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Dejunking, Housework & Yardwork Challenge


Lynette Smith
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:)I'm hopeless! A hoarder of things held onto because they might some day come in handy, they were free, it seemed like a good idea at the time and dozens of other reasons. The problem is I'm drowning in my own stuff!

I keep going through things, then pulling things back out. Boxes sit around rather than finding their way to the goodwill store.

My boyfriend has also discovered my deep dark secret: I hate housekeeping!

One thing I'm really trying to focus on is being realistic. There is only so much one can do in a lifetime and my stash far exceeds that. Some projects have been outgrown. Some items were purchased with a project in mind, but we'll have astronauts on Mars before anything gets done. There are useless (to me) items I've been hanging onto, because they were gifts.

My neighbor told me of couple who rented the house next door to live in while they converted the attic into usable space for their ample possessions - now both houses are bursting at the seams and its been 3 1/2 years! I vow this will not happen to me, even if I did have the money.

I'm very competitive by nature and wondered if anyone would be interested in a dejunking challenge. It's easier if you have a place to show off progress - a lot of the world just doesn't understand.

Anybody willing to accept the challenge?

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Lynette, I would love to join you but I dont have a whole lot of junk to get rid of. I do have a couple closets that have to be cleaned out badly. That might help you if I did that.

I have no problem throwing stuff away though. If I havent touched it in a long while..it gets flung across the room to the awaiting trash bag. Sometimes I do not even mess with Freecycle. Cause I know if I wait, I will end up putting it back where it came from.

So you want pictures??

Ooo! I have holiday decorations that I have to go thru also. Tons of stuff that I will never use. I will keep majority because the girls will eventually be keeping their own houses, and will need starter decorations.

I will take a pic of the first closet when I get a chance..So are we doing before and after pictures?

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Are those fabric scraps in the box and tub? You could donate those to your local hospital volunteer office or senior center? Our hospital volunteers make bunny boo-boos for kids (they look like bunnies and they hold ice for boo-boos).

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My husband is the junkman in our relationship. Like you, can't throw anything away. And worse, can't throw my stuff away. I'll toss something in the trash and find it later, with the explanation, "well, that can be used for...."....or "it's too good to just throw out! I'll figure out a use for it!"

Sometimes he does; most of the time he doesn't. And it gathers and gathers and gathers. Drives me crazy. If he should die before me, it'll take me years to get rid of it all. If I were living here by myself there would be "a place for everything and everything in it's place", and the only clutter would be around something that I was specifically working on that day. Even my dollhouse stuff is put away at the end of a workday.

If I have something that I haven't used in a year, it's outta here. Well, I try to get it out of here. I've taken to hiding trash until my husband leaves the house, then shipping it over to a willing neighbor who'll take it to the dump for me, just so I don't have to find it again!

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I'm more like that, Ann. I hate clutter. I have cabinets in my craft room where I store my goodies. But I simply can't handle having stuff piled up around the house. This has been a real sore spot with the son and DIL who are living with us right now...clutter doesn't seem to bother her!

Or trash either, for that matter!

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I lived on a boat for several years. We figured it wouldn't last, so we put everything we owned into storage. I very carefully inventoried each box and had a master list so we could find the right box when we needed something. In the whole time we were aboard, we went to the storage place maybe three times, and that was to take stuff from the boat to store.

It was very liberating. Since then, this child of packrats has kept stuff pretty much under control ... until she met Lloyd and they combined households. Now, it's a challenge.

There is a set of shelves adjacent to my craft room that is hidden behind a curtain. I'll tackle that, Lynette, if you want a partner in de-cluttering. And if that works out, I'll start on Lloyd's workshop. :) Will take photos later today to get the ball rolling.

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Would love to come and help you Lynette.....I've never seen Utah.....seriously, I am sooooo organized it's sickening.....flylady is supposed to be a good site to help conquer STUFF......I had a friend who always called me when it was time to declutter (usually once a year for her) ...I would go over to her house and help her rationalize tossing STUFF.....I think the biggest thing is to decide it has to go so you have taken a very big first step...one step at a time to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.....I've been putting minis things I no longer need/want on Ebay and making a couple of bucks for me and making someone else happy at the same time....look at some of your things to see if you can do that as well...YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

Elicia

LLonSSinSC

:):doh: ;)

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Oh Kathie! I really need to declutter the work area downstairs. It is not really a work area cause Fred is not handy..LOL But it holds all my tools and bibs-bobs from past household projects.

I have a tip to get rid of old cans of paint. I learned this from the garbage collection guys. You open the paint cans, pour cat litter in there and let it dry. Leave the tops off so they can see the insides when they come to pick up. They will take them away when you do this. I have a few cans of paint that need this to be done too.

