Some companies make lots of money teaching you how to organize your house and your time. They say that in order to be a happy person you should have a seven-day-a-week plan of attack to keep your house in order. There is lots of mopping, dusting, laundry (and sweating) to do. They will sell you a daily, weekly and monthly calendar to track your progress (and judge your failures).
Ready to revolutionize your household?
Step 1) Take all of your stuff and throw it out.
Step 2) Sit back and enjoy all the free time.
Ok...obviously I'm joking.
There is truth to this. BIG truth. REAL truth. The more stuff you have, the more time it takes YOU to put it away. You have to balance how much stuff you want with how much time you want to spend cleaning it.
I know from experience, not only from having a big house with too much stuff...but also having a tiny house with too much stuff. If you follow my blog you probably know that I almost NEVER show pictures.
Why you ask?
CAUSE IT'S ALWAYS A MESS!
Ok...so not everyone is ready for this, so I have another idea...which I found out of desperation. I call it garbage bag downsizing. Go into a room and throw everything that is not essential to life in a garbage bag. In particular bag up those items that seem to never have a home, or always end up making cleaning harder. If the item has a home, it's used lots, or it is adored, put it away...otherwise GARBAGE BAG.
Once you're done bagging up the room, take the bags out and put them somewhere where you can't see them. Now go back and tidy up the room as if you were having company. For the next few weeks, keep it THAT tidy...you should find that it's easy to keep it clean because there is nothing much to mess it up. (and everything else has a clear home to go back to) When you wake up to the fact that having less stuff is AMAZING. Pull out the bags and one by one go through them. Sort them into piles of keep, maybe and donate. At the end, go back through maybe and place it into keep or donate. If you can easily put your keep pile back into the room, and those things have a home, great, do it. If not, back in the bag! Repeat the process again.
I did this the day of our open house, frankly because I didn't know how else to get it clean in time! It's been nearly two weeks, and it is STILL spotless. (And when it's not, it takes 10 minutes to clean!) When the stuff is gone, it's almost impossible not to keep clean. Why didn't I get rid of everything 2 years ago when we moved onto the boat?!?! (The answer is because I get easily overwhelmed and look for distractions to the real things I need to do.)
I have never regretted getting rid of anything. The more I get rid of, the lighter the emotional burden on myself. Truly.