Day 84 of Isolation

Today represents the completion of our 12th full week of self-isolation due to “Safer/Stay at Home” orders. My, how time flies (is there a sarcasm font out there?)


Kiddo #2 “graduated” from her Pediatrics residency program tonight. She doesn’t actually finish until June 30th. Usually they have a big celebratory dinner and invite the families. Instead, they did a small virtual ceremony earlier than usual. We are so proud of her!

2 more steps are required – pass the Pediatrics board exam and find a job. Many places are under hiring freezes, even for doctors. Since the kids aren’t in school, they (and their families) aren’t getting sick! Add to that the people losing their health insurance due to layoffs and you have plenty of uncertainty. It seems weird to think we are in the middle of a PANDEMIC and some medical professions are not “needed” at this time.


On the home front, John played with the sprinklers (again and still!). Things are looking so much better. Can’t wait to post a picture of the grass actually growing!

I moved to the middle drawer to declutter it. Here’s the stuff that was decluttered and the before and after pic. We have no idea where the rest of the Cuisinart mini is. Maybe decluttered earlier? Most of the paper pile was recipes torn from magazines and newspapers along with a BUNCH of recipe empty recipe cards.

old work stuff needs to go

As a teacher, we hoard all kinds of teaching supplies.  Last weekend I went through a cabinet in the hallway that housed OLD teacher editions of textbooks (copyright 1993) and associated supplemental materials.  We are in the early stages of adopting a new textbook and these are at least 3 adoptions ago!  I couldn’t tell you the last time I looked at them.

The text bank book even mentions that IF you have a computer to contact them and they will send you a disk with the text questions.  I’m assuming it is a 3.5 floppy!

So here are the pictures of all the supplemental materials I got rid of.  The actual teacher editions I took back to school just in case anyone wants one. (doubtful, but you never know)

Why do we keep things like this??  Any other middle school science teachers have these still?

decluttering the medicine shelf

So after yesterday’s spice cabinet shelf decluttering, I was inspired to tackle the medicine shelf.

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after the decluttering

 

9 containers were removed or consolidated.  The large extra strength “Tylenol” was used to refill the smaller container here, in my purse, and in the car.

The fish oil was almost empty (4 left) in the opened container so it was consolidated with the new one.

The old prescriptions were for pain meds we barely used.  Discarded the meds (not down the drain!) by mixing them in a ziploc bag with leftover bacon grease from breakfast.  I sure wouldn’t want to sift through that!

And I thought we were done decluttering!  8 more items decluttered!

the darn spice cabinet

I’m not even sure why I opened the spice cabinet this morning.  It still hasn’t come back to me.  But when I opened the cabinet, there were 4 new bottles of spices lined up across the opening.  John went shopping!

But then I inspected them more closely.  All 4 bottles were for spices we already had plenty of!

First thought – “OMG How much did that cost?”

Next thought – “This cupboard is a disaster!”

Imagine the “heated” discussion we had about the purchase of spices!  After decluttering the cupboard, we have a lifetime supply of ground cumin, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, Old Bay, ground ginger, poultry seasoning, and whole allspice.  All are duplicates of full bottles.

So in all, I decluttered 6 bottles of consolidated spices and old stuff (Fruit Fresh anyone?  And how about an old Mrs. Dash?)

I was able to consolidate the Old Bay and garlic powder.  Both had a large container and a small container.  (Note:  Our Old Bay large container (6 oz) is nothing compared to that found in the cupboard of a Marylander!)

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Sorry not before and after pics of the cupboard but here’s the bag of duplicates.  They are going into the pantry with the new understanding that John is not allowed to purchase spices without “prior approval” (or at least making a concerted effort to confirm a duplicate doesn’t exist.)

 

Decluttered in 2019 Update

Can you believe 2019 is over???  We did continue our decluttering journey this year.  Every so often you open a drawer or closet and realize it’s looking “full” and messy.  In straightening things out, some stuff just has to leave!  Here are a few things that we shoved under the bed, in the dresser “junk” jar, the bathroom cabinet, and kitchen drawer.  It sure would be nice to get rid of the “junk” jar – or rename it!

New Phototastic Collage

This year we removed at least 884 items.  Why did I say at least?  We were not as dedicated to the counting aspect this year.  We began the year by saying we weren’t going to count and then felt an overwhelming need to count.  Go figure!

Here is a surprising set of numbers:  Since we began counting in 2014, we have counted and removed 16,951 items from the house!  Since the average house has about 300,000 items, we figure we can work on 2020 items in 2020.

Decluttering Update March 2019

I can’t believe another month has passed!  We’ve been taking little trips and really need to write about those.  This has got to be the best part of a decluttered home!

Cleaning hardly takes any time.  Laundry is now put away when it comes out of the dryer.  (I am guilty of leaving it in the dryer longer than I should!)  This almost seems like it should be a separate post!

On the decluttering front, we removed 28 items in March.  Our 2019 total is now 392 items!!

