The September decluttering thread - Mothering Forums

The September decluttering thread

gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
07:06 PM Liked: 12
#1 of 32
09-01-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002 we go! Todya I TRIED to declutter three bags at the Salvation Army. I live in a big college town, and move-out and move-in is going on this weekend, so the Salvation Army donation site was overflowing, AND it started raining, so I decided to wait. But at least the stuff is in my van!

Also have a fifth huge box for Ukrainian orphans in my van, waiting to go out.

Filled a huge garbage bag with paper trash, and sorted through some extreme paper clutter in our livingroom. I'm working on our scary office--that's my worst room in our apartment--and I'm hoping to thin out more.

BUT (there's ALWAYS a but...) I ordered a new dining set today (we have none) and I bought a cool 208 CD/DVD case. We're going to get rid of the actual cases the CDs and DVDs come in and keep them in sleeves. That's cut out a huge amount of clutter, methinks!

goodcents's Avatar goodcents
07:21 PM Liked: 5
#2 of 32
09-01-2003 | Posts: 3,373
Joined: Dec 2002
I finally got into the office/nursery. I decluttered about 10 pounds of extra/unneccesary papers. I THREW OUT (someone rescued it!) a whole file cabinet and boy does it add a huge amount of space to the room.

Got rid of extra baby products (lotions/soaps/powder) along with some clothes for donation.

Threw out some unneeded office supplies.

I am starting college on Wednesday and I am oh so close to having this house clean and organized before I start.

My motto was and still is "The key to clean it to throw away!"
MamaOui's Avatar MamaOui
07:32 PM Liked: 10
#3 of 32
09-01-2003 | Posts: 2,669
Joined: Aug 2002
What is it about the office? Next weekend, my parents will watch our children on Sunday so that both dh and I can tacklethe office and clear it out in one day.

I brought out:

Two trash bags full of junk

A bunch of paper for to be recycled, old magazines...

some old lawn chairs

I put some chairs out and they were gone an hour later.

It's rainy, so we'll wait and put the dining room table out and our crappy kitchen table.

Our street is a known area for people who need it to drive by and take furniture.

I brought in:
Shoe shelves and organized all our shoes by the door

A new shower curtain and dh cleaned and decluttered our bathroom

A shelf to put our stereo on in the kitchen

More hangers for our clothes

We still have a long way to go, but the only new things that we are allowing into the house are things to organize our lives and a bit of new maternity clothes for me.
goodcents's Avatar goodcents
07:46 PM Liked: 5
#4 of 32
09-01-2003 | Posts: 3,373
Joined: Dec 2002
Oh I forgot to add:

Gone are 3 cans of paint I will never use

I took pictures of my old Commodore 64 to sell in my neighborhood or on ebay if there are no local takers.

ANDDDDDD I cleaned and organized the living room closet which was a an absulute mess.

Going back to cleaning now!

3 books

And I de-cluttered my email box. I was using almost 90% of it's capacity now I am down to 54%. Ohh hooray - I dont know why I never get around to deleting those messages!
Tracy's Avatar Tracy
11:54 PM Liked: 3635
#5 of 32
09-03-2003 | Posts: 11,702
Joined: Oct 2002
i saw your august thread and then this one and I would like to make a pitch for those who are interested, to take a look at the feng shui threads in spirituality...

it is right in alignment with so much people have shared about clutter and decluttering..

here's a link

gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
12:05 AM Liked: 12
#6 of 32
09-04-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002
Today I sent off all the stuff in my van! Whoo hoo! Big load off my mind.

Tomorrow I "declutter" my 4 yo--he starts preschool. Sniff, sniff--I'll miss him, but...he needs it and so do I. It'll be great for him to meet new friends and for me to get more alone time with my 17 mo and to work on the house. My 4 yo is the wild child and my 17 mo is mellow and naps, sometimes, in the morning, so I might get stuff done!
merpk's Avatar merpk
03:00 AM Liked: 20
#7 of 32
09-05-2003 | Posts: 14,313
Joined: Dec 2001
Wow. Am inspired ...

