Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Project Declutter: Week 4 (plus a bit!)

Yay, I made it :) Every single day right through May I managed to declutter at least one item (and often more than one!) Here's a quick look at the last week-and-a-bit of May, and then some 'final thoughts'...

Sunday 22nd May

I sorted out my tights drawer (not to be confused with my sock drawer!) Why did I have so many pairs when I rarely wear tights?! I selected some old pairs to get rid of, and put the rest back rather more tidily than before...

Also pulled out a stack of papers from under the coffee table and got The Doctor to make decisions about whether or not to keep them.

Monday 23rd May

More craft mags! I think I'll work through the rest of the magazine mountain in blocks of a dozen or so at a time... First box file's pretty full now, but it still takes up a lot less space than the long row of magazines!

Tuesday 24th May

Bagged up some jigsaws borrowed from The Mother long ago... They can go back next time I see her!

Also read and immediately decluttered the Simply Cards & Papercraft that arrived today.

Wednesday 25th May

Gave The Fabulous One a beading magazine and polymer clay book that I no longer wanted.

Went through a pile of cardmaking booklets and scrapbooking magazines - the booklets can go to my papercrafts class, and I kept just a few pages from the magazines.

Thursday 26th May

Better organised some maps, leaflets and travel guides, discovering a couple of duplicates in the process. I may not have got rid of much, but what's left is much neater and more organised!

Later, I found some badly freezer-burnt and in some cases no longer recognisable items in the freezer - into the bin with them!

Friday 27th May

Listed The Tomboy's old keyboard on Freecycle. That's made some space in her bedroom!

Also listed our hair clippers - I can't imagine The Boy letting me near his hair any more, and The Doctor never did...

And I went through a couple of boxes from The Cupboard Under The Stairs, and put together a bag of cables and chargers to list on Freecycle too. The second bag was assorted rubbish from those boxes and went into the bin. (Narnia's in sight!)

Took a bundle of magazines (Scrapbook Inspirations, *sob!*) to the hairdressers to tear out pages. Found layouts by Sian, Ruth, Abi, Karen and (I think possibly?) Kirsty, what a lovely surprise! :)

Saturday 28th May

Helped The Doctor to sort out The Tomboy's room. Filled the recycling bag with paper a couple of times over, filled a couple of bin bags (not shown), put some bulky items away and set aside a few things for the charity shop. It's so much tidier and better organised in there now!

Freecycled clippers collected - and cables/chargers.

Filled a bag with books from The Boy's room, for the charity shop.

Sunday 29th May

Tackled The Boy's room. Found more stuff to give to the charity shop and a few things to throw away (ie a bin bag or so! Not shown). A few things to pass on to a local toddler group, too (not shown because I forgot to photograph them...)

Also cleaned and tidied the kitchen, hence getting rid of some dust and crumb clutter, and threw away this sippy cup - why did we even still have this?!

Monday 30th May

Filled 2 boxes with books for the charity shop...

...and unearthed an old train track that can go too, and an educational game!

Plus The Tomboy's dance mat.

Set aside a Thomas the Tank Engine train track to offer to a friend.

Dropped off the charity shop bags and boxes at the Scout Hut. Also took the jigsaws back to The Mother's.

Tuesday 31st May

Filled a bag with out-of-date medicines, oops... (Does include Epipens, though!*)

* Both The Boy and I need Epipens in case of a severe allergic reaction, but they don't tend to have a very long shelf life, so we frequently have to pick up new prescriptions for them. And I always, always forget to take the old ones along to the pharmacy for safe disposal at the time I go to collect the new ones...

Sorted out something else that I can't mention here because it would spoil a surprise or two ;)

My friend didn't need the train track so we dropped it off at the charity shop.

Freecycled keyboard collected.


And that's the end of the month! Gosh, I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff.... :)

So, a few thoughts:
  •  Other than the 'Try A New Recipe Every Week Project', this has been The Doctor's favourite of all my projects ever!
  • A word about craft magazines. Firstly, I have such a huge number because I've had subscriptions to several - some that were given to me, some that I invested in myself, and some that were free because I was part of a feedback panel for a publisher - and because I would often pick up a magazine as a little treat to myself each month. I had every issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft, The Scrapbook Magazine and Papercraft Essentials (right back to the days when it was Craft Essentials), and nearly every issue of Scrapbook Inspirations. I still have the complete collection of Simply Stamping. And I had and have lots of copies of other titles too! This particular part of the decluttering process is definitely ongoing. So far I've turned a shelf's worth of magazines into a box file full of pages plus a few pages over. I shall keep going with that till I've gone through the whole pile of magazines (I'd say I'm not even halfway yet...) and then I plan to go through all those torn out pages one more time. Some articles I may have changed my mind about keeping (I've gotten more ruthless as I went on!) Some techniques are covered more than once, so I shall just keep the best example. I also want to try to organise the pages a bit into cards, scrapbooking, other, sketches etc. After that, I shall decorate the box files and write lists of the contents on the outside for ease of reference. That's the plan, anyway! :)
  • It's great to have cleared all that space, but there's a way still to go, and not just with the magazines. I've decided to extend Project Declutter for another month, still aiming to get rid of at least one item every day, and then assess where I'm up to once again. I may not do the full updates as I have through May - but then again, maybe I will! Haven't decided yet! But I shall certainly keep photographing and writing down the stuff that's being got rid of for my own records, and will create a minibook of it all whenever I do decide to stop.
  • I'm also hoping though that even when the project's 'over', I'll keep up with some of the good habits - in particular, magazines now get decluttered as soon as I've read them! So perhaps maybe we won't get the same build-up of clutter again.....?
Thanks for following along, people - your encouragement has been a big support to me throughout May :) I much appreciate it xx

