Even though the polar vortex has passed, we’re still deep in the throes of winter here.
And for whatever reason (OK, we all know the reason – it’s the never-ending gray and cold), time seems to drag.
But we’re already a month into the new year, and one of my biggest priorities for this year was to continue with the decluttering.
I’m not focusing on things that spark joy (they all do: that’s why I bought them). I’m also not trying to replicate any spread in Home & Garden magazine. I just want less stuff in my life because it’s the one surefire way I’ve found to put more time back into my day.
So to keep me honest, I figured I’d share what I parted with this month and how I know I’m not done decluttering.
What I Decluttered This Month
- 6 crib sheets – We registered for some and received a bunch more as gifts. While I was assured repeatedly that you can never have too many crib sheets, I think we found that number. Double digits is too many, so I sent six on their way to another family via Freecycle.
- 26 pajama separates – HP scored another box of awesome hand-me-downs. My what a different tune I’m singing now that we’re on our fifth or sixth box of these babies! But not only do I appreciate hand-me-downs, I also want to only keep what we truly need. Since HP already had plenty of PJs, we kept a couple and sent most of these on their way to keep another kiddo cozy at night.
- 8 winter coats – The fact that I had 8 coats to give away is problematic. But three of them belonged to my nana. Once my mom heard that I finally found an organization that would give the coats directly to families in need (no thrift stores, no vouchers, no other hoops to jump through), she agreed that my nana would want nothing more than to help keep someone else comfortable this winter. (“Fa freddo, freddo!” I can still hear her voice perfectly, as she would complain about the weather in a mock shiver.)
- Dozens of papers– I cleaned out a cabinet that I have a really bad habit of just stuffing things in. Especially before our cleaning service comes. Ugh. I’ll break this habit one day. Maybe.
- 3 boxes of stationery/resume paper – A woman who makes cards and other paper goods scooped these up via Freecycle. She snagged some of my scrapbooking things over the summer as well, and she left me another blank handmade card as a thank you. I actually think I got the better deal.
- 4 pairs of shoes – I sold them on Poshmark, and I’ll be shaving $110 off our mortgage principal this month.
- 1 shoe organizer – When you get rid of over a hundred pairs of shoes, it’s probably time to start parting with some of the bins you used to organize them. I gave this away for free on OfferUp.
- 17 books – I think I sold these. Maybe. BuyBack Express (but I do love them!) wasn’t buying any of the titles I had, but another company is. Sell Back Your Books is processing my shipment now. So maybe I made money, maybe I got scammed. Either way, less stuff!
- 2 baby items – I sold a gate and a play tent. The gate didn’t work for our floor plan, and HP didn’t understand that the tent wasn’t a tunnel. He spent all of his waking hours flipping it and himself over, so we decided to cut our losses before we had to visit the emergency room.
Items decluttered: 67+ (I’m counting sets, and I’m not counting the paper clutter in this total. If I did, I’d easily be in three figures. Gulp.)
Money made: $127, possibly more depending on how the books pan out
RELATED POST: Why My View on What to Do with Low Ball Poshmark Offers is Changing
I also have two giant diaper boxes full of clothes that I’m donating. However, with everyone and their uncle Marie Kondo-ing their closets, I’m actually holding on to the box until our clothing pantry can process what they’ve received already. It’s nice to have the extra closet space, but I’m not willing to count them as officially decluttering until they’re officially out the door!
How I Know I’m Not Done Decluttering
- “You know, I actually couldn’t find him.” HP’s favorite game is peekaboo. He loves half-hiding behind the couch. But his absolute favorite hiding space is in my walk-in closet. I posted a few shots of it on The Gram, and I got a handful of DMs telling me that they actually couldn’t find my son. He’s not that good at hiding. I just still have too much stuff.
- “Have you seen my keys?” My husband was looking for his keys last month. In our defense, we have a few sets. Not just car keys, but keys to get into our buildings, classrooms, and so on. But the conversation ended with me saying. “These keys? Wait. Whose keys are these?” When you have keys in your house that no one can identify, you’re not done decluttering.
- “You have enough toys in here to pay for your retirement.” My dad dropped that observation when he came to visit the other day. He’s not wrong. Thankfully, virtually all of HP’s toys are either gifts or second hand (or both!). But even if we didn’t shell out the cash, we are still shelling out the space.
RELATED POST: 3 Things My Toddler Helped Me See About Minimalism
So Tell Me…Did you do any decluttering? Are you donating or selling? A little of both? Any tips or tricks that I can steal?
the Budget Epicurean
You hit it right on the nose: “But even if we didn’t shell out the cash, we are still shelling out the space.” This is the last lesson for many of is to learn. We may already have a pretty good iron grip on not spending unless it’s on sale or a coupon, or not spending our own money, but even free things still cost our space and time. It’s a lifelong process. Great job in January Penny!
