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Day 7 Frugal Living Challenge: Clutter Free Living

February 18, 2012

If there is anything in this challenge that I would say we all can ‘do without’, it would be clutter!

It is the bane of my existence, causing me to waste time and energy, and ultimately a massive source of frustration. On this day of the Frugal Living Challenge, Andrea presents us with a great interview with Courtney Carver of Be More with Less. They address issues like getting started, what being clutter-free as to do with being frugal, dealing with ‘invisible clutter’ like email, the benefits of living without clutter and preventing it.

Daily Goal: Create a plan for de-cluttering.

Me: I’ve been purging my house for almost two years now. Our clutter started within the first year of moving in. It didn’t seem so bad at first- we went from an apartment to a four bedroom home and it felt so empty. So things filling the house felt like a good thing. We were grateful for the furniture that was offered to us by my mother. But then it transitioned into the things she was purging from her home… knick knacks, small collections of this and that… and it was all stuff that I grew up with, that felt comfortable and normal to have in my home. Slowly we realized that our home was not the place for 90% of it. We didn’t or couldn’t use it or it was just not something we cared to have out and look at. So I packed it up in boxes. And there it all sat for a few years, just taking up usable space. I wanted to have a room available for guests to come and actually enjoy staying in, not just getting the job done with an available bed… so I started to reexamine all of this stuff. (Not that we actually have guests, mind you. That is a whole other topic about having too much house to live in.)

It has been a slow, ongoing project that has been gaining traction for the last few months. I’ve been going through everything, from those knick knacks to paper (oh God, paper! I found stuff from the early ’90’s when my husband was in college!) to kitchen utensils. Always with the question of¬† ‘do I really need this?’. I have problem areas, like this evolving pile of stuff that is in a corner of our office. It’s where all the soon to be purged items go- for Craigslist, FreeCycle or for DIY projects. At least we use the office as an office now- for a few years it was really just an over-sized junk closet, making a bad impression on any folks who came through our front door. Ugh. It was so embarrassing. Thankfully it’s not like that anymore (well okay, except for the Purge Pile). I guess when that pile in the corner of the office is gone, my job is done and it will all be about maintenance. That day will come this year- that is my goal.

 

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