A solopreneur declutters

Decluttering my home and office

I’ve been doing some serious decluttering. One of the big challenges of working from home, at least for me, is keeping our space tidy. My office tends to be a dumping ground for half-finished projects and other clutter that doesn’t have an assigned space in our home. I also find it hard to let go of clothing that no longer works for me.

This weekend I was overtaken with need to make some tough decisions. In this article, I share five groups of items that I was finally willing to release from my home. I’ll also share a major decision that I made to reduce future clutter at Christmas.

5 Items I’m Giving to Charity

I’ve done a lot of decluttering over the years. However this time I was willing to go the extra mile and release items that were a bigger part of my identity. I hope this list will motivate you to examine your belongings in a new way.

  1. Blue jeans. I hate wearing jeans. I find the old-fashioned 100 percent cotton jeans to be very stiff and uncomfortable. While I like the cotton/spandex blends, my experience is that they quickly become droopy and unflattering. Regardless, I have 10 pairs of jeans in my wardrobe in various sizes and styles that I never wear. This week I decided that I am never going to wear jeans and it is okay to donate every barely-worn pair to a charity. (When I shared this with friends who are decluttering, people told me that they’d come to similar conclusions about clothing they didn’t like – button-down shirts, dress pants, or provocative clothing – and felt better when they let it go.)
  2. Apple boxes. Apple does an amazing job with their packaging and it felt wrong to discard their beautiful boxes. So my office shelves held boxes from my iMac, two iPhones, and an iPad. All of these boxes were years old. These boxes have been recycled and I’ve reclaimed the space.
  3. CDs. I had not listened to CDs in years however I still had every single CD we ever purchased. Not anymore! All CDs are in the donation pile, even my favorite baby lullaby CDs. Now that my youngest child is 25-years-old, I can be confident that the need for lullabies is in the distant past.
  4. Shoes. A couple of years ago I developed a condition called Morton’s Neuroma, which is essentially a tumor on the nerve branch between two of my toes. Pain control requires comfy shoes with a wide toe box and metatarsal pads. This means that many of my shoes — including several pairs of unworn runners that I purchased because they made my Size 10 feet look smaller — no longer work for me. It’s been hard to accept that I won’t be wearing cute shoes in the future and there’s no need to keep them in my closet.
  5. Slide carousels. I inherited 15 Kodak slide carousels from the 1950s and 1960s. Even though I removed all of the slides to digitize them, I have hung onto the empty slide carousels. Not any more. All but two are being donated.

No More Christmas Ornaments

When my husband and I met almost 40 years ago, we had no ornaments for our tree. One of our Christmas traditions was to give each other an ornament that captured something special from each year. We have some great ornaments marking the birth of our children, new homes, and vacations. However the last few years I’ve really struggled to find appropriate ornaments, because we don’t have a lot new going on.

This year I acknowledged that the Christmas ornament tradition needed to end. The sparsely decorated tree from 1984 could be decorated many times with our current selection of ornaments. It is time to stop acquiring ornaments and enjoy what we have.

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A solopreneur declutters
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