Saturday, January 14, 2012

How we are uncluttering…

We’ve lived in the same apartment for almost 6 years (wow – I didn’t realize it has been that long!) and we want to move in the next year, so it is time to do some uncluttering.  While we don’t really set resolutions, I just happened upon this decluttering calendar and decided that it would be a good idea to try to follow along with it.  While we aren’t “dirty” people, we can be messy, so I figured it would be a good way to de-mess some of our stuff as well.  I wasn’t sure if Lo was going to be on board or not (he doesn’t like getting rid of things, though he isn’t a pack-rat), but I was determined to TRY to stay on top of the calendar’s tasks.  When I brought it up to him, he thought it was a good idea and that he was in (actually, I think he just didn’t say no).  We (or I) decided that we’d each do a different but similar task each night so we could get more done.  We have 2 bedrooms (we only sleep in one, but he keeps his clothes/closet in the other one so he can get ready in the morning before I get up) and two bathrooms (we don’t share bathrooms at all), and a fair amount of storage area, so I knew we’d be able to do our own tasks and cover more area without being in each other’s way.  Some of the tasks are pretty open-ended (clean off one shelf), so we would each just pick a different shelf to handle.  Most of the tasks are supposed to take only 15-30 minutes, I’d guess, but if it’s a particular problem area, it will take longer. 

If there isn’t a second area that the task applies to, he just picks a different area to sort/clean.  For example, one task was clean out your spices/throw away old ones.  We actually have 2 places that we keep spices (we use A LOT of different spices), but it only made sense for one of us to do it (me, since I do most of the cooking and know what the spices are used for).  So he chose to sort through old pants in his closet (he had A LOT!).  I think he even had a pair of jorts – so you know they were old! 

One of the first tasks assigned on the decluttering calendar was cleaning the top shelf of the pantry.  Uh…my pantry was such a mess that I had no choice to clean out the WHOLE thing or else I wouldn’t have anywhere to put the stuff on the top shelf.  The pantry is as tall as the room, fairly deep (though not walk-in) and filled to the brim.  I usually have to sort through it once or twice a year to get it reorganized.  I haven’t done it since I’ve been gluten-free, so I had some things I pulled out that we need to plan to make for Lo or make and give to people (beer bread mix, cake mix, biscuit mix, etc).  Luckily I didn’t have a lot to deal with since we never ate a highly processed diet anyway.  I pulled those things, plus a few things just past or near the expiration date (but are still fine) and let them on the counter so I won't forget to use them or do something with them. 

Since I was already cleaning out the whole pantry, Lo chose to clean out his “junk” drawer, which resides in the top drawer of one of his dressers.  I’ve only ever looked in there a few times when looking for something specific, but if I know him, it was probably mostly filled with computer parts and various electronics pieces.  He cleaned it ALL out and it no longer has anything in it (or at least that is what he told me…I didn’t look). 

Later on that week the task was to sort through your canned goods, but since I did that with the pantry organization, I sorted through the basket of old mail/coupons that were on our baker’s rack in our dining room (kind of our entryway landing strip).  I think he sorted his basket of gloves/hats on the rack and also put away some things from the rack that were his. 

A couple of days into the tasks, and we already have several bags of things to donate!

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