Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Minimize the Mess Part 2

Since the first Minimize the Mess post, I've been doing a lot more purging and decluttering and it feels great! I took a full carload of stuff to Goodwill yesterday, and as soon as it was gone I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest.

When I first started this journey, everybody in the family was not completely on board. My 5 year old son was the easiest to convince since his room was so nice and neat after the original purge. I also told him he could keep a percentage of the money from whatever we sold, so I think that helped. My significant other was a little more resistant, but after seeing what's been accomplished he's coming around.

Some of the projects I've been working on since the last post:

Transferring all of the DVDs we own into a CD/DVD  Binder:

Sadly, the DVDs shown are only a fraction of the ones we own. We actually had to buy a special binder that has over 200 slots for CDs/DVDs. The small, black one pictured is now holding my 5 year old son's DVDs. This alone freed up a whole shelf on our bookshelf.
This is all almost all of the cases I threw away.

Creating digital copies of the recipes I use in my cookbooks:

Screenshot of my progress so far.
In my last Minimize the Mess post, I talked about scanning my son's artwork and keeping it digitally, rather than piles of paper sitting around the house. Well, it's the same concept for the cookbooks. I love cooking, so I get a lot of cookbooks as presents. While I greatly appreciate it, and even enjoy some of the recipes I come across, I don't enjoy having to search through 10 different cookbooks to find the recipe I'm looking for. I'm hoping to empty out another shelf on the bookshelf with this project, because I have plans for it after it's empty. I plan on converting these recipes to PDF files so that I can print them out if I wish to. 

Condensing my wardrobe and the laundry in general:

Less clothes = less laundry. Like the dishes in the last Minimalism post, I recently realized I have too many clothes. Do you know how I figured it out? The clean clothes pile became so overwhelming, that I dreaded hanging them up. I'm going by the "60 day rule" on this one, meaning that if I haven't warn it in 60 days it gets donated. We also have too many towels, for some reason. I'd like to get it down to 2 towels per person. 

Transferring the board games into gallon storage bags:

This was perhaps my favorite of the projects I accomplished. I freed up a shelf on the wall, and put a stop to the board game box eyesore! For this project, I simply cut out the cover of the board game and put them in a gallon size storage bags with zip tops, along with the board itself and all of the pieces. Some of the box covers needed to be trimmed down a bit to fit into the bag. All but one of the boards were small enough to fit into the bag, so I'm thinking about just replacing it with a travel-size version.

I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest for this project. Check it out here, if you like.

Decluttering & Purging the Spice Cabinet:

After throwing away what was expired, and giving away the doubles and spices we hadn't used in the last few months, I was left with a better organized and easily accessible spice cabinet. This will probably be something that I do every month.

One item in, one item out

Since we seem to be accumulating so many things without ever getting rid of anything (until recently), I decided to start employing this popular rule in the minimalist community: for every item you bring into the house, one has to leave. For example, if you get a new shirt you have to donate one. This small step should help keep things from getting to cluttered in the future.

This is still an ongoing process, and the apartment is nowhere near how I'd like it to look yet, but every box donated is one step closer!

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