DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are about 7000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

5 August 2013

August decluttering challenge

Decluttering is a difficult task for most of us. If you've gone through your life with little money, then it is a real challenge giving away, or selling, items you've saved for. If you've had a lot of money to spend over the years, you'll probably be struggling under the weight of all those shopping trips, and again challenged by the choice of what should go. A reader emailed recently and said she struggles with decluttering items that are unused or no longer needed because it conflicts with the frugal principle of using everything up. Almost all of us have things in our lives we have emotional attachments to. The aim when you declutter is to know what you own, understand why you have an attachment to certain items and to decide if it enriches your life and keep it, or whether it should go.

We have different styles in our homes too. Some of us love the clean uncluttered lines of the minimalist home while others, even after they've decluttered, want certain mementoes around them. It suits their style and there is a certain comfort in seeing the things you love. If I have a style, my guess it would be Swedish mixed with crazy book lady. I'm playing it safe there because that could cover anything. But let's not make light of this topic, because many people really suffer by surrounding themselves with "stuff" and feel they have no option but to keep it.

I can't tell you what you need to get rid of. You are the only one who knows what is clutter and what isn't but there are a few stumbling blocks we all have to manoeuvre around and in the end it might just come down to your answer of the question: Can I live without this? I should tell you though that everything I kept in previous decluttering sessions because "I might need this in the future.", I didn't.

My mum's coffee cups, bought by me as a gift to her in the 1960s. One saucer missing.

But let's start at the beginning. Why declutter in the first place?  If you do it, and not everyone does, I think you do it for different reasons, depending on your age. At my age, many people want to clear out an accumulation of years of shopping, misguided purchases, gifts received, inherited items, children's possessions left behind when they move out and if there has been the death of a spouse, clearing the psychological hurdle of giving away their clothes, shoes and books. But no matter what your reason, decluttering clears your home of the possessions you no longer need or want so you have less to look after. It lets new life into your home and removes the weight of all those unwanted possessions.

One of the most practical reasons for decluttering is to know what you own. If you go through your possessions and know what is in boxes at the back of the cupboard, you won't double up on your buying or buy too many of one thing. There are only so many glasses or coffee cups you need, even if you see them on at a sale "too good to miss". So decluttering to remind yourself of what you have is something that can save you money. But in the end, nothing is compulsory and if you like your home the way it is, maybe now is not the time for you to declutter.

If you do need more space, focus on one small area at a time. When you go through your items there will be some that you can't get into the giveaway box fast enough and others that you're not sure about. Maybe it was a gift or an inheritance and you feel disloyal getting rid of it. Maybe you bought it and paid a lot of money for it. When you come across one of those items, ask yourself: "Do I really need this?", "Do I love this?", "Do I use this or is it in the cupboard most of the time?". If you're really stuck and don't know, honestly ask yourself: "If the house was on fire, would I grab this as I ran out the door?"

Over at the forum we have a section that deals with this topic. Everyone will have to deal with it at some point and many of us declutter frequently. If you need help or advice, please go to the forum and Becci and Alison, or the other members, will help you based on their own considerable experience. Becci is currently leading members through home zones, decluttering as they go. There is a post on how to declutter and many other threads full of advice from people who have decluttered, and survived.

I don't think you can go past the forum for good advice and the support of people who are decluttering along side you but I am doing a month long declutter here in my home, it's not too drastic but it will force you to think about it every day of the month.  My aim is to find five items today and put them in one of two boxes:
  • Op Shop bin
  • Family
I don't want to sell anything, I just want these items gone. If you do want to sell what you want to get rid of, it might be wiser to go to the forum and ask for advice about doing a deep declutter. My decluttering challenge is for those who may not have done anything like this before, or who have already decluttered and want to keep on top of it. The beauty of this method, although it is relentless, is that you have time to pick and choose, and then think about your choices as you go. My boxes will stay in the garage till the end of the month, and then leave my life for good.

If you want to join in and don't have a blog, I've started a forum thread about this (click to go there). You can ask advice there or tell us all about what you're getting rid of.  If you do have a blog and want to join this challenge and show your own photos, add a link to your comment below and we can travel over to read about what you're doing. Don't forget to leave a link to your own blog in the comments if you're joining the challenge.

A bag containing clothes that is on its way to the op shop bin out to the garage.

