if you have a storage box…

if you have a storage box…

… you will fill it.

Today we have started on the outbuildings.  While the Boss emptied plastic storage containers of stuff we didn’t need I filled them with books to take to Borderline Books.  I have no intention of taking them home again but I think Amira can actually put them to good use.

While the boxes were at our house we used them.  We put things in them and then put them away out of sight.  Quite, out of sight and never used or seen again.  I am not suggesting that you empty your house of every storage unit.  Most people need a wardrobe, a bookcase, somewhere to keep their knitting/fishing tackle/whatever rocks your boat.  Nobody needs boxes of books or clothes or toys that live in the attic or cellar or outbuilding.

clutterphoto courtesy of NY Times

Decluttering is not the same as organising.  I know.  I am a champion organiser.  Before I started this journey I would have a regular declutter.  I took everything out of a cupboard put some of them into the charity bag and then tidied up everything that was left.  Sometimes I got really enthusiastic and devised a new storage system.  This was often combined with a trip to IKEA for some funky cool storage boxes.  As you can see, what I was doing was reorganising the stuff I already had.  The boxes in the outbuildings and the kists full of books were testament to that.

One way to force yourself to declutter is to go around your house (inside and out, outbuildings and attics) and remove 50% of your “storage boxes”.  If you haven’t got anywhere to hide the clutter it has to go 🙂

9 thoughts on “if you have a storage box…

  1. Great post! I love the fact that you touched on storing things that we will never use. I find a tremendous since of satisfaction knowing what I have and where to find it. Keeping things stored away just because they are “still good” does not mean they are good for me. I like to sell the good stuff and donate the rest,

  2. You will be very proud of me, Gillian. Following my dictum of “one in, one out” I bought four pairs of boots (remember my addiction?) for £30 which will constitute my footwear for at least a year, if not two. I then very conscientiously picked out four pairs of boots that I don’t wear or were “going through” and some “used to be glittery” sandals that have lost their shine. Off to the recycling bin with them.
    Buoyed up with that, I was merciless in my progress through the wardrobe (third time in four months) and gave the Old Feller a big bag to take to the recycling centre where they put clothing to one side for a charity which collects them.
    Ahhhhhhhh, adjusts halo and makes cup of tea.

    • I wish I had an easy answer. I was where you are, some 10 years ago. I got ride of stuff bit by bit, very slowly. It’s a bit like giving up smoking, there is no point trying to bully somebody into doing it unless they want to. The key is to find the trigger point for your husband. In our case it was financial and family. We are close to the situation where we will have a huge house and only the two of us living there … we need to move.

  3. I have donated months of my life to cleaning out my granmother’s stuff, my aunt’s stuff, my mother’s stuff, and my inlaws stuff. I told my husband (who used to be terrific in the declutter department but now has tools (unused) and collections (no I don’t dust them)) – that I was not cleaning out after another person. I keep three boxes by the front door (the one I leave by every day) and just keep filling them up and sending them on!
    I have a sister who has an apartment full, a house full and pays a small fortune for off site storage. I’m not cleaning up her stuff either!!

  4. That is a very true point. I keep trying to “convince” with love and support a person in my life who is keen to try new organizing systems to tame the endless clutter, but doesn’t realize that the real tickets to success is not a new set of bins or shelves, but to have less stuff that needs organizing. I am not sure I am making much headway, but I keep gently trying. I know a good number of people who pay for a storage unit–yet one more big box to keep surplus things in. Its crazy talk, if you ask me.