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Declutter November – final things and thoughts

Posted by on Thursday 1 December 2011 in decluttering | 2 comments

After personally getting rid of bags full of clothes, craft supplies, a broken bucket and many books in the last four weeks, our little Declutter November challenge has come to an end.

My last three items for this last half week have been: a time-sensitive book from 2000 (so well out of date now), three VHS videos (saved from our main video clearouts because they’re a bit obscure from my film-student days, but we haven’t had a VHS player for years and years, so it doesn’t matter how obscure they are, I can’t play them) and a cardigan that I thought had gone in a much earlier clothes clearout.

My plan with the challenge was to get into the habit of seeing things and asking myself “do we still need, or even just want, that?” – and while I haven’t quite done it every day as intended (NaNoWriMo distracted me), I think I have done it enough to start looking at things in a new light. Some things were obvious contenders but some days I had to seek out something that needed to go – but as I said at the end of week 3, as soon as I picked something, I didn’t wobbly about it – I think I’d been blind to them then as soon as I saw them in a “I could get rid of that” light, it made perfect sense.

In some ways, it doesn’t feel like I’ve got rid of that much stuff – lots of little things. A few small bags of beads here, a handful of books there – but it does add up. We’ve got eight bin-bags and two carrier bags of clothes to go to the charity shop, plus two cardboard (banana) boxes of books and misc. We’ve got rid of three old computers (for their collectable-ness rather than their function) and a small bookshelf will go to the furniture charity shop next time we’re out that way. A few things have gone to/gone back to my mum and John’s dad, and a big box of misc has gone in the bin (thankfully it was mostly papers/card so it could be recycling/composting, very little has gone to landfill). Looking at it like that, that’s quite a lot of stuff out of the house! And it sounds like many of you have had similarly cleansing experiences — I’ve read all the comments, blog posts and tweets, and it sounds like an awful lot of packed charity/thrift/op shops have been getting stock boosts over the last few weeks!

I’ve also found stuff I’d forgotten about/lost and shifted lots of stuff from high concentration area to more out of the way locations (for example, our spare crockery and preserving jars now live in the porch/garage) so I’ve gained even more space.

All in all, I’ve very glad I did the challenge and am tempted to have another focused month next spring.

How has your decluttering gone? Any particularly noteworthy items that have gone bye-bye? Anything you found hard to let go – but you were glad about once it was gone?


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  1. Su

    I got rid of 62 items in total. The craft challenge being by far the hardest! However, I did get rid of 4 lots of wool & a tapestry kit. Included in the rest was 2 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of sandals & 2 pairs of shoes, 9 pairs of knickers, 5 bras (all counted as 1 item each),a skirt, a lap blanket thing, some kitchen ware, oh just loads of stuff!
    In fact only this morning, I looked at the stack of saucers & thought ‘now do we need all those’, the answer of course was no. so they have gone.
    I have also, as per a suggestion here, put some kitchen stuff in the cellar. It had never crossed my mind to do this, probably because my cellar resembled a rubbish dump! Well, it’s much tidier & better organised than before & now I don’t have to hide when the meter reader comes round becaused I’m too ashamed to let him into my cellar!
    I have also re-purposed quite a lot of things, or found a use for others things that I’ve had years but never used, I’m really very pleased with that aspect of the de-cluttering.
    I can honestly say that not one thing I have got rid of has caused me any anxiety at all.
    The only thing that made me think at all, was a vase, nothing remarkable about it at all, but I liked it. I couldn’t justify keeping it, so daughter & I had a chat, she suggested getting rid of something else instead, so I got rid of 2 things instead! The vase is now one of the items that has been re-purposed & is in the kitchen being used for washing up and bottle brushes etc

    • louisa

      Wow – great effort, especially considering how much stuff you got rid of in the weeks proceeding the challenge too.

      I really like your daughter’s suggestion – and the repurposing idea for it, great to get an everyday use out of it.

      I bet your house is just about empty now ;)

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