STREAMLINE – Starting Over


As promised, here is the first in my decluttering series based on “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay.

Whether it is a whole room or a single drawer, the principle of this step is to start from scratch.  That is, you need to get the space back to how it was when you moved into the house.

If you leave things in place this activity becomes one of cleaning around items rather than seriously questioning the value of every single piece.  As Francine says, “Nothing gets a free ride”.

Are you about to give up before you even get started?  Does the prospect of removing everything fill you with terror?  Or are you thinking that you have nowhere to put the stuff until the next step of “Trash, treasure or transfer”?  You have made it this far so I expect that you have some very good reasons for wanting to declutter.

Perhaps you could start small and tackle one drawer.  Empty the entire contents onto the kitchen bench.  Don’t focus on what is on the bench.  Give the drawer your entire attention.  Clean it inside and out.  Replace it and feast your eyes on the space.  Space to hold the things you really need and love.  Now, close the drawer and turn your attention to the pile on the bench.  Would you simply toss all of this back in the clean drawer?  Now it is time for “T” – “Trash, treasure or transfer” but more of that tomorrow.

There is no specific order in which to tackle the decluttering.  You could try the most-used room, or the least.  Perhaps the worst area or one that causes you the most personal angst.  It could be you bedroom so that you have a calm and peaceful retreat from the chaos around you or the entry area so that you are thrilled to greet visitors.  Whatever you decide, it is your choice.

I have chosen a small space – the cupboard above the refrigerator.  This sees very little activity usually but it has been opened several times a day over the past week.  You see, we have a new refrigerator which fits easily in the available space, however, the doors on the overhead cupboard were custom-made to suit the old refrigerator so they need to be opened every time we go to the refrigerator at the moment.  The cabinetmaker is coming on Friday to remove and modify the doors.  Having this cupboard opened regularly has reminded me of what I have stashed in there and how infrequently it is used so I have decided it is time to take everything out and have a serious look at why it is there.

Overhead cupboard

What are you going to tackle first?  I am looking forward to hearing of your choices, successes and challenges.

Tomorrow,  we will get right into it.