Some of the stuff removed:  holey shorts, holey tshirt, DVD player, receipts, loofah, calgon (really, when was the last time I took a bath?), empty lotion, candy found under the bed, empty box found under the bed, empty docking station box (from John’s work, why under our bed??),  book (yes, I know I already took a picture of it but it came back!  Why do people return things when you say they don’t have to??), tea strainer, weird spork.

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Declutter the Filing Cabinet

Here’s a friendly reminder to declutter your filing cabinet!

So I had a few “minutes” to spare today.  Why not declutter something, since I need to catch up to Melinda @ PurpleSlobInRecovery.com

I went to the filing cabinet and decided to tackle a small section of work-related papers.  I pulled out this pile of stuff I hope I never need again!  (Sure hope I don’t change grade levels before I retire!)

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There are 165 double-sided pieces of paper and an unknown number of single-sided.  I think it is probably close to 300 because the single-sided pile is about twice the size of the double-sided stack after sorting.  The double-sided are going into the recycle bin.  The single-sided are going into the scratch paper reuse pile.

165 items gone from our house!!

Decluttering mentality is following me to work!

Last week I walked into the copy “room” – it’s really more of a closet – only to find a bunch of stuff all over the place and I was unable to make it to the copy machine.  I moved a few items, made my copies, and then went over to the office to find the principal or assistant principal to vent to.

AP came over to look and said “oh my”.  That was it!  Not a “I’ll get someone to clean” or anything similar.

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On Wednesday I met with Principal and AP (along with the 3 other union representatives for our school – yep, I’m a union rep!) and mentioned the copy room issue again.  Safety was my primary concern.  Having to step over the stuff can’t possibly be safe!  AP said she would have it taken care of.

Today, Monday, I walked in again only to find someone left a bag of bottles for recycling right in front of the copy machine!

I spent about 1/2 hour straightening things up – some boxes were moved to the shelves, some needed to be restacked, empty crushed boxes removed from the room, bag of bottles moved out, chairs stacked.  The leaning tower of boxes was because some brilliant person stacked other boxes on top of empty boxes!  OH MY!

Now I can get to the copy machine!  Feeling accomplished!  I’ll let someone else conquer around the corner.

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Now the big question – how long before someone adds more stuff??

October Decluttering Update

On the decluttering front, we removed 6 items from the house.   It seems silly to report this BUT we are finally accepting the idea that we are at a decluttering end point and will not count decluttered stuff next year.

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Here are a few ways we’ve decreased the inflow of stuff:

  • We filter/trash the minimal amount of mail the moment we remove it from the mail box.  No more mail piling up to declutter later!
  • We have transitioned to digital statements for most accounts.
  • We are not saving the digital statements on the computer hard drive since most companies allow you to review at least a year’s worth online.  And really, when was the last time you looked at that statement from 9 months ago?
  • We no longer get magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • Barb uses the library instead of purchasing books
  • We have gradually been spending less money on random stuff, really thinking about purchases before we make them.
  • We have quit accepting “free” stuff.
  • I decluttered the Halloween gifts (coffee mugs and decorations) from students by placing them in the staff lounge instead of bringing them home.  Someone else is getting “joy” out of those items!  All the things were gone by the next morning!  WIN WIN

 

June 2018 Update

Not much decluttered since we spent most of the month away from home.

9 items decluttered this month.  Here’s a pic of expired coupons.

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309 items so far in 2018 – we are getting to the point where we think we are “done” decluttering the big stuff (aka drawers, closets, counters, etc.)

Guess it’s time to go through those “memory’ boxes of pictures, old drawings the girls did, and all that kind of stuff when we get home and before school starts again.

Next post will be the continuation of our vacation!  There was some “excitement” while in Wyoming!

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!
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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!

Decluttering the Bathroom – Again!

I finally finished the book I’ve been working on for about 5 months documenting one of John’s family lines from the 1740’s to present.  123 pages later!  I was really wanting to finish before Christmas to present a hardbound copy to mom-in-law and I submitted it to the book binding place a couple of days ago.  Hope it arrives before the holiday.

Now that that project is finished, while doing a much needed cleaning around the house, I decided to do a quick decluttering of the bathrooms again.  12 more items gone!  Now I should go finish cleaning the bathrooms!

What a great feeling of accomplishment on so many fronts!

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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.

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source:  http://www.relatably.com/m/img/cluttered-memes/meme.jpg

 

 

Declutter your keychain

We had a key break in the back door lock recently.  John did the lock replacement today and while we were dealing with a new key, decided to determine if all the keys on our keychains still work the door locks.  Guess what?  They don’t!!

I can only imagine that since we replaced doors and locks over 2 years ago after The Great Flood of 2015, these are old keys to the old locks.  Why didn’t we declutter them sooner?

How many unnecessary keys are you carrying around??

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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.

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Today’s Total = 18 (ish) items

Challenge Total = 297 items

Daily Average = 18.56 items per day

July 2017 Update

It seems had to believe this month is over already!

The end of July means the both of us have to return to work (sigh), John on the 3rd and Barb on the 4th.

