This past week I have joined in a blog challenge to de-clutter in 30 days. This challenge has been issued by Sydney blogger Michelle from An Organised Life; a terrific blog filled with great tips on organising a household, budgeting, planning family meals and so on. Michelle’s mantra is: Do I use it? Do I love it? Does it serve a genuine purpose for a genuine need I have? Am I keeping it “just in case”? There are over 1000 people participating in this challenge which is really exciting. Michelle has calculated that by the end of the challenge this group of people will have parted with over 150 tons of clutter. Most of this will hopefully be either given away or recycled. For my part I am going to be donating everything that could be useful to someone else, there is a charity bin at my workplace and I intend to fill it! Anything not good enough to be practical for someone will be recycled or re-used.
Day 1: Shoes Day 1 was a lot of fun. The challenge pushed me to tidy my walk-in-robe, a job that is always put off. Taking Michelle’s advice I asked myself if I had worn each pair of shoes in the past year, if the answer was no then out they went. I managed to lose 6 pairs, one pair I had never worn as they were too large. The vegetarian child added to the pile with 3 pairs of her own. Incidentally, I still haven’t come up with another name for the vegetarian child, I really should given she is 21.
My walk-in-robe looks much neater now! But I still have too many pairs.
Day 2: Toiletries An easy challenge for me. I rarely wear make-up or use hair products so there are not many toiletries in our bathroom. I gave the cupboard a clean but there was nothing that isn’t used by either my partner or myself. I did add another basket to the top shelf to make access easier; it certainly looks neater. I have suggested to the vegetarian child that she clear out her bathroom but it hasn’t happened yet!
When we go away we always collect the small toiletries on offer at hotels and B&Bs. We donate them to our local homeless shelter as they are always on the lookout for unopened, one use toiletries. A participant in the challenge suggested contacting Every Little Bit Helps, a charity which collects toiletries and cosmetics for homeless and women’s shelters.
Day 3: Coffee cups & crockery I sorted our kitchen cupboards earlier this year so not much to show for Day 3. I still managed to find 8 dinner plates, 5 side plates, 2 bowls and a mug to donate.
Day 4: Bags I am not really a handbag person, or so I thought! I found a surprising amount of bags that I had not used in the last few years so out they went.
The challenge gave me the opportunity to tidy the hall racks and the cupboard where we keep our farmer’s market bags.
Day 5: Nic nacks & ornaments I actually missed Day 5 as I had a dance concert to attend; these challenges are hard work when you work full-time, have evening commitments, look after a house, garden and family, and write a blog! So Saturday was spent playing catch-up. I picked up all sorts of nic nacs from around the house and tidied all the areas we have where ornaments reside. The vegetarian child added her fair share to the box.
Forgot to take before pics but here are some after shots.
Day 6: Toys I got to miss Day 6 as we only have a few toys in the house for the grandchildren to use (that word always makes me feel so old, therefore I feel compelled to remind readers that Jamie and I are only 49 and 47!).
Day 7: Vases, candles and platters No platters or vases but I did tidy the cupboards where they live.
We do use a lot of candles – palm oil free of course – so the candle drawer was in need of a tidy.
Looks much better now.
And using the mantra I collected a number of things that are no longer used or considered beautiful.
Day 8 – cookbooks We have a shelf in the kitchen dedicated to cookbooks, but as it is only small and the females in the house love to cook it was overflowing!
The vegetarian child and I went through them and found a number that we had not used in a long time so they have joined the pile of things to be donated.
Interestingly, the bulk of our cookbooks are either vegetarian or dedicated to curry!
I am surprised (horrified) by the amount of stuff we have accumulated over the years. We did a serious cull when we moved house 6 years ago so honestly did not expect to be able to find so much. It will be interesting to see exactly how much stuff we will get rid of over the next 22 days!