What I Decluttered & How I Know I’m Not Done: March 2019

Decluttering Recap March 2019Last month, I wrote my decluttering post a few days before the end of February. I was pretty bummed when I wrote the post because I felt like I had stalled out.

But then something magical happened.

A friend messaged me and said, “You know the month isn’t over yet.”

That one message kicked off another decluttering bender: I rounded up 99 items total last month. So the post might seem lackluster when I mention 27 things, but it’s important to remember that writing in general only reflects a single snapshot of time, not the whole picture.

This month took an interesting turn: it’s the first month where my husband has decluttered more items than me. And he was so excited about it.

This is a far cry from the husband who would gladly save a single screw or an old light switch plate “just in case”.

Here’s what we parted with in March:

What I Decluttered This Month

  • A baby beach bathing suit set – We are in a weird place: we don’t know if our family is going to grow anymore or not. So we feel inclined to save some things until we make an actual decision, but I’m also trying to be mindful of the fact that we don’t need to keep everything. Or even half of what we’ve been given. In this case, I ended up selling a pair of HP’s swim trunks and a matching beach top that he never had a chance to wear. It was cute, but it wasn’t very practical (the beach shirt wrinkled and didn’t have any sun protection in it.

RELATED POST: Should I Feel Guilty for Accepting Hand-Me-Downs?

  • Lot of toddler pants and tops – Since HP doesn’t outgrow every brand of baby clothes at the same time (whose cruel idea was this?!), we finally finished packing up the last of his 18 month items. We had 7 pieces that we didn’t want to save or toss, so we passed them along to someone else.
  • Toddler cups – I gave these away and my floor is eternally grateful. When HP ditched his bottle really unexpectedly last summer, we quickly tried to make the switch to cups. We bought the Munchkin cup everyone raves about but HP would only smash it down in frustration. (Spoiler: It isn’t actually spill-proof when you do that.) Then, we chose to ignore our pediatrician and bought an old-fashioned sippy cup. He hated that too. Turns out, he loves water bottles — either the ones with giant openings or the ones with straws. They work so well for us that we ran the others through the dishwasher and gave them away for free.
  • 8 pairs of shoes – Most of these are my husband’s. We actually found them stuffed in the back of the garage. Someone in the neighborhood was trying to do a service project last summer where they were collecting old shoes. Only they never actually came to collect them. So we dropped a few off at DSW to score some more points and donated the rest.
  • 11 pieces of my clothes – I got rid of a few more winter things that I didn’t wear and a few spring pieces that I know I won’t wear. Plus, I donated two pairs of jeans to J Crew. It was equal parts kind move and blog post content. Now I just have to write the post.
  • 21 pieces of my husband’s clothes – He’s already committed to spring, so he went through all of his winter stuff that he didn’t wear and made a giant bag.
  • An eye shadow palette and some other makeup items – I had pretty much used up all the day-appropriate eyes hadow colors in my Tarte palette, but it felt wasteful to toss. It was expensive, and it was a gift. So I held onto it for weeks, months, and then I realized that I’d had it for over a year and only used it maybe a handful of times. It was a bummer to toss, but it’s wonderful to open my makeup drawer and see only a few things now.

Items decluttered: 56 (If you count the amount of clothes I donated between last month’s update and this month thanks to Josh’s pep talk, you can add another 72 items to this for a total of 128.)

Money made: $5 (Remember in January when I was actually making a few bucks decluttering?)

RELATED POST: What I Decluttered & How I Know I’m Not Done: January 2019

How I Know I’m Not Done Decluttering

January, February, and March were good months for decluttering. In fact, when I think about the fact that our house has less stuff in it now that there are three of us than it did when we were just two newlyweds, I’m pretty dang proud. But I know for a fact that I’m not done.

  1. “Stop stepping on the blinds!” A few months ago (gulp!), we replaced our back sliding door. The new door is magnificent. Not only does a draft not flap through it, but the blinds are actually in between the glass. No more grubby little hands trying to pull them down! But since our other blinds were actually really nice and custom cut, we haven’t thrown them out yet. Or listed them. Or ask if anyone in the family wants them. We stuffed them in a corner and now HP uses them as a step.
  2. “You can have my money but please keep the shirt.” One of my colleagues organizes a fundraiser with his students each year. I’m more than happy to support their efforts, but I actually might break out in hives if I have to find a spot for another t-shirt. Charity t-shirts are the bane of my decluttering existence.
  3. “Oh! A box of toys!” With Easter right around the corner, we know that HP will end up with more toys. How do we know? My godmother actually sent him his Easter basket a few weeks early. And she’s not the only person who is more than a little generous. As he grows, we know that he’s going to have more wants and needs. Some of those things will take up space. That just means we have to be extra choosy with what we keep. Good thing we’re up to the challenge.

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?

 

8 Comments

  1. Beth D

    @ the age of 61, I’m principally responsible for decluttering many residences, back to the turn of last century! Fascinating historically, but have to set limits on the time spent doing this. Consider checking out thredup.com for your children and women’s fashion to make some money.

  2. Aww, thanks for the shout-out, Penny! I bought 3 shirts and a pair of shoes last month, so I added 4 shirts to the donate pile and a pair of shoes to the toss pile (literally have rubber soles falling off of them)
    I probably could/should donate half of my closet, since it all goes completely unworn, but I’m still hoarding a little bit in hopes I can back into a new wardrobe by losing some weight. Since that’s highly unlikely, I should just get rid of it all!

    • That’s my current struggle right now, too. I’m still the “same size” as I have been for many moons, but I’m definitely not the same shape now that working out is on the back burner. The frugal thing to do would be to just work out enough that everything fits the way it used to. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

      I hope you have more success than me LOL

  3. I haven’t done any decluttering — actually added a couple of shirts to my wardrobe — but I do need to go through my makeup and toss some of the stuff I’m not using. I have some red lipsticks that I bought when I was feeling much more daring that, well, I ever do when I’m actually applying lipstick. I need to go through the lipsticks, try them on and then decide whether to keep them. I also have a couple of Tarte knockoff eyeshadow palettes that I barely use. I should probably give those away too. They’re practically brand new. Aw man, you went and inspired me and now I have to actually do the work! Damn you, Penny!

    • Hahaha. Sorry!

      Makeup is so tricky like that! It’s so lovely that it really is hard to part with. But I love that I open my drawer now and know that I actually use everything in it.

  4. I can’t thank you enough Penny for your DSW tip. After reading your previous de cluttering post, we gathered all of our old shoes and started dropping them off at DSW. Our first time we dropped off three pairs of shoes and the cashier told us that they would give us 50 points for each drop off, not each pair. And so with many pairs of shoes for us to donate, I started to drop off a pair every trip so we would get 50 points. Luckily, they have a store a few short blocks away from where I work so it’s not out of the way for me.
    Not only we are maximizing for our VIP points but also people that will receive our shoe donations are in more in need of them than us and that’s what really the emphasis of doing this.

    • Yes! And it adds up quickly. We are also lucky that we have a few DSW options when we are visiting family/friends and running certain errands. We try not to buy new (mostly because I have enough shoes to last a lifetime, I fear), but HP is growing faster than the kiddo who gives us his hand-me-downs. So I figure each donation is $2.50 toward a new pair of shoes for him if the thrift stores don’t have anything in his size!

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