Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February - The Great Declutter

January was the month for food changes.  Sammit and I spent three weeks on an eliminate/challenge diet to see if I had a dietary intolerance.  It seems that I do - but there may be more than one culprit.  I've scheduled an appointment with a new physician who is known around these parts for dealing holistically with food problems - but she's also a licensed DO (my ND cannot be licensed in this state, Michigan Law) which means my insurance will cover visits with her.

We aren't ending our food changes now that January is over.  Last night while working on February's goals, Sammit and I cleaned our pantry of foods we won't be keeping in the house anymore (white/wheat pastas, cereals, canned tuna fish with soy in it (?), that year old Duncan Hines cake mix).  Anything that hasn't been used and is within the expiration date is being donated at the bin in our food co-op.  The rest is going into the compost bin.  I will continue to push changes, learn new recipes, and accept that an all-or-nothing perfectionist attitude won't get me anywhere.

February is the month for the Great Declutter.  Clearing out our cupboards was a good start.  We also finally moved the bookcases from the hallways to their appropriate locations (the basement and our bedroom).  We also cleaned out all the our bedroom closets and rearranged the dining room.  Right now I have 2 large boxes to give to the Salvation Army with more on the way.

Reducing clutter has always been a difficult process for me, a genetic pack-rat, so I'm taking it in layers.  This first two weeks is devoted to clearing out household items that we obviously don't need anymore (or shouldn't've had in the first place) and getting rooms organized and finally unpacked from the move.  The second two weeks will revolve around a second pass on rooms and should be the actual meat-and-bones of the Great Declutter.

Some guidelines that are keeping me focused:

1) Two things out for every one in.
Meaning, for everything I bring into the house (a shirt, some markers, a picture album from my mom's house) I must put two things into the donation box/trash can/recycle bin.  While I'd like to think the two things going out will be comparable to the one coming in, in reality it will most likely start as, "Oh I bought this pair of jeans, here, I'll recycle this magazine (1) and throw out this gum wrapper (2)."  But progress is progress.

2) It must be functional or beautiful.
Meaning everything in the house must serve a function or bring beauty to the house.  Bonus points for items that do both, like our brown and tan embroidered curtains, or porcelain white cat statue in our  bathroom that holds our toilet brush, or our house plants that add a gorgeous green to rooms and clean our air.

3) It deserves a better home.
 This is used for items that have literally traveled with me from city to city from my childhood home, primarily crafting supplies.  If I haven't found a use for that fabric since I bought it in 1997, I need to donate it so that someone who has the time for it can make it into something beautiful (or functional), instead of lingering in a large plastic tub in the crawl space.

1 comment:

  1. Love love love love love this philosophy! I am not a pack rat...well, kinda.. this is what I do: I gather a ton of stuff to give away or recycle, put it in a box, set it in the corner or put it into my car and then forget about it.

    I need to do better. Ugh.

    I also very much love the "functional or beautiful" notion. We do that around here, but that is a great way to put it into words.