Visitors and No Stress!

I had several coworkers over this morning to prep for the new school year.  It is the first time we have done this and I VOLUNTEERED to have everyone meet at our house.

Just so everyone knows – over the last 3 years we have decluttered about 20,000 items from our house (some were from the garage as well.)  We rarely had people over before we began decluttering because the chore of “cleaning” for company was overwhelming to us.   With so much stuff gone, cleaning is so much easier – I still hate to do it but at least it can get done.

All I had to do to prepare for this was purchase a few snacks and beverages.  I also vacuumed and made the bed (the bed fairy was me this morning!!)  Everything else has been so easy to maintain that I really didn’t need to do anything extra to prep the house for visitors.

One person commented “I thought you said you had a small house.”  I replied that our house is about 1300 square feet (about 120 square meters).  [We have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, kitchen/dining/family room.  She replied with “Oh, it seems so much larger than that.”  Is it because of the decluttering?  I’m going with YES!!

Feeling like decluttering the stuff has been worth it!!

October 2017 update

It seems like yesterday I was writing about decluttering our keychains and then looked at the date – 4 weeks ago!

On the decluttering front, we removed 12 items from the house in October.

Grand total so far this year: 1429 items

This doesn’t seem like much but when you consider that we have now removed over 15,000 items from our lives.  We have both spent too many hours to document cleaning out emails and digital files (which we didn’t count).

Can we stop decluttering?  Of course not!  But I think our focus/outlook on what is essential has gradually changed over the last 2 years.  I think it will still be important to occasionally go through those same closets and drawers again.

Image result for clutter meme
source:  http://www.relatably.com/m/img/cluttered-memes/meme.jpg

 

 

Working on the garage

We are spending this afternoon working on the garage.  So far we have eliminated 53 items.  Barb was kicked out of the garage since she wasn’t helping much with her shoulder injury and was annoying John as he started on a new section.

4 license plates – not sure how to dispose of these.  Recycle bin??

1 old first aid kit

1 piece of wood

47 books

It’s not about the “Number”

It’s really not about the final number, but about how we feel after reaching a particular number or looking around our home.

The average home (2014) has about 300,000 items (LA Times article link here).  Since our house is 1300 sq ft, we probably average about 230 items per square foot.  How scary is that?!?!  This is just for a “typical” house.  What about those of us who really need to declutter??

Decluttering isn’t about the number of items leaving the house.  But counting allows us to have a concrete goal.  Vague goals prevent follow through.  Decluttering is something we need to ensure we stay on top of.  Counting the items leaving our home has definitely kept us on track.  When we first started decluttering, we didn’t count and it was hard to see the progress.  Knowing a certain number of items left was encouraging when the progress was less obvious.  Even today, counting reminds us that stuff (really us) has a habit of becoming clutter.

Since we began seriously decluttering in the fall of 2014, we have removed 14,013 items from our home.  How does it make us feel??

  • We have more time for other activities now that we aren’t moving the stuff all around to get to other stuff.
  • We have a sense of accomplishment when we reach our number goal.
  • We are more relaxed in our own home.
  • Household chores take less time!  We joked the other day that the house is decluttered enough to get a housekeeper (but we aren’t – we can manage it now ourselves!)
  • We don’t worry about someone dropping by on the “wrong” day.
  • We feel more welcoming!
  • We have a sense of contentment.

How about you?  What have you noticed?

Decluttering Update -November 2016

I can’t believe another month has passed!  We have been crazy busy!  We won’t bore you with those work related details.

Kiddo #2 is home for several weeks (sort of).  She is interviewing for residency programs and many of her interviews are closer to our house than to her apartment.   She decided to use us as her home base.  She is here a few days, gone a few, back here a few, etc for about 6 weeks.  It’s nice to have her popping in!  It’s also nice that she was able to go through some more of her boxes!

Thanksgiving was wonderful!  We hosted it this year.  A few items had to be purchased but several more left as we cleared space for the new things.  Tablecloths, napkins, etc.

Our decluttering total for November is 424 items (most of these from kiddo #2)  We figure these count since they NEVER left our house when she moved out 5 years ago.

Our total so far this year is . . . 1758 items left our house!!  258 more items to reach our goal of 2016 items in 2016!!

We are about to start decorating for the holiday season.  Maybe the 258 items will come from this!

 

June and July Update

June and July flew by!  In preparing for our trip, traveling, and getting things put away upon our return, we decluttered 38 items in these 2 months.  It doesn’t seem like much, but having decluttered so much last year, things are starting to slow down in decluttering the inside of house.  Now we really need to focus more energy on the garage.  Boy, we can’t wait!  (do you sense the sarcasm there?!?)

Yearly total:  1138 items removed!

Our daughter gave us a new suitcase set (to “pay” us for providing her cell phone) and we removed 3 suitcases.  We counted this as only 1 item removed since they were replacements.

Sure hope we can reach our goal of 2016 items removed!!

 

RV decluttering too! update 1

How many of you keep old car registration papers in the glove box for years??  If you do, you are not alone!  One driving day, the glove box was tackled!  5 years worth of registration and insurance papers (not including the current ones sitting at home on the desk). Sure hope we don’t need them!

On another evening, we looked through the tow car glove box. Not as bad – only one extra!

And then there are these 6 plastic baskets we found in the cupboard. WHY did we buy them??  We’ve never used them in the 10 years we’ve had this RV.