We decluttered 560 items on this forced staycation.  Our 17 day July(ish) Challenge was successful!  We have 2 more days but I think we will make it!

We have decluttered 1298 items so far this year!

We calculate we need to average 54 items per week to meet our goal of 2017 items in 2017.  Is it possible?  YES!  Will we make it? Sure hope so!

Now that we are going back to work, we look forward to using the Instant Pot.

Beans have been mastered!  Artichokes were attempted.  The crock pot feature works wonderfully!  Happy meal prep is ahead!!

 

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 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 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.

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Total items gone because of this challenge = 80

Daily average = 20 items per day.

July(ish) Challenge – day 2

23 more items leave!!

How many ace bandages does a household of 2 middle-aged people really need??

Expired hydrogen peroxide (2011 and 2013)  Guess we don’t use as much as we thought.

Random makeup, brushes, and “special bandages” from the extra bathroom – guess the girls don’t need it any more!

“Directions” for a reading light that’s not in our house.

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Total for this challenge:  41 items

Average: 20.5 items per day

July(ish) Challenge – Day 1, 18 items

Jen at HiddenHoarder.com has inspired us to work toward a certain number of items each day.  We are on vacation for 3 more weeks and have decided to try to get an average of 18 items per day (since that is Jen’s goal).  That would be 306 items gone by Aug. 2.  [John goes back to work on the 3rd and Barb on the 4th.]

Today = 18 items!

expired food from the pantry, appliance booklets, medicine spoon, wooden grinder thingy, and a partial bottle of Slo-Niacin the doctor said not to take any longer.

 

Take Pictures of Your Stuff

Here is an interesting article supporting the idea scientifically that people are more willing to donate items if they first take pictures of the stuff.  This allows one to keep the memory “alive” while decluttering the stuff.

Declutter Your Life With This Great Science-Backed System

Who knew that documenting donations for tax purposes (in case of audit) and for a blog actually encourages donating and decluttering?!?

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

Things are just easier now.

Having been sick since April 13th, I haven’t done much/any housekeeping.  Sure the dishes were put in the dishwasher; laundry was done when we ran out of undies; and the sheets were washed multiple times because when you have a fever, you sweat like crazy.

Know what else??  The house is still tidy!  Sure, the carpet needs vacuuming and furniture could use dusting.  BUT the house generally looks fine.  The “old” house would have had stuff piling up everywhere.  This is the first time I’ve been sick since we removed 14,680 items from the house (since we began counting).  With less clutter, even being out of commission for 4 weeks, everything looks fine.

Other household chores like going through the mail is easier.  We have gone electronic for most things.  We now get very little physical mail and it is very easy to go through standing at the recycle box.  We also stopped all magazine subscriptions and newspaper delivery.  Today the only mail was a Mother’s Day card from kiddo #1.

Paying bills has been simplified – I have a list in the bill/paper box so I know what needs to be paid and the due dates.  I’m still hesitant to do automatic payment.  We have streamlined so much of this that it takes about an hour to get everything done.  It used to take all day – literally – to get every check written, address envelopes, put all the info into the budget book.  The other thing that weirdly helps is getting paid just once a month.  I get paid the last work day of the month, John gets paid the first work day of the month.  Bills get paid and we know exactly how much we have left for the month.

I’m so thankful we started thinking about simplifying our lives a few years ago and that decluttering and minimalism are aspects that are working for us.

 

March Update

March saw us very busy on the weekends – so much so that we only decluttered 16 items this month.

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Long weekend #1
On a positive – we took a 4 day trip to the opposite coast to visit our kiddo.  One thing we realized is that we are getting too old to take the red-eye flights!  Work all day, drive to the airport, fly across the country to have breakfast with the kiddo wore us down!  Thursday was a great day though.  We visited Arlington National Cemetery – I know, of all the things to do in DC, we visit the cemetery.  It is one of our favorite things!  The Cherry Blossom Festival was non-existent due to the weather destroying the blossoms.

Friday we attended our daughter’s medical school “Match Day” ceremony.  She will be coming back to California for residency!!!  You can imagine how excited we are – she “left” us in 2007 to go to college on the east coast and basically hasn’t been back to live.  We are so proud of her!

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Her Shirt!!

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating!!  We flew home Sunday to go to work Monday morning.

Long Weekend #2
Our second “excursion” this month was the the National Science Teacher Association conference in Los Angeles.  This was a Thursday through Sunday event as well.  2 long weekends away from home in one month.  We both got a few great ideas we can implement in our classrooms.  Always worth it!  We are both so tired and ready for a weekend at home, maybe decluttering the garage!

 

 

February Super Lean Month and Decluttering Update

February is our SUPER LEAN SPENDING MONTH.  We are changing the name from the more common Spend Nothing Month.  We know we will spend money on something!

So today is our first day since Barb got paid (on the last work day of the month) and John gets his check tomorrow (the first work day of the month).   We both get paid once a month.  It is actually easier once you get used to it – it could also be that we’ve been once a month for about 25 years.  You pay all the bills up front – no saving a certain amount for the mortgage, etc.  Then you know exactly how much you have to spend for the next 30ish days.  We are doing this for February since it only has 28 days this year – yes, we like to play mind games with ourselves!