To do this, each Monday during August, select five items to declutter and place them in your boxes. Then, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, select one item on each day and add it to your boxes. Continue in the same way until the last day 31 August. The next day - the weekend - you can take your boxes to the op shop bin or wherever they have to go, and come home with empty bins.

These are my first five items:
  1. An Old Timer pen knife I bought 30 years ago for Hanno - I'll ask Kerry if he wants it. Hanno is currently cleaning some rust off it.
  2. Coffee cups I bought for my mother in the 1960s - I'll ask Sunny if she would like to have them. (Tick, Sunny took them last night and was very happy to have them.)
  3. Small bag of old clothes - to the op shop bin.
  4. Stack of old magazines - to the op shop bin.
  5. Sorted through my seeds and have thrown the old ones into the compost.
Every day during the week, I'll be adding one item to my bins. Next weekend, I'll find five more items to add to the bins on Monday, then continue with one item a day during the week after that. Those bins will sit in the garage until the end of the month and then I'll take one bin to the op shop and I'll find out who wants what in the family bin. At the end of the month I will have 40 items I will have severed all ties with and they will leave here never to return.  Are you joining me? 

65 comments:

  1. When I homeschooled the children I decluttered our home twice a year. Not that I hoard but it was amazing how "stuff" seemed to just appear!! Now it is just hubby and I we are content with what we have and I would probably go through my cupboards once a year .
    I smiled when you wrote you threw your old seeds in the compost bin Rhonda. It will be interesting to see if any germinate.

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    1. Hello happyathome. You're right, stuff just appears. I think some of the seeds will germinate but they're in our tumbler compost so when we roll it the newly formed seedlings will break and perish.

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  2. We, a family of 4 and had lots of things to make our home work. We had to move out of our home for it to be repaired from the earthquakes. The house had to be cleared of everything to be stored in a container. I had a massive clean out as packing it all up into boxes makes you realise how much stuff you have. Now we are living in a temporary rental home that's fully furnished but very minimalist and we havn't missed our stuff just yet. I know that our story is not the usual one but i have been surprised at how wel we have survived without all our household goods. It will be interesting to see what will happen when we move back to our fixed home next week. Will we declutter more while unpacking or will it feel like Christmas opening up boxes and looking through the things we forgot we had.
    Ness

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  3. I am! My son turned 14 last month, and has cleared his room of all the "little boy" things he no longer wanted. Then, we re-worked the family room to make it work better for us, so we currently have a large pile of things waiting for a yard sale on the 17th. It is making me a little crazy to have the mess in the meanwhile, but it will feel so good to have all of these extra things out of our space!
    Heather, California

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  4. Hi Rhonda,
    Our most recent declutter was massive. Why? Because we thought we would be moving by the end of the year. It's amazing what you throw out or give away when you think you may have to move it to a location 7 hours away. We are not going now but I absolutely love the way our house feels.

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  6. Count me in! I want to finish renovating the inside of my home, and the less I have to move around to do it the better. Thanks for starting this, Rhonda.

    Madeleine.X

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  7. I have never had a massive declutter because I have too many frugal genes to allow me to simply throw out perfectly good and/or useful items. However, I have probably been consistently decluttering for about 12 years. This coincided when our eldest daughter started to spread her wings and take her first tentative steps away from home. It was also around the time my father died and I was struck by the amount of stuff in my parents' home that my mother subsequently had to get rid of.

    The is always more decluttering that can be done and I look at that on a regular basis, however, the most important advice I can give is to look at stopping more stuff coming into your home and life. It can be putting a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on your mailbox, not op shopping or politely refusing things that are being offered to you if you do not truly need them. You do not need to be a receptacle for someone else's decluttering.

    I could write a lot more as this is a subject I am passionate about but I think I will leave that for another blog post of my own.

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  8. Hi Rhonda--
    I thought the same as "happyathome" about the seeds and if they germinate. :)
    I think this is something worth following along with this month. Might help to have your reminders ...and help to get rid of some things. I currently have an etsy shop and am selling some vintage items. This will help to boost my stock...(a good goal) and by getting rid of other items, will make room for storing the Etsy Stock...I'm trying NOT to accumulate anymore for now until I can clear some out.
    So sorting 5 items + the 1 -a-day, to send to the thrift store and giving away are both on my list and I'm ADDING...Stock at least 3 in the evening each night of the week. (That is photographing, write-up, and Stock)
    I love how it feels when things are cleared out and GONE!
    I don't love...the feeling of being married to things---it clouds the judgement when it's time to declutter.
    - following along, Patricia

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  9. I just threw old peas onto the compost bin, and we gave away some other old... foodstuff; it's too late for me to go and see what exactly it's called in English. :D Anyway, when I think back about it, I'm realising I managed to declutter at least a bit, which makes me happy.

