365 In 365 Declutter Challenge: January Update | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 365 In 365 Declutter Challenge: January Update

Friday, January 24, 2014

365 In 365 Declutter Challenge: January Update

How has your decluttering gone so far?  It's the 24th today so the target for 365 Items in 365 Days is to have decluttered 24 items by now.  We started a week into the month though, so if you're a bit behind you still have lots of time to catch up :) 

I know many people in the 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group have been pumped to declutter in January and have done a lot more than 24 items!  I've been amazed to see all the decluttering that's been going on in that group!  Kitchen cupboards, bedroom closets, linen closets, craft supplies, magazines, toiletries, kids' school work, holiday decorations, socks and undies... and I could go on and on.  And that's just in the last few days!

What's been exciting is how many people have said they just start out planning to declutter a small thing and ended up being motivated to keep going.  I love that!  It makes decluttering a totally non-overwhelming process :)

Want to see what I've been decluttering the last few weeks? 

I started the year by clearing out a lot of old paperwork.  My shredder was working overtime for a few days :)

Some of this was actually piles of papers that I'd been putting off shredding.  They piled up for months and I finally took care of them.  Felt good to get that done.  Moving forward, I'm trying to shred immediately as I come across papers that need to be shredded.  That way there's no overwhelming piles and I don't have to put "shred paperwork" on a to-do list.

Even though I had decluttered a lot of Christmas items in December, when we were putting everything away in January, I decluttered even more.

These were some books that we didn't read (we had even more than we needed for our Advent Books Basket) or that the kids had outgrown or didn't like as much as some of the others.  They helped me narrow down our pile to 24 nights of reading for next December.  I also purged a few activities that weren't used, a shirt of mine that doesn't fit any more, and some PJ's that my daughter loved but that were already getting too small on her this year and I know won't fit her next year.   

Last week when I changed my daughter's sheets, I was frustrated trying to get the clean sheets around the corners.  These are flannel and feel really warm in the winter, but they've shrunk too much to fit right.

My daughter was sad to part with them because they're so warm, but agreed to give them away to her cousins who have toddler beds so they'd probably fit better.  And now she's down to 2 sets of sheets which is better anyway. 

I kind of stalled on organizing my kitchen this month, but I did do some decluttering in it.  I cleaned off the top of my fridge (it was full of random stuff that had been there for a LONG time) and I purged some books from our shelves.

That kitchen scale was covered in dust... which shows you how little I used it.  The toys were things that were confiscated for various reasons and then never asked for.  Time for them to go.  There are 4 cookbooks in that pile... I never look at them so they can go.  Several activity books... haven't used them in awhile.  And a babysitter memo pad... never used.  2 other magnetic notepads we haven't used lately either.  And I got a new kettle for Christmas so I'm parting with my trusty friend that still works after 25 years.  That kettle got me through some rough mornings :)

All in all, our kitchen feels much less cluttered now.

Here are a few other random items I decluttered this month.

We have too many rubber mats for our vehicles so these old ones are going.  Upgraded to a better power bar (with surge protector) before the ice storm in December and couldn't find a use for the old one, so I'm giving it away.  Crayons... we have way to many of those already.  And the snow measuring stick is really cute.  But we always forget to put it in the ground before it snows and then it's too hard to put it in afterwards.

That brings my decluttering total to 46 items so far!  None of it took much time either.

What I did spend time on this month though, was decluttering our entertainment unit.  Especially the cupboard with all our old cassettes.  Yep... still had a lot of those :)  I know music has been digital for a long time now, but our budget has not allowed for updating all our old music so we still hung onto these as long as we had a cassette player that worked.  Recently though, the one on our stereo died, so the only one that still worked was the one on my daughter's portable stereo.  It's getting finicky too though... so it was definitely time to do something about these cassette tapes!

Here's the cupboard in the entertainment unit before I started decluttering.

Those are 3 sets of drawers holding cassettes.  Plus a few other items on either side that we rarely use.  Here's what it looks like now.

So much empty space!  I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for yet but it's exciting to have :)  The green tin contains some tapes my hubby's not prepared to let go of just yet.  And the wooden box holds a few special cassettes I'm going to try to digitize (a few sermons my hubby and I preached back when we when we worked with youth, the audio of our wedding, a couple mixed tapes we made each other when we were dating, etc.).  I won't count those since I'm just replacing them with digital versions, but at least the digital doesn't take up as much space.  And I'm sure I'll listen to them more too.

So where did all the stuff go?  Check it out!

Those 3 sets of cassette drawers are empty now!  And there are 99 cassettes piled up there.  Plus CD holders, a portable CD player and case, and a correspondence course on cassette that I've held onto for years but have never listened to again.  I also went quickly through the drawers and baskets in the entertainment unit and decluttered a few CD's, DVD's, and video tapes too. And I actually found 2 more cassettes today to add to the pile. 

It took me most of the month to go through our cassette collection.  Those tapes were filled with memories of my hubby's and my high school and university days!  {I'm probably dating myself here and those of you who are young enough to have been raised with only CD's are probably thinking I'm historic but I'm just being honest about my decluttering here!}.

We rarely listen to our cassettes anymore and they take up a LOT of space.  So there's no point keeping them.  But I wanted to listen to some of them first before purging them :)  So I worked my way through our collection while working on other things this month.  And I made a list of some of our favourites in case we want to buy them on itunes some day or listen to them on YouTube or the artist's website.

I'm not counting these items in my total count yet, because I'm going to try to give some of these things away on Freecycle first.  And I'll try to sell a few of the CD's and DVD's at a local used entertainment store called The Beat Goes On.  Whatever I can't get rid of I'll donate or throw out (I checked our local waste disposal guidelines and I can recycle the cases and liners from the cassettes and then throw the actual cassettes in the garbage). 

So, that's my decluttering journey so far!  I'm excited to be part of the 365 Items in 365 Days Declutter Challenge with you!  If you haven't joined yet... jump in! 

Are you ready to declutter?!  

Remember to tell others about this challenge.  They'll thank you for helping them declutter.  And don't forget, I'll be basing the the prize at the end on how many people participated :)

Feel free to grab this button to spread the news if you're a blogger or have a website.

I'm Doing It! 365 Items in 365 Days Declutter Challenge

If you need any decluttering ideas to get you started or keep you going, check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

Plus my 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series is always in a tab at the top of the page here on the blog.

I've found in the 365 Facebook group that when people see what other people are decluttering, it gives them ideas of items to declutter in their own homes.  Hopefully this peek at what I've decluttered will help you out too!

Have you joined the 365 in 365 Challenge yet?  What items in your home do you want to declutter?  What's your motivation for decluttering this year?  Oh, and do you still have cassettes around your home?  Please tell me I'm not the only "ancient" one :)

Happy organizing decluttering!

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Here are all the posts in the 365 Items in 365 Days series: