I have had many people ask me how in the world I attacked the whole cleaning out process.
This advice would work for cleaning out to move overseas, move down the street, or just wanting to clean out.
Let me warn you, it was not neat, picked up, or always clean while cleaning out.
I started a month before I knew I had to be out of the house.
1. Start with one room at a time.
It helped to see progress as I moved from room to room.
I had to see success as I moved through the house, so I had small successes as I moved from room to room.
While cleaning the selected room, go through EVERYTHING.
2. As you go through everything, ask yourself questions.
-Have you used it in the past year?
-How much have you used it in the past year?
-Does it serve a dual purpose?
-Is it worth the price of storing it?
-Why do I have it?
-Can it be replaced?
-Would I replace this item if the house was destroyed?
3. While going through the questions I made four piles.
-Things I couldn't live without (which was pretty small, after going through all the questions)
-Small things that really reminded me of home and MIGHT could fit. (This pile got smaller and smaller as the packing process moved on.)
-Put in Storage- (which ended up being everything that couldn't be replaced) I put everything in clear storage containers, took pictures, and logged everything in case something happened while in storage.
Your piles may be a little different depending on your reason for cleaning out.
4. Advertise for a garage sale, contact an auctioneer and get rid of your things.
One thing that really helped me with the cleaning out process was thinking of Robert and Kary, some of my Mom's friends who had just lost everything in a fire. I also kept thinking about everyone who had just lost everything in the recent tornado.
It was amazing to watch them and see how yes, it was hard for them to lose everything, but also how freeing it was to not be tied to things.
God granted them a peace, to help them realize it is just stuff, and it is relationships, memories, and taking people to heaven that really matters.
Who were the first people to just show up and help at our garage sale? Robert and Kary
Who knows... you may make a connection or relationship with someone at your garage sale and be able to share your love of Jesus.
Honestly, after the stress of making all the decisions to get rid of things, I really had a freeing feeling.
Don't get overwhelmed, you are attacking a BIG issue. Take breaks in between rooms. Go have fun, reward yourself.
Go forth, clean out, minimize, make memories, and be free.