Sunday-past went through the kids' drawers, was painfully honest about what clothing I will or will not put on them, and bagged up the rest. We get huge amounts of hand-me-downs, so I always feel weird not putting what we get right into the drawers ... but am now handing them off to a neice who just had a baby ... and the rest goes to someplace useful, just not here ...

Have a closet full of clothes that haven't fit me since 50 lbs ago (see Weight Loss thread for the sad details) but that I insist will fit me again someday (yeah, right) ... and will begin my painfully honest clear-out of my own closet&drawers this Sunday ...

Thanks for the inspiration, mamas ...
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
01:33 PM Liked: 12
#8 of 32
09-08-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
I started a declutter the apt campaign back this spring, and did well, but sort of grew over the past few months when I swear I wasn't looking. Stuff also has miraculous ways of finding it's way inside our house. The ratio of out:in is way out of wack right now.

Plus I figure if i start now - I wont have much to move next year when we move. Right now I have already compiled a growing list on the TP to see if it will go there first. I dont' feel like dealing with eBay (unless I get into dh's books for money) as I figured out last night I spent nearly 50$ in eBay fees this year.

Anyways, one big accomplishment was going through the clutter on the kitchen counter. It literally is the junk counter - with two junk drawers underneath it - home to all things that don't have a home. I clear it all out - and eventually it's a paper and crap jungle. I threw out old copies of bills and envelopes that I had a "current" copy of - which whittled about 100 envelopes down to a nessasary four or five. I put all pens back in the pen jar, and weeded out garbage. I still have to go through dh's paystubs (I need them to apply for assist. this week) but I'm going to toss all but the current ones we need, at least they are all in one spot. For now, the counter itself looks tons better.

I have a multitude of goals about the house, but I'm going to take it one thing at a time so I don't get overwhelmed. On the list includes my dresser, the bookshelf, my closet, the knickknack shelf in the living room, top of the microwave, top of the stereo and fridge, tops of the kitchen cupboards, and weeding through the boys' toys (and clothing) - and ultimately, getting rid of what I dont' love enough to drag with me 800 miles away. I'm a world class packrat, but I've improved greatly over the past few years, and my eye is much more critical of my space, and my soul is much more at ease wtih the space cleared out.

Anyone have a suggestion for used VHS tapes? I"m giving a few more days at the TP, but don't feel like taking the time (money) to eBay; we don't have a vcr anymore so they are really hogging up valueable shelfspace!
goodcents's Avatar goodcents
04:40 PM Liked: 5
#9 of 32
09-08-2003 | Posts: 3,373
Joined: Dec 2002
Welcome aboard JesseMomme. You may want to consider giving your video tapes to a shelter. You can get a tax deduction too - so you may not earn money - but at least you save it. For example here in the city I gave a whole bunch of stuff to the Convenant House for homeless and runaway teens. They have a new mohters group that they distribute too. Hope that helps and good luck!
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
02:08 AM Liked: 12
#10 of 32
09-09-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
Goodcents, that is a wonderful suggestion! It didn't even cross my mind -thank you. I think this will definately be what we wind up doing with a lot of the stuff I get rid of (but of course is still useable)
gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
11:59 AM Liked: 12
#11 of 32
09-09-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002
I TACKLED THE OFFICE! Or it tackled me LOL! I reorganized the closet to make space, put loads of things in the closet--neatly, in boxes--and the office is now 3/4 clean. Pictures we haven't hung are still propped against the wall, but there's a lovely reading/music nook with a rocking chair, end table, and boom box. It's so peaceful!

I think the dust set off allergies, which weakened me to a cold, though--or something like that. Ever since Sunday I've been miserable!

We're getting rid of a working lamp, some kid equipment, and out the door go three MORE boxes to the Ukrainian orphanage effort. Whoo hoo!

No more pounds lost, though. I am exercising a lot, so it might just be my body developing muscle. I once lifted weights for a month and gained 5 lbs, but stuck to it. The next month I lost 9 lbs, so it takes time to catch up. But that's another thread...

