Thursday, October 20, 2005

Conquering Clutter

Did you ever get to the point where you just had to throw things away? I am talking about clutter, junk, excess STUFF. Clothes, magazines, shoes....I am being overrun by all of it. I decided yesterday on the spur of the moment to take two days vacation and conquer the monster before I am eaten alive. I have clothes in 2 closets, 3 dressers and big rubbermaid containers in the basement. I have more pairs of shoes than I know what to do with (a few years back I counted them and had over 60 pairs...mostly work shoes (i.e. heels)) The last time I counted I had 16 magazine subscriptions. I think I may have less now as I let quite a few expire.

Thursday is garbage day at my house. That is why I decided to take today off. I wanted to get those bags to the curb and have them taken far, far away before I had a chance to change my mind and dig a few things back out (I've been known to do that).

I worked my butt off today and was quite successful. I had about 6 garbage bags and 2 boxes full of stuff. About 1:00 p.m. I was working out in the yard and the garbage men came. I stopped to watch as bag by bag by box my STUFF was thrown into the big truck. It felt so liberating! I can't wait for next week to have even more of it hauled away.

In between throwing stuff away, I made bean soup (dried navy beans) and cornbread for dinner. The soup cooks for hours on the stovetop so it is the perfect meal to make when you don't really have time to cook. Every now and then you just give it a stir and then go back to whatever you were doing. I put carrots in my bean soup and I was so wishing my new knife would get here. Carrots need a sharp knife!

So did I throw EVERYTHING away? Heavens, no! Look at one of the things that escaped the big black garbage bag.

I found three bags with styrofoam balls in them. Now why did I take the time and effort to take them from their bags and stack them nicely in this big glass container? Why didn't I just toss them? I used to enjoy crafts, but since getting a computer years ago, my crafting has given way to surfing and blogging. It is not likely I will ever do anything with these silly things. I thought to myself, "you never know when you may need a styrofoam ball." So here they are just waiting for the day I may need them.


  1. I do that on a regular bases. I'm due for another major clean out soon. I really have to go through my little guys clothes and toys. It feels so good to get rid of the excess clutter.

  2. I shudder to ask, Zoey, but all the stuff you got rid of will be recycled, won't it? It won't just go away as garbage, will it? I'm sure there are Thrift Shops (I think that's what you call them) that would love it.

    Hope your knife arrives soon as it's a real pain trying to dice vegies with a blunt knife. I keep my cutting knives pretty sharp, then I put them in the sink and cut my fingers on them. Some people never learn!!

  3. I'm thinking the same thing as Alice. I have taken oddles of bags to the Goodwill over the years. I won't throw clothes in the garbage if I think someone else will stay warm wearing them.
    Thanks for the inspiration. I am not in a tribe at called clutterers anonymous for nothing. I can't even get to my fall decorations. But when I have to clean I do it with vigor!
    I will try to resell things on eBay before I give them away.
    ~And~ your table looks lovely! Good for you!!!
    I squeeze crafting in at night while I am watching tv-mostly cross stitching or sewing.

  4. BTW, I just bought styrofoam ball to make mushroom pincushions out of (for little gifts for my sewing pals).
    You cut 3" round styrofoam ball in half and cover the rounded top it with a fabric circle. Next you glue that on the top of a spool of thread. I haven't made them yet, but I found a bunch of cute ideas in a bazaar book I just bought.

  5. I bet she did throw them out. Sometimes you just have to do that. Sometimes, realistically speaking, no one else would want them, and sometimes, if you wait until it's convenient to take them to Goodwill, you take stuff back out of the bags. I was even told by the people operating a local clothing bank that anything not in perfect condition is sold as rags.

  6. Zoey...I'm having a hard time posting anything in others blogs..even after I've signed in and done the word verification. Do you have that problem? Anywho..hopefully This will post and I can get back into it. LOL I hear ya about the "decluttering". I am moving in less then a month and I want to do a "Clean sweep" when we get there. It's wonderful to declutter and get back to basics.


  7. taracotta, I have not noticed that problem lately. But sometimes blogger goes down and you can't post until they get it fixed. Maybe that was happening today.
    Kathy, You hit the nail right on the head! I did not donate them because I had to get them in the bag and out of my site immediately. Last spring I did box things up and had DH take them, but it was a week or more before they ever left my basement. I did not want the chance to change my mind!

  8. I recently went through my closets and the clothing that was not worthy to go to a Thrift store has been cut into quilting pieces neatly stored in a bin.

  9. Actually when I am bagging things for donation, they go right into the van. I have to either keep them there or get them to the Goodwill. I toted the latest bags around for a good month until I got rid of them. At least they were out of the house.

  10. I don't have a garage and my basement is damp. If I leave them in the trunk, my husband takes them out again to make room for groceries (or whatever). So if I save clothes in a bag, the bag has to stay in the laundry room. The laundry room is not very big, and eventually the bag falls on the floor and then the kids walk all over it. (At least I have them trained to do their own laundry, even if I haven't trained them to pick up whatever they knock on the floor.) If I don't discover this soon enough, the bag has a hole in it, the clothes are dirty, and I ask myself if I want to wash them or just chuck them. Sometimes doing the "right" thing is a lot of work! The nearest clothing bank is a good twenty minutes away and has weird hours, so often that bag is hanging around for a while before I can deliver it, and all that time it is still cluttering my house! I shouldn't complain, because we all wear hand-me-downs almost exclusively, and what I bring to the clothing bank is usually the excess above and beyond what my family can use.

  11. Hey Kathy,
    We all have our own way of doing things. If you all wear hand-me-downs I wouldn't worry if someone else will wear them. There are only 3 of us here and I have several different places where I can drop off things. If the bag takes up space in the van, well it's usually only me or one other person in the van.


I appreciate you taking the time and effort to leave a comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please note due to Blogger changing word verification so almost nobody can read it, I have had to change to no word verification and only allow registered users to comment.

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