Decluttering 2011

So I got this crazy, half-assed idea in my head the other day. 

You know how I’ve been yammering on and on about my clutter issues, that I really need to get my act together and deal with the den, the bedroom bureau, the guest room, the dining room … ?  You know that old song and dance?  Well, it tends to get worse around the beginning of New Years, because every year I tell myself that this is the year I am going to get serious about my clutter problem.  And every year, I start January 1 with even more increasing piles of crap.

So on Monday, I went into the den (where the printer is) to retrieve something from the printer for work, looked around at all the crap and thought:

“What if I resolve promise TRY to get rid of 2,011 things in 2011?”  

2,011 things.  It sounds like a lot of stuff. 

But here’s the thing.  We have a lot of stuff.

I need to be held accountable, so I am going to start listing, as motivation, what I throw out, recycle, or donate as part of this project.  (Which is not (I repeat, NOT) anything resembling a New Year’s Resolution.  This is … how shall we say?  Something Else.)  If I wind up with 2,011 things gone by the end of the year, great.  If I end up getting rid of 2,012 things, even better.  If I don’t hit 2,011 things … well, at least I’ve gotten rid of SOME things, right? Some is better than none, right?

And regular household everyday stuff (like soda bottles and cans and stuff that I know I should be more environmentally-conscientious about …. I am trying, really, I am … doesn’t count).

So here’s what I threw away, recycled, or set aside to donate on Monday.  All this was in piles in the den.

– a coupon for a local deli that expired in June 2009
– an Amazon receipt for a purchase made in January 2009
– 3 cards for the kids’ 7th birthdays (they just turned 9)
– one Happy 6th Birthday card
– a note from a school fundraiser, circa Fall 2008
– a book that apparently got ruined somehow (All the pages are stuck together. As in, YOU CAN’T EVEN OPEN THE BOOK.)
– a 2008 calendar, completely blank
– one “Fly Away with Big Bird” activity tablet
– Disney “Little Mermaid” nightlight/storybook set (the pages are ripped and the nightlight is MIA)
– 10 practice worksheets from school, dated September 2009

– 4 toy catalogs, all from Fall 2008
– 6 bags of newspapers

– Disney’s Lion King book
– Dora the Explorer “Dance to the Rescue” book

33 things. 

Only 1,978 more to go. 

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Thanks for sharing this post!

18 thoughts on “Decluttering 2011

  1. Stacy of KSW

    Hi Melissa, found you via Slacker Mom’s blog and saw you are also doing the 2011 challenge. I’m on my second year and still loving it. I’d love to add you to the list of folks I have participating so can follow along on your journey.

  2. DemMom

    Wish I lived closer, I would come help! One of my favorite things to do. And Ummm… 6 Bags of Newspapers? Yikes. A purger’s dream!

  3. Megan

    This is an awesome idea. I love to get rid of stuff. LOVE. Mostly because I live in a small space with a family of pack rats (ie, everyone but me.)

    I can definitely get rid of 2,011 things.

  4. Anonymous

    Gretchin Rubin”s six words for the New Year…….”Outer Order contributes to inner calm” Neat idea getting rid of 2011 things.
    Love Mom

  5. Meg

    You make me feel better! I am not the only one with piles (and boxes!) that include outdated coupons and years old cards. Good luck!

  6. Lisa

    I’m impressed that you’re listing each thing! We got rid of a ton of stuff when we moved, and then left a ton more packed up out in the garage. The majority of the new house feels so sparse and clean now. Makes me want to get rid of even more stuff.

  7. Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks

    Brava on your 2011 Decluttering challenge!

    I’ve got the bug, too, and spent part of the day decluttering the laundry room and linen closet — baby blankets and towels off to Freecycle (whew, that felt good).

    I’ll look for your updated score … when you get to 2011 you might be inspired to go another round! 🙂

  8. Lori

    Wow, awesome idea! I’m in the same boat as you and I start to hyperventilate when I look at all the piles.

    I actually cleaned off my little computer desk in my room and threw away a bunch of papers since my internet is working again and I need the desk. I gave away about 40 books the other day. I gave them to the hospital I work at and we give them to patients and visitors at FCCC. I felt better about doing that!

    You are on a roll! Sometimes it’s hard to part with some things, other times you think “what the heck am I doing with this still?”

    Our school is looking for donations of gifts that you don’t want so once I start going thru things, they might just get some of those “presents” that I just don’t have any use for!

    This is actually a challenge I can do!

  9. Susan

    Great start, Melissa, and the idea of making a list will make it more fun, and may make it feel even more productive. I took about 8 large garbage bags to the thrift store right after Christmas. The holidays seem to overwhelm me with bringing so much more stuff into my house. I usually send out a pile of stuff right afterwards. Keep it up!!

  10. Kelly

    You are off to a GREAT start!
    We are doing a major decluttering/cleaning out/complete overhaul here too. It is amazing how much stuff accumulates on a regular basis and how quickly we can become smothered in it all!

  11. Kim

    Good for you! (that’s going to take some time–chronicling everything you get rid of!!) I have been getting rid of stuff all year long as I look around and think “do I really want to pack this and then pay to move it 1,500 miles?”

  12. Florinda

    You’re off to a good start, I’d say. I think I’d find the listing of everything I was getting rid of a more daunting task than the decluttering itself.

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