We often don’t realize it, but we’re drowning in stuff. While gearing up for deep spring cleaning, it’s a great and natural time to declutter. Not only will you feel a million times lighter after you do it, but it’s a great lesson to teach your kids about giving.
I’d love to introduce you to my decluttering hero Jen Hatmaker, the author of a revolutionary book called The 7 Experiment, where she talks about the freeing experiments she and her family did together. I’d highly recommend getting the book and/or workbook and doing it as a family this spring if you feel like you are drowning in one of her 7 categories: Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress.
I wanted to share some of Jen’s ideas on getting rid of possessions together as a family. Pick ONE of these options that best fits your family and see how decluttering can change the way you live your life:
- Have each family member purge 7 items a day for an entire week. You’re thinking, whaaaat? Trust me. It’s not that hard. Just open your kitchen drawers, and day one is probably covered for you already.
- Give away at least 7 items from every room and closet in the house.
- Choose 7 categories to purge from (clothes, toys, tools, kitchen utensils, furniture, etc.) and dedicate a day for purging 7 things from each of them. That means 7 toys one day, 7 items of clothing the next, etc.
- Choose 7 organizations in your community to donate to. This option is a great motivator when it comes to decluttering. When you get to an item you’re unsure about, ask yourself, “Could someone else use this more than I can?”
- For big ticket items, sell them online and donate the proceeds.
- Do you have piles of stuff stored away in a shed? Attic? Garage? Storage unit? Use your spring cleaning week to completely purge all the stuff you don’t need.
If you’re panicking thinking about purging excess stuff, that’s normal. I never thought I could find 7 items a day for an entire week, but you know what? I did it. You’ll cringe as you drop stuff into a donation box, but a year later, you’ll never remember you owned it.
You may still be resistant to the idea, but let’s think about it this way…It’s likely that we fit into one of three categories when it comes to our possessions: 1) We think a Pinterest-perfect house will make us look put-together, 2) We think that possessions will bring us happiness, or 3) We are hold onto stuff because of [insert your sentimental reason here]. This is a great time to reflect on why we hold on to so much stuff and firmly decide to make some changes this spring. Why not give it a try?
That feeling of coming to the surface for air after drowning in all that stuff is worth it, I promise.
I’d love to hear about your experiences if you do try decluttering for a week. Or if you have another great decluttering idea, throw it in the comments section below!