I AM actually fitting into a few select pieces of clothes I hung onto. Size 12--I fit into one pair of shorts that are size TWELVE! (I was a 16 four months ago). But I'm glad I only hung onto 6 pieces--as I lose weight, I get to reward myself with new clothes!

Off to declutter the van!

JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
03:00 PM Liked: 12
#12 of 32
09-11-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
Three huge hefty bags of boys and girls clothing are gone. - actually it was more, but I compressed it into three bags LOL. While they are not on their way to the SA - I did one better, they are going to SIL who has three boys (older than mine) and one on the way. Maybe this time she'll have a girl and get to use all the infant girls clothing that was given to me before I had Liam. I have tons of newborn clothing to go through yet and I'll send those to her too, and I still have a box of boys winter clothes, hopefully stuff too big for Kieran yet, her 10 yo can fit into. I'm not. I'm really not sure I have clothing that big tho and was told she needed that size the most, keeping fingers crossed.

Anyways slightly T - I talked to Dh about sonating stuff for a tax deduction next year and he said it wouldn't work for us beecause we dont' make enough to itemize? (we qualify for full tax refunds each year) How is this so?

I also dragged out my own winter clothes and tried everything on before relegating to piles (sell, donate, keep) and so much fit!! WOohoo! The winter before preg I swear one nifty pair of pants was too small but now they fit great. I also spent longer than I should wondering whether to keep this or that shirt/sweater...I have to do it again, because I wavereed and lily livered over a lot of it, when what I really wanted to do was get it down what will fit in my side of the dresser. I did better with the jeans - they were all nice pairs my mother gave to me when she lost some wieght, but some are too long, some are too big () but a few fit... and I just can't stand classic I debate - I have perfectly good jeans that will get me through the winter, I should keep them: I'll avoid wearing them at all costs because I dont' like classic fit, and so through my debate the demon behind my need to be a packrat shown through - I feel guilty/ungrateful/snobby for not wanting things that are graciously given to me!! So, in most cases, I grumblingly hang onto them for years, and they don't see the light of day. And the sad reality in this case is that my mother probably has forgotten all about half the jeans she's given to me, and she's a big fan of decluttering in her own life (you should have seen her before she moved out of state! She took clothes and her piano, and her antique dresser set, that's it. I wound up with half of her stuff though I swear. I was doing pretty good until she moved )

Ok sorry to ramble....I just need support in facing this clutter demon of mine! Even worse than jeans, my grandmother gives me stuff all the time. It's top of the line stuff, but just not my "thing" kwim? It's usually stuff she gets from $$$ catalogues and then decides she doesnt' like or it doesnt' fit her right. I've quietly eBayed a lot of it ...but one dress she made (she's an expert seamstress) and she went on and on abut how proud she was of it. It's kinda cool and vintage looking, yet I've had it for 5 years and never found a place to wear it to...guilt guilt guilt. I also debate should I hang onto the dress I wore when Dh and I eloped. I'll never wear it again I'm sure, and it's probably out of style by now LOL. Theer's tons of clothing I have hung onto, simply out of memories -does anyone else deal with this? (not just wtih clothing of course)
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
03:05 PM Liked: 12
#13 of 32
09-13-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
I'm a trading post regular and someone started a great thread this week - Free stuff for shipping.

If you think something is just not quite sellable but someone just might want it, post it on that thread. It's been a smashing success - so far I've offloaded a snugli, over 2 dozen diapers (with more to post later), and something else though now I can't remmeber what it is LOL. Thank goodness for paypal records!

I also yesturday went through the winter clothes and asked myself why I would hang onto stuff way too big for Kieran for yet another year. So now a HUGE box is packed and ready to go to my SIL, she said her oldest (10) needed clothes, even though I think most of the stuff is going to wind up fitting her 6 yo - well anyways I have to get going and "declutter" all the laundry out of the hallway :
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
04:50 PM Liked: 33
#14 of 32
09-15-2003 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
I had the nicest dream this morning before waking.

I dreamed that I had gone through all the junk in my dungeon*
and gotten rid of tons of stuff. I woke up and I felt so good! All that was left was some dust to vaccuum and a little pile of laundry to bring to the laundry room.