Okay, So I will take pics and I will decide what I need to toss. Maybe I should also take a pic of the patio outside. I have a hoard of stuff that needs to go to the dump.

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Our house seems to be full of 'stuff'. I hate housework also. I do the laundry, but that's about it. DS #1 vacuums most of the time, all three kids now usually do the dishes after supper, and DH does the rest. He would throw out a lot more than I would, but we are often just tooo tired to tackle another pile of 'stuff'.

However, I am at least slowly trying to gather all my craft stuff into one room except for the work that must be done in the basement with the power tools or other really messy stuff. Right now, there is some in the bedroom, some in the 'new' craft room, and some in various parts of the basement. Now, if I just had adequate storage space and containers to keep everything organized... maybe some day.

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I have been working on this with another member here. When we did the basement overhaul, I took out 12 pickup truck beds of 'stuff'. I just did the bathroom cabinets and 2 closets - 8 garbage bags. I even found teething gel, baby barettes. (My youngest is 26) When my girls made me clean my closet, they were fascinated by the stuff (like the sweater from 7th grade) They kept some of my 'vintage' clothes because they are back in style. I got rid of so many pots and pans, I have empty cupboards.

I never really noticed it all until we moved my parents closer to me and my mother had coloring books of mine from childhood. Enough wrapping paper to wrap every toy in toyrus. And tons of other useless and broken crap. It made me really assess what I have - and it's mostly all going.

I find it nice to have a helper, but if you don't have someone, just pick one cabinet a week, or one closet. It is not so overwhelming.

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We live in a very small house , under 900 square feet, with a storage room above the kitchen. It is amazing what we can store in a small space. But!..that's not all of our storage room.. We have a pole barn, grain shed, barn, potting shed, lean-to (2 of these actually), 2 corn cribs and a greenhouse. Can we store stuff??? You betcha we can!! Our bank had a shredding week. Customers brought in food shelf items and disposed of documents needing shredding. I brought it 4 large cartons of shredding material. Bank statements from 1983 for example. It was so liberating to get rid of stuff. Then I brought stuff to Good Will. In Minnesota we have these Red Metal Containers in various shopping areas where clothes and shoes can be deposited. The Epilepsy Foundation has green containers in various areas. Now my goal is to keep the house less cluttered and choked with stuff we don't even know we have by dropping small bags off more frequently to help reduce the stuff and to let others make use of it. both of us have areas in the house that are off limits for the other person to pick up and toss. After all we each need our space. I jokingly say when those area's creep across the room it is time to organzie and toss. As for house cleaning my goal is to keep it tidy and sanitary, not to be dispayed in Better Homes and Gardens. We finished mud season so I mopped the kitchen floor this morning. I will vacuum living room too. Rita

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Oh man, I'm up for the challenge... We moved into this house last year. When our other house was for sale, we chucked tons of stuff into storage to make it look less cluttered. Moved into our current home, and had to unload the all the stuff from the house and storage building.

Also, my parents had been holding a bunch of stuff from one of my late grandmothers for me, and brought it all out at the same time. A few months later, my other grandmother passed away and we ended up with boxes more stuff plus furniture. Then my parents decided to downsize and here came boxes and boxes more stuff as well as furniture. Both my grandma and mom were packrats- so I have boxes filled with stuff like my childhood drawings, their old notebooks, pencil stubs etc. Plus there's all my collected craft supplies, and stuff the kids have outgrown that I haven't had the time to go through. We've just been shoving everything in the basement and closets and it is time to get rid of it!!!! I'll post a pic- its kind of scary.

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I'm right there with you! Except now I've got triple duty... Right now we're doing the BIG job, going through all my father-in-law's crap..errr..stuff and trying to get rid of it all. That man was one serious packrat! While the weather is nice, the yard needs a lot of work...overgrown gardens and flowerbeds, not to mention all the underbrush that needs to be removed. Once that job is done and the house is cleared out, it's time to pull all OUR junk out of storage and ruthlessly go through that. In the middle of all of this, we recently lost my sister-in-law quite suddenly, and there's an entire apartment full of her packratted stuff I have to help my niece go through. Overwhelming? OH MY YES! The best I can do is pick one job and get at it. If I get more done, great! If not, I'm one baby step closer to my goal.

Yes, a buddy, even just someone to talk to would make the job so much nicer.

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Decluttering sounds good to me. The apartment is not *that* bad, but I still have lots of stuff over at my Mom's house. Probably a bedroom, 2 closets, and some stuff in the basement that still belong to me. I don't know if you would even want to see pics of it all. I guess going through it all would help me and my Mom out. I'm all about donating to the Goodwill/Salvation Army, etc. Also my Aunt's church has a store that they sell donated items out of. David and I did recently start posting some stuff on ebay to sell, stuff we haven't used in forever or maybe never even took out of the box, who knows if it will really sell or not, but it's a start.

