Over the last week or so, I've put her advice into practice. Where I had been focusing my efforts from room to room, the author suggests purging by item type: clothes, books, movies, etc. I don't have a dedicated chunk of time large enough to tackle all my clothes at once, so I worked type by type.
So far, I've done socks, undies, tank tops, jeans, short-sleeved shirts, cardigans, and hoodies.
The main thing I like about her advice is that she advocates selecting what you keep or toss based on whether an item brings you joy. This sounds silly but is genius! I know I've kept things over the years only because I paid a lot for it or someone gave it to me. Likewise, I've let stuff go that I loved because I felt like I had too many or it was frivolous. The act of holding each item and asking yourself if it brings you joy lets you move past the guilt. Another key reason I saved things in the past is because I thought what if I need this one day. Well, what if I do? How much would it really cost to replace it? Probably not much. So if it wasn't bringing me joy today, it went. SO freeing!!!
Since most of the time I can't work upstairs on my clothes since the kids are downstairs, I tried to focus on things in the office. Our office is the main problem area in the house, so it made sense to focus here.
BEFORE: SO MUCH CRAP. And you can't even see the desk to the right and the small shelf to the left. Oh my.
I started with DVDS. Those two thin media shelves were packed with DVDs. I was sick of looking at them and knew that we didn't really watch most of them. Mike and I both went through and weeded out a huge pile, and then I put the remaining ones in paper sleeves and stored them alphabetically by category in boxes I already had.
BEFORE: Clutter media shelves do not bring me joy.
AFTER: Those media shelves are in the donate pile now! And you can also see that I've gotten rid of a lot of other stuff on the shelf to the right.
Our DVDs are stored in two small boxes now.
Next, we moved on to books. Surprisingly, I have very few books. I love my kindle and rarely buy a "real" book. I do have a small collection of favorites that I am not willing to part with. Mike has a larger collection, but did get rid of at least 20. Progress! We are down to 3 small shelves of books.
Those vertical files might still look like a lot, but I got rid of at least 5 of them. They house some office supplies and papers. I like office supplies They bring me joy. I pared down the contents to my favorites and kept them: file folders, stickers, in progress paperwork, important documents to save, user manuals, tissue paper, and party supplies/gift supplies. I used to have 3 vertical files just of user manuals. I had manuals for things I didn't even own anymore. Sad, people!
Paperwork was next on my list.
BEFORE: This thing was overflowing and disorganized. Don't mind the white box in the photo; I hid the name/password for our wireless.
Since you are supposed to gather everything in a category when you purge according to this book, I gathered up the paperwork in our kitchen too. The paperwork repository in our kitchen is empty now.
Then there were some random things: cords to who-knows-what, paint swatches that I'll never need, a box of small picture frames that I didn't use on the gallery wall. Why was I saving these things? The cords and paint swatches all went in the garbage. I pulled out one frame for our office and donated the rest.
Speaking of donations, here is the pile of crap that I was dealing with. This is half bags for donation and half empty bins/baskets/boxes from getting rid of so much.
Friday on my lunch break I dropped off our donations at Goodwill. The boxes and bins I'll keep until I'm done purging. The author recommends this and it makes sense. When I get to other items in our house,(especially things stored in the garage and basement), I might need some of these.
Next, I moved our desk to a different wall to make the room feel bigger. On the wall that previously housed the desk, I put this thinner profile shelf and my DIY bulletin board that I made years ago. The office is not completely purged (still have CDs to upload to the computer and get rid of all the cases; photos, momentos, etc. to sort through).
I did go through all my pens/markers that you see below. I got rid of any that didn't bring me joy. Office supplies bring me a lot of joy.
Notice that the green shelf hardly has anything on it now. There is the art that I printed for free (tidy desk, tidy mind) in the frame I salvaged from the box, my organized gift bag collection in the bottom basket, and a plant. I think once I'm done purging the other office areas, this shelf won't be needed. But I painted it myself and love the color, so who knows... It does bring me joy. I'll have to think over the shelving arrangement in here once I'm done.
The author does say you should not containerize or organize anything until you are totally done. But I had to get stuff up off the floor, so I put some on the shelf. It is easy to pull it all off and reassess once all items in here are purged. Soon, I hope. Stay tuned. :-)