Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Purge, baby, purge

If  you're a Netflix junkie or mildly curious what people are talking about, you've likely watched an episode (or binged them all while eating popsicles in your sick bed) of the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It's all about minimizing what you own, keeping only what sparks joy, and freeing up the spaces in your home. Lots of research says that too much stuff or clutter around you increases anxiety, and I know that's true for me. I think I was able to always keep my anxiety in check by obsessively organizing and cleaning. Post AFE I am not able to do that so oftentimes I find myself staring at a counter in my dining room, often referred to as a "command station" area, which has become a catch all. Everyone throws things on it and apparently I'm the only one capable of doing anything about any of it. Which is annoying because what would they do if I was dead?

I digress.

I decided that I really have to do this. I started a few months ago and I focused on one specific area, like a closet. I emptied out, went through each item one by one and had a ton of trash, mostly because it was a linen closet, and when I put the few things back in, it was really nice. Interesting, I've been very reluctant to put anything back onto the empty shelves so I have been really good about keeping it up.

I know Marie has a method of doing all of the clothes at once (which I will do this weekend or next, I'm not sure yet), doing all paper, all komono (everything else), etc. It's a whole process. But for me to do this with toddlers under me, that's not really practical. I did Lucy and Penelope's room as one process and got rid of things that were too small, stained, things we just don't use/wear. It was really nice to just get one entire room done and close the door and know I'm done. For now at least.

I know my room is going to take awhile because Matt and I both have a LOT of clothes, mostly that we don't wear and it's always been easier to put them in a drawer and worry about it later. Get rid of three or four shirts when we are donating other stuff just to fill a bag. But the time has come... we need to really do it. But knowing that is going to be a joint process and probably not an enjoyable one, I decided I would start on my office because that's 100% me and my problem.

My office is kind of great, I spend a lot of time in it. It stores toys, all of my books, all of my scrapbooking, my recumbent bike, and a closet that is literally the biggest catch all I've ever had. I don't know what's even in there aside from purses and extra school supplies. It's a hot mess. But I decided putting it all in the middle of the room is not practical for me so I would go section by section.
I have these cubes I got from Michaels, but you can also get them on Amazon,  and they are GREAT. You can different kinds, some with doors or drawers, modular compartments, some with shelves, the possibilities are endless and it's perfect for any kind of crafter but also for someone who just has a lot of smaller things to store and you don't want them out in the open. They stack, you can move them around, they are really the best investment I've made in my office. Anyways. I have scrapbooked a lot since I had Lucy so a LOT of my supplies have been neglected. I decided I was going through each drawer and really make a decision- is this something I will realistically use knowing I don't craft much anymore, or is this something someone else could use? As you can see, that box is all of the ribbon I got rid of. Almost 75 rolls.
I decided to keep just this. Huge improvement because I had four of these drawers stuffed full of ribbon and now I have one drawer not even half full. I have nothing in my other drawers so I might just move these somewhere and downsize a cube or two. We'll see. 
This looks terrible but truly, I had stuff everywhere in my office. Matt looked a little overwhelmed and left me alone for the most part. 
I emptied out my scrapbook supplies from the closet, those are all gone. ALL gone. I didn't keep anything. I narrowed my stamp collection to half. I went through every pen, pencil, marker I had and only kept 40, just enough for one of each major color. All of my paints are gone (except the craft pain the kids use), I got rid of punches and tools, adhesive I don't like, cards and envelopes I don't use, so much stuff. I ended up donating a LOT to Penelope's preschool because I knew kids would love to tinker with this stuff at their art table and it's out of my house. 
The MOST daunting thing? Going through paper. I have thousands of sheets of 12x12 paper. Thousands. Easily. I went through so much and got rid of 3/4 of it. Did you read that? I hardly have any paper. (Not true, I have a lot but even Matt wasn't sure if my give away pile was the smaller pile and was VERY impressed that it was the larger!) That all went to the preschool too. I realized I've had paper for YEARS just because it was pretty. Like this stuff from SEI. I kept it because I literally could not part with it but I am going to use it on a page this year. I keep saying I'm waiting for the "right" photos for it but no- I need to use it. So my scrapbook area is DONE. It's kind of amazing and I feel not as overwhelmed to do more pages. I don't have as many choices to think about, it's back to being simple and easy.

My next project? Books. 
This is a before of half of my shelves. I do a purge every few months so I'm not THAT bad. Marie Kondo says you should keep less than 30 and that's not a world I want to live in. I just cannot. A person can't even ask that of me. A lot of my books I've read so many times so it's not like they just sit there.

I am going through one area at a time. Young Adult will be first, then non-fiction, and then..... everything else. I'll offer them to friends first, then I'm going to try to find teachers or organizations that would want them, and then donate. I already have a stack of books I'm going to mail to people so I need to work on that this week.

I have so much work yet to do in my office but having the scrapbook area done is a huge accomplishment. I just need to make some tough choices on books. I feel sick already.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great job on purging so much of your craft/scrapbook supplies. It's nice to just have a set amount of options sometimes. And I'm sure Penelope's school loved getting all that fun supplies. Oh gosh, purging books is tough. I will always have more than 30 books. I just will. They make me happy. I do try and go through every now and then though and get rid of things I won't ever re-read or probably won't ever read So many of my shelves are full of books I still haven't read, but I WANT to, which is why I'm hoping to focus on that more this year. :)


Julie H said...

Good job! I watched the show on Netflix. I am hoping for a craft room in the next 10 years so I'm not getting rid of much anytime soon ;)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I get decluttering and purging I really do but when you can barely move and need help from others it isn't so easy to do