Happy new year!
It’s a new year, the partying is over and it’s time to start on the every day stuff again 😉
I’m so impressed with all the bloggers out there who has it all together, pumping out one post after another about their 2015 reviews, lessons learned, experiences they’ve had and goals they passed with flying colours. And not to forget, posts about their 2016 goals and plans. And they did it all in the days just around new years!
Me! Yes, I have plans for reviewing 2015 and setting goals for 2016… but I have not had my
shit, ops, sorry, act together enough to actually get these things down and out on my blog. It will come, I promise, but it will take me a few days before I’m all sorted
I have a few posts, rattling around in my head… Have I started on any of them? Well, no, and therein lies my problem… I need to get myself organized!
Since I’ve been such a slacker, unlike my blogging friends, these posts will be showing up, slowly but surely.
And while you are waiting for me 😉
Why not check out Elvis, as he does Slowly but surely much, much better than me 🙂
With all these small projects I have going, you know… the photo collection, my dads boxes, DVD project and collection all sorts of stuff in boxes for my neighbour to have a look, before I get rid of them, my house is in shambles. Serious shambles! And I just can’t procrastinate any more (which I have done a serious job at the last couple of days), and today I just need to get it done.
Do you ever find that you have so many things you are working on at one time, that you are suddenly overwhelmed with stuff?
Well that’s been me (and my living room) the last week or so. Right now I have so much photo stuff stacked around my living room table that I can hardly get to my sofa any more, without stepping over piles. Or for that sake put down my morning tea, without having to move several stacks away.. even just writing this post I have to dig out some space on my table for my pc…
Well enough of that, I’m going to put everything back where it came from, clean up the place and start over, one item at the time, one box, one album!
I might not have the same progress on the projects (you know – out of sight, out of mind) but at least I’ll have some piece of mind when I’m sitting in my living room.
Oh yeah, I should probably let you in on one more incentive! My neighbours mum is coming over on Friday for a cup of coffee… another good reason to get my house in order, wouldn’t you say? 😉
I had a run at my clothes cabinet a couple of weeks back, as a start on my big closet declutter task.
You know how they say we pretty much use only about 20% of our stuff, 80% if the time. I found this very true, when it comes to the clothing I use. I have some pieces that I use pretty much all the time, and some that are almost never (if ever) worn.
So I decided it was time to clean up shop, and continue what I started a couple of weeks ago. So that I could get the clothes out of here 🙂
I use my declutter system for closet clean ups, just like with everything else.
The rule is to be honest with yourself when deciding what to keep.
- love and use
- use daily, weekly, monthly or even maybe yearly
- that they fit, and I look good in them
OUT THE DOOR:
- have not used the last 12 months
- will not use the next 12 months
- no longer fits
- do not look good on me – even if they fit
- clothes I don’t feel comfortable in – even if they fit, or even look great on me. (Why would I wear clothes I’m not comfortable in? If I won’t actually use them – they gotta go)
NOT SURE – items I have a hard time making a quick decisions on for the following reasons:
- might have a use for the next 3, 6 or 12 months – but I’m not really sure because they:
- do fit, but will I actually use them? I might have an intention to use them this coming summer/fall/winter
- might not be a perfect fit, maybe even a size down from where I am right now, but there is “intention” to fit into them within the next 6 months. Is that what we call wishful thinking? 😉
So how did I go about it?
I pulled ALL the content from my closet one category at the time: pants, office shirts, t-shirts, jackets and so on, you get the drift.
As I pulled them out, I sorted them into my Keep, Out-the-door and Not sure piles.
Everything in the Keep and Not sure pile, I tried on, to make sure they fit and looked good (or decent 😉 ) on me.
- Everything that did not fit that bill, went into the out-the-door pile.
- Not sure items, that survived this exercise, went into my allowance box.
From the out-the-door pile, I pulled out everything that I could give away or donate. I packed them nicely into some plastic bags (since the donate station I use, don’t take boxes), and went down to the donation station with them right away (just down the road).
A couple of tips:
When you give away/donate, it’s always nice if you can place the items neatly into a box or a bag. Make sure they are clean, and that you have emptied the pockets first 🙂
Before putting anything back in the closet, it might be a good idea to dust, vacuum and even paint the walls if you want a fresh, new look 🙂
How did I do?
Closet TALLY 😉 = 54 items out-the-door
8 shorts – surf shorts and regular shorts
1 swim top
1 bikini bottom
2 knee length pants
1 bicycle t-shirt
1 pair of indoor “shoes”
4 office shirts
1 knitted hat
1 fleece buff
2 regular buffs
1 scarf Stockings – a bunch (counted as 1)
1 par of socks
3 of my dad’s ties
12 unused unmentionables
5 pairs of jeans – 2 worn, 3 unused (but sadly to small)
1 pair of office pants
1 knitted jacket
1 pair of insoles
And believe it or not, I still have stuff left in my closet, that I can get rid off! How about them apples?
