Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Big Declutter: Day 3

 I took this picture when we were dyeing Easter eggs. I
 thought I'd start today's post out with something colorful.

Okay, so here's where we are: One box of library books donated. One box of fabric and another one of yarn freecycled. School supplies sorted and stored in my study closet. "Shop the closet" is my new motto when it comes to requests for pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, notebook paper, construction paper, pencil sharpeners, pencil boxes, and graph paper.

By the by, if you're in decluttering mode yourself, be sure to check out, which is chock full of good decluttering tips and good humor (or, as it's a UK blog, I suppose I should say "good humour" or better yet, "ye olde goode humour"). I'm also feeling inspired by Jo over at, who has recently been writing about reducing waste by reducing packaging. She's even bringing her own containers to the butcher shop.

What tips do I have to offer at this point so early in the process? I have two so far: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and Don't make yourself crazy by trying to do everything at once.

The hard thing about not doing everything at once is that you have to live with some residual messes. My study is looking better than it was the other day, but there's still piles of this and that scattered about, and there's a recycling box in the hallway, and some empty boxes as well. The attic--the terrible attic!--is looking worse than usual, even though it's actually less full of stuff than it was a week ago.

As for settling for good over perfect ... for me, this actually crosses paths with not doing everything at once. For instance, I have more clothes and linens to take to the Rescue Mission Store. In fact, a lot more. In the past, I would have waited to take a load over until I had everything ready to take over. This week I decided to take what I had at hand. The Rescue Mission Store is five minutes from my house. I could go every day, no problem. I hope in the next couple of days to do a purge of my closet and Jack's, and when I have that stack of stuff ready, I'll take it, and when I have the next stack of stuff after that ready, I'll take it ... and so on and so on.

Today, I'm resting a bit. I did an exercise class on Monday, and another one yesterday, and today I'm not feeling so much sore as depleted. A little floppy. I see a nap in my future this afternoon. And then Will has his baseball game--the big championship game!--at 5:30, which means two hours of feeling very anxious in the 92-degree heat. Will I have strength to declutter at any point between now and bedtime? That remains to be seen. Maybe I'll just count taking the books over to the library and hauling my freecycle boxes to the end of the driveway as my day's work.

Will did better yesterday. It was sunny, he went to the pool with his friend Gavin, he got a good balance of alone time and friend time and exercise time. Last night we read Encyclopedia Brown mysteries and tried to figure them out.

More good news: Jack's report card arrived today, and his grades were all A's and B's, even in French. Two of the B's should have been A's, except Jack got (rightfully) docked for turning in some assignments late. He's very fourteen lately. We're going to have to live with that for at least another year, I fear.

Next project: Freecycling activity books and art supplies. Cleaning out my closet and (gulp) getting rid of fabulous shoes I haven't worn in over three years. Going through bathroom cabinets and finally chucking (or, better, freecycling) bath toys that have seen no action since approximately 2008.

More soon.


magsmcc said...


Everyday Life On A Shoestring said...

Thanks for the link and for spelling humour correctly :-) Maybe I should try a blogge poste in ye olde Englishe some time. Your decluttering rate is impressive! I'm merely plodding away in comparison. Keep going!

Pom Pom said...

Nice! Keep going! Lighter! Free!

wayside wanderer said...

You are really making some headway! Way to go.

Jo said...

I'm staring at my (supposedly) decluttered house thinking - I never go shopping, I'm trying to let no plastic through my front door anymore, so where did this 'stuff' come from that seems to be littering all the lovely minimalist surfaces?
So I'll be joining you today in fighting the good fight...

Tracy said...

Getting things done rather than getting them done perfectly was something I had to learn. Only about 13 years ago. I took me a long time to realise 'done' was 'good enough'. I still struggle with this one!

Heather said...

Great job! I hate decluttering, but I always feel better after having done it.