Sunday, October 9, 2011

Decluttering Challenge - Clean the shelves

Well, this past week I was busy with other things and only 9 items left our house.  I don't think anything came in to stay.  Since this is a busy time of year I am trying a different approach that will also get me to clean things I usually ignore - like shelves, inside of closets, cupboards and drawers.  That way by the time our guests arrive for Thanksgiving I should have made progress without feeling overwhelmed.

This week and probably next I will be focusing on decluttering (and cleaning) shelves.  By taking this approach to decluttering I will be in many rooms.  There are shelves in the guest room, study, living room, sun porch, kitchen and upstairs bonus room.  I never realized we had so many! (There are also shelves in the basement and sheds but those areas need their own weeks so I will ignore them for now.)  We are talking mostly about books, pantry items, decorative items, and office supplies as the stuff that occupies these shelves.  Although the pantry and office supply area have doors and so are officially cupboards or closets, I'm including them here because we rarely close those doors.

I have a week pretty full of consulting work plus fall yard work and dog training class this week and next, so I expect to spend two weeks on shelves and it will be a fast decluttering for the most part.  The sun porch was done when we had the doors replaced and had to remove everything during the renovation process.  First up - the book shelves in the guest room which I would like to eliminate but hubby wants to keep.  I'm going to focus on old paperbacks, out of date materials and old stuffed toy animals there and see if I can make what is left look more appealing.  The office book shelves are pretty empty (why do we keep them hubby dear) and the supply shelves just need tweaking.  I think some cookbooks and cloth napkins will leave the pantry and maybe some small appliances will take their place.  The rest of the shelves will be mostly cleaning I think.

Keep in mind that if you are decluttering old books that libraries and other organizations only want books that are in a condition such that you would buy them used.  Literacy programs will sometimes used ones that are a bit more worn.  Lots of books that are donated to the library where I volunteer end up being recycled for pulping.  That is better than putting them in the trash, but please check what an organization can really use before you donate.

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