a quick, semi-lazy, pre-holiday clutter clear

If you're looking around, and thinking about how you need to get rid of some stuff,

and you're also thinking about the stuff that's about to come into your home in the next three weeks, 

and you have 45 things to do this weekend, none of which involve a big, get-rid-of-stuff effort,

try this:

Get rid of 16 things this weekend in a semi-lazy way.

  1. Set aside a few bags or just a little spot in a corner as the holding place for the 16 things.
  2. As you're going through your weekend, keep an eye out.  As you notice stuff you don't need anymore and have been meaning to let go, stick it in  the holding place.
  3. On Sunday night, put the stuff in the car.  {You may not get it to the donation center first thing Monday morning, but you've got a better shot if it's already in the car.  Plus, that gets it out of your house.)

A few logistical tips:

  • If you have a smaller child who delights in pulling things out of boxes, your holding place might need to be inside a closet.  It'll probably make the closet super-crammed for the weekend, but it's temporary.
  • Some good spots to keep an eye out for easy pickin':  your clothes, your knick-knacks and put-arounds, kitchen stuff that doesn't require discussion, your books, your winter stuff, your pantry.  Go for your own stuff--or at least jointly-owned stuff that doesn't require a big negotiation with your partner or your kids.
  • Try for 16 things.  But you know what?  If you only get to 8, you've still done something more than you would've done otherwise.  Cheers to you.

When I feel overwhelmed by stuff or when I need a little jumpstart about the stuff that's creeping back in, short and semi-lazy clearing bursts like this really help me out.  They take away the hugeness and perfectionism of Deal-With-Overflowing-Closet or Deal-With-Jam-Packed-Kitchen-Cabinets projects.

This is not about big decisions on whether to let go of your grandfather's jacket or the piles of artwork from your children's kindergarten years.  This is about the pretty easy stuff.  The stuff you've been noticing is kind of extra but haven't done anything about yet.  (I actually found 16 things last weekend in 20 minutes flat.)

16 things won't solve all your stuff woes.  But it can give you a feeling of action and a little more space.  And sometimes just a little more space can go a long way.