Why I Love an Annual Declutter

Okay, so maybe I’m not as hip as Ryan Nicodemus, who had his packing party and decluttered mostly in one fell swoop. I love decluttering in layers. Yes, lots of gentle to deep layers.

It all began when I retired in 2012. I went from a woman with lots of money, but no time – to just the opposite, a woman with lots of time and far less dough. With all that time on my hands I decided to go through my home one room and drawer at a time. I pulled out items that I wasn’t using and culled about 10% of what I owned.

The next year as my declutter anniversary rolled around, I felt like that first round had felt so good, I was ready for another round, only this time I invited others to join me. We ended up having 30 of us that year, and we cleared 101 metal trash cans worth of items from our homes, sending them off to recycling, donation and the landfill.

It quickly became clear that my two most challenging areas were the bathroom and the kitchen. It was at that same time I discovered simplifying my beauty routine as well. Not all of those changes stuck, but 80% did and others have evolved.

I wanted to pause and show you the progress made over the past 3 years in decluttering my two most challenging rooms, the bathroom and the kitchen. We will start with the bathroom.


2013 – First round of decluttering my bathroom


2013 – Items I got rid of


2013 – You would think I was a makeup artist. Items I got rid of.


2017 – I still have a lot of stuff. I put my bathroom items in containers by type.


2017 – Here I’ve removed all items, then clean area and declutter.


2017 – I love this dispenser for bulk personal care products.


2017 – I packed up makeup items I rarely use into a box to try out living with less.


2017 – My main makeup for day to day. Simple, peaceful, functional.

It’s one thing to look at your stuff and pull out what you don’t need. It gets deeper when you pull out everything from a given room and see it all together! And it becomes very apparent that I am just fooling myself when last year I said I’d keep something because I might use it, only to find one or two years have passed and the item is untouched. I’m not saying you have to use all items you own, but why do you have them if you are not using them? And do they bring you joy or are you just spending time and resources to house, clean and store them?


2017 – My kitchen with just a few items for personality


2017 – This year I got rid of 2 spoons and a spatula I wasn’t using


2017 – I love cookbooks. I now use the “one in, one out” rule.


2017 – I transitioned away from plastic to mostly stainless steel and glass


2017 – Nothing like a good clean out of the frig.


2017 – Time to give the outside of the frig a nice cleaning too!


2017 – These bulk containers are one of my favorites. Easy identification and inventory!

Annual declutters allow me to:

  • Let go in stages
  • Not fool myself about items I might use
  • Get the motivation going for myself and my online group
  • Experience peace as my home becomes less cluttered and my space more intentional
  • Be more functional in where I put things by getting all like items together
  • Reduce waste, as I know what I actually own
  • Save money not needing to buy items I already have
  • Give items to others who can use them
  • Feel more like inviting friends and family into my home
  • Not leave a mess for future generations to clean up

For anyone wanting to declutter, but hesitating, I’d encourage you to start somewhere. Perhaps that is a drawer or your purse. It’s those first few steps that are the hardest. Each year I feel I love my space more as I release items I’m not using and keep only things I love. Guests who come here can feel the peace and serenity that having less provides. I also feel better living here in this beautiful space I created.

If you need help getting started, consider joining my annual declutter group

%d bloggers like this: