Forget tidying--who's with me on deep cleaning/organizing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 02-05-2005, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel for you ladies with clutter, but I have chaos. The kind that will take more than a simple week's devotion to getting it together. Anyone with me? And does this thread even belong here?

Here's what I'm talking about...

I have things in my attic that I haven't touched since I moved here 5 years ago... and every last box needs to be gone through and sorted by "trash", "sell" or "keep".

I started that effort almost 2 years ago and got derailed by emergency home renovations that finished up at the tail of an unexpected and complicated pregnancy... which meant bringing in others who, in an effort to "help" tried to put stuff out of sight to make things appear clean while I lay in the hospital... causing more disorganization.

Two of my four bedrooms don't have beds... they are strewn with the midstream efforts of trying to do the sorting of attic contents.

The basement is a nightmare. I have completely organized it twice and DH (pre-ADD meds) retrashed it... twice. In addition to things LITERALLY being everywhere including in piles, laying on top of other things and all over the floor there is construction debris that fell through interior walls down into the basement and laying in a pile on the basement floor. This is especially problematic because we're trying to do all the little finish work all over the house and can never find tools.

The worst? My son has lead poisoning. I have to go through EVERY SQUARE INCH of my house and dust because my wonderful DH never closed anything off during renovations and the dust went EVERYwhere. I also need to repack anything that's being stored and organize everything such that it can be easily found, accessed and cleaned on a regular basis.

Now... that sounds like alot. It IS alot of work; but I actually know how to do it. I'm setting a goal date of August 21st... my anniversary... to be finished. That will give me a month of enjoying it and decorating before my brother gets married and we have a houseful of company.

Anyone else want to join me on the journey? We can post a monthly thread listing our goals for the month and egg each other on--share tips, resources, etc...?

Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
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#2 of 32 Old 02-05-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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Sorry about the lead poisoning, Heather

I will think about joining you...I clean best the way you describe. I love going through everything and organizing. I wish you luck!

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#3 of 32 Old 02-05-2005, 11:03 PM
 
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Moved to Decluttering, Organizing, & Simplifying...

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#4 of 32 Old 02-05-2005, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry!!! I should've posted it here to begin with.

C'mon... I know there are some of you out there! Who's with me?

Here's my task list for February:

1. Remove all boxes from the attic and put them into the two bedrooms that are already cluttered. Start unpacking them. One bedroom for garbage and garage sale stuff that has been sorted, and one to work in.

2. Remove all garage sale stuff into the garage loft.

3. Supervise DH in vacuuming debris from basement.

4. Put big trash on one side of the garage for when we purchase a dumpster.

5. Have DH replace main bathroom toilet (you know--the one we purchased almost 2 years ago?) and shower fixture.

6. Get information on stripping our doors of paint and either have them stripped or wiped with TSP. Either way, they need to be repainted and the mouldings need to be wiped with TSP and repainted.

I think this is a good start.

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#5 of 32 Old 02-06-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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I'm with ya. We moved into the house two years ago and I'm still unpacking and unsorting. On top of that, my parents are bringing over several boxes of my garbage from HIGH SCHOOL. I've been out of high school for over 10 years! What do I need with that stuff. But I'm going through the boxes to keep pics and such. Our garage is so full of stuff that we can't park our car in there anymore. I've been trying to get dh to clean it for 1 1/2 years now. We have clutter everywhere as well. I can't get into my loft anymore with all the clothes in there and the crib is full of clean clothes. We have to go through our closets to get rid of all the clothes we'll never use as well. Oh and I just today finally put up some curtains in the front windows!

Here's my task for February:

1. Get dh to repair the walls where the gate used to be and get the gate back on.

2. Get dh to repair the hole in the "play room"

3. Sort through clothes in loft and organize into resale, keep, use and throw out.

4. Fold all the laundry in the crib and put away

And think that's a good start with us as dh works nights and I work days so they only real time we have is weekends.
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#6 of 32 Old 02-07-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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I have such clutter it seems never-ending!! I have a two bedroom apartment with a small attic space. I'd like to get rid of as much stuff as possible and organize whats left. Here's my Febuary to do:

1. go through livingroom "corner" and closet--there's such a big pile in that corner you can't even open the closet door..not that you'd want to go in there.LOL

2. go through kid's clothes and get rid of everything that doesn't fit or they never where..we have way too many clothes for them.

