Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book in order to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, as always.
So, although we are now about two weeks into the new year, I have not written down any goals or resolutions for 2015. Why? Well, because I’ve done it for the past few years and I never seem to quite hit every one…and 2014 was no exception.
But I do have many unstated goals rattling around in my brain that don’t really ever make it out onto paper. You know, the kind of goals that are just givens…be a good wife and mother, make the bed everyday, keep cavities away…those kinds of things.
One of those unstated goals for me has always been to keep a clean house. I grew up around three of the most fastidious housekeepers known to man; dirt and dust just didn’t seem to exist in their houses. I inherited a certain standard of clean, and I mostly keep to that standard…most of the time my house is tidy and uncluttered.
However, if someone was to look behind the closet and cupboard doors, they would tell you a different story.
We certainly have clutter…lots of it! But I keep it carefully hidden so that nobody has to see it, least of all me.
Becoming Clutter Free
I’ve tried to de-clutter many times (did you see the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series?) but the clutter still seems to stick around. I move things from one pile to another and it might look more organized, but it never really is.
Luckily, one of my favorite moms in the whole world, Kathi Lipp, has written a book all about becoming clutter free, and it has completely changed my view of clutter.
In Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space (affiliate link), Kathi not only gives you super-practical advice for clearing out your clutter, but she also points out the real reason behind all the stuff we keep: it’s all emotional.
How many times have you kept an item just because someone you love gave it to you, even if you hated it?
How many times have you kept a bunch of things because you wanted to get around to fixing them “one day?”
How many things have you acquired because you wanted to turn into a certain type of person (scrapbooker, quilter, photographer, etc.)?
I’m guilty of all 3.
I was so surprised to learn that the reasons behind most of my clutter was because I wanted to be a certain person (a mom who loves her kids so much that she spend hours and hours making cute scrapbooks of them!), that I wanted to show people how much I cared about them (keeping those ugly sweaters that certain family members gave to me, even though I rarely wore them), and that I was a person who was industrious and never wasted anything (even though I couldn’t fix anything or even though buying a part for that broken steam cleaner was worth more than the machine itself).
For those of you who are familiar with Kathi, then you know how I felt while reading this book…like listening to a dear, older and wiser friend, who is speaking the truth in love. She’s been there, done that, and is now sharing her hard-earned wisdom with you.
After reading this book, which took about 2 days because I didn’t want to put it down, I went on a de-cluttering spree that took us on a trip to the dump, 3 trips to Goodwill and Salvation Army donation centers, and hours of sorting and organizing.
I finally got those tote bins in the garage cleaned out…from our move 8 years ago.
I finally called someone to come get our old refrigerator that was just sucking up electricity and space in the garage…and got paid $50 for it!
I finally whittled my closet down to only the pieces I love to wear and donated the extras to those who are less fortunate.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a few places in the house to declutter, but it’s already so much lighter in here! The emotional burden of all that stuff is a lot lighter too.
So, if you’ve made de-cluttering your closet a New Year’s Resolution, or just filed that idea in the back of your head, like I did, I would highly recommend picking up Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space (affiliate link), because it will help you kick the clutter out for real.
In the meantime, head over to Kathi’s page to sign up for her 21-day Clutter Free Challenge (it’s free!) to get a jump start on your decluttering!