Today (Jan 31, 2017) we spent $70.53  I know it doesn’t look like we are off to a great start in minimal spending.  This purchase included dryer sheets, dishwasher detergent, and ziploc bags for the freezer.  I know, plastic bags are bad.  We just find it so much easier to divide the stuff we need to freeze into the bags for later use.  We also purchased eggs, applesause (I make our own during time off, while we are working it gets bought!), yogurt, almond milk, beets, and a pork loin.  This should cover at least 2 dinners and several breakfasts.  We’ll see!  We are also planning to use up as much as possible from the pantry and freezer.  Food will still need to be purchased – we don’t have much extra stored anymore.

Decluttering update:  625 items left our house and garage in January!!  We have over 1/4 of our 2017 gone already!   It’s hard to not be excited!  Kiddo #2 removed 71 stuffed animals and the rest was from our disaster in the garage.  Hard to believe we have so many items that can still leave the house.

Let us know if you decide to try a Super Lean Month as well!  We know Life As I Interpret It will be joining us.  She also did a “sample” month for January.

 

Stuffed Animals

I know we love them but they take up so much room!  Each one has a special memory.  These are just as hard as other “important treasures”.

Kiddo #2 was home for the last 9 days.  While here, she went through 3 boxes of stuffed animals.  She sorted and debated for a couple of hours.  The pile was narrowed down and she is keeping 1 box – mostly Beanie Babies!  She just couldn’t bring herself to get rid of them!

Total number of stuffed animals going to a new home = 71

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Garage Rafters – oh my!

Today, having nothing better to do on our last few days of vacation, we decided to put away all the Christmas decorations.  They go into the garage rafters.  While we had the ladder out, we pulled down every other box up there.  We decluttered 3 of the 7 boxes and a few other things!  Productive day in the garage!

Box 1:  Memorabilia – this was a hard one to do.  It took the afternoon to completely go through and do the shredding of stuff with our name/address.

Barb’s report cards K-12, 7 deflated balloons, 45 greeting cards, 3 postcards,  1 scrapbook, 3 books for places we visited, and a lot of comics and receipts for places we went while dating!


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Box 2: Empty Boxes!

Kiddo #2 got this RC car while in elementary school.  She is about to graduate medical school in a few months!  The car is gone – now its box is too!

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Box 3: Old Camping Stuff

1 BBQ grate, 4 plates, 4 mugs, 1 thermos, 1 first aid box, plastic and stainless silverware, 4 bottles, 1 box of dog flea collars, and 1 package of toilet seat covers (some of us have issues sitting on public toilets without them!)

 

Other Stuff:

1 reptile cage (the chameleon died about 15 years ago), 2 fishbowls, 1 Therm-a-jug, 1 under-carriage piece for the car, and 1 candle-lit school house.

 

More Stuff Decluttered and we’re counting it too!

So far this year:

  • 10 more magazines!!
  • 1 magazine holders
  • 3 DVD’s  – duplicates, go figure!
  • 2 packages of beef jerky seasoning (sorry, no picture)
  • 1 weight watchers booklet from 1991
  • 1 cracked plastic ruler
  • 39 rubber stamps
  • 9 packages of modeling clay
  • 1 rotten candy apple found in the work bag (no picture – no one needs to see this!)

 

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10 more magazines!!

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another magazine holder

 

 

 

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The thermals and magazine holder are included in this picture for donation purposes. They were actually decluttered in 2016.  Try not to judge on our choice of movies hahaha

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When was the last time anyone in our house stamped??  YEARS AGO!!

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Kiddo #2 knows she used this in 7th grade 15 years ago!!  It’s still pliable!

 

 

 

 

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?

December 2016 Update

We woke this morning needing to remove 39 items from our home to reach our goal of 2016 items gone in 2016.  So what did we do??  We decided to go through the magazine holders that have been stacked in the kitchen and removed 37 magazines, 1 magazine holder, and 1 pair of thermal undies – I know the undies seem odd in the dead of winter.  They have been in the drawer for years and not worn.

Can you tell we subscribed to this magazine for years?  Some were from 2007!   John and kiddo #2 have Celiac Disease, diagnosis was in 2003.  It was a challenge at the beginning with limited resources available so we subscribed to many magazines over the years.  We went through these looking for any special recipes that we just had to keep.  15 recipes made the cut.  Most can probably be found online now.  The amount of information on the web is mind-boggling!

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With the removal of these magazines, WE REACHED OUR GOAL OF 2016 IN 2016!!

Here is a breakdown of the numbers for the year:

  • January = 603 items
  • February = 121 items
  • March = 100 items
  • April = 172 items
  • May = 103 items
  • June and July = 39 items
  • August = 19 items
  • September = 147 items
  • October = 30 items
  • November = 424 items
  • December 258 items

Our beautiful chart!

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More Free Time!