3. put christmas items and other misc. up in attic.

4. do all the laundry til there's no more...ha ha :LOL


That's a start....
Good luck to everyone!

Life Learning Momma to DS17, DS16,DS9jumpers.gifas well a dog, a cat, two birds...ttc babygirl.gif homeschool.gifnamaste.gif
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#7 of 32 Old 02-07-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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I have to go through EVERY SQUARE INCH of my house and dust
Can you rent a backback HEPA vacuum? I've used one for janitorial before and they ROCK! It's so much easier to vacuum ceilings and stuff that's in the middle of a room with one.

My list:
Clean and organize garage to get second car out of the rain
Put new seats and carpet in second car
Paint the living room
Go through all the boxes on top of the bookcase in the guest room
File last years bills and find the rest of the tax stuff for this year ()

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#8 of 32 Old 02-07-2005, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Apricot
Can you rent a backback HEPA vacuum? I've used one for janitorial before and they ROCK! It's so much easier to vacuum ceilings and stuff that's in the middle of a room with one.
Where can I get one? Happy to BUY it since I will have to do this constantly! How much do they run?

HELPFUL TIPS?!?

Here's one of mine: If you have a space to declutter--EMPTY it out completely. And don't buy containers for ANYthing until you know how much of that thing you have. That little tidbit saved me countless dollars in potentially buying containers too small to hold all of a particular item.

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#9 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 12:47 AM
 
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#10 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 12:56 AM
 
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boyrus has the hookup with froooooogle.

Looks like backpack with hepa might run $300.

My helpful tip is to make a "maybe get rid of box". But stuff in it that you're not sure about, tape it up, date the box, and store it. In 6 months or a year, if you haven't opened the box, donate it without opening. I do this all the time for clothes. It's the "will I really miss this?" test, and sometimes I pull stuff out.

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#11 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 02:33 AM
 
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YEAH!! I am here!!!
I have a goal to do one big project every night after ds is asleep as well as all the dishes so the morning they are done.
Tonight I swept and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floor.
Tomorrow I plan to CLEAN out and organize the butlers pantry.( it is such a great space if I could just utilize it!)
I also need to in FEB

Clean and organize the playroom
Paint kitchen and cabinets( this is huge- but think that it is well worth it! making a kitchen we want to be in!)
Switch mini blinds in two rooms.
Find slip covers on Ebay for couch.
If i get this accomplished I will be pleased!
Emilie
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#12 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm with you! Here's my short version. I'll edit if I need to later!

1. Go through everything in the attic & put aside anything that can go in a yard sale.

2. Go through the kids toys

3. Sort all holiday decorations & store them in a Rubbermaid container

4. Put kids baby clothes in Rubbermaid containers.

5. Clean out the garage & organize it (That will be a HUGE task)

That's it for now!

*Momma to a spunky 11 year old & diva 9 year old
*Proud wife of "The Rock"
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#13 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie
Paint kitchen and cabinets

Find slip covers on Ebay for couch.
Two things... make sure that before you paint the kitchen cabinets that you clean them with TSP solution (one of the few chemicals you'll find in our house) and VERY LIGHTLY sand them. Kitchen cabinets get alot of abuse--the last thing you need is for the paint to chip or peel off.

Second, if you can't find nice slipcovers, seriously consider making them yourself. It's NOT DIFFICULT. In fact, you could buy some from a store, put them on the couch to see if you like them, and then if you do--use them as a pattern for your own. I actually make fitted slipcovers and I'd do them for you, but I'd have to physically be able to pattern them to your couch. So unless you live in NJ...?! But the non-fitted ones are seriously nothing more than alot of straight lines--so if you can sew a straight line, you can do it!

