Day 335 Half-Way Through

Cindy Bogard’s Weekly Post

I’m half-way through my decluttering journey. At the end of May, my friend Janet sent me a link to Unclutterer.com, and from there I found Colleen’s blog. I decided, “That’s a challenge I can take on,” and I started decluttering June 1. Every day, I post what I have decluttered on Facebook.

In the 182 days since, I have purged 1225 items, and made $1034.54 selling on Craigslist, Ebay, and Amazon.

How has this journey changed me? My family? What lessons have we learned?

Here’s the biggest one for me: Decluttering leaves money in your pocket. We are savers and have a fairly complex system of accounting that allows us to save for all sorts of eventual needs and wants: large home improvements, a new car, annual property tax on our house, etc. Each time my husband gets paid, a significant amount of money is siphoned off to savings, leaving a relatively small amount for groceries, monthly bills and gasoline. Prior to decluttering, this account was often close to (or at) zero when the next paycheck arrived. But in the past few months, I’ve had several hundred dollars still available when the next check came. That’s powerful motivation!

In addition to just staying out of the stores, with every purchase I ask myself “Do I need it? Do I want it? Will it fit? Do I have something that I could use instead? Can I borrow this?” Sometimes it slows my shopping down (sometimes ridiculously so), but it keeps money in my wallet. I’ve just gotten rid of too many things to bring more stuff in willy-nilly. I look at everything with a critical eye and think, “How long until you’re decluttered?”

My husband says that the thing he has learned is that storing things for years because “I might need it someday,” is a poor trade-off between space and money. He realizes now that he would rather move things along and have more space, particularly in the garage and office.

My ten year old says that she’s realized how much she enjoys having a cleaner room, and she’s also thought a lot about gifts.  She’s concluded that while gifts are exciting to get, they often don’t get used and end up cluttering your space.

My eight year old says she’s learned, “Don’t clutter,” and what I’ve learned about her that while she loves to gather, hoard and collect, she is a ruthless declutterer too. Truly, she is “easy come, easy go.”

Besides the savings, other lessons I have learned are:

  1. It’s lovely to have an easier-to-clean house.
  2. Everyone appreciate the cleanliness and space.
  3. Everyone’s “want its” are diminished because a “want it” today is a “don’t want it” tomorrow.
  4. The less you have, the easier it is to use and appreciate what you do have.
  5. Purchases are sweeter knowing how it was hard for them to get into the house.
  6. The more you let go, the easier it is to let more go.
  7. This journey will go past 365 days. The list of places I have yet to investigate ranges from my jewelry drawer (probably a 10 minute job) to the garage (possibly 365 days by itself).

Congratulations to me and to you, too, wherever you are in your decluttering journey.

Item 335 of 365 less things

We have learned how to reduce paperwork over the last twelve months so we no longer need this hanging file box.
Hanging file box

5 Things I am grateful for today

  1. That my mother-in-law and I get along – Especially since she is visiting for a week.
  2. Rolling over and going back to sleep – after my husband got up at 6am to go to work.
  3. Cheap Tuesday pizza night – It is OK to have a night off cooking occasionally.
  4. Happily watching the world go by– Sometimes I like to be kept waiting because it forces me to stop and simply observe for a while.
  5. The facial doctors gave Liam the all clear to chew again. Yay!!!!


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Things you may still have more of than you need Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Count the Mintues Cindy's Weekly Wisdom Last week, I wrote a post praising the wonderful feeling of getting old to-dos done. As I suspected, I was not alone in 1) having pletny of old to-dos that needed […]
  • Declutter a fraction at a time Over the last week there have been two comments that inspired this post. One from Sanna expressing her excitement about decluttering a box of little bits and pieces and another from Moni […]

Comments

  1. Congratulations, Cindy, not only for the overall improvements in you life and home, but that your kids have learned something, too! That’s a biggie.

    And hurrah, Liam! No more pureed pizzas, eh? ;D

    • Thanks Meg. i hope the girls have learned something, but I have wondered if they’ll have to learn and re-learn the lessons. Probably so. I surely didn’t stick with everything my Mom taught me, sometimes to my detriment!

  2. Colleen, recently you posted about *Take 5* taking five deep breaths and coming into the present moment. That really stuck with me and I have been doing it several times a day. It is helping in several areas. Thank you so much for this suggestion. Meanwhile, my uncluttering goes soooo sloooooowly. Not good slowly, just interminal slowly. Progress, not perfection.

