Day 37: Clutter: Leave It Where It Lies

3,700 things gone, only 6,300 to go

I’m still doing it – letting go of 100 things for 100 days.

Summer may not have been the best time to take on a decluttering project but, much like spacing siblings, there is no ideal time to declutter.

Today, I went back to the roots of the project forcing myself to simply gather and get rid of 100 things.

You’d be surprised how hard such a simple mandate can be.

I started with the kid’s closets and just one pile – donate.

Then I found a stained shirt and couldn’t decide if it was OK to donate so I created another pile – garbage. Tatty underwear went there too.

A Whistler/Blackcomb fleece got put aside for our friend’s son Jack.

I couldn’t decide what to do with a super soft organic cotton baby blanket that we barely used but it’s so cute because it has lions on it – so I made an undecided pile.

Size 2 Gap cargo pants would fit my sister’s friend Jenny’s son Brennan.

A teeny tiny wetsuit would be perfect for the trainer at Squirrel‘s gym who just had a baby.

So, my one pile became six: 1) donate 2) garbage 3) Jack 4) undecided 5) Brennan 6) trainer’s baby.

And they make it look so easy on reality TV.

Did you notice I violated one of my decluttering commandments – leave it where it lies!

I know many professional organizers would disagree with me on this but, if I want to give my friend’s son Jack a fleece, wouldn’t it be just as easy to remember that it’s hanging in my youngest son’s closet than sitting in a pile at the front door?

Right now, I have a pile of stuff for the trainer’s baby, a bag of clothes to give to the next person we know who has a baby boy, a lion blanket, Jack’s fleece, and my sister’s sweater in a heap in my mud room. When that heap gets too high, I know I will have completely forgotten what’s under there.

And frankly, I’m usually so vexed trying to get out the door with my two boys that my brain doesn’t register a pile of stuff I should really do something about.

So, I’m going back to the question I started with: Is this something I want or need? If I want to give it to a friend, I will either remember to give it to the friend, or find it later and donate it, but until then I will avoid what Squirrel refers to as my inefficient doubling handling.

I hate it when he’s right.

What I tossed today: 100 articles of outgrown or unwanted kid’s clothes (donated)


7 thoughts on “Day 37: Clutter: Leave It Where It Lies

  1. Hey Christine:

    You’ve inspired me to tackle our basement, spending my weekend shredding bank statements dating back to 2006, separating shoes into the donation and garbage pile, and passing on at least ten of Ty’s t-shirts that aren’t worthy of keeping. I’ve also started reading The Story of Stuff by Anne Leonard, prompting me to critically examine my buying haibts. Of course, my smart ass husband questioned me buying the book when I could have borrowed it from the library… Are books not exempt?

    What I learned at the recycling depot today? They have bins to donate books, which is worth noting as Ty owns at least 100 books, even after we’ve given away boxes of his favourite pre-school tomes.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Books are always exempt (especially for Ty)! Let me know what you think about The Story of Stuff. If you have any extra time I’d love for you to write a quick review on it for the blog. It sounds like really interesting reading.
      And thanks, I’ll be taking my extra books to the recycling depot from now on.

  2. Yes…do I want it or need it…and “does it make me happy”?

    Regarding the special items for Jack and Brennan and Squirrel’s trainer’s new baby…you want and need them to give to the recipients and it certainly makes you happy to do so! :o) Keep on keepin’ on and so will I! :o)

  3. OMG, that wetsuit is the cutest thing ever. Gathering 100 things in one day easy? Bahahaha…I’m not sure I could find 10 things right now. Ever get the urge to declutter but can’t figure out what to work on next since all the easy stuff is gone? I’m so there.

    • I can’t wait to get there! The day I can’t find a toy to donate is the day I’ll know I’ve arrived. They’re coming out of the woodwork! Congratulations on your progress. I love looking at pictures of your place. Your kitchen looks incredible.

  4. I can TOTALLY relate to the problem of the piles. At this point I just keep a bag or box in a corner of the front room and fill it up with donations as I find them. When it’s full I put it in the car and the next time I’m out and about I drop it at the thrift store. With stuff I’m gonna give to someone, I try to bag or box it and put their name on it. If I’m gonna bring it to them, I put it in the car too. If they’re gonna come get it, I hang it or set it near the door. But if I let the piles just sit there, I’m utterly doomed!

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