January 4, 2010

Decluttering Project: Closet

I am suddenly inspired to do some organizing/decluttering in the Gift Closet, which is not only a Gift Closet but a catch-all for a lot of things. It's hard for me to tackle it because getting rid of stuff from there often means getting rid of NEW stuff, stuff I bought on GOOD DEALS! It's disappointing to have something that seems like such A Find turn out NOT to be A Find after all.

I already did a few boxes-of-clutter giveaways, and I also donated spare toys (bought for birthday parties they never seemed right for) to a charity toy drive this past December. But now I feel ready to tackle the rest. The closet is in the same room as the computer, so I can document each thing as I toss it out, recycle it, or put it in the Freecycle pile.

1. five years backissues of Consumer Reports magazine, which I never reference because I look online, and the magazine holders that held them

2. two unopened packages of booklets that accompanied the handheld organizers we bought eight years ago, including two sealed-in-plastic booklets labeled "READ ME FIRST!"

3. set of very pretty satin padded hangers I thought I would want for myself but it turns out padded hangers take up a lot of space, so then I thought I'd save them for a guest room, but we don't have a guest room, nor will we have one for a very long time if ever, and if we DO ever have one I will buy more hangers if I still want them

4. a pretty Pfaltzgraff holiday serving dish, bought as a teacher gift before I decided to only give gift cards, then saved for a couple of years in case another use occurred to me

5. seven board games we never, ever play

6. paperwork/boxes for the cellphones we bought in 2000 and no longer have

7. ten reusable bags, bought for a planned Earth Day giveaway that has failed to happen two years in a row because I keep not noticing it's Earth Day until other people blog about it

8. bag of holiday clearance items for planned holiday giveaway that didn't happen

9. several broken picture frames from when photos got knocked off the wall and I thought I'd glue the frames back together and get new glass for them AHA HA HA HA HA

10. the packet of scrapbooking stickers and papers that came with my 2009 Victoriana calendar and thought I might find a use for

11. two partially-used classroom packs of jackolantern/pilgrim-making kits, the kind where you assemble a bunch of flat foam pieces; someone gave them to us as a gift, and although I do have a lot of children, I don't have 32 of them, and no one made more than three or four of each thing

12. package of OVER THE HILL candles purchased for a family member's milestone birthday I then forgot to use the candles for

13. pile of paper-pad mousepads that seemed like such an awesome idea but I only ever use mine to start my pen so now they seem less awesome for giving as gifts

14. some gifts set aside for the mother-in-law

Things I dealt with:

1. put a bunch of "I'll put these in the box later" packets of studio pictures into the studio pictures box, which used to have too much stuff on top of it to get into

2. hung up a small pretty plate my mom gave me for a reason I no longer remember

3. released into the household a number of craft kits and activities I'd bought "for a rainy day" and then never thought to give out when it was "raining"

4. put up on the wall some jungle wall stickers I wasn't sure if I wanted to save for myself or give as a gift

5. released into the household a huge inventory of stickers I used to send to Make a Child Smile or my parents' World Vision child

6. filled a box with Valentine's Day stuff for a giveaway

7. took a Mother-In-Law Dishes mug intended for a giveaway and put it with the rest of the Mother-In-Law Dishes, which should probably be renamed now that there is no mother-in-law

Things that still need to be dealt with:

1. a 5-opening picture frame: I need to choose a photo of each of the kids, get the photos printed, put them in the frame, and hang the frame up

2. a cute print of a lamb and a ladybug I forgot I bought for William in his lamb-obsessed toddler years: I need to decide if I'm going to keep it, and if so get a frame around it

While I was working on this project, Henry:

1. used a (fortunately washable) stamp on the wall

2. shook a paintbrush loaded with (fortunately washable) paint

3. unwound a significant percentage of a skein of yarn

4. got painty (still the fortunately-washable kind) hands all over the kitchen counter and dishes

5. shook salt and pepper all over the counter and the dishes and the sink and the floor

6. dumped out the container of jackolantern-making kits, spreading the flat foam pieces far and wide


Kader said...

Hooray! The New Year! Another decluttering post! Can you tell I love your decluttering posts?

fairydogmother said...

