During my first week on a social media detox, I looked around the apartment and started to realize just how much crap was piling up. Stuff that needed to go to Goodwill, stuff that needed to be tossed into the trash. Stuff that was simply in the fucking way.
On the third day of the detox I sat down at my desk and took stock of everything around me. Pens, notebooks/notepads, planner stickers, miscellaneous crap. Minutes later I had a paper bag from Trader Joe’s in one hand and a plastic bag from Smith’s in the other.
I unloaded as much as I could onto the coffee table, determined to clean things out and get rid of anything that did not serve a purpose or make me happy. Planner stickers and all things planner related were high on my hit list.
I’ve been into planners and the planner community for about three years now. And in those three years I’ve accumulated dozens of sheets of stickers, countless rolls of washi, and a few dozen sparkly pens.
But with this sudden determination to clear out the clutter, I realized the planner world no longer made me happy, largely because of stuff. Too much stuff to be exact. It didn’t matter how many boxes or storage containers I bought or how many binders I bought. It was all a way to cleverly hide things that served me no purpose anymore.
When I finally slowed down and took a breather, I had eliminated at least four bags worth of stuff. And that was just the first day. The next day I cleared out another bag plus some stuff that couldn’t fit into any bags.
Between my husband and me we cleared out books I had no interest in, an old jewelry holder that was never used, DVDs that hadn’t been watched in over a year, excess silverware (really, who needs 12 forks when you rarely have guests?) and clothes that either didn’t fit or I didn’t care for anymore. My sparkly pens survived the human tornado. They do serve a purpose and make me happy.
As a bonus, we sold a kitchen cart that was not adding any real value. It became a place to pile on junk. And, to be completely honest, it was ugly and did not match anything in our apartment. John brought it home from an estate sale one day about a year ago. I tried to like it but never could. ‘Tolerated’ would be the best way to describe how I felt about the damn thing.
I ended up spending one more day clearing clutter after I realized there was still more crap to get rid of around my desk and in a storage cube in the dining area. This time it was only one bag of trash and one bag of stuff to take to Goodwill.
In the coming weeks I do suspect more will be eliminated from this apartment. Although I sort of want to do it all at once, I have to remind myself this is a process and things take time. Change will not miraculously happen in a week. I’m learning to be ok with this knowing full well I am an impatient person.
So here’s my challenge : Clean out one area that’s been bugging the shit out of you. Something you may have put off for weeks. It doesn’t have to be huge. One bag of stuff is plenty, but if you’re feeling ambitious go for it. Whaddya say?