Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Drowning in Clutter

I feel great today! Not sure why...I just do! What neat comments on yesterday's post about moving. One of them said to clean out the house and paint and prepare for a move, because you just never know. That's funny because I decided a couple of months ago that the only way I will ever get our house cleared out is to set a date and pretend we are moving on that date! I'll need a dumpster to get rid of 36 years of accumulation, but it'll be worth it. If I want any help from Irv, I really need to start now, because once the snow is gone and the temperature starts rising, Irv is outside and he won't come in until November!

We have so much "stuff". If I really had a lot of guts...the boxes that are stacked up in the basement...the ones that haven't been opened in over 10 or 15 years...I would just not open them and I would just throw them in the garbage! What could be in them that I would need if I haven't looked in the boxes for that long? Then I realize that there could be something special in the boxes, and there could also be items that someone could use so I can't just throw them away.

Our closets are overflowing...mind you we only have 2.5 closets in our humble little abode. We have a partial basement that is all concrete so it's fine for some storage, but it does get humid down there in the summer so I can't store certain things down there...therefore, those things are crammed into the 2.5 closets...things like photo albums, old records, keepsakes, books etc. I am great at throwing things onto the shelves as you can tell by the photos. I just kind of fling things and hope that they don't come down and hit me in the head.

The thought of "dejunking"my house is so overwhelming that I will probably tackle it like I do most major projects. I tell myself that I can only work on it for 15 minutes a day. That's it. I can always find 15 minutes a day...and if I don't have a ton of other things to do that day, and I end up working a little longer...that's a bonus. If I do it that way, it doesn't seem like such a big job and before you know it's done! So, 15 minutes a day it is.

I actually wrote this post earlier today and I have an update. I just devoted 15 minutes to the closet in my workshop. I hustled and got the shelf done. It looks wonderful! After I put everything back on it though, I realized I should have flipped the shelf over. It is bowed from the weight of all the junk that was on it. I'll flip it over tomorrow during my 15 minutes.

I'll update you periodically on my dejunking progress. Even though I am not moving any time soon, or possibly not at all, right after Tresa's wedding next month I will set a "closing" date and try to be done with my project by then.

Have you ever dejunked your house? How did it go? Any suggestions? I'm thinking of using "Keep" boxes, "Donate" boxes and "Garbage" boxes and see how that works. Then I'll pile all of my kid's stuff in one spot and have them go through it and toss what they don't want. I don't mind storing some things for them, but I'm sure there are things downstairs that they don't need or want either.

Woo Hoo! I'm excited just thinking about the end result. Once it's cleaned out maybe I'll do some painting. Just don't tell Irv....he hates it when I start painting!



Nice move so far!
Glad you liked my tips ;)
Get one box, fill it up and sift through that one each time.
Kitchen junk draw style: Dump it and deal with it, in the moment. Gather up every tiny item that belongs to your kids, organize that, take a photo, for reference sake, and post that on the outside of each box. Tell each of them to come and get it. Do not hold on to anything for any body, for any reason. Otherwise you are liable.
Come summer, everything that does not serve a purpose, gets put on the front lawn!..Irv can take it from there. Gift it, sell it, or donate it.

Edit. Edit. Edit...and keep plowing that field. Have showcase ready.
That's your new game.


P.S. "Pulling up Roots"...is a visual for cancer patients. Not everyone is will to rage "War" against their cancer; it's just not their nature. They can instead visualize "Pulling weeds" from the yard. A much milder way of dealing with the cobwebs of cancer networks. Pulling out all the weeds and roots that a strangling the good stuff. Save the good stuff.

Lanyardlady said...

We're having some remodeling done in our kitchen and family room, and I"m seizing that opportunity to de-junk! I've found much that I've missed, and more that I will never miss! It's a rewarding task and you have a great plan!

Vineyard Painter said...

Oh, you and I are SO in-the-same-boat! Everything I own from raising a family is in a storage space. I'll be following this blog post for solutions. Getting it done by the start of Summer is my goal also!

Beth Jaffe said...

Way to go! How awesome that you are so motivated! Good luck with all the organizing!

aliceinparis said...

I know, it feels great to do a cleanup. I always go back again and again to have a look at the job I've done and boost my spirits.

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I grew up with an OCD mother (clutter type) and I learned my lesson. I am always weeding, cleaning, sorting, evaluating. I will not leave my children the task my mom gave me.....to evict my mother from her own house and then fill 3 industrial dumpsters with "precious stuff" that was just too damaged, too much, too overwhelming to pick through.

One day, one task, one closet, one shelf, one drawer....its good karma to give away and better to not accumulate (unless its small and truly meaningful, like photos! ; )

Meekiyu said...

great idea of doing cleaning and organizing in small intervals... yes during some odd days I suddenly feel the urge to go on a cleaning spree and do everything in one sitting and get exhausted and not clean for another god knows how long. =D

Jacaranda Designs said...

I was doing the same thing yesterday. I finally realised I can't work in a mess so I tidied my whole craft area up. Now I'm looking at new shelving too. It feels good! Now I have to get creative.

Total Delights said...

First off I have been there done that and it is never easy buy if you look at things with the haven't used it in over a year, then things seem to be easier to part with good luck and know you aren't alone in your tasks

Cathy Winsby said...

Having moved so many times, I've de-junked my house quite a bit.

I no longer buy things like I used to because of it.

Rubbermaid totes - the clear kind - are wonderful for storing things you don't use every day. They stack well and you can tell what is in them...and they are water proof.

Jemjoop said...

http://www.freecycle.org join the nearest online groups in your area and post anything and everything that you want to get rid of. People will email you if they want it and then come straight to your house and pick it up. The groups are designed to keep stuff out of landfills. You can list one thing or 100 so you can go through those basement boxes at your own pace.
Happy decluttering!

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