The Great Declutter Plan

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Operation De-Clutter has officially begun here in Casa Mia.

I am writing this little declaration, not because I believe anyone will find it fascinating, (and if you do, holy cow, I hope your day improves), but because having it in writing is likely to motivate me to carry this through to a satisfactory conclusion.  In other words, embarrass and guilt me in to keeping my word about it and finishing what I’ve started.

It wasn’t rocket science to figure out that the thought of actually getting rid of stuff permanently was what was holding me back.  So now I have a giant purple plastic bin into which I will be lovingly placing precious articles with which I cannot possibly part.  (Unless they’re confiscated behind my back and I don’t notice they’re gone, but no one has volunteered to do this for me.)  So I’m on my own.

Yesterday I donated three bags of miscellaneous toys and puzzles to our local County Clothesline.  And hardly made a dent in the “toy room”.  But it’s a start. I have donated three big green garbage bags full of clothing to another charity.  My bedroom/office is next.  Walls and shelf surfaces will soon be bare while I sort out only the necessary from the purely frivolous.  There are things in here I don’t even like, but they were given to me or have some sort of sentimental value or have been around so long I don’t really see them anymore.  They are on their way out.

There will be many steps to this process – I expect it will keep me busy for days and days. Maybe the whole summer.  More purple bins are a very real possibility.  At the end of it all, everything will be put in the storage room with the door closed where I can’t see it.  Then we wait.  If in, say, six months, I haven’t missed or longed to see whatever is in there, out it goes.  I will be ruthless.

We never used to be such crazy hoarders because we moved around so much and learned to give it away or toss it out before the move, rather than pack it up, only to pitch it out at the new location.  Living in the same house for almost thirty years means we haven’t done a big purge for a very long time, and we are currently running the risk of being buried in the collected rubble.  I’m just a little overwhelmed by it all.  Time for a change.

So Good Luck Me!  Get this done, and then we’ll work on the behavioural collecting problem that started all this in the first place.

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19 thoughts on “The Great Declutter Plan

  1. I hope you do better than I did! A few months ago, I donated bags and bags of clothing, linens, kitchenware, even furniture. We live in a small place. I thought surely I will now have room in my closets. But no!

    I’ll try again. Good luck to you.

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  2. Good luck with your clear out. Six months seems a sensible length of time to see if you can live without something, although there will probably be something you want or need 18-months later. 😉

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  3. Speaking of a toy room., I don’t have one, but I am clinging to a couple of remaining stuffed animals that belonged to my kids and grandkids. I have given many away to youngest grandkids and watched parents squirm as the disapproved of my “unloading” their toys on their kids. Ha Ha. Dianne

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    • It’s funny how our ‘kids’ don’t want us to get rid of their old toys for sentimental reasons, but they also don’t want to take them home either! The things here have been well played with – I’d say they’re finally played out.

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  4. I am so hearing this. I married a packrat (there’s at least one box of Webelo scout pamphlets in the attic from before I met him). My goal is to uber thin out this (30-year) joint before the kids have to, someday. It seems that my attempts have been going on for a long time, too, but part of that problem is that I still have two kids (married) and their dog living here while one finishes grad school. Suffice it to say that whenever I empty a space, it fills. Instantly. (Even in the ‘fridge.) However, I’m learning the art of how to “squat” on cleared spots/corners/rooms by camouflaging them with seemingly needed things or with mumblings about impending guests. This ruse won’t help you out, grandmalin, but perhaps I just gave someone else a good idea!

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    • Yes, a great motivator has been to imagine if I died tomorrow what a horrific bunch of junk would be left behind to sort through! I like your idea of squatting on the empty spaces. 😀

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  5. You go, girl! I’m afraid I’m a collector – books, rocks, fossils, shells, cool wooden boxes, globes, antique cameras, and anything else that I can find in the woods or in a thrift store that strikes my fancy. My partner is much more Spartan in her tastes, though, and I think all the clutter drives her nuts, so I am currently trying to radically reduce as well.

    The last time I did this was when we were preparing to move here to our current home. We were going to move ourselves, so anything I kept, I would later have to box and load on the truck myself (and then unload and unpack), so I had a powerful motivator. It took a year of trips to Goodwill and a final yard sale to divest our family of all unnecessary belongings. (Our boys were still little then too, so there were lots of toys.) It was liberating, though, not to be weighed down by all that stuff.

    That was 5 years ago, and it’s amazing what I’ve managed to gather since then. I have a growing pile of boxes and bags in the garage waiting for a beginning of summer garage sale. I’ve told our boys, they can have the money if they help me, so hopefully they’ll make sure I won’t back out. Then I’ll have all those clear shelves and empty closets to fill up again.

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    • I sometimes wonder if the reason people move often is simply to make a clean sweep of things! Yep, I’m looking forward to that feeling of liberation. Great idea letting your boys have the garage sale money. If they want to come over and organize a sale for me, I’d happily do the same thing.

      Maybe we should board up our empty closets……hahaha 😀

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