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What are the best times in your life when it’s sensible to clean house and get rid of stuff you don’t use?
I think it’s when you’re either:
a) Fed up with too much crap and clutter
b) Ready to make living with less and doing more a priority
c) OR…a combination of the two.
Whatever your *why* is, when the resolve settles in that its time for a change, be sure and take advantage of these opportunities to clean out your home and downsize your belongings.
Trust me, you will feel soooo good when you begin to “lighten your load.”
The Best Times to Sift Through Your Stuff
When you move from one house to another is the best time to get rid of things you no longer need. Why move stuff you haven’t used from one place to another where you won’t use it either? Think kitchen gadgets and closets as your best place to start.
Do you have a wok but can’t remember the last time you cooked anything stir-fried? If you rarely entertain, do you really need all those wine glasses and extra sets of dishes? How many plastic containers are in the cupboard and how many do you really use on a weekly basis? Get rid of the sizes you never use. Spend a little time to consider how much of your stuff you really use and make up your mind to let go of what is just taking up space.
Of course, when I say here to get rid of something, I mean donate it- don’t throw it away unless it doesn’t work or it’s broken. There are plenty of charitable organizations happy to have your stuff as long as it’s usable.
Look at your linen closet- how many of those sets of sheets to you really use? If you have towels that have lost their fluff and feel like sandpaper, out they go. Repurpose them or donate to a pet rescue facility.
Old makeup and medical supplies should be tossed, especially if it’s now past the expiration date.
If there is stuff in the basement or garage still in boxes from the last time you moved? It’s a safe bet that, if you’ve forgotten it exists, you likely won’t ever use it again (or miss it when it’s gone). Test your courage by just tossing the boxes without even looking in them. If you can’t manage this without your palms starting to sweat, then check to make sure there wasn’t a hidden treasure in one of them.
When your kids grow up and move out, it’s time to clean out the stuff they didn’t take with them. Don’t feel you should keep your kids’ room as a shrine to them. While I understand you want to keep your memories, you don’t need to keep sports equipment from high school or every trophy they ever won. If it’s not important enough for your kids to take with them to their new place, you shouldn’t hold onto it either. Offer them the chance to keep what they want, but set a deadline for them to move out their things.
If you’ve always wanted a reading room or a place to work on your crafts, now you’ll have it. Or, make this into the fancy room your guests will be thrilled to spend the night in. Redecorate, renovate and make that room your own!
At some point, as you get older, you may decide your house is too much to keep up and you’ll move to a smaller place such as a condo. Now you will absolutely need to decide what to get rid of since storage space will be limited. Once again, your kitchen and closets are the best areas that can be downsized.
Maybe you’ll downsize so much, you’ll consider moving into a tiny house!
Take advantage of these major life events to sift through your stuff, get rid of what you will no longer need in your new life, and donate it to someone else who could use it to start their new life.
Speaking of tiny house living…
If you’ve been looking for a beautiful and unconventional diverse picture book for kids that shares the transition to tiny house living in a positive way, check out, Sissy Goes Tiny.
In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents make the bold choice to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less. At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.
“I believe that Sissy Goes Tiny is going to open so many minds for people! A tiny house is absolutely not for everyone, but we all like to dream and step into the shoes of another lifestyle in our minds. Learning about this lifestyle I think will help people be more supportive of people who do choose to live unconventionally. Sissy and her family are a great example of that.” Co-author, B.A. Norrgard
Join us in celebrating the idea of Tiny Living and BIG Adventures!