So, almost two weeks ago now I reviewed my goals that also included my decluttering goal. My new goal is to finish up the 31 “days” of challenges before Christmas. I posted an update a couple months back now, and I actually did more decluttering after that, I just didn’t finish writing the post about it. Then, earlier this week, I made a deal the Anne Lene at Minimalist Sometimes that we would both get some decluttering done this week. I promised to get something posted yesterday… So, now I’m going to cheat a bit and finally post about some of the things I did a while back… But now I’ll have to add some updated photos and results because we all know that clutter likes to return when you aren’t paying attention…
Day 7: Toys
So, we aren’t a family with kids that live with us full time… we only have a teenager that lives with us on weekends, so our collection of toys is not huge… but being the childish person that I am, and unable to let go of things easily, I still have some toys lying around my house. (I say it is so that my nieces have something to play with when they come over, but… well…)
However, I didn’t actually declutter the toys yet… I was about to, I took the before picture, but then got distracted and had to put them away without actually going through them. Here is the before picture, and I’ll have to tackle the job before my Christmas deadline and give you all an update.
Day 8: Junk Drawer
Amazingly enough, we don’t actually have a “junk drawer” in the traditional sense. Mostly because our kitchen doesn’t have enough drawers for that… but junk has a way of collecting in a million other places, and one of those places that needs some serious help is our garage. After coming back from our wedding, the garage was a mess.
So, I decided to pick a box/basket in the garage and call it my “junk basket” and tackle that. I ended up picking two… I didn’t really get rid of too much, but organized some stuff which will help get rid of things later… (I need to consult on some of these items since they aren’t just mine.)
First up was a box of what I thought was mostly sports equipment. I found only two things to get rid of in this box. The first an old pad of graph paper that had obviously gotten quite wet at some point it its past – I put this in the recycling bin. The second was the cover for an old camping chair that has since broken and been disposed of – I put this in the garbage, though perhaps I should have found out if there was a way to see if someone needed a chair cover.
After that I replaced the tennis rackets and tennis balls, and then added a couple random soccer balls that were rolling around the garage. Nice and organized, and if we want to go play tennis or soccer in the park, it will be easy to find the right stuff (though perhaps a bigger bin would be better to hold these items).
The second was a basket of random things…
When I took the basket off the shelf, I found two folders of my old artwork underneath and a mounted photo of a youth conference that I went to back in high school. The artwork is a project for another day, so I put it on a different shelf where I have a couple boxes of old school work I need to go through. (My parents are cleaning out their basement and I am acquiring all my old momentos.) I took a picture of the photo, and recycled it. I haven’t spoken to a single person from that conference in over 15 years, so I think a picture of the photo is good enough.
Then I started pulling the random things out of the basket. I found our snorkles from our trip to Mexico a few years ago (don’t know why we kept them, we don’t have any masks to go with them or anything…), so I put them in the donation box. I threw out some old race numbers, some random broken shoe laces, gardening gloves that were starting to disintegrate and some old mouth-guards that I don’t use anymore (I have a nice new one). I found a headband with a pretty bow… not sure where it came from, but I put it in the donation box too. I also found a bunch of things that have proper places to be… places that are not the random box in the garage… So I put them where they were meant to be.
I probably could have gotten rid of some of that stuff, but thinking in sort of a Marie Kondo method, I think it’s best to collect all the things of a type together before getting too crazy with the cuts. Like I’m sure we have way too many random tools. But until we get them all in one place and take stock of what we have (and I consult my husband about them), I’m not about to get rid of any. I’ll just keep collecting them from the random places around the house and put them all together. Once everything was sorted, I decided to keep that basket for bike stuff (like helmets, pump, etc.), so I put that stuff back in the basket and put it back on the shelf. Not a huge difference in appearance, but the organization part of it was great. Now whenever I come across something bike related when cleaning something else, I know where I should put it.
I also did a general tidy of the garage and rearranged some items to allow for easier organization and future decluttering. There is definitely a LOT of work left in the garage, but I’m pretty happy with the results from this little mission.
Day 9: Dining Area
There isn’t much in our dining area, just a table and some chairs, and two shelves. One is a corner shelf with a few knickknacks and glasses on it (I’m thinking of getting rid of the whole thing, but that’s requires more consult with the other members of the household), and the other is the one that holds the liquor collection. I am not about to “declutter” our liquor… though hosting a good house party would probably do the trick… but the top of the shelf had become a dumping ground for things, so I thought it was time to stop procrastinating and clean it up. (Full confession… I did this project originally at the same time as the living room shelf from Day 4.)
On the top of the shelf there were three big things I had to deal with. The first was the box of ipod, ipad and iphone accessories… it used to sit in the shelf, but the contents had expanded and it no longer could close… so it didn’t fit there anymore… So I went through the whole thing, recycled most of the boxes, got rid of old manuals for phones that had long been lost… and got rid of all the spare chargers that we really don’t need. We each have the chargers that we need already, so holding on to about 5 extras for stuff that we don’t have anymore is a little pointless. I wish I had taken an “in progress photo”… I think I should try to make sure to do that more… The before and after are good, but the in progress really tells more of the story…
Anyway, once I got rid of all the stuff, the box could close, but I decided that I wanted to put the second thing, the silver salad bowl, in the spot where the iphone box used to be… so I moved the iphone box to the living room shelf from Day 4. (If you look closely at the after photo, you may be able to find it… though it is deceiving because the before photo has a green box too… but that was craft supplies that went downstairs…)
And that brings us to the third big thing, my basket from my bridal shower back in May… Yup, I brought it home and put it on the shelf and, after writing my thank you notes, I haven’t really looked at it…
Inside the basket was a gorgeous bowl that my sister gave me that contained a bunch of little stones or rocks that each guest at my bridal shower gave me as a representation of their good wishes for my wedding. It was a really sweet activity as I got to get a personal message from each of them as they dropped the stone in my bowl. And piled on top of that was all the cards I got that day…
I went through all of the cards, read them again, and then recycled any that I didn’t want to use in my scrapbook, which was only a couple. Hopefully that doesn’t seem rude or unfeeling or insensitive… I read each of the messages and felt the warm wishes of my friends and family, and will carry that with me, but I don’t need the paper version of it sitting in a bowl…
The bowl of stones I kept intact though. I’m not sure what I am going to do with them yet, but I found a spot for the bowl on my living room shelf (again, see the after photo from Day 4… okay fine I’ll post it here…).
The basket and the tea towel were put away… the tea towel was put with the other tea towels in the kitchen. And the basket was put with the wedding supplies in my office so it could be used to hold cards once again… on our wedding day…
Since that decluttering task, the top of the shelf has once again accumulated some stuff… Mostly cards from our wedding, so I decided before publishing this blog post, I should probably do another quick declutter so that I can feel like I’m being totally honest with my decluttering results. Here’s a quick before and after from just the other day:
Have you done any decluttering lately?