Monday, 14 January 2013

Fifty-five Bags - Week 1

Tagxedo - 55 bags in 55 days - JimjamsSomewhere in my recent surfing I came across the idea of de-cluttering using 40 bags for Lent's 40 days.  Filling a bag each week day with rubbish/recycling/stuff-to-freecycle/sell is a great idea for steady, bite-sized clearing that would culminate in a clutter-free Easter.  Every year I resolve to make a start with de-cluttering but lose steam/enthusiasm after about a week and the clutter starts building up again.

It never hurts to try again though, so I thought I'd give this a go NOW without waiting for Lent which is only an excuse for pancakes for us!  I started making my list (OK I admit it, my spreadsheet) of 40 locations (drawers, shelves, cupboards, surfaces etc) that need a purge and a clean ... and erm ... discovered that 40 locations doesn't even begin to cut it in our house!!!  So I settled for 55 locations (excluding kids' rooms and Hubby's side of the bedroom) to fill the weekdays in the eleven weeks until Easter, and got cracking.

First off, rather than just taking down our Christmas decorations and putting them straight back into the loft for next year, I purged the stringy tinsel, wrong-colour baubles, faded candles, dated garlands, bent fairies (!) and unwanted mini-trees.  Score 1 bag for the local charity shop and 1 bag for the bin!

Another day's effort involved a 3 drawer chest in our hallway: filled with junk plus a much-used dumping ground by the front door/at the foot of the stairs, covered in books, homework, pens, catalogues, laundry etc etc etc ... too shameful to take a "before" photograph ... but an hour's work resulted in a stack of 16 airline headsets, 2 phones, 1 answer-phone, 3 walkie-talkies, 2 walkmans, 1 broken-in-two-but-somehow-still-working-calculator, 1 picture in frame and a ceramic oil burner all for the bin/charity shop!  The drawers are still full of games and jigsaws but the surface is now completely clear - and, more importantly, is staying clear!

Photo Collage - De-cluttering Week 1

I won't bore you with ALL the details, but it's already been a week and I have tackled at least one drawer or cupboard or shelf every day (I need to get ahead with my bag count as I know I'll be away for some of the time before Easter).  Some locations don't result in much of a throw-out but get a good clean instead.  So far I've made up for that with shredding old paperwork or recycling Christmas cards or sorting through some scrapbooking stash.

By posting today I'm hoping that you will keep me accountable and that my target of 55 bags is achieved.  Wish me luck!

30 comments:

Beverly said...

WOW! I am very impressed with your start. I start every year with high hopes, even declaring last year They Year of Purging and Organizing brahahahah better to have said The Decade of.... I am dropping off 2 bags to Goodwill today, one more and I will have a bag for each week of 2013 lol

Lynn said...

Very impressive and one drawer/cupboard/shelve is very manageable. I'm queen of de-cluttering in our house - in fact I think I sometimes drive my family mad. Keep us posted how its going.

helena said...

great start - so many headphones! Love your button - always a great motivator

scrappyjacky said...

That's a great start....I've been sorting and organising my stamp collection today....found some I didn't even know I had....I've a pile to Ebay.....and hopefully I can now easily find ones I want to use.

Ladkyis said...

You go girl!! I'll watch from here and shout encouragement. I thought a lot about decluttering and decided that if I do that what will my children have to do when I am gone? They won't need to get together and divide up the spoils so, no de cluttering for me! I want them to open a drawer and say "Good grief! what the h*ll did she need fifteen printer cables for?"

Glinda said...

You go girl...I am right behind you. I too went through my Christmas stuff as I was putting back away this year and then I started to declutter and clean. Cheering you on.

Fay aka Beautifullily said...

I so need to do this, what a great idea. Just need to find some time now!

Thanks for the comment on my blog, didn't even realise word verification was on, so thanks for pointing that out, have turned it off now:)

furrypig said...

that is such a great idea! I am trying to do the same sort more stuff out and clear more stuff out!! I have 2 bags ready for the second hand shop so that is start. good luck as you continue xxx ps don't forget to save any unwanted stash to bring along to our bloggers weekend

Jo.C said...

