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Getting ready for MOPS this week was so much nicer now that I know exactly what is and isn't in my bag. And I'm not digging through extra clutter trying to find the one notebook or paper I need. Did you get a chance to go through your office paperwork? What did you toss?
If you are just joining us, here's the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 35: Mail, Magazines, & Newspapers
I won't have a whole lot for this week because we don't subscribe to any magazines other than LEGO and we don't receive the newspaper. We do get a fair amount of junk mail (who doesn't?) but because we don't have a place to set it down 99% of it gets tossed as soon as we walk in the house or sometimes straight into the recycling bin in the garage.
It wasn't this way at our old house. Do you remember that kitchen cart I mentioned in my July goals? At the old place it sat in our foyer and became the mail table. We only used our front door for getting the mail and after grabbing it we would set it on the cart. Occasionally we would throw junk mail in a paper bag but even then we had several bags in that area filled with junk mail. The cart would get COVERED in EOBs from insurance, various bills, student loan statements, and whatever else came in. Slowly over the years we switched all our statements to paperless and it has helped immensely. We rarely get real mail anymore so we rarely need to clean up paper piles of mail anymore!
I do have a stash of coupons that come in the mail though. And I'm guessing because I stash them to the side and then forget I have them, or insist I'm going to use them and don't, I've got several that are expired and need to be recycled.
At least I slide the coupons along the side of my drawer system so they aren't cluttering up the counter by lying flat. That's a positive, right? I'm learning that vertical storage makes so much more fit!
The green and yellow envelopes are our birthday cards from one of Micah's grandparents. We save them to open on our birthdays so I set those to the side and the large white envelope is our updated insurance info so I put that in the filing cabinet with the other insurance paperwork. Super easy.
I split the coupons and other mail into three piles: belongs somewhere else, recycle, and keep. There was an okay stack of expired coupons and flyers but most of them expired within the last week so they were a legitimate keep item until then. The bird stencil went downstairs to my craft supplies and the remaining coupons and flyers returned to their spot on the counter.
All in all, this area isn't immensely different. But what is there is useful so I need to stick with my system of tossing the old coupons and flyers when new ones arrive to make sure we are only hanging on to the most current versions.
What mail, magaizines, and newspapers did you find to recycle? Were you hanging on to a stack or were there only a few? Are you like me and barely have any paper coming in the house? How do you stay on top of paper clutter and make sure it doesn't take over?
Share a picture on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 36 when we dive into desk drawers. Our desk doesn't have drawers but we do have a storage cart that act as desk drawers. I already know there are things hiding in there as far back as my pregnancy with Parker... as in nine years ago. This will be interesting!
If you are looking for a better way of keeping on top of your homemaking tasks now that you are steamrolling through all this decluttering you might be interested in a new course from Humorous Homemaking. Home Management How To: A Guide to Daily Success is open now! I've got a post about my experience with this course here but this is a great course for you to take control of all the household tasks in a way that is tailored specifically to your family and life.