Work Home and Family - Loving my Cleaning Out!

My biggest challenge to keeping my home clean and inviting is clutter.  I am a pack rat.  Yes, I have admitted that before and I am admitting it again.  My home office and sewing/craft rooms are huge piles of paper.  Yes, I did manage to clean out the office enough that we can actually use one of the two desks in there and open the closet door to access the closet.  I also managed to keep my sewing area clean enough that I can actually use the sewing machine.  Both of those things are accomplishments for me!

I love having the rooms free of clutter.  I had cleaned out my kitchen and living room early last year and managed to keep it that way through the whole of 2010!  Whoo hoo!  The kids room stays pretty neat and tidy because it has to - two kids sharing a small room means if things aren't kept to a minimum, we end up with an unusable room quickly.  And I had to clean out the laundry room so my new washer and dryer could come right before Thanksgiving. 

Now that our bedroom is done being cleaned out, I am realizing all the stuff has a psychological cost as well as a physical inconvenience factor. 

I knew that the extra junk in my house bothered me.
I knew that I needed to get rid of it.
I knew that it was stressing me out to a certain degree.

I had no idea how much.

The perks from cleaning out are many.

It takes a fraction of time for me to clean these rooms now that I don't have to "shuffle stuff" continuously.
I can find things easily and without having to dig through piles to get to it.
I don't have to worry about misplacing things in the "abyss" (as my Mom termed it so nicely - thanks Mom!).
I don't stress about finding the time to clean out things.

I spent a marathon week last week cleaning things out from our bedroom and making a dent in my sewing/craft room.  John and I have  a long list of things that we don't have a home for - part of the reason why we keep shuffling the location of things. 

In that week I have donated 4 trash bags of clothes, 1 of toys, 2 of DVDs and VHS tapes, recycled one large trash-can worth of recycling plus 2 paper shopping sacks, and filled one garbage bag with trash.  I have found several things that I had misplaced, including (much to my embarrassment!) the volunteer forms for my kids' school.  Opps.  Turned those in on Monday! :) 

I also feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  A psychological weight to be sure, but a weight none-the-less. 

And now I can tackle some of these other things in peace.

How has cleaning out affected your life?  I'd love to hear!


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