Monday, July 21, 2008

The Great Decluttering, Week One

Clutter makes me crazy. Clutter makes me want to hyperventilate. Clutter keeps me up at night. I feel twitchy, and itchy and scattered when I am surrounded by clutter. I feel like I have no air when I am around clutter.

A. does not have this problem.

You can see where this is going, right?

To be fair, A. has made genuine efforts to knock down the clutter in the household a few notches for my comfort and well-being, and I do appreciate it. He's done this solely for my sake, and it speaks volumes of how generous and thoughtful he is. (Well, it speaks volumes if you've ever witnessed me flipping out at 4:00 a.m. because of the clutter. I know, I know. NUTCASE.)

I still think there is too much clutter, though. Because I am a pain in the ass that way. After nearly four years, this is not a surprise to A.

I think clutter is unhealthy, for lack of a better word. It requires that much more time be spent in keeping the house together and keeping the cluttered ordered and put away. When there isn't somewhere to put it away, it takes up our space for living, for relaxing. It drains that much more energy -- mental and physical -- just so it can be dealt with. I even think it clutters your brain. Just scanning the room your brain registers that much more stuff. Why not free up that space, and allow our minds to contemplate something other than the Minnesota Vikings Culpepper bobblehead? No, really?

(Ok, let me make this clear: we aren't living in a pit of junk and there is no hording going on. If I am honest, my definition of "clutter-free" is EXTREME. One might say I am on the verge of a hording problem but in the wrong direction. Anyway. I'd say we are probably well within the range of "normal" right now. Just clarifying.)

Last night, I made the suggestion and A. agreed that each of us will give away, post to Freecycle, post to Craigslist, recycle, donate, or throw away at least two things every week. These items can be anything. They can be small, large, expensive or worthless. The items can be a receipts, or beds. Whatever. Steady progress is the goal, not overnight success. That is okay. It just needs to be moved out of our lives.

I will post my items in The Great Decluttering Effort once a week. I can't imagine this will be all that interesting to you (maybe it will, kind of like those "what's in your purse" posts, but it will keep me moving along.)


Items from Week One:

Given to a co-worker: Fit & Fresh Salad Shaker with Twist and Shake Dressing Dispenser

  • This gizmo seemed like a great idea. I've never used it and it has been taking up space in our kitchen for almost two years. Bye-bye!

Posted to Freecycle:
A pasta scoop thing.

  • I never use it and I hate fighting to get all the utensils to fit in the damn utensil crock. Forks and spoons work just as well!

A. is dontating an old twin bed and accompanying sheets.

UPDATE: This post over at Crazy Aunt Purl's says it all so well. Check it out!


  1. This is so awesome. I also hate clutter. HATE IT. I feel like I can't concentrate when there's clutter. (At work, they make fun of me because my desk is so neat, it looks like I just started working here instead of being here for more than 3 years.)

    You will both feel so much freer when the clutter is reduced. I can't wait to see your updates!

    P.S. If you ever decide to get rid of that bobblehead, I think we can manage to squeeze it onto our Wall O'Bobbleheads in the game room. :)

  2. P&D - I absolutely thought of you when I typed that. I am afraid A. will NEVER part with it. EVER. Fine. AS LONG AS HE IS THE ONE WHO DUSTS IT. *pout*

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  5. I love it! I'm in the same situation as you: I can't stand clutter, Homer is just fine with it. We just had a talk this morning about what we need to do to gain control (it's an annual conversation). I look forward to a big purge/reorganization this weekend.

  6. This is a fascinating idea. My problem is that I gather things up to get rid of, put them in boxes and bags... and then leave the boxes and bags sitting around for months on end. Perhaps this two at a time concept would solve that problem.

  7. Wow, sounds like a great way to start clearing off some clutter. I might try the two things a week thing myself!

    I recently was furious with a friend who decided to freecycle to me 6 large copy paper boxes of HER clutter. She just dropped them off under my deck behind my house when I was really busy and didnt' have time to deal with it.

    I thought she was giving me clothes for my kids, but it was all kinds of useless clutter and a few articles of kids clothes.

    Argh! I am way to full up in this house with clutter. I barely want anything more added here. I know just what you mean about clutter making you twitch. I have been twitching for years, but mostly just ignoring it.


  8. i LOVE this idea. i hate hate hate hate hate clutter as well, AND YET persist in having it ALL AROUND ME. it's like i'm some sort of insane masochist.

  9. You continue to be my blogverse soulmate. DUDE? With the clutter??? And how it keeps you up at night - like it's going to ATTACK YOU in your SLEEP??? Yes, yes, and YES.

    I love this idea. I'm so going to launch this program at The Last Homely House.

  10. I too hate clutter and have been known to get rid of perfectly good things simply because they are in my way. You have inspired me to do the Freecycle thing and get a garage sale together as soon as we're back from the wedding.

  11. I am A and my husband is you. He keeps asking me when I'm going to take care of all the "stuff" and I keep saying "Give me a week - I'll get to it." And we've been married for almost four years and I think he's starting to give up on me every getting my sh*t together.

    I think the "2 things a week" idea is a fabulous one, and I'm going to do that, just see if I don't.

    But I won't get rid of ANY of my craft stuff. I won't, I won't, I won't, I won't.

    So there.

  12. I wish I had a clutter problem. I tune it out, much like noise, without even realizing I'm doing it. Bah. I also wish I lived closer and would accept the twin bed. Good luck with the decluttering! Stay strong! Get rid of it!

  13. I am SOOOOO like you. Anti-clutter to the extreme. But I'm still struggling with what to do with my wedding dress. Donating it to the goodwill seems so... unceremonious, but it was only $200 to begin with and I just hate seeing it in my closet!


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