The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't. ~Unknown Clutter is evil. It does unmentionable things to your mind. Unknowingly you get sucked in. Am I right? When we look at magazines and pictures of our dream houses (I know I'm not the only one that does this!) they are all color coordinated, pretty and sophisticated. They always have fresh flowers but in the real world many of us don't have time to get a decorator to our house and stage our homes with all that neat stuff right? And if you are one of those people that always have fresh flowers in your home- I just have four words for you. I am completely jealous. Yep. But in most homes all that clutter just makes for a ton of dust. How do we get rid of all the unnecessary stuff? And how do we know what is good to keep, what is good to giveaway and what is good to trash?

Ok well, being that I am of the mindset we need to recycle as much as we can, it's important to at least try to give away as much as possible. You will be surprised at what people will want to keep for themselves. How does that saying go? Someone's trash is somebody else's treasure? It really is true! You never know what other people need certain things for and since we can find so many double uses for things nowadays- it's virtually endless what can be done. But back on track...how do you decide what stuff to get rid of? In my last post I decided to dive into the subject of decluttering and why it is good for you. There are so many reasons why we should declutter our homes, ourselves and our lives. But how do we get started? And how far do we take it?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Throw away all trash

My kids share a room. It's a really small room. We try to maximize on space with some organizing techniques but really there is no way around the fact that the room is small. Normally, I am in constant check with their room to make sure it is clear of trash. The hardest part about having a small bedroom is that everything is visible because hiding something is usually not an option. Not to mention that my kids are still getting the hang of hiding things from me. You never know what I am going to find in their clothes drawers! But the ONE THING I always notice above all else is trash. I will pick it up sometimes and other times I make them pick it up. The reason for this is two fold: 1. They probably don't think of the items as trash and 2. I don't want to fight with them about it! But no one likes trash. Grab an empty bag and get going. Things will smell better and while picking up you may even find things you can recycle or reuse. Think outside of the box with what can be considered trash!

2. Take five minutes a day per room

Stop and think for a minute how long five minutes REALLY is. Like if you were to sit for five minutes and count the seconds- it would seem like that is the longest task you had ever been asked to do! It's like watching water boil.  IT TAKES FOREVER! Taking just five minutes will allow for time to pick up any trash and put knick knacks in their proper place is so huge. It may even allow for some deep cleaning especially once you have been doing this awhile. Things become a habit after 21 days and you start to declutter more often as you see it pop up!

3. Look at things from another perspective

All it takes is pretending to be my mother in law and my house will a bit cleaner because of it! If you imagine yourself as a guest who is going to look at your home and see what they see it may be easier to let some of these things go. Try to think of yourself as a toddler tramping through your house. What things can they reach and can you put them somewhere else or just let them go too?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

4. Ask yourself, "Am I going to use/need this?" and "Why?"

Well doesn't that just say enough? People forget that there is a definite difference between needing something and wanting something. Can you distinguish the difference?

5. Become more organized

By putting all things in their proper place, you are not only organizing your life, you are decluttering and saving your sanity all at the same time. Get your kids involved in the process and they may actually help keep things that way. Sometimes it is not about what you have that is "extra", it's about how you are storing your things. And if it doesn't fit, then it goes. Period.

6. Avoid distractions while you work

Getting down and dirty with your task will help you in the long run. Don't get distracted. Work in small spaces for a short time so other things don't have the opportunity to creep in an bug you.

7. Not all family items are meant to be kept

This one is the hardest for most people. "But it was my father's!" There is a fine line between keeping something that was an heirloom in your family. I believe that all pictures of course need to be saved always ;) but what about other things? Small momentos from your families past are important to save. They may not technically be worth anything. And by that I mean monetary value, however, they are obviously personal in nature and need to be kept. I would say the only exception to this rule is if you don't have room for it. This is surely an individual decision but one that needs to not be taken lightly. I have room for my grandfather's piano in my house (barely!) but I still have room. So what about your own children's things? "But I want to keep her very first outfit she ever wore!" What? Bottom line, if you don't have room for it, the item needs to be scrapped- or get rid of something else so that it can take its place. Not everything needs to be kept.

8. Go all the way with it!

Haha! Another way to do things is to go all the way. True minimalists live in tiny houses (and I mean TINY) and they have lofts for rooms and live on lots of property so they can experience nature. In concept this is beautiful. I just don't know if I could do it!

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

If you missed my first post about the reasons why we need to declutter and why they are beneficial to your health then please read it! It's so important to put our health into the equation. Also think about what we are teaching our children! Please cut the clutter!

One good way to make sure you have "good clutter" is to make sure it's all about you. It has to make you happy or else why have it? Do need an updated photo of your family? I bet you do! It's something we all tend to put off and then wish we hadn't. Contact me today and we can discuss the finer details of your upcoming session. See what I can do for you! Can't wait to speak with you about it!

Much love,

Heather

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Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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