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Clutter Updates

September 27th, 2015 at 06:24 am

FIRE UPDATE: After two entire weeks, relative has been allowed to return to his home. !! What an ordeal! I am sure there are some trying times ahead for him. His town is a complete disaster.

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**I've never been able to take advantage of most bank account bonuses because they require "direct deposits." We did get around that for one bank account bonus that we did last year, but I was never really sure it was going to work and it depends on the bank (you can just make a transfer from some banks) and what works or doesn't is always changing. Just way too much of a PITA.

It just hit me that I no longer have to rule all those bonuses out since dh will be getting direct deposit checks. Woohoo! I'll look around what bank bonuses are out there right now and will have to remember to keep a better eye on that. I'm so used to just ignoring all those type offers.

We did get dh's direct deposit set up. I am happy that it's all online and I can just adjust his W-4 and change bank accounts (if we do some sign up bonuses) easily online. So that's another plus.

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HOUSE UPDATES

I've been meaning to do a house update. I went through the problem areas of our house and cleaned up and did some purging. Since the end of April we have been cognizant of clearing clutter every single week (no matter how little).

I can't believe it, but I am *finally* seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We've been purging for over a decade, but I guess I needed to focus more than a few weekends per year to really get the job done. I am glad all the work is paying off. !! (It's only paying off so quickly though because all of the work we have done the decade prior. Just to be clear).

So now we are entering Phase 2 of our de-cluttering. I have sold and cleaned up everything big and obvious and bulky. Phase 2 is to go through every drawer and closet and nook and cranny through our house and do one final sweep. I expect that I will still find a lot of things to purge, but since we've been through everything before I don't expect this to be an overly big job. It's just the little stuff (the easy stuff) that should be left.

My goal is to be *DONE* this year. No more of this endless de-cluttering. & I am confident about this because most of the work we did this year was the really old stuff. Going through a lot of high school stuff, for example. We've always been on top of the kids' stuff and dh and I don't buy that much stuff any more, and if we do are more likely to sell the old to afford the new, etc. So I have high hopes that “de-cluttering” won't be much of a time or energy suck in the future. We do have good habits in that regard.

Here's a list of what we have accomplished:

**Re-thought and re-organized kitchen office space and adjacent storage. (A project for next year will be to work on some kitchen organization; my problem areas are the pasta/lentils and the spices).

**Bought nicer furniture for living room and created storage space for sheet music and kids' piano lesson books. This room looks immaculate now, with no effort. I have a love-hate relationship with this solution though because I did just throw a big mess in a chest of drawers. (It looks nicer but is not any more organized). That is another future project. I'd like to eventually digitize most the sheet music but it will be a BIG project.

I suppose I've learned I'd rather "be" organized than "look" more organized. Not a solution I will apply to my whole house, but it is nice to have a tidy room with some nice and functional furniture.

**Cleaned up BM's room (which was a hoarding mess). He seems to have matured beyond his hoarding and agreed to empty most his room out, and I don't see him bringing much back in. In this case, procrastination paid. We just had no idea what to do with it. Dh wouldn't let me clear out the trash without BM's approval but he had no better ideas so we just let it sit for a few years. But I couldn't believe BM let me throw most of it out once I tackled it head on, and helped me so that it was a quick cleanup. I saved myself a lot of headache just waiting it out. Phew!

**Went through LM's room and sold the large items he had outgrown. (Sold a toy box and an easel).

**Went through my closet and got rid of bulky items. Off the top of my head we had a hamper we never use and some bulletin boards and white boards. I also got rid of a lot of frames.

I realized with this part of the purge that we no longer will be holding onto things "just in case". We have the money to buy what we need and I think this is the cause of a lot of our clutter. Which is fine since we had the room for it and made sense in lower income years, to hold onto things and accept any random hand-me-down, but no need to really hang onto some of this stuff at this point in our lives.

**I recycled lots of trophies and eyeglasses

**I had never gone through our taxes but it was getting to the point where it needed to be dealt with. So I scanned all the old years (just because I am a numbers nerd; no real need to keep them) and out of laziness will keep 10 years of paper files on hand. I had already scanned the last couple of years and will probably have less paper over time. Going forward it will be so easy to toss the oldest paper file every year, and I am already storing new years digitally. The paper file is mostly a backup, but then I also don't have to scan every single paper as I am sure there are some I didn't scan and don't need to keep forever.

{When shredding I found all sorts of other people's tax returns, that I prepared in the distant past. Those were so old I was just able to shred them all. All of the above fit in *one* box - I had no idea there was so much stuff in there and that I had so many other tax returns!}.

**I went through a big box of photos and also eliminated that box. I ended up tossing the bulk of them. I kept a handful of odd shaped keepers in a small box and put the rest in photo albums. I was planning to put them all in a flat photo album (space efficient) that I found, but didn't realize most the photos were too large. So I put them away in other photo albums, but this is another “future project” to keep in mind to consolidate more and make more space.

Like most everything, this was a "clean up the old stuff" chore as we keep all our photos digitally any more and rarely print out pictures. A future project would be to maybe purge some of the old digital pictures and create some sort of index of photos. We went digital around 2002 and it's easy to manage but I think for the long run we probably want some sort of index to find things as we won't always remember when everything happened or where so and so picture is. 10 years of pictures is one thing, but 50 years will be another story.

6 Responses to “Clutter Updates”

  1. snafu Says:

    I wonder if you've noticed CreditCard Free's wonderful Wednesday declutter 15 items challenge. I don't always manage the target but I find items that we no longer use, need, love or have replaced particularly as we change-out season. I am running into a new wave of planned obsolescence.

    PHOTOS: Ongoing would you find it helpful to create digital with a secondary category that lists individuals alphabetized [will we remember names in 50 yrs?] . I don't scrapbook or spend on memorabilia, choosing instead to buy a number of small, Dollar Store 'travel' themed albums for best 12 shots + washi tape to add a journal page and an evocative, 'must have' item.

    I'd started this system for DSs 'events,' pre digital choosing one or two hard copies in a binder type album for hospital shot, 1st Birthday, 1st Christmas, 1st haircut whose final photo was Post secondary degrees. I've had to edit over the years removing events that seemed so important but less so over 25 years. I'm slowly eliminating boxed photos and have a collection of photos on CD which was so popular 2000 - 2005. It's a fun rainy day project.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Having direct deposit is such a nice thing! For many reasons Smile You might check into Chase's Checking/Saving bonus (if you don't already have a Chase checking account.)

  3. rob62521 Says:

    We have direct deposit and what a wonderful thing. Glad you have it too. I never could understand why people didn't want it. The money is there, sitting in your account, even if you can't get to the bank right then.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I too have gotten to the point where we shouldn't hold onto things "just in case." Now that we can afford to replace things, I'm not going to keep things there's not a definite need for or want of.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Snafu - Ccfree is the one who kicked my butt this year. Big Grin

  6. Elle [is for Lemon] Says:

    I read your post and got a tiny burst of energy to start my own declutter project. And then it passed. So I'm good. Wink

    We.Have.So.Much.Stuff.

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