I’ve lived in lots of different homes: an apartment, starter home, good-sized home, and our now probably-too-big home, and there’s one thing they all have in common… clutter.
Every time I move, I’m certain that this is the time that my new home will be clutter free and rival the most beautiful home magazines. Then we move in, reality hits, our house is cluttered again, and I want to move… because the next house will be clutter free.
I finally realized that our clutter is like a koi fish. It will grow and grow and grow based on the size of its environment, and our current pond is overrun with possessions.
When we moved into our home two years ago, I was certain that this was going to be our last move. Everything would have a designated space because the size of our house was increasing by a lot… almost 60%. Organizing wouldn’t be a problem at all, right? Afterall, I only have clutter because I don’t have enough storage space <face palm!>
We moved in, life got in the way, and now we’ve been here almost four years, and some rooms could easily convince people that we’ve only recently moved in. That’s depressing.
I’ve finally realized that it doesn’t really matter how much space we have. This isn’t a space issue; it’s a stuff issue. If we don’t have systems in place to take care of our possessions, clutter is inevitable… especially with four kids. However, I’m starting to realize that even the most elaborate systems can’t corral everything when you have too much stuff.
While I’d love my first step in this journey to be a trip to Target or The Container Store for some adorable bins and baskets, I know that won’t really help. My first step has to be purging. There are a lot of things in this house that I need to get rid of, and despite my recent weight loss success (woohoo), most of my pre-baby clothes from 6 years ago will be the first out the door.
I have a plan to finally get rid of clutter and create the home that my family and I want and deserve. No more panicked feelings when someone says they’re stopping over for a surprise visit. No more not being able to find stuff when I need it. No more wasting money buying replacements for stuff I end up finding later. No more. We are dejunking, decluttering, and getting this house organized once and for all… or maybe we’ll just move again. (If my husband’s reading this, I’m totally joking about the moving thing! I think…)
Have you found that clutter follows you wherever you go despite the size of your surroundings? What are you doing to remove clutter from your life?
Can’t wait to see where you go with this. Because I have to exact same problem. Too much stuff!
Paula, thank you for letting me know I’m not alone! 🙂
Kelly @ View Along the Way
That’s so true about clutter filling to the size of whatever container you’ll give it! We have lots of purging to do this spring. :/
I feel your pain! We worked in our basement this past weekend, and we have 7 large boxes of just clothes to give away, and we’re still keeping a lot as hand me downs for younger siblings. We have a crazy amount of stuff, but not for much longer! 😉
Ugh you are SO RIGHT ON! I feel like I am constantly giving things away, constantly purging. And it always just seems to grow and grow and grow. I HATE clutter!
I swear our stuff multiplies when our backs are turned (kids’ toys especially!). I don’t know if I want to sort through it all or just look at houses online. 🙂
I LOVE this post! Because I know it’s so true! We currently live in a house that is way to big for us AND has a garage. We are not garage people (no workshop or anything), so it is full of stuff. And every extra unused inch of our home is full of stuff.
We are on the downhill slope of parenting with 2 of our 4 kids already moved out. Downsizing is happening right now! I am currently “UNpacking” all those boxes in the garage that have followed us on the last 5 moves (in 5 years, as I always hope for something less cluttered)
Next month we move into a beautiful new condo with 3 bedrooms, a great room, and no garage. NO room for clutter. I will definitely HAVE to implement some organizational systems.
I am excited to learn and grow in this process since this will be our last move.
Thank you for your post. I enjoyed it. 🙂
Thanks, Jennifer, and good luck! Moving is the best time to purge.
We recently bought a condo in Florida for our upcoming retirement and I furnished it with only the absolute basic things that we will need to live there permanently one day. Every time we go there, I feel so light and cheerful because there is no clutter and it is so easy to find things.
Every time we come back home, I immediately start clearing things out because I can’t stand the clutter. I
will be very interested in seeing what your system is to purging and organizing because I need all the help I can get. 🙂
I always feel so much better and lighter when my counters are clear and things are in their place. Sadly, that’s not the most frequent occurrence, but hopefully I’ll be singing a different tune in 6 or so weeks. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears. I need a lot of help too. Most importantly, congratulations on the upcoming retirement!
Good luck! 2014 was going to be my year to organize as well. And then I read about simplifying and I was so inspired. So now my focus is on getting rid of things so that keeping organized is not so much a chore. I have been doing it for about 2 months and it has been amazing! And it is getting so much easier to part with things the more I do it.
