I'm hoping that you spent some time yesterday in reflection of the culture and rhythms you'd like for your home to reflect. If you missed yesterday's post, please take some time to go back andread that here. It truly sets a foundation for where we are heading this month!
Often times when we do an assessment of what our ideal home would feel like and reflect, we quickly recognize that our home's current state is not in line with where we want to be. AND THAT IS OK! There is grace for that, there is time to get there. Although we are only spending a month on the topic of building an intentional home, that in no way means that you need to leave this month having perfectly curated the exact atmosphere you desire to create. I believe we could spend an entire year on this topic, and yet we only have a month together. SO as we move through this topic fairly quickly, please bookmark steps and challenges you desire to pour over more deeply. We are literally talking through decluttering in just a few days, and for some, this process may take months. That's ok, there is zero pressure to keep up with the fast pace with which we will be moving. Give yourself grace, and move at your own pace - just don't shut down and check-out - continue to walk this journey and discussion with us but walk through the challenges at your own pace.
I believe that one of the first steps to aligning your desired home outcome with where you currently are will most likely begin with purging. We have a culture of too much stuff in our western world, and too much stuff can quickly and easily make us feel overwhelmed and chaotic. I hold a deep belief that everything should have a place and a purpose within our walls. This lesson was deeply ingrained in me again just this past spring. After we sold our home, we had a moving sale in order to get rid of all of the extras we had acquired as we were downsizing to a smaller home with far less storage. Over the 8 years we had lived in that home, we had acquired too much that I was not using, too much that were other people's things offloaded onto us, too much that was just honestly unnecessary. I quickly realized that I needed to be a more discerning gatekeeper as to what I will allow within our walls from that day forward. And that I have become.
I recognized that much of what we were holding onto - items that were unused - were items I didn't regularly use. We had a lot of "just incase" items under our roof and I felt like we would feel more freedom without them (as the more stuff you have, the more things you have to manage), and that someone else would benefit from us donating all the excess. And so we did. We got rid of the extras. I didn't need 30+ wine glasses for my once-annual Wine and Chocolate party, I gave away the majority of those (keeping just enough for a few extra visitors) and instead realized I could borrow from a neighbor for that once-a-year event. And that's exactly what I did this year. I would venture to guess that most of the items in American's closets, storage, and drawers fall into the category of "just incase" or "someday", and that's what we've tried to eliminate from our home. Most of us have the social network to be able to borrow or the resources to repurchase in the off chance that that "someday" becomes a now and necessary thing.
And so, with that in mind, I want to encourage you to be VERY discerning and VERY ruthless with your purging as we walk through this decluttering process over the next few days. If you grow anxiety or concern over simply discarding or donating something you fear you will need in the future, I encourage you to pull out a box. Store those items you fear you will miss in a box and put them away in your garage or storage area of your home. I would venture to guess that you won't be surprised when they are still tucked away in that box a year later and you haven't thought about them once. Those "just incase" items take up space in our closets and - whether you realize it or not - energy from our life.
And so, I want you to set aside some time to declutter, to purge. Be ruthless, but take your time. Go through each drawer, each closet, each cabinet. Bring boxes and trash bags to each room, to each space, as you methodically move from drawer to drawer and closet to closet asking yourself the following questions...
1. Do I use this item regularity?
2. Does this item have a specific purpose in our home and in our lives?
3. Do we actually NEED this item?
4. Does this item contribute to the atmosphere I'm trying to create?
If the answer is no, I want to encourage you to put it aside in those boxes and bags. You can always reassess these items again later, but for now, be ruthless and pull those things out. For sure discard broken and stained items that you are holding onto. There is no need to hold onto an item that you won't actually use again.
For a little more guidance about where to start, below you will find listed the top 5 areas of your home to begin purging!
For some, the practice of purging and decluttering is not an easy one. I recognize that. If you find yourself struggling to part with items that you know you actually don't need, I would encourage you to invite a friend to help you with the process of purging. Share your wrestle with them and see if they can help you work through it.
This isn't a process that will happen overnight, especially if you're burried in a lot of stuff within your walls. Set aside time each day, or some time each week to work through this process. Invite your family to help with this process. It truly is freeing to declutter and purge unused items that are taking up space in your life, I promise you that!
Tomorrow we will talk about how to better manage what comes into your home and about discerning between what we need versus what we want.