1 Month of Daily Minimizing—The Results!

During the month of November 2014 I got rid of 662 items from my home. 411 donated, 244 trashed (they deserved it), 7 consigned. This does not include the 136 items I put in my basement for storage. I still have these, but now they’re out of my everyday space, and part of an ongoing what-do-I-actually-need experiment. I will revisit these items after the holiday season (February).

 

Here’s an image of what 30-days of minimizing looks looks like:

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For feel-good donations (things I gave to Somerville Homeless Coalition, to help set up apartments for families) the benefit was incomparable! All those donations made me feel great. I’d do it all over again.

For laundry, I got so rid of so much excess clothing and linens that I can easily get by only doing one load of laundry per week. Minimizing means I spend almost zero time sorting. I’ve also removed all the pile-up potential. Liberating!

For tax deductible donations I estimate $236 (Not bad considering almost nothing was of any real monetary value.

Update: For consigned items, $196.80.

What a wonderful month! It really did get easier. It also paved room for me to get creative with some Christmas decor. The last few days of the month were focused on junk mail and paper purging, so it seemed wonderfully appropriate that my creative outlet was all about paper! I’m working on a wall tree made entirely of scrap paper.

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Here’s a pic of my final drop off at Salvation Army this month! It’s always thrilling to see what is no longer in my living space.

And for the final daily purge of the month, I got rid of…

Five junk mailings & six Christmas ornaments

Thanks so much for reading!

 

MP3s Don’t Need Shelves

I did get rid of my standard five+ items today (blah blah blah)…

  1. 10 pieces of mail
  2. two old dining chairs
  3. a plant-hook stand
  4. a lampshade
  5. an old fireplace log holder… that was appraised and not worth anything

BUT, the real HOLY SMOKES award goes to my husband who consolidated the volume of his entire CD collection

from this…

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Shown above: 15 bags FILLED with unwanted CD jewel cases, and the shelves they once lived on.

… to this!!!!

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Shown above: FIVE books. Each filled at 75% capacity, to provide room to grow. This is some dramatic space reduction!!!

I want to linger on this point a little while. Look at that purged pile of shelves and jewel cases again. See how much space that is!!! This is the size of a beautiful big closet. I can’t get away from this thought. I feel like we just paid for an addition to our home. I feel like a carpenter was interviewed, hired, here and gone. Leaving in his wake one big closet, freshly built!!! But, it’s dreamlike because all this extra space cost only $150 (five big cd cases at $30 each), didn’t require any labor research or disruption in daily life. It required several hours on the couch, transferring CDs while watching House Hunters and other TV favorites. It can be kind of therapeutic to do this sort of sorting (I didn’t do any of it, I’m just thinking back to the last time I did anything like this, which was possibly about twelve years ago).

The shelves, we no longer need, are awesome. They seem super useful. I thought of keeping them to store my tchotchkes (oh wait, I got rid of most of those) or some toiletry products (ug! got rid of those too)… ok, ok, I’m illustrating a point in a rather goofy format. These shelves are great! But, shelves are for shelving things. If you don’t got much in the way of things, what good are shelves?

Happy November 29, Everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow for the final day of my November Pact to Purge. WOW! Really? Just for your info, I do keep checking the calendar to confirm November does only go up to 30!!!! HAHHA, this is how psyched I am.

Unclutter Mail, Part 2

FullSizeRenderGrabbed a handful of papers from the “I’ll get to that at some point” pile by the front door Left: 29 pieces in today’s unclutter pile.

Weeded out the junk. Felt manipulated by some charity freebies (a calendar, some Christmas cards). Really don’t like this, or how it makes me feel. I put those things in my goods-to-donate pile. Not good to have this vibe living in ones home. It’s out!

Poured a cup of coffee (Barrington Roasting, really been enjoying their beans)

Sorted through the important stuff. Paid two bills! A great reinforcer to the necessity of clearing the clutter.

I couldn’t tackle as big a pile as I set out. I finally decided this was ok since my objective is to address the paper clutter. As long as I make progress and do at least five pieces/day. This is what I’ll commit to. I’ve exceed that.

I got rid of 22 pieces of mail today!!!

Thanks for your support. See you tomorrow!

 

 

The home stretch! (and it’s paved in paper)

The most positive thing I can do for myself (today and for the rest of the month) is to purge the paper. After 24 consecutive days of uncluttering  (kitchen things, linens, trinkets, clothes, etc) it is now the paper that is causing me the most mental unrest.

Let’s tackle this!

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To ensure follow through, I started off simple. I went to our mail caddy (upper left). I did a quick sort of mine vs. husband’s. I found a great coupon (upper right). I felt a little sad for having missed this, but reminded myself that staying away from stores when I just don’t feel the need to shop, saves me more money than any coupon ever could.

I got rid of 13 pieces of mail today!!!

Yup, proud.

Thanks for your support. See you tomorrow!

Lisa

 

Day 24—It’s expired

I must have known these meds were in the cabinet. Today is the fourth time (give or take) that I’ve de-stuffed from our big medicine cabinet. Did it take three previous purges to even be able to notice this batch? Seeing with the brain is the name of the minimizing game. It’s all expired. What will I find if I open the cupboard tomorrow?

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What I got rid of today

  1. Expired prescription #1
  2. Expired prescription #2
  3. Expired antacid tablets, box #1
  4. Expired antacid tablets, box #2
  5. Expired mouthwash
  6. Expired antacid controller, pills
  7. Expired Slippery Elm supplement
  8. Expired Robitussin

The good news is, all this went unused and lurked around because we generally feel well (and almost never go through our med cabinet).

Goodbye unwanted stuff!

Day 23—Paper clutter

Today is day 23 of my November Pact to Purge. Today is also the first day I’ve even touched, or addressed paper. I hate it! Can you relate? I hide it. I typically glance at it, shrug, think I should probably hang on to it, then shove it in a drawer. Last night, right before bed, I emptied (the smallest) drawer I tend to shove stuff into. I left the clutter on the dining table.

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The next morning, it was there waiting for me.

Over breakfast, I sorted through this small pile. I focused on my original commitment—just five things. I knew this was simple enough. I used it to motivate me.

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Here they are! The five things I got rid of today. Plus, why I hung on to them, and how I’m getting rid of them.

  1. Feline dental kit. Uh…how is this paper clutter? Yes, yes, good question. I guess I can only respond with a “see! This is exactly how messed up my paper clutter is!” ;) … moving on … I kept this for a while since I thought we’d maybe give this a try. Then I decided not to put our sweet 12-year-old kitty through this. Since it is still sealed, I threw it in our donate pile.
  2. Feline dental cleanser. (same reason and discard method as above)
  3. Empty peripheral containers. I find I always hang on to these just in case I need to return. These two things are well beyond that timeframe, therefore tossed in the recycle bin.
  4. Gift bag. I hung on to as a “what if…” but it’s probably been in that drawer for over a year. It’s still useful, therefore added to our donation pile.
  5. Pile of papers! All the papers went one of three ways (recycle, shred, or file). I recycle things like assembly instructions for a coat rack I put together almost two years ago. I shred anything that has my personal info on it (like packing slip from an old delivery). I file anything I want to keep (like the owner’s manual for our dishwasher).

I’m so glad I did this today! Papers are always on the back of my mind. Also, for me, starting off small is the key. If I went any more ambitious with the size of my pile, I’m pretty sure I would’ve just watched TV instead. Now, I feel so good that I think I’m ready to tackle a second—mini—pile!

Until tomorrow  . . .

Lisa