We are like everyone else – change happens whether you want it or not.  Some changes, while unexpected, have positive outcomes.  Others, while strived for, have negative outcomes.  Most of us have negative feelings about change.  When we started decluttering the stuff, we really didn’t expect to see any changes in our lives.

We’ve had some changes in our lives directly and indirectly related to decluttering the stuff.

One change/event that really changed our outlook was having the house flood.  We were already decluttering and really on a roll when that happened in May 2015.  It forced us to go through our belongings much sooner than we would have otherwise.  We lived in a 565 sq ft hotel room for 3.5 months.  This gave us a look at what really is needed on a daily basis.  Did we rid our lives of everything?  No, but it gave decluttering a new look.

Another change/event was the passing of John’s Dad.  It occurred at the time we were living in the hotel.  It was nice having no household responsibilities for the 2 really crazy weeks and the 2 months after.  Death seems to reinforce how important family is – what you do with this new realization varies from person to person.

Relating to family, our eldest daughter got married 10 days after Grandpa passed.  Grandma was adamant that things proceed as planned.  Grandpa would have wanted that.  We gained a son-on-law who is awesome!  He brings out the best in our baby!  They then moved 300+ miles away for jobs.  It has been hard having her so far away.  We were used to quick trips for a meal.  For the previous 10 years, she was only about an hour away (assuming there was no traffic!)  This change makes our visits with her all the more special.

The above family changes resulted in our youngest daughter wanting to move back to the area.   She is currently interviewing for her first job – Doctor!!  Medical residency programs require day-long interviews and she has “moved” in (temporarily) to interview in the area.  It has been a blessing having her around for the last 6 weeks.  She is typically traveling during the week and here on the weekends.   It will be a sad day when she leaves to go back to her home 3,000 miles away.  Hopefully she gets the job placement she wants, regardless of its location.

The decluttering has made so many other aspects of our lives easier.  We no longer have to wear protective gear when we open cabinets or closet.  Things don’t fall!  Everything has a place so putting things away has been easier.  There is less stuff around the house so Saturday cleanings (which used to take all day/weekend) now take about an hour (excluding the laundry time).

We put in a high volume exhaust fan in the master bathroom, splurging on the humidity sensing switch, and now the monthly mold removal process is eliminated!  Since so much of the drywall had to be removed because of the flood, we replaced all the old drywall.  We used mold resistant paint too.  The shower stall, which was replaced, now completely dries!  Towels dry!  They can be used more than once!  Life is good!

We have recently examined how often we could wear clothing between washes.  We both agreed that shirts can rarely make it to day 2 but our pants can go more than one day.  This has decreased the amount of laundry we are doing.

This extra time gives us both time to do other stuff – like remove the weeds hahaha  But seriously, because of the water restrictions, yard maintenance has decreased.  The lawn doesn’t need to be mowed every week.  The back yard lawn is gone – primarily because of watering restrictions.  Less time spent doing these things opens up time for other stuff!

I guess the biggest change in the amount of free time we have.  We don’t worry about doing something on the weekend since the “chores” take so much less time.  They can even be done during the week!

What changes have you noticed since you began decluttering the stuff??  Have you noticed you have more free time for the stuff you want to do??

 

It Brings Him Joy!

We were decluttering some of the Christmas stuff yesterday.  Barb decluttered these Santa salt and pepper shakers.  When John saw them in the donation box, he made a sad face and exclaimed “These bring me joy!  They stay!”

After he said this, we all had a good laugh – he does occasionally listen to Barb!  Kiddo #2 had a friend say a similar thing to her recently.  Guess it’s the season for Joy!!

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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!

 

October 2016 monthly update

This month has been a busy one for us, but not in the decluttering department!

We decluttered 30 items this month and our yearly total is now 1334.

To reach our goal of 2016 items in 2016 we need to remove 682 items in 2 months!  That amounts to an average of 11 items per day.  WE CAN DO THAT (I think).

Guess we really need to work on the garage.  The weather is finally cooling off so we can’t use that as an excuse.

Just when you think you are done . . .

Just when you think you are done decluttering, you open the entry closet and see a box on the shelf.

It had a pair of drumsticks, ink pad refill ink (8 different colors), foam sheet for kids art projects, piano lesson books, 2 opened skeins of yarn, 1 cedar block (not one package, just one 2 x 2 block), one Christmas stamp, 5 embossing powders, and 2 ink pens!

Drumsticks and foam sheets to Barb’s work, yarn to John’s work, piano books put with the keyboard, Christmas stamp with all the remaining stamps (granted, I’ve not stamped in about 10 years but that is another post!), 2 of the ink pad refills to John’s work, the other 6 ink pad refills donated along with the embossing powders – never even opened 😦

Cleaned the cedar block and put it back on the shelf – maybe it will keep something away.

Both of the ink pens didn’t work – anyone surprised?!?!?

Total number of items leaving the house – 20!!!

Here’s the shelf today – please don’t ask about the 5 umbrellas!!

The green bag has the reusable grocery bags.  The blue bag is our cemetery bag.

