Things are just easier now.

Having been sick since April 13th, I haven’t done much/any housekeeping.  Sure the dishes were put in the dishwasher; laundry was done when we ran out of undies; and the sheets were washed multiple times because when you have a fever, you sweat like crazy.

Know what else??  The house is still tidy!  Sure, the carpet needs vacuuming and furniture could use dusting.  BUT the house generally looks fine.  The “old” house would have had stuff piling up everywhere.  This is the first time I’ve been sick since we removed 14,680 items from the house (since we began counting).  With less clutter, even being out of commission for 4 weeks, everything looks fine.

Other household chores like going through the mail is easier.  We have gone electronic for most things.  We now get very little physical mail and it is very easy to go through standing at the recycle box.  We also stopped all magazine subscriptions and newspaper delivery.  Today the only mail was a Mother’s Day card from kiddo #1.

Paying bills has been simplified – I have a list in the bill/paper box so I know what needs to be paid and the due dates.  I’m still hesitant to do automatic payment.  We have streamlined so much of this that it takes about an hour to get everything done.  It used to take all day – literally – to get every check written, address envelopes, put all the info into the budget book.  The other thing that weirdly helps is getting paid just once a month.  I get paid the last work day of the month, John gets paid the first work day of the month.  Bills get paid and we know exactly how much we have left for the month.

I’m so thankful we started thinking about simplifying our lives a few years ago and that decluttering and minimalism are aspects that are working for us.

 

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Stuffed Animals

I know we love them but they take up so much room!  Each one has a special memory.  These are just as hard as other “important treasures”.

Kiddo #2 was home for the last 9 days.  While here, she went through 3 boxes of stuffed animals.  She sorted and debated for a couple of hours.  The pile was narrowed down and she is keeping 1 box – mostly Beanie Babies!  She just couldn’t bring herself to get rid of them!

Total number of stuffed animals going to a new home = 71

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The Minimalists Documentary

We watched the Minimalists documentary last night.  We watched through Netflix but it looks like several other options to watch are available.

The film didn’t really “teach” us anything new, but it did remind us about our journey and why we are decluttering the stuff.  It allowed us to think about other aspects of minimalism and simplifying.  Finding your own fulfillment is what life should be about.  We would recommend it – just don’t expect to learn why you should be a minimalist.

Quote from film that is the big message in just 4 words:

Love People, Use Things

Here is the link to the film:  Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Here is the link to their website:  The Minimalists

Garage Rafters – oh my!

Today, having nothing better to do on our last few days of vacation, we decided to put away all the Christmas decorations.  They go into the garage rafters.  While we had the ladder out, we pulled down every other box up there.  We decluttered 3 of the 7 boxes and a few other things!  Productive day in the garage!

Box 1:  Memorabilia – this was a hard one to do.  It took the afternoon to completely go through and do the shredding of stuff with our name/address.

Barb’s report cards K-12, 7 deflated balloons, 45 greeting cards, 3 postcards,  1 scrapbook, 3 books for places we visited, and a lot of comics and receipts for places we went while dating!


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Box 2: Empty Boxes!

Kiddo #2 got this RC car while in elementary school.  She is about to graduate medical school in a few months!  The car is gone – now its box is too!

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Box 3: Old Camping Stuff

1 BBQ grate, 4 plates, 4 mugs, 1 thermos, 1 first aid box, plastic and stainless silverware, 4 bottles, 1 box of dog flea collars, and 1 package of toilet seat covers (some of us have issues sitting on public toilets without them!)

 

Other Stuff:

1 reptile cage (the chameleon died about 15 years ago), 2 fishbowls, 1 Therm-a-jug, 1 under-carriage piece for the car, and 1 candle-lit school house.

 

More Stuff Decluttered and we’re counting it too!

So far this year:

  • 10 more magazines!!
  • 1 magazine holders
  • 3 DVD’s  – duplicates, go figure!
  • 2 packages of beef jerky seasoning (sorry, no picture)
  • 1 weight watchers booklet from 1991
  • 1 cracked plastic ruler
  • 39 rubber stamps
  • 9 packages of modeling clay
  • 1 rotten candy apple found in the work bag (no picture – no one needs to see this!)

 

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10 more magazines!!
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another magazine holder

 

 

 

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The thermals and magazine holder are included in this picture for donation purposes. They were actually decluttered in 2016.  Try not to judge on our choice of movies hahaha

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When was the last time anyone in our house stamped??  YEARS AGO!!
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Kiddo #2 knows she used this in 7th grade 15 years ago!!  It’s still pliable!

 

 

 

 

May 2016 Update

We have had 1099 random items leave our home this year, 103 during the month of May.  It amazes us that we are able to find more things to declutter!

We will be traveling for the next 7 weeks.  While we are gone, we will be decluttering the RV and adding it to our annual count.  We figure if the garage can be decluttered, our home away from home can be too!  It will be interesting to see what kind of stuff we have hidden away in the RV and don’t use/need.

Happy Summer everyone!!

 

January Challenge Update #4

So this month’s challenge was . . . challenging!  Not only keeping track of the number of items each day, but documenting with pictures was more effort than we thought.  We had the counting down – both of us counting “trash” and “recycling” stuff as we worked, donation stuff in a box to be tallied when the tax list was prepared.  Easy system for us!

Then we added the number of items to equal the date challenge.   This aspect was strange for us.  We were used to just working until we felt finished for the day.  Trying to maintain the daily removal, especially as the month’s end was looming, was more difficult than we ever expected.  Stopping at a specific number each day took more restraint than we are used to!  

The positive is how easy decluttering the stuff can be if you take it one day at a time – each day has a specific goal whether it is a number, location, type of items, etc.  Just set a goal!

Barb had “fun” playing with a new app to make a collage of the pictures – each day being put into a single collage.  It was more effort than she is willing to continue!  Our numbers updates may occasionally include pictures in the future but we are done with the pics of everything leaving the house and which items should “count”.

January did see 601 items leave the house.  It also saw the addition of a new high efficiency washing machine – more on that soon.

 

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