Part 2: Out with the Old

Happy Easter Calgary! It’s been three weeks since Ashley and I challenged ourselves to get more organized and I am pleased to announce that we’ve done it! We have sifted through the chaos and each recycled, sold, or donated 100 items that were previously cramping our style. Not only are we clutter-free heading into the new season but we also have a little extra cash in our pockets.

I have to admit that this challenge surprised us both a bit. We had anticipated it to be much more difficult to offload so many individual items; however we found that once we got the ball rolling it was actually hard to stop. If you are interested in undertaking a similar challenge and you just aren’t sure where to start check out our completed lists for ideas.

Ashley

o   2 bracelets (regifted)

o   1 pair of earrings (regifted)

o   1 teapot (sold)

o   1 cup and saucer set (sold)

o   1 cream and sugar set (sold)

o   2 teacups (sold)

o   1 wallet (donated)

o   2 makeup bags (donated)

o   4 magazines (recycled)

o   4 skirts (donated)

o   4 dresses (donated)

o   15 bottoms (pants, shorts, leggings, etc.) (donated)

o   12 tops (donated)

o   9 undergarments (donated)

o   3 scarves (donated)

o   2 cardigans (donated)

o   1 head band (donated)

o   1 bathing suit (donated)

o   1 tote (donated)

o   1 purse (donated)

o   1 coin wallet (donated)

o   1 Eiffel tower decoration (donated)

o   24 paper bags (re-used at Sentimental Journey Antiques)

o   6 cardboard boxes (re-used at Sentimental Journey Antiques)

Kara

o   1 box of miscellaneous dishes (donated)

o   1 video camera (donated)

o   1 pair of black flats (donated)

o   1 glass bowl (donated)

o   1 Polaroid camera (sold)

o   1 napkin holder (sold)

o   1 polka dot planter (sold)

o   1 pair of dress pants (repurposed)

o   1 bundle of crafting sticks (repurposed)

o   1 pair of blush high heels (donated)

o   85 company’s coming cookbooks (sold)

o   1 garbage bag of recyclables (recycled)

o   1 roommate (he moved on to greener pastures)

o   1 old area rug (donated)

o   1 pair of hideous candlesticks (donated)

o   1 refinished blanket chest (sold)

o   2 binders (donated)

o   1 stack of notebooks (recycled)

o   20 bottles of nail polish (regifted)

o   1 bean pot (sold)

o   1 kitchen scale (sold)

o   1 pair of clip on earrings (sold)

o   1 pair of ballet flats (donated)

o   1 garbage bag of denim blue jeans (repurposed)

o   1 shopping bag of miscellaneous material (repurposed)

o   1 antique cookbook (regifted)

Ashley’s Tips and Tricks

I have a slight obsession with clothing; okay a large obsession with clothing, so for me the closet was the best place to start. I also have a bad habit of keeping clothing that I hardly ever wear, thinking that one day I might want to wear it again; so I find it difficult to figure out what I should keep and what I should get rid of, especially in my closet. But often the reality is that I might not have worn that particular article of clothing in the last two years or more. So one good way I’ve found to sort through and figure out what to part with is to ask a set of 3 questions. Keep in mind you want to focus on how you feel about the item(s) right now, in the present. Not how you might feel in the future.

  • Question 1: ask yourself if you need the item. Is it serving a purpose? Do you find it to be useful currently?

     If the answer is yes, keep the item. If the answer is no, see question 2.

  • Question 2: do you love the item in question?

     Is it something you really love or find to be beautiful? (and indifference or only liking the item doesn’t count, you have to really love the item).

    If the answer is yes, keep the item. If the answer is no, see question 3.

  • Question 3: have you used the item in question within the last six months to one year?

    (I find one year to be a bit more reasonable of a time frame, especially with clothing, just because some items are seasonal. Think: sandals and gardening tools or boots and snow shovels)

    If the answer to this question is yes, keep the item. If the answer is no, I’m afraid it’s time to part with the item in particular.

These are just suggested guidelines to keep you on track, feel free to get organized in any way that suits you.

Kara’s Tips and Tricks

I am getting married this year and my fiancé and I just bought our very first, very tiny home. I realized that two people, plus all the things we’ve acquired in our lives will not fit into this house. When Ashley and I decided to get organized for Spring I immediately went home and ravaged my bookshelf. It was a good starting place for me because it got my mind wrapped around the whole process. After I got all the books boxed up I just started grabbing things and throwing them in boxes. “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I just repeated that over and over again and when I came across something that didn’t line up with that, I put it in a box. After everything was boxed up and I felt good about what I had going on, I divided everything into what I could sell or what should be donated. Facebook was an amazing resource for this challenge because it allowed me to connect with people who could actually use my stuff. This kept 100% of my items from going to the landfill which is something that was important to us in this challenge.