And please notice – YOU CAN SEE THE FLOOR!!

 

Declutter the Purse

This post was inspired by Allison at How to get things done in 10 ways.  Thank you Allison!

Here’s my “before” picture.  It doesn’t look so bad.

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Here’s my “everything out”.  It looks like a few receipts, a child’s birthday invite (party was over a week ago), a package of face moisturizer, a pop tab, a few pens, and a few packages of stevia are “excess”.

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Here’s my “decluttered” pile.  5 receipts, 1 birthday invite, 2 regal club cards get recycled.  Pop tab goes into the pop tab container, stevia back into the kitchen, moisturizer got used, and a 4 pens are removed.  Actually “decluttered” is the eyeglass cleaner.

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Trying to declutter a TV

This is one topic that causes “heated” discussions in our home.  Barb would love to remove a TV (or 2 or 3) from the home.  John is against it – period.

Now to be fair, the TV we have in our bedroom is not connected to the cable system.  It is primarily used in the RV during the summer.  It spends the rest of the year in our bedroom to decrease the odds of the RV being broken in to.

Kiddo #1 (who has been married for 15 months now) “sacrificed” her room as the guest/extra stuff room.  We were “lucky” that the Great Flood of 2015 happened about a month before her wedding.  John really wanted a place to watch TV if both girls were home for an extended period without having to listen to us!

Last week we changed our cable provider and he had them add a cable box to this room.  I guess it is considered a win since our bedroom does NOT have a cable box any longer.

 

 

September 2016 Decluttering Update

We can’t believe another month has passed!  September was a unique month for us.  We took a bereavement trip to help John’s Mom decide was to do with property in Hawaii.  (Yeah, tough life – a week-long trip to Hawaii.  If any of you are teachers, you know that a week out of your classroom is tough!)  It did involve several meetings over 2 days.  Kiddo #2 was able to join us – it was nice spending time with her!

Our week-long trip cost us wayyy more than we expected.  We actually dipped into savings – I know, it’s something we shouldn’t have done!  We also realized that we could travel the country for about 4 weeks during the summer for the same amount we spent for the one week, not including air fare or hotel.  It was a little sobering!

Now to the decluttering – since we had the trip, we cut short our 21-day decluttering challenge to 14 (sort of 16) days.  This allowed 147 items to leave our house!!

So far this year:  1304 items gone!  We have a ways to go to hit 2016.

We are hoping to declutter the Christmas stuff in the garage soon.  Better to get that stuff donated before the holiday!  We tend to wait until the last couple of days before we break out the decorations.

Happy October!!

 

Last Day of the Current Decluttering Challenge.

I wish to thank Anne at MinimalistSometimes.com for this challenge.  I modified this from 21 days to 14 days, did 2 extra counting of items to make up for 2 of the missing days, started counting from the highest number of items at the beginning of the challenge down to 1 item on the last day.

Today is the last day of the challenge.  We might do those extra 5 days when we return from our trip next week.  So the last item is from John’s travel stuff.  He was packing his bag and found this empty container of travel sized shaving cream.  He might replace it when we get to our destination, but I’m counting it!

Total items gone with this 2 week challenge = 146!!  Feeling very accomplished!!!

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Decluttering the Car

My car is pretty clean on the inside.  John’s car – well that’s a different story!  Here are the things for today that I decluttered from my car.  John will do his when we return from our trip.  I think he will have a few more items than this!

  • Old AAA LA Freeway map dated July 2001.  When was the last time we used an actual map??
  • a master lock with an unknown combination.  Wonder how long that was in the glovebox??  Who does it belong to??
  • random wrappers and 1 business card

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3 + 5 = 8

Here’s today’s 3 items plus the 5 from the house I missed a couple of days ago.  I know I decluttered something from my work desk, but it seems like “cheating”.

Isn’t it weird how our brains work on something like this???  We have completely changed up the rules for this decluttering challenge initiated by Anne at MinimalistSometimes and yet I feel I should have the items leave the house.  I suppose they could have even come from the car.

Who’s up for a declutter the car event??  That’s what I’m doing tomorrow!!

So the 8 items for today are an external USB DVD player, 2 software cds, a user’s manual, 2 sound cords for the computer speakers, an ethernet cable, and a printer cable.  These were in a box under John’s desk.  I have no idea why we kept them after the flood but I know we haven’t used or needed them in the last year.  Out they go!!

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New SofaSleeper means more Decluttering!

We finally purchased a new sofa sleeper for the room previously occupied by Kiddo #1.  It’s been a year since her wedding and a year since we moved back into the house after the Great Flood of 2015.  We are pretty confident that she will not be returning to live with us.  She and her husband have great jobs in the Bay Area.  So sad for us!  Great for them!

Ikea is awesome!  Not a paid endorsement!  This sofa sleeper is different than any we’ve seen.  It is deeper than a traditional sofa which we like since we all tend to sit with our feet up on the sofa under us.  The sleeper part is that the front bottom part pulls out and the cushion flips open.  The 2 sofa sectionals together makes a queen sized bed!  Kiddo #2 went with us and sampled each of the sofas and sofa sleepers.

