Permission to Get Rid of Things

This past weekend I went to a friend’s to help them reorganize their kitchen cabinets. They actually have a really nice kitchen layout with plenty of cabinet space and an enviable pantry. But, like many people, space can seem scarce when there is too much stuff everywhere.

Step one (the most important step, in my opinion) involved removing duplicate, expired, and unwanted items. It’s usually the longest part of the process, but well worth the time. It goes something like this:

“Why do you have three blenders?”

“I don’t know.”

“Great. Get rid of two of them.”

It’s that easy. I know some of you would disagree with that statement, but I promise you, it really is that easy. Sometimes there are memories, emotional baggage, and theoretical possibilities associated with the things cluttering up our homes.  “Oh, but I can’t get rid of that. My best friend gave it to me the day my dog died.” Sound familiar? I’m sure all of us have done this at one point or another, and, while it’s okay to hang on to a few things now and then, what happens when your whole house is filled with “What ifs?” and long-forgotten mementos? It can start to feel less like a home and more like a dumping ground.

You. Over there with three crock pots and a spare toaster from the eighties. Get rid of them. You have my permission.

The Beauty of Space

Let’s talk about the importance of space. Having enough space to store all of your possessions, while still having enough room to breathe and live comfortably, is something that everyone should be mindful of. Think about it: You can technically fill your closet top to bottom with stuff until it’s full to the brim and the doors are threatening to pop off. You can fit a huge amount of clothing and knick knacks in that closet if you aren’t worrying about presentation and how much space everything has to breathe. But should you do that?

Sorry if I’m about to burst anyone’s bubble, but the answer is no.

Plenty of people would disagree. Lots of folks still subscribe to the commonly accepted notion that I like to call Too Much Stuff Syndrome. I’m not here to lecture you on how much stuff you should or shouldn’t have. I don’t know things you actually need in your life. Only you can figure that out. But, what I would like to encourage is that you consider how much space all that stuff is taking up.

Are your dresser drawers overflowing? Bookshelves cramped and messy? Does your kid have so many toys that they’re just scattered about the entire house? Are there piles of papers all over the kitchen counter?

Now, an even better question: How do those things make you feel? I bet a good number of you feel stressed or overwhelmed just thinking about it. Perhaps some of you don’t even want to acknowledge all those things because you don’t like how it makes you feel. If that’s the case, please know that there is nothing wrong with that. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by clutter. There have been studies done on it and entire movements around minimalism. People have finally begun to recognize and accept the fact that the “More, more, more” mentality is actually doing more harm than good.

Too much clutter, mess, and stuff can increase your cortisol levels and make you super stressed. When we’re unhappy with our surroundings those feelings can bleed over into other areas of our lives and have a negative effect on our health, relationships, outlook, etc.

Aside from stress, there are other reasons to value having more space in your home: a) It’s more sanitary. You can’t clean your house well if you’re just cleaning around piles of stuff. b.) It’s more aesthetically pleasing. c.) It leaves more wiggle room and room for potential growth.

You might not be ready to dive head first into minimalism. To be honest, I can’t do it either. But you absolutely can start taking little steps to create more space in your home so that you can breathe.

Basket Case

I learned something about myself recently: I really like baskets.

I know what you must be thinking. “You’re in your thirties and you only just figured out that you like baskets?”

Yep.

You know who doesn’t like baskets though? My fiance. Of all the things to hate on this planet, he hates baskets. I don’t understand this. Baskets are not only useful, but they can be stylish, too!

Case in point:

I use baskets all over the house to store various things. Have misc. pantry items that keep things looking messy? Organize them in baskets! Want the towels to look neater? Fold ’em up pretty and stick them in a basket! Toys of the human or canine variety overunneth onto the floor? That’s right, get a damned basket!

There are so many colors and varieties of baskets nowadays that there really is no excuse for not finding the perfect one, unless you’re my fiance and clearly have no appreciation for woven objects. *sigh*

Do you guys like baskets?

Year of the Makeover

After life came to a grinding halt in 2020, this year has been all about makeovers. Sitting home all day, eating junk food and wearing yoga pants, was fun for a few weeks, but eventually things started to feel pretty stale. In an attempt to regain control, I’ve slowly been making over every nook, cranny, and neglected square inch of our home. I’ve also been working on improving some other areas of my life, as well, but we can talk more about those later.

I’m only halfway done with all of the things I want to accomplish, but it’s already made a huge difference! It’s amazing how new shelf liners and a few baskets/bins can make it feel like you’re in a completely different space.

(Before and after)

Have you given any areas of your life a makeover lately?