Monday, February 23, 2015

From the Weekend: Decluttering the Basement

The first time I approached this pile, I set my timer for 15 minutes and went in for the easy stuff.

Empty boxes? Break 'em down for recycling. Things that belong somewhere else? Take them there. That was the first fifteen minutes. It didn't look like I'd done a thing.

I waited a few more days--then, it was a day off: Saturday. Another 15 minutes.

I was immediately overwhelmed. I couldn't even reach the items I knew what to do with--so I went round the other side. Bam! I came across two beautiful pillows that used to be in my living room. I had no idea whether they were to stay or go. So, instead of hitting a roadblock right away, I put them aside "for later." Then, I was staring at a pile of fabrics--and, for me, that was easy.

I figured I was done for the day. But later, I had a few minutes before dinner, so I set the timer and headed back down. When the timer went off, I was beginning to see some progress, so I kept going. I continued working past the timer for about another 15 minutes.

There are so many decisions to be made when you're decluttering! It is not cheating to stick with the easy stuff--to ease into it, as it were. (Sorry about that.) It's weird. It's like dealing with a muscle. Once your decluttering brain gets warmed up, it gets easier and easier--even as you begin to wade into the more difficult stuff. I think that's why it's a good thing to do "declutering binges" --like doing  a bag a day for 40 days, or a certain number items per day for a month (The Mins game), or by going through the whole house, category by category, for about 6 months (the Kon-Mari method).

Guys, I don't know what I am going to do once I get to the bottom of this area. I was reading over this article today and realised I have nothing, really nothing I need to get rid of according to a list like this. 


Paula said...

Hello Alana!

you are in charge, congratulations!

You are so right about this: "Once your decluttering brain gets warmed up, it gets easier and easier--even as you begin to wade into the more difficult stuff."

I feel as if there is something to come, waiting underneath this all, slowly getting into position. No idea what it is, but all the de-cluttering is therapeutical in a way and it changes us.
It is not easy to explain, it feels like "unlocking" something that was locked due to all the stuff.

Hm. the more I try to explain what de-cluttering does, the more confusing I sound.

Having made so many decisions during "The January Cure", I got used to making fast decisions, you know, 15 min and so ... now I can't stop to "nail" those unsolved issues.

What is interesting in your basement: the order that was already there, the labelled boxes, boxes in order.

Have a good start in the new week!

PS: is this a palm tree, next to the beam at the left?

Alana in Canada said...

No, Not a palm tree--but peacock feathers! I am giving them a break from being upstairs for a while.

Yes, something does shift and move in the psyche when you declutter. It is more than a bit scary.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy decluttering and getting rid of stuff so much. I'd rather be doing that than other things like deep cleaning or cooking. Needless to say, my house doesn't need to be decluttered. I'd love to have an area that looks like your basement to dive in and organize! Oh, the thrill of getting rid of stuff! The feeling of being in control of something! Psyche yourself up for it! Give yourself a reward (other than the clean space at the end). Purge, toss and donate! You can do it!

thefarmersdaughter said...

once I started getting rid of stuff, it became very easy to make decisions....but no I find I get impatient with the boys when they hem and haw over what to do with something. It's clear to me it needs to go, but I have to let them come to that conclusion on their own. It's maddening.

Janina Laird said...

I have a minimalist daughter. Ugh. Every time she comes for a visit, the first thing I hear when she hangs up her coat in the closet is, "Mom! You have far too many coats!!!" You need to get rid of some."

Despite that, I still love her. It's a good thing she hasn't ventured down to our basement since it's still loaded with things from our move a year ago when we downsized. But....obviously not nearly enough.

Now she's decided to move from here (Toronto) to Calgary, which is where my youngest already lives. Believe it or not, Ms Minimalist is purging even more. I think the only thing that she is taking for sure are her 2 cats. There is not an extraneous item in her house as far as I've ever noticed. I think I'm too sentimental to get rid of some things. Not her!

As I read the list of things we could get rid of and not even notice, I realized dear daughter has been unloading items over the years and guess who kept saying she needed them?? *red face* Yes, that would be me.

I think I need to give this 15 minute thing a try. *sigh*

C a i t l i n said...

Bravo. You are moving in the right direction 15 minutes at a time!

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