Friday, January 18, 2013

Simplify, De-clutter and get ready to move?!?!

Remember when I said to stay tuned for more info on #26 of last years list? Well it's official....the Trudels are homeowners....well condo-owners actually, this is Vancouver after all and we aren't millionaires! When I made this list I kind of put this item on it as a joke so who knew that just over a year later I would actually get to cross it off? It's crazy! When I came up with this years project, I had a pretty good idea that we would be closing on our condo and moving in February so that had a big part in shaping my monthly themes. I don't know about you, but I find that the longer you stay in one place, the more stuff you accumulate! It seems that unless you do a regular inventory of what you have and really assess whether you need/use everything you own and you end of with things you forgot you even had!! I know for a fact that this is the case for us, so I wanted to use the move as motivation to really downsize and de-clutter. Who wants to move stuff you haven't used in years, and probably will never use again right?!? So I have been busy, busy, busy going through our apartment room by room and  deciding what to sell, donate, or keep. I have done this before but I want to be particularly ruthless this time, because even though our new place is bigger I know from experience that we will start to accumulate stuff again and I don't want it to be just as cluttered as this place in a few short years! I did a bit of research to find some tips on organizing and de-cluttering every part of your house! I think a great place to start is to come up with a few words to describe my ideal space and how I want to feel in that space. From the kitchen to the living room, to our bedroom closet, the three words I want our new home to portray are timeless, warm and simple with a few touches of character to add bits of our personality and creativity. I have learned that I am a pretty traditional person and whether it's decor or fashion I am not much of a risk-taker. As much as I wish I could pull off adventurous fashion trends, at my core I am a jeans and t-shirt girl.....and that translates into my decor style as well, so why fight it?!? I think it's more important to look at my home or my wardrobe and feel great about it and not stressed out by trying to be something I am not! With that in mind I have a few tips for simplifying and de-cluttering your home and your life. A few are general....a few are room specific and some are common sense but I think it's always good to have a reminder just in case you are holding on to that set of sheets with a hole in it, or that bleach stained towel for who-knows-what reason?!? 

Now I am by no means an organizational genius but I do have a few tips I have learned so far....some from experience and some from an actual organizational genius (Peter Walsh), but all of them are things I have found useful in my January project!

  • When sorting, keep your vision in mind and with every item you are struggling with, ask yourself does this fit in my vision of the space? Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I have a place for it in my space? If the answer is no....get rid of it!
  • This rule goes for everything in your space....if it's stained, ripped, broken or missing a part and can't be repaired or repurposed (for something you actually NEED) get rid of it!! 
  • For your kitchen....this is a Peter Walsh tip. Keep a cardboard box in your kitchen for a week or two and every time you use a gadget put it in the box. At the end of the week or two anything that is left in the drawers is something you obviously don't use that often! You don't necessarily need to automatically get rid of everything left in the drawers, but just really think about each item and assess whether it's truly worth keeping. you really need 4 wine openers? Or did you know you had an embarrassing number of take-out chopsticks? (we really need to start asking our sushi place not to include them in future orders, especially since we have re-usable ones anyway)
  • Want to know how much of your wardrobe you actually wear? This is clothing specific and I have mentioned it before during my no-shopping year but it's worth mentioning again because I think it's a must-do when trying to organize your closet! First, take an inventory of your closet by item (10 pairs of jeans, 2o dresses, 35 t-shirts etc) and re hang all items in your closet with the hanger facing out. Then every time you wear a piece of clothing, put it back in the closet with the hanger now facing in....then you know exactly what you have worn and more importantly what you haven't! You can even count up the items and calculate the percentage of your wardrobe that you I did in 2011
  • And this friends is my favorite new rule (also courtesy of Peter Walsh) because it can be applied to almost anything from t-shirts to books to DVDs. I call it the ratio rule. The idea is that for every 5 things you keep, you have to get rid of 1. So if you have 30 DVDs and you keep 25, you get rid of 5. Thats doable right?!? I know I have at least 5 DVD's I will never watch again!
  • And finally....the most important rule is the maintenance rule.... because you can get rid of all the stuff you want, but if you just keep buying more then you will be back at square one with your closets and shelves stuffed to capacity. I have tried to follow this rule in the past with varying success, but from now on I am going to be more vigilant with enforcing it in our house. The idea is simple. 1 in 1 out. Buy a new pair of shoes? Donate an old pair. Buy a DVD, get rid of one. Buy a new coat....sell one of your old ones. You get the idea. Do this without fail and you will never be overrun by stuff again! 

It feels so good to get rid of stuff you don't need but for me the biggest change came in my closet! I really tried to focus on only keeping things that make me feel good and being honest with myself about what I wear as opposed to what I wish I wore more. It's so much simpler to look in your closet and choose from a selection of items that all make you feel happy and beautiful! That was my ultimate goal for this month, to simplify and de-clutter so I can have a fresh start in my fabulous new space!! I am going to try and post some before and afters, as well as specific results from this months mini-projects but since we are moving in February things might get a little crazy so forgive me if this ends up being my only post about this project! I hope you enjoyed my tips :)

♥ Lindsay

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