Friday, January 13, 2017

Intro/Brain Dump

I'm really unhappy with my current house. The house itself is fine, but the amount of STUFF everywhere makes me claustrophobic. We moved in 2010 (blogged about it, once upon a time) and again in 2014, and each time the new house was a bit smaller than the old one - I think we've lost close to 500 square feet between the two moves, but we didn't make much effort to downsize our belongings accordingly. In fact, I have no doubt we've acquired MORE and BIGGER stuff in the past couple years (and did not get rid of the stuff it replaced). So we have 1900(+)sf of stuff crammed into 1400sf of space (and a two-car garage we can't park in).

A week or so ago someone turned me on to a blog/site called A Slob Comes Clean. It's a combination of "getting control of basic housekeeping tasks" and decluttering, which is the story of my life. I started reading at the beginning and I'm working my way forward - I'm almost through the first year. It's AMAZING. I thought I was the only person in the world who struggled with basic housekeeping, who had selective vision about messes and clutter, but it turns out I'm NOT. I relate so much to the journey that the writer is on. She started blogging in 2009 and is still going, so I'm interested to see how she progresses over several years.

Anyway.

The good/bad thing about discovering a blog all about decluttering is that now I'm looking at everything in my house through the lens of "but do we really need this or is it just taking up space?"

  • Take our collection of VHS tapes. We've got a 50", 4K HDTV in our living room. Regular DVDs look bad, VHS looks HORRIBLE. Like headache-inducingly blurry and grainy. I think we've watched ONE VHS in the 2.5 years we've lived in this house. Some of these probably haven't been watched in 6-7 years or more. "But we've spent so much money on them, and they still work! Getting rid of them would be a WASTE." Uh, no. We have definitely gotten our money's worth out of these tapes in the past 15 years. "But what if I have a sudden, desperate urge watch The Craft?" Honestly, I would happily pay the $3-10 to either rent or buy it on Amazon Prime and enjoy it in HD (in fact I've already done that with a couple of my favorite movies). I'm not sure how many tapes we have in total, I think there are still some in the garage (from when we moved, 2.5 years ago!), but getting rid of just what's inside the house would free up 3 shelves in the bookcase and also the spot in the TV stand where the VCR is gathering dust. 
  • Or the Magic Bullet Blender thingy. It's one of those gadgets that seems Super Convenient(!) and we're going to use it All The Time(!!) when in truth someone uses it about once a year and the rest of the time the box sits on the floor in the kitchen because we don't have cabinet space for it. And worse, my family's general slobbishness/selective vision means when it does get used and the pieces washed, they generally end up sort of near the box instead of properly in the box. Which means they inevitably get kicked around the kitchen for a while before finally being scooped up and washed AGAIN because now they're gross from being on the floor. The once-a-year convenience is not worth the increase in blood pressure that seeing that box on the floor on a daily basis is causing me. 
The good thing about this blog that I discovered is that in her own efforts she is putting a really heavy emphasis on baby steps...being methodical, not maniacal. Which is a reminder I definitely need.

One other thing I'm going to be trying here shortly is Bullet Journaling (I'll (probably) write about that separately, another time), and I'm going to try keeping a list of things around the house that are good candidates for purging/areas that are ripe for decluttering. First three on the list: Old VHS. Outgrown board games. The bookshelf in Josh's room.

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