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!

February 2018 Update

February has been a roller coaster of a month for us.

On a more personal note, Barb’s dad passed away suddenly on February 26th.  Mom called about 8 am saying he fainted and she had called 911.  About 8:20 am while Barb was driving to their house, she got the phone call that he was gone.  Just like that our small corner of the world is turned upside down.

These kind of events make you evaluate what’s important – it sure isn’t all the crap you keep in the house, garage, etc.  Our decluttering sort of made this a little easier when we helped clean out the garage, closet, and dresser.  We did have to remember that not everyone was used to going through stuff and getting rid of it.

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Dad in his prime – about 50 years old here.

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!

November 2017 Update

Our November wasn’t too productive on the decluttering front. We removed 6 items from the house.  That gives us 1435 items so far in 2017.

I doubt we will hit 2017 but that is OK.  We decluttered like crazy for 2 years and removed so much during that time (over 15,000 items!).  We are now finding occasional things that can leave – removing an item we want/need just because we have a 2017 goal is really stupid!

We have noticed that less comes into the house – that’s a good thing!

We took a weekend trip to Sequoia National Park during the month.  It was nice to get away for a weekend.  We were able to spend it with Kiddo #2 – her first weekend off since July and she wanted to spend it with us!!  It helps that she is averaging about 85 hours a week and really wanted to feel like it was something “unique”.

Feeling small in the world next to General Sherman.  This definitely puts a lot of things into perspective.

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We had 2 different Thanksgiving dinners – one at John’s mom’s house with his sister and her family, the two of us, and his brother.  Kiddo #2 was able to surprise us by getting off work early on Thanksgiving and arrived about half an hour after we sat down to eat.

Dinner #2 was at our house – just us and kiddo #2 on Saturday.  We love making a turkey and all the trimmings!  Nothing fancy but nice to enjoy seeing the kiddo twice in the same week!

Somehow the pic was taken before the gravy and veggies (roasted brussel sprouts) were put on the table!

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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

 

 

August 2017 Update

57 more items left the house!  Just when we think we are finally done, we find more stuff that seems unnecessary.  Decluttering has become second nature and we are finding we aren’t as focused on the counting (even though we still do it) as we are on clearing our space.   1355 items so far this year!

Some realizations – our daily habits have changed:
The little bit of mail we still get gets sorted, put away, and/or disposed of as soon as it enters the house – no more letting it pile up “until we have time to go through it”.

The kitchen counters are clear almost all the time!

You can open any closet or drawer without fear!

We both even spent an evening recently clearing our email, saved documents, and such from our computers all because we have the time to do so!  It amazes us how much “free” time we have now that we aren’t having to spend as much time cleaning up to clean or stressing about the condition of the house.

 

Here are a few of the pictures that didn’t make it to being their own post.  Imagine, we are getting rid of some reusable bags.  Why?  We aren’t shopping as much and haven’t used them in over 2 years!