Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Decluttering Challenge

Nesting seems to have struck early in this pregnancy. Lately, I've been on a mission to clear out as much of our extra "stuff" as I can before the new baby comes. I got a lot of emails and comments in my last post on organizing my life about decluttering. It seems to be a taunting task for so many of us!

Typically, I do some of my decluttering every single day:
  • Junk mail gets tossed every day as it comes through the door.
  • "Extra" papers from school get tossed after the kids leave for school.  (I don't want to upset Big Brother that we don't keep every paper that he draws on, so I get rid of these as soon as the bus leaves the next day!)
  • I toss broken toys as I find them and box up clothes that are too small as soon as they come out of the wash.  
  • I try to find five things to get rid of every day (trash, clothes, papers, etc.)
The other weekend, though, I came across a post on Money Saving Mom about the Decluttering 100 Things Challenge.  I have to be honest that I didn't read it right away, but the title alone was enough to inspire me to find 100 things that weekend to get rid of :)

Here's what I decluttered:
  • 6 crib sheets/pack-n-play sheets
  • pet supplies (dog shampoo, dishes, carrier, medicine)
  • 2 bottles of lotion I didn't like
  •  6 necklaces I never wore
  • pair of holey gloves
  • broken piggy bank
  • 5 socks w/o mates
  • 5 broken/torn baby books
  • 10 birthday cards we had taped to the back of Big Brother's door
  • 2 bags of Valentine's from church and school celebrations
  • 10 items from the pantry (some went to the trash expired and some went in a bag for the food pantry)
  • 35 articles of clothing that didn't fit or weren't the right style from all of our closets
  • 20 pieces of refrigerator artwork
  • 3 bottles of expired medication
  • 5 broken toys
  • 3 books donated to the library
 All in all, it was a much easier challenge than I would have imagined.  I didn't even count the items from the afternoon that I finally cleared out our junk drawer in the kitchen.  None of these things would make a huge difference to the casual observer, but I felt so much better having a little more room in the closets and bathroom cabinets.  I'm not sure I could come up with enough stuff to do this exercise every week (or even every month), but it is definitely something I plan to try more often.  I'm always surprised at the things that creep into the house on the kids (and husband) without my notice!

What's the one room that you need to declutter more than any other?

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  1. I need to do this too! After seeing your list it reminds me of all the things that are little but really do add up big time. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've started de-cluttering as well. I'm 3 months away from my due date and my nesting hit about a month ago! I was very surprised that it came so soon. My husband and I went through our kitchen so far but my next task is the boys' room I think.