Man on a Mission, Woman on a Journey

On Saturday, Mr. RSS was on a decluttering mission. Watch out. Don’t get in the way. The man gets focused and stuff is going out of the house!

He was moving so fast that I couldn’t get all the before and after pictures, but here are a couple of pictures of clutter loaded in the car, ready to go!!

BIG artificial Christmas tree, baby gear

Printer, TV, TV stand

It’s so interesting how different we are in how we declutter. We have the same goals, but the process is different.

 
Mr. RSS’s typical decluttering process:
 
  • Pick an area, or just pick stuff up that is sitting around the house (usually larger items)
  • Make quick decisions, move quickly, sort quickly(if required),
  • Get the stuff out of the house ASAP

He’s really about action, focus, impact. The end result is always great, but it can be a little crazy when he’s in his focused mode of decluttering! He doesn’t declutter as often as I do (of course he’s at work most days), but he does get a lot done in a short period of time. Sometimes he is tossing with such abandon that important things can get accidentally tossed, and I need to watch him closely to be sure he doesn’t toss one of the kids!

My typical decluttering process: 

  • Pick an area
  • Sort things
  • Decide what needs to go, pausing to think about each item
  • Organize and clean up
  • Put the clutter leaving the house in a bag/box/pile and place it somewhere waiting to leave the house
  • Take the clutter to the car and deliver

It’s not usually a fast process. I’m thoughtful about it. Too thoughtful, I think. I debate with myself. I get distracted. Sometimes I can complete a project in a day, but this process often takes days or months because I stop working on one project to start another one, or I just need to deal with daily tasks and responsibilities. But when the project is finally done, it looks great!

Since Mr. RSS moved the extra TV and stand out, I was inspired to get the basement family room/playroom back together. So check this out:

We started on the project about 5 min before this picture was taken. I brought the toy organizer down from the kitchen and dumped all of the (unorganized) toys/junk from the bins into the white laundry basket. We used baby wipes to clean the bins.

I got them started, then left them to work on the sorting/putting away and told them to get me when they were ready for me to inspect.

When I came down to inspect, they had made great progress. I helped them with finishing up.

There were a few things we just weren’t going to get done that day, and that was OK with me, because we were making progress. We did not get under the furniture. We did not get to this pile that was originally a decluttering pile of black trash bags, but that has changed over time and it now needs a project of its own.

Some things were added to that declutter pile, and here’s the trash:

And now the finished project!:

I know Mr. RSS and I are both learning a lot in this process, and I think we can really learn from each other. We balance each other in many ways, and I think we are on our way to being a great decluttering team!

What does your decluttering process look like? Is it different than others in your home?

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s 52 Weeks of organizing. Check it out for simplifying inspiration!

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Project: Simplify: Toy Decluttering Progress

(I was enjoying a late-night carrot snack as I was sitting down to write this post. At just the *right* time I sneezed and little carrot pieces went everywhere. No worries. I switched to chocolate so we’re good to go… :-))

I’m continuing to follow along with Simple Mom’s Project: Simplify and I have some progress to show you after dealing with lots of toys around here. The project was off to a pretty good start earlier in the week, fizzled in the middle, and picked back up to a running pace on Saturday.

Here’s a before picture from the living room:

I ended up bringing most of the toys from all around the house to the living room so that we could really see what we had. While I was searching for toys I found a sad discovery. These bags:

One bag was a bag from when I decluttered toys over a year ago. Yup. Still there. And the other 2 bags were from a “stage” I went through where I told my kids that if they didn’t pick up their toys, I would pack them up in trash bags and they couldn’t play with them for a long time. Something like that, anyway. It wasn’t a good solution, in case you are wondering. They were too young and I hadn’t taught them how to clean up their toys very well.

So I decided to dump 2 of the bags in the living room along with all the other toys that were gathering there to sort:

So we sorted and played and sorted some more so that like things were together.

We did some decluttering as we went, but we also looked at all the toys that we had and talked about giving away the ones they didn’t play with very much. I thought the kids did pretty well with that.

Here’s the give stuff:

And here’s the living room after we put most of the rest of the toys in the basement/family room/playroom:

Here’s a before from the basement:

The after pictures from the basement are a little strange because we just got a new TV and cabinet(both used), but we haven’t sold or donated the old one yet.  So here ya go:

The toy organizer is in the kitchen for right now:

Here are some toys on basement shelves. I’m thinking I’ll rotate toys through here maybe a couple times a month:

Just so you know, we are not finished with this! But we did make great progress! Some things that still need to be decluttered: dress up chest, kids books, arts & crafts stuff, DVD’s/videos, and misc. toys from under furniture and in random nooks and crannies.

Below is the other side of the playroom. I think it looks worse than it is because all those DVD’s and videos were taken out of their storage under the TV and other things were moved around to have room to bring in the new TV/cabinet, so as soon as we get rid of the old TV/cabinet, we can finish this room:

I’ll leave you with this organized picture:

If you want to see more kids’ toys (and clothes) before and after pictures, head over to Simple Mom’s link up!


Project: Simplify: Toys R all over Us

Here we are on week 3 of Simple Mom’s Project: Simplify. This week’s project is Toys and/or kids’ clothes. I am going to focus on toys!!

So I went around the house to take pictures of our toys. It was actually worse than I thought. It’s funny how taking pictures of it all makes me look at it a different way.

The living room is the favorite place to play, even though we keep trying to move all the toys out of there! They always come back! I think it’s because it’s right next to the kitchen, which is where I am most of the time, and it has nice natural light. (I can appreciate that. I am a light lover!) I personally also think that basement playroom is really chilly! 

Here’s the living room:

A closer look at these living room toys…

Here’s the basement/family room/playroom:

And here we have their bedroom. My 2 older kids share a room, and there really isn’t a lot of room for many toys there.

Tsh is encouraging us to have the kids help, which I think is great, but a bit more challenging than doing it on my own. Yesterday I told the kids about this week’s  project. These are some of the things we talked about:

We have a lot of toys.

We can give toys to other kids who need toys.

Some toys are broken/ripped/stained.

One question we asked:

Do we really love this toy and play with it a lot?

If not,  we can give it to someone else who might enjoy playing with  it more.

They were also inspired by the closet project and the desk project, so I think that really helped. I was setting a good example for them in this area! Yay!

We started with the stuffed animals. I had them collect all the stuffed animals from around the house and organize them on the couch. At first there were little peeps about how they didn’t think they wanted to get rid of any of them.

I had them each pick out their 3-4 favorites and put them in a toy box.  They liked that. And then on their own they each started offering up animals that they were ready to give away. We ended up with a box of 8 to give away(including one that needs to be thrown away)! They aren’t all the ones I would have picked, but that’s OK! I’m really happy with how that went.

But there’s a lot more work to do! I hope to post some fabulous results on Friday or Saturday. 

I would love to hear your thoughts/ideas/advice on dealing with this toy clutter!