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Five things per day: De-cluttering fatigue?
8 years ago

It's been...however long it's been...and I'm starting to feel the effects of my de-cluttering mission. We've disposed of a TON of clothing, a big box of books, and our whittling down our VHS tapes...since we don't have a VCR anymore anyway. We've ditched some computer software packages, some cosmetic/toiletry items, a fishing tackle box, and some other miscellaneous stuff I've already forgotten about. My husband says he does not yet feel "lighter" but I sure do. So far, everything we've gotten rid of I consider to be the "low-hanging fruit"; the obvious stuff lying around that's been staring at us for months. Don't know how much longer we'll be working on those things, but eventually, we'll get to the point when we will need to make some important decisions about our priorities in order to slim down further. Interestingly, I'm feeling a little tired out by the process. maybe I'm just focusing too hard on doing this and it is eating up my energy (I do tend to throw myself into things that way), but all this de-cluttering is starting to wear me out. Maybe I need a break? How's your downsizing going?

8 years ago

Hi all,


Sorry for not posting in a while,but there's been other things to do. Decluttering for instance . I started one and a half week ago with the picking five things a day and first I thought I'd do it for a week. But it's so fun I prolonged it one more week, i.e I'll do it until Wednesday Sept.1. Then I'll go back to my usual going through 2 cupboards, shelves, closets etc. a month to get rid of whatever may be there that I don't use or need.

Today I went to the second hand shop with a lot of books and a few other things. I still have some left here that I couldn't bring today as I don't drive and therefore it was impossible to bring everything today. My bag was heavy when I left home and it felt awesome to leave the shop with a much lighter bag. That said, I did find myself a sweater and a blouse at the second hand shop that I bought......well whatever.  I choose not to feel guilty about that.

I've gotten rid of a lot and there are more to go.

Eileen, maybe you need a break now. You've done a great job so why not just relax and enjoy your tidy home. Maybe you simply have gotten rid of all useless stuff now?


Fatigue? Oh, I thought I was dying . . .
8 years ago

For the last week we have been pulling every THING out of every drawer, closet, box, bin, OMG - it is more than fatigue. I resorted to drinking much caffeine, too much caffeine, and yes, now I am beyond feeling fatigue. I have eaten my greens (and everyone else's), juiced whatever I had in the fridge and even started taking vitamins again! But I am determined to get to the end of it all. My goodness! Who knew I had kept every last little scrap of paper, ribbon, string, clip, book, magazine, YOU NAME IT! I thought I was already Simplified! No, my dear people, I was just so very organized that you did not even notice what a mess (Simply Speaking) it was! Well, that is the end of that! Well, that is SOON to be the end of that, if only I can find the secret formula to obtaining renewable energy within myself. . . Time is of the essence, I must return to garage!

8 years ago

It has been interesting following all your missions to de-clutter. I am the unfortunate possessor of a hoarding gene that certainly does me no favours. As a kid I was always being hassled by my mum to clean up my room, and I always had a mad rush to stack everything neatly and out of sight when people came over. I can totally understand how much stuff you can accumulate under the surface Gail- when I read your post it made me laugh because that's where all my stuff was as a kid!


By the greatest good fortune I have now moved in with a chucker, and believe me he is worth his weight in gold (should that be stuff?!). I have never been so converted to chucking as I was when we moved house 6 months ago- whole entire boxes of stuff that I would have still been storing and carting around if not for my man telling to 'chuck it'! It is such a liberating feeling to no longer be responsible for things you no longer need. I hope you all enjoy the feeling as much as I do

8 years ago

Oh, btw when I say chucking, we do send stuff in good nick to the op shops

6 days ago? Oh dear, no wonder why I look the way I do
8 years ago

I had to take a bus to pick up a truck and the bus driver asked me how close I was to being a Senior citizen so he could give me the Senior discount. I told him my age and he frowned, but then said Ok, you need it! I was happy for the discount, but when I sat down it hit me - Senior Discount? Wait a minute! That is, until I looked in the mirror and saw I must have run out the door to catch the bus without taking a moment to "check" myself. I still had on my "garage cleaning outfit" complete with dirty knee patches, my hair had a peacock feather that I stuck in it (until I found where I should place it), my hands were clean but looked as if I just came from a ten hour shift at the quarry, and my eyes looked back at me with red rims from all of the dust. The feeling of liberation will return as soon as I have the energy to feel anything. Never again will something touch my hand that I cannot see it through to our end (its and mine).