Danielle L Zecher
We did some major de-cluttering over the weekend. I started watching Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix, and got hubby watching it too, so lots of inspiration. I’m sick and tired of our house being too full and hard to clean. Also, this weekend was beautiful, and we spent it inside cleaning, rather than at the park. That’s some serious motivation to get our stuff under control.
We’re doing a mix of giving, selling, and flat out throwing away/recycling.
We have a large box of books, movies, and CDS ready to ship off to Decluttr. I think it will be tomorrow before either one of us can make it to the post office, so the box isn’t quite gone yet. If you’re looking for a place to sell books I highly recommend Decluttr; you can download an app on your phone to scan the barcodes, so it’s relatively quick and easy. We’ve also had good luck with sellbackyourbook.com. We usually check them both to get the best price and get rid of the most. We also have two of the giant Aldi shopping bags full of books, movies, and CDs that we’re taking to a used bookstore this weekend. We’ll get the cash for what they’ll take, and put the rest in the free bin.
I have a box of clothes/shoes/accessories almost ready to ship off to Thred Up. That will go to the post office at the same the books go. I also threw away clothes that were in bad shape (holes, stains, etc.), and threw away socks that I just didn’t like for whatever reason (donating used socks just seems gross to me).
We organized our pots, pans, cooking utensils, kitchen gadgets, glasses, cups, and coffee mugs. Most of the plastic cups went in recycling since they weren’t in great shape to begin with. I have a friend who’s moving out of her parents’ house later this year, so I’ve promised her any of the kitchen items she wants. Whatever she doesn’t take will go to a thrift store.
Between trash and recycling we got rid of about five bags of things over the weekend, as well as the boxes and bags that will be leaving this week/weekend. I wish I could say we’re finished, but we’re not even close.
Do you have a key hook? We have this one:
It works really well. Hubby has keys for work that losing just isn’t an option. After a few very tense mornings of looking for them we put this up. We keep his work keys, and both of our house/car keys on it. I just keep my work keys and ID in the car. It’s easier for me than remembering to grab them every morning.
Thanks for the de-cluttering inspiration. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones.
I love that show! She is so sweet and greets the house in a very respectful way. I clean while I watch it, although that’s only so effective since it has subtitles.
I haven’t seen the show, but she does seem like a lovely person. And from what I gather, it doesn’t seem quite as gratuitous as some shows where people just watch to gape at the clutter.
I am totally going to investigate this key hook! I’m glad you not only made a plan but executed it so well. Hooray! I hope you have better luck with ThredUp than I have in the post. They’re consistently inconsistent it seems!
The Luxe Strategist
I’m one of those people who couldn’t find your kiddo in the closet, but I thought it was because I have poor visual discernment abilities 🙂
I’m happy I decluttered a body lotion to an IG-er this weekend. I had to come to terms that applying body lotion is not realistically part of my routine. Even if I spent $35 dollars on the lotion in the first place.
Yesterday we saw two moths in the apartment, and that is my cue to do yet another massive cleaning round at home. They ate most of my nicer clothes last time…
I have to say that it was so fun watching that unfold on your Instagram! It seems like you had a lot of takers. Huzzah!
Whew that’s a lot of decluttering. Way to go! I actually increased my wardrobe this month… With items from the thrift store. i think I have enough shirts now to get a good rotation in. I just wanted a couple more casual shirts and a couple more nice shirts.
Admittedly, that’s no guarantee that next 50% sale at the thrift store won’t see me pawing through the racks. Still, as long as I make sure I’ll (regularly) wear whatever I buy, I’m not too worried about it. So the real challenge is to find things that I know I’ll wear repeatedly. Which is probably why I come away with only one or two (or no) shirts at a time — despite trying on a loooooot of them.
First day do unemployment and I’ve listed cutlery trays for free; and selling a handbag and some gift tins with soaps on Facebook. Countered by collecting two free pieces of furniture and buying a drying rack second hand for $12. There’s more to do – like scrap fabric go H&M and some clothes and jewellery to the thrift store; it’s bagged and ready to go.
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life
I went through my “selling stuff” bin this past weekend and decided to donate everything that had been listed on PM for months (uh, even over a year) and hadn’t even had a nibble. I’m very much looking forward to knowing that’s out of here. I’m packing up a new box of things to send to a friend for their children and peering around to see if there’s anything else I can squash in there before it goes out.
I wanted to do another round of selling on Swappa but still haven’t found the phone I wanted to sell in the first place! There’s an irony there I’m not ready to unpack 😉 Well, it’s not that deep.
But I’m going to use the book sell back site to see if we can get any money for some of these books that aren’t keepers and then donate the rest to our library.
Congratulations on the decluttering! I second the suggestion about the key hook. Having a designated place right next to the door to put my keys the second I get home has been great for me. (Admittedly I put mine in a bowl on the table next to the door, not on a key hook, but then I live alone rather than with a toddler!)
I have a few boxes of decluttered items that I’m sitting on–I’ve been thinking about how shops are probably inundated with decluttered items these days, too, and I don’t know of any local clothing pantries or anything like that. I need to research that…