Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2108 Decluttering: Near Year End Update

It's been a wild year of decluttering! The goal has been to achieve the deletion of 2018 items from our home and life. And there were and are no rules! I knew we would likely be moving in 2018 when I started on this project, so the number was quite achievable in my mind. Once the location was determined, we were soon to realize we would be downsizing to a much smaller space. We went from over 2800 sq ft to just under 1700 sq ft, and only a one car garage.

As of my last update at the end of August, we had eliminated 1980 items! In the months of September we downsized a lot of furniture, which we counted as more than one item each. We eliminated lamps, tools, cleaners, clothes, baskets, rugs, curtain rods, curtains, bedding...and much more to even list at this point. 

I will say that moving so fast in the last few months, it was a bit disorientating letting go of the quantity we did. But it simply had to be done, or I would probably have a room at our new place that is packed full! That luckily did not happen. For the most part we have been able to fit our items into our home with ease. It's still a work in progress as we have been here less than a month. 

You might find this story amusing. My husband's Army gear was in several duffle bags and a backpack. In order to fit it into boxes, the ladies that packed up, partially opened the duffle bags exposing the contents. Thus, when we unpacked my husband was shocked to find multiple sets of OLD army uniforms. Guess what we now need to let go of? Old Army uniforms! They fill a very large box, not yet sure of the numbers. 

The final tally as of this writing for the 2018 Decluttering Challenge is 2,768! Yes, I did count furniture and large items as much more than one. For example, we sold a fairly new refrigerator and I counted it as 250. There is so much more effort to decluttering by selling. Taking pictures, posting a listing in several places, and communicating with the buyer for pickup. That additional effort prompted me to count these types of sales for the amount I sold the item for. A $250 refrigerator sale as 250 items. Remember there are no rules on how you count an item in the 2018 Decluttering Challenge. The ultimate goal is simply to let the items go.

The year is not over! I expect there will be more items we will eliminate before the year is done. I challenge you to keep making some progress in this area as you clean your home for guests or prepare for the holidays. You do not need to make it a marathon, but simply notice as you reach into a drawer, open a bin or stash things in a closet, if those items are ready to leave. There is still time to declutter. Let us finish 2018 strong!!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: August

The month of August has brought quite a bit of decluttering to our home, as we are beginning to downsize for our next move later this fall. It was so busy I failed to take good pictures, but I will share my 2018 Decluttering Checklist so you can see the progress!

My total items decluttered as of the end of July 2018 was 1759. My total for the end of August is 1980! Another 221 items out of the house. 

I did count two mattresses, headboards and their frames we sold as 60 since they were large items. 

I made one trip to Goodwill this month and that drop off was five bags worth of items, which I did count individually and recorded. 

I sold several items on eBay this month that are also included in the total. 

And just yesterday, my husband and I cleaned out the garage a bit. Because we expect to be renters awhile longer we decided to let go of garden items and various tools we would use for home repairs. We dropped these items off at the Habitat Restore in our town so that someone else can get use out of them. We counted these items as 60. There is one corner of our garage that has really opened up as a result! 

I'm starting to feel VERY confident I will exceed letting go of 2018 items in 2018. Only 38 items left to go! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: July

 I've given a few sneak peaks of items we have been decluttering this month on the Organized Friends Facebook page. The month is winding down, so I thought I should figure out my tally for the month and add it to my 2018 Challenge.

 The items in the first picture below came from my daughter's closet. A few hidden items will attempted to be sold.

In addition to my daughter's backpack, I found old marching band shoes, decor items, and some items from our hall closet. 

I'm sure it's hard to tell exactly what is in the bins below, but basically some clothes and shoes from my closet. Some to be tossed, some donated. I'm saving the bins, although I probably don't need them either. 

And then there is some things here that we decluttered much earlier in the month. 

Those items total nearly 25 I think. 

The items from my daughter's closet. Looks to be 11 items.

And this box is FULL! I didn't take pictures of all the items, but the box is full and heavy. Office supplies, decorations, clothes, arts and crafts and other various unneeded items

And the total for July...those last purple checked off boxes...121 items!

The new total for 2018 comes in at 1759 items decluttered this year. And the year isn't over yet. :) How is your decluttering going? If you are counting bags, pounds donated or actual items what is your current tally? 

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: May Update

I started off in May with a Challenge to myself to fill a box full with donations. I did expect I would get some help adding to the box, but that did not happen. I have easily mentioned the box every week this month to my family AND it has been sitting out in plain sight for everyone to see. I think at this point it has become a fixture and is no longer noticed!

Drum roll...I added eleven items to the box. A very slow month indeed.

I did sell two other items on eBay.

I deleted A LOT of emails off my computer yesterday, and counted that as five items decluttered.

And then to make myself feel better I deleted the unnecessary pictures on my phone. I counted those as five also.

In total, I decluttered a paltry 27 items. I'm not sure what the other four items were, maybe some boxes I donated to the neighbor for her move? All I know is my 2018 count was 1601 at the end of April and now my total is 1628.

I'm still making progress, right? I should be happy with that. The One Box Challenge was helpful as a reminder to keep looking despite the low return on the investment. And please don't take my paltry results as a reason not to try it yourself. Many people have found it to be very helpful.

