So it is two years since I started decluttering my house and @rachelwithless on Instagram to document it!
While votes were being counted in Ireland this week, I was doing some counting of my own as I hadn’t done an updated count since this time last year. When I started decluttering two years ago, I never would have guessed that I would come to declutter over 14 thousand items! Fourteen thousand, two hundred and fifty three items to be exact. I’m such a nerd I know. 😊 But this is mind boggling stuff.
This week I’m looking at the top categories that I have decluttered in a bit more detail.
Top of the list are photographs. The total number of photos decluttered include both printed photos and digital photos from my iPhone/Cloud. For me, photographs are still a total mess. At the moment I have thousands of photos in different locations. My older photos are printed, some in albums and some photos in shoeboxes, with their negatives in a box, I have digital photos on my computer and some are backed up on CD and USB and I have photos on my IPhone, backed up to the Cloud. That’s the way it goes I guess when you are of a certain age and you have had to deal with changing mediums of photography. It’s hard to know where to start really. Head wrecking stuff. Honestly I think I can probably declutter another couple of hundred if not thousand of photos. Added to this problem is that photos are still accumulating as life goes on. Tackling this category is a priority for me this year.
The majority of the paper I decluttered consisted of kids colouring pages and art work. Again another category which is a work in progress. There is still a large enough volume of it coming into the house each year although I’ve found it has slowed down somewhat as my kids have gotten older. This is another category that I want to tackle this year. My goal would be to scan and discard most of it and organise it into photo books that will take up less space.
All sorts of everything! From furniture and baby equipment to cups, cutlery and random bits and bobs and everything in between. I still have one box full of random junk that I need to sort out and then I should be pretty much finished this category.
I’ve done such a massive clear out of toys but another bit of a cull is required in the coming weeks. In general, I ‘disappeared’ the toys that the youngest kids were not playing with. The only thing that has been missed is the enormous blow up dinosaur. Thank you Zoe for that one! When it came to my eldest, I only got rid of the toys that she was happy to declutter for the most part……I may have decluttered a few of those squishy toys and any slime that came into the house without her knowing because I simply don’t like them but again, none of these have been missed.
Clothes and Shoes
This includes my clothes and the kids clothes. I did a massive cull of my wardrobe and I am now happy with the amount I have. Same goes for the kids. I still have one box of sentimental baby clothes. I have culled them already but I’ve kept some with some vague notions of turning them into teddies or a memory blanket or something like that. I’m not rushing into that decision as they are not in anyone’s way at the moment so this one can wait. I’ve bigger fish to fry as they say.
This includes both my books, some of my husbands books and the kids books. I am happy with the progress I have made in this category. The kids still have plenty of books and we go to the library most weeks to add a bit more variety.
I still have more books than I’ll ever get through so I will continue to cull them but I’ve done a great cull already and books are not taking up as much space in our home as they used to.
I have a problem with throwing a newspaper in the recycling before I have read it. If they didn’t come into the house in the first place then I probably wouldn’t miss them! So this is why I’ve ‘decluttered’ newspapers and magazines as they pile up in my kitchen waiting for me to get around to reading them. The pile has gotten a lot smaller and are all relatively current but this is a continuous challenge for me.
Donations / Freecycle
In terms to getting rid of things, I’ve tried my best to declutter responsibly.
Anything that was in good condition and would be sold easily, went to local charity shops or parish fetes. So this was mainly good clothes, bags, bric-a-brac, books, CDs and DVDs. I sold a couple of things on Adverts but I found it took up a lot of time so I would only do that in future if items were of high enough value to be worth my while.
Things like second hand kids clothes, furniture, toys, sheets and blankets, hangers, tapes and LPs, I have generally been able to rehome via the Zero Waste Freecycle Ireland Facebook group. This is a wonderful community of people who are using second hand items to reduce their environmental impact and reduce waste.
Clothes that were in bad condition and only good for the rag trade, I brought to my local textile recycling centre.
One resource that is really good for information on what items to donate where is the Living Lightly in Ireland page. This is a blog about all things to do with living more sustainably in Ireland. It is a great resource. You can find it at https://livinglightlyinireland.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/what-to-recycle-donate-where/
In summary, I am so happy with the progress I have made but I still have some work to do. Here’s to another year of simplifying and slowing down. Less is more.
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