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  10. Today my husband is clearing out our storage unit. We moved all our worldly possessions into storage when we moved overseas temporarily. That was a few years ago and we've been slowly renovating and moving things back into our home but we both just want all that stuff gone. It's so hard to even catalogue in our minds what's up there! I'd love to sell a lot of it but sometimes it's just so much easier to give it all away and then it's done. Best of luck with decluttering everyone!

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  11. Good morning, Rhonda. I love the thought of decluttering but I am married to a hoarder so it is very difficult. However, I will try to declutter I some areas where he may not notice and, of course, I can declutter my own personal belongings. So I am in too.

    When you said we could put a link on the forum to our blog about our decluttering, do you mean we can put say a photo or so on the forum and then direct readers to our blog if they want to see more of the decluttering. I just want to clarify that as I inadvertently did that once which is against forum policy and don't want to be naughty again. LOL!

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    1. Good morning Chel. What I wrote was quite ambiguous and I've changed it now. Thanks for pointing that out. If you want to link to your blog, do it in the comments here and we can all follow your link over to your blog. You can also join the discussion at the forum but you can't link to your blog from there.

      Looking forward to seeing what you're doing.

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  12. Hi Rhonda
    such a topical post! Recently, as you know my partner and I moved in with his parents, prior to this I was living with my sister and him out of home. We had all our house stuff (washing machine, fridge, towels, furniture etc) in a storage unit. A couple of weeks ago we started talking about how we should actually go through what is in there and get rid of that now as we wont be buying a home for another 18 months or so and whats the point of paying storage costs for something we are going to throw out? So last weekend with the help of his family we moved all our stuff from the unit to his parents garage here. This weekend we went through all the big furniture items and decided which to keep and which could go. Now to go through the 20 or so crates with the smaller stuff in them and decided what we will need when we buy our own house. I have always loved sorting and decluttering so I will be joining you and hoping to have only a small amount of well packed stuff in the back of the garage by the end of the month. I am loving the thought of us not paying the costs anymore, we are so grateful again for the generosity of his parents.
    Alyce xx

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    1. Hello Alyce! What a good idea to get rid of that storage container. I love how consistent you are applying your frugal values to all you do. {{hugs}}

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  13. Hi Rhonda
    Im in, I have been slowly doing a deep de clutter everyroom every drawer, every cupboard the plan is I will have a garage sale in spring. I have a spare room that I have different piles in one for the garage sale and opp shop and more valuable thigs go to ebay. I need a bit of a move on so this is a great idea as some days I dont get time to do any of it, so if I do the one item a day or five items a day this may help a lot.
    Thanks for the tip xx
    Sharon

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  14. Hi Rhonda, will be looking forward to reading your posts on decluttering. My husband and l usually declutter twice a year as we both hate too much stuff in our home. We are right in the middle of our Autumn declutter now and today 50 items were out into boxes to sell. I don't like throwing useable stuff away so what isn't sold goes to charity. We don't buy much and spend our money wisely, but moving from a very large home four years ago and into a much smaller one has left us with too much. Some things hurt a bit to give away or sell, but over the next couple of years our aim is to own only what we love or need. We are getting there and it feels soo good. Good luck everyone, all the best, Pam

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  15. Rhonda, I love this! I am not only trying to declutter my own home, but cleaning out the rest of my Mother's possessions from her house. I'm working at a faster pace this week, since her house has sold and will be closed on in September. Have done two householdings sales and sent 23 boxes to Thrift Shop so far. I'll be posting at www.thesimplestitch.blogspot.com. And following the others as well.
    Thanks so much,

