Saturday, April 28, 2012

Update: Project Declutter 2012

Hi everyone!

I hope you're all having a lovely Saturday! I just wanted to give a quick update on my Project Declutter 2012. Remember this post in December? Here's where I'm at with everything:

Craft Clutter:
I have gone through all my sewing tubs and identified which fabric was purchased with which project in mind. I've also put the number of yards I purchased, in case I find another pattern I would like to use instead of the one I had originally intended. I write this information on sticky notes, pin it to the fabric, and viola, my sewing tubs are more organized!

Closet Clutter:
I don't have enough closet space for all my clothes, so I divide them into summer and winter clothes. When it's off-season, I put those clothes I don't need in a tub and store it in our second bedroom. At the end of each season, I go through my closet and get rid of clothes I didn't wear much (or at all) that season. This year, I removed 2 trash bags full.

Storage Clutter:
To be honest, my storage is probably where most of my clutter is! It's so easy to throw things in a tub and forget about them. Matt and I have been tackling some of our storage clutter over the past few months. I found a tub full of pots and pans I used in college. I've had them for two years now, and haven't had a need for them. Obviously, it's time for them to go. They're in good shape, so I found a friend who will be moving out of the college dorms and into her new grown-up place. She was excited to take them off my hands and have free pots and pans for her new home. Yay for passing things along!

Book Clutter:
You may remember that I joined Paperback Swap in December to get rid of some of my books, since I had such an alarming number. This place is amazing. I'm excited to pass my books along to people who will love them and care about them as much as I do! Since December, I have "swapped" 38 books, and have only received 16 in return. I plan to donate my extra "credits" for swapping these books to schools. Paperback Swap will then pass one book along to those schools for every credit donated.

I will (shamefully) admit that I now actually have more unread books than I did in December. My count is at 164, which is down from the 181 I had at one point earlier this year. I've been cruising through books so far this year (25 to date!), so it's not like I'm not trying. My goal by the end of this year is to get down to 150 unread books. I know that still sounds like a lot, but I'm taking this one step at a time.

So what does my bookshelf look like now, with more books, you ask?

Bookshelves, December 2011
Not like this! You'll notice this is my bookshelf in December, when I started Project Declutter 2012. See that little yellow sticky note? Those are books I've posted on Paperback Swap and am waiting to swap! You'll also notice the bit box at the base of my bookshelves full of books I can't even fit on my bookshelves!

Additionally, I had a stack of about 9 books on my desk that I needed to review.

Bookshelves, April 2012
TAH-DAH! Okay, okay, I know they're still crammed with books. But let me point out that the shelf with the yellow sticky note? That whole shelf is posted on Paperback Swap, waiting to find a new home. I have 52 books listed.

And the box? Well, it's still there, but there are only two books in it! That's right; this box has become my place for "loaner" books so I can prioritize them and return them ASAP! The last thing I want to do is put them on a shelf where I forget about them, and not return them until a year later. If I ever get around to going to the library again, those books will go in the box, too.

And my desk? Okay, I do currently have 3 books on it, two of which are unread. But one is waiting for me to review it!

I do swap a lot of books with my mom, as we have very similar reading tastes. I currently have a separate stack of 7 books I'm waiting to give her in 2 weeks, along with one book I need to pass along to my best friend in 2 weeks as well. I've read all of these books, and all but one will be posted on Paperback Swap when they're finished reading them.

I'm getting really good about letting go. I recognize there are so many of these books that I love, but will likely never read again (like Beowulf...who would've thought I'd get so attached? But really, Leah, will you ever read it again? Not likely).

So, readers, I am decluttering...slowly, but surely. What about you? How are you working to eliminate clutter?

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