Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 53 - from 2 weeks ago

OK, blogger/router seem to like each other again, so I can finally document stuff we got rid of a couple of weeks ago.

First, here's some random stuff I collected just in passing in the basement: a sugar/creamer set (backstory - years ago my parents visited and they noticed I had no sugar/creamer sets, which made getting their morning coffee not as smooth a process as they would like. So for the next three holidays in a row I got some version of a sugar/creamer set. This was, I think, a birthday present); a mikasa glass bowl that was a wedding present, never unpacked (from 1999); 2 sets of blue stone napkin rings; a picture that is the footprints religious story, also a wedding present; a vase that was broken in 1999 (after wedding, moving from my house to our house) that I am never going to fix. Vase trashed, others in donation pile. (the jugs in the back? Actually used by my husband for beer making, so those stay).

And more (above): starting at the top, moving clockwise - old computer bag (donation) on top of one of the 2 drawer file cabinets (put in alley and it was snagged); box of papers trashed; old lamp trashed; box with 5 plastic cups, 1 old bottle; another box of paperwork. See cat? We kept him.

Total items: 18

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 52 - an easy one to count

OK, starting up slowly. a ton has been done, it's the accounting that takes the time. So starting with one quick pic.

Today's accomplishment: A "tea chest" that was a present. We just don't have the room for a big box like this to store tea bags, so my sister snagged it today.

Total items: 1

Friday, November 28, 2008

starting back up again

Rich is a hard worker. He was back in the basement today and there are stacks to be photographed and thrown out and more accounting to be done. But either blogger or my wireless are aggravating me again, so the accounting will come tomorrow. But we'll have this basement organized in December.

One of my friends gave me the idea that by selling stuff, I could put that money toward a toy storage solution. I have $50 left from selling the stroller, so this is not outside the realm of possibility. So tomorrow more photos of the stuff I'm putting on Craig's List. Or possibly ebay.

Recovery from a c-section is slow, but soon enough I'll be better than just the photographer/seller.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


But in no shape to tackle steps OR anything else. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I hear the basement floor got swept and scrubbed today. Can't wait to
go home (tomorrow!) and see it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hmm, clothes

Someone asked me today if the baby clothes we have are 0-3mo. We have a big stack, thanks to generous friends, and luckily I put the 3 mo stack in the corner of the bedroom, so east access to the bigger size!
We'll see how soon we need them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

More clutter?

I take nablopomo waaaaaay to seriously.

Ok so a 9.5 pound baby. I have a bunch of newborn size diapers!

Just thinking we might have to go up to size 1 more quickly than

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 46 - Wrapping up (for now)

Well, another day, more decluttering. Last day for a while, but I don't want to give up. We're so, so close on having a clean basement. Well, a basement that we can use as a playroom/family room kind of thing. We need it!

Argh! This happened the other day to me. I could not get pictures to load. It's nearly 10, and I'm beat, and tired of tussling with blogger.

So, I won't do a full on picture post, with count. Just a general rundown.

Basement - wow, we have made some progress. You won't believe the before and after pics. There's still a lot to be done, but I'd estimate a few hours of work (4, maybe) and we'd have the basement clean enough for a playroom/hanging out space. We've cleared out a ton, reorganized a ton, and now have to do more reorganizing and moving stuff around to get there. A thorough cleaning of the floor, and a few strategic purchases (space heater, floor covering, and some sort of storage system for toys) and we're done. Wohoo! Major, major accomplishment.

Master bedroom - we moved the baby's dresser in yesterday. Rich washed the co-sleeper sheets, so we're good to set that up next week. Could be a little neater, but all systems are basically go in here.

Front hall - we need to move the boxes up to deep storage in the attic. And a few toys (her wagon!) down to the basement. Again, could be neater, but better than it was.

And that covers the big stuff. Stay tuned for some pictures eventually, a to-date count, and then further adventures in decluttering. This doesn't stop!

I was using NaBloPoMo as extra incentive to keep things going, but might not post when there's no decluttering happening - we'll see what next week brings.

