Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Decluttering Progress

Though I've been extra-inspired/motivated by several books I've read lately and podcasts/blogs I have found, I actually started decluttering our stuff back in November of last year.  The ball got rolling with my sock drawer.  One morning I noticed I was pushing past the same pile of socks all the time to find the pairs I really liked to wear.  Though I left my healthcare accounting job over two years ago, I still had all the "dressier" style socks that I used to wear with my work pants.  I never wore them anymore (thank heaven for blue jeans and logo-ed shirts at the city!) so why was I keeping them?  Out went half of my socks.

For no logical reason, I moved on to books next.  These are always hard for me because I find I'm the one with the emotional attachment to certain books which the kids couldn't care less about.  I ended up being able to weed out close to 100 books (and that left us with over 200 still).  I got rid of a few duplicates, books the kids had never loved (even if I did love them), books I had intended to read to them but haven't done so yet, and, I must admit, those few books that I dreaded reading because they were SO bad!  Books that made the cut were those much-loved, often-chosen favorites, any books in a series that the kids were still into, books received as gifts (especially if the giver had written a note to the kids in them), a few books that I haven't read to them yet but promised myself I will, and a few picture books from my own childhood.

I have been pretty good about keeping the kids' rooms decluttered.  I go through them at least once a year when the kids aren't around to "help".  I did tackle Bekah's room shortly after the sock and book projects though.  At that point I had decided to make some notes about my progress (because I'm a nerd like that) and here's what I jotted down after spending several hours getting lost in Bekah's room and digging my way back out through the clutter:

I spent a little time in the boys' room the next day.  As I've found every other time I've worked on the  kids' rooms, they play so much better in them when they can find all the pieces of any given toy and when they actually have room to spread out on their floor and play with stuff.

With Christmas approaching I was not looking forward to the glut of new stuff that would surely make its way in.  Jesse's Grandma, in particular, is a big fan of over-doing Christmas.  We've tried to get her to scale back but it's been a lost cause.  To help with this, Jesse and I spent a lot of time talking to the kids about why we were decluttering, stuff doesn't make you happy, being grateful, etc.  The kids agreed to not give gifts to each other and to have just their stockings from Santa and one gift from Jesse and me.  We donated the rest of the money we would have spent to Samaritan's Purse.  The kids really got into picking out the chickens, sports equipment and stuffed lambs they would send to those less fortunate.  We experienced a small Christmas miracle when Grandma Helen actually DID scale back this year.  Victory!

When Christmas was over, I took advantage of the changing of the decor and weeded out the Christmas knick-knacks as I took them down and the everyday stuff as I put it back up.  I also completed attempt #1 on the bin of extra blankets.  These are worse for me than books.  I remember every person who made every baby blanket for each of the three kids.  But they are now 11, 9 and 4...how many baby blankets do they need???  I managed to weed out a few and the bin went from bulging to just full.

To be continued because long posts all about my stuff are kind of boring, at least compared to those posts that feature fun photos of my kids!


  1. And here you always called me the OCD/over organized/hanger color coding nerd of the family. But I have never, EVER taken notes on my cleaning and organizing. You are now queen nerd!

  2. I'll wear that badge with pride! ;)