    • Hi Rachel,
      I am glad the *Take 5* is working for you I find it very helpful myself. When I get to the end of the day and I haven’t thought about my 5 things to be grateful for I take 5 deep breaths and reflect on my day and the 5 usually come to me quite quickly then.

      It sounds like you aren’t happy with the speed of your decluttering effort. It never hurts to step it up a bit for a while by working on the things that you know need to go without having to make any difficult decision. Then once you can seen you are making progress you then slow it down again to a pace more suitable to you. Good luck!

  3. Yippee for Liam. I know he must really be ready to sink his teeth into something.

    Cindy & Colleen, I have realized how much decluttering has changed me. My friend has asked me to give her a list of things I would like for Christmas. I can’t think of anything I really want. Oh there are a couple of things I NEED but they are too expensive. Uh… I wonder if my favorite green grocer has gift cards? I wish we had a good restaurant around that had vegan entrees. Now that would be a good gift!

    • Congrats Deb J. My post next week is on Christmas. Santa’s list is looking mighty slim over here too.

  4. CIndy, I loved #4 especially–the less I have the more I appreciate what I do own. I really identify with that one. It’s SO true! Meg, My husband and I spent part of the time on our trip home from the airport last night trying to come up with a Christmas list–epic fail. Colleen, Hurray for chewing! My daughter had wisdom teeth removed last week, so she can empathize with Liam.

    • Thanks. I have been particularly struck by #5. I am so pleased with the things I have purchased since I started decluttering. Each one seems like such a treat.

    • Hi Willow,
      Liam must be a marvel at healing. He had his wisdom teeth out earlier in the year. One tooth was growing flat along the jaw and another was perforating his nasal membrane which had to be repaired when it was removed but he was back at work the next day.

  5. I really enjoyed this post. It’s a great feeling to take stock and see what you and your family have accomplished.

    • Thanks Jessiejack, It seems like we’ve recently reached a critical mass where the house is staying clean seemingly on its own, and the kitchen island isn’t the “land o’ crap” it used to be.

  6. Cindy, I hope that once I reach a certain point in my decluttering, my husband will have the same reaction yours did! Another great post.

    Colleen, Liam seems to be a fast healer anyway you look at it – yay!

    • Well my husband still likes to hang onto things, and we’ve had a few tense decluttering moments, where he looks at me like I’m trying to rob him of all his prized possessions, but he’s certainly letting go of more than I anticipated. Baby steps, baby steps.

  7. I too hope to get my hubby on board the longer I am at ‘it’. I love your list of lessons learned and agree with all of them!

  8. Cindy,
    That’s awesome! It’s almost as if someone gave you $1 for every item that you decluttered! Many thanks to you and Colleen for keeping me motivated 🙂

    • Hi Melissa,
      I will leave Cindy to answer your comment as she is the author of today’s post but I just wanted to say welcome to 365lessthings. I can’t see that you have commented before and I always like to say a special hello to each person who joins us here. We hope to hear more from you in the future and hope you enjoy each and every post we have to offer you.
      Colleen

    • Melissa. I know! It’s kinds of amazing, isn’t it? Over $1000 in 6 months is a lot of money.

  9. Cindy, congratulations on your many accomplishments since starting your decluttering journey. Isn’t it the most satisfying feeling to see how far you and your family have progressed. I wish you continued success in the future. Looking forward to next week’s post.
    Colleen, I am so happy for you, Liam, and your whole family for Liam’s continuing progress and healing. God is good!

    • Hi Di,
      thank you, Liam is coming along just great except that he keeps telling me that I act more brain injured than him. I tell him that I have brain cell thsat have died due to all the stress he has caused me over the last month and a half. Little horror… I mean darling!

      • Thanks Di, Next week’s post dovetails nicely with Colleen’s post today. It’s “Buy Nothing Christmas.”

  10. Hi Cindy,
    you are on the right track to a decluttered home and that is only possible by learning the important lessons you have clearly learned along the way. The fact that you have shared your wisdom with your husband and children by involving them in the process is fabulous. To have the whole family on board makes the job easier and far more effective. Good for you Cindy and thank you for sharing your story with our readers.

  11. Thanks Colleen. What did you ahve for dinner last night since Liam could CHEW?

    • Hi Cindy,
      he had fries for lunch, a Mars bar after we did the grocery shopping and pizza for dinner. Not very healthy but who cares after 6 weeks of eating pureed food. Last night he and a friend bought Mexican food and came back home to watch a movie. He is catching up on lost time. I will have to get him eating fruit for the next couple of days to make up for it. 😆

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