I'm about to do another declutter weekend. In the Tidying Up book, it mentions that you should never have to declutter again, if you do it properly. Has this been anyone's real experience? I find that I have to purge every three months anyway and I'm mostly bagging up garbage, recyclables, and kid items (for Goodwill).
I don't mind, really. I make a party of it. But does anyone ever really stop the flow of new clutter coming in?
I do think I will only do this one big clean up. Maybe that's naive.
But since finding MMM I honestly never buy anything that I don't need and need to use straight away. I don't stockpile things anymore, so no cheap shower gel in the cupboard that I might forget about / let spoil / decide I don't like after all.
I used to enjoy shopping for stationery and makeup. No more. If I need something, I will buy it, but only to replace something, never to accumulate more. I am happy with the number of things I have, I don't want the number of things to go up.
I was at a fair recently and someone tried to give me a wristband. I was surprised at how strongly I said, "no thank you". I just don't want any stuff coming into my house. I don't browse second hand shops, I only go on ebay to replace something, I bin junk mail at the door and request to be taken off lists.
I think it can work if you just totally stop bringing anything in (except consumables). For a few years now straight after Christmas I've bagged stuff up to be donated straight away (sounds cruel, but honestly, no-one ever notices, and I don't even want stuff I CHOSE to be coming into my house, a lot of what people buy me is not something I need / want / will enjoy). Their -intent- is to give me joy, releasing these items to others who will enjoy them is honouring their intention more than holding onto them out of misplaced guilt.
I don't keep receipts / warranties etc as consumer protection laws are very good here and you don't need those kind of records, but in any case, it's extremely rare for me to buy something 'first hand' anyway. I reconcile bank statement and shred immediately. I don't keep paper things that just end up in piles. If I want to try a recipe I try it NOW and file it if I like it. Brochures / catalogues / magazines don't come into the house, if I want something to read, I get it from the library. I will buy DVDs on ebay, but we watch it and resell straight away. I don't want my house to become my 'To Do' list as it has been in days of old.
Obviously, I don't have kids. And my husband isn't a shopper (although his workshop is a different beast, but I leave it totally to him). Also, if you declutter RUTHLESSLY it's over more quickly. There's a lot of stuff I've got rid of on a third or fourth pass. That drags it out for sure, but she's right, when I've got to the right amount of stuff in a category for me, I just know.
So for me, the key in maintaining will be 1) no shopping (easy now I'm a MMM convert) 2) being ruthless with gifts coming into the house 3) stopping paper / trinkets / freebies at the door, so they never come in, and I don't have to clear them out.