Inspired Living: Toss 5 Things

Ever since getting back from the honeymoon, I've been feeling a bit suffocated in our apartment. Between the boxes of wedding presents, the as-yet unpacked suitcases filled with summer clothes, the Christmas tree which (sigh...) is still up, and the boxes of craft supplies and decorations left over from my wedding planning, there just really isn't much room to breathe.

I love our apartment. It's a quirky pre-war with loads of charm, and by Manhattan standards, it's actually quite large (especially, thankfully, the kitchen). But the storage space is nonexistent, so as hard as I try, I never have anywhere to put things. I love books and so there are stacks of books in every room--including the kitchen and bath. I love vintage hats, so there is a wall full of hats. I love to cook and so my pantry and cabinets are overflowing with ingredients and pots and gadgets. Things that in most houses would be tossed because they never get used, but which in this home can't be since I really do actually use them all the time.

But something has to give. It's going to be some time until we can afford to buy a house (that is, unless my inevitable rise to food superstardom comes sooner than I've planned), so I need to learn to work where I am with what I have.

And that means I need to edit.

Yup...this is pretty much exactly what I look like while I clean. And that's Eugene with his car back there.

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers who recently resolved to throw out 50 things from her apartment, I decided to create my own challenge. With my ADHD, I knew I needed something more focused to keep me on track. Something small where I could instantly see a result. So I decided that I would start by tossing at least 5 things from every drawer in my bedroom dresser.

I started with my bras, underwear, socks. Then moved on to jeans, pajamas, and tops. When I was through, I was left with a fairly sizable pile of clothing to either toss or donate, and my drawers became more useful to me since I could actually open and close them without a fight (amazing!). Thrilled, I moved on to my office bookshelves and continued the job, removing at least 5 books from each shelf. By the end of that I had a pile of about 40 books that I will now either sell back to Amazon or donate to charity.

And like this I've continued, picking a drawer, a box, a cabinet, a purse--any kind of surface or container with stuff in it, and finding 5 things that can go. No matter how small the surface, I've found that each time, I've always found 5 things I don't need, and more often than not, I've gone above and beyond that goal. My kitchen is next, and it's the one I'm simultaneously most excited and worried about; it certainly is the room that needs this the most.

It's a small step--just 5 things, but I can honestly say that I'm starting to feel better. I can breathe easier. I can think clearer. Slowly I'm reclaiming my home (and my head) from all the stuff.

So I'm sharing my challenge and inviting you to take part. Pick a drawer. Toss 5 things. Then leave a comment here so that I can cheer you on.



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