Do you have so much stuff in your home, that cozy is beginning to feel cramped? Are you overwhelmed by all of your stuff and just do not know where to start?
Often times we get into these situations because we are constantly bringing in new things to our home — even if they are just “new to us” it is still more stuff coming into the home that we probably do not have space for.
One of the greatest things we can start doing in instituting the “In and Out Rule”.
Simply stated this means for everything that comes into your home, something else will leave. You can choose the way in which it leaves – whether by garbage, donation, selling, etc — just make sure it leaves.
Some great ways to ensure this happens over the holidays are:
- Bring your own tupperware to parties where you know they will want to give you food to take home. This way you are not bringing in both food and more containers.
- Have your family (you included) make a donation to a homeless shelter or charity that accepts gently used toys and clothes for the holidays in anticipation of the new things they will receive for the holidays.
- Go through the cabinets for food that is expired or never going to be used – and help it leave the home accordingly (toss or donate)
- Before you go buy any new decorations for your home take inventory of what you already have. Are new decorations necessary? Can you hand down some old decorations before you purchase new? Try using vases in a new decorative way.
- The garage is a source of chaos in most of our lives. Clean out the lost items. Be sure to look around and grab something that does not belong, does not fit, has not been used, has been broken for a long time, etc and get it out of the house.
- Keep a box for donations in your trunk so as you leave the house you can grab something and throw it in there. Once it fills up or when you pass by your favorite donation center hand it off.
- One of the greatest things I have ever read about how to be ok with giving stuff away revolves around understanding that who the item(s) is/are going to really need it, want it, will appreciate it, etc more than you currently are or have been. If something has been sitting in a box for years and you are only keeping it because it was your mother’s mother’s perhaps it is time to take a picture for the memory then give it to someone who will love it AND use it.
- Keep tabs on what is coming into your home – if you have to start a chart. It can be basic and one thing of any kind out for one thing of any kind in. Get specific – one article of clothing out for one article of clothing in, or do it by size – this thing that we got rid of took up a whole shelf so we can bring in a half shelf worth of stuff. (<< See what I did there!)
- Utilize things you already have in new ways! This is my favorite because we get to be creative. Need to wrap a gift but don’t have any boxes? What do you have laying around the house that could work? Old fabric, tissue paper, cereal box?
- For all my Amazon junkies – Instead of breaking down that box your newest item came in — fill up the box (and not just with the packing paper!) and let everything in the box find a new home outside of your house.
You are probably thinking that most of these focus around getting things out of the house — what about the in portion. Well the thing is, most of us are already way too good at the IN portion that the important thing to talk about is keeping the what is coming IN, in check.
If you see things leaving you may get excited and go buy 5 new shirts instead of one. Find your checks and balances. Set whatever rule works best for you and your family.
1 in – 1 out 1 in – 2 out
1 in – 5 out (suggested for extreme cases after you have succeeded with the lesser options)
Let us know how these ideas work for you and your family. If you need any additional help with implementing any of these tips let us know we are happy to offer free consultations!