Thursday, January 24, 2013

100 Spaces- The Decluttering Continues

Last year I made some pretty good progress towards making my home less cluttered.  I participated in the 366 challenge, and sent unwanted things packing. (One item for each day of the year.)  But the job is not done.  (Is it ever?)  I need to keep plugging away at it, so that eventually I will be where I want to be; living a simpler, less cluttered life.  With less "stuff",  I will spend less time searching for things, less time dusting, and more time focusing on my family and friends and the things that I want to enjoy.

This year, instead of counting items that I'm getting rid of,  I'm going to count the spaces that I sort through, clean up, clear out and organize;  each shelf, each drawer, each cupboard, each pile of paper,  counts as one space.  And for the most part I will try to concentrate my efforts in one area at a time (instead of just going willy-nilly all over the house) so that I feel like I have accomplished something. 

My goal is to tackle at least 2 spaces each week (8-10 spaces each month), with a final goal of 100 spaces by Thanksgiving. 

I made the decision to break this de-cluttering job into small spaces, rather than whole rooms, because I just don't have time (or energy) to do a big area all at once.  So instead of getting frustrated, I'm breaking the work down into small pieces that I can manage.   I can do this!  

So far I have:

1. Sorted through Christmas tree ornaments.  (I did this on Jan 1 as I packed everything up to put away.)
2. Looked through a big stack of magazines and pulled out just a few pages that I will file away for inspiration later. (I save very little now, because so much can be found online and saved on Pinterest.)
3. Organized the kitchen junk drawer.
4. Sorted through the kitchen-linens drawer. (It's so nice to have empty space in the drawers now.  Room to breathe.)

Things going bye-bye include  several decorations,  many magazines, Scentsy wax (a scent I don't care for), old thermometers, plant food packets,  old tea towels,  old dishrags (I got pretty new ones for Christmas!  So get rid of those ugly old stained ones!) and an  old wrap-around apron that I made when I was 20-something.  (Guess what, friends? At 50-something that apron does not fit me anymore.  Imagine that.  I honestly don't know why I still have it!)  

Anyway, this is just the start.  I'll probably post once a month to let you know how close I am to  reaching my 100 spaces goal.  If any of you want to join me, you are welcome.

*  *  *  *  *
When I sort, I ask myself these questions to help decide what to keep and what to get rid of:
Do I love it?
Do I use it?
Do I have space for it?
Does it reflect who I am and the life I want for myself?
Does it fit me right now? Have I worn it in the last year?
Will I read it again?
Is it a duplicate?
Is it broken? Does it have missing pieces?
Who gave it to me?

Items can be thrown away, recycled, donated to a charity of your choice, put in a garage sale, sold on e-bay, given to a friend, tossed over the fence into your neighbors yard (Ok, maybe not that) ...whatever... as long as they leave your house.

If I'm not sure, I can put it away in a six-month-box.   If I need to get it out to use it during those 6 months,  now is probably not the right time to get rid of it.  On the other hand if I never even think about it,  it's probably safe to toss it.

No, I will not be chucking family heirlooms or all of my collections or my crafting stash.  But I will be getting rid of the useless junk that fills my house, things that don't fit me, things I never should have bought to begin with.  And by doing that,  I will create space to display the sentimental family items and collections I love.


  1. What a good idea!!! I need to go through the boxes in the barn. they were filled 10 years ago when I moved to France. And they are still there..................

  2. You're so good. I really need to spend several days (when the girls aren't home) weeding toys. We have closets that need some pairing down too.

  3. I've started a series on my blog as well, ironically titled "Decluttering 101". It got put on hold over Christmas, but I'm back at it. And it feels SO GOOD! I'm just SO over having all the "stuff" in my home and in my life!

  4. Sounds like you've set yourself a very manageable goal! Love the way you broke it up into spacees:@)

  5. Those are some excellent organizing skills you've got there. It is amazing the things we "hang on to".....but WHY IS IT, as soon as I throw it away, I ususally end up wanting it later.
    weird how that works.

  6. Sounds like you are on a tear!
    I like the idea of doing small areas
    at a time.
    Good Luck!

    M :)

  7. I believe my goal is not so much to get rid but to stop visiting my favorite thrifts and finding more vintage to come home with me. I just rearrange the goodies I have and stop accidentally finding more!

  8. I love all the helpful tips you offer and your photos are wonderful. It always makes me feel great to organize. I wish you a very nice weekend.

  9. Go You!! Wonderful plan! This also reminds me that I started off pretty great on this decluttering thing earlier this month. In fact, my car trunk is still full of goodwill donations.. hmmm! Thanks for the kick-start to get back at it. Keep up the great work.. I'll be back for inspiration again ;) -Tammy

  10. I am impressed! Great list for us to follow. I'm hoping I can learn from your example.

  11. Well-written, inspiring post! Thank you, and great job! xo Jennifer

  12. Always good to get rid of more clutter.....hope you are able to reach your goal Gayle.
    Focussing on one area of the house at a time sounds like a good way to go too.

