If there’s one lesson I’ve learned while decluttering my home, it’s that making a dent is better than being at a standstill. So, my recent giveaways of books and magazines and clothing and kitchen wares, though seemingly small, make my environment look and feel a little lighter each day.

With the simple act of sorting through some desk drawers, I ended up getting rid of at least half of the contents that had been stored there for too long, and that’s a good feeling.

Years ago, when I worked in the corporate world, we learned time-management skills and other ways to be more efficient in the workplace. Looking back, I can still remember the active and inactive folders at my desk. That’s a concept I’d like to apply to some areas of my home like the closets and drawers that continue to house random objects.

Anything that doesn’t belong there (inactive) can go to storage if it deserves to be kept, or better yet, out of the house altogether. What remains (active) should be minimal if all goes according to plan.

In turn, that clears the way for better placement of the items that require regular access. I might even dedicate a spare dresser to giveaways, with one drawer for books and magazines to pass along to friends, another for clothing to be passed down, sold or recycled, and the large bottom drawer filled with plastic bags to hold these goods.

Upon closer inspection of my kitchen cabinets, I see rarely used dishware and other odds and ends that are taking up valuable real estate. So I’ve started going through everything to give some away to a friend and her family of avid cooks and rearrange what remains so that it makes more sense than the current configuration.

Now that the warmer weather seems to be willing to stick around for a bit, I’m also ready to switch gears in my laundry room that looks and feels lighter and brighter when the winter coats and boots get stashed away for the season.

Organizing projects such as these often force me to address pieces in limbo like clothing to be repaired. That’s what happens when you find what you never knew you had in the back of your closet or at the bottom of a long-neglected drawer.

For instance, I recently discovered a bunch of artwork that has yet to be framed along with a few empty picture frames to be filled with photos.

Just when I managed to get a little editing done each day, everything came to a halt when my back went out. As my husband reminded me, that’s why you shouldn’t leave your coffee mugs (my bad habit) or your cereal bowls (our daughter’s doing) by the sink because you never know what might happen to make loading the dishwasher impossible.

That’s another reason why making a dent is better than sitting around and doing nothing; you might be forced to take a break when you least expect it. Now that I’m on the mend, I can honestly say I feel grateful to be capable of getting back to business.

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