I've been on a decluttering bent lately, although I hadn't thought to document it. There is still PLENTY of clutter left, so it is not too late. Especially since I have a dog who loves paper and cardboard of any sort, and I never think to decardboard-ify the living/dining room (ie, take out the recycling) when I leave him alone in that part of the house. Today I went into the bedroom to fold & put away laundry and while I was doing that he stole a large, sturdy cardboard box out of recycling and dismantled it leaving pieces scattered all across the living room. It left me feeling very "why do i even bother?". Then I read this post and remembered that the reason I bother is that it feels so much better than it did before, even if I only finish a 5 minute project of decluttering a couple of shelves in the bathroom cabinet.

Joanne said...

Ugh, I have a lot of that stuff too - board games and frames and Christmas crap. Sometimes it drives me bonkers, but my Maria is similar to your Henry in the Crap That They Will Get Into way and that makes me nuts, too.

Dr. Maureen said...

Ooo! Ooo! Can I have the magazine holder thingies? I was literally planning to buy some, like, tomorrow. (Andrew won't let me toss his seemingly hundreds of "Handyman" magazines.)

Anne said...

Your closet is so much like mine! The especially telling thing is that I was reading your list of "stuff to deal with" and several times I found myself thinking "oooh, I WANT THAT!" I need some serious help.

Andria said...

I went to Hobby Lobby a while back to replace some glass, and OMG. It was twice the price of the frames I bought!

StephLove said...

I think you deserve a big pat on the back for getting ANYTHING AT ALL done with Henry in the house.

Farrell said...

Oh my! Henry's antics (though very typical and normal and even adorable [from a distance, I'm sure] for his age) would give me the very little push I would need to NEVER DECLUTTER AGAIN. OMIG what you would find in my closets! Ugh.
I'm proud of you; those projects are never fun, and always so, so easy to put off.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

That Earth Day is a stealthy sucker.

Melissa H said...

I am doing (what is turning into a 2 month long) decluttering project where I tackle 50 (small!) areas in the house and get rid of unneeded items of all sizes. I got through place #24 today. I'm thinking the second half will be MUCH harder but it's so FUN to list out each thing I discard. Took three bags to the thrift store today :)

Mama Bub said...

Love the decluttering posts, but the payoff at the end was the best. Ain't two grand?

Whimsy said...

Now I'm tired. And all I did today was take FIVE BAGS of video tapes and DVD's to the used bookstore to sell back. You know what they gave me for my trouble? SEVEN WHOLE DOLLARS. 7. For FIVE BAGS OF STUFF. As they asked me if I would "take the offer", I realized that it's all sham and they would never expect a person to say NO THANK YOU, THE PAPER THE AND PLASTIC THOSE VIDEO TAPES ARE PRINTED ON ARE WORTH MORE THAN SEVEN DOLLARS. It's all a big sham.

End of rant. But you! Look at you go!

kristinc said...

Henry and my Squeaker need to have a playdate. Two peas in a pod.

Miz S said...

What Stephlove said.

Amanda said...

I can't even list the shit I cleaned out of my bedroom closet as it took 6 goodwill bags and uncounted # of trash bags to clean it out. The dust alone got it's own bag.

It feels SO good in there now!

Rachel said...

I was so inspired by your post, I started cleaning out the junk drawer, right here at the kitchen counter, where I am supposed to be making lunches, but instead am reading blogs and decluttering the junk drawer.

Shelly Overlook said...

You just reminded me I need to ditch our old Consumer Reports magazines. I keep them for reference, but like you, I just look online when I need something.

Nowheymama said...

I've decluttered the kids' rooms! Now I have to do my room, which won't be nearly as fun. Or easy.

missris said...

Oh I just love decluttering. It always makes me feel better about the state of my house. Your post has inspired me!

Eleanor Q. said...

I think Henry and Fussbot would get along very well. While I've been on my cleaning kick, Fussbot has been helping by pulling out all the stuff I had carefully hidden under my bed so I can go through that as well. Perhaps we can rent the two out as a cleaning/painting crew?

d e v a n said...

Yeah. That last list? Is the reason I still need to declutter at least 4 closets.

Lawyerish said...

I find this incredibly satisfying to read about. Decluttering RULES!

Laura said...

I need to finish decluttering my desk. Why? You might ask... My computer desk has become a catchall for things in the living room that nobody knows where to put. While I cleaned off the bottom part before Christmas (the part that two active nineteen-month-olds could reach and potentially cause mayhem with) the shelves and the top still need sorted out. I can see at least eight spools of thread on top of it right now... wait, nine. Yeah, I need to clean it. And next stop, the sewing/craft closet!