Day 65: When The Decluttering Gets Tough – Start Where You’re At

6,500 things gone, only 3,500 to go

As I get further into my project, it’s getting more difficult to find things that are “easy” to get rid of.

Last night, I wandered from room to room looking for a shelf or bin to empty until I finally convinced myself, once again, to just start picking things up already! I started in the kids bathroom and got as far as my office where I found a gold mine of tossers hidden in my storage cabinet.

I took a few detailed pictures to give you an idea of what 100 things actually looks like.

Good-bye green lightbulb! Good-bye waving bumblebee!

Does anyone see a theme here?

Educational toys!

I guess it’s easier to buy a new toy than to deal with the possibility that your child may have a learning style no one has actually invented yet. I have every educational product that money can buy and a few I stole straight out of the hands of literacy researchers. In the end, it wasn’t a product that helped our son, but one (lovely) living, breathing, Orton-Gillingham tutor.

It’s common knowledge amongst marketers that parents are a vulnerable group of consumers:

As a group parents are definitely vulnerable to marketing strategies…the same way “people are vulnerable when someone dies” and they are preyed upon by the funeral industry…

It was a bitter sweet farewell to this stuff that once held so much promise for my son’s future, but it also marks the end of our trial and error days which is a huge relief, and the end of my magical thinking phase in which I briefly believed that all my problems could be solved by an electronic frog.

What I Tossed Today: I didn’t toss anything. Squirrel went through his old photos while I was writing this and quietly got rid of more than 100 of them. Shhhh!


7 thoughts on “Day 65: When The Decluttering Gets Tough – Start Where You’re At

  1. You know, I think “pet parents” are easy prey too… as I look around at the 6 cat beds, various scratching posts, kitty nip pads, a big basket full of toys (not to mention the ones scattered all over the floor), the collection of half a dozen brushes, the closet full of kitty “fishing poles” etc. etc. etc. Of course with all this their favorite things are still my shoelaces and a cardboard box.

    I was feeling like I had pretty much de-cluttered enough for now… I mean I got rid of at least 15 car loads full of stuff. Then last night I was doing some bike repair and needed rim tape. I KNEW I had some, but heaven help me I couldn’t find it anywhere. After an hour of searching I finally found it in the garage buried under a heap of debris on what was once a “work bench”. Sigh… . Cue Karen Carpenter… “We’ve only just begun…. to declutter… cat toys and promises… a kiss for luck that you’ll find your shit some day…”

    • Those are some pretty lucky kitties. Sometimes I feel like I’ve decluttered enough but I always find another clutter stash somewhere. I’m finally getting to the stuff that I really don’t want to deal with now so the next few weeks will be interesting. 15 car loads is amazing! How did it feel to drive all that stuff away?

      • That’s not the half of it… I won’t even go into the $2/can organic cat food. My cats are all rescued strays who just showed at my door up hungry and homeless. Personally, I think they were attracted by the neon sign over the house reading “The sucker lives here!”

        Getting rid of so much stuff felt great… but unfortunately I’ve barely touched the real living part of the house. When my “boys” (who are now 2 year old cats) arrived as kittens, I put everything that wasn’t safe for kittens in the spare room in the basement and just shut the door. This turned out to have been a very BAD idea! Once there was a place to just stash things, shut the door and forget about them… well, let’s just say it got a bit out of hand.

      • BTW – I haven’t really bought cat toys in many years. I used to feel guilty if I left the pet food store without a toy for them. Then one day as I was agonizing over which feathered dingbat they might like, it occurred to me that they’d much rather have me at home for a few more minutes than yet another toy to add to the hundreds they already had. So I left, came straight home and have bought precious few cat toys since.

  2. I completely agree–parents get suckered in! When I had my first son, I got it all-the Bumbo, stroller, car seats, mats, toys, etc. Then number 2 came around, and everyone kept asking me what are essential items when you have two kids. I’m not very popular when I tell them that we now have less with two kids than when we just had one. It seems like parents are so well-intentioned, but we often buy into the hype that certain products will make like SO much better. Or we’re too busy competing that we get everything too. I feel very thankful that I’ve come to my own conclusions while the boys are still young…I just hope to continue this trend as they get older 🙂

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