I recently moved. Let me rephrase that, I recently moved over two weeks ago, but still feel like I’m moving because of all the clutter I relocated from one home into the next. I just created double the work for myself (and a few unlucky friends)…..Why?
I realized I am a closet hoarder. Not as in “the closets are where I hoard things” (let’s be honest, that’s probably true as well) but as in, my visible living spaces look tidy and presentable, but I hoard things in less visible places. So, when your husband’s friend tells you after helping move you and your family of 5 one weekend over a couple of well-deserved drinks, that you may be the cutest “Vitamin Hoarder” he’s ever seen, one begins to wonder. It’s quite obvious the word “cute” was only inserted in that sentence to help soften the blow of the ugly truth, because that's how good of a friend Tom is. Reality check is, I have a problem!
In my defense, I was raised reciting this saying, "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without!" But, there is absolutely no excuse for all the extra labor I put our friends and family through. Clearly, I had let things get completely out of hand because there were way more things that weren't being "used up" than my "doing without". I think I had altered the meaning of the statement to "don't ever throw out anything, no matter how old or expired it is in the event you might need it one day."
There is a certain degree of self-examination done while lying in bed in the quiet of the night after everyone else has gone to sleep from pure exhaustion from moving all your crap. I came to the conclusion that our friend Tom is absolutely right! I am a Vitamin Hoarder, (one could add shoe hoarder, hair & face product hoarder, office supply hoarder, sunscreen hoarder, hangers… I found I also hoard hangers, among various other things……. (*sigh). Now, instead of unpacking and enjoying my new space, I’m having to go through everything and clean out all the things I haven’t used, or haven’t needed, in over 2 years! (That was the last time I moved). That’s really depressing, not to mention exhausting!
Are you moving? If so, let me help you avoid a great deal of humiliation from those who get to see all your “junk” while moving you! Also, I hope to aid in helping you avoid using up all your “friend points” because friends are kind of nice to have around after the move. Heaven forbid you ever be called a hoarder of any kind, but if you haven't gone through your closets and decreased your stuff by half, and if your friends are anything like mine, there's a good chance you may! Here are my 3 tips to help you declutter your house, and avoid the label of "Vitamin Hoarder".
DO THIS (2 MONTHS) BEFORE MOVING:
Write down each area in your home you need to work on. Which one will make the biggest difference in your day to day life? Start with that area first. My list looks like this:
- Master bedroom closet
- My bathroom
- My clothing (start with what season you’re currently in)
- The pantry (expiration dates are your hard rule. If it’s expired, throw it out)!
- The family hall closet (RX’s, medicines, towels, etc.) – again, check expiration dates over a year, toss it!
- Spice cabinet
- Appliances and kitchen things we don’t use
- My office closet
- Laundry Cupboards
- Cleaning Supplies
In your “To Do” list (mine is in my phone, but I keep a hard copy on the wall where everyone can see). Give yourself 1 hour for each project. If you sort fast, you just earned some “me” time! Or, maybe you go on to the next project. I think it helps to have a friend or family member come over and help you stay on task, and also to help be the voice of reason when you’re talking yourself into all the reasons you need to keep that salsa maker no one has used since a month after your wedding. (Pour them a glass of wine and tell them they are quality control, that’s all! This isn’t where you want to use all your friend points!)
Grab your supplies. You need 3 boxes, containers, or bags. (Trash bags work great!) Grab each item and figure out if it’s trash or not. If not, do you want to donate the item or does it belong in another place in your home? This is where you ask yourself, “How long has it been since we used this?” Be careful with this step. Honestly, if it hasn’t been used in 6 months, there’s a good chance it won’t be! Stop hoarding! Donate it! You will feel so much better when it’s gone!
- #1 To donate
- #2 To throw away
- #3 To put back in it’s place
Here’s a great article from POPSUGAR with 8 questions to ask yourself when getting rid of clutter but the take away is this:
Here are some more great ideas from Simplykierste.
Anyway, I owe Tom a big Thank You, not only for moving all our crap, but for also being brave enough to tell me I have a problem…. words delicately chosen to soften the blow. J
Now that's a good friend!
If you're moving, I hope this helps a little. Good luck and keep this in mind from here on out.... I know I will!
By: One Cute (reformed) Vitamin Hoarder
-Lucy R. Kellogg J