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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
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:
The pile I am getting rid of:
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.