I'm trying to do something similar. So far have done most cupboards in the kitchen, the drawers in the desk and a couple in the lounge. Not a bad start.

Alison said...

What a good idea!......maybe I should try it too!!
Alison xx

humel said...

Oh, good for you! I love the idea of doing by the bag (and by the location!) I decluttered our kitchen drawers yesterday to fit in our new electric carving knife (Christmas gift) - I guess that could ocunt as my first bag?

humel said...

*count!!!

Dawn said...

What a fabulous idea, I need to declutter too! May have to borrow the idea!

Mary B said...

Well done indeed Jemma, mine seems to have come to a halt, will have to find something to empty soon or I'll not do any more.

JulieJ said...

I really, really, really do need to do something like this, but i only have weekend days and i just feel that the task is so mammoth i can;t face it and nothing gets done!

Lesley G said...

What a great idea, Jemma and a very impressive start. I could do with a good old clearout but I'm unfortunately like my Dad and have the "that might come in handy" attitude. I can keep nagging at you though ;)

Sandra said...

You are truly a girl after my own heart. At the end of last year I started decluttering, and well other than I should have been invited to our local charity shops Christmas party, the amount of times I've been in there. It feels just fabulous - so well done and I'm really looking forward to seeing how you continue

Melissa said...

What a great way to set a goal for decluttering & you've made an excellent start! Last week I straighted out the drawers in our dresser & have one bag of misc items that no longer fit to drop off at the charity shop.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I'm impressed! I've been putting off clearing the junk room because it's so overwhelming & for some parts I need DH's input but maybe I can try breaking it down into smaller parts to tackle on weekend days. I feel inspired!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Hi Jemma ~ Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog today. I hope your mom enjoyed hearing from you. :o)

Since my mom left I have been in this crazy clean-out mode! I have cleaned out closets and drawers and kitchen cabinets. I laughed at your list of items cleared from your front door area. 16 airline headsets? Haha. Good luck with your continued efforts! xo

Maria Ontiveros said...

You go girl!
I still have the garage and kids' closets to tackle from last year, but I think I'll get to them!
Rinda

Lisa J said...

Awesome work!!! I am "reducing" the clutter in this household this year as well and started with outgrown kids clothes (why are itty bitty clothes so hard to part with??). 4 huge plastic bins were reduced down to 2 and 5 bags went to the charity shop. A good start but soooo much more to go.

alexa said...

It doesn't sound as if you are going to need any luck as your post is full of energy and determination, Jemma! I am particularly impressed because when I started reading, I rather thought the number of bags would relate to about one a week, not one a day - superb effort!

glorygirl said...

WOW! That sounds like a great mission and you're off to a fabulous start! Keep it up!

Missus Wookie said...

ok that is sad - I'm nodding and cheering at your decluttering post and then you said it.... 'spreadsheet' ooooooh how exciting. I've never done a decluttering spreadsheet.... hmm, think I need to go to bed ;)

a1983alaskan said...

What a fabulous idea!! I think I could fill 55 bags by just cleaning out my husband's and my clothes closets!! This post gives me great inspiration :-)

S said...

What a great idea - purging is so therapeutic, and one never knows what treasures one might undercover (or not). Your post reminds me I must do something about the Christmas cards too. Since I didn't deal with last year's cards until I needed the basket to put cards in that we received this year, I might not make it too much before Easter. But that would be an improvement, wouldn't it.

Jennifer Grace said...

Well done for getting a good start on the de-cluttering! I managed to get some done last year thanks to 'organisation' being my word of the year, but it fell aside in the last couple of months and lots of things started to pile up again. It's an ongoing battle! x

Sandie said...

that's a brilliant idea! I am off work this week and de-cluttering and re-organising is high on my list of things to do. I have a mound of carrier bags for reusing so this will be an incentive to use them. Good luck with your spreadsheet. I may borrow this idea so I can organise my organisation!

Clair said...

Ah. So I don't get to find out exactly why you had 16 Airline Headsets? Boo. Is it a secret or can you e-mail me? Burning with curiousity....

Also, in that same e-mail, would you care to share your spreadsheet? I'll share my purging activities, if you do! xxx