I am looking for the positive in these days of social distancing. One benefit is that I have time now to tackle some of the odds-and-ends at home. I have noticed while working at home and being at home a lot more is that my tolerance for clutter is much, much less than when I am in my "normal" workday routine. In “normal” times, it is easy to ignore clutter. I just close the closet or spare bedroom door.
I have shared my 10-minute miracle in cleaning off my dining room table and how it increased my focus on a presentation I was working on. And now, in these days of working from home, I have been finding other things I can declutter. It makes me feel so accomplished and lighter.
Was it happenstance, then, when I came upon the MarieTV episode featuring one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin? Gretchen shares many great takeaways in the episode, but one of my favorites was her simple method for decluttering. She recommends asking yourself 3 questions:
Do I need it?
Do I use it?
Do I love it?
If you can answer “yes” to any one of these, then keep it. If you answer “no” to any of these, then it is fine to let it go (and, yes, I sing the song of the same name out loud).
I am using my dining room as my home office. At the end of the workday, I am placing my computer and supplies into my dining room hutch to keep a little bit of separation between work and home. When I first opened the base, I was surprised at some of the things I found there and thought I would demonstrate how I worked through the need-use-love process on decluttering items in my dining room hutch.
I have a set of china that my grandmother gave me before I got married. I don’t need it because I have dishes that I use every day. I don’t use it because it’s kind of a pain to pull them out and wash them before I use them. But I love them, so I am keeping them for now.
I also had a tea set in my dining room cabinet. I liked it at one point, but can’t remember where or when I got it. I don’t need, use, or love it. It is now in the giveaway pile.
My husband and I got a full set of crystal wine glasses and goblets for a wedding gift. They are beautiful but chip and break so easily and take up a lot of space. We have about ⅓ of the glasses we originally started with. I used to love them and use them. Now, I prefer stemless wine glasses. They are in the giveaway pile as well.
I have started the decluttering process with a small area, like my dining room hutch, a single drawer, a shelf in a closet, a bag in the spare bedroom. This method of choosing items from one location seems to work for me. I know that other people may prefer entire rooms or work on one type of thing at a time. Choose what works best for you!
I have created this decluttering checklist as a reminder for myself and hope you find it useful, too!