It’s the New Year and time to start doing my WFMW and TT meme’s. My TT this week will be 13 ways I’m going to “de-clutter” my home in 2008.
1. iSlice my magazines – my WFMW post was about a gadget I found at a local craft store. I love books and that spreads to magazines as well. I especially love my Martha Stewart Real Simple and Living subscriptions and until my daughter told me she was going through her old magazines and cutting out what she wanted to keep and tossing the rest, I was quite content to make room for my ever growing collection. It then dawned on me that they were taking over and once I browsed the pages, I rarely picked it up again, so with my iSllice in hand, I went to town. I had accumulated 24 Real Simple magazines and just finished going through each of them and by taking out what appealed to me I now have the equivalent of just 1 magazine. I am going to do this for every magazine in the house. I was going to make a binder with categories like, recipes, helpful hints and craft ideas, but tonight while on the phone with my daughter I came up with the idea of scanning the pages and saving them to a flash drive – now I’ll really de-clutter!
2. Clean and Clear out the C’s – I counted 7 closets, 12 cabinets and God only knows how many containers in my house. There’s stuff in some of those containers I haven’t seen in years so I figure if I do one closet, cabinet or container a week, I should be clutter free in no time. My goal is to cut the storage containers down by 50% including the ones under the bed – they irk me!
3. Just say NO to yard sales – I am a self proclaimed pack rat. I can’t help it. Even if I can’t use it anymore, someone may want it – right? So instead of toss it I store it for the next yard sale – well no more mister! My last yard sale I had so much stuff that it was overwhelming. It took me 2 hours to get it all outside and set up and while I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff, I still had almost half of it left over. I’ve decided to just pack the stuff in a box and have Purple Heart or the Am-Vets come get it and if they’re not in the market for my stuff, to the curb it will go. If you put it to the curb a day or two before trash day, you’d be surprised at the “dumpster divers” that will appear out of nowhere ready to pick through your stuff and whatever they don’t take, the garbage men will!
4. Toss the Junk Mail – I signed up earlier in the year to cut back on junk mail and while it has cut down quite a bit, I still get the occasional sale circulars for Michaels, AC Moore, Walmart, Rite Aid and CVS. I have decided to resist the urge to browse through them and toss them before I cave in. It never fails, you just take a peek and then see a great sale that you just can’t pass up and the next thing you know, you’re walking out of the store with bags of stuff you just had to have.
5. Stop bulkin’ Up – I have a Sam’s Club membership that is going to expire soon and I just let my BJ’s membership expire. I’ve decided that I really don’t need to buy in bulk – besides, I don’t have the room to store the stuff anyway. I’ve found that I get more from my dollar by shopping at Family Dollar and Aldi’s. We also are more frugal with what we have since I stopped buying in bulk. To me, it seemed as though when I bought in bulk, we were more wasteful and less worried about being thrifty, so sorry Sam’s, you’ll just have to do without me!
6. Short sheet the beds – Let me re-phrase that one – cut down on sheet sets to 2 sets per bed. Really, how many sets of sheets do you really need? One for the bed and another for when you are washing the ones that were on the bed. And now all my sheets are white so no more searching for matching flats and fitteds.
7. Stash it under the mattress – I know I’m not the first person to think of this idea, but everyone I’ve shared it with has told me it was a neat idea and they were going to start doing it too. My idea is this; instead of storing extra sheet sets in the linen or bathroom closet, store them under your mattress. Rather than fold up your sheets into nice little bundles, fold them in quarters width wise and then slip them under the mattress. Top them off with a few dryer sheets and not only will they smell fresh, they will be nice and pressed too!
8. Take inventory – I’m going to make a list of all the things in my kitchen pantry. Too often I go to the store and pick things up because I think I’m out, then I get home and find out I have a ton of it already. This will not only help to keep my cabinets less cluttered, it will also help me clear out things that out dated and save me on my food budget.
9. Tchotchkes Smotchkes – Over the years my kids, friends and co-workers have blessed me with some of the cutest little “keepsakes”. I love them until it’s time to dust the shelves, then I wanna toss them in the trash. So the dilemma is this – which should stay and which should go? Well, let me start by saying the first thing you need to do is to communicate to everyone that you love them, but don’t need another figurine, angel, candle holder, keepsake. Then you get a box and unless there is a strong sentimental attachment or sentiment associated with the dust collector – box it up. You can then donate, yard sale or take to auction your little (or big) box of Tchotchkes.
10. Day of the week underwear – Okay, I’m not saying I want day of the week underwear, they just got me thinking – how many pairs of underwear do I really need? If I do laundry twice a week, why do I need 30 pairs? They take up too much space and most of them are so worn out, they can’t even be classified as rags. The same goes for bra’s, socks, shirts, pants, pj’s etc…I’ve decided to ditch the excess. I don’t need 7 pairs jeans, 30 T-Shirts or 10 pairs of pajama’s so Red Cross, here I come!
11. Not your bag lady anymore – I have so many handbags it’s ridiculous. How many do I really need? I’m going through and only keeping 2 handbags. One for Spring and Summer and the other for Fall and Winter. I also have several brief cases that need to go especially since I’ve been out of the workforce for almost 4 years.
12. Scan it then shred it – Paper has taken over so much space in our house it’s ridiculous. I’m going to go through and scan whatever I need to keep and then shred it and toss it out. Going forward, I’m using a little folder to keep all receipts and correspondence. Then once a month I’m going to scan, shred then toss them. I have a flash drive that I’m going to keep them on for easy access and to keep my computer from getting too cluttered.
13. CD and DVD organizers – While CD’s take up less room than cassettes and DVD’s are easier to stack than VHS, they still take up a lot of room. I got DVD albums on clearance at Target and each one holds 30 movies, so now I only use 1/3 the space. I got CD albums too, they hold 250 – talk about space saver and I put them in alphabetical order (I left a few spaces empty for when I get a new one) so they’re easy to find.