Oh well, that’s for another day. Now? I think I deserve a coffee mocha 😉
Can you guess what these are?
I won’t keep you in suspense, these are the boxes an Mac Apple mouse comes packed in. What! did I buy that many Apple mouses? No, not at all 🙂
I came over these in a toss pile at the office a while back, and thought it a great idea to bring them home, so that I could use them for all those little nicknack’s you’ll find in a tool shed. You know nails, screws, nuts and bolts and so on.
So, why are they still laying around all empty?
Well, that is a very good question 😉
It looks like my little plan of sorting screws and nails and stuff, isn’t happening any time soon.
And what am I doing with the boxes?
I believe if I ever get around to the shed sorting, I’ll probably end up using more sensible boxes (turns out they arent all that good anyhow) – so today – they’re going into the plastic recycle bin!
Bye, bye guys.
I have this “box” full of chargers, hard drives, computer cables, network cables, converters and a whole lot of other computer related nicknack’s. You name it, I’ve got it 😉
I just installed a couple of drawers in a Ikea unit – the drawers are going out of production so they put them up on 50% sale! I’ve been thinking about installing some drawers in the unit for the last couple of years, and I realized, that if I was ever going to do this, it was now or never!
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the drawers can not hold as much stuff as the boxes I used before… So a clean up was unavoidable (and desperately needed if you ask me) 😉
I pulled all the data related “junk” out of one of the boxes, and went about decluttering… All the stuff in the pile of mess picture came out of that red box, I can not believe how much it held.
I’m sad to say I did not manage to get rid of, as much as I’d like. I always keep all the belonging part to a item, that I own (if I ever give the item away, I like giving it as a complete set), even if I might not strictly need all the parts belonging to the item.
There is still a lot of computer stuff left in the house. But for now at least, there is a small pile of stuff, that is going out-the-door 🙂
A long time ago, I used to have a lot of inherited photographs, of family members. They came in all sorts of shapes and forms, and at that time I bought a few frame mats, just to have some of the pictures look a little better.
After inheriting even more photos, I suddenly got overwhelmed. I swear I had around 35 – 40 frames stacked around in my house, and not one of them was alike. All these different looking frames made the place look really cluttered, since I live in a much smaller place than I do today.
And then it hit me – why don’t I take all the photos, and put them all into a album instead? And that’s exactly what I did. I removed all the photos from the frames. It was a great idea, because when removing them I found even more photos tucked behind I never knew about (told you the photos was inherited right?). I had purchased a nice album with black sheets (I think older photos, look better on black), and I added them all to the album.
I tossed all the unused frames – good riddance 🙂
I still left out a few photos in frames, but only kept the ones I cared most about.
For some reason I kept a couple of the frame mats, just in case 😉 But so far I have not ever thought about using them, and today they are going out the door.
I bought a couple of clear acrylic frames 3-4 years ago, and they have been sitting in one of my drawers ever since: And in the spirit of getting rid of my frame mats, I decided to swap one of my older frames for one of the acrylic ones. That means one out, and one less in the drawer 🙂 So now the picture of a much younger brother of mine, is residing in clear acrylic, as you can see below – I sure hope he don’t mind being flaunted all over the internet, but he was kinda cute 😉
I feel lighter now 🙂
My owner is doing a decent job most of the time, only carrying around the most important credit cards, membership card, receipts and things. But I can’t help feeling stuffed some of the time.
I have not been alone. I have a couple of family members still hanging around in this house. They are no longer in daily use and feel somewhat lonely, stuffed away in a dark drawer. Their only job these days have been holding on to a lot of cards that are rarely used, or not used at all. And I know for a fact that my oldest family member is ready to move on to the next realm, he’s done his work and is tired.
Today is a great day 🙂 Our owner decided to bring us all out on the table. She emptied us all out, and while she sorted out all the stuff we were holding, we got to hang out with each other and catch up for a while 🙂
She did really good at getting rid of the unused credit cards, no longer valid membership cards, business cards and so on.
As she was done, she slowly started to put the leftover cards back into our protective fold. This time around though, she left plenty of space for us to breath 😉
And guess what, she let my oldest family member retire. He is now going into the recycle pile so he can move on…
and he’s bringing a bunch of cards with him 🙂
During de-cluttering, one often comes across a few items it’s difficulty to know what to do with. You are not quite sure if you really need it, but you are not quite ready to let it go.
Over the years I have found that using an allowance box can be useful for these items.
What is an allowance box you might ask? It’s where I’ll put items that I need a little more grace period on, to see if I really needed them. You know the saying, out of sight, out of mind? Well….
An allowance box is a box for keeping the things that you are not a 100% sure if you need or not, but you cant bear to part with right now. It’s a box with a deadline on it. A deadline like; next season, 3, 6 or even 12 month into the future, but never more than 12 months.
The key thing is: If you haven’t used the item for the season it is meant for, or within the given deadline you gave yourself. Well, then most likely you will never use it, and it should go out the door.
