Monday, May 25, 2009

Decluttering - Week #1

I'm on a campaign in my home to declutter. This isn't one of those "this place is a wreck" decluttering episodes. This is the real thing. I'm determined. I searched the web for a good photo to use as I update this topic - but they were too drastic. Honestly, my "clutter" isn't out of control - I just have too much stuff that we don't need. It's getting in the way of the stuff I do need. It's making me nervous, anxious and grouchy! I'm sure there are people who would argue that is my normal emotional state, but this is getting to me. Plus, I've been watching Oprah. If you've been watching Oprah since "The Greatest Economic Collapse Since the Great Depression" (that's what we're calling this recession right now, right?), well you'd know that Oprah is telling us to do more with less. I'd like to see her closet and compare clothes!! LOL! But, it's all relative, and I just don't need some of this stuff. So, the first thing I did was figure out my game plan. If I was going to tackle this, I was going to go about it systematically. This was going to be a lifestyle change. So I divided my house up into "zones". Each week I am working on a "zone" and only that "zone". Here are my "zones"

Caroline's Zones

1. Attic Storage Closet

2. Kitchen and laundry room

3. Basement Storage Room

4. Basement Playroom

5. Basement Bonus Room

6. Ben & Chris's Bedrooms

7. Dining Room/Living Room

8. Family Room

9. Garage

10. Area beneath deck and shed

See - 10 zones, nice and tidy. I began gaining confidence this was going to work! The zones are set up strategically for a certain reason (I would have made a great military stratagist!). The attic and kitchen/laundry had the most "upstairs" stuff to go to the basement. The basement was the real "culprit" of my clutter. Whatever someone doesn't know what to do with, they throw it in the basement, slam the door shut and its gone. Our basement had become scary. I imagined screechy violin music when I walked down the steps - like in an Alfred Hitchcock movie before the axe-slinger jumps out. See why I was nervous and anxious? Well, I figured if I got all the stuff that needed to go to the basement down there, I'd only have to deal with the basement once. I don't like the basement. Period.

But I also had another motive. I wanted the basement done before my two older sons, Ben and Chris, went to summer camp. If I got the three large rooms cleaned up in the basement, then I could spend the whole week cleaning out there bedrooms. I'm a gluten for punishment!! No, really, their rooms are not "awful", but they lack closet organizing. That's the biggie - so the week they are at camp, I'm cleaning out their closets. Makes me feel all tingly inside just thinking about getting that stuff out of here! They'll be in therapy for years getting over it, but I won't feel nervous and anxious!! LOL!!

After that it's all down hill. Our garage isn't cluttered, just could use a good cleaning/sweeping. We have an area under our deck, but we don't use it. I won't let my family store "stuff" (I call it "crap") under there. Our neighbors do that, and it looks awful. Who wants a raccoon making a home in all that stuff? Yikes! Makes me nervous just thinking about it!! Can you tell I'm the nervous type? LOL!! We have a storage shed, but the only extra stuff are some old pots. I figure once I get all this stuff out of there, I'd have a garage sale. Yea, that's a great idea! I'll sell my stuff to people who really don't need any more stuff, but think they are getting a great bargain, so they'll buy it! I might even e-mail Oprah. She can feature me on her show. Gail King will think it's great and write me up in O Magazine. The Obamas will invite me to dinner (I'm getting ahead of myself!). Politics make me nervous, I'll skip the Obama dinner!

So, back to reality. Week #1, The Attic. We store our Christmas Stuff in the attic, along with Easter, Halloween, you name it. If there's a decoration for a holiday, I've got the stuff. Plus suite cases, extra blankets, etc. Too much stuff. When Christmas rolls around, I miss half the decorations because the Halloween stuff is in the way. This Easter I gave up and put up a Christmas tree!! No, really, I didn't do that, but I could have. So out it came last week and I bagged up (30 gallon black trash bags) 35 bags of stuff I didn't need. Everything from a stuffed turkey that said "baby's first Thanksgiving" to old linen I was saving for cleaning rags. Gone to VOA. Now I go in to my attic and look around and smile. When hubby goes on his annual summer fishing trip, I'll know right where his sleeping bag is. When Fourth of July rolls around I'll be the first house with the red, white, and blue bunting up around my porch. The neighbors will sneer behind my back, maybe even call me "Martha". That's OK, it won't make me nervous one bit!!


  1. I have discovered a more upscale not to expensive storage cube system for my home. It is sold as an Art Storage System but I use it for storage in my garage and basement. It holds everything and is adjustable. Sold by a company in Brooklyn New York called Art Boards 800 546 7985. It is under art storage system on their web site menu.

  2. I just decluttered! It's so cleansing. I cleaned out closets, drawers, etc and brought things to goodwill and threw some things out. It was great! Regarding the mushrooms with broth, I couldn't find them. I just used canned and reserved some of the liquid.

  3. Decluttering is soooo good for the soul! I'm so glad that you are tackling it :) I just finished decluttering my side of dh's and I's hobby/office room. I even went as far as to move furniture around :) I love it now and have been spending almost everyday in this is a My next room is the kitchen/laundry room :)