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I'm decluttering/purging--wanna join the fun?


PrairieSong
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Hi everyone!  I had a running around day yesterday...a funeral that took up most of the morning and choir practice in the evening, 30 minutes away.  So, not as much decluttering was accomplished yesterday but I am back at it today!  

 

Is anyone brave enough to post photos of their decluttering?  Before/after?  Or just whatever?  I would but I don't want to scare anyone.   :laugh:

 

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90% of our clutter was/is confined to closets, cabinets, garage.  So, the rooms always looked nice & picked up but DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR/Drawer/Cabinet ~ haha.  Furthermore, many things were put away & forgot about so I always had to replace it when I did need it.  I didn't remember stashing it in some obscure cabinet until I needed it "someday."   For example: candles.  My kids are 9 & 10.  I had to buy new candles each year b/c I couldn't remember if/where I stashed last years'.  I found ALL THE CANDLES.  Like, 2-8.  smh.

 

 

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I am on a roll, got the playroom cleaned out quite a bit. Listed some stuff for sale, It has about a 3-4 day to window to sell or off it goes to goodwill. I am not going to mess around and keep it here too long. The girls room is a breath of fresh air, so easy to pick up now. I'm not sure which room to tackle next.

 

Kitchen

Dining Room

Living Room Side of the Living Room

Office/School Side of the Living Room

Craft Room

Family Room

Junk Room

 

Family, Junk and Living Room Side will probably be last as they are dumping grounds for sorting sections of the other rooms.

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I have been decluttering all summer - thrown out bags of old papers, projects, etc - given away bags of clothing, books, toys. Sometimes I get so tired of sorting it all out I just send it to the dump and forget about it. 

 

I still have much to do before fall but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have several rooms completed; now I need to tackle my room and closet for the second time this year. I am not normally a packrat - no idea how all this stuff accumulated.

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I declutter twice a year but this is the first time hubby is on board as it has reach the level of me being stressed by clutter at every room. I have cleared out most of the clutter from the bedroom and went through all the storage boxes in there to double check instead of buying what we already have. I have cleared out the outgrown toys and donated them to hubby's friend who confirmed he wants them for his young boy. We have tidied the music books on top of our upright piano. We have cleared out most of the clutter from the dining room and kids finally have a nice play space next to the dining room table.

Kitchen would be the last room as I can declutter after school starts but I need the rest decluttered before school starts next month.

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I decluttered our files and got rid of all the old papers we were keeping for tax purposes.  I kept the last 5 years (which is what CRA requires) and burned the rest.  I also found we'd been keeping outdated insurance papers, statements for accounts we no longer have, manuals for things we no longer have and numerous receipts we didn't need. 

 

Then, I got together a little plan on paper for some more little tasks to tackle.  I do better with little bits at a time. 

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90% of our clutter was/is confined to closets, cabinets, garage.  So, the rooms always looked nice & picked up but DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR/Drawer/Cabinet ~ haha.  Furthermore, many things were put away & forgot about so I always had to replace it when I did need it.  I didn't remember stashing it in some obscure cabinet until I needed it "someday."   For example: candles.  My kids are 9 & 10.  I had to buy new candles each year b/c I couldn't remember if/where I stashed last years'.  I found ALL THE CANDLES.  Like, 2-8.  smh.

 

This is SO me! lolol It's always embarassing when company opens up that drawer, cabinet, door...eek!

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I am the queen of purging right now.  We're in the middle of a move and have had movers all over our house for the last 2 days.  I've thrown out so much it's not funny and we STILL have tons of boxes of stuff.  I've also made $600!  Woohoo!

 

I tried to convince James Bond that we should just pick a few boxes at random and throw them out without knowing what's in them.  I figure if we don't know, we won't miss it.  He did not go for it.  :/  Looking at all the boxes really makes me want to just get rid of everything and start over.  

 

Awesome! I've been in the same house too long (11 years). I think it was either move, or get purging. lol

 

Dh and I have filled our utility trailer TWICE with 400 pounds of garbage to take to the dump. I do like the idea of tossing out random boxes, though!

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We are going to work on the garage this week, as well as a couple of closets. I am NOT LOOKING FORWARD to the garage, which is mostly DH's stuff and is NOT organized. Bleck.

