Decluttering challenge, day 1

Okay, those of you who have been with me a while know that, while I’m not a pack-rat or hoarder, I do have a tendency to allow clutter to accumulate.  Why do I do that?  I mean, I could use the I’m tired when I get home from work excuse.  Or the I’ve been sick off and on for over a year now excuse.  Or the I live every day in pain excuse.  And those are all somewhat valid excuses.  But the thing is, I know I feel better about myself when my house is clean and uncluttered.

I’ve spent the past year questioning myself before I make a purchase.  Do I really need this?  Will I really use it?  Or will it end up collecting dust in a few weeks until I either donate it or sell it?  Asking myself these questions before I buy something has really helped curb my impulse purchases…well, except at Christmas and where Clara is concerned.  I did buy more than I needed to (or should have) at Christmas and I do still tend to buy little things (and some not so little things) that I think Clara might like.  I’m going to get that under control with my no-spend January (but that’s for another post).

Right now, for the month of January, I’m going to focus on eliminating clutter in my house.  The challenge is to get rid of one item on January 1.  Then, on the 2nd, get rid of two more items.  Three items on the 3rd, and so on through the 31st.  I haven’t done the math and I’m too lazy to stop and do it right now (why duplicate work that I’m sure someone else has already done???), but that would be a serious amount of clutter gone from my home in one month’s time.

I think the first week will be fairly easy, but along about week three, I’m thinking things might get a little more intense.  Not that I won’t be able to find things to get rid of.  Oh no, just that actually going through the process of packing 14 items up, taking them out to the car, and getting rid of them (just putting them in the car doesn’t count…have to actually hand them over…throw them out, give them away, sell them, whatever I choose to do with them has to be done each day) will likely become time-consuming and labor intensive as 14 turns into 15 into 16 and so on.

Knowing myself well enough to know I might just give up on the whole thing after a couple of weeks, I decided I needed a little accountability to keep me on the straight and narrow.  So, yep, you guessed it…you lucky folks will get to read daily updates and see daily pictures.  I know, I know…you all need to calm down now…it’ll be very exciting for all of you.  You’ll get a peek into my “why in the world did I ever save that?” stash.  And hey, if you see something you want, let me know quickly.  This is one of those you snooze, you lose deals.  Don’t act fast enough and it’ll be too late.

So, without further ado, day 1…

magazines for Greg

magazines for Greg

Yes, there are two magazines, but they’re both family magazines (free subscriptions that I somehow get…can’t even remember how, you know, since I don’t have kids and the cats don’t really like to do a lot of kid crafting…but I do get some ideas about stuff to do with Clara.), so I’m counting this as one item.  Time to pass them on.  So Greg, if you’re reading this, these will be waiting for you at work when you get there later today.  Enjoy.

Since I already had these set aside for Greg, this wasn’t a huge challenge for me.  Ooh…but what will tomorrow bring as I search for two things to release from my home (no, it won’t be the cats…how dare you even suggest that?).  Check in tomorrow as Patti’s decluttering saga continues…

Get rid of it!

English: A handyman project was to de-clutter ...

English: A handyman project was to de-clutter a basement which tends to get filled with things when it’s not certain whether to throw or keep them. When a basement becomes too cluttered, it’s hard to find things that are really needed. One way is to move clutter to a second location where it can be sorted into two piles (1) trash (2) items to keep. Source of picture: here (see public domain declaration). Questions: write to my Wikipedia page or email me at thomaswrightsulcer@yahoo.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could say that about so many things in my life, but today I’m once again talking about clutter.  Since I’ve been not-so-healthy for about 8 months now, I haven’t been able to do much more than the basics in housecleaning.  I see things I’d like to tackle, knowing I could either donate or sell so many things that I no longer use (you know, that whole downsizing thing), but I just don’t have the energy to start.  Not being willing to spend the money it would cost to hire someone to help…okay, not willing and really not able to afford it…I’ve been trying to devise a plan that would enable me to accomplish at least a little each week.

Here is the beginning of that plan:

1.  Five days a week (2 days off work and my choice of 3 work days depending on how I’m feeling), find 5 things to get out of my house.  If they are things to be donated, take them out to the car immediately to drop off at either Goodwill or the office of the complex where I live.  If they’re things to be sold, take pictures, decide where I’m going to sell them, then either list the items or post the pictures.  Be sure to keep a file on items to be sold, price, where advertised, when posted, etc.

2.  The other 2 days a week, gather up 5 magazines to take to work to put in the break room.

That’s it so far…kind of funny/sad  that I can’t go through an entire closet in a day or completely clean a room, top to bottom on my day off.  Right now, I’m going to go into the kitchen and put some eggs on to boil for work for the next few days.  While they’re on the stove, I’m going to tackle a pile of paper that’s been sitting on the counter bugging the heck out of me for about a week now.  I have to accept what I can and can’t do right now…but I can’t just give in to this blasted pain every day either.

I did halfway clean out the fridge this morning before I went grocery shopping.  I think that counts, don’t you?