Decluttering the Pants

Kiddo #2 and I have been decluttering the excess weight from our bodies. We’ve decluttered 97 pounds in the last 11 months! Hooray for us!

Since COVID lockdown 238 days ago (I know, can you believe it?!?), I’ve worn yoga pants every day. They are definitely getting baggy but who is seeing me? When I teach, the students can’t see my bottoms. We recently ventured out to visit my sister-in-law and I actually put on a pair of jeans. They were too big! That was the inspiration for going through my pants. Since I was going through mine, kiddo #2 decided to do the same.

We decluttered 18 pairs of pants, 1 pair of shorts, and 4 shirts.

Whenever we have to teach from school again, I’ll need to place an overnight delivery of pants! Right now it looks like we will be distance teaching for the remainder of the school year with the current rates of COVID.

23 more items gone from the house!!

Days 103-106 of Isolation

Decluttering!

First, I attempted to take some boxes for donation. I called ahead and they confirmed they were accepting donations. Got there and was told “we aren’t taking donations today.” WHAT THE HECK! I just called. So the stuff from work is sitting in the back of John’s car. This was our second attempt to donate this stuff!

Maybe next week it can finally get donated!

2 boxes out of the house at least!

Second, I decided to declutter/organize my genealogy boxes. This picture shows the end result. I started with 2 boxes this size and reduced to one box. I confirmed every bit of information on every piece of paper I decluttered was also found in my Ancestry tree. I also made a spreadsheet for the birth, marriage, and death certificates I have. Needless to say, this led to rabbit hole “excitement” for me.

124 “items” gone!

Third, John replaced the storage cabinet in the garage with a shelving unit. He also purchased plastic bins to put stuff into. I used the label maker to put on the bins. Not many items decluttered but it sure does look better! The old cabinet doors couldn’t close anymore.

13 items gone!

139 items out of the house!!  Feeling accomplished!

Day 99 of Isolation – decluttering the bathroom

Kiddo #2 came out to trade cars again. She ended up coordinating and delivering over 5800 diapers to local shelters! WAY TO GO!!

She will be finishing her residency program next week and temporarily moving back in with us August 1st. Job searching during a pandemic has been challenging to say the least. She can save the money in her savings account for the move when she gets a full-time job. She has arranged for per diem work at a local clinic to hold her over until she takes her board exams in October.

Because of this, she wanted me to declutter “her” bathroom. Our Saturday afternoon fun was just that!

78 items were removed from the bathroom! Productive day!

34 items to a local women’s shelter! 

We consolidated the bandages.  There was an empty blood pressure device box.  Where’s the device?  Who knows.  The stethoscope is gone – kiddo #2 called it crap and said we don’t need one.  She also laughed at the diameter of the 80’s curling irons.

Tomorrow is her closet – imagine, she wants some of the stuff that we’ve been storing in her room since she moved away to college 13 years ago to go elsewhere! I’m hoping most of the stuff will be hers!

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.

January Challenge Update #4

So this month’s challenge was . . . challenging!  Not only keeping track of the number of items each day, but documenting with pictures was more effort than we thought.  We had the counting down – both of us counting “trash” and “recycling” stuff as we worked, donation stuff in a box to be tallied when the tax list was prepared.  Easy system for us!

Then we added the number of items to equal the date challenge.   This aspect was strange for us.  We were used to just working until we felt finished for the day.  Trying to maintain the daily removal, especially as the month’s end was looming, was more difficult than we ever expected.  Stopping at a specific number each day took more restraint than we are used to!  

The positive is how easy decluttering the stuff can be if you take it one day at a time – each day has a specific goal whether it is a number, location, type of items, etc.  Just set a goal!

Barb had “fun” playing with a new app to make a collage of the pictures – each day being put into a single collage.  It was more effort than she is willing to continue!  Our numbers updates may occasionally include pictures in the future but we are done with the pics of everything leaving the house and which items should “count”.

January did see 601 items leave the house.  It also saw the addition of a new high efficiency washing machine – more on that soon.

 

days 24-27 for blogPhototasticCollage-2016-01-31-16-59-58

 

days 28-31 for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-31-17-02-03

 

 

January Challenge update #3

So here we are – January 23!  We have been decluttering fools!  We find it hard to believe we are still finding stuff to declutter.

Grand total so far in 2016 – 563 items!

Here are the pictures for the items decluttered for the Decluttering Challenge to remove the number of items corresponding to the date.

The tile for day 16 doesn’t exist in the house any longer – why keep it??  We are also finally to the point we can clear out the excess from the garage after the Great Flood of 2015.  Boxes that weren’t picked up by others are being cut to be recycled.

for blog 16-19 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-23-17-46-48
days 16 and 18: Misc from garage.  Try not to judge!  We should do a before/after pic!  day 17: stuff from around the house.  day 19:  John cleaned his desktop!

 

for blog days 20-23 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-23-17-53-27
day 20: Liqueur John made in 1989!  days 21 and 22: flatware mostly from the RV.  How many people were we thinking would stay in RV with us???  day 23: 23 cd’s from kiddo #2 bedroom.

January Challenge Update #2

One January challenge is to rid our home/garage of items each day equal to the date.  So far we have kept it up!  Barb loves the Phototastic Collage App for Windows 10!  Can you guess Barb’s favorite color??

Total Items removed so far:  419 of our goal – 2016 items in 2016!

for blog 8-11 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-16-20-14-25
Day 8:  old washcloth, backpack and the trash found in it   Day 9: Curtains and polygrip for the crown that fell off   Day 10:  4 hangers, boot box, 5 burned cd’s    Day 11:  6 tights, 4 watch batteries, sunglass case

for blog 12 - 15 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-16-20-15-42
Day 12:  2 purses, 2 directions on using fondant, 2 craft kits, 6 unworn undies   Day 13:  13 whiteboard markers taken back to work   Day 14: 14 random things from the desk   Day 15: 15 undies worn only once and not liked

Decluttering Challenges for 2016

We are participating in 2 different challenges this year:

  1. Remove 2016 items during 2016
  2. For January, remove the number of items which corresponds to the date (e.g. Jan 14 will be 14 items) found at Embracing Homemaking

We are pretty confident we can reach 2016 items.  We are organizing and documenting the decluttered items for the January challenge set up at Embracing Homemaking.  Documenting the items is already “a challenge” and it is only day 7!  Here is some of the stuff we have decluttered.

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Day 1: Keep in mind kiddo #1 has her PhD and kiddo #2 is in 3rd year of medical school.  Day 2: Bags from when they both were in high school, one with tag 😦  Day 3: leggings.  Day 4: Jeans, hard to see pair 4 at bottom of pic.

 

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Day 5: Camisole type shirts.  Day 6: Fabric, pattern, etc and receipt dated 2008 for a dress never made.  Day 7: Uncomfortable bras.