26 Comments

  1. Despite the fact that I KonMaried our house in 2014 AND we got rid of sooo much stuff before the move, we are swimming in unopened boxes (our new house is 1000 square feet smaller). I should just chuck ‘em all since we haven’t needed what’s in them in over a month. But, that wedding china I use twice a year. So hard to get rid of. I’ve got a big pile for the REStore to come pick up and I’m selling a bunch on FB Marketplace. But honestly, it’s such a drag to have so much excess stuff. I feel like it’s going to take awhile to declutter in our new space.

    • Thankfully, we never registered for china. I thought I was being smart by just asking for a few pieces from Wilton Armetale. They’re really sleek and totally not fancy.

      Except I don’t use them hardly at all either! I’m hosting a few people this weekend. I’ve decided that I either use the pieces or out they go!

  2. We got around the problem by buying a new house, moving in, and only bringing with us what we wanted in the new house. The rest is still in the old house and will either be given or thrown away. Granted, we have the carrying costs for the old house while we dither, but hey, it’s nice where I’m sitting right now (for the moment)!

  3. We had a housekeeping service for a month, and only then did I realize how AMAZING it is having a housekeeper. The downside is that you do have to keep the house pretty clutter-free to get the most bang for your buck. Hence, cleaning before the cleaning lady. 😉

    I feel like none of us are ever truly done decluttering. I feel like it’s a muscle, like we need to be constantly vigilant about the amount of crap in our houses. Otherwise, it feels like a finish line instead of a way of life.

  4. We recently moved into a fully furnished place. Mind you, none of the stuff left behind were any great treasures, but it helped us take our time in decorating. I had three lanes, two side tables, and a bunch of knick knacks in a closet for nearly a year because they were “too good to get rid of” and “maybe we could find a place for them.” Husband finally convinced me to take them to the Hospice thrift shop. He made a good point that we got to declutter, the store makes money, and someone who is sick benefits. Ugh, he’s so logical sometimes!

  5. I think it’ll be when, if we had to stage the place for a sale, we wouldn’t actually have to do anything but clear away some of the basic daily clutter like mail that’s just arrived. That’s when we’re going to be done.

    We are never going to be done … are we?

    • Never, Revanche. Never.

      ::cries::

      Though I am proud of me for either recycling or tossing all mail except the rare piece that I actually need before bringing them into my house. (Because Coupon Mountain and Just-in-Case Tower used to live in my desk drawer when I didn’t.)

  6. I just dumped a carload of clothes off at the local thrift shop. Like, I literally struggled to carry all these clothes in one trip. SO MANY. Most of them were sitting in a box, patiently waiting for me to stop pretending I like short sleeve button down shirts (I don’t. WHY did I buy them?!) and give them to someone who does. I feel so much better now that they’re gone. That’s 2 boxes I don’t need anymore. I also gave my sister all the Lego’s I’d been carting around, saving for the day in the distant future when my kids could play with them. Why have them sit around collecting dust when I have a 5 year old niece that loves Legos? Anyways… definitely writing a post about this at some point.

    • This is so awesome for so many reasons, Gwen! I can’t wait to read the post.

      (And omg if there are kiddos in the distance future, I guarantee you will experience a STUFF AVALANCHE. I’m sure those Legos will make their way back and then some!)

  7. Hannah

    Just wanted to say I’m loving your decluttering posts lately…I think decluttering was what first brought me to your blog a couple years ago (mostly as a lurker, but nevertheless 🙂 I also share your goal of wanting to look around and just feel at peace with my home rather than anxious.

  8. It’s confession time. Last summer when we got ready to go to one of those free outdoor concerts I love so much, I realized that I couldn’t find the folding camp chairs we bring with us. Now there’s only so many places they could be in a condo with no attic, garage, or basement. But the closets were so densely packed that rather than spend an hour searching for them (and rearranging a lot of stuff in the process), we just went out and bought two more chairs. They’re only about $12 a piece, but definitely not a frugal win. There are a lot of signs telling me I need to declutter, but that was probably the worst.

    • This is also my husband’s preferred method of finding things.

      Me? Well, I prefer the tear everything apart and rip my hair out in frustration method.

      Sounds like we both have work to do!

  9. I can pretty much relate to all of the examples you gave! I never like feeling overwhelmed and anxious when it comes to the stuff in my house, so that’s always my barometer for how I’m doing in my ongoing decluttering efforts.

    The thing with decluttering (and minimalism) to a certain extent is that there always seems to be a new level to be reached, kind of like a video game.

    In my life now, my decluttering efforts are always tempered by my asking myself, am I getting rid of this because it’s stressing me out? Or because I need to be a “better” minimalist? The former is ok, the latter is more problematic.

    • Ooooh. I hope I’m never at that level of needing to be a “better” minimalist. Perhaps because I am so bad at decluttering, this is the one avenue of my life where I seem to be OK with embracing failure.

  10. I’m using your decluttering efforts as inspiration as I take on the chore myself. I’m hoping to do a big purge the next month or so to get us ready for packing and moving in October. I don’t think of myself as someone who collects stuff but when I take more than a passing glance in the basement I’m shocked by house my junk is down there.

    • When we threw HP’s first birthday, we decided that the basement would be our back-up plan in case of rain (we needed a place to put all of the kiddos that wasn’t on my hardwood floors). Oh. My. God.

      My basement is much, much emptier. But it was shocking!

  11. I have been on again/ off again decluttering for the past year, more so off, but its at least been on my mind. I even tried The Minimalist Declutter Challenge. The first days were easy, but as soon as I had to get rid of 8-10-15-20 things a day, I started to get overwhelmed. Then J$ started his 1-item-a-day challenge and I opted in right away. It has been so liberating and hopefully something that I can keep up even after this month is over.

    • I fail the Mins Game every month I do it. It’s character building for someone who is failure-adverse 😉 Definitely stick with what is sustainable!

  12. God bless you. My husband and I are starting to go through all our stuff and I’m going crazy with the amount of things we have. It’s insane. It’s small stuff, like we have an entire drawer of pens and pencils AFTER we had gotten rid of FIVE HUNDRED OF THEM!! I feel overwhelmed by the amount of things we let into our home, and I’m ready for them to be gone. I’m glad I’m now the only one.

    • The good news for me when it comes to my surfeit of pens is that I will start bringing them to work. Because my students house gnomes in their lockers that eat all their pens and pencils. 😉

      But yeah, it’s the most daunting thing I’ve ever done in terms of self improvement, I think. (Besides parenthood.)

  13. Oh I feel this. i thought I had done a great job decluttering before my recent move – and I did do several runs to the Goodwill to donate big bags of clothes, kitchenware, and miscellaneous items. But I just went to my storage unit to reassess and see what I would be moving into my new place and I was immediately overwhelmed. Granted, my storage unit is 10×10 and it holds everything I own so it could definitely be worse. But it’s the anxiety that comes with looking at boxes of clothes I don’t really wear and items I don’t really use (that I have lived without perfectly happily for the last six weeks) that is difficult. I know I still have far more than I need or even want.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be done, but I know I’m getting close when I actually KNOW where my things are. I hate spending time sifting through drawers, closets, etc. looking for something. So I get you on the green pen and the nail polish 😀

    • I can really appreciate this perspective! Last summer I was pregnant. So this summer I was putting on things that were at least two years ago. Ditto for this time of year in my work clothes (since I was on my maternity leave last fall). I’m realizing just how little I need or use…or even want!

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