I thought I had this decluttering thing DOWN, y’all. I’ve read many books and blog posts on the subject; in fact, I’ve even written my own blog posts on the subject. I decluttered our entire fairly large house from top to bottom two years ago when we put it on the market. That Kon Mari lady had nothin’ on me.
But lately, I’ve been noticing a few things. One is that I’ve been having a hard time getting all the kitchen utensils to fit in the drawer. Also, looking for a particular spice in the cabinet has been an exercise in pulling out every. single. one. before I find the one I need. And putting on my game face in the morning has me rifling through an overly full makeup bag for 10 minutes searching for an elusive eye shadow brush.
It just so happens that in two years there is a lot of opportunity not only to accumulate more stuff but for the stuff you have to get disorganized again.
The second law of thermodynamics, also called the law of entropy, states that “systems” will tend to decay from a state of order to a state of disorder, unless they are acted upon by an outside force. I can vouch for the truth of this principle. The outside force called me has not been doing enough acting on the systems in my house to maintain their state of order, lol.
Guess what? It turns out you can’t just declutter once and expect everything to remain that way forever. Even with the best will in the world to always put things where they belong — everything in its place and all that — the drawers and closets and shelves in your house WILL get cluttered again.
What is necessary to keep your house decluttered is to KEEP DECLUTTERING.
Every once in awhile the planets align in my life, and the motivation I need to do a certain job is given to me right when I need to do it. This time, not long after I began noticing that my systems were in a state of disorder, lol, I was selected to be part of the launch team for a new book. Guess what the book is about?
Unstuffed, by Ruth Soukup, is about decluttering. And even if you’ve read every other work that’s ever been published on the subject, you’ll also want to read this one. In this book, Ruth looks at decluttering in new and inspiring ways. It’s very motivating to read about one woman’s fight against the accumulation of years.
So as I read statements like this:
“…the very first step toward becoming unstuffed is being realistic about how we actually use our homes rather than how we think we should use them,”
I began taking care of some of the areas that have been bugging me. I’ve had success with the spice situation and the bathroom cabinet where the makeup dwells. The utensil drawer is still on my to-do list but will be happening SOON. I can only handle it getting stuck while I’m trying to open it so many times before I have to take action!
The lesson to be learned here is that decluttering is like cleaning or laundry, y’all. It’s never done. You never ARRIVE. It needs to become a habit that we perform regularly, even over and over again on the same problem areas, if necessary. Otherwise before too long we’ll be back where we started.
Some people recommend decluttering for 10 minutes every day. If you’ve got 10 minutes, go for it! I tend to put it off until the exact moment when the bothersome area is being, well, bothersome — and then I use that annoyance to fuel the “get ‘er done” mentality. I tackled the bathroom cabinet one morning when I’d had enough of digging through makeup. It truly doesn’t have to take long; I completed the whole spice cabinet in about 15 minutes while I was waiting for the next stage of dinner prep.
Maybe you’re like me, and you’re already a convert to decluttering but just need a boost of motivation to keep up the habit. Or maybe you are facing a mountain of stuff accumulated over your lifetime and you don’t even know where to start. For either case, I highly recommend Unstuffed as a manual to get things under control. There are practical action plans and challenges to help with the details, so there’s no excuse not to dig right in to the job at hand.
And here’s another thing: in the book, Ruth doesn’t just talk about getting your home decluttered; she also talks about clearing out the clutter from your life and your heart. This is what makes Unstuffed such a wonderful read.
See what I mean? :-)
Find a spot in your home that’s bothering you and clear out the clutter. And then keep on keeping on with the decluttering habit. In this way our homes will stay decluttered, and our drawers won’t get stuck. ;-)