As you’ve read, I am determined to live tiny in our big house. What this means is that we are going to get rid of things we don’t need, try to only keep the things that we do need, and organize what’s left.
The problem with living in a large house (with 6 kids) however, is that tasks like decluttering, purging, downsizing, and organizing can be incredibly overwhelming. Although I know I should gut the TV room, when I walk in and see all the DVD’s (and yes, even some VHS tapes), the books, and the stuff that has been dropped down by the kids and forgotten, my inclination is not to purge, my inclination is to turn away and run. It seems that no one wants to pick up or put things away (or move anything out) in our house because they’ve figured out that mom will eventually do it.
But after spending 8 hours in front of a computer writing, when I’m done for the day, picking up and sorting are not exactly the first things I put on my to-do list.
So for people like me, living tiny is going to have to happen using tiny steps.
Tiny Step: Key Rack
Today, I started with our key rack. It’s a mess, we have so many keys that often when you hang up a set it falls to the floor (which means that you need to move the basket directly under to get to your keys – a terribly inefficient process.)
We go through cars in this family. Some have gotten older and some have gotten, um, destroyed (not naming names.) Because we are so busy, we just keep adding new keys to our holder on top of the old keys to cars we no longer have. Add to that a water bottle holder (that’s never been used), a purse (that hasn’t been used in over a year), some press credentials, and a camera case (I have no idea where the camera is) and what we had was a gigantic eyesore of a mess that was stealing some of our valuable time as we fumbled trying to find the correct set we needed.
Guess what? We have 4 cars (don’t get excited, 3 of them are used by working kids and are running on a wing and a prayer) and we have 4 hooks on the key holder.
I saw an obvious solution.
Emma and I took everything off the holder. We tried each key and when it didn’t work (I’m talking door keys) we got rid of it. We also got rid of the extra key to our SUV that was totaled last winter (still not naming names) and other long-forgotten car keys. We then organized keys to a hook – one for each car. (I’m also house-sitting which is what that long key chain is for – that will go away when my friend gets back.)
The bottle holder and camera case went to Goodwill and the purse will be cleaned out and sold on eBay. (Coach)
We now only have the keys that are functional on our rack and each driver now knows where to put their set (and if they don’t, I’ll get out my labeler and will help them out.)
The only things we kept that weren’t truly necessary:
- Our dogs’ tags – we all still miss those little guys and we decided that it was a way to keep them in our lives.
- My press credentials – because, well something like this just doesn’t happen every day.
Sure, it’s a drop in the bucket, but you can’t imagine how happy it makes me to know that I’ve started. After all, in my case, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one *tiny* step.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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