Found you on Whimsy Wednesdays
Thanks for sharing! You’re getting me excited to start what feels like a rather daunting task. I’m in the “less is better” mindset too. Less to clean, less to worry about, less to organize, sign me up! 🙂
You are so right! I definitely think the clutter just expands to fill available space. Our home is by no means huge, but we have enough room for the four of us. We simply have to much stuff! It seems to be a constant battle, but I am right there with you wanting it gone once and for all! 🙂
Hi Laura, Yes, “once and for all” is definitely the goal. I’m sick of battling my stuff.
look up “the flylady”. she has a great easy system for decluttering, keeping a clean house and an organized life
Thanks, Amanda. I’ll definitely check her out. I need all the help I can get! 🙂
Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Absolutely! When we had just 4 kids, we moved from an apartment to our first House. I actually said, “4 hall closets? What on earth am I going to do with 4 hall closets??” When we moved out 11 years ago, you know all those closets were full.
It seems to happen slowly, but surely. Every nook and cranny ends up filled with stuff.
Haha, yes! I totally feel this.. downsizing and Purging are so vital… I try to just go through the house at least every 6 months and just Get Rid of Stuff… it is incredible how fast things can accumulate, that seriously add no value to our life! Decluttering helps me breath and think… love this post!
they accumulate so fast! I’m convinced my kids’ toys are alive and multiplying every night. Trying to deal with just that feels like a losing battle.
I just rented a 10×15 climate control storage unit.
I need help!
I would start by going through your home and decluttering the obvious. Ask yourself if the item is useful (in your life now, not for some imaginary future use) or makes you feel fabulous. If not, out it goes (donate, throw away, sell, etc.). Then work your way to the storage unit. You could choose to bring a box home each weekend and go through it at home, or spend some time in the actual storage unit going through stuff and purging it then and there. I think you’ll find that you won’t miss most of what is in there. After all, if you need to put it in storage, you’re managing without the stuff in your daily life (I assume you’re not just holding it temporarily because you’re moving). There are a lot of great decluttering resources online, including good one on ridding yourself of some sentimental clutter. Only keep what you truly love/use/and means something to you. You can do it!
The storage unit started as a temporary holding space and then we moved and kept putting off emptying it. Thankfully, it’s long gone at this point. The only bad news is that a lot of it was just transferred to our basement! I’ll be tackling that in a month or two. I’m kind of dreading it, but I appreciate your faith in me! I’m glad someone thinks I can do it! lol
We just moved from a largish 3 bedroom house into a 2 bed house that is about half the size and I’m culling majorly!
The storage area under the new house is FULL of boxes, and I’m gradually sorting through them working out what I want to bring upstairs. I’m making a little pile in one corner with the idea that if I don’t notice that I’m missing anything, the stuff in those boxes will get chucked next Christmas.
I also got rid of a heap of stuff before we even moved, particularly in the area of my wardrobe and bookcases – I’m a bit of a book hoarder, so I made the decision to only keep my favourites… Took me forever to decide!
Yes, clutter seems to find me no matter what I do. I keep trying different systems of organization just to have them destroyed by my kids 🙂 I am saying this will be the year that I get rid of the clutter, and my stuff stays organized!
I know what that’s like! I feel like I’m constantly organizing our kids’ playroom only to have it turn into a disaster a week or two later (if I’m lucky!).
Sometimes I feel that clutter has no end! Now we are downsizing to a smaller house and I am trying to get rid of all the stuff we don’t need and it is really much! Good luck! Thanks for the post!
I’m scared to seriously think about how much we have that we don’t need. I know we have way too much junk.
I love to purge. I get such a great feeling letting go of things I don’t really need. My family doesn’t always agree however, so most of my decluttering happens during the school/work day! Totally agree though-possessions expand to fill the space.
I’m jealous, Daria! I wish it came easily too me. Sometimes it does, and then other times my brain starts thinking about the million and one reasons I *need* everything in my house. It’s ridiculous.
I just tossed out half my closet and I feels awesome! Now when I go to put something on it only the good stuff. I always have something to wear now! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on MM Pin Board! Have a great week!
That’s great, Kim! I desperately need to revisit my closet now that spring is here. I could easily get rid of half of the stuff in there.