Thanks for your support to date!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 45 - master bedroom

Trying like mad to get things done and slightly organized pre-baby. Sadly, no time for pictures, and no time to get back to the basement. Today was spent cleaning out the master bedroom, sorting clothes and trying to find room for the co-sleeper, small baby dresser, and other baby stuff to fit in the room.

Today's accomplishments: I'm counting conservatively. Cleaned out a couple of drawers - 3 t-shirts for donation, 2 for trash. Pair of jeans for donation. (Boxed up some smaller clothes and/or spring/summer clothes to make room for more organized larger post=maternity clothes - nothing to count, but more organized). Full bag of trash from cleaning out some old toiletries. Two shoe boxes of old toiletries emptied. Another old show box discarded. There's more, but that's all I'll count today. With any luck, tomorrow will be a fuller accounting and we'll see if I have hit 250 things, which was the big goal.

Total items: 10

Friday, November 21, 2008

The cold

Hit Rich hard yesterday afternoon, and me this afternoon. (He got the day advantage due to the disease-laden antacid, after all). I may have gotten a Craig's List hit on the china, so that's one positive for today. I hope an early night will help - and that leaves Saturday and Sunday for the final wrap up.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 43 - Wow!

Wow! You won’t believe all the work Rich did in the basement last night. An hour and a half of sorting and organizing and you can actually see open space and how it can all come together. A little more decluttering, some big rearranging, and we’re there. Unfortunately it’s 10 pm and so I’ll just tantalize you with that thought and post pics tomorrow, along with a tally. I have a whole stack of things to photo and post on Craig’s List, there’s more trash, and the donation pile is growing, too. Big, big kudos to Rich.

To be honest, I don't think he has been a believer that we could actually create a playspace down there. But obviously, that's changed. Elizabeth went down there this afternoon and just stared open mouthed, then started chanting playroom, playroom. So she's ready. We'll need a space heater, some sort of floor covering for at least part of the space, and some sort of storage options for toys. I'm really looking at the Ikea Trofast system, though it is pricey. Any other ideas?

Meanwhile, just general clutter is starting to build up, so slowly and subtly. I really have to stay on top of it, or it’ll quickly escape.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

clutter in?

When I first started this, I thought a lot about tying it to not making new purchases, either. So along with counting clutter out, item by item, should I also count new purchases against my total? That is, if I threw out 6 old t-shirts, but bought 2 new t-shirts, my sum total would be 4.

But I decided against that. I could only deal with one vice at a time.

Prepping for baby involves lots of purchases. Having been through this once, though, it doesn't involve as many as the baby industry would like you to believe. But this week is filled with getting those last minute things. Today it was baby wipes and baby wash, along with stocking up on cat food. Tomorrow it'll be things from Sam's Club. But the plan is to have half a day to get back to decluttering tomorrow. 4 days to go - it would be nice to get more things sorted away and out of the house!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sick kids

Do not lend themselves to decluttering activities. That plus doctor appointment plus hair appointment plus jumping bean inside means I'm one tired non-declutterer today. More tomorrow!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 40 - frenzy

So finished cleaning out most of the front room today. It was really more of a frenzy of moving things around than decluttering, so nothing to really count. Nice to have one room cleared out, not so nice to have it all piled in a corner of our master bedroom. I did pack up out of season or too small maternity clothes, so that helped clear out some of my dresser drawers and clear some space. That bin will go into "deep storage" in the attic to be dealt with at a later time. Too many other things need immediate attention. I got a lot of work to do in less than a week......

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 39 - Getting there

OK, whew a long morning of getting clutter out of the front bedroom. My parents arrive tomorrow, so got to finish it up. Cleaned out almost every piece of junk; all that remains is sorting through my clothes piled on the bed.

Today's accomplishments: In the picture from the top left - an old retro suitcase (circa 1986) taken to the basement, to be sold on Craig's List; cosmetic bag from free gift, put in donation; old carpet for basement to be used someplace; 3 old plastic hangers (trash); box of ocean creatures (creatures put in a Christmas bag for a gift for E); 5 gift and/or plastic bags emptied for trash; in front, a bag full of old electronic stuff to be trashed (3 sets wires, old antenna from old TV, a handful of other things, let's say 5); a bag of old curtains, plus curtain rods, put in basement in a bin that has other old curtains and home decorations (I have an idea for them, we'll see if it pans out). I'll count only the things to be thrown or donated, not the sale stuff or temp stash in basement.

