100 Item Challenge – last update

If you are looking at these 4 items and trying to figure out what they are, here’s the explanation!

IMG_4557[1]

Our old motorhome had a short queen bed.  (Essentially a queen width but a full length.)  To add 6 inches to the length, I cut a foam sheet into 6 inch pieces and stacked them to be mattress height.  I then used an old sheet to cover them.  The 3 bundles measure lengthwise the width of a queen bed!  Genius right?

When we would make the bed for the night, we would pull the mattress out about 6 inches and place these at the head of the bed.  John now had an extra 6 inches so his feet now barely hang over the end.  Shorty Barb never has this problem.  Now to keep the mattress from sagging at the foot end, this piece of plywood would be pulled out about 6 inches to support the mattress.  Again, genius!

The new motorhome has a standard queen mattress. NO MORE MOVING THE MATTRESS!  There has to be a Godfather reference in this somehow but I can’t think of one!

 

Decluttering The Stuff Challenge

We are ready for a new decluttering challenge!

How about 100 items?  We should probably set a deadline – how does May 1st sound?  That would be 9 days with an average of 11 items per day.  I know some of you will do all 100 in one decluttering event and that’s ok.  I’m just feeling the need for some accountability on getting rid of some stuff!

Who’s ready to join me in a quick “GET THE STUFF GONE” challenge?  Remember that even 1 items is one less item cluttering the place!

2017 End of Year Update

I can’t believe another year has passed!

This is the time of year people reflect on their previous year and make plans/goals for the upcoming year.

So how did we do with last year’s goals?  Depends on how you look at it!

√-  Our decluttering goal was to rid the house of 2017 items.  We got rid of 1506 items.  That brings our total since we began counting in fall 2014 to 15,519!  Not quite our goal but better than nothing!
IMG_4356

More stuff gone in December (empty turbotax case and phone book we never use among the gems!)


GOAL REVIEW

√+  We wanted to have a No Spend Month.  Well we did it last February!  Surprisingly (or maybe not) we have been more aware of purchases than we were even before this experiment.   We are contemplating another one this month but with our first granddaughter due any day, I’m not willing to do no spending just yet.  We will have travel expenses to see her (I suppose we could eliminate this from the “rules” but then there will be meals out, etc to contend with.)

√-  Next, we wanted to thoroughly go through the garage.  Most of our big decluttering in January and July were due to decluttering the garage.  Not quite as much as we would like but it looks better than before Jan 2017.

X  The last big goal was to clear out enough of the garage to put a car in it and purchase a new garage door and opener.  Well, the car still parks every night in the driveway.  The big item that seems to be holding this up is the full-size Air Hockey Table.  We just need to suck it up and figure out a way to sell/give it away.  The facebook for sale and craigslist for our area has a lot of these and they aren’t moving even if the price is $0.  Not sure how we will deal with this – maybe we need to start having our air hockey championships again!  Granted, it was a lot fun when the kids and their friends were involved – just us, not sure.

On the personal goals:
√ √ 0 X  Barb is drinking more water!  She is “officially” a descendant of the Mayflower;  she didn’t gain any weight (and only lost about 5 pounds for the year); and the picture boxes are untouched.
√+ 0 X  John is tracking his blood sugar every day (like he was supposed to do all along!) and has found that alcohol affects it (he needed to see the results himself!)  He didn’t gain any weight (also only lost about 5 pounds for the year);  and we can’t park in the garage (see above).

While we both had some successes and some “failures”, we are quite happy with how our year turned out.  We are less stressed about STUFF and other things in general, eating healthy meals at home more often than before, and enjoying doing other things that we wouldn’t have before.  Guess we need to start writing about those things too!

So now off to think about the goals for 2018!

July(ish) Challenge – Day 17 the Last Day of this Challenge

We are at the end of our self-imposed challenge.  Our original goal was to average 18 items per day decluttered.