I expect I will reach 2018 items by the end of the year. Only 391 items to go and 7 months to find them. That is an average of about 56 items per month, so I will need to step up my game in the coming months. I expect June to be a slow month only because we have guests coming for a visit and two trips planned!

Tell me how your decluttering went this month. What goal or challenge have you given yourself for June?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: One Box Challenge

In order to keep the momentum of decluttering going here at our home, I'm taking on the one box challenge. Have you heard of this? I learned about it from some vloggers on YouTube. It seems to have originated with Rachel at Sweet and Simple Home. A link to her most recent one box challenge decluttering is here.

The first step is to find a box to contain the items I will declutter.

Here is the one I found. I've been saving the box for who knows what I thought I would mail, so it's a good thing this box will be leaving! It measure approximately, 20"x13"x12" when closed, so it is rather big.

I have one item I already know I'm going to add. 

Heck, let me just go get it and put it in there to get this one box challenge started! 

That's a foam roller. And if you followed my thirty bags challenge in the past, you may have seen that I added this, but it didn't actually make it out of the house. Oops! 

I'll be back before the end of the month to count up how many items I added to the box. 

Will you join me and fill one box for decluttering this month? Let me know if you fill more than one box! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

2018 Decluttering: An Update

Whoops! I've been a little absent from updating you on our decluttering progress for 2018.

I ended March with a final tally of 1550 items decluttered since the beginning of the year! So much paper was purged in March. I feel like we barely have any files left. :)

And after such a big purge during the first three months of the year, I honestly just needed a break from that task. Life is about balance right? So I've been focused on other things in April. And I feel really good about that.

As I look towards the end of April, I realize I need to check in with my monthly tasks. I've got some work to do! I've only washed the sheets once each and made our weekly meal plan. The next few days I will attempt to cross a few more (hopefully all) the additional items off the list.

Since one of those is a Goodwill drop off I decided I should pack up the items I have been collecting for donation (or to count and toss). The tally of these and a few other items not pictured is 51! I actually sold six items on eBay in April. I counted them as twelve since I also purged the mailer at the same time!

So drumroll....I have exceed 1600 items decluttered. 1601/2018!! Only 417 more items to find before year end. I have eight months, so I do think it is possible.

How has your decluttering been going? Are you on a roll or in a lull?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Decluttering Projects

Spring is here! Or should be any day now. :) It's very common for us to want to start fresh in some way. For some it's decluttering, others it's cleaning, and likely for others some new goal to focus on. 

Here are a few areas you can declutter rather quickly this spring. Quick projects build those decluttering muscles as well as momentum for accomplishing more! 

  • Christmas Cards - Do you have a pile or stack of these laying around still? If so, for what purpose? Checking addresses? Take a few minutes to find the ones you need to update and add the new information to your database. Next cull through the photos and keep only the ones with the most meaning. Yes, you can put a photo in the trash, no one will be the wiser if you kept it or not!
  • Winter Coats - Are there any that you did not wear this season? Any that your children outgrew that need to be passed on to someone who will use them. Make a mental note to wash any on the next really warm day. And consider, adding a note on your calendar for early June to take any coats to the dry cleaner. And while you are at it go through gloves, hats, scarves and boots. What can you let go of? 
  • Magazines and Catalogs - Did you get a lot of catalogs during the holiday shopping season? Time to pull those out and recycle. If you have a subscription, pull out the older months that you have already read. If you aren't reading these consider cancelling your subscription and have one less thing coming into your home! I've noticed Pinterest often allows me to look at the pretty pictures without buying or subscribing to a magazine. 
  • Pantry/Spices - Dig into your pantry and check your food and spice stores for expired items. This is especially good to do before entertaining. You don't want a family member to pull out the old expired can of corn instead of the one you just purchased. If you come across something you won't use, but is not expired consider donating it to a local food bank so someone can use it. 
  • Under the Sink - Yes, get done on the floor and see what you have under there! It can be a dumping ground for so many cleaners and chemicals. If you don't like how it smells, or how it works, it's time to let it go. Many municipalities have place to drop off these types of things. Make a point to find out where and when you can drop the old off for proper disposal. 
  • Children's Clothing - This is the perfect time of year to go through your children's closets to declutter what they have outgrown, refused to wear or no longer like, or will not fit next season. You are likely to be bringing in new sizes for spring and summer, so check all seasons of clothing and let go of the old to make room for the new! 
  • Bookshelves - Are yours full and overflowing? Are books stuffed every which way? You do not need another bookshelf! As you straighten, and add your new books, look for those to let go of. If you just think you may want to read again, check your library and see if it would be available there if you end up needing it. If that is the case, let it go to make room for the new books. We tend to keep far more than we will ever have time to read. 
  • Linen Closet - Is yours stuffed full? Do you have sheets that don't fit any of the beds you own? Are any too worn to use, or ripped? Yes, these need to go. Donate to a charity, a humane society or thrown in the trash if beyond anyone's use. Generally two sets of sheets per bed is plenty, thus only one extra set per bed should be in the linen closet. Remember to evaluate the blankets and table cloths also, we often use far less than we have on hand. With less in the closet, the easier it will be to find what you really do use and need. 
Let me know if you do one of these quick projects. Tell me how it went! I'm cheering for you.