by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside
I have become obsessed with decluttering. You may recall that I shared earlier about my pledge to get rid of stuff, and that my goal was to donate or discard one thing each day. Well, that had been going along smoothly for the past year, and I have remained dedicated to it. But to my dismay, I have realized it has not even made a small dent in all of our “things.”
Yes, I was able to discard one thing daily. But to be honest, I must confess that on days when I discovered two things to discard, I actually saved one for the next day!
I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, busier, less anchored to things -- and more focused on people? Perhaps. Whatever the reason, I am fully focused on decluttering my life.
I am late to the party but I recently discovered a book on this subject. Perhaps you have read it --The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I eagerly read this book, ready for its teachings to “transform my life” as it claims.
This is serious. With the help of my totally clutter-free stepdaughter I cleaned out kitchen cabinets and got rid of four bags of stuff. And by stuff I mean old spices, glasses, mugs, weird food products. Lots of things with expiration dates that were long gone. I mean who even knew that cornstarch expires? I would be embarrassed to admit the year I found printed on a bag of dried fruit I had planned to use for some recipe, clearly seven years ago.
My success with this has inspired me to move on -- and to fully embrace the art of decluttering. I am moving on to another room this weekend, but I strongly suspect that a kitchen full of items with actual expiration dates are much easier to get rid of than, say, a closet of clothes.
What I do know is that there are many great organizations that have a need for donated items as well as financial donations – including books, clothes, furniture or housewares. We can help you if you do not know where to find these organizations in your communities.
I used to hate expiration dates, and had a belief that it was just a conspiracy to get us to consume more. And maybe that is the case for some things, but I actually am embracing the expiration date concept. Wouldn’t it be great if everything had an expiration date … just think about so many things that would drop off our to-do lists?!