I think this should be a monthly thread! We'll post our task list for the month and then help each other out... tips and cheerleading... whaddaya think?

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#14 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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I'm so sorry about the lead poisoning. I hope you can get it all cleaned and fixed fast.

I need to join in on this "party" very badly. : My house is a disaster, and we have very little closet space to make matters worse. I just joined a Freecycling group in my county, so I'm getting everything I can listed to get it out of here! If you haven't done that yet, I totally recommend it. I know if I set stuff aside to sell at a yard sale or on ebay it will just collect and never get done. : So I'm just going to give it all away! I figure that should make me feel a thousand times better about the house right off the bat.

My list for February:
1)List all Freecycle items
2)Water my plants bfore they die
3)Organize the computer desk
4)Sort Nik's clothes in boxes by size so they're ready either for the new addition if it's a boy or for donation if it's a girl.
5)Empty the upstairs bathroom and clean thoroughly.

I think that should take me the rest of the month.

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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#15 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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So very sorry to hear about the lead poisoning. Something to watch out for in old homes is the space between windows and storm windows. That "gutter" can fill up with old paint dust and chips, which can migrate into your home and mix with house dust. It's not something to worry about now that windows are closed for winter, but it's good to be vigilant about cleaning these out at the beginning of spring.
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#16 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 05:34 PM
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We're doing this, too. Well, to some extent. I have boxes in the attic as well. But they are fairly well-organized, I don't feel like going through them...there's stuff I'm not sure I want to part with yet. So I'm ignoring the attic for now.

The basement is a wreck b/c DS is remodeling half of it. So there is debris everywhere, but he will clean that up when he's done. Probably a month left to go. I have some tidying/organizing to do with DS" toys etc. down there but I'm not touching a thing until the building mess is cleaned up!

The garage is also in need of some TLC. Again, DS has a ton of crap in there, like building supplies and debris waiting to go to dump. It's hard to work around. Again, I will wait for HIM to do his part and then I can tidy up a bit with what's "mine".

My DS works very hard and is awesome at home projects but the process is very messy...he's not one to clean as he goes, but he will clean when he's done. So i have to be patient.

I am 5 mos. pregnant and itching to get our baby girl's room done. Again, it is currently DS' office, and it is all his stuff in there. I got my stuff out already, which was mostly books that I am donating to library. When the basement is done, he will move his stuff out of the room. It is already painted and carpeted so all I have to do is put the new baby stuff in and organize, which will be easy. I'm just praying that he gets it done SOON!

Do you see a theme here LOL!

Nan, I'm sorry about your lead issue. That is awful and I truly don't want to complain about my DH's clutter when you have such a serious issue to deal with. I hope you get it resolved soon. It certainly puts a burden on you. You can't procrastinate like the rest of us b/c you have your child's health to think of. I am so sorry. But it sounds like you have a good plan!

I am here with you, doing little bits as I can....though many days I just rest during DS' nap. Too tired to do more than the usual cooking and cleaning!

Good luck!
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#17 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 09:07 PM
 
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oh, thanks for the concern, but we don't have a lead issue! this is just a tip I wanted to pass along...
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#18 of 32 Old 02-08-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rainbowbird
Nan, I'm sorry about your lead issue. That is awful and I truly don't want to complain about my DH's clutter when you have such a serious issue to deal with. I hope you get it resolved soon. It certainly puts a burden on you. You can't procrastinate like the rest of us b/c you have your child's health to think of. I am so sorry. But it sounds like you have a good plan!
It's Heather's babe that has lead poisoning! (BTW, how awful! I hope you can get that cleanup done easily Heather!)

I just wanted to join in this thread... dh has lived in our house for about 9-10 years and I moved in when we married five years ago. Our house has been in an almost perpetual state of remodeling since then... and now we're adding a 3rd bedroom/2nd bathroom (a whole closet just for dh and I! ) to the back of the house so it adds lots of work to be done.

I AM so proud of myself... three weeks ago I totally reorganized our bedroom (minus the closet) and pulled out two garbage bags for Goodwill, three bags of trash , a bag of stuff my mom might want back, and a bag of recycling (paperboard/cardboard). Sheesh, imagine if I had tackled the closet!