What do I mean by the season the item is meant for? I mean first coming winter for winter; clothes/equipment/sports gear… Or first coming summer for summer; clothes/sport gear/garden stuff… Or first coming Christmas for Christmas decoration. You get my drift 😉 And with first coming winter, I don’t mean next winter if your in the middle of winter when you do the clean up, I mean this winter 😉 (or summer/Christmas/spring).
For example, I’ve been wanting to throw a garden party for a while, but it seems like my summers are mostly filled with garden projects instead, which leaves no time for parties. Now that I’m almost done with creating my garden, there might actually be hope of throwing that party (yeah right, like that is really going to happen since I always find some project to do in the garden) 😉
So what’s that gotta do with an allowance box you might as. Well there are some stuff I have, that I think I’ll need for that party. Items that I otherwise won’t need to keep. So what will I do? I’ll be putting the garden party stuff into my allowance box, and if I don’t throw that party this year (yes 2014), well, then, guess what, come fall.. out the door it goes.
Here is another example, clothes: If it’s something that don’t fit you and you are having a hard time parting with it because you believe you will “grow” into it within the next xx months, be honest with yourself, do you really believe that it’s going to happen? If that is a yes, or you are already in the process of making it happen. Consider keeping only items that looks great on you, and that you love 🙂 Put the item in your allowance box. And set a date, to when they should fit or go out the door.
What items can this work for?
An allowance box can be great for a lot of things, for clothes, tools, kitchen stuff, books, office stuff, sports items, cables, computer stuff, you name it…
The important thing to remember is. That you never keep the stuff longer than the allotted time you have given yourself, on the allowance box.
You didn’t use those summer outfits this summer? It’s time to let them go. You didn’t use that Christmas decoration by Christmas, well it’s time to let it go, and so on.
How big is this box?
Well that depends a little on what it is your keeping, if your keeping a set of golf clubs they don’t really fit in a small box do they? If we are talking about clothes, then the box shouldn’t be all that big.
How many allowance boxes do I get?
You might find that you end up with two or three allowance boxes (I know I’ll probably have one for clothes and one for miscellaneous).
If you believe you will need more than a couple of small boxes, you should dedicate a limited space for them, so that you don’t save more than what fits in that space (and no I don’t mean the whole garage is your allotted space 😉 ). I’ve dedicated a shelve in one of my closets to keep my allowance boxes.
Where do I store them?
You should store the allowance box somewhere it’s a little bit difficult to get to it, but not so difficult you have to tear down the house to get to it.
What do I mean by a little bit difficult? Well, for example, I keep my kitchen tool allowance box in my guest room upstairs, hidden at the bottom of a cabinet, behind some stuff. Juuuust hidden enough that it’s a little bit of a hassle to get to it. But not so difficult it’s going to take a couple of days to get to that item I suddenly needed, in the middle of making a dish that demanded that specific item I had “de-cluttered”.
Out of sight, out of mind box:
Now, there is a different way of doing this if you want to.
Rather than have a allowance box which is readily available. you could make a out of sight, out of mind box, which is not so readily available.
For the items you are struggling with. Put them in a box, tape it shut, write a date, say… 6 months into the future. Put the box away (loft, garage, basement). When the day comes around, take the box and get rid of it. Do not open it first, most likely you won’t even remember what’s in it ? (another reason not to open it).
If you have already had to dig into the box for some reason, during the waiting period, whenever the date comes around, take what is left in the box and dispose of it. Just like if you had never opened the box at all. You have obviously already picked out the stuff that you absolutely needed, and whatever is left is, out the door items.
So which system do I use?
“Allowance box” or “Out of sight, out of mind box”?
They are in essence the same, the only difference might be the retrieval process 😉 So it depends a little on you, and how you want it. I have been known to use both 🙂 You gotta go with whatever feels right for you.
Today I wrote a post about my declutter system. And thinking I’ll be really smart, I wanted this post to show on my menu bar, to make it easy to find later (just have a look, it worked). So I created a separate page on my blog (my understanding is that that was the only way to have it show in menu bar), if anyone else knows a different way.. please let me know.
And guess what… did the “darn” thing show up in WordPress reader or on my Facebook page? NOPE…
So what is a poor girl to do? Well this is my solution. I’m making a post, about my post 😉 How do you like them apples?
I’ve got this post I’m planning, and I’m hoping to get to work on it some this weekend (I just need to get my ducks in a row). But in the spirit of de-cluttering I figured it was time to post another item out the door 🙂
IKEA have this wonderful policy (at least here in Norway.. I noticed the Ikea policy wasn’t quite as “easy breezy” when I lived in Houston). In Norway they will let you return items as long as you have the original receipt and give you the money back. If you don’t have the receipt they will give you a gift certificate for the amount, and there are no limits on how many times you can return without a receipte.
What on earth does this have to do with my out the door item? Well about three months ago I bought a couple of doormats and I’ve been driving around with the one I decided not to use in my car, forever.. but it was time.
Doormat to Ikea, money back to me 🙂