I recently decluttered yet again, but this time I did it differently. In previous declutters I would take everything out and sort through items one by one, KonMari style. I don’t have that kind of time to devote to decluttering in my current phase of life, so this time I tackled my simplifying in a different way: I decluttered as I went. What this means is that when I would open a drawer to grab something I needed, I also quickly glanced around to see if there was anything in there that could go. Anytime I opened a closet, drawer, basket, etc., I would assess the contents and decide if I wanted to part with anything. This helped me accumulate several large bags of items to donate or recycle/repurpose in just over a month.
Examples of my current decluttering method:
When I reached for tops or bottoms for the baby and found anything that no longer fit, I tossed it in the bag.
When a toy broke or I noticed it wasn’t played with, I asked V if she still wanted it. I also asked her to let me know if there were toys she no longer was interested in because she would likely be getting some gifts for Christmas. She was sweet enough to put together a small pile of toys that she said she wanted to go to kids who don’t have many toys.
When I put clothes or shoes on V and they were too tight, I put them in the donation pile.
As I unpacked boxes or organized in our new house, I noticed if there were items I had forgotten about that I could do without.
When I did my makeup, I assessed how often I wore certain lip colors and took note of when makeup was set to expire.
When I put socks on, I threw those without matching partners or those with holes into the textile recycling bag. (Our city offers recycling for shoes and clothing.)
When I took out the holiday decorations, I donated or tossed anything that was broken or too worn out.
This decluttering method isn’t groundbreaking, but it does work for those who claim to have no time to devote to empty an entire room and then sort through items. Keeping a bag or box in a certain location that you can easily add to takes little to no effort. Then simply drop it off at your favorite charity or have it picked up. The key is getting those donations out of the house as soon as possible, though. No driving around with them in the trunk of your car for months. Pencil it into your planner immediately.
I wanted to declutter before the holidays because Christmas is always a time when people tend to shop more and accumulate more belongings, whether you want them or not. I pick up decorations, buy wrapping supplies and have a bunch left over, and receive gifts, like many people do. The tendency for many is to make a new year’s resolution to simplify and declutter, but really starting before the holidays gives you a headstart.