365 Items in 365 Days: My June to October Update | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 365 Items in 365 Days: My June to October Update

Thursday, November 5, 2015

365 Items in 365 Days: My June to October Update

How are you doing in the 365 Items in 365 Days Declutter Challenge?  It's the 308th day of the year today so if you started in January, your target is to have purged 308 items by now.  But don't worry about that if you've just started.  Just jump in!  It's always a good time to declutter :)

Today I'll be sharing what I've decluttered since my last update in May. Yes, it's been a LONG time since my last update.  I didn't post much all summer and then last month was the #DeclutteringFomAToZ challenge on the blog.  But even though I haven't shared my progress here, I've still been decluttering :)  By doing these updates I hope to give you ideas of things you can purge from your home!


A couple of times a year, I go through all my kids' clothes and change out the seasons and sizes.  They grow like weeds so there are always clothes that they've outgrown.  In between these sessions when they find clothing that is too small, we add it to the Too Small baskets in their closets.  And then we add to those baskets when we do our seasonal clothing sessions.

I don't count my kids' clothes in the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge because I figure it's just part of our lives... they get new clothes throughout the year (hand-me-downs, birthdays, holidays, or just shopping as needed) and we give away the clothes they no longer use.  But I always mention it here because I still consider it decluttering and it feels so good when those bags of clothes leave our home :)  And you can certainly count clothing if you'd like.

Here are the bags from June:

Kids' Books

About once a year I ask my kids to go through their books and give away any they no longer read.  My son doesn't have a lot of books and he often passes his books down to my daughter, if they are books she'd enjoy.  The rest go to family and friends.

My daughter has a lot more books and tends to accumulate them quicker.  She also really enjoys picture books and being read to, even though she's now 9 and reading novels.  So she has a harder time letting go of her books.  But, this summer she was willing to part with quite a few of them.  Her younger cousins are learning to read so she wanted to give away all her early readers to them.  I love how much easier it is for her to declutter when she knows who will enjoy them next.

Here's what she let go of this summer:

That's 60 books and 2 sets of read-along books on tape!  So proud of my little girl... but also sad that she's growing up so quickly.

School Work

During the summer we also went through all the school work that was brought home at the end of June.  Both my kids are getting better at letting go of their work.  They keep their favourite projects and some work from each subject, but recycle most of the rest.

They used to want to take pictures of a lot of their work before recycling it, but this time they both only photographed a few things.

Their school work bins are getting full, so at some point we'll go back and revisit the folders from previous grades and purge a little more, to make room for future grades.

Here are a few pictures of them sorting their school work:

That big pile of paper by my son's legs is his recycle pile.  It was about 3 inches tall.

The pile in front of my daughter is her recycle pile.  It was about 2 inches thick. {Yes she's in her pajamas... summers are pretty relaxed around here!}

I'll count that as 5 items decluttered (1 for each inch of their piles).

Activity Drawers

My daughter has a set of activity drawers in our dining room that hold things like stickers, colouring books, notebooks, markers, and a few toys and games.  We haven't done a good decluttering and organizing session on these drawers in a long time and they were in definite need of some purging.

Here's what my daughter decluttered from these drawers:

These are the recycling and garbage piles.  We'll call that another 1 inch of papers as well as 2 stamps, 6 markers, and 3 assorted little bags/pouches.

And here are her give away piles:

That's a lot of stuff!  I forgot to count it all, but she decluttered at least 40 sticker sets/sheets, 1 note paper holder, 1 Brain Quest deck, 4 stencils, 3 sticker books, 2 craft kits, 8 notebooks, 5 toys, 1 set of crayons, and about 50 other crayons.

Some of the partially used things were given to her cousins and some of the stickers were given to her aunt who is a teacher.  She also included many of the new items in the goody bags at her birthday party last month.  And there are a few unused things that we will re-gift or donate.


We also did a little decluttering in our basement.  We went through our craft supplies and gave away some of the craft kits that haven't been used.  My kids enjoy doing crafts, but they have more kits than they make time to do, so they agreed to let some of them go, to make space for the ones they really wanted to work on.

They decluttered 11 craft/activity kits/books and 2 lap desks that they haven't used in a long time but weren't ready to part with the last few times we decluttered in the basement.  I can tell they're getting a big older because they're starting to realize they can let go of things they don't use.

Like these big toys!

My daughter gave away her My Little Pony playset.  She still really likes My Little Pony, but only played with this set when her cousin was over.  So she gave it to her.

My son hasn't played with this BIG truck in a really long time but he never wanted to give it away.  He finally decided to give it to his cousin who had played with it when he visited.

Similarly with this play tent.  My son got then when he was 3.  He's 11 now and hasn't played with it in years.  But he never wanted to give it away.  I'm not sure what changed... maybe now that he's in middle school he's starting to realize he has new interests.  But whatever the reason, he gave it away.

Since all 3 of these items are very large, I asked my sister-in-law first if she wanted her kids to have them.  I never want to dump our clutter onto someone else... especially big stuff!  But she agreed and my kids definitely felt better about letting go of their things, knowing their cousins would get to enjoy them.

