The Great Decluttering of 2011

From basement to rafters, I’m decluttering my house. (I’ve got good reason to do it!) Every possession will be considered. Every box unpacked. Every paper filed, shredded, or recycled. It may take all summer, or it may take til the end of the year. But I am on the warpath against clutter, working toward the day—at least one day!—when the house is set, and there’s room to breathe, and there’s a place for everything, and space for new things. A day when it’s all beautiful and functional and peaceful and just ahhhhhh.

I’m not doing this alone. I’ve hired help. Julie’s got organization in her genes, and she keeps me moving on this project. It’s exactly what I need. When I get down to the bottom of a box or a bag or—my personal favorite clutter receptacle—a laundry basket and there are those last 8 to 80 random things, Julie makes sure we deal with every one of them … hair clip, paper clip, chip clip, chipped clip, lipstick, toothpick, hair pick, padlock, little box, mismatched socks … and on. And on.

With each item accounted for, I feel lighter. With each bag of recycling, my mood brightens. I thrill at throwing things away. The garage sale pile grows steadily. The whole family feels the boost in my mood as the house thins. You know how it works: When mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.

Here’s what’s made us happy so far:

Piles like this—where we started strong with the awesome clear bins and then just put a bunch of junk on top—are going away!


Beautiful stacks of bins are taking shape. This one organizes out-of-season and outgrown kids clothing til it’s time for hand-me-downs.


This tower of boxes has been properly broken down and sent to recycle heaven.


The garage sale pile is getting bigger and bigger while the rest of the garage/basement gets emptier and emptier.


From this pallet of boxes full of paper, we culled three bags of recycle, a box of papers to shred, and a couple bags of trash.


Which left us with this. Beautiful—and likely to get smaller still!


What I’m loving about this decluttering work is the feeling of euphoria it creates. Each time I get together with Julie (yes, sweet birth story Julie!) for another clean-home work session, I truly feel my heartspace warm up and expand. Letting go of old stuff feels really amazing and humbling! I’m grateful to be able to do this work, and to have help sticking with it.

What’s your latest decluttering project? Does the work feel emotional? I’m so inspired by this kind of clearing work, and want to hear all about it!


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