Remember back in March last year when I hit on the slightly crazy idea of having a declutter with a difference? The idea was I'd try and replicate the idea I'd read about where a family committed to throw away the same number of items as the year, and they did this for more than one year. I was curious to see how many things we would get rid of, and not starting until March made it a tougher task.
But it started well, by June there was only 1778 items to go and I was pleased with the progress I'd made. But by October I was disappointed with the progress I'd made, as there was still 992 items to get rid of.
And for the first time I seriously began to wonder if I'd get anywhere close to 2016 items. And I almost gave up.
But I didn't.
In November I had a bit of a pause, a disheartened pause I guess. But realising that wasn't helping get near to the target, I started to throw more things away.
- I cleared out my craft supplies and all the things I thought I might use one day, well I went through those and quite a few that I would probably never use, were recycled or thrown away.
- We replaced some everyday glasses - with these from TK Maxx - but sent more to the charity shop.
- Packaging. Somehow I still had quite a lot of this. Well no more.
- Old bills. No not that kind of old Bill, the paper sort. At a rough guess I shredded almost ninety, with some going back to 2013. Technically I still have the shredded bills, as they're in a sack in the greenhouse, ready to add to the compost with the grass cuttings. But I'm counting these here as they've decluttered the house and are waiting to be put to better use. I could have recycled these, but then I would potentially have had slimy clumps of grass in the compost; mixing shredded paper in with the grass cuttings as it's added, avoids this.
- Bras. Old but not knackered ones. I've sent a small package to Smalls for All, a charity who collect underwear to help women and children in Africa.
So, with those and more I'm still 448 items short of the 2016. Given where I was in October I'm pleased, but the things I thought were dead certs to get rid of - like the old Dyson, a plethora of pictures, some china and an old coffee machine - we still have.
That's pretty frustrating, especially that old Dyson. I've tried to get rid of that a few times, but MOH has always said, we've one more project to do where it'll be useful, and so it's stayed. Although today, he said we should get rid of it and it's as much as I could do not to stop myself from wheeling it out to the front of the house and hoping it might find itself a new home. But I resisted, because I'm sure there's a more ethical way of finally getting rid of this.
In ten months I've got rid of 1,568 items, which is quite some going. It's not the 2016 items I'd aimed for, and that's disappointing, but it's not bad going is it?
I do wonder how much closer I'd have got if I'd started in January though... I thought about carrying on until March, but then it wouldn't be 2016 would it? But don't worry, I've no plans to repeat the process, but it was interesting to see how much we've thrown away.
I will though carry on clearing things out, as with immaculate timing only yesterday MOH said the dreaded "we have too much stuff, we need to have a clear out..." Which is where I think this started! It's clearly a cyclical thing.
Are you in the process of decluttering? Could you get rid of 2017 items this year?