PS There's still time to enter to win a Shimelle class on this post - entries close at 5pm GMT today!


Sian said...

You are putting me to shame. I think I might need to order a skip...

Seriously, a brilliant job! (Is there anything left to declutter?)

Jimjams said...

I am SO impressed with this Mel - you have achieved wonders. Well done on all the Freecycling too - I'm amazed at what gets offered (and collected!) and must remember to do that rather than bin things too quickly.
I think I'm going to have to have a go ... it is after all the first of June and that's a pretty good place to start!

al said...

Happy decluttering for the month of June too! It gets quite addictive :). You've done loads already ...

Miriam said...

Brilliant project Mel, Isn't freecycle great? I haven't done nearly as well as you but you have encouraged me to at least do a little, more often than I normally would.

Sandra said...

Nothing makes me happier to see a big declutter finished :) oohhh I love that feeling of, right ... I can start hording again LOL.

Well done, very impressed.

Mary B said...

Such a brilliant idea think I may try to do the same. Perhaps June is my month for decluttering.

Peonies and Pennies said...

You have done so well, keep up the good work. You have inspired me to get on with my decluttering. ~c~

debs14 said...

I am very worried that my The Husband might happen upon your blog and 'suggest' that I do something similar ;-)
You have done an AMAZING job here, do you hire yourself out to help poor families whose son has come home from 3 years at uni along with a gazillion and one bags and boxes that no longer fit in his bedroom? If so, I know a deserving family ....

Melissa said...

GREAT JOB Mel! It always feels so good to declutter. In May I worked through the master closet & bathroom & took several bags to the donation shop, but that's as far as I've gotten. I'm hoping to work on the master bedroom this week (later today would be nice!!) and should have accomplish some decluttering there too. Of course, being married to a collector makes some rooms impossible to declutter! LOL

furrypig said...

we had a massive clear out in the garage and managed several bags to the charity shop, a car full of rubbish to the tip and recycling and a few donations for the school fair! I may just try the one thing a day for June as I have failed for May tho I did achieve a lot! Well done to you, I am inspired by your treatment of your crafty mags as I have lots and can't bear to throw them away!

Lizzie said...

Wow-ee! I agree with the other commenters, that you have done amazingly - I am mega-impressed! Our de-cluttering efforts are a drop in the ocean, compared to your month's worth! Still, there's always June now, isn't there?
DH did a big tidy and clear-out in DS' room on Sunday. He filled a recycling bag and a bin bag. Lots of empty model cartons and scribbled-on bits of paper... I promised to try and go through the top of the chest of drawers and the bookcase - I think tomorrow is the day for this!
Thanks for the inspiration, Mel. I may not have "kept up" with your sterling efforts, but I have been nudged in the right direction.

Miss Smith said...

This is a really inspiring thing to share - it's made me have a declutter which was definitely needed to fit all my things into the flat.

P.S. It could well have been me :D

Alison said...

I am so impressed that you have 'freecycled' so much
Alison xx

Cheri said...

I hope you really feel the sense of accomplish reading back over the laundry list of what you've done in the past month! Decluttering is truly addictive and reading this makes me want to get started again!!!

Ladkyis said...

Good Job! I am seriously impressed. With the Epipens I wonder if you should be carrying them with you all the time because they are for allergic reaction so no good if they are at home eh? I treat mine a bit like insurance, as long as it is with me no wasp will every bother to sting me. This also means that when you go out you have it with you and, therefore it will be in your bag at the pharmacy...... or is that too easy?

Beverly said...

BRAVO! Well done on this project :)

Missus Wookie said...

Oh well done! Freecycle and charity shops are my favourite places to get rid of things.

Glad I'm not the only one who has out of date epipens around too.

Ginger said...

that is amazing Mel!! It's encouraging watching you do this...

angelfish said...

You have done an amazing job with your decluttering Mel:)
I could do with just a pinch of your ruthlessness!

jillconyers said...

Mel that is awesome! I so need to declutter. Maybe during summer break.

Anonymous said...

This is such an impressive project, Mel. We had to empty most of our basement in order to have a standby generator installed. My husband refuses to put any of it back until we have gone through each and every thing! I don't think my car will see the garage for quite some time!