Thursday, September 8, 2016

September Decluttering Challenge

Earlier this week on our Organized Friends Facebook page, I proposed a little challenge. The challenge is to declutter 465 items this month. That number comes from some other challenges going on around the Internet, that suggest decluttering one item on the first day of the month, then two on the second and so forth until on the last day of the month, you declutter 30 items. Added up that amounts to decluttering 465 items!

I don't know if the actual process of increasing the number each day is helpful, too controlling or overwhelming. I do know that the more you declutter the better you feel. The final tally is just proof that you are actually doing the work. And even if the number is just 25 items, rather than 465 you are doing the work. There is no shame in the final number.

As I said, I'm aiming for 465 items out of our home by month end. And here's where I stand with my decluttering for the month.

On Saturday night while watching football I pulled a medium sized storage bin from my closet along with some other random things. Do you know that I let go of EVERYTHING except two items?

I was storing a lot of junk that I was keeping for just in case or sentimental reasons. The just in case seemed to be a lot fabric scraps. I don't need to hold on to half a piece of felt. If we need more felt we will buy it and spend $1. Not a big deal. The sentimental amounted to paint colors we put in the houses we owned (I think I kept them for reference actually) and my elementary and high school grade reports! Really. While a little interesting to look at, I only look at them when I come across them to declutter. They went to recycling. That pile amounted to 75 items.

On Sunday I started a new pile. More fabric, extra wash cloths, a few duplicates (like the crayons). More just in case items. I seem to have a theme...just in case!

By the afternoon on Sunday I had accumulated clothes from my husband's drawers, books I thought he would not want, and other miscellaneous items I thought of or came across. I did get my husband's approval on all of his items. He thanked me for asking. Which made me feel like he feels like I get rid of his stuff without asking. I do not. I probably ask him about stuff a lot but I never get rid of something of his without asking. Turns out he appreciates that I do ask. :) The new total for Sunday was 50 items. It sure felt like a lot more!

On Tuesday, I was reinvigorated to find more to declutter! I knew there were things hidden in the garage that were just asking to leave. It's like I heard their little voices saying "let us go". The few Halloween decorations, primarily left over from a party in 2010, that never get used were first to be released. I also decided the Easter baskets are no longer needed. I can give any Easter gifts we give (which are very, very few) in a gift bag. And there were three Valentine's related items, I kept one red stone heart. The rest can go. I just don't have any desire to decorate or add emphasis to these holidays. 

In my garage decluttering I emptied two containers and found an empty box to use for the donations! 

Ignore the mower in the background of the picture below. We are keeping that!  The rest of the items are leaving. We have a large metal cabinet that we store a lot of things in. Many small things. I went through every drawer and evaluated each item. So many items are kept for someday or just in case. Just in case I knock a hole in the wall, I'll need this repair kit. Just in case we have a large tree again we might need this sprayer. We are in a rental for at least two more years! We might not even own a home for another 7 years. We don't need to be storing all these home improvement items when we don't have a home to improve. And so many of the items, if we ever need are so inexpensive. I'm getting rid of them now...most of which will end up at Habitat Restore to help others. I did run into some items that I need to ask my husband about, but I really thinned the cabinet out. In the garage I tallied 51 items for discarding (I didn't count each nail and screw, but each package they came in). 

Later in the day I thought about tackling a pile of old files. Look! Term papers, old (no longer owned) vehicle information, and old loans and credit accounts. I can't tell you how many times I have referenced these. Oh wait, yes I can. Zero! Again, I only look at them when I go to declutter.

I didn't actually get through all those files. Still a little overwhelming and hard to make the final decision. But I did find my ACT scores from high school and the financial aid award letters from college! And I shredded them along with a few other papers and all of last months receipts. I'm counting that as another 9 items.

If you are keeping track, my decluttering total for the month of September is now185. I still need to find 280 more. I'm beginning to feel that 465 is a really big number. How about you? Can you declutter 465 items this month? How far along are you?

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