Today we removed:
an old inkjet printer      IMG_4216
4 torn bags found in the garage
a leg? to something found in the garage     IMG_4217
a wicker basket
another cell phone cover (again for a phone we no longer own)
2 books
2 small bags (one empty, one with thread)
1 screw in Barb’s jewelry box (not sure why it’s there)
1 complete box of slides of unknown people – Barb received this from her mom, when asked who they were “I don’t know.  That’s why I gave it to you.”
1 set of slides, again with unknown people.  IMG_4218

Today = 15 items

Challenge Total = 312 items

Average =  18.35 items per day!!  We meet our goal!!  Happy Decluttering Dance happening right now!!!

Thank you Jen at HiddenHoarder.com for the challenge idea!  You motivated us to declutter just about every day for 17 days!

July(ish) Challenge – Day 16

This morning Barb is “suffering” as she prepares for her colonoscopy this afternoon.  John picked up an old coffee can, wandered the garage (to get away from the sufferer), and picked up all the stray nuts, bolts, screws, nails, etc.

Not sure how many items, but it has to be at least 18!  John was not willing to count them.

IMG_4212

Today’s Total = 18 (ish) items

Challenge Total = 297 items

Daily Average = 18.56 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 15

So I walked into the garage to do a load of laundry and happened to look up to the top of the cabinets.  Why??  Who knows!  But I did find the home and supplies for the hermit crabs.

How long ago did we have Hermie and Crabby?  I’m assuming about 12-15 years ago.  Kiddo #1 was still living here and she graduated from high school in 2005.  She moved away to go to college and has “never returned” (is that sounding too dramatic for this mommy??)  I seriously doubt they were in our home her senior year – more likely earlier – hence the range.  Does anyone remember when having hermit crabs was the big thing??  Early 2000’s??

 

Today’s total = 10 items

Challenge total = 279 items

Daily Average = 18.6 items per day 

July(ish) Challenge – Day 14

So this morning we got up (not bright and early) to spend about an hour in the garage decluttering.  Here are the 29 items we removed from our home.  Now to load some into the car for a trip to the donation center.

3 plastic storage boxes.
1 wire closet organizer + 1 extra drawer
1 portable BBQ from John’s dad
1 gardening wire support
1 turkey fryer – used only once in 20 years
1 pair of crutches
1 child safety gate – ironically never used for our kids but to keep the dog away from the cat.
1 dried up rubbing compound
10 balls and 1 badminton birdie
1 pet watering bowl missing the water holding portion
6 miscellaneous trash things

Today’s total = 29 items

Challenge total = 269 items

Daily Average = 19.2 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 13

Actual items out of the house/premise today = 0

But we accomplished so much!

Barb spent the day organizing and purging her work portable hard drive.  Today she started with about 46 GB worth of files (this is when she decided to look about noon).  No idea how many actual files, probably over 30,000.  By the end of the day, there were 25.1 GB and 14,356 files.  Many of those were duplicates.

John spent the day fixing the sprinkler system.  About a month ago, kiddo #2 was home alone and heard a weird clunking noise in the bathroom.  When she walked around the house to investigate, there was water all over the patio.  John thought he fixed is a couple of weeks ago, but when he turned on the water, it obviously wasn’t.  We must have had a pressure surge because 3 pipes had cracked/burst at the same time.  Today was spent finding and fixing the other 2.

Total for the challenge = 240 items + a bunch of digital files!

Daily Average = 18.46 items per day.  We definitely need to remove some items tomorrow!

July(ish) Challenge – Day 12

We worked on another shelf that had all the large framed pictures from the walls and under the bed before the Great Flood of 2015.  It has been about 2 years since we “moved” back in after the flood and the pictures were still bubble wrapped on the garage shelf.  Can’t claim we work fast!

We decided to get rid of 5.  The others will be put up in the house.  We’ve gotten used to the bare walls.  Adding a few pictures will be ok.

The nursery picture!  So sad to see it leave but “Really? We still have this?”

Freezer Grandma made the wedding wreath needlepoint for us.  We haven’t had it up on the walls for about 30 years.  Another one of those “But Grandma made it for us.” discussions.

