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.

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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!

 

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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!

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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
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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.

Declutter Recap of 2015

So here we are – the end of 2015.  We have decluttered so much from our lives!  We are feeling lighter every day with our attitude changes toward stuff,  less commercialization in our daily lives, and simplicity/minimalism.

Some of the biggies:

  • 11,827 items were removed from our house/garage.  And to think, we thought the removal of 2015 would be difficult!  Our modified goal of 10,000 was reached (thanks in part to our house flooding) and surpassed.
  • IMG_2498[1]
    Our 6 counting sheets for the 2015 in 2015 Challenge.  We were tempted to go on a decluttering spree to fill the last page but decided against it tonight.  Party with friends won!
  • 44 donation trips – we averaged one every 8.3 days!  It has been so helpful having a donation box by the front door.  When it fills, out it goes.  We even had the Salvation Army do a pickup of large furniture items.  So easy to do!
  • We are afraid with the number of donations that the IRS will audit us!  Thankfully we took pictures of every item donated!
  • Documenting the number of items, while difficult, was really eye-opening.  Who knew that we had over 400 unworking pens in the pen drawer??  I guess if you have a pen drawer, that should say something!
  • Our closets and drawers open and close without fear of something falling on you!
  • We decided to purchase just one item for each other for Christmas and stick to a $250 budget per person – this was a new concept for us.  John asked for a fitbit surge (and it is a small item to have enter the house!)  Barb asked for a kindle voyage.  She has figured out how to borrow e-books from the library and it is small.  Win Win!  Now to finish going through the boxes of books in the garage!

We have decided to continue the challenge for 2016.  As of today, we aren’t sure we will count for the entire year, but who knows.  We were really surprised at the number of items in 2015.

Thank you Nourishing Minimalism for the push we needed to make this happen!

2015 in 2015 Update #8

It has been a crazy month for us.  The master bath shower is done being tiled and grouted.  Walls have been painted.  Waiting for the shower doors to arrive!

Our decluttering project has been increased this month!  Kiddo #1 came home and cleared a few boxes!  We also cleared out a filing cabinet – 4 overstuffed drawers down to 2 usable drawers.  This took an entire weekend sifting through each piece of paper.  Goal is to remove the filing cabinet! Continue reading

2015 in 2015 Update #7

Decluttering the stuff has slowed down this past month.  Our focus has been on finishing the master bath shower.  We’ve had delays in getting the contractor to do their part on the shower floor.  Now that we are both working again, time seems to be our biggest hurdle to getting the house back to normal.  There are only a few boxes left in the garage.

We have noticed that our time after work during the week is less stressful.  Having less stuff makes picking up so much easier!  If only we had recognized this when we had small children living here!

So now for the numbers!

House = 5780

Garage = 2500.

Barbie’s, etc =  2301  (See this post for details)

GRAND TOTAL = 10,581 with 38 trips to Goodwill.  1 trip in September!

Items removed this month = 71 !!

New Goal – 12,000 by the end of the year.  The garage is our next focus area!  Barb still has boxes of books to go through!

2015 in 2015 update #6 – We made it to 10,000!

So here we are – another month of decluttering the stuff completed!

We’ve been moved back into the house now for a month.  Most of the boxes are empty or stored for the kiddos to go through or pick up.  I’m assuming some of it will be here for a while.  Good thing we have an extra closet!

In unpacking all of our belongs, we decluttered some more stuff – 516 items to be exact!  We have basically gone through everything in the house and are feeling pretty good about how it is turning out.  Now the garage is a different story!  There are many items (mostly furniture, storage containers that are empty, and master bath stuff) we didn’t put back into the house and now we really need to make a decision about that stuff.  Good thing we have a 3 day weekend coming up!

So here are the numbers – Continue reading

Blast from the Past

We’ve been decluttering fools this week!  238 items gone and basically all our boxes unpacked (kiddos still have some to go through but that will take time).


As Barb walked into the kitchen this morning she saw something bright on the floor. Drawn to bright things, she had to investigate – even if to just pick it up and throw it away.

Now some of you will recognize the company name.  How many of you remember T G & Y?  How many of you remember the old pre-computer cash registers?  Who remembers having to make change – not the register telling you how much to give the customer?  Who remembers putting these kind of stickers on every item before it was sold?   The memories of our first “real” job!

Barb worked for them from 1977 – 1982. She was making $2.20 per hour when she started. Ended making $4.90 per hour.  She never shopped there after leaving since all stores in our area were closed.

John’s first “real” job was with the county.  He worked every Saturday for “a real paycheck” washing and gassing county vehicles.  Back then, it was cheaper to hire high school kids than to use an automated car wash.

This sticker has been floating around our stuff for over 33 years!  It has survived our getting married and moving into 3 different places.  It survived our flood.  It survived a house with children, dogs, and a cat.   What did it fall off of?  How did it end up on the kitchen floor?

This little sticker is a survivor!  If it can make it intact, so can we!

2015 in 2015 Update #5

We can’t believe how much stuff we have decluttered!  After the “Great Flood”, we have been unpacking and decluttering along the way during July.  Our stuff was delivered July 14 and we staying the night for the first time July 30.  We had to wait for a bathroom to be functional.  Things are not quite back to normal but they are coming along.

Here are the numbers so far for 2015:

House = 5269

Garage = 2424

Barbie’s, etc =  2301  (See this post for details)

GRAND TOTAL = 9994 with 32 trips to Goodwill.  9 of these trips were this recent month!

Items removed this month = 1632 !!

WE WILL MAKE IT TO 10,000 ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE HOUSE!!  Who knew that we would actually declutter this much stuff when we started in January.  We were tempted to go around and find 6 items but we are too tired tonight.

We didn’t eliminate any stuff from the garage this month.  It is still full of boxes/belongings/furniture that used to be in the house.  The Barbie category didn’t change either.  The toys left are in the rafters of the garage and can wait until we have more of the house completed.

While we are unpacking, we keep thinking how much more work it would have been with 8362 more items.  The approximate 1000 books alone gave us a backache!

Unplanned Packing Party Update #2

So we are basically 3 weeks post flood.  We are referring to the event in multiple ways:  the day our house leaked;  the great flood of 2015;  the unplanned remodeling;  the unplanned packing party.  It really depends on the day!  Moving to a small studio hotel suite has been challenging to say the least.  The house being empty isn’t bothering us – maybe decluttering the stuff has made a difference in our views!

Things removed:  drywall, all flooring, all doors and door frames, bathroom vanities, and all our belongings.  Removing the damaged drywall, etc was $8331.  Asbestos test was $750.

Now to the rebuilding:  The furniture is being restored at a cost of $6927.  Insurance gave us $24,197 for structural repairs.  As of today they have replaced all damaged drywall, texture coated the walls, prime coated the walls.  Monday they will be painting all the walls except for the bathrooms.  We have decided to do a bath remodel while everything is removed (pics in next post.)  Hubby will be adding porcelain tiles above the new tub!  We are hoping the doors are installed this week.

Here are some pics of our dining room. left one is before any repairs. Right one is from last Thursday before the texture coating and primer coating was applied.

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