Mar 14, 2012

Adventures in Decluttering

Working out. Prepping healthy foods. Waking up early. Decluttering.

What do all of these have in common?

They are all things that I sometimes loathe doing, yet, feel great after they are accomplished. Why is that? You'd think that since I love the reward of these chores so much, that I wouldn't procrastinate on actually doing them, but I do. It's a continuous battle. Sigh.

Regardless, I've been busy tackling the last love/hate chore on my aforementioned list, decluttering.

Brandon and I (okay, it was mostly him) made a rule: before we buy anything new for our home, we'd get rid of of everything we don't use and/or dislike. With that kind of motivation under my belt, (I really want to buy the dresser for our bedroom as soon as possible), the decluttering adventure began. This happened over a series of weekends, but was well worth our efforts. In fact, the whole process is kind of addicting. The more I throw out stuff, the more I want to keep doing it and the easier it becomes. One day Brandon is going to come home from work and find half of our belongings gone. I'm obsessed.

Photographic evidence:

We ended up taking about three loads of things to Goodwill, with the above photos accounting for the last load. [The pillow we trashed - who wants a used pillow? Ick.]

We followed these simple decluttering-rules:
  1. If we haven't used the item in 6 months to a year, it had to go. 
  2. If we found an item that we forgot we had, it had to go. 
  3. We each designated just one plastic tote storage box for sentimental items. This allowed us to really narrow down what sentimental items we wanted to keep (me: mostly photos and cards, Brandon: vacation souvenirs and greeting cards from me - obviously). 
  4. If we found duplicate items (spatulas, silverware, picture frames), the extras had to go. 
  5. Kitschy? See ya!
We rummaged through storage bins, laughing at old photos of us and happily tossing things the Goodwill pile and boy were we ever on Cloud Nine afterwards!

Maybe it's just me and my quirkiness, but I felt like a ton of stress and pressure were donated along with our junk. Such a wonderful feeling. 

After all the hard work, we were rewarded with clean, organized cabinets and closets, which really made every day living a lot easier. I know where things are and can quickly access them.

I often dreaded opening our hallway closet, but thanks to this handy organizer from Ikea, my shoes no longer attack me upon opening the door. Full disclosure: I could probably fill up three more of these shoes organizers, but we lack the closet space and thus the other shoes live in a large basket by the front door or under our bed. 

I donated over half of our stash of old towels and sheets. We really only use a few towels a week (to save on laundry), so there's not need in keeping 15 of them.

We received so many wonderful wedding gifts and were able to upgrade a lot of our kitchen gear, such as utensils and silverware. I  was thrilled to get rid of the cheap plastic kitchen gadgets and make more room for our new fancy stuff. I purchased these storage dividers from Target (where else?) a few months ago and love them. 

Finally, I decluttered my refrigerator. I like to do this at least twice month so it was merely out of habit to take care of it with the other massive organization overhaul.  Cleaning it out makes it easy to keep the shelves and drawers clean and sanitized (I like Method's All Purpose spray in grapefruit, which smells so fresh and so clean). Oh and grocery list writing: a breeze.  

This is what your fridge looks like (Crib-style) when you and your husband only cook about once a week and eat most of your meals at your offices. Sad, isn't it?

So there you have it. Yup, I really did just write a super long post about how happy decluttering makes me. I should be committed. 

What's one of your favorite de-cluttering tips or rules?


  1. Haha wow you got some nice work done! :P
    I hate cleaning up and especially throwing stuff out! I am absolutely terrible at that! I think deep down I have the potential to become a hoarder.. cats included! ;) Luckily Jayme is just like you (if not worse) so we even each other out ;)

    1. Ha ha - Jayme goes CRAZY with throwing stuff our. It makes me so proud. Brandon is similar to you - he wants to keep everything and places meaning on everything. He has to supervise me when I'm decluttering because I tend to go overboard. It must be in our (Jayme's and my) genes!


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