Saturday, May 8, 2010

Serious Decluttering!

I have been decluttering all over my house. We have way more "stuff" than we need. We moved here over four years ago, from a large house to a smaller house. There are still boxes in the basement that we haven't unpacked. We have too many sofas, too many chairs, too many lamps, too many rugs, and way too many pictures to hang on too few walls.

I used to have the perfect kitchen, with a large pantry and lots of convenient pull-out shelves. Now I have fewer cupboards and a smaller pantry. So, I have lots of kitchen utensils and no place to put them. (I did make room for my new panini press, though!)

Also, I used to commute to work on the train and walk six blocks to work. So I had boots, scarves, gloves and hats that I don't really need for quick runs in and out of my car now.

To make my matters much worse, my hobby is quilting and I have accumulated a huge fabric stash. To go along with the fabric there are buttons, lace, ribbons, and all the embellishments that go with it.

The last two weekends have been devoted to the basement area. There is a large finished area, where I have all my craft supplies, and two unfinished storage areas. All of them are as full as they can be. Last weekend my husband went into one of the storage areas and just started hauling things out. I waded through it all, sorting as fast as I could to keep up with him.

I sorted things into the following categories:
1. Stuff to keep
2. Stuff to donate
3. Stuff to sell at the consignment store
4. Stuff to put on eBay

Last weekend my husband helped me take a huge load of things to the consignment store. On Tuesday a vets group collected several large boxes from our front porch. This past week I have made several trips to the Goodwill store. I have several boxes of things set aside to put on eBay.

This week I have been working on my fabric stash. This involved going to Target for shelving and storage units. This morning I spent four hours sorting and stashing my stash. I still need more storage!

When my parents moved out of their house, they had thirty years worth of "stuff" in their basement. It was a nightmare. I am determined not to accumulate things in that manner. It just doesn't make any sense. I have adopted a new policy. If I don't need something at least once a year, then i don't need it at all. This is going to take a while. This is going to be a long-term, ongoing project.


rachel said...

I shall keep coming back to this post as I plod through tidying and sorting the small attic - very encouraging!

Rebecca said...

I think we "serious declutterers" are finding each other! I can't remember which blog I stumbled on earlier that said she was going to get rid of 100 items every month! (I'm not sure how she's maybe 7 paper clips=7?), but I thought it an interesting approach. I would do well to do this for at least 6-10 months! Maybe I will!

judy in ky said...

100 items a month... a good idea. I wish I had been counting. I probably did get rid of at least that many this month!

Linens and Royals said...

Why not try my New Year resolution. One item comes into the house, two items must go out!! didn't work for me but you might be stronger.
Your fabric stash looks impressive.

love those cupcakes said...

Oh, good luck. In my dreams, we have a minimalist approach to home life but in reality we have clutter on top of clutter so need to take a leaf or two from your book. Will watch your progress with great interest.
(Came here from Slow Lane Life, by the way).

Natalie said...

Brave, ambitious, totally admirable... I could go on and on. You are super smart.
I want to say "I will do the same," because I need to do the same, but I am not as super smart as you!

judy in ky said...

I dream of a minimalist lifestyle but I seem to have some collector tendencies. I like the idea of bring one item in and take two out. Not sure if I can manage that, but will start with bring one in and take one out.

Jenn Jilks said...

My hubby is to blame! I like the one in one out theory. He doesn't get rid of stuff but buys new containers to hold the new stuff.
But I love him and I don't care!!!