2011 in 2011: taking a moment to reflect on the numbers

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I’m hoping to have my decluttering challenge complete before the next two weeks are up. We’re heading off on vacation for a week to a sunny, tropical location and I really do not want to be thinking about minimalism or decluttering while I’m there enjoying the occasional cerveza around the swimming pool.  I’m closing in on my revised goal of three times my original goal of 2011 items decluttered from my home in 2011.  I’m at 5781, which means I’ve got 252 things left to unload before my vacation starts.  Eek!  I might just have to have another go at the kids t-shirt collection before we go.  Or maybe their bin of stuffed animals.  To be honest, I’m not sure where to look for unwanted clutter anymore – I guess that means my project has been a success!

I was compelled to look back at my list of things I’ve decluttered so far and tally the amount of clothing that has left my family’s closets this year.  And the numbers are shocking.  As of today, the following amounts of clothing and accessories have left our home – most of these items went to several thrift stores we are lucky to have in our neighbourhood, but a few items were passed on to family members and friends.

  • 169 articles of adult clothing
  • 5 jackets
  • 122 articles of kid clothing
  • 10 bags, purse and wallets
  • 21 pair of shoes (includes both adult and kid sizes)
  • 23 pieces of costume jewellery
I think what’s most shocking to me is that at the beginning of the year I had nearly 200 items of clothing in my closet, and I still considered myself a minimalist.  I also am grappling with the fact that I can’t fathom than these numbers include nothing from my husband’s side of the closet – apparently he is already a minimalist and doesn’t need any help from me!

Clearly clothing has been an issue for me in the past – since my teenage years, I’ve always gravitated towards having more clothing as a means to being more secure with myself. I’ve learned, however, that it is possible to feel secure in ones’ self and still have a small (and functional) wardrobe.  If you’re thinking of downsizing your closet, I wholeheartedly recommend it!  It’s freeing to be able to devote that mental real estate to other, more enjoyable things.  I’m looking forward to the end of my decluttering project and getting into the maintenance phase – I’ve noticed that shopping and looking at clothes no longer holds the same excitement for me that it once did, so I’m secure in the idea that I’ll be able to resist bringing a lot of extra, unnecessary clothing back into my home.

Is there a particular item or group of items that seem to be cluttering your home?  Do you favour knick knacks or are you more of a fashionista?  Do you have any strategies for keeping your weaknesses under control?  I’d love to hear from you!

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6 responses »

  1. “To be honest, I’m not sure where to look for unwanted clutter anymore – I guess that means my project has been a success!”
    That is the ultimate success. Maybe you could help a friend or family member give up some things to meet your goal. I am so happy for you that you’re getting away from Vancouver for a week. Nothing good ever comes of November…
    Post an update before you go if you get a chance. I’m rooting for you!
    BTW, my category of accumulation is skin care. Ugh! I’m obsessed – hands, body, face – you name it. I’ve started making myself use up what I already own before making any new purchases.

    • Thanks so much for your support! I’ve loved reading about your project too, and wish you the best of luck as you are closing in on your goal.

      I totally feel your pain on the skin care products – I have an issue with bath products (perhaps I used to buy them because I was trying to channel a zen, spa-like atmosphere in my own home?) and had to put a moratorium on buying them at the end of last year. I’m also forcing myself to use up what I have in the cupboard already, but it appears I have overestimated my use of shower gel, as at the rate I am going it will take me five years to work through the half dozen bottles I have under the sink. Oops.

    • Thanks so much! I’ve been making a real effort to get this challenge finished the last couple of days, and am nearly at only 100 things left to go. One more trip to the thrift shop tomorrow with a bag of donations and I’ll nearly be done! Yippee!

    • We’re back, and yes I did enjoy several cervezas (and more than a couple pina coladas!) while we were away. Nice to be home, but honestly it was so lovely in Mexico, I could see myself living there! I guess we’ll just have to make a point to go back again sooner rather than later!

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