Now you have bitten the bullet and everything is out of the room, cupboard or drawer that you have chosen to work on. As I mentioned yesterday, the first thing is to focus on the space you have created. Although it is not strictly part of the decluttering process, I am sure you will want to clean the space. Wipe out the cupboard or drawer. If it is a whole room you will probably set aside some time to give it a really deep clean. Notice how easy a room is to vacuum or dust when there is no ‘stuff’ in it. Keep this in mind and remember that cleaning and general housework become much easier when you are not fighting the ‘stuff’ on a daily basis. On of the great attractions of a minimalist lifestyle is the reduced time and effort spent on routine housework. Time for a bit of show and tell. This is what was in the cupboard. 3 trays 1 carving platter 1 long basket 2 serving trays 3 bowls These items have been part of our household for many years. They all fitted in the cupboard easily and were only used rarely. Without the prompt of the doors being opened frequently (which I discussed yesterday) inertia would have dictated that the status quo remain. However, when I took them out of the cupboard (their comfort zone) and laid them on the bench I saw them in a different light. TRASH – nothing went in the rubbish as these are all perfectly functional items. However, I needed to decide what would be transferred – that is – rehomed. The easiest decision was the long basket. This was used for serving a baguette cut and prepared as garlic bread. How very 70’s! I cannot remember the last time I served bread in this manner yet the basket lived on. I have other containers which would do the job admirably if I ever serve bread with a meal in the future. Since I eat a gluten-free diet that is fairly unlikely. The 3 wooden bowls also screamed 70’s, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it does give you an idea of how long they have been lurking around. The set originally included the large serving/salad bowl and 4 smaller bowls. There were also a set of salad servers which, from memory, were fairly useless. The large bowl is somewhat misshapen but still is used occasionally for serving potato crisps or corn chips in a party situation. This was useful when there were young children around as it is unbreakable, however, I have plenty of other options. Time to move these on. The most difficult was the timber tray because of the sentimental value. It belonged to my grandparents and it was one of several items that I chose to keep after my grandfather died (over 25 years ago). There were 2 other trays in the cupboard and I knew that I could not justify keeping all 3 of them as they are rarely used. This was the least practical as it is oval and has very little capacity for carrying things which should be its prime purpose so it was time to say goodbye. What made the cut? These 2 trays are being kept. The wooden one is a practical item for taking food and utensils from the kitchen to the outdoor eating area. I do not use it enough and I have reminded myself of its existence and will use it more often in the future. The striped tray is not all that good for carrying things as it has not defined handles nor sides and is quite slippery. However, it can be used as a large,unbreakable serving platter so it stays for now. The carving tray belonged to my parents and is used occasionally. The other criteria when decluttering is whether an item could easily be replaced in the future. I do not believe that this could be replaced by anything approaching the same quality, therefore it definitely stays. Finally, the 2 stainless steel serving trays are used on a semi-regular basis for social afternoon teas to serve sandwiches, slices or cake. The fact that they are not breakable makes them a good choice for ‘bring a plate’ events as well. The result? 5 items to go and 5 to stay. I have halved the contents of one cupboard and know that I will not miss the ones that go. I also know that I am more likely to use the remaining items more often since I have clearly identified the reasons that I have them. I hope this has helped you in your own attempts to sort out the trash, treasures and things to transfer. You need to make sure that complete the task by actually putting the rubbish (if any) in the bin and moving the transfer items on to their new homes. That may be via eBay (or similar), Freecycle or the local donation bin. I would love to hear how you go. In this post I have actually addressed the “R – Reason for each item” as well. Tomorrow – “E – Everything in its place”.