning

Day One of our kick start to your organized and simple home.  Let’s do it!

You’ll need:

  • Two large boxes, one labeled “give” and the other “sell”
  • One large box labeled “maybe”
  • Garbage can
  • price tags and marker
  • Ruthless spirit

Step One: Move through the house quickly.  Toss all the trash you see.

Step Two: Start in one spot- evaluate each item you see: is it useful?  Is it beautiful?  If the answer is no, put it in one of the boxes (sell, give away.)  Do it quickly- if you can’t decide, move on to the next item.  We’re just doing visible stuff right now, so don’t start going through cabinets and drawers!

Deal with simple things:

  • stuff on your fridge
  • tchotchkes
  • loose change
  • stacks of magazines and papers
  • throw pillows and blankets

DON’T deal with:

  • your wedding dress
  • the filing cabinet
  • junk drawer
  • stored decorations
  • books on shelves

See?  We’re doing the painless, I’ve been meaning to get rid of that thing, stuff today.  If you really can’t decide on an item, stick it in the maybe box, and write today’s date on the box.  Stick aside for three months- if you need something, go get it.  If three months pass and it’s still in the box, evaluate: do you really need this item?  (Hello boxes in the basement I haven’t unpacked from our move four years ago.  I’m thinking you’re gone now.)

As for that sell box, as you put things in it, put a price sticker on them!  You are GOING to have a garage sale in the next three months.  Put it on your calendar, and fill that box.  Fill lots of boxes.  And price things as you go, so it’s not an issue later.  If you’re not sure of the value, check the internet.  Craigslist and eBay are good places to start.  However, do NOT hang on to something in the hopes that it will appreciate in value.  It’s not worth your valuable space, time, or sanity.

Oh, and why must you have a garage sale?  First off,  you’ll get rid of a bunch of stuff.  Second, it will be so much WORK that you’ll remember how hard it was and think twice about accepting clutter into your house again.  Third, seeing all your unwanted stuff in one place is incredibly humbling.  Fourth, it’s a family affair- teach your kids the value, or lack of value, of things.  Things cost money!  And finally, fifth, you’ll get some cash.  Cash is nice.

If you find yourself truly attached to an object that you don’t use, and don’t find particularly beautiful, ask yourself: “Will I really forget that trip to Florida if I get rid of this turtle made of shells?”  Can you journal about the trip, take some photos of the item, and let it leave your house?

(In Section Two of this book, each chapter is capped with some reflection questions)

  • Which items are you feeling emotional about?  Look around you- after this little bit of de-cluttering, how do you feel?

We’re working through Tsh Oxenreider’s book, Organized Simplicity.  

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2 Responses

  1. I love this advice about taking a picture of the item. I’ve started to do this, and it’s just as nice as having the item – better because you don’t have to dust it anymore. 😉

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