In “Ditching 800 Pounds of Clutter” Wall Street Journal reporter Sue Shellenbarger narrates her six-week project ridding key areas of her home of clutter.
The headline is a bit misleading. Shellenbarger actually got rid of more than 800 pounds of stuff — the 800 pounds were just how much trash and recycling she purged. She also donated a SUV-load of items to Goodwill and 17 boxes of books to her public library.
Shellenbarger learned some valuable lessons during her spring-cleaning project:
- Declutter and organize before cleaning.
- Research, plan, and know why you’re going through the process before lifting a finger.
- Things can look worse before getting better.
- More than four hours at a time can be overwhelming for some people (it was for her).
From the article:
Since crawling across the spring-cleaning finish line earlier this month, I have been reveling in the benefits. My neatest and tidiest neighbor noticed my departures for the landfill with my Explorer packed to the roof, and dropped by for the first time to compliment me on a garage that is now nearly as sparkling and capacious as his. I am saving money, because I found stuff I thought I had lost and was planning to replace, such as snorkeling gear and moss-remover for my lawn. Laboring over my stuff has taught me to handle and recycle possessions with greater care. And I have to admit: Parking my car at night in the space actually designed for it, the garage, is beyond cool.
Be sure to check out the whole article, including the wonderful before and after photographs and the interactive closet graphic.
(Thanks to reader Melissa for pointing us in the direction of the article.)