8 years ago

Go Gail...keep up the good work. Getting rid of stuff in your house/garge will give the space more you can tap into it and re-energize.

8 years ago

@ Gail
I love your postings Made me smile from recognition! I too have a hard time with stopping once I started. But then the backdraft is that the next time I have the need, I get scared of an neverending tiresom marathon of cleaning..
So respect for you preserverence!
You go girl....

8 years ago

@ Amy
Maybe your husband can rent himself out to people who have a hard time chucking
I sure could use someone who could give me that little push!

I have been freeing the surfaces of my funiture in the livingroom of clutter and, it made me feel lighter. I dont know how it happens but it seem to me that somehow these surfaces have somekind of magnetic attraction, because I dont know how the stuff gets there but if I turn around there's more stuff??? I was shure it was clean? Maybe the only (drastic) solution is to chuck these furnitures with surfaces... No more tables, and dressoirs for me!

Five things per day
8 years ago

Just took another load of stuff (way more than 5)  to the swap shop at our local landfill (dump). We have mostly finished with our big 2 story barn and the house, and are now working on the basement. Brigitte, chucking the furniture with surfaces helps a lot. We got rid of several pieces of furniture with surfaces/shelves, so the stuff that was on/in them had to go also. We may never be minimalists, but we are fervently working toward it. Since we are going to have to move from CT (can't afford to live here since I retired) it's easier to get rid of stuff, since the thought of moving all the stuff is overwhelming. I have friends who move frequently and they are really good about not collecting useless stuff.

8 years ago

I started cleaning now I'm just drained of all my energy and my room looks like it's been hit by a tornado! Wat to do when you have taken on a project beyond your means? Rigt now I feel like I have 2 options 1 push everything back on the shelves and pretend I don't know whats happening behind closed doors. Or 2 (the desparate option) toss everything in the garbage (although the stuff contains a lot of items I am still using).
Does anybody have any idea how to clean up my warzone?

8 years ago sounds like you have a problem I have had in the past, and still do have sometimes---biting off more than I can chew. The key is to set a realistic goal...maybe just one bookcase or curio cabinet, etc and tackle it without getting distracted. I know that doing one thing often leads to another (I usually have several projects going at once) but try to stay focused on accomplishing just one thing, area. And when you are finished with that you will have a sense of accomplishment instead of being frustrated and drained (I know...been there, done that). I have had to find "new homes" for the things that I wanted to keep that were in 2 china cabinets. I got rid of about half, but like you was still using some of the things....which lead to getting rid of some other things elsewhere so I could make room. I set up a sort of mental "judging" system--if I have 5 items I want to keep but only room for 3, I have to decide which 2 things I need/use the least. Size is also important...I tend to get rid of bigger things that take up more room. And don't keep things you don't use because of sentimental don't need a useless object to remember a person by. Good luck...I know what you are going through.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
8 years ago

ROFLOL, literally, seriously. This groups postings having just given me new hope for an end to this madness.

I have not visited my groups and have kept my comments to articles and postings to the bare minimum for over a month. I have accumulated over 100 unanswered Messages and will NOT mention how many unread emails I have on Care2. I have remained focused on the task of the reduction of items in the category of human consumption and use. I have created quite a larger "mess" than I thought possible. I have seen the demon and he is me! Well, not entirely me, there are a few other family members who have contributed to the deluge in "items to be tagged for deletion". But I must state that they have relied on me for years to keep it all in order, and, yes, I did. I did maintain order, but with the undoing, the unleashing of the order, there is now a mess. I cannot think of another word. I do not have it in me to search for another word to describe this, this, this mess. Mess, oh my. We now have pathways, yes, pathways through out our home. This is not limited to the garage. This is everywhere, save the bathrooms. The pathways are only wide enough to shuffle through the maze in a human form, but those of a smaller physique who are much more nimble and quick
can easily maneuver and avoid capture (the cat from the dog, the dogs from the humans). Venturing through the maze requires footwear, flip flops assist in avoiding a sorely stubbed toe. Not everyone returns a box or bin to its original place (which was perfectly lined up to allow avoiding a sorely stubbed toe).

