Holiday Declutter Progress Week Two

Time for a Holiday Declutter Streak project update! I did not get as much decluttering done this week as I had hoped. Tuesday evening was the monthly trivia night with my Mensa group at the local pub. I am a introvert by any definition – it took me two years to work up my courage to go to trivia night in the first place, so I didn’t want to miss it now that I have started going. And I am glad I didn’t – we had a blast, and I got to know my new acquaintances a little better.

Wednesday evening, I was filling up the vaporizer for my daughter (who had a cold) in the bathtub, and the shower handle fell on my head and nearly knocked me unconscious. I had an ice-pack on my head for the rest of the night. Thursday, I was woozy all day at work, so I think that I actually sustained a very mild concussion. Rather than coming home and decluttering, I sat on the sofa and watched White Christmas and worked on the socks that I am knitting for my dad for Christmas. And Friday night, I was just lazy, and watched Desk Set (Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, giant computer, smart girl gets the guy – just my kind of movie). So I have some decluttering ground to make up this weekend!

I did get some decluttering done this week though. I removed 74 items from my home this week.

One rule that I follow during every decluttering task, that has really helped with my success and kept me on track, is to remove all the items from the area, lay them out for sorting, and then choose what to keep. Not only does this allow me to only select those items that are important to me, but it gives me a chance to thoroughly clean the area before returning the items to it.

Day 7

I actually completed my Day 7 and Day 8 decluttering on Day 9. My Day 7 decluttering area was the top of the bookshelf in our bedroom. I tend to pile clothes up there as well as other things that I could just put in the closet. There were also some ribbons left from a hair barrette that my daughter was getting rid of, and other odds and ends. From this area, I only disposed of 6 items, which were all receipts and clothes tags, except for a Build-a-Bear patch set, which I will donate. Everything else, I put away in its proper place, in the closet or in the sewing room. I kept the hair ribbons, which have a basketball motif, to use on a scrapbook page of my daughter’s basketball season.

BEFORE
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Sorting items
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AFTER
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Day 8

My Day 8 decluttering area was the area next to my bed. It had become piled with magazines and books, that I read before I go to sleep, as well as some other random things that I couldn’t find another place for. There were bags of souvenirs from our trip to Washington, D.C. last year! I couldn’t figure out where to put the things that we had bought, so I had never unpacked them. For some reason, my jewelry box was also on the floor in this area next to my nightstand. This is also an area where I have a lot of cables for charging devices – my Garmin, my tablet, my iPhone, my Bluetooth earphones.

I recycled all the magazines, moved my jewelry box up on top of my chiffarobe, put the books back on the bookshelf, and unpacked all the souvenirs. These included, among other things, some adorable Japanese girl magnets that I had completely forgotten that I had bought, some Christmas ornaments which we will put on the tree this year, and a bumper sticker that reads “If you see me collapse, pause my Garmin”, which will go on the car. I recycled or threw away about 20 items from this area, vacuumed the area well, and replaced the items that I wanted to keep in that area.

The one thing that I couldn’t figure out was a good place for all those charging cables. I finally decided to retrieve a basket that I was planning on donating from the car and use it to hold all those cables. It is not shown in the photos below, but the basket works perfectly!

BEFORE
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Sorting items
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AFTER
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Day 9

On Day 9, my decluttering efforts consisted of dropping a bag of donation items at Goodwill. The bag has been in the trunk of the car for two weeks at least! I have already counted the items in my yearly declutter total, but will give myself credit for 1 item removed from my car.

Day 10

On Day 10, I decluttered another top shelf of one of our kitchen cabinets. This shelf mostly held water bottles, and a few baby items. My daughter is 14 now, so I think I can let go of those pacifiers and sippy cups! I threw out 13 items, recycled 6 items, donated 4 items, and gave a fish-shaped kitty dish to my friend who just adopted a new kitty.

All items from the cabinet (sorry no BEFORE)
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Items I got rid of
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Items I kept
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AFTER
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Day 11

On Day 11, I bagged up all our recyclables and put them in the trunk of the car. The company with which we had curbside recycling service cancelled service in our area in October, so there was quite a bit of stuff! My husband had taken a couple of bags off already, but it was really getting out of control. The recycling was piled into a stack about half as high as the refrigerator. We dropped the bags of recycling at the recycling center near our house on the way to work the next morning. Even though there were hundreds of items, I gave myself credit for 0 items since this is something that we are supposed to be doing anyway!

AFTER – nice empty bins!
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I also threw out or donated other items this week, including several magnets from the fridge (I had to make room for my adorable Japanese girl magnets!), a few Halloween candy stragglers, unclaimed fortune cookies, and extraneous papers tucked into my Passion Planner – a total of 24 items.

And I gave my dearly departed kitty Allister’s warm, snuggly, practically brand new bed to my friend with the new kitten. None of our kitties will use the bed, since they remember that it belonged to Alli. My friend’s kitty also got a giant scratchy mouse, which I cleaned and catnip-ified for her. My friend told me that her kitty was delighted with her new bed and mousie-friend, and sent me the most adorable picture of her kitty snuggled in the bed. Alli would like knowing that the things that he loved were still being loved (sniff, sniff).

I also posted last week’s box of mugs and wine glasses on Freecycle, and immediately got a response. They went to their new home on Monday afternoon.

Decluttering Total To Date: 266 items removed

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