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All posts for the month January, 2014

January was a successful clutter clearing month

Published January 31, 2014 by marcistone

When I cleaned out the area under the kitchen sink, I discovered we have 11 bottles of window cleaner. Yes, that’s right…11. One was a large refill bottle of Windex. Ironically, just the other day Wayne asked me where the Windex was. There were products under the sink I didn’t know we had. I think Wayne doesn’t look to see what we have until after he buys something at the store and then we end up with several of the same items.

We have a couple of drawers of large spoons, can openers, ice cream scoops, etc. Wayne’s drawer had so much stuff in it that it couldn’t be opened. I pulled out numerous items and laid them on the counter. When he got home, I asked him what they were (I honestly didn’t know). One looked like a strange potato masher that you could rock back and forth in your hand. He said they weren’t his. Either he has no memory of buying those products or someone brought them over during a party and left them here. I’m not sure why we had products we don’t use or even know what they are.

I found my Vita Mix in the kitchen way in the back of a cabinet. I haven’t used it in years. It was $400 new. I plan to clean it up and list it on eBay. Used ones are going for over $200 on eBay. I’m donating a few coffee mugs, new dish towels, etc. And I threw away or recycled at least 100 items in the kitchen.

I found 3 cookie racks in different areas of the kitchen. I suspect that one may have been a wire desk inbox that Wayne used as a cookie rack. Needless to say, we now have one.

I found this quote in the book Sweeping Changes by Gary Thorpe. I think it’s fitting.
“Your home is an extension of yourself; therefore, when your home is in turmoil, your life is in turmoil. However, when you attend to your home, you begin to fell less hurried and more in tune with the world around you.”

I have to say that even though I’ve only completed 3 areas of my home so far this year, I am beginning to feel this way. It’s been a very productive month.

Next, I’m moving on to an area downstairs that is filled with items I bought to sell on eBay, Amazon or KSL. Most items I want to keep, but some haven’t sold and I need to figure out what to get rid of or sell in a different way (bulk, on KSL instead, etc.)

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Using clutter to my advantage

Published January 28, 2014 by marcistone

Today, I’m getting a two hour massage. I have a magnet blanket that I bought a few months ago, and Wayne and I have used it quite a bit, but I think we are done with it. My friend, Richard saw it at my house in December and said he was interested in it. So we bartered a massage deal for the blanket. I’m getting one hour free today, and one hour free on the next massage. 🙂

I’ve also sold most of the things I listed on ebay over the last few weeks while clearing the clutter. I’ve made about $150 (after fees) this month.

I’m having a small party for the Oscars in March and wanted a popcorn machine for the event. Usually, I would buy one and then sell it later on. This time, I asked my Facebook friends if anyone had one I could borrow for the day. One of my students has exactly what I need and I’m going to borrow it from her. I’m trying to change my thinking about clutter. I think our small group of friends typically may have what we need temporarily, and it just makes more sense to borrow or loan rather then buying or even renting.

Clearing kitchen clutter

Published January 26, 2014 by marcistone

I have been working on the kitchen and I’m amazed how much room I have now in it. In some cupboards, I’ve gotten rid of more then half of what was in there. I wish I had taken before and after photos of the food cupboard. The difference there is the most shocking.

We had a lot of items we didn’t use, had expired, or didn’t plan to use. I filled three large bags of food for the homeless shelter (see photo for about half of it) and tossed a bunch of expired items.

I’ve also cleaned out the snack area, and the cups and plates cupboards. We have a ton of coffee cups, and I got rid of a few that were chipped or somewhat ruined. But this was a difficult area, because I love every one of them.

At one point, we thought we’d need additional cabinets installed in the kitchen, but now we don’t. I think everything will fit perfectly, with room to spare. I still have a few more areas in the kitchen to do, and will get it done this week. I’m happy with the progress I’m making. 🙂

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Clearing the Living Room Clutter

Published January 19, 2014 by marcistone

Clearing the living room clutter has been the most difficult area so far, mostly because it also involves another person. Getting Wayne motivated to go through his stuff in this area doesn’t happen on my timeline. He is easily distracted when clearing clutter. Again, we had some areas that had things that didn’t belong, and were perhaps just shoved into a drawer and forgotten about. The living room had 3 areas that clutter collected in.

This week, I will start on the kitchen and I’m looking forward to having additional space in it. Over the next few months, I plan to make weekly updates on how things are going or whenever I finish a project. The kitchen will take at least a week, perhaps two. Some of the areas that I need to organize over the next few months will take more time then just a day or two.

I’m also currently (still) working on eliminating junk mail and email. It’s a much longer process then I originally thought.

So far, for the month I’m on track, and I’ve eliminated much more clutter then I thought was possible. I’ve made over $100 this month selling some of my clutter on ebay…which is a great start to this whole year long project.

Entertainment Center Clutter

Published January 17, 2014 by marcistone

By far, cleaning out the entertainment center has been the dirtiest job so far. It was so dusty that I’m beginning to think it hasn’t been cleaned it out since we moved in here three years ago. It was also the most difficult area to do and I think it’ll take a few days.

We have a few VHS tapes that I think I’d like to keep, but probably need to convert to DVD. We’ve collected so many TV and cable cords that it’s ridiculous. I think I found 5 of the same cable in one box. Donating stuff from this area and now we have some extra space. 🙂

Wayne has 3 drawers packed full of stuff in this area. He went through a few of them last night. He kept picking up items from the drawers and saying things like: “oh, that’s where I put that” or “I wondered where that went.”

I’ll spend at least today finishing up this job before moving into the kitchen area.

Making progress

Published January 15, 2014 by marcistone

It’s only been half a month and I’ve already gotten rid of at least 100 things. They were mostly small items that were no longer being used. I’ve listed a few things on ebay and have a pile to donate.

The biggest benefit I’ve noticed is that it is easier to find things when I need them. I’m also more aware of what I have so I can use it.

Today, I cleaned out the hall closet and reorganized it. I threw a few things away, but it was already pretty bare. I organized all of those loose gloves, hats, etc. and put them in a box. It’ll be easier to find something when we need it.

I labeled 3 boxes: list, give and donate. Over the last few days, I listed several items on ebay. The Mac makeup I planned to return to Nordstrom is now rare and worth 2-3 times as much as it was new. It takes about a minute to list something now on ebay. I remember the days it took an hour and you had to have space somewhere online for your own photos. It’s nice. I don’t have to let things pile up before I list everything for sale.

I also have a few things I intend to barter with some friends. I’ll let you know how that goes. I still have a few things I’m giving away. See the photos on some postings and let me know if you see anything you’d like.

How Clutter Affects Us

Published January 13, 2014 by marcistone

Today, I cleaned out a small closet of cleaning supplies, candles, shower gels, etc. and organized the whole closet. It’s easier to find things now. About a month ago, I started burning candles in my bathroom almost all day long. I’m now down to just 1-2 candles that are left. I typically burn oil instead of candles now, but didn’t want to throw away the dozen candles that I had. I’m glad I’ve been able to use them and it’s been fun to have something burning in the bathroom.

Here is some info from the Feng Shui course I’m taking that I found interesting about clutter:

“Clutter is related to our instinct to hoard items, because they provide self-protection. We create clutter to provide a sense of security, and to hide our feelings of insecurity. However, that clutter begins to have a negative effect on us later.

People who clutter tend to need some type of nourishment or support. If you find that you keep things and store them throughout your home in certain areas, you need to assess yourself and ask yourself what it is that you need to make you feel secure and happy. You also need to ask yourself what you believe is preventing you from having that security and happiness. That is the reason you create clutter.”