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  16. I'm in too!! I started decluttering last week after reading a challenge on the forums that got me motivated. Istarted with the fridge, the front (oh my goodness where did all those photos and drawings come from!!) and inside. Such a simple thing but now when I open the fridge I'm filled with joy!! Next I did the cupboard under the laundry sink. So perfect timing to start your challenge. Its amazing to me how we get so attached to stuff but it really is just weighing us down. My mum is a terrible hoarder and her catch cry of the last 4 years has been "I'm saving it for the garage sale" I hope one day she has that garage sale but I'm not saving my stuff for it! I'm not sure I will blog about it yet but will take photos just in case :)
    Thanks for the added motivation
    Jan

    www.agluttonouswife.blogspot.com.au

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  17. I am in! I have been decluttering for months. Many months I have gotten rid of hundreds of items. It has been so freeing! My items are being donated to a thrift store whose proceeds support a women's shelter. A few items are going to our children. I delivered a bicycle to our 30 year old daughter last week and in a few weeks we will visit our son who is 265 miles away and deliver another bicycle along with visiting the grandchildren. Our 5 children left so much behind in closets and attics and the garage. We are beginning to see real change here in our home. I want to clear out and organize while we can do it and not leaves piles of stuff that our children have to clean out of our home someday. I will have to clean out my parents home someday and I dread it as they have stuff everywhere and have even added outbuildings to store more. They love to shop and are still hauling home stuff every time they go out. I have come to realize that the more stuff we have the more time we must spend caring for it and all that time could be put to better use. Let's do it!

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  18. I'm in. I've been humming and haa-ing about cleaning out the bookcase for ages and as my interests have changed so has my reading. I think I'll backdate my declutter to the 1st of the month and find 10 books today that I could do without then add a book a day to it. At the end of the month I'll sort it into two groups to sell or give away, depending on their condition.
    Cheers, Robyn

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  19. ok I've blogged it to be more accountable and here is the link :)

    http://agluttonouswife.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/august-decluttering-challenge-are-you.html

    Good luck everyone
    Jan

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  20. Great timing Rhonda!! I had already asked my DH to go through his wardrobe a couple of days ago, and I went through several drawers of my own last night, and have a large bag of clothes nearly ready for the opshop this week alone! De-cluttering can be really hard on the emotions, as several others have commented, seeing first hand the effects of it on family members left behind can be a real encouragement not to leave that sort of legacy. Better to see people enjoying your treasures now, than having to find somewhere for them to live after you go. Especially with things that have an emotional attachment, that no-one else may feel but you. Your treasured items can just as quickly become your children's burdens. (Speaking from experience at cleaning out my parents home of 30 years. In the end we just wanted to NOT take their accumulated stuff.)

    I also find that thinking about moving house helps to cut through the ties... do I love this enough to wrap it, pack it, pay for it to be moved, unwrap and wash it, and find somewhere new for it to live? Always a great question for items that are in the maybe piles.

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  21. Hi Rhonda, Doing quite a but if decluttering myself again at the moment. We have finally (although some people wouldn't call 12 months a long time) found ourselves a new home. A lovely little property and house with just enough room to keep us all snug and dry, but not a real lot of space to keep anything I'm really not using! It's going to be tough working out what I need and what I want and what I just can't bear to part with!!! So the next couple of weeks will see me packing and sorting again... It's amazing how much stuff I have accumulated in the past twelve months! First room to sort through will be the toy room though, the only thing we'll be playing with for a while now will be the shovels....all hands in and dirty digging up a new Veggie patch! :) Hope your keeping well. I may get back to blogging again once I'm all settled. xo

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  22. Like some of the other commenters have said, moving house helps decluttering. I've moved house something like eight times in seven years, so have learnt to be pretty brutal. The last time I moved, I had to do it in a hurry because my relationship had ended so didn't get much of a chance to get rid of stuff. But now I'm living in a one-room flat, so have had to get rid of stuff anyway (after moving it).

    I just went to a clothes swap on the weekend, which meant not only did I get rid of heaps of clothes - I also ended up with a few new ones for free :) I also have three boxes of books in the car for the op shop - just need to remember to actually take them in!

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  23. Sarah in AdelaideAugust 05, 2013 1:45 pm

    Count me in for the challenge. I really need to declutter my wardrobe and my craft cupboard.

    By the way, I found your blog recently and have found it to be an excellent resource for home making info and inspiration. I made the laundry liquid a couple of weeks ago and have been washing my hair with bi-carb. I also liked your idea for having a basket of cloth napkins handy (great for my two small messy children). I sewed up 8 napkins on the weekend. Thanks!

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  24. YES!!! My method is a little different but it works for me. I am de-cluttering a basement of "stuff" not used and have been very successful so far. My Kids don't think so BUT this is an accumulation of over 30 years of junk left in boxes with every move we have made. And I am not done.

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  25. Hi Rhonda, I've been doing this quite deliberately most of the year but I'm joining in too because by month #8 it's starting to feel a bit old. Thanks, I'm re-inspired.

