During the past couple months, I did a massive clean-up of our apartment. This is what I did:
- Reduced my movie collection from 180+ DVDs & VHS to 40 movies. They sit on one shelf now instead of five. Movies were either given away or sold at Half-Price Books.
- Cut down my book collection to 25 books (5 are reference books). Now they all fit on one shelf instead of three. Books were given to friends or sold at Half-Price Books.*
The books and movies were the hardest for me to do. I took pride in the large collection I had and often loaned out books & movies to other people. I realized that I never really watched most of them after buying them (I even had a few unopened ones!) because I just kept renting new movies from the library or Netflix instead of re-watching them. Same thing applied with my books – I loved my books but I would only read them once and get more from the library. There was no reason to keep them around. If I wished to watch a movie or read a book again, I will most likely be able to borrow it. It was a little bit sad leaving Half-Price books with only $98 in my hands for my massive collection. I grieved for a couple days. Now I’m over it and actually want to cut down my collection even more!
- Rummaged through my closet and dresser several times and donated bags & bags of clothing to Goodwill. I have closed up remaining clothing (only two duffel bags!) in preparation for the second round of Project 333. My dresser is empty and all clothes fit in my closet now. I anticipate donating one duffel bag after Project 333 is over.
- Went through all my papers (from grad school, work, bills, random) and recycled at least half of the papers I had in this apartment. The other half are now neatly filed away in two accordion files.
- Rummaged through the kitchen and donated everything to Goodwill that we didn’t use: a slow cooker (I didn’t know we had two), coffee maker (neither of us drink coffee), wine rack (all it did was tempt me to go out and buy wine just to fill it up), blender (was only used to make alcoholic drinks), a large collection of wine glasses (kept four), extra mugs (now only have one), some random bowls, etc. The toaster oven will be tossed out when we move. We have four bowl plates (from my grandmother), four plates, four bowls, and a few glasses.
- Sold my Living Dead Dolls – yes, I was a little sad to see them go.
- Recycled/donated magazines.
- Tossed out old, half-used travel bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Discarded assorted bathroom items.
- Kyle has also cut down on some of his clothing, DVDs, games, and random items, as well! Out of respect, I am not touching his things.
It may not seem a lot because we live in an apartment and I had minimized my possessions prior to moving in this apartment by taking only what I ‘needed’ from my previous residence. Turns out a lot of the things I ‘needed’ was indeed unnecessary. I’m a little bit hooked to this decluttering process and will be going through everything a couple more times to get it down to the bare essentials. I’ve made significant progress, but I’m not finished.
But this is what I’m excited about: we are moving again in a month.
I’m sad to leave this apartment for many reasons, but I’m really excited about the chance to start over. A clean slate. An empty apartment. A lot of the decluttering has also been done in preparation for the move because I don’t want to bring too much with us, and I don’t want to bring anything we absolutely don’t need. While Kyle isn’t quite ready to cut back on his DVDs or his model car collection, he’s on board with the idea of not bringing much with us when we move. My goal is to make this an easy move for us without the hassle of renting a truck to haul big furniture and extra boxes.
Big items we are not bringing with us (and will be given away on Freecycle) :
- big comfy couch
- big comfy loveseat
- one television + one television stand
- two bookshelves
- my dresser + matching mirror (giving to my parents)
- my nightstand (giving to my parents)
- his dresser
- assorted wall decor
- bathroom shelf
What we are bringing with us:
- Our dining table set (recently purchased for under $100, doubles as my desk, and can be dissembled)
- a mattress (yes, the bed has always been on the floor)
- coffee table (for board game nights – we sit around it on the floor)
- a few lamps (no sense in tossing out all our light!)
- Crosley turntable + antique wood stand
- large free-standing fish/frog tank (I protested this and offered to move my two frogs back into their tiny home, but Kyle insisted on bringing it with us) EDIT 2/5/11: Lone, remaining frog has been moved back into a tiny home.
- one 20″ television with built-in DVD player & VCR + stand. I agreed to keep one of the televisions (out of the bedroom) so Kyle could continue to enjoy his free ESPN (although I despise his television habits and never watch television) and for us to enjoy the occasional movie. EDIT: 2/5/11: Kyle acquired a 55″ television instead. I’m not happy about this.
- clothes and such.
- two patio chairs and table
You may notice that we won’t have any seating in our living room area. That’s OK. We will place our butts on the floor until we feel it’s time to buy two Poang chairs. I resolved that we really don’t need two couches for two people. We will likely be spending our social time out of the apartment. The potential chairs are very comfortable and versatile, so we can arrange them however we want instead of just facing a television. Any overnight guests will be aware of our lack of extra bedding and be OK with the floor or bringing an air mattress (as they have already done at our current place).
So that’s what I’ve done so far, and that’s our plan for the next month: a little more decluttering to do (re-evaluate books & DVDs, etc.) and moving to a new place with as few things as possible.
Keep an eye out for tips soon on how you can declutter your space!
*I have many more books at my parents’ house in the attic and won’t be going through those any time soon. One of my goals in life was to have a ‘library’ of books once I had a house and it seems preposterous for me to just turn my back on that and get rid of all my books so quickly.