View Full Version : 5 a day challenge

6-26-11, 8:45am
In the past I used to follow this decluttering challenge but haven't been keeping up. So I am starting again by putting a box and challenging DH to also find five a day to declutter. My inspiration is my neighbors who are moving out of state. Despite even having the rescue mission truck come and pick up a large amount of stuff it took packers two days to pack and then two days to load onto the truck.

Anybody in? Five items a day, or fifteen minutes a day or a drawer a day, whatever works for you. There are so many people hurting out there that someone can use your stuff if you can't. Today I am going to pack my sweaters that I never wear- I took someone's suggestion and put all of my clothes with the hangars facing backwards in my closet and putting them away correctly after washing what I wear. I am surprised after six months how I wear the same stuff and have many items that fit and are fine but I musn't like them for some reason. Funny how that happens.

6-26-11, 12:28pm
flowerseverywhere...love you name!!
Yes, I am in for the rest of this month, I still need to do more...if I would stop bring in it would help but the yardsales are amazing..but should resist unless it is a real need..
This will get me started again...cleaning spare bedroom/sewing room today 5 items should be easy hehe

6-29-11, 3:45pm
I'm in! I need this!

6-29-11, 11:56pm
since I posted this it has been 4 days of five a day so tomorrow I will drop off twenty items plus what I pick up tomorrow to goodwill. I like the low stress of just tossing a few things in a basket in the back room as I go through rooms.

my grown kids will be home this weekend so we have a pile for each of them to go through, miscellaneous stuff, clothes, shoes, photos and mementos. Whatever they don't pack neatly or take is out. I anticipate I'll have enough stuff to count for the whole month of July. A project I am saving for fall is a big box of kids papers from school as they were growing up. I'll save a few things but I think most will be gone. I also found in one of their closets a complete set of Shakespeare, about 16 volumes and I can't imagine anyone would want it so I'll get that to the library book sale along with my thinning of paperbacks that are on a shelf.

I can only say the more I clean and organize the nicer space we have to live in. I am planning on selling a lot of quilting stuff on E-bay this fall as well so will get that organized.

7-5-11, 10:25am
We have a tiny one-bedroom apartment that is so small, we don't even have room for a sofa. We do have chairs, but because it's a turn-of-the century building, there's zero storage. There's no room in the bedroom - really an alcove - even for a chest of drawers. I have cloth cubes that I put my clothes in. Also no bookcase, so books are stacked on the floor. It just seems like there's stuff everywhere, and because the place is small and dark, I've just been miserable.

So, I declutter all the time - a few things every day, and just now after months of doing a little bit here and there, it's finally beginning to make a difference. I got home yesterday and asked my DH if he had cleaned up. He said no, I must have! He was surprised at how good the place is looking these days. (It's still small and dark though!)

So over the past couple of days, I got rid of:

an iron skillet that kept rusting and crumbling, gross
a pair of black shorts that would be too tight even if I was at my goal weight
a purse I wasn't using
some PVC sandals - hurt my feet
a bag of costume jewelry I wasn't wearing

I'll try to step it up to five a day. Thanks for the thread!

7-8-11, 9:04am
I just re-discovered these forums after they vanished, so I'm glad to have made this find. We both retired from 30 years in the education field this spring, so sorting and decluttering has new meaning here. I have tried to do "a bag a month" to Goodwill for some time, but doesn't always happen. Right now, I have a stack of clothing and some scrapbooking supplies to bring in. Also two nicer professional outfits to take to the women's closet, for women trying to get out of less than desirable situations and into the workforce.

7-8-11, 9:49am
Gwyn, glad you made it back!!

7-10-11, 9:55pm
Our house was struck by lightning on July 4th. Nothing burned, but our electronics, and the first-floor AC unit, were toast. I just got Internet service back today, so I took the opportunity to clean off my very grimy desk and rearrange the cable modem and wireless router, my computer speakers and other stuff. I've decluttered my desktop, but I have a ways to go. Today I threw out more than 5 things -- old phone parts, a couple of boxes, etc. A package arrived a few days ago that included a gift for my best friend, and with no Internet access, I couldn't create or print the mailing label. So I did that today, boxed up the gift, and now it's on the way out tomorrow. Things are much better. With most stuff off the desk, I cleaned the surface. It needed it! One of the bad things about clutter -- besides the way it replicates! -- is that it makes it hard to really CLEAN the surfaces that it hides.

Tomorrow I plan to go through a stack of scrapbooking kits that I have on my desk. I need to go through them all and make piles for eBaying, filing, etc. I hope to be able to add photos with some of the kits so that they'll be ready to go when I have time to scrapbook again. And, bonus -- when the kits are not on my desk anymore, I'll have ROOM to scrapbook! The "stuff" for the hobby has literally gotten in the way of DOING and ENJOYING the process of the hobby.

7-12-11, 5:27pm
Today, three bags of clothing to Goodwill and two old keyboards recycled at Best Buy.