 

I know what you mean! We tackled our garage last week. I found a nice road bike that dh had bought used 5+ years ago!! Sweet deal! How on earth it was hidden in our small garage I don't even want to think about. :coolgleamA:

 

On the flip side, I discovered that mice had been making a home in various places and the cat had used a couple boxes as a litter box. :cursing:

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I did our linen closet and the two spare GIANT linen rubbermaid bins tonight! I got an entire black trash bag of actual garbage, and another black garbage bag and a half full of give aways. The linen closet is down to a totally tidy closet full instead of an overflowing mess that was constantly vomiting extra blankets onto the hall floor. I completely EMPTIED one of the two huge rubbermaid bins! So, now we only have ONE spare linen bin in the basement. And, I found a really nice set of like new light brown sheets for our bed! Flat, fitted, and FOUR pillow cases of zillion count all cotton sateen sheets from Lands' End -- probably $200 in sheets -- that I had put away at some point when I'd bought a quilt they didn't match. Now, I have since switched to a quilt that they match perfectly! So, I've got a brand new set of great sheets! :) 

 

One small project done! Yay!

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Every week I try to send a small pile of hand-me-downs to my sister, whose kids are younger than mine.  If only I could keep pace with the amount of stuff people give to us.  LOL.  I try.  :)

 

Earlier today I noticed stuff on the top shelf of our linen closet that we haven't used in at least a decade, and probably never will again.  I think I will sneak it to the treelawn come Wednesday.  ;)

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Just saw this thread! On another forum I'm on a group of us decluttered 10 things a day for 30 days & I have seen a noticeable improvement in my home. I think all of us that participated have decided to keep going. It's really changed my thought process about bringing things into our home in the first place.

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Oh - I love a good purge!!  I just wanted to let you know what I have discovered.  I think organizing/purging is a layer by layer process.  We have gone through the kids rooms at least 5 times in the last few years purging.  Now, when it is time to clean, we can immediately see what needs to go and what can stay.  This last time through it was SO much easier.  I am one of those people who is NOT attached to the stuff that seems to accumulate around us.  And here in India there is ALWAYS someone so happy to get what I am so happy to get rid of!

 

Recently we went through and donated a whole bunch of books to a women's education center.  We have donated lots (I mean boxes and boxes) of toys and clothes to the families of the people who work for us.  I think they must wonder where I pull this stuff out from because we are not big accumulators - but the stuff seems to multiply on its own!  Here the shopping is not very tempting...I know I would be in big trouble if we lived in the US and shopped at Costco.  At least now we mostly only shop for the kids on birthdays and Christmas.  The one thing I cannot say no to is book...I know you ladies know what I mean.  Amazon just launched in India so getting books has never been easier!

 

Well, good luck purging everyone!

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We are also gearing up for a move. Something I always wanted to try but never could work out till now was a family closet. I got rid of tons of clothes and we now have clothes for our family of four fit into the closet in the kids' room (standard double sliding door closet).

 

Next goal is to condense the craft room into the master walk in closet.

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My dh tends to be more of a pack rat, too. If you can figure out your husband's reasons for being a packrat, maybe that would help you to address it. Two of my dh's reasons are "we might need it someday" and "we paid good money for that." I try to reasonably and calmly point out to him all the stuff we have that we haven't used for months or years, and also, that the money we spent on something is gone and will not magically return to us because we keep the item. Yes, sometimes you can make some $ by selling stuff, but it will be a fraction of its original price in most cases.

 

He's a packrat because of childhood emotional issues, I suspect. I purged hard this past weekend, and even he admitted that the space looks much better and much more open. The problem is, all the stuff I purged was mine, not his! If I dare touch his stuff, there'll be a firestorm.

 

There are also family issues at work here; some family members have an emotional investment in keeping us, in their eyes, 12 years old. So they keep giving us junk, and encourage Dh and ds to scatter it throughout the house. And then there's guilt-tripping if we get rid of the junk. If we actually have a house that looks properly adult and grown-up, we're not 12 anymore, and they can't control us. Ugh. I hate this clutter because it's emotional manipulation at it's finest.

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This thread inspired me! We do pretty well keeping the clutter at bay, but I still threw away a bunch of stuff. And now I have large piles of things to give away and sell. It is good for me to do it before school starts so our days can go more smoothly. The garage was getting out of hand, but after the purging it is an inviting place to excersize (the treadmill is in the garage).

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Today we are busy getting DH and oldest son ready for their backpacking trip and a 4am trip to the airport in the morning.....UGH!

 

But after that, I plan to get busy again.

 

One of the garages is picked up enough to put the car back in there, but some things still need sorting.

 

I plan to go through CLOTHING this week! It is out of control and we need to find everything that will no longer fit any boy in the house and get it OUT of here!

 

I am also planning to have a contractor or two come in and give me a quote on some remodeling so I need to get that upstairs cleaned out somewhat so I am not too embarrassed when they go up there to see what I am wanting done.

 

Dawn

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This week we are planning for my younger's Minecraft birthday party on Saturday (making LOTS of homemade decorations) so I am not sure how much I will get done, but here's what I HOPE to do:

1. Go through pots and pans and organize, give away extras or things we don't use.

2. go through boys' shelves and declutter

3. go through downstairs hall closet, get shelving from target (there are no shelves in there) and organize it better.