There is one couch available for sitting upon that is used by the odd individual who does not fear sharing it with the dogs. The dogs who have succumbed to their primal instincts and now defend every inch available to them, which as it turns out is the couch, the floor space in front of the couch, the boxes and bins behind said couch, and their beds. They are more like wolves perching on the boxes and bins, searching for prey, surveying their domain. An occasional trip to the dog park quells their need to eat the boxes, and yes the bins, but within a day or two they are back to their marauding ways and remove the tape and lids and attempt to root through what has not yet been surveyed by the humans.

The dining room is set up as a UPS packing area to forward various items to the various parties (family members who have left items here for years on end, etc.). We have a large variety of packing supplies from boxes and bubble wrap to peanuts and paper (assorted colors and foam densities). Packing tape in brown and clear, both on and off the applicators. Labels in a variety of styles and from the commonly known vendors. NONE of these items are newly acquired, but were discovered packed away in boxes, I imagine just for this purpose. How fortunate are we to have these items at our fingertips. . .

The bathrooms are our refuge and have become scented with salts for soaking and eucalyptus and magnolia oils for soothing. The kitchen would have been our oasis, but soon became command central with its easy access to caffeine and the internet. There is a conference table (yes, the kitchen table) where daily progress meetings are attended regularly by all parties. Much to no avail of a reduction in the largess of the mess!

I will return now to the task of reduction of items of human use and consumption and leave you all with one thought:

What of the 30 million humans who are currently and actively consuming? (one half of one percent of the current population, approximately . . .) What are they doing at this time to reduce their consumption?

BTW - I do Click to Donate everyday!
8 years ago

and so should everyone!

8 years ago

i do not have problem with passageways through the house although I am not a great house keeper and collect things. I get rid of the things I pick up even if it takes a awhile sometimes. I have things that may not work or clothes that have their own issues. I hate throe=wing things out because I don't like adding to land fills so they sit around. I know they have to go sometime. What I really want is to find a way to recycle them but some things can't be. part of it is just being domestically challenged.

Go Team Gail!
8 years ago

Gail, you are on fire! You are up to the point I used to get to when I attempted to clean my room as a teenager, which is something along the lines of 'Argh where did all this stuff come from? How can I possibly sort it all out and get rid of it before I'm, like, ninety? I know, I'll stack it all neatly and shove it in the wardrobe/under the bed/behind the desk'. Whatever you do KEEP GOING! Resist that urge to stack it all neatly back in the closet and pretend it's not there.


Unfortunately I can't send my Manly Chucker round to help you out as he is currently laid low with shingles (poor fella). Although I'm thinking his services could be a good money maker on the side...

Totally fell off he wagon!
8 years ago

Thank goodness for all of you because I let my guard down for a couple of weeks and now, I feel like my house is right back where I started! How the heck does it all pile up so FAST! Not giving up though. Back to the drawing board. Unloaded some kids clothing, and some more of my own, but that was yesterday. I'm off to find my daily five. Shouldn't be tough in this place!

8 years ago

Took more than 5 things to the swap shop at the dump today (they are only open 3 days a week). Have 40 art books boxed and ready to be picked up next week the the UConn art librarian (2nd time donating to them). Amy, so sorry your manly chucker has the shingles...hopefully not in his eyes. Keep up the good work gang.

8 years ago

Hi Eileen, where are the piles coming from?

8 years ago

Eileen, perhaps you are not only more aware of things that are in your house, but you sound like you have also been actively pulling things out of their nooks and crannies, so hopefully it looks worse than it is. Good on you for not giving up! And thankyou for inspiring me to make the effort to not only sort out what has to go, but to actually pack it up and take it.


Olivia- thankyou for your thoughts. Shingles Man (as he is now known by just about everyone) is making a good recovery. He was fortunate that he caught it early and it wasn't in his eyes. Actually it came up in his mouth, which meant he was on soft food rations. The good thing was that as I was working and doing all the cooking and washing up, he couldn't really taste it if dinner was a bit boring and bland! He is now back to work, although taking it very easy and coming home very early (the joys of being the boss). He is also recovered enough to start hassling me about getting rid of stuff again- anyone needing the services of a professional nagger?!

8 years ago

Amy, so glad to hear your Shingles Man/Chucker is much better and back to work. I think I'll pass on the pro nagger (don't even want an amateur one). I have always found that piles come when I take on too big a project and don't get to finish it (usually due to many distractions...mainly helping my hubby with his projects). So I only try to do a little at a it doesn't overwhelm me. Good luck chucking all!

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