Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp: Week 1
It is Time for the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Bootcamp!!! Woot! Does it make me a tad weird that I have been as excited about the unclutter bootcamp as I was for Christmas? We will unclutter our nest and lighten our load over the next month, starting with the Bathrooms and Bedrooms.
If you are just arriving at the bootcamp, go back here to get the printable calendar and discard list, as well as some additional ideas to motivate you.
For each area:
- Bring a bag/box for TRASH, for DONATE , for RECYCLE, for RELOCATE and , if you really need it, for STORAGE.
See here for a list of places to donate your gently used items or recycle other items.
- Bring a dustbuster or vacuum, rags and cleaning solution.
- Put on your favorite Pandora station, CD or radio station
- If it motivates you, take note of what you toss and the weight of all the stuff leaving your home. My home is already breathing easier with some of the weight lifted.
- You can deduct the clothes you donate on your taxes. The discard list can also help to keep track of that. Just estimate values of the items as you go along.
Unclutter Your Nest: the Bathrooms
The bathroom is a conglomeration of cosmetics and medicine/first-aid items. In my home, it’s an area that is difficult to corral and keep clutter-free.
I go through a unclutter ‘process’ almost annually, but there have been too many items that I overlook because A) I spent a lot of money on them or B) I might use them some day.
Case in point, hair products. I really don’t like the feel of products in my hair, but I have accumulated 5-6 bottles of salon-quality products that I never use, but haven’t parted with. I consider myself fairly savvy, but I have also been a sucker for marketing campaigns that promise porcelain skin and stronger fingernails.
All these purchases are now lying, unused, in various drawers in my bathroom, taking up space and requiring my attention when I need to move them to get to what I really need. After many years and many purchases, I now know that such purchases are a waste of my money and unnecessarily take up space in my home.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I have been slightly better than timid in my past #declutters. This year I’m going for RUTHLESS! ” quote=”I have been slightly better than timid in my past #declutters. This year I’m going for RUTHLESS! “]
- Get your bags/boxes. The containers for STORAGE would be used for items you would only use a couple of times a year, like glittery nail polish, or travel items.
- Take EVERYTHING out of your drawers and cabinets and wipe them down, inside and out. I find it harder to put all the junk back in when the area is nice and clean
- Empty out all of your storage containers and wipe them out.
- Examine every item. When was the last time you used it? Unused cosmetics and hair care products are out of here!
- If it motivates you, take note of what you toss and how much it weighs! My house is already breathing easier with the clutter that’s going out the door.
- Make-up you don’t use or that is past shelf life:
Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner 2-4 months
Liquid Foundations 12-18 months
Powder/Bronzer/Blush 2 years
Hair Products you don’t use or are past shelf life of 3 years
Perfume that is no longer ‘your style’ or that is older than 4 years
- Medicine, ointment and prescriptions past their due date. I spoke with my CVS pharmacist and while this surprised me a bit, he recommends that to dispose of prescriptions you should rip the label off of the bottle, fill the bottle with water, put it in a bag and throw it in the trash.
- Be kind to the earth and empty what’s in your discarded lotion/shampoo/etc… bottles and then recycle them
- Those little bottles of shampoo/conditioner/lotion and bars of soap you took from hotels for the past 7 years and are keeping in a basket or drawer for houseguests who might need them…out they go. When was the last time anyone used one of those little bottles? The folks at your local Interfaith Hospitality, homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter will gladly accept the un-opened bottles and bars and you know they will be used instead of just cluttering your space.
- Goodwill will accept your curling irons or other styling tools.
- Put all your travel related items in a labelled box. I put the following in my ‘Travel’ box:
- Toiletry/Makeup bag
- Small tubes of toothpaste and small bottles of face cleaner
- Small, travel size bottles that I can put my shampoo, conditioner or lotion in
- Put all your special occasion makeup/nail polish in an appropriately named box.
After you’ve determined what you want to keep, contain like items together. I love my label maker, so I made container labels for “Pain Relivers”, “Digestive”, “First Aid” and “Cold/Allergies” . I consolidated like items together in their respective boxes.
I actually got rid of so much stuff that I also got rid of 6 storage bins in this unclutter!
Look at each item carefully and decide if you really want to put them back in your very clean drawers.
