365

So, I believe I am up to 148 gone from my home in my quest to rid our home of 365 items in 6 months.  We’re off to a pretty good start!  Today I’m going to address some “just in case” items.  You know… “I should keep these things just in case…”

I have a HUGE stash of boxes and containers stored in our walk-up attic.  I mean, really, a huge stash.  I do not have a specific need for any of them.  I have kept them all “just in case”.  I have baskets, boxes, tins, jars.  Because I am a professional organizer, I never know when I am going to need a container to contain something!  Or, I might need a box to place a gift in for gift-wrapping.  Or, as I did for my teenage son at Christmas- I might need a box to wrap inside a box, to wrap inside a box to hide a gift!  But really- it was getting out -of-hand.  So I made the tough decision to rid our home of some of these items.

A Stash of containers.

A stash of containers.

Above you can see the 21 boxes, tins, and containers I removed from the stash.  This is probably less than half of the “just in case” items, but it’s a start.  Let’s talk about the self-talk I used to cull these items.  First of all, I decided to keep decorative baskets and boxes designed to be storage and get rid of “trash”.  Cookie tins and shoe boxes are trash.  They were easy enough to discard.  I initially hung on to the shoe boxes, because I had been thinking of using them for a project.  Now the project is already done with boxes that worked better.

Do I still need the shoe boxes?  No.

Why are you hanging on to baby wipe containers when you haven’t had a baby in over 6 years?  Well, they came in handy for storing small things like diaper cream and nail clippers in the nursery.

Do you still have a nursery?  Um…no.

Do you still have small things that need to be corralled?  Probably yes.

Could you use one of the more decorative baskets or boxes that you decided to keep to corral small items should the need arise?  Yes.

Then get rid of the baby wipe containers.

It was easy enough.  So all of the above items got recycled except the crate which went into the “Yard Sale Pile”.  We’ll talk more about that later!

I also decided to get rid of this box of toilet paper and gift wrap tubes.  I initially collected them for a craft project.  Then I decided I didn’t want to do the craft project.  Bye bye tubes!

Toilet paper and gift wrap tubes

Toilet paper and gift wrap tubes

Not wanting to waste all these perfectly collected tubes, I e-mailed my youngest son’s art teacher and asked if she could use them.  She was only too happy to take them!  I did not count these items!  For the purpose of this challenge I am going to call this “one box of cardboard tubes”.  So they’ll be one item, bringing the total including this post to 170 items gone!

365

 As you may know, I’m challenging myself to rid our home of 365 excess items.  I thought I might try to do that in a year, but since my first purging session cleared out 141 items I think I should try to do it in less time.  Let’s say 6 months!

So, this week I decided to try to make a little money in the process of purging.  There are a few local facebook groups in my area dedicated to consigning items.  If you want to try this yourself, type “yard sale” or “consignment” into the search box at the top of your Facebook page and you’ll be surprised how many places pop up.  I listed 6 items,  and sold 5, bringing in $100.  Here is what sold:

Clockwise from top left: a riding toy, a shelf with baskets, a doll, a drawer to hold coffee pods and a dresser.

Clockwise from top left: a riding toy, a shelf with baskets, a doll, a drawer to hold coffee pods and a dresser.

There is one item I want to talk about here because it may help you with your own decluttering issues:  The coffee pod drawer.  The coffee pod drawer was given to me as a gift from my mom & step-dad.  It was a great gift idea!  I know they saw this in the store and thought, “Jennifer will like/could use this,” and bought it for me.  And I truly appreciate the sentiment.  If they had bought it a month earlier, I really could have used it, but my husband had already bought me something to hold my coffee pods.

So I asked myself a few questions:

Which item holds more pods?  The one from my husband.

Do I need to hold that many pods?  At the moment, yes.

Will I always need to hold this many pods?  Quite possibly.

Can I use the drawer for something else?  No. It is specifically designed for this purpose.

Then I needed to get rid of the drawer.  When my mom & step-dad were here, they saw that I already had something to hold my coffee pods and they said I didn’t need to keep the drawer so there is no guilt in my selling it.  But quite often we are given gifts that we do feel guilty about not liking or not wanting to keep.

Over the years I have tried to tell myself, “It is not my fault that this gift missed the mark.  I am the one who has to maintain my home and I should be the one to decide what is worth dusting, looking at or taking up valuable storage space.”  If a gift is not right for me, I am still appreciative of the gesture, but my house is not big enough to keep everything ever given to me.  It is okay to let things go.

I’ve been using this challenge to explain my “self-talk” in the decluttering process.  Maybe some of you find it helpful.  Do you have your own “self-talk”?  Would you care to share?

365

We’ve gotten rid of another large item in our quest to purge 365 unwanted items from our house.  This next item was HUGE!  It was our computer desk.  We tried to sell it on Craig’s list over the last year for varying amounts of money and my husband was finally able to sell it yesterday for $20.

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Sigh.  $20.  We paid about $500 for it new.  And it was just what we needed to house all of our office items…at our last house.  That’s the problem.  The fact that it was sort of self contained and could be closed up was perfect for the large open floor plan of our last home.  But here we were using it in a small room that just felt smaller with this desk in there.  It had to go!  But we paid so much for it!  But it had to go!  But we paid so much!  It had to go! But all that money….

Yes.  It cost a lot of money to buy that desk.  But what is it costing my family to keep a huge piece of furniture that we are not using?  It wasn’t costing us actual money to keep the desk, but it prevented us from using that space for something else.  In a situation like this, it helps to keep my eye on the prize.  What’s the prize?  More space in our house for our family to live and pursue our interests.  Which better serves that:  keeping the desk or getting rid of the desk?  Getting rid of the desk!

143 items gone, 222 to go!

Have you accepted my challenge?  What have you gotten rid of?  What kind of “self-talk” do you use to make yourself let go?  I’d love to hear from you!