Total items: 19

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 38 - getting ready

Spent a while working on the front bedroom, sorting clothes and hand me downs and Rubbermaid containers of Elizabeth's old clothes.

I don't know how to count this as items, but I got all Elizabeth's gender neutral clothes, all hand me downs, and the few new clothes all sorted - 0-3 months in the dresser, then bags of 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12 months, and bigger than 12 months. This was a HUGE effort. Sorting through Elizabeth's old bins I also pulled out some clothes to pass along, resorted them by size and gained a bin in the process. Gained another bin sorting through two tubs of blankets, mobiles, etc - pulled out the sleep positioners, the mobiles, and the gender neutral blankets.

Yesterday I found in the basement the bin of breastfeeding stuff - the pillows, the pump, the other stuff (I don't even remember what that other stuff is, only glanced in the bin). So that'll come upstairs in the next day or so.

And in cleaning the front room, I had Rich fold up the storage bag with my wedding dress (it had been hanging on the closet door, taking up too much space) and put it on the top shelf of the closet, so that counts as a thing. The dress has a stain on it - a 9 year old stain. Right in the front, on the bodice. I should take it and have it cleaned, but the cost is ridiculous. So it can stay at the top of the closet for a while. Another year won't make the stain any worse than the past 9 years have, right?

Daggone it, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to count this. It was a TON of work, but not a lot of discarding. Probably best to count conservatively.

Today's accomplishments: wedding dress stored, pac n play set up, dresser filled, 2 bins emptied.

Total items: 5

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 37 - not much

I was out and about most of the day. But I spent some time in the front bedroom - only two days until we need to be finished clearing it out. So I found a bag that had some clothes for Elizabeth, bought a size larger at an end of season sale. Score - forgot I had them, so emptied the bag and put them away. And also ran across a makeup bag from a free gift at some cosmetic counter, and put that in the donation pile. So a little slow today, but I'll count it as two things (bag emptied, bag in donation pile). Oh, I also put a set of old dishes on Craig's List. They've been in the basement forever, and it would be nice to get them out of there and pocket some cash, but if no cash comes, they'll either go back home with my parents or be donated, so I won't count them yet. (But when they are gone, it's an 82 piece set! Hmm, let me know if anyone is interested. I can send pics.).

Total items: 2

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 36 - a break

I'm tired. No decluttering today. Daily decluttering is a drag.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 35 - sorting and organizing

I've got a ton of clothes piled on the bed in the spare room. The room my parents are moving into on Monday. Two sets of clothes - mine that are too small and/or off season, so I need a place to store until spring when I fit back in them (yes. I can.), and hand-me-downs from friends that need sorting and storing.

The funny thing about this room, if anything in the clutter realm is funny, is that before my parents visited in September, the room was completely full of clutter. We probably cleared 250 things out of that room alone in late August/early September. So my decluttering has been going on longer than documented. Someplace shoved in my desk is the receipt from Goodwill with a complete listing of the contents of over 8 bags of clothing alone dropped off. My sister sorted through my oldest clothes with me, which helped a lot. Though she could not convince me to get rid of my much-loved hot pink linen suit. With shoulder pads. And matching polyester blue/fuschia floral scarf. And fake vinyl chanel-type purse. And pink pumps from Payless. Oh, how I loved that suit circa 1990. You can't part with a treasure like that.

Anyway, the room is still filled, but it's getting more organized. I need a place to store hand me downs in the 6-24 month age range, but all the 0-3 month are ready for the baby dresser. So that's some progress, but nothing to count today.

In other news, the hard thing about people who gave you stuff also reading the blog is avoiding offending them when you get rid of gifts. Luckily my parents need a new doorbell, so the one they gave us isn't going to Goodwill, it's heading back home with them. And our nanny was pleased as punch to get a blender!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 34- tedious

The pile of mail by our front door grows and grows, despite my keeping a trash can right there and weeding out the junk mail every day. The rest just piles up, and every couple of months I veg in front of the TV and sort through it all.