After I went through all of our bathrooms, I took 15 lbs of bathroom clutter out of my house!
Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms
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- We are going to take a cue from Marie Kondo’s book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, when it comes to the clothes, socks, and every other clothing item in our bedroom.
There is a huge benefit to taking everything out of your closet and examining each piece before you put it back in. It’s much easier to skip over an item that’s hanging up then it is to hang it back up once it’s already out of your closet.
- Get your bags and boxes. The container for STORAGE would be used for items you would only use a couple of times a year like ski gear.
- Take EVERYTHING out of your closet , put it on the floor or on the bed. Pick up each item and decide if its an item that brings you joy and if you feel good wearing it.
If it does, then hang it back up in your closet. If it doesn’t then decide if it needs to go in the TRASH, DONATE or the SELL box.
Don’t consider how much you spent on that dress. Don’t consider that if you lost 7 pounds you could wear those pants again. If you haven’t worn the item in 1 year, it’s time to let it go to someone who would wear it.
I have to tell you that Marie Kondo’s suggestion of taking everything out of your closets and drawers is spot on. We have gone through our closets many times in the past, but this time we were so much more effective.
There is no doubt its because we laid everything out on the floor and had to pick up each item before we put it back in the closet.
- Do the same for your shoes, lingerie, pajamas, jewelry, belts, etc.. If you haven’t worn or used an item in the past year, then chances are pretty good you won’t be wearing it in the future.
While our focus is primarily decluttering right now, you might want to consider how you want to hang your items back in your closet. Consider grouping types of clothing by season and by color within each season.
- Go through your dresser and nightstand. Does EVERYTHING in that drawer have use or bring you joy? If not, it needs to go.
- Those socks with holes in them or that don’t have a mate, the threadbare nightgown, you know what I’m talking about.
While we’re talking about SWM (socks without mates), as you go from room to room, collect them in a ‘SWM bag’ to see if you can find any long lost mates before you toss them.
- So, I’m not a clean painter. As such, I only wear rather old/stained/torn clothes when I have a painting project. To that end, I have accumulated a stack of ‘painting clothes’.
Instead of throwing out clothes that can’t be worn in public, I have just added them to my ‘painting clothes’ stack. When I went through them today, I realized that I had a different set of ‘painting clothes’ for every day of the week! I threw out all except a set of ‘painting clothes’ for warm weather and one for cool weather.
Do you have several sets of ‘special occasion’ clothing when you only need one or two?
- Here are some places you can donate the stuff you’ll be discarding:
- Clothing: Freecycle.org, your local women’s shelter, Goodwill, homeless shelters, Interfaith Hospitality Organization, Salvation Army and churches are good places to start. See here for more options.
- Shoes: you can donate your gently used shoes to the places you can donate your gently used clothing.
- Those tschotschkes you have lying about? I know some of them have been gifted to you and you’ve been holding on to them because you’d feel guilty letting them go. But here’s the thing that Marie Kondo made me realize; if these items don’t really bring you joy, then pass them on to someone to whom they might bring joy. Take them to Goodwill or your local Habitat Re-Store and let them find a home that will really appreciate them.
- Well Worn Shoes: These can be recycled at your local Nike Factory Store. As part of their Nike Better World/Re-Use A Shoe Program they will grind up the rubber soles to make playground and track surfaces.
15 Pounds of Shoes going to the Nike Factory Store to be Recycled
- I’m always giving my guys each other’s socks and skivvies. Good time to return them to proper owner.
- I love finding great deals at consignments stores and you might be able to make a few dollars by selling your still-somewhat-in-style-stuff to them or on ebay.
We took 191 pounds of clothing, books and toys out of our bedrooms! Combined with the bathrooms, we have reduced the weight of our home by 206 pounds!!! WOW…I’m thrilled and excited to see what next week brings.
Don’t forget to share your successes through your pictures at #unclutteryournest on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! If you want to skip ahead, here’s what happened each week:
We just finished the first week of our Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp. Now, that wasn’t too bad and don’t you feel better? Isn’t your home breathing easier with X pounds of stuff taken out of it? Aren’t you breathing easier just knowing you have that fewer things to tend?
I’ll be back next weekend with suggestions for your office/craft room and kitchen. Until then, enjoy your lighter home.
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