As of May 3, 2676 items had left our home. As of May 31, I am at 3134. I’ve also sold a couple of items on craigslist, and made $195 from those sales.
How did I manage to rid my home of nearly 500 things in less than 30 days? I dug deep. And sometimes I didn’t have to dig that deep at all. One big contributor was giving 75 items of clothing and 20 toiletry items to the forest fire victims of Slave Lake, Alberta. I also sold 140 pieces of Lego on craigslist. Whew, did that ever feel good. I gave away 31 plastic hangers because my wardrobe has shrunk so dramatically that I only need about a third of the amount of hangers I needed previously. I finally unloaded my breadmaker and crockpot at the thrift shop. I also allowed myself to realize that the three pair of high heels I had hiding under my bed hadn’t been worn in over a year, and would be better off at the thrift shop where someone might take them home and actually wear them.
You might think that 3134 things seems like a lot of stuff and you might be wondering if we have anything left in our home. The answer is yes, we do still have stuff and, quite frankly, a fair bit of it. But there is a lot more space in our small condo now. We are down to one set of pots and pans (from two sets), and we are no longer storing a ton ugly glassware in our kitchen cupboards. Half of our kitchen storage is now dedicated to food, and everything kitchen related now fits in the kitchen cupboards. This alone is a small miracle given the fact that our kitchen is only about 150 square feet and storage space there is very limited. But it no longer feels crowded or like I am juggling things on the counter to make the space look presentable. The kitchen looks bigger because there is less stuff left sitting on the counter as there is more room in the cabinets.
There is more space in the bedroom closets as well. My kids are down to one storage bin each of off season clothing (winter jackets and pants) and items they haven’t grown into. They also tend to wear the same things from their closet over and over again, so right now they are working with 5 pair of pants and about 10 shirts each. It feels great to only have a minimal wardrobe for the kids, as I am doing laundry every couple of days and they can’t manage to wear everything in that short period anyway. I’m planning to pare the kids wardrobe down even further as they outgrow or wear out some of the items that are currently in their closet, and I’ll be letting go of more items if I notice they aren’t getting any love. As for my closet space, I’m down to 33 items for the next 3 months and it feels fabulous! I barely even have to think about what I’m going to wear – limited choices means less time spent deliberating over what to wear and just getting on with it. Project 333 is already saving me time getting ready in the morning, and I’ve begun to think how I’ll be putting together some of my wardrobe items over the summer (if summer ever arrives in Vancouver). I also know that by sticking with Project 333, I’ll be saving money too.
Have you considered decluttering in 2011? If you’ve started the decluttering process, what challenges have you come across and what benefits are you reaping? I’d love to hear from others who are in the trenches too!