I like to say that I'm a reformed pack rat. I used to hang on to everything, I just couldn't throw something away if it was in perfectly good condition, and my fear of giving it away was that if I needed it again later then I would have to buy another one. So everything that came into our house, stayed in our house! This did not leave things looking very neat and tidy, and even though I would clean the house it would still look messy because of the amount of stuff that we had accumulated.
Before we put our house up for sale I knew I needed to change my pack-rat ways. There were times I just felt closed in while in my home. I didn't want to create that kind of atmosphere in my home, I wanted a place where a person felt comfortable and welcome. I wanted a safe haven for my family, and I wasn't creating that type of atmosphere with all the stuff. Something had to be done, and I knew what the answer was, it was time to de-clutter. At first it was difficult for me to let go of things, but I realized that I'd much rather have a restful and peaceful home without all the stuff, then a house packed full of unnecessary items. Once I started getting rid of things I started feeling better, I felt lighter in a way. I felt like a weight was being lifted off my shoulders. Mostly I gave the stuff away to Goodwill and The Salvation Army, other stuff I packed up and took down to our local consignment store, and there was a few things we just decided to throw out- and that was okay. In the end I knew it was okay to throw some things out, it made for a more peaceful home when the clutter and stuff was gone.
I noticed a big difference throughout the house, I realized I didn't need every nook and cranny filled. I didn't need every shelf or counter full of stuff. I realized that I could put some decorations away and switch them out every now and then. It was a good feeling walking through the house and seeing free space here and there. My house seems cleaner now too, it's funny how "stuff" came make a house look messy and dirty, even when it's not. It's the perception it gives. My kitchen was the biggest change of all. I put away a lot of little appliances that I don't use every day, they're stored in a cupboard until I need one. I still have the same size kitchen, but it looks so much bigger now, all because I de-cluttered!
I encourage you ladies to take a walk through your homes, look at all the stuff you have and make a decision if you really need it all, or if it's possible to get rid of some of it. It really is such a simple thing to do, it doesn't cost any money, and it can make your home seem so much more calm. At least it did mine.