Missed my introductory post on this decluttering challenge? Stop what you’re doing and click here for all the juicy background info!
Posting these photos makes me cringe (hello un-edited, un-beautiful catastrophe!) but this is what raw progress looks like baby! I dedicated the first week of the month to clearing out every cupboard and drawer in my kitchen, and putting back only what I wanted. My shelves are now spacious and oh-so-use-able.
I DITCHED 186 UNNECESSARY ITEMS.
So what have I learnt so far?
Ruthlessness breeds ruthlessness
I started by decluttering my baking drawer, which I had been wanting to go through for some time and I knew would be easy for me (novelty baking pan after novelty pan!) I ditched almost half the items in that drawer! Once I had decluttered that one drawer and put the keepable items back in, I was hooked. The drawer became so useable. It gave me the motivation I needed to make some tough decisions all the way through.
If you’re ditching it, ditch it now!
Though I plowed through the culling phase in a matter of days, my 186 items ended up sitting on my dining room table for a couple of weeks after that while I tried to source boxes to put them in. And I faltered. Some of the items went back and forth a couple of times between table and cupboard (“it fits back in the cupboard after all!” is a terrible reason to keep something, FYI). I would stare at items that had been gifts, and feel sad. I would hesitate over items that were lovely and that I quite like, but have just never been used. The longer they sat, the harder it got. But from the moment I acquired boxes and packed them up, I haven’t looked back. The key to decluttering is: out of sight, out of mind!
We seriously acquire a lot of crap
You know what I’m talking about. The gadgets. The novelty measuring spoons. Those cute retro things we find at op shops that really should have stayed in the past. The free plastic measuring jug whose measurements you can’t even read. The $2 mug your Secret Santa gave you 3 years ago that’s been pushed to the back of the cupboard. As of right now, that stuff has no place in my home.
I will leave you with this quote that I recently came across, and absolutely LOVE: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak” – Hans Hofmann. So much yes. That’s a decluttering truth-bomb I can get behind.
Oh, and what did I do with those 186 items? About 20 items (mostly broken or unusable) went straight in the trash, which means I’ve effectively been storing rubbish in my cupboards for the last few years. My sister Steph, who has just moved into her own place with her boyfriend took a few things. And the rest I’m trying to get to the Waroona/Yarloop fire victims via the Australian Disaster Volunteers Register.
Have you been thinking about ditching 500? It’s never too late to start!!!