Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting rid of stuff

Growing up I was a bit of a junk collector.  I had a hard time getting rid of anything I ever touched.  Ever.  I had junk.  My desk was overflowing with stuff and rarely usable.  I eventually grew out of that but still had a very hard time of getting rid of anything remotely sentimental (that's when having a good memory is not helpful).

When I went to college my room was getting passed on to one of my sisters and I had to clear out.  So everything went into boxes and mostly stayed that way in my parents' attic for 5 years.  When we got our house all those boxes came here and filled the back half of our front room (where the dining table is now).  I unpacked what I needed (kitchen stuff, clothes, etc.) but the other boxes stayed.  When we got home from our honeymoon I was overwhelmed with coming home, having wedding presents all over, and then my boxes.  So the boxes went to the basement where they stayed another 3 years.

In the summer of 2009 I finally got tired of having these boxes (approximately 8 years after packing most of them).  So I made myself spend 30 minutes a day, setting a timer on my phone, down in the basement going through them all.  It took most of the summer.  But I did it and got my pile greatly reduced.
after my 2009 cleanout
Look how organized that is.  It no longer look like that.  More of Matt's stuff has been moved into the basement and we have various tubs of life jackets, tubes, and snorkeling equipment.  Actually the above picture looks pretty good compared to how it looks now:

Everyone should be really relieved to know that the paper mache hot air balloon I made at a library craft time around the age of 10 is still down there.

I've been spring cleaning pretty much since the first of the year and have gotten all the main and upper closets and cupboards cleaned out.  Even though I've gone through them multiple times, every time I am able to find at least another thing or two to get rid of.  It's a little addicting.  Having to make room for Luke was part of it (and the stuff that came as a result of him...like bottles, formula, and a food processor).   Part is just I like having less.  The more I get rid of the more I want to have less.  Bonus: having less means it takes less to go though it!

But then there is the basement. 

I have fewer boxes but it's still a mess.  It needs reorganized.  The entire basement.  Half-ish of the basement is Matt's workbench/computer parts storage so he's responsible for that.  Then we have our laundry and workout areas which are fine.  But then there are the boxes in the above picture...

And these:

Although, not all of this is mine.  Only about half.
And these from the filing cabinet and a bookshelf in our former spare room, now Luke's nursery.  
You mean you don't have your 2000 Backstreet Boys day planner any more???
You might be wondering why I am posting all this.  Well...I need motivation and I need to be held accountable to go through these and greatly reduce.  I'm feeling pretty good about the upper 2 floors of the house.  I've gone through all those areas so many times I don't have much more to get rid of (I mean, I do, but stuff we actually use.). 

I am seriously burdened by all this basement crap.  I would really like to have a more organized and less crowded basement.  So I am really going to work on it.  I was doing well earlier this year.  Then Luke showed up which complicated things a little.  But I can work around his naps and when Matt is home.  I will get this done by the end of summer.  That's my self-imposed challenge.

Here are some articles I found inspiring:
From Young House Love: The Simple Life and Living with Less
From Making This Home: How to Clutter Your Home and 5 Reasons We Love Living Small and 10 Ways to DeClutter Your House)

And this:

Space is a precious thing to waste. You don't want to fill your house with anything that doesn't directly add to your happiness.
From the Young House Love book.

Getting the futon and garage sale piles out of there were a huge inspiration.   It helps motivate me to keep going and get the rest of the basement cleaned up.  I am working to simplify our lives in many areas and this needs to carry over to the basement.  

Then maybe we'll get to the garage....it's just so hard to clean out there with 1-3 jet skis taking up so much space... (although...it can't be too bad if we could fit 2 cars, 3 jet skis, and 2 kayaks in there all winter.)

Updates to come....


Lauren said...

You are so good! I love the setting-a-timer idea. That makes it much more achievable. I should do that with cleaning too.

OMG you have to keep the day planner! BSB!!! lol. Ahhh 2000. I think I still have my BSB CD from middle school!

Don't ever look in our basement. Or guest room. Or at the giant garbage bag of clothes living in my closet that I keep saying "well if I lose weight..." lol

Erin Heckber said...

Good Luck!

diana said...

Oh the Backstreet planner isn't going anywhere. =) I know I still have all my BSB cds...and might be getting the new one for my bday...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a hidden stash of junk. =)