In 10 weeks, I’ve come so far in my war on clutter. From barely being able to swing my bedroom door fully open, now I can walk freely through nearly half the room, and I’ve cleaned out over half the closet. Who would have thought?
I certainly didn’t think my war with the Clutter Dragon would go this well, since it never has before. But then again, in my past battles, I tried to de-clutter and clean all in one day, and I ended up tired, defeated, and nothing really changed. And in the past, I didn’t really try to get rid of anything that wasn’t just trash.
This time, I made up my mind to sell or donate anything I didn’t need, and that was the big change. Plus, I tackled one small area a week, and documented it with this very series of blog posts, so I held myself accountable.
What Have We Learned from Battling the Clutter Dragon?
Part 1 (The First Sword Charge): Start with a small area to clean out. Don’t try to tackle a whole cluttered room (or a whole cluttered house!) in one day all by yourself, especially not one as cluttered as mine was to start!
Part 2 (The Valiant Sword Sweep): Clearing the floor of clutter is often the most important part–you have to have clear places to put your feet when you’re cleaning, otherwise you’ll get hurt.
Part 3 (Horrors in the Hidden Abyss): If you don’t clean out your storage spaces from time to time, you will end up with clutter so bad you can’t live in your space anymore. Clean out the storage places, and you create places for your new favorite/important items to live.
Part 4 (Blundering in the Dark): When you tackle a cluttered storage space, you have to divide it up into small areas just like a cluttered room. Try to tackle too much and you’ll just get discouraged.
Part 5 (Nitty, Gritty, and Dirty): Arm yourself with cleaning products (dusters, disinfectant, paper towels, wipes, broom, dustpan, vacuum cleaner/sweeper, etc.), especially if you’re cleaning out a storage space that has lain untouched for many a year. You’ll thank yourself for having cleaning stuff at the ready!
Part 6 (A Swipe at the Dragon’s Leg): If you find yourself daunted, take another look at the clutter situation. What’s keeping you from working? Once you’ve found the reason you’re suddenly too tired/discouraged to de-clutter, then set about getting rid of it. Believe me, this helps so much!
Part 7 (A Desperate Sally Forth): Even if you don’t feel like tackling a usual-sized small area of your clutter, do SOMETHING to battle the Clutter Dragon in your life. Even if it’s just half a tiny closet shelf, or one box of books, or one corner of your room, keep fighting the war on clutter!
Part 8 (Where the Beast Hides): Don’t just move clutter around your house thinking you’re “dealing with it.” You haven’t dealt with it until you’ve sorted it out, thrown away everything that’s too broken to repair and sell, and sold/donated the rest of the items you’re not using and don’t want to keep.
Part 9 (Hacking Away at the Cache): Be ruthless about what you’re going to throw away and what you’re going to sell. If the item doesn’t make you happy, isn’t useful anymore, and/or is too broken to use/display anyway, what good is it doing you? When you’ve spent your life trapped by clutter, you can’t afford to be overly sentimental. Keep what is truly meaningful, but make room for yourself to live in your house with your precious items, too.
In closing this series of blog posts, I hope you’ve found courage and motivation to fight your own Clutter Dragons. It’s an ongoing siege, a state of constant vigilance against the problem of “too much stuff and not enough space,” and I’m not nearly done with my own war on clutter. (I’m just done blogging about it for now, since I think 10 weeks on the same subject is quite enough. LOL!)
This series stands as proof that you CAN reclaim a room, a closet, even a small shelf, even if you are a hardcore hoarder like I’ve been in the past. And what’s more, you can maintain the change, just by being a bit more aware of how much stuff you own. (And don’t worry–when I finally reclaim my entire room from the Clutter Dragon’s terrible reign, you’ll hear the shout of joy all the way over at your house, no matter where you live in the world. xD)