Can you believe it’s already July? If it seems like the year has flown by, it’s because it has. And far too often people will remind you that there is only 24 more weeks until Christmas. YIKES!
I have talked a lot in the past about counting how many items I declutter throughout the year. In 2015, I decluttered 2015 things. Last year, I decided to be a superstar and declutter over 7,000 things. Some people ask me if there could possibly be anything left for me to get rid of. The answer is an astounding “YES”.
While I might not be going at the pace I was this time last year, I still have managed to remove 576 items so far in 2017. That leaves me with 1,441 items to purge if I want to get to 2017 in 2017. It seem daunting but I can reach that goal.
Why I Keep Letting Go
Many ask me why I keep looking for stuff to declutter (yes, sometimes I just hunt my house for things to get rid of). What I have realized is that the cycle of clutter never seems to stop especially when you have kids. They are constantly outgrowing toys and clothes and bringing home things from school. This in and of itself keeps me busy.
I also thinks it’s important to continuously question what possessions I own. On my road to minimalism, I ultimately want to only own that which serves a purpose in my life. This could mean it provides utility in some way like a useful kitchen utensil or it brings me happiness such as a beautiful piece of artwork. It could also be clothing that I feel fabulous wearing or a chair to read in.
I would love to say I have achieved “a minimalist life” but I haven’t… yet. I am no where near clearing out those things which don’t serve a purpose for me or my family. This is for a number of reasons. First, I am always striving to live with more contentment and less things. This is a struggle for me. It’s hard to not want the latest and greatest. Sometimes I give into temptation but I am learning slowly but surely to desire less.
Here are some things that have left my house this year:
Baby Car Seat, Clothes, & Gear
Screened Tent I gifted to a family member (we haven’t used it in 10 years)
Wall Sconces with candles (too much work to dust)
Lamp (it didn’t work in the new place so I gave it away FREE on a buy, sell, trade)
Computer Backup Battery (dropped off at Best Buy for FREE)
3 Cans of Latex Paint (let it dry out and you can throw it in the garbage)
Books I’ve finished or decided I will never read
Easter decorations (donated anything I didn’t use this year)
I am also still not ready to face some things I have putting off. My hardest area to deal with is craft clutter. Do you know I own well over 65 rubber stamping sets? Yes, 65! Do I use them all – heck no! But it’s my sore spot. I am sure you have your own, too, whether it be books or clothes or old records. I have culled through the craft clutter more than once or twice but I definitely have more room to grow.
I also need to remove some items in my new home that the previous owners (and the owners before them) left behind. Scraps of wood, paint cans, etc. These are their own special kind of evil since they can’t just be tossed in the trash. I will need to work through them throughout the next couple months.
Why I Count
Counting how many items you declutter is something people either love or hate. I personally thrive off seeing the number go up and adding another tick mark to my list. It is physical proof of all my hard work. My “tracker” keeps me accountable and sets a benchmark for me to achieve. And I love that there is a time frame – January through December. Without a clear and measurable goal, I don’t think I would be nearly as diligent or successful as I have been.
If you are a “numbers” person, I would recommend trying out the 2017 things in 2017. It may be just what you need to get going.
How to Get Started
Even though it’s already July, it’s not too late to start your own 2017 Things in 2017. In fact, there is no better time than now! Just simply grab a notebook and start adding tick marks as you let things go. I typically will mark off each hundred items as I go so I can easily count where I’m at. If you hit your goal early, keep going! Like I said, last year I parted with well over 7,000 things.
Always keep your notebook easily accessible so you don’t have to search for it when you need to add items. I do NOT write specific things… I just add a simple mark and count by five’s.
Here are some other tips:
I count multiple items in one pack as one item. For example, a deck of playing cards or a box of pencils.
I don’t take away tick marks when I add items to the home.
If I am selling an item, I don’t count it until it leaves my home.
I do count paper files I recycle but usually count by the handfuls, not each individual piece.
When I’m in a slump, I give myself a boost by doing a daily challenge (ie decluttering 10 things for the day).
Some people also like to do a progressive type approach to decluttering. They will purge one item on the first of the month, two on the second of the month and so on until they are getting rid of thirty items on day 30. Do whatever works best for you!
Needless to say, 2017 still has a lot in store for me when it comes to decluttering. I am steadfast though that I will declutter 2017 things this year though. Even if it means I’ll be running like a mad woman around my house on December 31st!