MY GOALS:

1) Reorganize/clean the kids' bedroom/playroom... until we finish the new bedroom, the 2nd bedroom in the house is the catch-all and it's awful!

2) Reorganize/declutter our closet

3) Reorganize/clean kitchen cabinets inside and out

4) Reorganize/declutter basement

There's so much more I want to do, but some of it actually has to wait until our addition is done (namely #3). Man, I can't wait... two years in the building since dh is doing it himself (with occasional help from a buddy of his).
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#19 of 32 Old 02-09-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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I could have written the OP except for the lead poisoning part -- how scary! I'm with you -- but I don't know where to start. I'll watch this thread for ideas.

ETA: On further reflection . . .

Goals for Feb:

1. Sort through Ian's clothes, take some to consignment, donate some and save the rest in a marked container.

2. Sort through my own clothes, pack prepregnancy clothing that is way too small in marked container and store for (optimistic) future use. Consign maternity clothes. Donate anything I don't like anymore.

3. Sort through DH's clothes and get rid of anything that has holes or permanent stains or doesn't fit.

4. Clear out entryway bathroom (currently used as storage closet). Put things we use in closet downstairs, throw away things we don't use. (This is leading up to a remodel of this bathroom in March.)

5. Organize extra upstairs bedroom (currently my office/project area and a laundry catchall) enough to get a bed in there for when my sister comes to visit in March.
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#20 of 32 Old 02-09-2005, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by late-night nan
oh, thanks for the concern, but we don't have a lead issue! this is just a tip I wanted to pass along...
I knew that, sorry about the typo!!!
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#21 of 32 Old 02-10-2005, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all for the concern about my son... he has a world of problems, so this hasn't hit me so hard. We're back to selling the house (in the fall we decided to do it late spring, then chg'd our minds, now we're back to sticking to our original plan to sell), so I REALLY need to do this!

Has anyone started? I haven't, but I'm going to definitely this weekend. I'm going to start by cleaning and packing up the Christmas stuff in the attic. Hopefully I can get that done over this weekend. Then it will be on to the next item...

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#22 of 32 Old 02-11-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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You guys won't believe this but my sah husband actually folded all (ok. he thinks its all but how do men not see it all is beyond me. so most) of the laundry in the crib and put it away and he took all the clothes our to our closet and drawers and made me a pile of clothes of what he thought needs to go to charity or freecycle and arranged our clothes that he thought should stay back in the closet and drawers. I just about fainted! I have a huge pile of clothes to go through but he's done his part. Its usually impossible to get him to go through his stuff. And the best part! He did it without me even mentioning it recently or asking him or anything!

I go to my mother's tomorrow so that he can paint our living room. I'm gonna have him throw all that clothes in a bag and take it with me to my mother's so I can sort it there. I think we're rolling!

Heather, good luck with the house. I hope it sells fast and your baby gets better soon.
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#23 of 32 Old 02-11-2005, 04:40 AM
 
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I need this thread! We're just starting the process of relocating (as in - we found out that we're moving but haven't made forward progress). My house will need to be decluttered and deep cleaned. I'm planning on getting started with the decluttering this weekend. Hopefully DH's relocation package will be approved & I can hire someone to do the deep cleaning. If not - it's deep doo-doo for me : .
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#24 of 32 Old 02-11-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busybusymomma
MY GOALS:

1) Reorganize/clean the kids' bedroom/playroom... until we finish the new bedroom, the 2nd bedroom in the house is the catch-all and it's awful!

2) Reorganize/declutter our closet

3) Reorganize/clean kitchen cabinets inside and out

4) Reorganize/declutter basement

There's so much more I want to do, but some of it actually has to wait until our addition is done (namely #3). Man, I can't wait... two years in the building since dh is doing it himself (with occasional help from a buddy of his).
Goal #1 checked OFF the list!

