I want to be the type of person who is super organized. I imagine opening the door to the pantry and seeing all the canned foods color coordinated and little plastic bins for snacks.
But in reality, I’m not that person.
Our home is tidy, don’t get me wrong. My brain operates best with order and clutter seems to keep me distracted. But the thought of a huge pantry or closet overhaul seems so daunting.
This month I’ve tried something new: I’m getting rid of two things a day.
I’ll be honest, because this is a new habit for me, it slipped my mind until the end of the day for the first week of setting this goal. Now I have an alarm on my phone set for noon. It’s about the time I stop for lunch and instead of scrolling after I eat, I open a drawer or a closet and I find two things that are just taking up space.
Progress Over Perfection
Here’s why this is helping me:
1. It makes a massive task manageable.
I’ve been staring at three drawers full of makeup, skincare, and hair care items for about a year. I know it would take about two hours on a Saturday to clear everything from the drawers, sort through expired items or ones I simply don’t use anymore, and then re-organize the area. There are about 972 things I’d rather do on a Saturday than clean out my bathroom, so I’ve been tackling the project two items at a time. While I’m brushing my teeth I’ll sort through nail polish, while I’m blow drying my hair I’ll weed out some expired foundation. Slowly, I’m getting to a point that it almost appears organized.
2. It gives me the opportunity to find homes for the items.
While I’ve certainly been the person who drops multiple bags of clothes at a donation spot, I always wonder if that’s just creating more waste. I’d like to keep as many things out of the trash as possible so when you’re only “rehoming” two items it’s completely manageable.
As I’m picking items in my closet that no longer fit or that I haven’t worn in a year, I first ask my 15-year-old daughter if she has any interest. (Surprisingly, she’s claimed a few tops. I know, I was in shock.) I text a friend pictures of the items and ask if they have interest. If no one wants the items, I place them in a bag for donations. I separate my donations based on the charities. We love Note in the Pocket. They clothe children with dignity, providing new/good condition outfits for children in need in our community. I have some tops and sweaters that could probably be of use to a high school-sized person. Anything that looks more adult, I donate to Interact in our area. They serve women who’ve been victims of domestic and sexual abuse. I encourage you to find organizations who are doing great things with your donations in your community.
3. It helps remind me, it’s all about “progress not perfection”.
I’ll admit, I’ve often said, “I’ll wait until I have time to do it right” about 5000 different projects. Projects, I must say, I’ve never ever started. I mean, who has time to do things perfectly? This gradual, manageable way of decluttering helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something in my day (a huge mood boost for me) and reminds me that DONE is better than perfect in most cases.
How do you clear the clutter? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Thanks for following this 30-day blog journey as I share my progress in making my mental health a priority.
See you tomorrow,