Anyone who knows my mom well knows that she has a LOT of stuff. Her fiance says "I don't want to say hoarder, but..." She's not bad enough to be a hoarder, but she doesn't take the time to declutter as often as she should. And I grew up just like that.
I hang on to stuff for years because I MIGHT need it. And it seems like inevitably as soon as I throw something away, I need it a few days later, even if I had no idea what it was at the time. I've got somethings that I feel are worth saving (hundreds of pages of handwritten stories and blurbs of conversations I wrote during my school years, the ribbons I won in the fair for items that are not in my home, mementos from Dad) and things not worth saving (seriously like 20 copies of one photograph from my wedding that's in at least 2 albums already) and yet...I don't toss them.
At MOPS last week, we talked about organizing and I got inspired. I followed a link a fellow MOPS mom posted about cleaning and decluttering your home in 15 minutes a day in 52 weeks. I read through the daily things and realized that, surprisingly, I actually do a LOT of the recommended things. I crossed off the things that I already have in place (filing systems, clothing rotations, etc) and things we wouldn't use or don't have (central charging station for electronics, basement) and I was down to about 7 months of stuff if I only work 15 minutes a day. Seriously, most of the entire first month is based in the kitchen. I scoffed at that and said "I can do that faster." So I went through the entire kitchen this past week and now have a giant box on my dining room table of stuff to discard.
I'm still riding the high of feeling inspired. I have 12 rooms/areas in the house and decided that if I tackle a minimum of one room/area a week, I'll finish in just 3 months. But, the small hallway outside our bedrooms will take like five minutes. Maybe less. I have nothing to get rid of there. It's a hallway with a bookshelf full of special kids books and pictures hanging on the walls. The entry hall should take 1 day because I'll have to spend an hour in the closet. Things like that mean I shouldn't actually need a full 3 months to get through the house. It's really encouraging.
I know things will come up that will discourage me. I'm planning on scanning in pictures and the boys' artwork so I don't necessarily have to hang on to the originals. That's going to be probably a whole week on it's own. And I fight with the scanner every time. I'm going to have to force myself to actually give up things I've held onto for years just for sentimental value. It's ok to keep some, but I don't need ALL of them. Organizing stuff will help me find things better.
My goal is to be done by the end of the summer, if not sooner. Ideally would be end of June. We'll see what happens and if I get burned out (it's surprisingly exhausting going through everything).
So I'm posting it here to have people encourage and/or keep me accountable. I feel like if I work a couple hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I'll be doing great. And then I have to inspire Austin to tackle his area upstairs and the garage. Because THAT'S going to be a bear.