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  26. We try to do this all the time now. After decluttering the home of his parents after his father died and we had to move his mother's down nearer us. Then her house when she died, we vowed never to leave such a huge task to our son when it is our turn. We still have too much stuff in the attic but when the weather cools and autumn arrives, we aim to be brutal and get rid. I think I can honestly say we no longer have any of our wedding presents or things people have given us that we didn't want. Sounds harsh but sometimes, you just have to do it. Thanks for your kind comment, my frined passed away, just 17 days after diagnosis.

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  27. Hi Rhonda sounds like a good idea. I'm in.

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  28. I like the idea of de-cluttering, but I find it really hard to do, unless I can see where I might donate stuff so that it can be useful. We don't have op shops here, but I volunteer for an animal charity that is always in need of funds, so I tend to have a clear out when they have bazaars or raffles. I can't bear to just throw away anything that might be of use to someone. Otherwise things get used until they fall apart or break! My real blind spot is books - I still have those I collected when I was a student, and while I'm still interested in the subject I find it very hard to part with the books, even though I seldom look at them. I've cleared a lot of paper recently, though, so I'm awarding myself a pat on the back for that and will deal with some of the books when I'm feeling brave!

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  29. Hello Rhonda,

    Have you been watching me? I've had relatives staying from Australia, I've had to move things all over the place.
    My cupboards are in an awful mess!
    They fly home tomorrow, so you know what I'll be doing!

    Best wishes,
    Angela ( south England) UK

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  30. Great post Rhonda, and timely as always! We are expecting our first baby any day and my nesting instinct is kicking in and prompting me to clear out all our 'cupboards of doom'....

    I do usually struggle with de-cluttering though. It always feels like such a huge, overwhelming task! I'll often spot something unwanted and think 'Oh I really must go through that drawer' or whatever. And yet I put the item back and leave it all for when I have more time or motivation!

    Your idea of keeping a couple of boxes on the go is brilliant - no excuses for not dealing with the item straight away! And I can add to them as I come across stuff, without feeling like I have to designate a day to going through a certain room or area :-)

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  31. I'm keen to join in the declutter. i need to clear out our front bedroom to make way for our rapidly growing baby to move into when he's a bit older and the house in general is feeling a bit bulging. i have the same issue with a hoarder husband-but he's had a bit of practice lately destashing farm sheds when his family farm was leased so i hope to have more success with him this time around (if i can persuade him, finally, to get rid of the 80's clothing that hasn't fit him since the 80's I'll will know he's cured!) x

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  32. This is fabulous! I think I'll have to join in! I am really aiming to get rid of quite a lot of the extras we've got around the place! :)

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  33. Hi Rhonda,

    I'm on a fairly mad declutter mission at the moment, for two reasons. Firstly, we just had our third child (hooray!) - a boy after two girls, so I'm sorting through all the baby and small toddler clothes to get rid of girl-only stuff. This has been sometimes a bit sad, but mostly quite satisfying! Also, we're moving house in 6 weeks, and there's lots of stuff we just don't want to take with us (including an old piano). I think I've sent 10-12 large garbage bags of stuff out of the house in the last few months, and I expect there will be at least that much again over the next few weeks. While I find the whole declutter process hard (I am a just in case kind of person), the fly lady principle of 15 minutes at a time has made it very possible.

    Anna

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  34. OK, I could definitely use some decluttering. I got rid of the big stuff last year when I downsized and moved, but there is still work to be done on some other areas like craft supplies.

    Diane in NY

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  35. Funny that I read this today as my husband and I were chatting last night about decluttering our home this month. This is huge for him as he grew up with "if you have it, keep it forever because you just never know when you might need it" and that applies to things that are completely broken as you might be able to use a part of that item for something else. I am very proud of him moving past that way of thinking from his youth because we need some decluttering.

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  36. I'm in!! Now to blog about it...
    We moved from a 16 sq home that was full of furniture and toys to a 9 sq home that we are in temporarily while we build...
    I have been decluttering ever since and am ready to go again!
    I have 4 boys and used to be a shopaholic so there is still so much more we can get rid of...The best part is that whereas my boys used to hold onto the their toys so tightly and never want to let them go, they now see me not so attached to stuff and are quite keen to get rid of it. They also see how much easier it is to keep tidy and organised when their room isn't cluttered.
    We are almost ready to build our new home which is going to be 23sq and I'm quite unsure about the size of it now after living comfortably in such a small space.

