Confessions Of A Pack Rat: Project 365 Declutter

Hi, I am a pack rat. I have previously confessed a few of my pack rat tendencies here and here, but really my attachment to stuff goes far greater than just my closet. It has taken over my house. While I love my stuff, I mean LOVE my stuff. I also feel very heavy from it all. I know I need a change, but the task is so big it looms over me.

Then I found inspiration. In the form of an old issue of Reader’s Digest — yes, I even have trouble parting with magazines.

There was a short blurb about a woman who committed to a 3,650 project. She got rid of 10 things a day for a full year — 10 things!

I have been thinking about that article for about two weeks now, and I want to do it. I want to declutter. But I will be honest 10 things scares the bejeebies out of me. So I am going to scale back to a 365 declutter project. That’s one thing a day, every day, for a full year. Of course, it would have been nice to have started January 1, but hey better late than never. 

I am going to do this, and I made a few “rules” for myself.

  1. One or more things a day – while the minimum is one thing a day, I won’t stop myself if I am on a roll. After all, the ultimate goal is less stuff. (Yes, the kids’ stuff is fair game too.)
  2. What counts, what doesn’t – while anything is fair game, changing a role of toilet paper does not count. However, parting with more than a dozen empty rolls that I have been saving “in case” I want to do a project does count. (I got rid of those in December, true story.)
  3. Big or small – 365 things kind of freaks me out. But it doesn’t have to all be big things, it could just be something small and random I come across in a junk drawer — I don’t have to do the whole drawer at once.
  4. Share it – Like most people, it is hard to keep yourself accountable. So I am going to share my daily project on Instagram. That’s right, come see my excess stuff go bye-bye on Instagram. (Follow me on Instagram here and with the hashtag #365declutter.) 

Join Me!

It would be more fun to do this with friends, so you are invited! I am going to use the hashtag #365declutter, and I invite you to join me in the project. You can start your own 365 declutter project in your house or, if you aren’t quite ready to commit to a year, just share something you are getting rid of to give me a little inspiration. (I need all the help and support I can get.)

Donate, sell, recycle or trash 

Part of my issue with stuff is that I do not like adding to landfills. So whenever possible, I will donate, sell or recycle my stuff. Trash is the last resort, but I vow to be open to this when necessary. 

Whenever possible, I will stick to the first three options. There are so many things that can be recycled that people don’t even think about, like clothing. No, not reused — recycled. So as part of my Project 365 Declutter, I am also going to share blog posts about how to recycle unusual items like textiles. Because I would love to think this project could help save our landfills by teaching people how to be better recyclers.

Because I need all of the motivation I can get, I am also going to keep track of everything I am able to sell on a spreadsheet. At the end of my Project 365 Declutter, I will buy myself something I want for the house — like a corner shelf for our bedroom or new curtains. I don’t know how much I will sell, and that really isn’t the goal. But I think keeping track of it will be motivating, even if it is only a couple of bucks at a time.

So here I go — of on a new challenge for myself. A challenge to change a habit I have had for a long time, and make my home better for our whole family. 

Wish me luck!

Project 365 Declutter Day 1

The pajama drawers. I like pajamas. Cute matching, comfy PJs. But then again, I also can’t get rid of anything. So my PJ drawers (yes, I have 2) has become a mix of cute PJs, really old PJs that were cute like 10+ years ago and old clothes that have been stained so I wear them as PJs. Yes, I relegate old clothing to the PJ drawer.

I realized the other day that when all of the laundry is clean neither of my two drawers will close all of the way. That’s a problem. So I dumped the contents of both drawers on the floor determined to purge. And I am very proud of myself.

All of my PJs:

Project #365Declutter Pjamas

The pile I am getting rid of:

Project 365 Declutter Day 1

The one nice set (that I just don’t wear) will be donated. The others are all being recycled. (More on how to recycle clothing soon.) Some of those old tank tops that I thought I would sleep in once I moved them to PJs, I haven’t worn since before I became pregnant – the first time. 

Already I feel better. Both drawers close with room to spare. 

No, I wasn’t able to get myself down to one drawer. Baby steps people, baby steps.

Join me in my attempt to regain control over stuff in my Project 365 Declutter.

29 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Pack Rat: Project 365 Declutter”

  1. Good luck!! I’ve been pretty diligent about cutting back. What helped me the most is this thought: Every ‘thing’ in your home represents your time, time for caring for it, putting it away, organizing it, thinking about it. The one thing I always want more of is time. Makes it so much easier to get rid of things!

  2. There are so many pairs of jeans in our house that are in good shape save for the giant holes in the knees. I wish I new a crafty person who might want to turn them into purses or something. I think I did just learn of a local drop off box for actually recycling clothes. Once I confirm that I will need to drop a bag off.

  3. I am a pack rat too! I’ve been working on it and I’ve gotten so much better over the years. I get it from my grandfather. He used to keep old toilet seats. I asked why, he said “just in case!” LOL. I will be following your declutter project!

  4. I am a pack rat, too. I LOVE this Project 365!

    Have you seen that money saving chart on Pinterest – the one where you save $1 on the first week of the year, $2 on the second and so on? Someone took that and made it into a DECLUTTER chart. I liked it, but it scared me too much because on the last week of the year – you are getting rid of 52 (!!!) things.

    I am definitely going to give your project a try!

    Question, though: When I put stuff in a garage sale, does that count toward the count on THAT day or later?

  5. I am a major pack rat and am in desperate need of a good decluttering. I have tried and tried but with no success.

  6. This past summer I went through all my closets and decluttered , and lo and behold if I haven’t started collecting junk again. Seriously, it just seems to accumulate so quickly. Sigh. I am going to try to do better this year!

  7. I was a pack rat for most of my life. About 14 years ago I downsized my life, moved to the beach and got rid of most of my “stuff” before the move. Then 3 years ago I retired and became really selfish with my time and money, so I took a merciless sweep through the entire house over the course of a couple of months and got rid of more “stuff”. Now I don’t buy what I don’t need and get the extra out of the house ASAP. You’ll feel great when you’re finished – it’s very liberating. I also have a schedule for cleaning (1 hour per day) so the entire house is cleaned every week.

  8. Oh my gosh… I am so you.. it’s like looking in the mirror, even the PJs. I have so much stuff it’s not even funny. I tried to do the 7 things a day last year and it was just too much, I like this.. I think I could do 1 thing a day. I am going to try this with you!!

  9. We have been working on sections in our house. I still have my sock drawer to do. I did all the other drawers in my dresser in the fall but avoided the socks. Maybe this weekend? I bought some organizer trays so there is hope I will do it soon!

  10. I’m not to great at instagram yet, but I can follow on twitter. I have been decluttering for about 3 months now. I have gotten rid of a ton of stuff, and am now in what I call my 2nd go around. I’ve parted with stuff I thought I couldn’t, but which was of no use to me, and someone else could probably get good use of it. I’ve thrown away stuff that nobody anywhere could use for any reason. Now I am getting reorganized and throwing away more random items. I am in on this project. Its important to make room for a new, roomier, life.

  11. This is my one goal for the year, to declutter my home completely. I started in my bedroom and am slowly working my way around the house. I agree with scaling down on that project and only going with the one a day declutter. I don’t like setting unrealistic goals and 10 things a day would leave me feeling like it was a chore.


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