Roll up your sleeves and get out your recycling bins for this one, gentle readers – it’s magical clutterbusting time.
Cleansing and Blessing 4: Clutter Removal (for real this time)
I left this section for last because sometimes it can be the most daunting – even worse than moving furniture and disturbing the dust bunnies. I am, as I’ve said many times before, a very neat and organized housekeeper as long as you don’t look too deeply under the surface. I am also very much a packrat and I’ve very rarely met a book or a craft supply that I didn’t like enough to buy and bring home. Sometimes my free-range treasures (some call it clutter) get a little out of hand and must be processed so they don’t burst out of the walls of my beloved Tiny House and block the flow of energy in my home. I did a lot of work in this area over the summer as I shifted my crafty focus more toward witchery and needed room to explore my new interests, so my house is in relatively decent shape as far as random clutter goes, but I am well aware it isn’t always this camera-ready and I want you to be, too.
I won’t go deeply into HOW to declutter or organize your space. For now, just know that there is a glut of information out there that can help you find your best process for yourself – a simple internet search or library trip can do wonders for you in that area.
I do want to emphasize the importance of digging yourself out from your personal Crap Mountain, though. When I am stuck under amorphous piles of stuff, even if it consists of craft supplies I really want to use or books I really want to read, I feel demoralized and completely unmotivated to use any of it. If you have too much of something, or don’t know what you have, it does you absolutely no good.
Shocking revelation time, dear readers: I am a chronic overbuyer. My worst trigger items are craft supplies and Kindle books. I am a sucker for a good Daily Deal from Amazon, to the point where I have forgotten most of the books I’ve bought from them! And the main reason for my overbuying is because I love to collect – if there are 5 varieties of any one item, I am very tempted to buy one of each every time. (Don’t even get me started on little bitty items like washi tape…that stuff is truly addictive.)
When I overbuy, I create a big old pile of “I really ought to…” that is very hard to get out from under. For example, when I wanted to make Christmas cards for everyone on my list last year, I bought 4 pads of really cute scrapbook paper to do so – a total of about 120 sheets of paper. Considering I got about 3 cards per sheet of paper, that gave me enough to make over 350 cards – for the 40 people on my list. Oops! And now I’m stuck under that “I really ought to find something else to do with that paper!” pile that I created for myself, and I won’t get rid of it, even though I’m fully out of the mood to put in that much work again this year, particularly with the same paper that I just used to make last year’s cards. But I can’t get rid of it because it’s good paper and I spent the money on it and surely I’ll find something to do with it…
Yes, the ideal solution to this problem is to STOP OVERBUYING – and I am working on that, really I am! But in the meantime, I’ve had a lot of overabundance to sort out.
My first step in clearing that type of clutter is to GIVE AWAY everything that I truly know I do not need any longer. To channel Marie Kondo a little bit, that which brought me joy in the past is just clogging up my workspace now. The great thing is that there are plenty of folks who would dearly love to have the very items that I’m tripping over. In the past, I have even shipped excess crafty supplies to members of a crafty Facebook group I belonged to after they lost everything in Hurricane Harvey – at a time when relaxation and creativity was the last item on their budget, they were really grateful to have something to make pretty through our donations. Again, I won’t go deeply into how to get rid of your stuff — you can sell it online, put it in a garage sale, donate it to Goodwill or another charity of your choice, take it to a local school or church, give it to a senior center or assisted living facility who could use such things for fun activities — however you choose to move it along, just MOVE IT ALONG. Don’t worry about recouping monetary losses – that money has already flown from your wallet, my friends, and you got your joy out of it, so don’t cry over mountains of pretty paper — just cut your losses and shovel it out!
Getting rid of the chaff FIRST is crucial, but organizing what’s left into usable units is also key. Craft supplies, books, or other hobby items do you no good at all if you don’t know what you have on hand and end up just going out and buying more instead. Once you’re done culling your collections to only contain supplies you actually want to use, there are all kinds of ways to organize your business. (Michael’s stores alone have scores of organizational containers and tools, but there is no need to spend more money on special supplies unless that’s what trips your trigger – organization is always less about what containers you use and more about you using whatever system you create.) Once again, do some homework, decide on a method that will work for you, and put it to use!
Now that I have my craft supply hoard cut down to a manageable size, I want to turn some witchy powers toward keeping both of these problems in check as I explore my new interests.
Erin at The Seasonal Soul wrote about this recently and recommends that with each area we clear or clean, we remind ourselves that “I am cleaning away everything that doesn’t serve me anymore.” That’s powerful stuff to a pragmatist like me, and I plan to employ that wisdom every time I tidy up by making a label bearing that quote to stick on my Swiffer handle and on the lid of my recycling bin as well.
If you want a simple, witchy place to start, try this cute and motivating Clutter Cleaning Spell by Jennifer David Hesse at Hobby Reads. Jennifer’s very thorough article walks you through a solid decluttering process punctuated by some focusing chants such as:
The space beneath is empty space
The stuff above does not belong
I bid it to its rightful place
To clear the air and right this wrong.
Once the space you’re working on is cleared (or as cleared as you have time to make it), she directs you to either snap your fingers or ring a bell and say:
Clouds doth part and chi doth flow
As above, so below
Grateful to be clutter-free
Namaste and blessed be!
I like the idea of doing this room by room, or even area by area, on a monthly basis to help keep my better-organized house in good shape for a long time to come.
So that’s my (very general) take on clutterbusting, friends. What areas of your home need the most decluttering? Let me know in the comments below or join the discussion in the Half-Assed Circle on Facebook. Here’s to parting those clouds and freeing that chi while you sweep out negativity and prepare your own hibernaculum for winter, my friends. Until next time!