So, heading downstairs to apply myself to this tedious task. The problem is, what we keep are the records from the bills (it's amazing how small the pile is when you throw out the outer envelope and everything else they include inside). And then I should do some filing, but instead we've just been shoving it into the desk in our front hallway. So, what I really need to do is about a year's worth of filing, but believe me, that's not going to happen tonight.

I don't think this gets to count as an item, but the general weeding out needs to be done and I can watch some mindless TV at the same time, so it's perfect for a blah evening.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 33 - tackling the basement

After getting E down for bed, Rich and I headed down to the basement for 30 minutes of work. An hour later, we have a satisfying pile in the back, and definite space cleared out. There's still much to be done, but it is nice to see progress being made.

But first, before outlining the accomplishments, anyone know what kind of plant this is? (the one on the left, not the orchid)

Ugly is what it is. I bought it in 2004, and it was a nice little tropical bush that had a flower or two. Then it just started to grow, and lose leaves, and now it's just these spindly weird branches with only two little leaves at the top. And it just keeps growing, and I keep watering, and you know what? I hate it and want to throw it out. Is there any hope for it? Or should I just be heartless and toss?

Oh, and also, I did take an after pic of that junk space in the kitchen. Much, much nicer now:

Today's accomplishments: pictured above. The solo box is now topped with another box that only had a broken vase in it. Broken in 1998. I'm never going to fix it. There's more random trash in the solo box, but I won't even count it. Sort of working clockwise - a doorbell for donation, an expresso machine for donation, an old blender for donation, a bag of old sandpaper for trash, some old plastic cups for trash, an old tall light of my sister's (I'm sure she's forgotten it's here - if you want it, claim it before the end of the week!), an empty box (trash), an old etarge, a wine shipping container (trash), stacked on top of 5 plastic catering trays (trash), and then in the very center, 5 gift boxes (trash!). I have stacks and stacks of gift boxes, reused every year. Can trash 5 dusty dirty ones! The trash will go out tomorrow night; the donation stuff (which is piling up) will be dropped off Friday.

Total: 21

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 32 - half hour in the basement

The basement is so cluttered, even a relatively quick pass through yields good results. I was able to junk a bunch of stuff in a quick run through during E's nap.
Today's accomplishment: The giant Solo box was empty except for a moldy towel. It's now filled with other junk: an old metal desk organizer - which contained yet another pair of fake wayfarers, which were so dirty I just trashed them, too; the box from my old Mac G4 (circa 2002?); an old tote bag from maybe high school, but hard to tell since it was so cruddy the lettering had crumbled off; a bag of trash that should have been trashed a while ago; a couple of rags that were moldy.

Total: 9

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 31 - an easy pass off

Today was easy. Found out yesterday a friend was pregnant. Another friend had passed some maternity clothes to me that either didn't fit or were wrong season. They've been piled in a corner of my room for weeks (months?). But since I saw pregnant friend today, was able to pass them off without a fuss.

The night is still young, maybe I'll get some more done tonight, too. I'm still waaaay behind.

Today's accomplishments: one small pile of 6 items out of my room!

Total items: 6

Friday, November 7, 2008


Nanny = sick
Back = aching
Tonight = plans

The funny thing about this decluttering, I realized today, is that as usual, I've outlined my goals. Basement, play area, area for baby, clean front hallway, etc. And I keep decluttering other areas. Hmmm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some days

You just don't want to declutter. And that's ok. I went to the thrift store today and had a MAJOR score. Major. I owe my friend Thrift Store Mama a big thank you for introducing me to this place.

We've been taking inventory for the impending baby arrival, and we're in pretty good shape. Not knowing my daughter's sex in advance means most of the small clothes were gender neutral, and other friends have given us some quality cast-offs. But, when the weather turned cooler, I realized we really needed an infant Bundle Me that wasn't pink. Craig's List turned up some possibilities at $20 each. Retail is $40.

So guess what I scored today at the thrift store? A gray Bundle Me in perfect condition for $2.60. PLUS an additional 25% off. Of $2.60. Which means $1.95. SCORE!

The thing about the thrift store is a couple of hours standing on my feet and the rest of the day is shot. So no decluttering today. Basking in my extreme thriftiness, though. And I'm pretty picky, so not like I am filling up the house with other purchases, either. (I got a book (latest Jane Green - $1.50!), and a big basket for baby's laundry (for $3.50!) and a few small things).

