Decluttering From the Inside Out

A new year, a new home … kind of. At least that’s what I had in mind after we visited my sister-in-law’s home during Christmas. Let’s just say that her lack of clutter had inspired me to go home and declutter our house. I even spent a few late nights of our trip (blame it on jet lag!) bookmarking organizational ideas and making a list of what to buy/do when we returned home. (Don’t worry, it was a fairly relaxing trip otherwise, haha).

I had tried to makeover our home two summers ago and succeeded in painting two bathrooms (with the munchkins’ help, which had seemed like a brilliant idea at the time) and also cleaning out some drawers (see here). But there was one closet that I hadn’t touched and hadn’t considered touching since we moved in a dozen years ago. And that was our hallway linen closet.

Yikes! Don't "before" pictures make you cringe?

Yikes! Don’t “before” pictures make you cringe?

I decided that the jam-packed, “towels crammed in with the sheets” look had to go. Even if I was the only person to ever see the inside of this closet, it was time to do myself a favor and make it more manageable and safe to open (believe me, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hit on the head with a duvet cover!). So, I took everything out, placed them in two piles (keep or donate), then arranged the keepers according to type (sheets vs. pillowcases vs. blankets). I also gave the towels a new home in a cabinet outside our master bathroom, so we no longer have to run down the hall in our birthday suit should we need a clean towel (and found a nifty way to organize them: rolling instead of folding). And then the hallway closet turned into this beauty!

Voila! "After" pics always make me smile. :D

Voila! “After” pics always make me smile. 😀

I learned an important lesson from this closet makeover. That any kind of makeover requires you to clean up the messiness from the inside out.

I could spend the rest of my life trying to declutter everything but the hidden things, but it wouldn’t negate the fact that until I clean out that last closet, cabinet or drawer in the house, clutter will still exist. (I think there’s a good analogy here related to emotional baggage, but I’ll save that for another day).

So, it’s time to take a deep breath and be honest with myself about the clutter I’ve been ignoring in the downstairs closet (which is conveniently hiding behind a closed door). When (if) I ever get around to that, I’ll let you know. But for now, let me go bask again in the beauty of the hallway closet.

There’s no good song about decluttering your home that I could think of, so I’m sharing a completely off topic (but beautiful) one here by Jason Mraz called “Be Honest”. I guess you could say the title is somewhat related to me being honest with myself about the clutter in the house. 😉

What tips do you have about decluttering from the inside out?