My college friend Ryan once described his paper-writing process as such: “I just wait until the adrenaline hits; then I do it all at once.” Hence, Ryan often started and finished papers mere hours before they were due. It seemed to work for him, but I could never understand it. Utterly unsurprising to anyone who knows me, I was the student who, upon receiving an assignment, immediately planned a timeline of how to complete it in manageable chunks leading up to the due date. When it comes to writing (and I say this as a writing teacher), to each his own.
But what’s interesting to me is that I tend to organize my own house the way Ryan writes papers. I often feel like I just can’t do it until some sort of magical minimizing adrenaline hits me. Then I ride that wild stuff-purging roller coaster until she stops. (Interestingly, I can organize for clients without needing this mysterious energy to hit. Sometimes I feel like I need to treat myself like a client… but then I’d have to pay me and that gets weird.)
Well, the coaster arrived last night, right after dinner. I’m familiar with her by now, so I hopped aboard and spent several hours riding the sweet stuff-purging energy around my house. (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I even skipped an ornament exchange with my moms group to do this… but in my defense, I hadn’t bought an ornament and didn’t think anyone but me would consider a half-eaten canister of chocolate-covered raisins worthy of an exchange.)
Among other things, in the last 12 hours, I have:
- Done a major toy purge (with kids helping) in anticipation of the holidays
- Minimized my wardrobe even further and separated my clothing into drawers that I have mentally labeled “Clothes I’m Allowed To Wear Out of the House” and “Clothes for Sleeping and Working Out Only“. (I’m a comfort-loving Midwestern gal, so I will do my best to keep the two from mixing and mingling… wish me luck!)
- Minimized some unused kitchen items so I could finally put the china dishes my mom gave me into my cupboards. So excited to eat some “fancy” meals with my kids!
- Cleared excess board games out of a cupboard to make room for my expanding business supplies, which had previously been multiplying on the floor in a not-so-professional-organizer fashion..
- Shaved off all excess body hair. (Just kidding… it is winter in Ohio, after all… a girl’s gotta stay warm.)
The minimizing energy was perfect to help me complete today’s minimalism challenge of 11 items. But let me update you on the last few days of giveaways. (You can read about my first 8 days of giveaways here.)
Day 9: A collection of randoms: I’m especially excited to donate this scale (Who really wants to weigh themselves regularly, anyway? Answer: Nobody.) and an old 35 mm camera. I don’t even know where I’d go to develop real film anymore. Plus, I think if I gave someone doubles they’d suspect I was a time-traveler from 1997. Then they’d want me to go back and warn everybody about global warming and Donald Trump. And I just can’t get people’s hopes up like that.
Day 10: Toys! My kids helped me decide which toys they were ready to part with. (A reminder that “Santa can’t bring you new toys unless you give some to kids who don’t have any” is very helpful for this!)
Day 11: Jewelry. This was a hard one for me, but I had to get really honest with myself and realize that I don’t wear most of my jewelry. Like clothes, most jewelry goes in and out of style. It was time to let these lovelies go!
There is one day left in my 12 Days of Giveaways Minimalism Challenge… if you’ve followed along, by tomorrow you will be 78 items lighter! If you haven’t, there’s still time before Christmas to let go of some unused items in your home.
And word of advice: when the stuff-purging roller coaster arrives, hop aboard and enjoy the ride!
Rose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalist-minded professional organizing company. If you’d like Rose’s help with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030.