I’m just two months shy of my minimalist project anniversary and there are some tasks I’m starting to do for a second time, albeit on a much smaller scale. This weekend, I sorted through my daughter’s art from her second year of preschool. Unlike last year when sorting took me several hours, this session took me 15 minutes. Decluttering gets easier over time and here’s how!

Before

Last year, I saved every scrap of paper my daughter so much as doodled on and then waited until the next school year started before sorting through it. I took pictures of EVERYTHING (pictures that I haven’t done anything with, by the way), and finally kept only five of the most special pieces of art.

O is for Owl

After

For round two, I still didn’t sort throughout the year (which is what I should have done). However, this time I quickly sorted my giant art pile into two: memory-worthy pieces and those that went straight into the trash (no pictures). I ended up with 15 pieces, took pictures of each one, and saved the best five.

Stegasaurus

Stegasaurus

Four Ways Decluttering Gets Easier

#1 – You’re Not Afraid to Get Rid of Things

After nearly a year, I’ve realized that there’s nothing inanimate that you can get rid of that’s irreplaceable. I also haven’t needed anything I’ve thrown away (I missed a couple of things, but realized I’m much better off without them). I am much more confident in my decisions.

#2 – There’s Less of Everything

It took me two evenings to sort through toiletries last fall and less than 30 minutes to do it two weeks ago. Everything in the same category is located in the same spot in our house and there’s a LOT less of it.

#3 – Nobody Questions Why You’re Doing This

Your whole family gets used to your purging and, if you’re lucky, they might even start to look forward to the cleaner living space.

#4 – You’ve Already Learned The Hard Way

Never, ever save artwork with marshmallows on it. They only get stickier with time. I’ve also personally decided that trying to sell items worth less than $25 is not worth my time. It’s far easier to donate them or throw them away. There are a hundred other lessons you learn through decluttering and they make future sessions much more smooth!

Craft Table Before

Craft Table Before De-owning & Decluttering

Craft Table After De-owning & Decluttering

Craft Table After De-owning & Decluttering

So, get out there and get started! Decluttering gets easier from here.