Decluttering = Giving : A weekend of decluttering 

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For months, I felt like I had been begging the little people and my husband to help me get a grip on our shrinking house situation. We were being controlled  by our stuff and it wasn’t fun anymore. As the promised weekend got closer, I mentioned the laundry situation to a friend who recommend a laundry service, and I was desperate enough to try it the next day. This turned out to be the single best prep tool I could have utilized. I dropped the dirty laundry off one afternoon and went back the next  to pick it up clean and folded. Read more about using a laundry service here —->

Our first task was then put into motion, putting away everybody’s, now clean, laundry. This was so much easier than actually doing the laundry! Plus, it allowed each of us to see what we actually had and make choices of what we wanted to get rid of.

My little people ended up donating 1 bag of practically new toys & 1 bag of clothes to a couple of other children we know, some of which their grandma plans to wrap up as Christmas gifts for them. Later, they also came up with 3 more garbage bags of clothes, which will go to some little cousins and the rest to the homeless shelter. The hubby and I ended up with 4 garbage bags of unused clothing, as well as other small household items which we donated,  tax exempt, to a local church who will divide the items to families who need them.

This was just the end of day 1.

As day 2 started (at McDonald’s to keep spirits up) I vowed to get rid of another car load that day too. Cleaning out the linen closet I found bedding we no longer used  and cleaning out the kitchen we found glasses and other dishes that didn’t even fit in our cabinet space. I found text books, old vases, unused curtain sets, travel sized shampoos, soaps, and lotions (the kind we all pack home from hotels), and an embarrassing number of makeup samples from all the subscription boxes I belong to. I separated the items based on where it was best donated to, only to realize I would need to utilize 3 nonprofits for the best use of my various items. Church program, homeless shelter, and goodwill here we came!

The improvement in our home was already starting to show. We had donated more than I ever thought possible and our garbage can was running over outside, but somehow things looked cleaner with less clutter. We could now have pizza at our kitchen table and I could walk on the actual laundry room floor. My sanity and my peace was returning.

Once you start parting with stuff you’ve hoarded it gets easier and easier I think. When I realize the people we know and don’t know that the things we ditched helped it makes me sick to my stomach. We live with so much extra, and even though I try and take the little people to make donations at the homeless shelter every couple months, we really don’t give enough. What we gave only cost us our time and in return we got a de-cluttered home, what turned out to be a pretty sizable tax exemption, and most importantly, I showed my little people how to give.

So, before you pack all the new Christmas items in your house, what will you donate ?

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