About a year ago the kids and I got home unexpectedly early from a weekend visiting my parents and found the door unlocked and an empty house. Really empty. Like furniture moved out and nothing on the floor empty.
Fortunately, I quickly realized SOS had taken the kid-free opportunity to have the carpets cleaned, and sure enough, he showed up a short time later chagrined that he hadn't been able to put everything back before I got home.
|Four-Year-Old Selfie, with Carpet|
But I was inspired. There was so much room!
Just imagine what we could do with so much empty space! Hold a contra dance! Or put together a 5000 piece puzzle! Or maybe, just maybe, make a comfortable, non-cluttered home for a family of four.
With welcoming SmilesBabyGirl and the explosion of accompanying girl-baby accessories, I had begun to doubt our condo really could be a comfortable home for us. Had we simply run out of room? Was it time for me to acknowledge that the inevitable "time to move" was now?
With the wall to wall carpeting bare, though, I reconsidered. We could do it. I just knew it.
The first step seemed obvious: The big piles of stuff hanging out on our porch while our carpet dried? How much of it could go directly out the front door? Thus began a season of ruthless, drastic decluttering. (Okay, we are still talking about me here, and I like my fair share of STUFF.)
The first thing to go? A pile of old magazines with the book "5 Easy Steps to Decluttering" smooshed in between the October and November issues of 2010. How is that for a review of the book? Maybe I'll write my own "5 Easy Steps to Decluttering." Step 1 will read: Empty your house of everything. Step 2: Don't let it get back inside. Oh, look! I got it done in only two steps. A sure-fire bestseller.
My brilliant plan aside, every once in awhile, I will pull up search results for decluttering tips. I used to do this earnestly seeking ideas that would solve problem areas. Now I do it largely for amusement. Keeping a basket handy for everything that needs to be taken to a different room. Hee hee. The "30 day challenge" where an entire day was dedicated to organizing take-out menus. Hahaha.
I've found one of the best deterrents to amassing many types of clutter is having only a few cubic feet of space unreachable to small children.
As far as the clutter so closely associated with those children? I'm still working on that. I'd use my nifty trick and schedule the carpet for another cleaning, but the kids' toys have barricaded themselves in the hide-away of the wunderbed. It's become a monster in there, waiting for the day when it can take over the rest of the house. I'd be more upset about it except I'm pretty sure the kids have it all under control. They periodically toss other household items in there as an appeasement sacrifice. How much easier can decluttering the house get?