The Art of Discarding

This is my craft room before I did even more decluttering. I should have taken a photo of the insides of the storage bins. Alas, this is my “cluttered” craft area. I’m hoping to get paint on the walls and spruce it up more at some point. I’ll be very excited to share that “after” photo!

I read this book a few weeks ago and liked it a lot. It was the book that inspired Marie Kondo to write The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

For me, hearing over and over that decluttering is really the most important aspect to being well-organized has helped me immensely. My decision-making is so much better because of the advice from this book. Inspired to declutter even more, I spent at least 12 hours on my scrapbook room last weekend. Most people who see my home think that there’s nothing else I could possibly get rid of but that’s not true.

We all have clutter, even me, and it piles up when you aren’t thinking about it. This book made me think about it and recycle, donate and throw away things I truly didn’t need and would never use. I know this because I hadn’t used them in years and when stickers have lost their “sticky”, it’s time to get rid of them. (Not all – I can use Glue Dots on the un-sticky ones that I love.) I had ugly scrapbook paper, embellishments that were tacky or too bumpy to fit inside the sleeve of a clear scrapbook refill page, etc.

So now for some practical advice……this book’s Table of Contents alone will tell you what you need to know. In Part One, here are the 10 attitudes to help you get rid of things:

  1. Don’t keep it “for now”
  2. Avoid “temporary” storage – decide now!
  3. “Sometime” never comes
  4. “Really convenient!” to somebody else – irritating junk to me
  5. Nothing is sacred
  6. If you’ve got it, use it
  7. Storage and organization methods are not the solution
  8. “Maybe this could go…”
  9. Don’t worry that you’ll get rid of something you shouldn’t
  10. Don’t aim for perfection

Then, Part Two give you 10 strategies for discarding. Here they are:

  1. Don’t look – throw!
  2. Chuck it there and then
  3. Discard when you exceed a certain amount
  4. Discard after a certain period of time
  5. Regular discarding
  6. Discard things even if they can still be used
  7. Establish discarding criteria
  8. Have plenty of disposal routes
  9. Start small
  10. Who disposes of what? Decide responsibilities

There is a Part Three that talks about alternatives to throwing things away for people who have a hard time throwing things in the garbage.

One of the things that I found very interesting was when she talked about getting rid of things that can still be used. This might confound you but, yes, you can and sometimes should get rid of certain things that might have some use or purpose. The examples the author uses is clothes, books and magazines. She says, “The belief that things should be used until their potential is exhausted is a powerful one. People seem to think that if they keep something, there’ll be the opportunity at some point for this potential to be used.” “But it’s better not to bother about whether you use things to their full potential. It may well be the case that they could be used more, but they can still be disposed of. Accept this and you’ll save yourself a lot of worry.”

I could go on and on but I’ll stop there. Again, the book’s Table of Contents says it all.

Thanks for reading!!


Can You Relate?

From The Onion:

Man 20 Minutes Into Organizing Shelves Becomes Grimly Aware Of What Chaos He Has Wrought

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—All semblance of harmony lost in the maelstrom of books, electronics, and random keepsakes that lay before him, local man Ron Beck reportedly became grimly aware of what chaos he had wrought 20 minutes into organizing his bedroom shelves Wednesday. “Oh God, what have I done?” said Beck, realizing far too late that he had set himself upon a dark and perilous path through random power cords, scattered binders, and old CDs from which there was no turning back. “I never would have done this had I known my fate would be as Pandora opening her box. But now the old order is in ruins. Nothing remains but the mayhem I have fashioned with my own hands and folly!” At press time, Beck, knowing he had no choice but to forge ahead no matter what awaited him, took a deep breath and solemnly removed an LSAT study guide from the pile.


Does this sound like you?

We’re probably all guilty of it. It’s hard to live in a society that values having lots of things. I don’t knock it but I do think we can go overboard. There is no doubt we all need some possessions to be able to not only survive but to live comfortably.

However, there is a line. It is different for different people, for different families. But there is a line and most of us cross it on a regular basis. I am guilty of it myself so please know I don’t sit on a pedestal looking down on all of my cluttered peasants. Learning what stays and what goes in my house and in my office has been a process.

I want to help others learn it so they can live a more productive life doing things they want to do and not looking at clutter and wondering why projects are not finished (or not even started).



Not Just for Apartments…..

“A rational place to live doesn’t sound very sexy, but a tidy place to live is indeed much more comfortable.” This is one of the last sentences of this article by Bourree Lam in The Atlantic. Check it out….

The Economics of Tidying Up




Craft Rooms


This client could not use her craft room due to all of the clutter. These are before and after photos of just one shelf but the entire area was decluttered and organized in about 3 hours.

I personally love to scrapbook and make cards. I’ll post photos of my craft room someday. It’s actually a glorified closet but oh well. Gets the job done. So, I am sensitive to the needs of fellow crafters who want to work on projects and not spend time searching for things they know they have.

Things to think about when you declutter a craft area:

  • even if there is a lid for the case or bin, put the lid underneath the case or bin to keep it open so you can just reach in and get what you need
  • keep ‘like’ things together – I corralled all of the pins into a pin cushion but there were pins all over before the decluttering occurred
  • don’t go out and buy something that you know you already have. For example, this client had tons of thread, several machine needles for a sewing machine, and 4 rotary fabric cutters because she couldn’t find the ones she bought previously.
  • don’t go out and buy bins for storage or shelving or other organizational things that make you feel like you’re getting organized. When you declutter first, you’ll have bins and shelf space left over, promise.

I would love to hear from crafters as far as what works for you! Please share with your comments below.

I love Marie Kondo

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book

She is my God and her book is my Bible. It is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. That book was given to me by a dear friend and has changed my life, no kidding. I wouldn’t have made changes in my home and started this business without it. Read on….


Do’s and Don’ts of Decluttering and Organizing


  • start with the end in mind
  • purge things you don’t need
  • ask for resources or tips/advice
  • recycle, donate, sell, give away
  • keep ‘like’ items together
  • represent yourself with your things
  • be wary of certain storage ideas
  • play relaxing music to set the mood


  • get bogged down in details
  • declutter for the sake of it
  • automatically buy bins and shelves
  • put everything in a landfill
  • organized based on flow of space
  • declutter room-by-room
  • worry about other’s judgement
  • get rid of other’s possessions