7-13-11, 3:39pm
I used to be on this all the time some years back, and now I'm going to try again. This was my favorite thread. I've been doing this so far this month, but like to have the community. At least 5 a day for me. I'm glad to see the forum is still here! Ok, time to get to it.

7-13-11, 5:57pm
Three cookbooks geared toward family cooking were just passed on to one of my sons, who has taken a liking to cooking for his little family!

7-14-11, 7:51pm
1 old ripped up pair of jeans....gone
Went through my part of the bathroom cupboards and got rid of many items no longer needed or usable.

7-15-11, 11:58pm
Today I brought another bag to Goodwill...had about 7 books and at least 10-15 items of no longer wanted clothing. Why am I not seeing any difference in the "stuff" here? Oh...because there's still a lot of it, that's right!

7-17-11, 12:09pm
Today I gave my son three coffee mugs. We have way more than we need. Seems my magic number is three. Nothing yesterday, because I was traveling across the state to take part in a dulcimer workshop. So fun and now I'm recharged to work on my playing more. So that's kind of like organizing, too!

Where is everyone else? I always find other people's posts helpful to get me thinking of what to do next.

7-28-11, 6:48pm
This is such a great idea -- it's always easier to do things in little steps! I just went through today and cleared out my shoes... I found about 8 pairs I can give away!

7-28-11, 7:40pm
I am still at it. I had a friend over and she went through a stack of books I no longer wanted and took 5. Right on target. I boxed up another dozen to bring to the library for their used book sale.

DH has been on a roll too and has been cleaning out the basement. It looks so much nicer now and he gave away a stack of stuff.

I love a clean organized house- it makes my life so much more peaceful.

8-2-11, 12:47pm
How does one count piles of papers no longer needed? Cause we've been getting rid of many of these. One thing I've noticed is how certain of our hobbies seem to dominate the clutter. I'm not saying we need to lose the hobbies, because they bring us enjoyment and time together, but I wonder if others notice this same tendency and how they deal with it?

8-2-11, 4:19pm
Hey! it really is good to see you back, gwyn and sagewoman. I just found my way back a little while ago.

8-2-11, 8:30pm
How does one count piles of papers no longer needed? Cause we've been getting rid of many of these. One thing I've noticed is how certain of our hobbies seem to dominate the clutter. I'm not saying we need to lose the hobbies, because they bring us enjoyment and time together, but I wonder if others notice this same tendency and how they deal with it?

We shred unneeded paper as soon as it comes in the house and try to keep it down. I don't really count it but it might make you very satisfied to say "I got rid of 40 sheets of paper today."
also, I am in contact with other people with my hobbies and we occasionally trade or give stuff to each other. Being a quilter you can accumulate lots of fabric, patterns, magazines and books without realizing it.

glad to see so many familiar people back

8-3-11, 7:09am
I am again inspired. I am no longer in the office workforce and I had six pairs of black dress shoes. Now I have two that are the best fitting and best looking. I only wear them once a month these days at most so two pairs should last until I am about 200 years old.
Today I am going through a big stack of cooking magazines- my son gave me a subscription for years. I'll tear out any recipe I might actually make and start scanning them into my computer.

I am toying with the idea of getting rid of a set of dishes. I have my mothers old dishes that don't chip or break it seems and a set of beautiful modern dishes that seem to chip or break. I keep asking myself if it is worth the storage space or if I would want to move the modern ones.

8-10-11, 12:24pm
I'm struggling a bit with wardrobe stuff. I have basically three categories of things....work clothes, storytelling clothes and beat arounds. Since retiring, I'm living in the beat arounds. Hope to make more use of the storytelling stuff as I process which direction to take that area of work/fun. But I do plan to do a bit of substitute teaching for a couple years and know I still need some work clothes. Always a struggle.

8-10-11, 1:32pm
Still plugging away - our place is tiny, and the cat peed on our sofa a number of times. We got rid of it. The place felt better immediately, but we still found we needed a surface to throw stuff on. DH and I both divest ourselves of clothes, bags, audio equipment, netbooks, and whatever else we're carrying onto a series of chairs now. So you walk into the place and it's just a bunch of chairs everywhere, with a bunch of stuff all over them. Blech. I hate going home.

A big table would make more sense. I once saw an artist's studio that looked heavenly to me - a giant room with natural light, and it was almost completely taken up by a super big dining-size table that the guy had covered with a big sheet of black leather (or something like it, maybe vinyl) and he had tacked it all around with upholstery tacks. All the guy's materials were on this table, and that was where he worked. I have art projects and a number of other things going on, and I would LOVE to have a workspace like that. I drool over it mentally all the time.

It wouldn't be fair to use our entire apartment as an artist's space - DH misses the sofa, and we'd like to be able to stretch out in front of our big-screen tv that we never use, because there's nowhere to sit.

It's a nightmare.

We just need a bigger space. So until that happens, I'm decimating problem spots as I come across them. In the kitchen is a canvas director's chair with two of my handbags and a bunch of crap inside each - pens, scraps of paper, notes, empty pill bottles, makeup, etc. By the end of the week, I plan to have that stuff donated and out of our hair. I'll fold up the chair and put it in the closet.