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So to put the sofa into the extra bedroom, we got to declutter some more stuff!!

26 items less in our home!!

So our “official” 6 items for the day are 3 jars of jelly that are looking weird, a salad dressing mixing container, an unopened expired box of pain reliever, and a jar of soy lecithin mixed with citric acid that John mixed about 10 years ago when he was on a bread making kick.

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To make up for the week we are going to miss, here are the 20 items: 2 lamps, 2 light bulbs, 4 hangers, 1 set of kidney stone x-rays, unopened package of pads, 1 down jacket, 1 pair of shoes, another camera case, 2 sweatshirts, 1 tshirt, 1 sleep pants, 2 compression stockings, 1 wallet.

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Thank you Anne at MinimalistSometimes for suggesting a challenge for the month of September!!

Kiddo #2 helps with Decluttering the Stuff!

So here we are – a Saturday decluttering spree!  Kiddo #2 flew in last night and this afternoon went through a small section of her former closet!  7 more items gone!!  On top of these 7 items, 21 extra hangers are leaving the house!  Guess I’ll start working on the week I’ll be missing in reverse this week along with the scheduled days.

3 dresses, 3 shirts, 1 deflated exercise ball and the 21 hangers!

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1 deflated exercise ball, 3 dresses, 3 shirts

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21 extra hangers

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Thank you MinimalistSometimes.com fo the challenge!

 

8 more items gone!

It’s amazing what you can find in 15 minutes to get rid of.

John found 2 magazines on his dresser last night.  He was also willing to part with his ground coffee container.  He just puts it back into the bag he brought the beans home in now. Barb found 3 old school related books on the shelf.  These books were 3 textbook adoptions ago and are copyrighted 1993 before she started working at that school.  An old camera case with no camera but an ink pen inside. And the pen that wouldn’t work when we went to add the camera case to the donation list.

Very productive 15 minutes!

I would like to add that doing a reverse count down on the days has been so much easier.  When I’ve done this type of challenge before, by the end of the month I’ve removed so much more than the required items I scramble to find items.  So glad I tried it this way.  Thank you Anne at Minimalist Sometimes for the challenge!

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And why does it keep rotating the picture???

More Decluttered!!

No that we are doing this 21 14 day decluttering challenge, clutter seems to be popping out everywhere!  I opened the jewelry drawer to look for a necklace and just had to remove  the required number of items for the day!  10 items gone!!

A watch that I’m sure I haven’t worn in years, 5 watch batteries (why???), 3 lone earrings, and a necklace pendant I also haven’t worn in years.

Thank you Anne at Minimalist Sometimes for kicking us into gear!  Here’s the link to her site

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Folder Anyone?

Why do we have 11 of these report covers in the desk?  Oh yeah, we had kids who had to do reports and we made them reuse them.  Since the kiddos are now 27 and 29, one in her last year of medical school, the other done with her PhD, I don’t think they will need the parentals to get them a report cover!

And a broken stapler.  12 more items gone!  Thank you Anne for the challenge!  (See the challenge post here at Minimalist Sometimes)

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August 2016 Decluttering Update

We have had a slow decluttering month.  Both of us went back to work after 9 weeks of time off.  We really hate to refer to it as “vacation” time since it is unpaid.  Most people assume when you say vacation it means paid time off.

Barb is learning a new Digital Learning System and that is taking all of her extra time.  John sponsors an after school engineering club and is having 20-30 students staying multiple days a week to work on projects.  We are both glad our students are engaged but it takes a toll on our free time at the beginning of a new school year.

Back to decluttering – August saw us remove on 19 items from the house. So far in 2016:

Our Annual Grand Total = 1157 items.  We are sure hopeful that we hit 2016 in 2016!

Happy Decluttering Everyone!

 

Joining a New Declutter Challenge

We are joining Anne at Minimalist Sometimes in her 21 day challenge – Decluttering this Time.

We are only going to do 14 days since we have a trip scheduled and will be gone for days 15-21.  We are also doing the count from 14 items the first day to 1 item on the 14th day since that will be the day before we leave.  We are also starting today while she is starting on Monday!  Let the decluttering begin!!

A unique find in Barb’s desk:  a word search puzzle book dated August 1998.  I guess if it hasn’t been used in 18 years, it can leave the desk!

Here are the first 14 items.

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puzzle books never used – super word-find publish date is August 1998.  Sudoku is April 2008.

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4 cup coffee pot that was in the RV.

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How many mesh travel laundry bags do we really need??

 

 

Decluttering the Weeds Event!

This weekend is the Declutter The Weeds Event!  All are welcome! haha

The compost bin will be getting an addition!

Having been gone for 7 weeks and having the sprinkler system malfunction during that time has resulted in a yard (well, 1/2 a yard) of large weeds.  One half has a large amount of large ones, the other 1/2 has just deadness until the trees.

John is planning to fix the sprinklers this weekend – we get to water 2 times a week here.  Guess we get to “remodel” the backyard.  We’ve always wanted to add a fire pit.

