1001 decluttering challenge
101 in 1001, Decluttering, Homemaking

Declutter 1,001 Things Challenge: Progress Report #2

If you’re new to this series, I’m currently working on decluttering 1,001 items from our home as part of one of my goals for my 101 in 1001 list. Back in 2013, I did a massive decluttering project I called 50 Weeks to Organized, where we got rid of approximately 50% of our belongings. Since that time, however, we’ve added 3 kids to our family and have acquired a LOT more stuff (which was helped along by the fact that we moved from a small apartment into a house), so it’s definitely time to part with a lot more. We ended up getting rid of a decent amount before the two moves our family made in 2020, but we still have a long way to go.

See that room in the picture above? I wish I could say that that is a picture of everything I’m getting rid of, but alas, that is actually a picture of The Room I Pretend Doesn’t Exist. Now, that’s not to say that I WON’T be getting rid of many of the things in there, but right now, I haven’t even hardly TOUCHED that room.

The reason I share a picture of The Room That Shall Not Be Named is because it blows my mind that after this month, I’m already HALFWAY through my challenge, and I haven’t even TOUCHED the room that holds the most “obvious” items that will eventually be decluttered. SERIOUSLY, WHERE DID ALL THIS STUFF COME FROM?!

So, if I didn’t declutter from the room above, where DID I declutter? Well, we finally have our playroom more or less unpacked, which meant we went through a LOT of toys and books (more on that below). I also went through half the boxes that were still left in our master bedroom and closet the other week because I was frantically trying to find a document I needed to file our taxes, which had the unexpected benefit of me being able to declutter a ton as I did that AND get half the boxes unpacked and places found for the stuff therein.

Slow and sure progress.

What I Decluttered This Month

  • 4 glass tumblers
  • 1 purse
  • 2 art prints
  • 2 blankets
  • 75 articles of kids’ clothing
  • 67 toys and games
  • 11 stuffed animals and dolls
  • 80 children’s books
  • 3 sets of curtains
  • 1 Halloween costume
  • 6 kitchen utensils
  • 9 magazines
  • 10 folders of paper
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 pair of slippers
  • 25 pairs of newborn socks
  • 4 pairs of newborn booties
  • 55 books
  • 54 DVDs
  • 3 shirts
  • 1 vest
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 decorative pillow
  • 1 pedometer

TOTAL: 420 items

GRAND TOTAL THUS FAR: 580 items (57.9% of total goal)

First Up: ALLLLL the Kids’ Stuff

I’ve written a post before about how I don’t (usually) hide when I’m getting rid of my kids’ stuff, and lately it’s started to pay off big. Because I’ve almost always made my oldest part of the decluttering process from a young age, she has now reached the point where she “gets” it a lot more. In fact, I thought it was astute of her when she commented that “giving away stuff is just like cleaning, except that it’s even better because you have less to pick up forever!” From a 5-year-old, I thought that was a pretty intelligent observation of a definite truth (that took me about 25-30 years to really “get”).

The last few times I’d tried to declutter with her, I met with a little more resistance than I had in the past. We were packing up stuff to get ready for our move, and she had a really hard time parting with much, especially when it came to her stuffed animals and toys.

However, I don’t know if it’s the fact that she’s older now or the fact that she was getting tired of cleaning up her playroom all the time, but she WENT TO TOWN this time when it came time to give stuff away. We cut the amount of clothes she had solidly in half because she recognized which ones she never was wearing and just kept her favorites, and with her toys, she got really good at parting with any that she had duplicates of (or similar types of toys, if they weren’t exact duplicates).

While the playroom is far from being as organized as I would like it, just the fact that we have so much less stuff in there makes it a much less daunting task than it was previously to pick it up.

Ditching the Discs

I’ll admit we’ve been rather slow to ditch our c.d.’s (both music and DVD’s) because it took us awhile to hop on many of the latest technology trains, like smartphones (which we literally just got for the first time last year). While we still are keeping many of our DVD’s (we probably still have well over 200), we only kept the ones for now that we wanted access to all the time and ditched the ones that we could just do without or wait until they were available through a streaming service if we ever really wanted to watch them.

We did keep all the kids’ movies since those by far see the most use, and I eventually might only do Disney+ every other month or once a quarter to catch up on newer movies and shows and then just watch our personal copies the rest of the time because we own the vast majority of the classic kids’ movies.

I long ago chucked all my c.d. cases, though I have kept my actual music c.d.’s still. I might be getting rid of a lot of those soon too though, since I don’t listen to music as much as I used to and when I do, I usually listen through an online streaming service rather than pulling out one of my old music c.d.’s. As for now, I haven’t gone through any of those yet, but that should be a rich place to declutter (“low-hanging fruit,” if you will) in the future.

Note About the Newborn Stuff

Yes, we still plan to have at least one more kid (maybe two), so no, me getting rid of all those newborn socks and booties is not a sign of anything other than the fact that now that I’ve raised 3 babies, I can confidently say that I pretty much never put my babies in shoes until they’re walking and that there is no earthly reason for me to own more than about 10 pairs of socks for any of my kids at any given point.

Seriously, kids’ socks are the BANE of my existence, and now that I’m going on this new kick where I’m paring down all of their sock collections to around 10 pairs apiece, my life has gotten so much easier (as silly as that might sound).

General Musings

Even though I’m over halfway through the challenge, I still feel like I’ve hardly made a dent in some places. The places where I can clearly see a vast difference (like my kids’ clothing drawers and the clothing bins for their future sizes) have been very motivating, but I still feel like I’m surrounded by clutter all the time. Part of that is the nature of the stage of life I’m in (3 kids aged 5 and under can make a mess of the most minimal number of possessions, it seems), and part of it is because we’re still very much under construction over here, so EVERYTHING just feels unfinished and cluttery. I’m hoping that once our kitchen floor goes in and we can move all the furniture back into place that that flooring situation has currently DIS-placed, things will feel a lot better.

Also, you’ll notice I got rid of even more books of my own this round, and even though I’d estimate that I probably still own well over 700 books, my shelves FEEL so much better to me because they only hold titles that I’m really excited about. (Granted, I still have about 4 boxes of books in the basement that don’t have a home yet that will likely get pared down eventually, but as far as the books that ARE out, it’s basically just pure Marie-Kondo-joy for me at this point.)

I had a decluttering goal with my last 101 in 1001 list that I made very little progress with, so I’ve been asking myself why it’s been so much easier this time around. There have been some obvious reasons, like the fact that we’re unpacking, which forces me to go through things as I go through our boxes.

But there are two other reasons why I think it’s been night-and-day different this time around with my success rate: 1) I’m making myself accountable for it here on the blog and I know for me, accountability is HUGE when it comes to reaching my goals. And 2) Before, I was trying to do another 50 Weeks to Organized project, where I systematically went through each space in my house week by week until I had gone through all of it. The fact is, I’m in a completely different stage of life now than I was in 2013 when I did that project, and I didn’t realize until very recently that I need to let go of that “ideal” way of going through my house and decluttering—-instead, I just need to declutter as I go about my regular daily life and be constantly on the lookout for things to add to my donation boxes and call that good for now, even if it means that I’m not literally going through every single last thing in my entire house.

Progress over perfection, people—it’s a popular saying for a reason!

Have you been decluttering lately? Any particular insights you’ve noticed for yourself about the process?

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