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I started in the new 'craft' room. (It is supposed to be a dining room, but since we don't have any dining room furniture, it was the kids' computer/wii room. DH recently finished part of the basement, so the couch and wii got moved down there, and I claimed the room for me.) I started organizing some of my scrapbooking supplies and most of my fabric. Also put the dvd's in a basket to go downstairs so I have a three-shelf bookcase to help me get organized.

It's not much, but it's a start, and it got me started removing the craft stuff from my side of the bed!

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Not alot of dejunking today. I tried running a small bag (grocery store sized) of crochet thread to the seniors center about 3 blocks away, but they had just closed; will try again tomorrow. Surely some of the ladies can make good use of it. I have two 18 gallon tubs of crochet thread, so after I find out if they want it I'll get some more out.

Then I went a block further up to a community center for immigrant children of Thai descent (I believe). A little girl from the apartment went missing last year (I was out on the search til 4:00 A.M. the first night). It turns out she went to a neighbors apartment and was murdered, and it was the first person to whom the distraught father turned. A couple of months ago the complex dedicated a unit to be a community center for the children to go to. Most of these children spent their entire lives in refugee camps and don't speak much English, have only been in country a short time, and are dirt poor. I talked to the person running the center to see what sort of things they might be able to use. I'm going to take some of my junk costume fabric over and work with the kids on some no-pattern dress up costuming things, maybe try to teach knitting and crocheting. I have some felt, acrylic paint, and other stuff which I'll be taking to them.

Apparently my friends are planning a yard sale at my place for mid May (I'll have lots of pictures for that!) I'll try to reduce some usable items into money to build my shed. The lesser items go to goodwill before closing time. I'm going to talk to my neighbor about storing some boxes in her garage to get them out of the way until then.

I'm going to try listing some of the quilting fabric on Ebay. What doesn't sell goes to the seniors, the refugee children, the local school, etc..

The thrift stores are getting a little unrealistic in their pricing, so I want to take it directly to those who can use it most, without them having to buy it.

Some stuff will go on Freecycle.

Today I planted three little red wagonfuls of purple aliums from my neighbor's yard. They plan to build an addition later in the year, and are offering them to any takers. I planted them in the front and side yard. Tomorrow I'll get a few more wagon loads for the side and back yards. I pulled some feverfew, and picked up chestnuts missed last fall while planting, so three things done at once!

A sinkful of dishes is ready to do.

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Okay, in honor of Earth Day, I will weed the 100% organic pea patch, plant more purple allium, sow the poppy seeds, pull feverfew and dandelions and maybe get out my electric weed wacker. I'd ride the bike to the centers to drop off stuff, but I may have more than fits onto a bike. I'll gather up all the outdated prescription bottles to take to the pharmacy to be disposed of properly and not contaminate the ground water by flushing them down the toilet.

I'm going to start hardening off the heirloom tomato plant which was given to me too late to plant last year and have been tending to on the kitchen table all winter.

I can do the laundry and hang it on my neighbor's clothesline.

I'm going to make a big pile of weeds and take a picture! With a third of an acre I could bury the house in weeds!

What other appropriate steps can we take?

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I was going to pull all those tree seeds that are sprouting. I hate those things and I hate the chore. But it has to be done! I think that will be enough. I also have to go with Chelsea to put compost on her garden bed at the community garden.

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My back yard is a community garden :( ! Three other households plant things in my garden, probably have another one added to the mix this year - she plans to hold a yard sale at my place, so she'll probably pick a few favorites to add to the crop. Last year I had over 30 tomato plants, peas, green beans, brussel sprouts, corn, green peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, winter squash, purple potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, onions, and a few other things.

This year I have lima beans, green beans, and a whole bunch of seed packs. This year I plan to do more canning. There is a new raspberry plant and concord grape vine (in addition to my 5 green seedless grape vines), two new strawberry plants, rumours of rhubarb plants coming.

My plumb trees have lots of babies needing to be dug up - they will be moving across the street where the purple allium came from. They plan to take some baby cherry tree volunteers as well.

I have an artesian well, so no icky city water for my garden! The watersource is about 125' deep.

In total I have 6 grape vines, 2 plumb trees, 2 pear trees, 2 apricot trees, 2 peach trees, 2 apple trees, a cherry tree, and a lot of shade trees, so I'm doing my part to combat the concrete jungle.

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I started. I am working on the patio this morning. I have to get the hose out to wash her down but so far so good. We have to do a junk run soon. I want to get the sticker from the dump so we can pile the junk...which is behind me in the picture..LOL..out of here! I want to get a smaller bistro set for the patio maybe next year. This wooden one is on it`s last legs.

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