4. organize my clothing bureau, getting rid of items i don't wear, and paring it down a bit.

 

 

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I'm getting started. I realized that I have curriculum I purchased "just in case" that we will never use now that my son is a junior in high school. I am going to get that ready to sell. I have started a donation box for random stuff. I am contemplating how much of the science lab equipment I can safely sell - he is taking Chemistry next year and has to have a specific kit so we don't need any of our chemistry related supplies, but I'm not sure what, if anything, he will need for physics the following year. 

 

 

 

 

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I lost my motivation when I found black mold behind a book case in our basement, near the baseboard.  We had a leak under the kitchen sink (fixed a while ago) and had some water damage on the ceiling but didn't know about the black mold down by the floor.  Weird, because the wall is not moldy at all, but I have a feeling the mold is IN the wall.  Now we have to start tearing out the drywall to see the extent of the mold.  Ugh.

 

Somebody give me a kickstart.

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I lost my motivation when I found black mold behind a book case in our basement, near the baseboard.  We had a leak under the kitchen sink (fixed a while ago) and had some water damage on the ceiling but didn't know about the black mold down by the floor.  Weird, because the wall is not moldy at all, but I have a feeling the mold is IN the wall.  Now we have to start tearing out the drywall to see the extent of the mold.  Ugh.

 

Somebody give me a kickstart.

 

 

Oh that's terrible! how do you determine if there is mold in the wall? 

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Oh that's terrible! how do you determine if there is mold in the wall? 

 

You start tearing out the wall and looking, OR you can drill a hole a few inches in diameter and look in there with a camera or a mirror and flashlight.  Ugh.

 

I am cleaning my bedroom today, but will have to deal with the mold soon.

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So I *really* need to stop reading this forum -- it is inspiring too much work! :001_smile: I have been following both this thread and the homeschool classroom thread, and have completely gone overboard. I started out by cleaning and purging our "toy" room. We have purged probably 50% of their toys. We added a good-sized craft area for the boys (now that we have so much room due to the purging of the toys). Since we purged so many toys, we took one of our four-by-two Expedit shelves and re-did the boys' bedroom. That freed up a bookshelf, which I used to turn an under-used closet into a craft room for myself. I've also purged some of the toys that have lived in other parts of the house (IKEA kids' kitchen, etc). The house seems so much larger! 

 

Today we are tearing apart the dining room and sitting room (where schooling actually occurs). Hopefully, we can purge a bit more in the books, games and puzzle area. It really is looking so much better, I'm rather amazed. And ashamed at how cluttered it had become. 

 

 

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So I *really* need to stop reading this forum -- it is inspiring too much work! :001_smile: I have been following both this thread and the homeschool classroom thread, and have completely gone overboard. I started out by cleaning and purging our "toy" room. We have purged probably 50% of their toys. We added a good-sized craft area for the boys (now that we have so much room due to the purging of the toys). Since we purged so many toys, we took one of our four-by-two Expedit shelves and re-did the boys' bedroom. That freed up a bookshelf, which I used to turn an under-used closet into a craft room for myself. I've also purged some of the toys that have lived in other parts of the house (IKEA kids' kitchen, etc). The house seems so much larger! 

 

Today we are tearing apart the dining room and sitting room (where schooling actually occurs). Hopefully, we can purge a bit more in the books, games and puzzle area. It really is looking so much better, I'm rather amazed. And ashamed at how cluttered it had become. 

 The bolded made me Laugh out Loud!   :laugh:   I totally get it about being ashamed at how much clutter has accumulated.  I am a full-fledged member of that club.  I'm still working on mine.

 

Way to go on doing all those rooms!  Now I feel like a slacker.  Ha.  I'm off to the thrift store with a few more boxes of stuff.

 

Happy decluttering, everyone!  Remember, progress, not perfection.   

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I bought school supplies today, but I am forcing myself to clean out and purge the supply shelves before I put it all away. I refuse to increase the shelf space devoted to supplies, so the old has to go in order to make room for the new! I made some headway on the pencil and pen bins, but I currently have the entire dining table covered in supplies . . . Big question is whether I will decide to go out to dinner in order to delay the final purge, lol. Either way, I will get the supplies completed and reshelved tonight! My big goal is to reduce the shelf space devoted to supplies from 8 linear feet to 6. That sounds really bad, doesn't it?

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I shredded a crate full of old medical bills and papers today, moved the crate to the garage, and put a tub of school supplies in it's place under our china hutch! Tomorrow I'll tackle another crate of papers and then the crap stacked on the hutch itself. So far I've gotten rid of about 100 pounds of assorted junk.

