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Monday, August 20, 2012

Simplify Challenge Day 1: Clothes and Laundry Room

This week I’m following along with the Life Your Way Simplify for Fall Challenge. Six days, six areas of the home to simplify. I’ll be sharing my progress here all week. 

 I have to admit I started this on Saturday so I could involve hubby over the weekend. We decluttered 28 items! I also cleaned and rearranged to reduce visual clutter and make storage areas feel more spacious.

The thoughts that I had while doing this were:

- What should I do with jewelry that has been passed down to me that I will never use? Some of it may have value, but I don't know how to sell it.
- Why do I hold on to clothing that I am uncomfortable wearing or that really doesn't look right anymore? I don't like to shop, but that is no excuse.
- How are we wasting electricity (or water or gas) that we might not know about?
- I really should have washed the basement floor some time in the last 15 years LOL.  Better late than never.
- My next home will have the laundry facilities in the main living space!!!!!

Here's how we tackled Day 1. It took parts of three days.

CLOTHES: Hubby took a look at rarely used clothes folded on shelves and a couple of dresser drawers. He decided that 16 pieces of clothing could be removed.  That created some empty shelf storage space and a less crowded dresser. For myself it was 4 items that I really don't wear - snow boots, a belt, a dress, and a pair of shorts that are too large. Yeah for weight loss!

I am in the middle of reading "Over-Dressed: The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion" by Elizabeth Cline. It does make one think they should not buy any more clothes until they have absolutely worn our what they have. When she gives the statistics on the % of income that was spent on clothing in the 1960's vs now it also explains why back then my Dad made me the deal that he would buy as much fabric as I wanted if I made it into my clothes for high school. Now I just mend which is more than many do.

However, on Saturday I received an early birthday present from my Mom that added to my clothing - a pair of winter PJs. I think she is tired of seeing me wear the same ones every time I visited her for the last 5+ years LOL. They are nice though and I will get rid of an old pair after I try these and make sure they are comfortable and not too hot. That will have to wait for winter.

I've also added to my shopping list a versatile black, gray or tweed classic (but washable) skirt, a dressy cardigan - I'm going to check out thrift & consignment shops. I also will get a pair of water resistant lightweight hiking boots which will be much more useful than the snow boots. I'll be buying a Mother-of-the-Groom dress and dressy shoes for our son's spring wedding which will hopefully do double duty for my nephew's wedding in July. Then I will donate the black cocktail dress I never wear once I have something dressy that I like more.

I have quite a bit of jewelry that I don't wear. It is now boxed it up and I will look at what I haven't worn in January to make decisions. That opened up room in a drawer and will make choosing accessories simpler.

LAUNDRY ROOM: This was a challenge as it is in an unfinished basement and most of the clutter removal requires hubby making decisions about letting go of things. I focused on clearing off flat surfaces and cleaning the floor. Got rid of paint samples, sheet metal, a live squirrel trap, a tennis racket, and some other things that were tossed or recycled. Vacuumed the floor and started mopping it. I will have to do it in small sections so I don't add too much humidity.

I also discovered that the old house alarm system was still plugged in!  We've been paying for electricity for it for years - but no more as I unplugged it and disconnected and threw away the part that was laying on the floor. The basement will never be a desirable place to spend time but it is cleaner and visually less cluttered.

What did you get accomplished?

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