17 Feb Colleen Conquers Her Bathroom Clutter!
One of my favorite things is hearing how my decluttering efforts have inspired others. Case in point – my friend Colleen. Colleen is someone I really admire. She’s one of those people who sees the world holistically, who thinks long and hard before she acts, and who is able to skip the meaningless chit-chat and immediately engage you in meaningful conversation. I just think she’s great. So I was totally flattered when she said she read my blog and was inspired by it!
Colleen is adding a new adult member to her household in the upcoming months, so she tackled one of those tricky shared spaces – the bathroom cabinet. Here is her cabinet before:
And here it is after:
Wow! She really decluttered! Colleen graciously provided me with some insights from her experience.
1. I buy a lot of household supplies in bulk when they are on sale- that takes up space. But meanwhile I also have so much toiletry stuff I have hung onto for years…Like the giant rubbing alcohol bottle and baby powder container that are huge and I always thought were necessary baby supplies and I have never once used them. The kicker is that I am almost certain these were both purchased way before I had kids- I do not know the origins. But I have never been able to let these things go. Getting rid of all the unnecessary bathroom products freed space for our necessary items, for my sister’s toiletries plus free space to spare- ah!
2. I realized I have the “this could be reused” problem and for “eco” reasons have so much trouble throwing anything away. So I will spend oodles of time looking for other uses or planning to think of another use but stash the broken thing in the meantime….but often the thing is just still sitting around months/ years later. A good example is our broken space heater which I have convinced myself I will find someone to fix it…It has been on freecycle, etc…It’s been two years- time to let it go 🙂
3. I realize also that I hang on to things because “so and so” gave it to me and I feel ungrateful to “reject” the kindness by giving the gift away. A good inspiration to help me get over that guilt is the book called The Gift by Lewis Hyde which is about how most other cultures and periods in the world expected gifts to “move” and never “pool up” in one place. You enjoy something for awhile and then let it move to the next person to enjoy. Beautiful!
I also find Freecycle usually to be an amazing resource for passing along things to the next person. You can give away just about anything and sometimes find that “fix-it” person who will be happy to take your free item and repair it themselves (like our broken deep freezer that we didn’t need).
Thank you, Colleen, for being my first guest blogger! Which got me thinking… do any of you out there have a decluttering story to share? Would you be willing to provide some before/after photos, along with some commentary on your experience! If so, I’d love to have you do a guest blog for me and help spread the minimalist love! You can email me pics/comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!