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I have to report I have lost steam.  I intend to use this week to finish up the 2 rooms that I have in limbo, sort the purged items that are piled in the basement into donate/yardsale & price yardsale items.  We'll yardsale the first weekend in August.  Then...get ready to start school.

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Today I started my smash book for the trip to Europe we took last fall. I have one city almost done - I just need more pockets. After I get the pockets, I'll do the second city. This is getting a stack of stuff off of my desk! 

 

 

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Today I started my smash book for the trip to Europe we took last fall. I have one city almost done - I just need more pockets. After I get the pockets, I'll do the second city. This is getting a stack of stuff off of my desk!

How do you like those? I have been doing project life all year, and am tempted to get her Xmas mini this year too.

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YAY, everyone!!!  You are making progress.  No matter what speed, no matter if you have the whole day to spend on decluttering or just short bursts here and there, you can do something.  Do what you can do.

 

I took three more boxes to the thrift store yesterday and am ready to dig in today...our schoolroom area and my bedroom are my main focuses now.  Today is a staying home day for me so I plan to get a lot done.

 

Keep going!!!!!  Post your successes here to encourage others.

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Well, yesterday was less productive than I hoped (in terms of actually getting things done, but I did work for a goodly portion of the day). Finished the sitting room, but now I have the dining room (also known as the homeschool dumping grounds, the place where robotics class meets, and where the junk mail goes to languish).  :ohmy:

 

On the issue of scope creep: I just realized how horrifyingly nasty the garage is. And the kitchen. And the master bedroom. This is going to take a while. Is there a 12-step program I'm going to need to look into???  But in good news, I suddenly feel so empowered to change environments that aren't working for me; it is amazing how lifting it is to get rid of "stuff"!  

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Well, yesterday was less productive than I hoped (in terms of actually getting things done, but I did work for a goodly portion of the day). Finished the sitting room, but now I have the dining room (also known as the homeschool dumping grounds, the place where robotics class meets, and where the junk mail goes to languish).  :ohmy:

 

On the issue of scope creep: I just realized how horrifyingly nasty the garage is. And the kitchen. And the master bedroom. This is going to take a while. Is there a 12-step program I'm going to need to look into???  But in good news, I suddenly feel so empowered to change environments that aren't working for me; it is amazing how lifting it is to get rid of "stuff"!  

 

 

Good for you!!!!  You sound so hopeful.  Yes, it is SO FREEING to be rid of stuff.  As for the 12-step program, there might be one, but how about just forming our own support group?  It could be here in this thread, in a social group here, or maybe an email list.  I don't know...I'm open to suggestions.

 

Keep going!!!  I got distracted by my guitar but I'm getting back to it now.

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Oh - I love a good purge!!  I just wanted to let you know what I have discovered.  I think organizing/purging is a layer by layer process.  We have gone through the kids rooms at least 5 times in the last few years purging.  Now, when it is time to clean, we can immediately see what needs to go and what can stay.  This last time through it was SO much easier.  I am one of those people who is NOT attached to the stuff that seems to accumulate around us.  And here in India there is ALWAYS someone so happy to get what I am so happy to get rid of!

 

Recently we went through and donated a whole bunch of books to a women's education center.  We have donated lots (I mean boxes and boxes) of toys and clothes to the families of the people who work for us.  I think they must wonder where I pull this stuff out from because we are not big accumulators - but the stuff seems to multiply on its own!  Here the shopping is not very tempting...I know I would be in big trouble if we lived in the US and shopped at Costco.  At least now we mostly only shop for the kids on birthdays and Christmas.  The one thing I cannot say no to is book...I know you ladies know what I mean.  Amazon just launched in India so getting books has never been easier!

 

Well, good luck purging everyone!

 

I missed this post until today.  I like what you said about organizing and purging being a layer by layer process, and that each time you go through a room, it gets easier to see what needs to go.  

 

Good for you for finding other people who need your things and are happy to get them.

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I'm getting ready to do a purge as well, gotta make room for baby :) . I have done the living room for the most part, have to go through my crafting stuff yet and find something else to do with that, then it's on to dd's room and the kitchen. Dd's room first because I think that will take the longest.

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Yesterday I hit a brick wall and took a break.  Today I am back at it, but struggling.  Have cleaned out my desk (yay!), then moved on to DS's outgrown curriculum.  I keep getting stuck on what to save for DD, who will be ready for school stuff soon.  I don't want to save too much, but it sure is hard to toss the stuff that didn't work for DS, not knowing if it might work for DD.  My compromise is that if *I* didn't like it, it's going bye bye.  The homeschoolers on our local freecycle are going to love us!

 

I think I will go look at some pictures of homeschool organization to inspire me!

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