First Ever Declutter Event!

I recently had my one-year Passion Planner anniversary. I absolutely loved using my Passion Planner over the last year, so I didn’t think twice about purchasing a new one for this year.

When my new planner arrived, I set aside an evening to transfer any pertinent information from last year’s planner into the new one. As I did, one of the things that I noticed is that I didn’t make good use of the monthly calendar and goal setting areas. Since one of my New Year’s Micro-Resolutions was to “set and achieve declutter goals for each month”, I decided that this area of my planner would be good place to manage those goals.

So this month, with my new planner in hand, I have decided to implement my “set and achieve declutter goals for each month” Home micro-resolution. I hope to schedule one or more “declutter events” each month.

Consequently, the First Ever Declutter Event {insert booming echo} took place on Tuesday night. As my target, I chose the large purple utility shelf in the the spare bedroom, and Steve volunteered to help. We set aside an hour to work, put it in our respective planners, and were ready to roll up our sleeves when the appointed time arrived.

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As you can see, this shelf is packed full of all sorts of … well … stuff: old toys, boxes of photographs, some scrapbook supplies, a few collectible dolls, some old posters, a turntable, a computer monitor, a big box of old Windows 2000 video games and software, and not one but two sewing boxes, one of which belonged to my mother.

The items basically fell into one of three categories: items that we wanted to keep (e.g., turntable), items that we needed to sort later, but which will be time-consuming (photos, sewing items), and items that we could go through quickly and make decisions about (posters, software).

We removed everything from the shelf and cleaned the shelves. We then placed the items that we wanted to keep back on the shelf. A shrewd observer will notice that my skunk hand-puppet and X-Files Mulder and Scully Barbie doll set made the cut.

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Then, we spent 10-15 minutes going through the “quick sort” items – old posters, unusable software, and an entire box labeled “blank floppy disks”. I regretfully parted with my Age of Empires and Alpha Centauri computer games, since they only ran on Windows 98. I did however keep the CDs for Windows 2000, just out of nostalgia. It was the last Windows operating system that I liked.

In the end, we carted two garbage bags and two boxes full of trash out to the bin. In addition, we set aside multiple items for donation. While the final result doesn’t make a stunning “after” picture, the items remaining are easier to get to and better stored.

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As I side note, I would like to mention that all those empty containers stacked on the left side of the shelf were once full of junk. Over the past year, I have emptied them and disposed of their contents. We keep the containers as they are sturdy and good for carting items off for donation.

As for our purple shelf, it will likely require one or more Decluttering Events to sort through the sewing boxes, toys, and scrapbook items. However, I am pleased with the progress. We only worked for an hour, and got rid of soooo many items. Afterwards, Steve mentioned that he was struck by how much stuff we have that we don’t use. Perhaps a new minimalist-in-training has been forged?

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