It felt SO good and it helped me because I have been feeling hopeless about decluttering this room.

"Dungeon" is the Flylady's term for your worst, most cluttered room/basement etc. where you collect the most junk.
village idiot's Avatar village idiot
02:06 PM Liked: 10
#15 of 32
09-16-2003 | Posts: 1,618
Joined: Feb 2003
Trying to declutter here also. The computer desk is a big paper/clutter gatherer and also the kitchen table. I have clothes that I save because I might wear them "one day". A big issue is my 12yo dd's bedroom. She has so many clothes and toys, etc. and no place to put them. She likes to save everything. I'm slowly going through it though. Gotta go. babe calls.
gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
12:15 AM Liked: 12
#16 of 32
09-17-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002
Two more boxes gone to Ukraine, two-three huge bags of dipes off to my friend.

2 small bags to Sal. Army.

BUT we just bought 3 end tables!

About to send off a few more boxes to Ukraine and get into the groove some more!
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
03:42 AM Liked: 12
#17 of 32
09-17-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
The HUGE Tv box is officially gone, and some of the stuff I unloaded at the TP is packaged and ready to go tomorrow. Yay! I'm 1/10th the way there :LOL
eta- oh yeah and I conquered the junk counter yet again and got it really good and cleared off this time. And every time I see something set on it, I move it. I'm getting a lil obsessive teehee, but I really like it when this certain counter is clear. My whole kitchen looks better.
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
06:11 PM Liked: 33
#18 of 32
09-20-2003 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
I just decluttered a box of old money records.

Records from my first checking account in college, old teller machine slips from banks that no longer exist,

even cancelled checks from when I used to sub to
PARENTS magazine!


Out it goes!
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
06:13 PM Liked: 33
#19 of 32
09-20-2003 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
VIDEOTAPES: we donate our old ones to our library if they are in good shape. If not, out they go.
gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
07:19 PM Liked: 12
#20 of 32
09-20-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002
We are doign forced decluttering--listed some BIG items on ebay--dresser, tvs, filing cabinet. They MUST be cleaned out because someone's coming to get them next week LOL!

We've done this before and it's a great way to force yourself to declutter.

And off I go...
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
09:23 PM Liked: 12
#21 of 32
09-20-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
Originally posted by Momtwice
VIDEOTAPES: we donate our old ones to our library if they are in good shape. If not, out they go.
thats excellent! Thank you that is just what I will do! yehaw!

Would they take R-rated stuff? Guess it dont' hurt to ask the librarians Jesse says to herself.

PS- Dh is really getting annoyed with my "no junk on the junk counter" thing :LOL
MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica
01:51 AM Liked: 26
#22 of 32
09-21-2003 | Posts: 12,862
Joined: Sep 2002
Can I come aboard? I need to declutter my diapers. I have cloth diapers coming out of my ears and keep setting aside the ones I'm not using but don't do anything about it. The only place I have for them is the top of a dresser and they are starting to avalanche on me- especially since I store my half-knitted sweater and yarn up there, too-- and various items I don't want the kids to get to.

I gave away ds's outgrown winter coats to a friend with a boy. I also went through dds room yesterday and threw out piles of art projects made with paper and glue and stuff... keeping only a few special ones. Then I swept uner her bed and found more books and toys.
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
03:41 PM Liked: 12
#23 of 32
09-22-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
I've recently downsized Liam's stash by about half. I sold a dozen prefolds and plan on selling another dozen prefolds this week. I've let go of five SOS in the past two weeks, to ease our financial straites a bit. So I'm down to 13 ubcpf's (one of them a great tyedye pf from tyedyedreams), 4 SOS and 4 Fuz I would love some more all hemp SOS, and all the fuz going for decent prices on eBay is making me nuts - oh well. 3 of his Fuzzi bunz are now useless even for during the day for a few hours so I'm just going to throw them out I'm stuck there I cant afford a new nighttime system, ideally moving away from fb's.

