Join me in my “war against clutter”

by Melody on July 17, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s official.

I’m waging war on my house.

I have been feeling increasingly frustrated by the amount of “stuff” my kids have.  My youngest is totally growing out of the baby toys stage, and to be honest, he never really played with them much anyway.  He always preferred to play with whatever his big brother was playing with at the time.  Our bookshelf is sagging under the weight.  Our toy bins are stuffed to the gills.

We don’t have a ton of storage space in our house so every nook and cranny has “stuff”.  Of course, we use a lot of this stuff.  We really do.  But I have to admit to myself that there are things we haven’t used in years.  Or toys that would be much better used by children who don’t have as much as mine.

I’ve had to acknowledge the fact that this clutter is starting to stress me out.  Every time I look at the toy bins, I think my blood pressure jumps a few notches.  I don’t know why all of a sudden, it’s starting to bother me, but I’m just taking this as a sign that it is time to do something about it.

This post from Couponing to Disney is what got me thinking.  Instead of getting rid of 25 items per day (I just don’t think I’m that committed yet), I’m going to get rid of 15 items per day for one week.  It can be anything.  Toys, clothes, kitchen items, anything.  I will find a home for it all at the end of the week, either by trashing it, selling it or donating it.  Or repurposing it if at all possible.

This is Step One for me in attempting to remove some of the stressors in my life.  Not that I have that many really, but I’m just trying to streamline things a little.  This is one that has got me all up in arms, but should be an easy fix.

Would anyone like to join me?  Even if you don’t have a lot of clutter in your home, I know we all have some things we’d like to streamline or make more efficient.  Please share your ideas!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilie McFarlane July 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I’m with you! I’ve been going to Goodwill about 1x a week and it feel soooooo good! I like the idea of a certain number of things a week. Last week I made my oldest (four) go through all his cars. He has about 100, seriously, about 100. I told him he had to get rid of any that didn’t fit in his car box (which ended up being about 25-30 cars). We spent 30 minutes talking about why we would keep some things and get rid of others and what it means to be generous and not attached to stuff. We then offered the extras to his grandparents for their houses and friends who like cars. I felt like it was an awesome teaching experience!

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Christy July 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I am with you!! I already have bags of the kids clothes ready to donate. Next up, the kids toys. We really need to tackle our garage, we still have some boxes we haven’t unpacked yet, and we moved 2 years ago. YIKES!

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kelsey July 18, 2011 at 2:26 am

I’m sooooo going to do this! I have 3 days to get everything ready to haul to a garage sale…I think I’ll aim for 15-20 things a day.

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Kim July 18, 2011 at 6:13 am

I figured it was my “nesting,” but maybe it IS just in the air… We have really been making an effort to have less “stuff” over the last year or so. Posts like this: http://simplemom.net/how-to-simplify-declutter-and-make-money/ and the Project:Simplify that is referenced at the beginning inspired me to try to finish up some areas in our house. We’ve been having some decent luck on Craigslist as well as sending some big boxes along to Goodwill. Just one more closet to go here!

Also, as another way to save money, track donations if you donate rather than sell! Most people who own a home (and therefore make mortgage interest payments) or who donate money to charity will itemize their taxes. This means that they can count part of the value of donations, of clothing or “stuff,” against their tax liability. We donated about 10 plastic grocery bags worth of old clothing last fall, and I calculated the actual tax savings from it (read: tax refund!) to be about $100.

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Melody July 18, 2011 at 6:16 am

Thanks Kim, I always forget to track my donations. I’m usually just throwing something into the Goodwill truck as an after thought and so happy to see it go. :)

I seriously don’t believe in nesting. I think it’s just women (and men) being smart and knowing that a time is coming soon when they just won’t have the time to clean and organize. I never did anything really off the wall during my “nesting” period though, so I guess I can’t say that for sure. :)

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Emilie McFarlane July 18, 2011 at 8:02 am

If you want to track donations, itsdeductible.com is the way to go. It is free and the IRS recognizes the values it suggests, which are crazy high. We deducted thousands last year.

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Emilie McFarlane July 18, 2011 at 8:03 am

Oh, I’ve never has that nesting urge either. About the time I get ready to give birth I curl up on the couch and start napping. I did blanche and freeze a bunch of greens while I was in labor with my third. Which is weird. Is that nesting?

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Kylie Ofiu July 18, 2011 at 7:02 am

I am doing this big time in my house. We just decided we want to switch our daughters rooms and everything, so will be getting rid of a lot in the process. I have 1 bag to donate to goodwill, plus have been selling things off. A lot should be going this weekend which I am happy about.
Our aim is to have our house decluttered and done by the end of the week.

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