- Where I live, Tuesday marked the first day back to school. Despite an original forecast of rain, it ended up being hot and sunny all day long. What a great way to launch the academic term (we walked of course)!
- John and I managed to sneak away this week to use his grand-prize win – a trip to White Point Beach Resort. It has been wonderful, and the kids were thrilled to have Grammie and Grampie come to babysit – complete with homemade Mac n’ Cheese and meatballs, two of their favourite meals. Stay tuned for a recap!
Until then, here is a bit more decluttering Q&A.
do you use storage containers? Don’t minimalists discourage this?
I LOVE storage containers. For most things my go-to’s are: KIS brand Omni storage boxes (the lids go on easily, they’re clear, stack well, and have been very very durable; I tend to use these for larger items like clothes and bulky toys). For everything else I use the inexpensive plastic shoe boxes from Home Depot.
- I use these shoe boxes (without lids) inside my kid’s dresser drawers – lots of them. I/they can fold up their leggings, shorts, pants, and PJ’s and they fit right in.
- I use them to store travel toiletries under the bathroom sink.
- I use them to organize facecloths in my linen closet.
- I keep my (pathetically small) sewing stash in a single box – needles, thread, hemming tape, and random buttons.
- We’ve also used them to organize our LEGO!
Where/how do you store everything?
I’m just going to go through a few pictures as it is likely easier to visualize our storage systems.
I’m a big fan of furniture with closed doors. Also, baskets for the win!
What about food? Do you stockpile?
My husband and I have a long-standing debate. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE an empty fridge and pantry. He prefers to see them bursting at the seams.
Having a whole bunch of raw materials for meals always leaves me feeling anxious. I know I need to use ingredients before they spoil, and I know it will take time and energy to do this. It all feels a bit like a ticking time bomb.
Fun fact: our 1970’s kitchen is currently configured for an apartment-sized fridge, so space is limited! I try very hard to only buy items we need/will consume and prefer to shop several times a week so I get items fresh without having to store them for long periods.
The pictures below are actually after a huge (to me) grocery order, but it usually looks fuller than this. We had just gotten home from a week away and things were already pretty sparse. All the veggies go in the crisper drawers. I try to get rid of condiments we no longer need/use as we don’t have much door storage.
you like decluttering, but my house is a mess? Where do I start?
This depends. Some people do best tackling a single space – say the shelves in a linen closet. Others do better tackling a single category – say all the clothes in a closet or a bin full of Christmas decorations. Some people like to clean everything at once – blitzing the house in a matter of days. Some people prefer to pick away at it, tackling one space or category a week.
Regardless of your personality type and penchant for decluttering, I’d say the safest launch point is to pick something small. Start with a relatively neutral space – a sock drawer or your bathroom vanity – something that won’t take a lot of time to get through and likely already contains categorized items (that don’t come with a lot of emotional attachments).
Clear this space. Assess how it feels to downsize, repurpose, and organize. If items are out of place, find them an appropriate home. If cosmetics or medications are expired or if socks are uncomfortable/missing mates/have holes – GET RID OF THEM! By tackling doable spaces first, it can help build momentum to carry your efforts through your entire living space.
Finally, there is no finish line. At some point it becomes more an issue of maintenance, but there will always be new messes, new paraphernalia that enters your home and it’s a natural part of life. You don’t start once, complete a task, and declare victory. It’s a lifestyle and something you’ll return to over and over again (with varying levels of enthusiasm)!