Thursday, July 08, 2010

De-Cluttering Progress Report

Yesterday, to inspire me while clearing out, I started listening to an audiobook called Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke.  She gives her clients the assignment of getting rid of 50 things (sell, donate, or trash) in two weeks.  But there's one catch- multiples only count as 1.  So you can't just throw out 50 magazines and be done.  That's one.  Now find 49 more things to clear out.

Making a list and keeping track as I worked yesterday felt good, but I think I also got bogged down as I have before in focusing on what to get rid of instead of what to keep.  I feel like I'm making pretty good progress all things considered, although I didn't do much today.  (Wore myself out yesterday, and pain levels were too high.)  Here's everything that made it onto my list yesterday.  None of this stuff is actually out of the apartment yet- there's a lot of stuff to sell or donate on the list.  But this is a firm commitment to lose it all before moving.  I'm not using it, don't need it, and don't care to haul it around any longer.  And the trash is in bags, but hasn't been taken to the dumpster yet.

1. old bills, receipts, and junk mail
2. books
3. DVDs
4. yarn
5. gift boxes
6. shipping boxes/packaging
7. unused linens
8. decorative crap
9. juicer
10. wrapping paper
11. Alpha Smart
12. purses
13. dehumidifier
14. crap from a former friend
15. can of dirt (why?) stored in hall closet
16. sticks of deodorant I can't use any more because they give me a rash
17. exercise equipment- treadmill, exercise bike, weights, step
18. thingies- stuff that I don't know what it is, what it does, or why I have it

I feel pretty good about this list.  It's only a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done, but it's a nice start.  Tonight I plan to post some ads for the stuff I want to sell, and hopefully I'll get a few bucks to help with moving expenses.  Or credit card bills.  Or meds.  Or just a few extra dollars in the Incredible Shrinking Savings Account.

One thing I'm particularly excited about is the pile of books and DVDs I've traded back through Amazon for gift cards.  I shipped a smallish box last week, and I have another one ready to go for tomorrow.  Between the two I've earned over $80 in Amazon gift cards.  That's gonna keep me in ebooks for a little while.  (I've already bought one with my first gc- Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey.  Finished it before bed last night.  Highly recommended.)  If I sold them at Half Price Books I probably wouldn't have gotten more than $15 or so for the lot.  There's something to be said for cash over gift certificates.  But with that kind of discrepancy I'll take the gift certificates.  I still have my wheeled cooler completely filled (and then some) with books and DVDs to sell at Half Price, and I hope to get a couple of bucks for them.  I figure I've got at least one, maybe two more HP runs to go after this one.  But I'm not going to kill myself trying to haul it all in at once.

Something else I intend to get a little creative with is the pantry.  I have A LOT of crap in there.  I don't mind donating what I can.  But I'd like to eat up as much as possible, too.  That means that meals will be getting a little... interesting around here.  I have a boat load of jello and canned fruit in there, which is always good this time of year anyway, so I'm going to make up some of that tonight.  There's Bisquick and pancake syrup, so pancakes here I come.  There's a ton of pasta, which is never a problem for me to eat.  The canned pumpkin and bottles of salad dressing?  Gotta go.

The hardest thing I've attempted to deal with so far has been the yarn.  There is an amazing amount of yarn in this apartment.  But I think that will be the subject of my next post, because I'm not quite sure where I stand on all of it.

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