As I mentioned in Project Clean-up Complete, I didn’t do much in the way of cleaning out or organizing in the first two years after The Accident. But in October, I was ready to catch up on my cleaning and start organizing. With a little help, I got our tack room, garage, and workshop cleaned out.
In December, a friend posted about a challenge to simplify. The challenge is to get rid of 2016 items in 2016. #Declutter2016
I accepted the challenge and decided to start early.
During Christmas break, I went through Andrew’s clothes. I kept a large, comfy sweater jacket. I threw out underwear, torn or stained clothes, and worn out socks. I am keeping some shirts to be made into a quilt someday. When they were in town, his siblings went through his clothes and chose some to keep. In January, I gave the rest to a family with three teen boys.
In the past month, I’ve cleaned out a storage cabinet, the kitchen, and the laundry room plus my bedroom, bathroom, office, and the attic. I still have a few closets and a bathroom to go through. This summer I plan to sift through my craft cabinets and the garage again.
I’m not tracking exact numbers; estimates work for me. Here is a list of some of the items I’ve gotten rid of so far:
- Wire hangers. Hundreds! I cleaned out closets and took them to the nearest dry cleaners to be recycled.
- Andrew’s clothes
- Dozens of taper candles and candle holders.
- Two dozen tea cups and saucers.
- A large bag full of hotel soaps, lotions, and shampoos were donated to the local mission.
- Old cosmetics and nail polishes.
- Expired medicines.
- Clothes from my closet and dresser. Some thrown away, the rest donated to a local charity thrift store.
- 48 clear glass dinner plates, bought a few years ago for a charity dinner I was hosting. Another group has borrowed them for their events. I told the group to keep them this year!
- 4 dozen Christmas charger plates
- Extra coats went to the homeless shelter.
- Dozens of pens and pencils, some still in their boxes, were given to a local charity.
- My last Home School for High School Seminar notebooks were given away. I won’t be teaching the seminars anymore, so I don’t need them.
- A couple hundred books. (We still have 8 full bookshelves!)
- Canvas book bags and old backpacks.
- Large bin of unmatched socks (Why was I keeping those anyway? If they haven’t been matched in two years, no one is going to match them now!)
- High school homeschool curriculum.
- Old college textbooks. From thirty years ago!
- Files, papers, owners manuals for appliances we no longer own.
- Hundreds of financial statements. Twenty years of investment statements and bank records for closed accounts. Shredded. Four large trash bags full!
- Twenty years of tax returns shredded!
- Huge box of silk plants plus baskets and other decor items that had been gathering dust in my attic.
- Serving platters and kitchen gadgets I never use.
- 40 plastic pots from last springs plantings were taken to a local garden shop for recycling.
- Two pairs of crutches
- Old army cot
- Christmas decor
- Broken electronic equipment including five dead computers
- Suitcases with broken zippers or handles
- Unused craft items
- Unused cords to unknown electronics.
- Empty boxes
- Plant stand
- Badminton game
- Picture frames
- Broken laundry baskets
- Lids to plastic boxes I can’t find and plastic boxes without lids
- Dozens of old magazines
- Empty three-ring binders and other office supplies
Even if I don’t count each individual file that I shredded, I have already reached my goal of getting rid of more than 2000 items, some large and some small.
It is amazing how easy it was to get rid of unused stuff once I got started cleaning out closets and drawers and organizing storage areas.
Many items went to charity. Other things went into a garage sale our friends had to raise money for an upcoming adoption. Lots of junk went to the dump or to be recycled.
What about you? There is still plenty of time! Will you take the challenge to rid yourself of 2016 items in 2016?