Donovan's stash is next. My ultimate goal was to cut out a whole loads worth of diapers so they would be washed more often and once I get a drying rack I can keep washing costs down. I've actually already mailed out 15 toddler pf's today for the free for ship thread, one well loved dipe is going, and...I think I'm going to sell the kissaluvs, cuz I like his liz's cloth a little bit more. A stack of gerber flats is also going to a momma. I'm really enjoying the newfound space at my changing table.

I nearly cried pulling the SOS, but now I'm feeling better. I think its kinda like taking the bandaid off really fast
MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica
06:35 PM Liked: 26
#24 of 32
09-22-2003 | Posts: 12,862
Joined: Sep 2002
It is really hard. I have to sell my SOS es as well because we just don't use them anymore- Forest is using the potty half time and I need only half my stash.
grumpymama's Avatar grumpymama
06:48 PM Liked: 0
#25 of 32
09-22-2003 | Posts: 83
Joined: Aug 2003
I have a question here. Besides the general thrift stores (Goodwill, etc.) where is a good place to donate things?
We just got rid of a bunch of stuff at a garage sale. Then we took all the leftovers to the local thrift store. I still have tons of decluttering left to do though. I need to tackle or garage.
thistle's Avatar thistle
02:09 AM Liked: 0
#26 of 32
09-28-2003 | Posts: 1,806
Joined: Aug 2002
Well I THOUGHT I had already done a good job of culling my books but I went over my shelves today to find a "thing or two" to donate to the charity book sale at DH's work

50 books later I was done and I managed to dump a box of old files too.

Felt good.

Leatherette's Avatar Leatherette
04:43 AM Liked: 0
#27 of 32
09-28-2003 | Posts: 1,356
Joined: Mar 2003
I finally faced the ugly truth: I am not ever going to make healthy breads in the bread machine. It was a hand-me-down from my dad, and now it is going to charity/thrift.

As well as the hurricane glass with men in thongs painted on it that was mine to keep after going to a male strip club (one and only time) - now, that's hard to part with!

We have been putting large amounts out every month - we are now scraping the bottom of the barrel. I absolutely cannot give away any of my remaining books.

We have another baby coming, so the empty spaces will refill to some degree, I am sure.

JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme
09:09 AM Liked: 12
#28 of 32
09-28-2003 | Posts: 7,901
Joined: Apr 2002
Well it's at the end of the month and I'm at a scramble. It doesn't help that I've also gotten sick yesturday and right now I feel like death warmed over. The major reason I'm in an uproar is because starting tomorrow (and we'll be gone all day tomorrow) is the apt. inspections for "safety and maintenance". I'm in trouble.
Dh is supposed to rent a rug doc today and I guess after I scrub the whole house from top to bottom I get to shampoo the rugs after the kids go to bed, While cleaning may not be the exact thing as decluttering (kinda?) I haven't finished any decluttering goals. I wanted stuff cleared up before scrubbing down if that makes sense. I've done a few things, mroe stuff is on it's way out, I think the biggest thing actually for me was the whole diaper stash cut.
Wish me luck. I have non washable crayon all over nonwashable paint The landlord is going to have a field day with me.
gurumama's Avatar gurumama (TS)
11:33 AM Liked: 12
#29 of 32
09-28-2003 | Posts: 1,777
Joined: Oct 2002
We sold a small tv and a VERY large dresser on ebay--they sold yesterday. The tv goes today and the dresser goes someday soon. Yeah!

Not much else decluttering going on here, though. We're all getting hit by weird flu-like illnesses where we're tired and have headaches, but nothing else. Must be sinuses. So my motivation is still there but my body says "no way".

But we have a playdate tomorrow, so I do have to clean! It's a newer playdate so I can't have her thinking I *really* live this way until playdate 5 or so LOL!

Happy decluttering,

Gemini's Avatar Gemini
03:22 PM Liked: 10
#30 of 32
09-28-2003 | Posts: 6,992
Joined: Apr 2003
I did good yesterday!

I cleaned our bedroom yesterday and vacuumed it top to bottom!! And I got rid of all my piles! I had them in the crib. : Forced co-sleeping....just kidding. :LOL I recycled so much stuff and you can see the surface of my china hutch, my dresser, the dining room table and the kitchen counters!

It feels good!

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