    Have a great weekend,

    Claire :}

  13. That is quite an undertaking. I get started then stall for long periods in between. It it feels so good when things are gone!

  14. Great post. I want to this. I've been getting rid of lots of stuff since downsizing-kind of forced into it. I agree on the freedom brings. Makes you feel so organized! Keep it up!

  15. Very nicely done, Gayle! I went through my drawer that has my kitchen towels in it yesterday, too! And, yes, it is WONDERFUL to have empty space in drawers!

  16. I love that you are doing this. I have been working on this a bit myself lately!

  17. I have one closet cleaned out, and got rid of a lot of stuff. I like the questions you posted. I have so much more to do, it's a bit overwhelming. I need to just take it a box or drawer or closet at a time.

  18. A drawer full of prettiness!! Have a lovely weekend! xo Heather

  19. Just last year I did a major declutter. And the year before. And yet, my home is filled with clutter again. Part of my problem is I have the tiniest of closets for my clothes and only two drawers. I have to keep my wardrobe simple but I want to own more than I have space for.

  20. I so needed this post! My closets and drawers are bulging with stuff that must go! Thank you for inspiring me. Hmmm the neighbors yard. Not a bad idea!! ;)

  21. Such great suggestions!! WE did a very small kitchen remodel and I went throught the kitchen items does feel good to get rid of things!


  22. This is exactly what I need to do. I have accumulated so much over the years..though I did go through a lot of things in my storage...happy weekend with love Janice

  23. what a great way to tackle the clutter. I am inspired and am printing out the questions you ask and posting on my wall. Your drawers look great! I look forward to these posts.

  24. I wanted to let you know I linked to this post in my Weekend Goodies, here:

    I'm really excited to try a similar, bite sized plan. BTW, your pictures are lovely.

  25. Well done you!
    And you're going about it in such an organised and sensible manner, it all seems to make perfect sense to me and I'm finding myself thinking, I should do that too.
    Thanks for being so inspiring and good luck with your de-cluttering!
    Gill xx

  26. Gosh i thought your last challenge was a good one but this is even better. I wish I had the gumption to join you. You've made a good start keep it up and keep us informed.

  27. I said I would visit you to take a look at your ME and here I am. First time looking through your collection.

    Oh my . . . You are the Paper Doll Princess, Miss Gayle . . .
    Exactly what I used to have of Mary's paper dolls. I could kick myself . . . for giving them away to a friends little girl. I doubt she ever looked at them.

    Oh well . . .

    When did you begin collecting ? I liked your Joan Walsh Anglund dolls too, (not sure if I spelled her last name correctly.) I have a few of her books.

  28. Sounds like you've been reading one of my books...30 days to a Simpler Life.
    I love that book, and all of your tips. For an organized freak like me, it's perfect.
    I think throwing things into your neighbours back yard is a good one! How did that get there? Wasn't me. lol

    Keep up the great work. You'll reach your goal in no time, and you will breathe easy along the way. It's so nice to open drawers and see everything neat and tidy! I'm happy for you.

    Stop by to enter my giveaway, if you wish.
    Ciao Bella
    Creative Carmelina

  29. I need to sort my loft - it's full of useful (useless) 'stuff'. I hadn’t thought of doing it in easy stages what a good idea.

  30. Would you believe I still have some sheets and pillowcases, potholders, etc from when I was married - almost 45 years ago - I have a sheet I love as it is really SOFT!

    I am getting rid of things too! It has to happen as sometime we will hopefully retire and MOVE!

  31. Good tips & guidelines. I am so ready and willing to invest time & energy into de-cluttering my home and even more important, make it easier for our children to clear way and distribute our earthly collections when we die.

    Saving only the things we know our children & grand-children will appreciate, even giving these things to them in the here and now will help. Also, if giving away precious family history items, it would be a good thing to attach a hand-written note about the history .

  32. A very good idea! When you're done, you can come on over and start on my basement! lol

  33. It's hard to part with some things even though they are never used. I hang to clothes that I don't wear longer than I should, especially shoes, knowing all along that I will not ever wear them. I suppose it's a lifelong habit, collecting things and then eventually parting with them.

  34. Thanks for popping over to my blog. So nice to meet another declutterer! Love your 366 project for last year- did you really get rid of something every day? Wow. My resolution for the year was more life less stuff so we are on the same page. Good luck for your 100 spaces, great idea. mel x

  35. Seems like de-cluttering is a never ending task for me. It's my writing/craft area that really needs straightening right now.


THANK YOU for your thoughtful comments. Replies to your questions will be posted here, so be sure to check back soon. Have a wonderful day! - Gayle, Garden Of Daisies