2011 things…just the beginning

I just sent my men to Goodwill and the dump.  Along with them I sent…

1. photo album
2. cookie jar
3-5. coffee mugs
6. snow globe
7-10. boxes of orange Christmas bulbs
11-12. Winnie the Pooh Lifesavers Christmas books
13-29.  Christmas ornaments
30. fall decor
31-33. textbooks
34. kitchen decor
35. medium pot
36-37. twin beds
38-39. box springs*
40. twin  mattress
41. television

I’m joining some well-known bloggers bloggers that I know well in the quest to get rid of 2011 things during 2011.  Hop over to Maggie’s blog to get inspired!

Where should these items go?
Donate items that would be useful to someone else.  As a general rule, I take clothing to the Caring Center at FBC Tulsa and other items to Goodwill.  If you’ve ever volunteered a similar place, you know it is important to only donate items that really would be useful to someone else.  Don’t cause more work for the employees and volunteers at donation sites by giving them your trash.
Haul off items that have served their purpose.  Broken furniture, old mattresses, etc. that are of no use to anyone.
Throw away (and recycle when possible) the smaller items you come across as you are cleaning out areas of your home, office, car, etc.  Shampoo bottles 1/4 filled, notes from your college biology class, broken candles, the lease from your first apartment and anything else you’ve been hanging on to…just in case.
Return borrowed items to their owners and work related items to work.

Any of the above mentioned methods count towards the 2011 total.  Obviously I am not counting every single piece of household trash that leaves my house, but I am counting the junk I’ve been holding on to for years that actually is trash.  Also, when the boys cleaned one bedroom today, they managed to fill a 30 gallon trash can.  There’s something to be said about that many things leaving one room at one time…even if it is all trash, I’ll count it as one item.
42. filled trash can from C&D’s room

Which items should go?
I’m a natural-born cluttery kind of person.  When I shared a bedroom with my two sisters it was messy.  At the age of 14 I got my own room, it was messy.  College dorm room with roommate, messy.  Dorm room minus the roommate, messy.  Move home after college and graduate to a bigger bedroom, messy.  Live in my own apartment, messy.  Stay with future sister-in-law while waiting to get married, my room stayed messy.  Buy a house, share it with three Zerbe men….messy.  I have too much stuff.   I don’t have a place for everything I own. I keep too many things.  I don’t know what I have, so then I buy more.  I buy stuff that is on sale that I don’t really need because it’s a ridiculously low price. 

I’m tired of stuff.  So I’m getting rid of it.

Here are some questions I ask myself when I am deciding which things to get rid of…
Is the item useful?  Is it use often?  For more than one thing?  Check here for some great unitaskers!
Do I love it?  Does the item have great sentimental value?
Is there adequate storage in my home for this item? 

And, when I get tripped up during this first line of questioning, I ask…
If I were to move overseas, would I take it with me?  Would I pay for storage so that I could have it when I return?
If I were to move to our garage apartment, would this item go along?  Would I store the item for future use?
If I were building or buying a new home, would I want this item in it?

I won’t say that this method is perfect or that I follow the line of questioning right out the door with my pile of junk, but it is helpful to me.  I’m also coming to terms that I live in a small house, with four other people.  We’re adding 2-3 more people to this family soon.  There is plenty of room for the people I love, the things we need and the items we cherish.  There simply isn’t enough room for all the junk.

 *Apparently the full-sized box springs which has been sitting out next to our carport for months has blended into the natural landscaping.  Rob just called (from the dump) to say that the boys forgot to load it.  Rather than pay an additional $20 to take another trip to the dump and to keep a promise that it would be gone today, they’ll be busting up the wood into small pieces that will fit in our trash cans for the regular trash pickup.

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5 thoughts on “2011 things…just the beginning

  1. Way to go! I really need to start decluttering and I really really want to start blogging about my 2011 things but I’m making myself catch up on Themed Thursday blogs first. Soon, soon!!

  2. Pingback: 29 things. « Run0fthemills's Blog

  3. Pingback: purging with a purpose « While I'm Waiting

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