We also decluttered the following from the basement (more from the craft cupboard, some from our gift bins, and some from the desk):

  • 3 sets of beads
  • 2 packages of floam
  • 4 frames
  • 1 keychain
  • 1 package of foam shapes
  • 1 stencil
  • 1 pencil organizer
  • 1 set of pastels
  • 1 package of google eyes
  • 1 packages of thread
  • 1 wooden dowel
  • 1 bag of feathers
  • 1 "Grandpa" frame
  • 1 "Grandma" photo mat
  • 1 mini photo album
  • 1 duplicate computer game

My kids weren't the only ones decluttering the last few months.  I decluttered several bins full of paperwork.  I had files from several previous lives and it was time to let it go!  I purged almost all the paperwork from university, teachers' college,  and seminary, as well as most of the files from my math teaching days and my youth ministry days.

I cleared a total of 4 bins of paper (these 3 plus one more)!  Our recycling bins were overflowing for several weeks in a row :)  And it feels good to let go of it.

I'll count each bin as 24 items since they are 24 inches long and each inch was full of paper.  So that's 96 inches of paper!

I haven't looked at any of it in years and even if I ever go back into either teaching or youth ministry (not very likely for either!), these materials would be outdated and not very useful.  I wish I'd let go of them years ago!  And I still have a few more bins to finish.

I'm still decluttering in our basement and have plans for how to use the space under our stairs where all of this was stored.  I'll share more when I finish this project :)

Random Decluttering

Decluttering during specific seasons or projects is a great way to let go of stuff in our homes.  But I also love what I call random decluttering.  This just happens spontaneously, usually when I'm annoyed about something, looking for an item, or seeing things in a different way than usual.  Decluttering relieves stress, makes my home function better, and makes it easier to find what I need.

Here are some things I decluttered in moments like these:

  • 1 flutter board
  • 1 pair of soccer shoes
  • 1 pair of crocs
  • 1 "jock"
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses

  • 1 backpack (my son got a bigger one when he started middle school in September so he agreed to let go of this old one)
  • 1 small suitcase (my son had outgrown the pull handle on this child sized suitcase)
  • 1 McDonald's toy
  • 2 kids' lanterns
  • 1 flashlight

  • 1 old blanket
  • 1 electric blanket
  • 2 old towels

As well as these items (not pictured):

  • 1 pair of flip flops (I got some new purple ones so I gave away another pair)
  • 3 travel games
  • 1 soft briefcase
  • 1 electronics case (I used to use it for my old Palm Pilot LOL!)
  • 2 pairs of my hubby's dress pants (we had a family wedding this summer and as he was going through his closet deciding what he would wear he decided to let go of some pants that he hasn't worn in awhile or that didn't fit well)
  • 1 old lamp (we got another one awhile ago and finally donated the one we had before)
  • 3 DVD games
  • 1 pack of 5 DVD cases
  • 2 DVD's
  • 3 videos
  • 1 lunch bag (my son got a new one so he gave away his old one)
  • 1 pair of baseball pants 
  • 1 boy's tie 
  • several pairs of "holey" socks from my son, my hubby, and myself (I didn't count them but I'll under-estimate and say 10 pairs total)
  • several pairs of my underwear (I got some new ones and tossed some of the older pairs - again I forgot to count but it was probably around 5)

My Totals 

All totaled, that makes 380 items decluttered in the last five months.  That's a total of 632 items so far in 2015.  Wow!  It didn't feel like that much as I was doing it, but when I see it all in one place it definitely adds up.  And it feels great to be clearing the excess from our home and giving our belongings new life somewhere else!

It is so great to be doing this challenge with all of you and sharing our progress together! I hope my decluttering has inspired you to look around your home with fresh eyes!  

In our Facebook group, we've had lots of activity lately!  We decluttered our entries in July and went through the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series together in August (organized space help keep clutter from returning to places we've already decluttered).  In September and October we did the #DeclutteringFromAToZ challenge.  Of course you can still declutter whatever you want, but having mini-challenges and games is kind of a fun way to keep motivated and maybe find some things you wouldn't have thought to declutter.  

Come join us if you need some motivation and cheering :)  The details for this challenge are always in a tab at the top of the page here on the blog.

So, that's my decluttering journey for the last few months!  I'm so glad you're part of the 365 Items in 365 Days Declutter Challenge and I hope this post gives you some ideas of what you can purge next!  If you haven't joined yet... jump in! 

Are you ready to declutter?!

November is a great time to lighten your home!  With the holidays quickly approaching it's good to make room for all the new things that will enter your home.  Plus you'll probably be entertaining through the holidays, so it's good to declutter now so you can clean your home quickly.

Remember to tell others about this challenge.  They'll thank you for helping them declutter.  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 the other posts from the series below... I seem to write about decluttering a lot :)  You can also follow my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

What did you declutter this month?  Do you have clutter you want to purge during the summer?  Do you declutter on a daily basis or in big chunks?  Have you joined the 365 in 365 Challenge yet?

Happy organizing decluttering!

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