With my effort to declutter the house, I decided to keep a list of items I have removed. One item a day doesn’t seem much, but I would hope that seeing lots of items would help keep me motivated (there isn’t one for each day because I have grouped some items as I worked on piles of stuff).
- purchased birthday cards. Now that I make my own, I can’t give away store-bought cards. They’ve just been sitting around since we moved.
- magazines – old and some that just arrived; some will be recycled, some I might try and sell. Current total is at 19.
- books. I don’t read as much as I used to and find that I keep coming back to the same books. So I’m determined to go through my entire book stash this year and weed out into: keep, review again (unsure – trying to keep this pile small), and sell/donate. I’ve already sent several books out on PaperBackSwap; others are in a tote downstairs. Current total for books: 41.
- Christmas decorations including: 2’ tall St. Nick, plaque, 3 boxes of grapevine lights, a box full of ornaments, another box of fancy glass ornaments to sell, 2 stockings, old mini tree, candle lights for windows. Organized and reduced so now there are 3 empty totes!!
- Christmas wrapping: sorted and condensed into two boxes – one for paper, one for bags and boxes. One tote was broken, so I ended up tossing some boxes/bags because they smelled musty (I think that happened in our old house).
- two gift wrap “stations”; never used either.
- cookie cutters – found quite a few duplicates and a box of 100 “generic” cutters. Pulled out the ones I really wanted and the rest will go…
- an entire bag of recycled craft items – things like food cans, 2 liter bottles, old CDs, paper towel rolls, etc. I never got around to making the crafts I had them saved for; donated to a woman who has craft classes for kids.
- pens and pencils. Cleaned out one drawer-full and kept the ones we really like; tossed those that don’t work; donated the rest.
- nothing was removed, but I managed to clean and organize our silverware drawer (some items were moved to where they belonged!)
- linens – couple of pillowcases, throw pillow; old towels – some from house, some from now-defunct business. Dave took these to the Humane Society.
- crafts: floral foam (used one piece in set of 4), small shadowbox
- miscellany: a wicker basket, felt puzzle keeper, old shoes.
Things I’ve learned: in addition to the fact that we have too much stuff?!? Well, I’d have to say that decluttering is refreshing, weight-lifting, and can be a lot of fun! I’ve run everything by Dave before it’s left the house, but usually he is more will to ditch items than I am (although he did take back a couple of ornaments I had slated to go).
I still have a long way to go. There are boxes of papers that need to be filed, tossed, scanned, etc. The books I have slated to leave are just a small fraction of the ones that need to be decided-upon.
Just like my other resolution, this one had some unexpected outcomes. Cleaning! I love FlyLady’s idea of eliminating CHAOS – Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. I had heard about FlyLady before, and I think I might have even signed up for the emails at one time, but never followed through. Warning: they send a LOT of emails, but you just go at your own pace. The Flight Plans give you a daily reminder of what to do each day. Each day there are mini-tasks (e.g. swish & swipe in the bathroom); each week you get a “zone” to concentrate on (this week was the Living Room); and there is a monthly assignment (January is Shine Your Sink!). There are some great tips about setting a timer for just 15 min to see what you can get done, taking baby steps so you don’t get overwhelmed, etc. Already our house is looking better! In fact, I’m going to change the “About Me” note that says call before coming over… just come over!