 

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So here’s the east side of the patio.  Keep in mind, the brick wall is 5 feet tall.  One of the fruit trees (apple) didn’t survive the lack of water.

 

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And here’s the west side of the patio.  No weeds, but plenty of deadness!  Even the plants at the base of the embankment didn’t survive.

Just can’t get rid of it!

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Do you see that silver “key” pointing to the left in the picture above??  It was on the key ring when we purchased our motorhome 10 years ago.  We asked the dealer what it went to.  His response “I don’t know.  You’ll eventually figure it out.”  So we’ve kept this stupid thing on the key ring for 10 years!

Yesterday, we had a discussion about removing it – yes a full out discussion!  John said he just can’t do it.  Why??  We might eventually figure out what it opens.  Now Barb is of the mindset that we haven’t figured it out in 10 years, the likelihood of figuring it out is ZERO!

So here it is – still on the key ring!

Anyone else have something like this that really should be decluttered but just can’t do it?

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.

May 2016 Update

We have had 1099 random items leave our home this year, 103 during the month of May.  It amazes us that we are able to find more things to declutter!

We will be traveling for the next 7 weeks.  While we are gone, we will be decluttering the RV and adding it to our annual count.  We figure if the garage can be decluttered, our home away from home can be too!  It will be interesting to see what kind of stuff we have hidden away in the RV and don’t use/need.

Happy Summer everyone!!

 

April Decluttering Update

We did a financial review this weekend and are very pleased with the results.  Read about it here.

Now onto decluttering the stuff update!

We removed 172 items this month giving us a grand total of 996 items to leave our home!  12 items short of half our goal of 2016.  

Kiddo #2 was home for spring break and was able to remove 2 boxes from her FREE storage facility (aka the bedroom closet).  That was about half of the 172 items!  Way to go Kiddo!  We found a box in the garage with Kiddo #1 undergraduate college notes – since she is finished with grad school, we felt it was safe to discard them.

We are debating whether items removed from the RV as we prepare for our summer adventure should count.  What do you think??  While we are traveling, should we streamline the things we have in the RV and count those as well?

We made one donation trip.  Total this year so far is 5.  IRS won’t be questioning our donations this year!  (Hopefully they don’t question 2015 donations either!)

Overall, a great month.  Some decluttering took place and we enjoyed having kiddo #2 home.  Now onto May!

 

 

March 2016 Update

March has been a slow decluttering the stuff month for us.  You would think with both of us having a full week off more would have been cleared!  Too bad we weren’t off at the same time.  We both enjoyed our spring break with plenty of relaxation!

We removed exactly 100 items from the house.  We made one donation trip to Goodwill this month as well.

Our grand totals in 2016 are:

  • 824 items gone
  • 5 donation trips

Here is a pic of the bedroom – finally feeling decluttered!  Closet doors might be put back up this weekend!!  The bottom track arrived this week.  Amazing how difficult it is ordering for a 16 foot closet.

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February Update

February has been a slow decluttering the stuff month for us.

We removed 121 items from the house – mostly from kitchen cupboards.  We made one donation trip to Goodwill this month as well.

Our grand totals are:

  • 724 items gone
  • 4 donation trip

This cupboard pictured below was cleaned out again.  The empty spot on the middle shelf holds a mixing bowl.  We also placed 6 place settings of our china and crystal goblets in this cupboard instead of boxed in the hall closet.  Now they can be used!!

Kiddo #2 needs to be asked if we can get rid of her color-changing oatmeal bowl – she ate and saved instant packets to “buy” it and I just can’t seem to remove it yet.  John thinks that after living away from here for the last 8 years gives us the “right” to eliminate it – yet she ate oatmeal out of it (not instant anymore) when she was home at Christmas.

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Here is the “mystery” item of the month – iodine.  Why did we have a small bottle of iodine (which expired in 2001) mixed in with these really old extracts??  We extracted the extracts from a cupboard as well.  John knows the chocolate extract has been with us since 1989 – he used it to make chocolate liqueur soon after kiddo#2 was born.  Good buy extracts!

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We have completed our taxes for 2015.  Donations last year gave us a tax credit of over $18,000!  Here’s a pic before I finished entering all our donations.  Our big fear is that we will be audited!

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The summer with no Vacation :-(

Monday, July 6, 2015

All of this is being copied over from our old blog site at blogger.  It is easier for us to have all blogs together at WordPress!

The summer with no Vacation 😦

This is an update on our Adventures with Winnie – unfortunately we had a major flooding issue in our home in May so we have not had a chance to take Winnie out for a trip.  We are feeling a little sad but have to look at this with positivity.  The insurance company is paying for a remodel/redecorating job on our house!

You can read about it at our decluttering blog here.

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.

for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-07-15-32-30
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.

 

for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-07-15-29-08
Day 5: Camisole type shirts.  Day 6: Fabric, pattern, etc and receipt dated 2008 for a dress never made.  Day 7: Uncomfortable bras.