I can't even say I got rid of anything yet, but intentions count - right? :)

8-11-11, 9:16am
I watched a couple of episodes of "Hoarders" last night for inspiration, and managed to divest myself of numerous magazines, and five pairs of socks that I never wore after I replaced them with better ones. We have done so much decluttering in the past year that while there are always some things that could be gotten rid of, we're not looking at the amount of possessions we have as containing lots of clutter. How liberating!

8-11-11, 2:37pm
Today's efforts are the kind not really noticed. One dresser surface is cleared off in our bedroom and things put somewhere (not on another flat surface, either). Went through a couple drawers and got rid of pointless stuff in them. Also took all the many envelopes and baggies of "extra buttons", dumped them and put all those buttons in a jar. No doubt many of those clothing items are long gone, but the stuff was a space hog of sorts. Teeny tiny things that still needed doing.

8-13-11, 1:10pm
Just one thing - but it's big and I've needed to get rid of it for a long time: my old desk. I've had many excuses for keeping it: it's a good desk; it's solid wood; I paid good money for it; if I get a bigger place I'll set up my desktop computer again. And then the reasons for not getting rid of it immediately: I should post it on Craigslist; or donate to Charity X; it's not a good time to arrange a pickup; surely one of my friends will want it? I finally got to the point where getting rid of the desk was more important than good intentions. So this morning, I disassembled it, shoved the pieces into my trunk, and drove it to Goodwill. Good riddance!

8-14-11, 10:26pm
I'm in the middle of an ongoing purge of my art/sewing supplies, and have several boxes ready to donate, along with two more boxes for the Friends of the Library, a small step ladder, and some decorative baskets. The sorting, washing, boxing, and bagging continues. I fantasize about just pushing it all out the window into a dumpster, but somebody, somewhere wants and can use these things, so the purge goes on. Last month, I got rid of lots of defunct pantry items. At this rate, I'll have everything boxed and organized in time to move into a rest home! :welcome:

8-22-11, 11:57am
Always a battle. I've cleared off two more pile up spots in our kitchen, which makes me happy and went through the paper sorter to toss stuff that had collected in there. We're up against a big challenge the next couple months, though. My son and his family need a crash spot until mid-October, when their new place is ready. So, in a few days, three more people, including a two year old, will be here. They were here the first ten months of the two year old's life and it was.....interesting. Now that we've retired, we figure we can do lots of road tripping during this time with dog care right on site, and everyone will be out of everyone's way! So much for getting cleared out and organized for awhile, though.

8-31-11, 12:30pm
Have another bagful of stuff to go to Goodwill, and we cleared off a bookshelf to give to our son to use in his little girl's playroom. Books from that are sorted and boxed if saved, ready to donate if not.

8-31-11, 12:51pm
I have been making quilts out of fabric I had in the house for the past few months. I have a stack of baby quilts I will give to my DIL's for baby gifts for their friends, they are all having babies right now and they love these handmade items. My sewing room is getting so much more organized as the months go by. I also have a stack of fabric that I am going to cut into squares and strips and put into a sales booth at our quilt show. They usually go very well and I will get some of the money back for the odds and ends I have left over from my projects.

I have two sets of dishes, one is chipping although I really liked it. The other set I inherited, it is very durable and I have enough for 16. So I think I need to get rid of the set that is chipping and cracking. that will free up a lot of space in the kitchen so that I can get the rest of the stuff off the counters.

DH has helped, he had a friend with kids who has been out of a job come over and he ended up taking several old bikes, an old ping pong table and some old inline skates we had hanging around. His kids were really excited, it has been a long haul for them. Getting a job has been quite a chore for him. Luckily his wife has a job that meets their basic needs. We were able to clean stuff out our kids did not want and help another family.

9-26-11, 12:15am
You know what always throws me? I always wonder "could I sell this on ebay?" But maybe it's not worth it. You have to list the item, then box it, send it off, etc. It's a lot easier to just take things to the Salvation Army sometimes. And our area was recently flooded and a lot of people need clothes etc. So maybe I should just take the stuff to the Army.

9-26-11, 5:15am
Ladyinblack: This is an obstacle for me too. Some of things I want to get rid of are nice and could probably be sold, but that's something I've never managed to tackle, so it's either been donate the stuff, or the stuff sticks around.
DH won't be working over the winter, so we're going to see if he can try to sell some things on E-bay. If that doesn't pan out, I'll donate the stuff in the spring. I'm still going to donate most of the things I don't want now, but there are a few choice items I would like us to try to sell. I feel that if we have a deadline of sorts in terms of selling, we can keep it from being just a way of procrastinating.

9-26-11, 4:07pm
On that note, once DH was taking a bunch of handbags to the Sally's for me, and left the car unlocked. Somebody stole them out of the car! Sheesh...

I've also taken handbags to family gatherings and told "the girls" "take whatever you want." Every one of them was chosen by a family member and is being used.

I agree: a deadline is good!