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  37. Thanks for the inspiration, Rhonda! My goal will be to "declutter" and "reorganize" my storage room on the lower level which is filled to the brim! When I moved into this second-floor condo, nine months ago or so, things were just placed into the storage room for re-evaluation later. Well, it's time to re-evaulate and organize! At least, it's cool down there! ;-)

    Blessings,
    Dianne

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  38. What a great regimented way to tackle decluttering. Oftentimes it's so overwhelming you just don't know where to start, so you don't. Your method puts the task into small manageable chunks. I may have to go tackle my closet now. LOL

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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  39. My sister is having a fundraising garage sale this weekend so I have been slowly collecting items that we no longer need. I'm in that group who, due to frugality, actually tends to keep things just in case. I've seen so many friends who got rid of all of their baby things scramble to find what they needed when another one came along a few years later. As our family grows, we're in the stage of adding more than removing (picking up a mattress for my son's new bed tonight so that the baby can move into the crib, for example). BUT, I'm reminding myself that there are parts of my life that I have moved away from at this point of my life as mommy or areas that my taste has simply changed and it is fine to move on from those things. The worst are gifts from people I care about--will they be hurt if I get rid of this? I have to remind myself that I never liked it or the kids never used it and they will never know unless I tell them.

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  40. It seems like lots of blogland ladies are talking about decluttering this month.
    I know I need to hop to it.
    I really like those cups. My grandma has a set similar to it, but I do believe they're yellow.
    Have a lovely day Rhonda!

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  41. Hi Rhonda, You read my thoughts. I had definitely decided to do some decluttering this month and your post was a good kick up the whatsit for me to get started. I have been in this house for 32 years and even with some clear outs over the years there is still a mountain of stuff lurking in corners. I have a lot of garage space and it's so easy to just dump stuff there and ignore it. Thanks!
    Anne, Sussex England

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  42. I'm in---but I fear the husband will be the greatest challenge to this!

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  43. We're getting rid of a load of clutter at the moment - we will be moving soon. We're going to see what we can sell, what to give away and what to bin.

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  44. I'm in. I'll start tonight after work and will add 6 items to make up for yesterday.

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  45. Marvellous timing, as always, Rhonda. We desperately need a clearout! This past weekend (and today), I've filled a black sack of rubbish, found a huge pile of catalogues (why on earth was I keeping them?) to recycle and am going through my clothes (so far have about half a sack) to sell or donate. Less is more!

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  46. I always think of a Clutterbug as someone who is hampered by their possessions and forced to crawl slowly through and around their life. Once that clutter is gone you become a Clutterbird - soaring through your life. Until you have de-cluttered you never really know how much weight you have been carrying and what a freeing sensation this can be. This is a great challenge.

    So far I have two crocks and a set of yellow ware bowls and six cook books and I know exactly who to give these items to. They are young and just starting out.

    Sunny

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  47. My first Monday de-cluttering: Am giving away
    1. Pair of leather shoes that belonged to my mother
    2. Pair of leather shoes that belonged to my mother
    3. Leather purse
    4. Cotton skirt
    5. Cotton sweater

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  48. I'll hop ... (in the box)...on board...I'm a regular declutterer...it simplifies life:-)...and I need to declutter the dining room's side board.....my challenge, because I LOVE old china....

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  49. My daughter just turned 2 and I went through all her baby clothes from the first 18 months of her life that no longer fit. There is a car boot load. I have no idea how I accumulated so many clothes. Most are in fabulous condition so I'm trying to find a women's shelter to give them to.

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  50. Thankyou Rhonda , July was going to be my clear out rubbish or G.R.O J .( Get rid of Junk) well it didn't happen . I was going to spend every Wednesday in the computer/craft/sewing room and do a de-clutter. So as I failed I started yesterday and emptied the wardrobe.... What do you do with old computers ,printers etc.? The wool I was going to spin , the wool I have in a huge quilt bag, waiting for me to knit something, the U.F.O's (unfinished objects) ,scrapbooking stuff by the ton, teddy bear fabric, stuff I brought from Scotland in 1975 ! I ask you I need help! Sewing projects , magazines (mostly craft) Oh my , oh my , oh my ! HELP!

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    1. Margaret, ask these questions over at the forum. There will be plenty of answers there. Also, phone your local council dump and ask about disposing of computers. This is a major problem now and most councils have a special program for computers and printers.