Back at it tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 28 - kitchen catch all

This area? Drives me crazy. Pens, pencils, electronic pieces (despite the nice little basket I bought to corral them). And JUNK.

So I cleaned it out today, and threw a ton out.

Today's accomplishments: clean under cabinet area, organized (shoot, I forgot to take a picture!). Old fake wayfarer sunglasses put in donation. Papers (old receipts, expired coupons, etc), broken coaster, 2 plastic cups, two broken flashlights all thrown out. Office supplies put away. A couple of recipes organized.

Total items: 10

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

you'd think nervous energy would lead to decluttering

But yet, it isn't. Things are a little messy, so there's lots of picking up going on, but no decluttering. Plus today I swung by Target and Marshalls, and got some extreme deals on Halloween decorations for next year. We have good storage for holiday decorations, and I've been packing up this year's Halloween stuff today, but I can't count any of this.

Back to it tomorrow, when I can focus!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 26 - not much

Not much to report today. Got a box out of the bedroom - new DirecTV receiver unpacked and installed so those long nights of nursing might have some distraction.

And remember my bedside table idea? Well, Rich brought the file cabinet up from the basement and it's now next to my side of the bed, masquerading (with a glass top and tableskirt) as a bedside table. The idea is to use it for long-term file storage - so I'll be emptying other boxes and putting old tax returns and stuff like that there. I ran across 1999's tax returns in a box the other day, so that's already a start. Though I guess experts advise I could actually throw out tax returns older than 7 years? But our old stuff was simple and the folders are thin, so if there's room I'll just keep them.

Total items: 2

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 25 - toys

The state of a 3-year old's toys is a never ending source of frustration to me. Things get put away, but in a haphazard fashion that leads to lots of junk just piling up, toys separated from their other parts, and general mess and sloppiness. So today I sorted through the toys. Stuffed animals went back upstairs, some bigs things went to the basement for temporary out-of-rotation, puzzle pieces were reunited, and a pile of junk was thrown away. Papers, parts of never-t0-be-finished craft projects, broken plastic crap, gift bag, a broken dog toy...the list goes on.

Back in August, end of season sale, I bought an outdoor storage box - only $20. But the box has been sitting in our front hallway since purchase. So we put it together and put it in the back yard. We have outdoor stuff stashed everywhere, so slowly we'll be able to fill it.

Today's accomplishments: Quarterly organizing of the toys, resulting in a big pile of trash and things organized. Oh, I also found one of her babies' pants, which have been missing for months. What a relief to have the baby clothed. Anyway, we'll call it two dozen things. Deck Box out of our front hallway, put together, cardboard box in trash and deck box placed in backyard. Oh, and also I started to organize the changing table, and threw out two nearly empty hand sanitizer bottles. My dad puts water in ketchup containers to get out every last bit of ketchup. Um, watery ketchup. These two nearly empty sanitizer containers had been sitting on the changing table for months. Sanitizer does not consolidate from one container to another. And so I threw them out. Yay, me.

Total items: 27

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day 24 - Still here

Yeah. So. Hahahaha. 30 posts in 30 days? With my due date only 23 days away? And my track record so far? Well, if you don't have goals, what do you have? I have to say, this is harder than I thought it would be. Partially because it's hard to get rid of stuff and get organized. But this last month of pregnancy really does sap the motivation right out of me. But I've been moving stuff around in the basement, and plotting next steps, so all is not lost. Today's effort won't help all that much, but every little thing is one more thing out of the house, right?

So the haul for today - just a quick pick up.
Today's accomplishments: Roughly right to left - 1 white t-shirt chewed up by the dryer; 1 old dried out highlighter; 1 pair of child's sunglasses that have been missing an earpiece for over a year; 1 blue shirt I really liked that in its first washing lost half the beads on it (note: should not have gone in dryer) and has been sitting on my daughter's dresser waiting for some sort of miracle for over a year (not gonna happen); 1 tiny little top, that's been sitting on top of my desk, to a small teapot that was broken over a year ago. All trashed.

Total items: 5