The Los Angeles girl and the Norman Rockwell were given to us by Barb’s mom.  She “collected” these in the 80’s and when they downsized, we got them.  They aren’t our style and really, who cares if someone I don’t know signed them.  The Rockwell picture is supposedly signed by the boy model.

The seaside is one of those you get when you in your first home together and “have to” have something on the wall that you both agree on.

 

Total today = 5 items

Challenge Total = 240 items

Daily Average = 20 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 9

WOW!  We’ve decluttered something every day for 9 straight days!  This morning yields 16 items.

Here’s a blast from the past that we can’t even look at and our 16 items, sadly all from Barb’s desk.

IMG_4196
When was the last time I used these?  Not in the last 21 years – that’s when I started teaching at the middle school.

IMG_4195
Challenge Total = 175 items

Daily Average = 19.44 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 8

After much debate for the last several years (and yesterday), the old chest freezer took a ride this morning in the newly reclaimed Xterra.  The local appliance company said if we drop it off they will take care of disposing of it.

We just don’t need it anymore.  With just the 2 of us, even 2 refrigerators seems excessive.  That debate will be ongoing – probably for several more years.

This freezer still works wonderfully.  We inherited it when Barb’s Grandma died in 1993 (24 years now!  Wow!)  Hence part of the reason for the debate.  How do you get rid of “useful” stuff you inherit.  Of all things, it’s a freezer.  We also got the miniature lemon tree she had on her patio forever.  It still produces a ton of lemons every year!  Whenever John makes lemonade using those lemons, we call it Grandma’s lemonade.  He freezes the lemon juice but we really don’t need a separate chest freezer for that.  Grandma lives in our hearts, not the freezer.  (That sounds weird now that I typed it!)

Grandma had this freezer for at least 10 years.  She moved back to California in 1981 and we think that is when she purchased it.  [Interesting side note, she moved to Iowa to care for her ailing father in 1972.  Barb can’t remember if she put it into storage when she left.  It could be even older than we think.]

Among the things in it were soup bones (since 2002- yikes!)  and some meat from a partial cow purchase in 2009.  We think those are no longer edible.

We also removed extra floor tiles.

Removed today = 26 items

Challenge total = 159 items

Daily Average = 19.875 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 7

John was motivated this morning to clear out some things from the garage!  When he got this pile ready to move out, we considered it a day for the challenge.  Anything else he removes (now that the post is finished) will count for tomorrow.

13 carpet scraps, 1 old wooden school desk, 1 garment rack (again something not used since the girls stopped dancing about 15 years ago), 1 bar for the garment boxes when we “moved” out during the great flood of 2015.

Total today = 16 items

Challenge total = 133 items!

Daily Average = 19 items per day!  We are still ahead of our goal of 18 items per day!!  We are doing a decluttering dance today!

July(ish) Challenge – Day 6

We are still finding stuff to declutter – and to think we thought we were done!

19 items gone this morning!

Barb’s desk yields 2 magazines, 2 cellphone covers (for a phone we don’t even have!), an appointment card, and a duplicate check thingy from 2013.

John’s desk yields 2 magazines, 1 not working pen.

The linen closet yields 3 pillowcases, 3 flat sheets and 2 fitted sheets.

and a pair of winter boots and a butane powered curling iron from when the girls competed for dance (about 15 years ago!)

 

Total for challenge =  117 items gone!

Average = 19.5 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 4

20 more items gone!   Thank you Jen for the random number challenge! You would think that after removing over 15,000 items so far we wouldn’t have anything left.  We find it encouraging to go back to a place we thought was “done” only to find more that can be removed.  Today it took about 10 minutes to find, photograph, and post.

Today, we opened a drawer in our bathroom.

6 makeup brushes, 3 mercury thermometers, thermometer covers, 3 lip balms, 2 nail clippers, 1 nail brush, 1 contact case, 1 glasses cleaning cloth, 1 lipstick, 1 cracked drawer organizer.

IMG_4145

 

Total items gone because of this challenge = 80

Daily average = 20 items per day.