And dh just painted our new bedroom, so now it's onto the trim and flooring.
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#25 of 32 Old 02-15-2005, 02:40 PM
 
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Yup, I need this thread. I am on a major roll right now, but with one big difference. I'm not kidding myself anymore that I will ever sell stuff. All of it is going to the nearest thrift store or the trash. If it is something really good, I offer it for free to my local AP group through our yahoo list.

Right now, my daughters' bedroom has three strollers, a giant red wagon, two tricycles, and a bicycle stored there. Why? Because the dogs took over the garage (at least they don't live inside anymore) and our other storage area is full of junk. I am tossing, tossing, tossing.

Also, until I get my home environment decluttered, I am not working on my flylady routines, and I am using disposable diapers and disposable dishes. We are eating frozen convenience foods or pizza. This is just for one week, and I need to focus on child care and getting rid of as much junk as humanly possible.

My goal is that by the end of this week, I will be able to move all of those outdoor toys into the storage room that is now overrun with boxes of ancient stuff we never use.

So here is to major decluttering.

OP, have you thought about just moving out? I fantasize about just moving everybody out for a few weeks and doing the decluttering without living here.
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#26 of 32 Old 02-15-2005, 03:07 PM
 
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Good luck! We did just move and did some massive de-cluttering in the process. We took a truckload of truly unusable stuff to the dump. Freecycled at least another truckload worth of bulky stuff we weren't using (like non-functioning computer equipment, some sports/exercise gear, home decorations, etc.). And another truckload worth of clothing, housewares, and books went to Goodwill. It was INSANE how much we got rid of. It felt so freeing.
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#27 of 32 Old 02-15-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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I have a radical idea.

I started thinking about it when my IL's had a house fire a while back. Luckily it was small and everyone(including several beloved pets) was ok and they are back in their home now, but they had to move out for several months during reconstruction and cleaning. Obviously they couldn't afford anyplace big during this time, and they ended up in a teeny tiny studio apartment. Everyhting except a couple dishes, a week or two of clothes, and a laptop went into storage.

So my suggestion is, instead of moving out for awhile, pack up almost everyhting and put it in storage somewhere. Rent a unit somewhere or something. Live with practically nothing for at least two months. Don't organize the boxes, just shove stuff in them as you come to it. Even smaller furniture like nightstands and stuff. When enough time has passed, start going through the boxes. Take it slow. Maybe two boxes per week. Analyze every single thing. Do you really love it? Did you even miss it? Don't allow anything back that doesn't have a home. Make a weekly trip to the thrift shop or charity of your choice and have garbage bags handy.


I too need to do a major declutter/deep clean. Actually I'm doing pretty well working on it, my motivation is an upcoming move. I just refuse to move the same old crap in the samer old boxes that have been messing up our homes for years. I'm not moving clothes we don't wear, books we'll never read again, food we won't eat, magazines I'll never find time to go through and clip from, junky toys, none of it. But this being hte deep clean thread, I thought I'd throw that idea out in case someone is ready for a major change. My IL's didn't have a choice in the matter but it really in the end was a blessing in disguise for them.
Good luck to all those on this journey with me!
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#28 of 32 Old 02-16-2005, 04:22 AM
 
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I'm actually having fun getting rid of stuff. In the past few days I've filled up at least 7 bags of trash and have 5 huge bins of stuff to either donate or sell.
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#29 of 32 Old 02-16-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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I am very inspired by all of you. I would love to join in but am feeling too overwhelmed to make any goals just yet. I hope you don't mind.... :

I will post some goals in March.

btw I the backpack hepa vacuum!!!

Natalie
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#30 of 32 Old 02-17-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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I'm getting weirdly obsessed with my decluttering project. It is taking longer than anticipated, but one more week of this should do the trick. They know me by sight now at the local drop off for Savers. Our huge garbage can is overflowing, and that's what finally made me stop. Tomorrow is garbage day. I am actually considering contacting the city to find out if I can get a second huge garbage can, just to encourage us to throw out everything in sight.

"If in doubt, throw it out!" That's my motto.

Progress: I can now almost open the door to the junk room.
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