Sunday, December 4, 2011

A whole bunch of days of decluttering.

In October, Jules over at Pancakes and French Fries did a series called 31 Days of William Morris, where she purged and organized and decluttered areas of her house for the entire month. If you are unfamiliar with William Morris, he is the source of the quote "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful," and the series was designed around bringing her home into line with that concept. It was a really great series.  She is a fabulous writer and I enjoy everything she writes; she even makes organizing and decluttering sound interesting.

I doubt I will sound nearly as interesting, but I am planning on doing something similar.   The sheer amount of junk in this house is giving me hives.  I need to start afresh, to purge, to just get rid of some of this crap that is weighing me down.

For a few years now I have been tried to be frugal, to look first to what I have on hand for decorating projects. The downside of this mindset is that I never throw anything away, because I might need that someday. Wood scraps, oddly cut foam board, already painted canvases, art I no longer like, kitchen wares I have never used, clothes I no longer fit into....I have enough furniture in the garage to furnish a small apartment.  I don't HAVE another small apartment that needs furnishing. This stuff needs to go.

While I am not yet approaching an episode of Hoarders (as long as you don't look in the garage), I feel that we just have too much crap.  I have scheduled a charity pick-up for next Tuesday, and probably again next month (they only come to our area once a month) and my plan is to get as much stuff as I can out for donation.  I would have a garage sale, but 30 degree weather is not that conducive for a garage sale, plus I don't have a spare weekend day to sit around on my front lawn this month.  Ergo, donation.

The areas I plan to tackle:
1. The attic playroom
2. The Mister's attic office
3. The junk drawer in my bedroom dresser
4. Outgrown clothing for the kids
5. The linen closet
6. The kitchen junk drawer
7. The blue antique secretary
8. The living room console
9. The basement.  Dear heavens, the basement.
10. The garage.  Hahaha.  Hope springs eternal!
This list may not sound like much, but I assure you that while I run a fairly tight ship in our first and second floor, the attic and the basement and the garage are a bit overflowing.

I leave you with a picture of the horrorshows I need to tame.  The attic is going to be PURGED of toys.  Purged, I tell you.  Any ideas of where to donate used toys?  It seems a shame to give them to Goodwill if I could give them to someone who might actually use them.

And the basement....I don't know if I have the willpower to do this space.  Actually, I think I can pretty much guarantee that I will not be able to do the entire space in under a week.  I'm hoping for at least a clear walkway to the laundry area.

Its 10 pm and I'm not running out to take a picture of the garage in the dark.  I also don't want you all to think my family needs to sign me up for Hoarders.

Wish me luck.

Edited to add: I linked up to Pancakes and Frenchfries William Morris Project.


  1. Inspired by the book about Steve Jobs, my husband wants to go through everything we own and pare down too. It's a good idea, but dang it's a lot of work. Good luck!

  2. Oh my. You are ambitious! I love that quote too. The toys...I have given toys that were gently used to my Dr.'s office and a local low-income preschool.

  3. The basement..dun dun dun. Wow, that looks like it will be time consuming. It does feel good to pare down though. I've heard. I wouldn't know since all my crap is still in boxes. Good luck though!

  4. Popped over from the Nester's Christmas party link up and decided to stay around for a while. This post made me laugh - I caught Jules bug back in October as well and have been in the process of purging ever since. It's sad, actually, how much crap we have in the house (and no kids to blame it on). Best of luck with your clean out project!

  5. Just came over from Jules blog and can I say, first of all, that your blog header is beautiful! Very nice.

    You and I sound a lot alike. I'm straddling that fine line that if someone turned me in to Hoarders, they might have to think about it for a while before they made a decision. I'm not a shoo in, but I will be if I don't do something!

    Your basement looks like my laundry room. Only difference is, my laundry room is right off of my kitchen so it's harder to keep people from wandering in there!

    Good luck with all your projects. Can't wait to see what you accomplish!

  6. Good luck with your project! Jules has inspired me to purge and re-evaluate my home too. Isn't she a treasure? :)
    Regarding toy donations, in addition to Head Start or pre-schools, we seek out women's/children's shelters in our area to inquire whether they are in need of gently used toys. You could also contact your local social services to ask about places to donate toys.

  7. I linked here from Pancake and French Fries. Glad to see her NJ fan club contingent here! I have been thoroughly inspired by her posts as well. Definitely agree with your sentiment of feeling weighed down by all the stuff. Water in our basement pushed us to purge and remodel (fun! $$$) but we are planning to continue the purge. An idea for the toys - our local elementary school in Essex co. has periodic "swaps" where you can bring clothes/toys/etc. You can drop off or take without obligation. I can send you the info offline.

  8. It's a good think we don't have a basement. I don't even want to know what that thing would look like if we did. Not good, I can tell you that!

    Our garage is now full, and I mean FULL, thanks to October's WM project. I keep telling my husband that we just need one garage sale and it will all be gone. Please God, make it so.

    p.s. Numbers 9 and 10 on your list made me laugh out loud.

  9. How is it going? I have a basement like that, too!

  10. You can do this! I haven't made a list yet, but am totally inspired by Jule's and your list to get on makes it *real* then. I can't wait to keep up with you on your projects. When you get rid of the toys, what is your attic going to be used for...I may have missed that sorry if so, my children are asking me lots of questions and I forget what I've read sometimes :) Have fun tackling your projects!

  11. Hi! Clicking over from Jules blog. Let me say, as a native of Southern California, I'm totally envious of the concept of "attic" and "basement," 2 things that are very rare out here. Look forward to following your progress!

  12. The kids area is so nicely colorful that I could totally lull myself into believing it was simply energy infused and fun! You have quite a list there! Good luck with it.


Yay! You're commenting! I love comments!