Monday, January 13, 2014

Project #EcoClutterBuster

For a long time, I've felt overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of things in my house. Things I use, things I love, things I hate, things I haven't used for years, broken things, things waiting to be given away, things, things, things. We have two small rooms at the back of our house (about 150 square feet total) that started out as a sewing/crafting/blogging room & a den/guitar playing space for Oliver have both become storage rooms (translation: near-impassable junk hoards).

It's so hard to keep it all organized & I lost the battle with clutter years ago. I find myself fantasizing about somehow getting rid of nearly all of it to live in a tiny house, a la Jay Shafer, with my possessions numbering in the hundreds. Okay, I'm not going to do that, but I do want to make a big change this year.

I've decided this is going to be the year of reducing how much stuff we have. But. Big but. Part of the reason I've held off on getting rid of many things is that I hate sending them to the landfill. I have several bags of clothing that I'm going to donate at some point. Quite a few baby things that I've been meaning to consign, give to friends or donate. A box of unused kitchen items & another of toys & games for a yard sale we've been meaning to have for ages. I need to think about where this stuff goes after I get rid of it--that shouldn't just be the landfill, making it some other generation's problem. I will do my best to recycle or otherwise sustainably divest myself of all these things.

Since I'm a blogger & I like to share, I thought I'd take you along for the ride with us over the next few weeks or months as we clear out the incredible quantity of junk we've accumulated. I'm not going to set any schedule for this or plan any set time to be complete that I can't stick to. Let's be realistic: I've got two small children to take care of, plus a few other things on my plate. I don't want this to become a hugely stressful endeavor--the goal is to reduce stress here.

What I will promise, however, is:

  1. We will try our best to divert everything we get rid of from the landfill. 
  2. We'll tell you about how we did it here on Spokesmama, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter--watch for the hashtag #EcoClutterBuster
  3. We'll share with you the resources & information on organizations that recycle or upcycle things we don't want.
  4. Before & after photos. 
I think #4 is going to be the hardest, possibly. I have to publicly admit that I'm a slob & show you the absolute worst room in my house in all it's cluttered glory. Here's hoping that knowing that you're all watching & waiting for the 'after' photo will keep me on track to get through this mountain of unwanted stuff.

Gulp. Well, here goes with a 'before' photo: 

#EcoClutterBuster: sewing room before. Gulp.

Now that I've promised to take you along with me, sharing the good the bad & the ugly, can you promise me something in return? Come back & read my posts (subscribe here for the utmost ease!), follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Google+ & Twitter. Watch for & use the hashtag #EcoClutterBuster to share encouraging comments, or your own experience & tips to downsize without sending things to the landfill!

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  1. I think this is wonderful! You already know what I think about "clutter" and the accumulation of things. The hardest part is always just getting started. Having two little ones around doesn't help, but it is good to get into the habit of not holding on to stuff as the children get older.

    Shannondell and I are making great headway in getting rid of (i.e. donating) the many cubic meters of baby clothes we have now that Kepler is basically in 12-month outfits. We have space for a lot of our stuff now, but we know that any place we live after our current house will be smaller.

    It also find it very psychologically freeing. Clutter makes me feel anxious, and getting rid of it makes home feel a lot more peaceful.

    Good luck to you!

    1. Yes--clutter definitely makes me uncomfortable too. Yet I never seem to completely organize it all--just so much stuff. Really looking forward to getting rid of the baby swing, gym/arch thing, seat & bassinet over the next year. All are space-hogging.

      Thanks for the positive feedback!

  2. WE have also been de-cluttering. I have started moving one thing that doesn't belong when I see it or that has annoyed me for a very long time. It is satisfying!

    1. Just putting things back in their places makes such a huge difference, it's true. We need to work on that too, along with reducing the number of things...

  3. I started a decluttering at our house, too. We didn't have one room to conquer, but lots and lots and lots of places that needed (and many, many more still need) cleaned out. I do it in one 15 minute stretch every couple of days. It's amazing what a little bit does for morale.
    Good luck! Are there any updates?


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