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  51. decluttering..this is something I really must do, I really like the idea of 5 items Monday and 1 per day....my biggest hurdle to overcome will be my sewing materials and patterns, thanks for the wake up call to do this , kind regards Darlene

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  52. what a good idea Rhonda. Last year hubby and I travelled for 2 months (was supposed to be for 3 months - but that's another story) with a camper trailer.
    We lived out of a largeish overnight bag and survived quite well. Each year when we go on holidays to our caravan in Bright Victoria we take an overnight bag with clothes and use what crockery/cutlery/etc. that is there. Each year I come home thinking I have too many clothes - seriously I could probably go 1 month with out doing any washing! Maybe underwear would need a wash. Ages ago I removed some of hubby's t-shirts from his drawer to the wardrobe as the drawer would no longer close easily. It has all his work t-shirts in it. He never really noticed and I don't think he has actually worn any of the moved tees.
    Earlier in the year I decided to go thru all my craft magazines and only keep those with projects I thought I might make 1 day. I sent over 200 mags to the local op shop - I did keep about 70 mags. I have gone thru craft supplies and given heaps (2-3 large garbage bags full) to a kindergarten and there is still more I could quite likely get rid of. I have a small bedroom dedicated to craft - and it is overflowing.

    Maybe I should join everyone with removing 1 or 2 things each day.

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  53. Great idea. As someone mentioned above, sometimes the amount of things to sort through is so overwhelming that you don't know where or how to begin.

    I'm not joining the official challenge but I am decluttering, bit by bit. Last week I rearranged the lounge room just a little and found some toys my children used that my grandchildren no longer use or are broken, so they're in a couple of piles, ready to go! One of my sons and I decluttered the pantry last week as well, so I feel as if I've achieved quite a lot.

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  54. You're right, decluttering can be an emotional ordeal. I find that the best way to keep it simple is to do it regularly. I do a major deep cleaning of drawers and cupboards at least twice a year. This summer we trucked 5 huge bags of clothing, books and household items to various charities. That always feels good!

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  55. I have some catching up to do as I am only just reading this now, but I think this sounds good. I am in.

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  56. Rhonda..I had to declutter last summer, but I wouldn't recommend this way to anyone! We ended up getting bed bugs from someone's trailer. It was a person who was working for us. Her husband took in a chair that someone had thrown out ( another thing I would NOT recommend doing). The chair had bedbugs. They got them in their trailer, and we got them in our house! It took a lot of work and expense to get rid of them. The only good thing out of this...I HAD to get rid of a lot of stuff. My husband was quite a pack rat, and his room had to be totally cleaned out ( something I had been wanting to do for years, but he wouldn't let me). I had to throw out 2 chairs, and my old bed frame. Now we have metal bed frames and bed bug protectors on all our mattresses and box springs. I still have some stuff in our carport that I plan to sort through when the weather cools off. I made alot of trips to the thrift store, and also threw stuff out. It feels great now to have a de-cluttered house, but this definitely is NOT the way to do it..because of bedbugs!

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  57. Yes! I am joining you Rhonda!

    I am constantly in a struggle to declutter, but never quite put enough time into it. I say I will implement the one in, one out policy at least, but even that doesn't happen.

    But, I was just thinking earlier today that I should do something like this - I was thinking something a little more drastic, like spending 10 minutes every day decluttering. But I will take your challenge and if I do more, than that's great!

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  58. I love seeing all the enthusiastic responses to your Decluttering challenge. How wonderful. I am joining in as well and have linked back to your post for anyone else that is interested.

    Hugs,

    Amy

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  59. I'm just now getting a chance to see this post. I love to declutter, and love to live decluttered--my hubby, not so much--so I'm always in decluttering mode around here, trying to stay ahead of what hubby manages to bring home with him.

    Another reason that I declutter regularly, especially now that we're getting older ourselves, is that I don't want to leave a huge bunch of stuff for our children to have to deal with when we're gone.

    I'm happy to say that my hubby is gradually coming around to my way of thinking about decluttering, and he is making progress. :-)

    ~Becky

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  60. I've just found this blog and am revved up and raring to go. I know August is half over but better late than never. My husband has been going through his thousands of DVDs, copying them to a portable hard drive and tossing out all but the extra special ones (which are unavailable anywhere). He's a worse packrat than I am, so if he can do it, so can I.

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