Fall De-Cluttering

Clutter has always been a dirty word in my life. Growing up, “out with the old” was an unspoken family motto. At the outset of each school year I was encouraged to clean out last year’s leg warmers before getting my new stirrup spandex; before Christmas I donated my Cabbage Patch Kids to make room for Pound Puppies, and I always had to finish the Golden Grahams before I could crack open the Cocoa Pebbles.

Aside from the weird cereal rule (these days I have at least six open boxes at all times), this behavior has followed me into adulthood. About a year ago I downsized over half of my worldly goods to move from a large home in Phoenix into a one-bedroom in Orange County. I replaced my pool table with a fold up card table, I sold my second Christmas tree, and half of Maricopa County is now walking around in my college wardrobe.

Even though school days are behind me, fall has always felt like the time for a fresh start, and I tend to start my resolutions – and my de-cluttering – right about now:

DVR Clutter: Until TiVo can record three channels simultaneously, purging shows from my recording lineup will always be a curse and not a choice. Grey’s Anatomy out, Person of Interest in. Private Practice WAY out, Pan Am In. Playboy Club in, then back out.

Pantry Clutter: Time to replace anything with the words “tropical” or “lemon” with anything with the words “pumpkin,” “spice,” or “Count Chocula.”

Too-many-throw-pillows Clutter: Rule of thumb: The number of throw pillows on your bed should never surpass the number of friends on your Facebook page.

Closet Clutter: When your storage space shrivels from three-car garage to tiny-closet-that-barely-fits-your-Christmas-tree, there is no ceremonial changing of the boxes from summer to winter clothes. If you need new fall boots, you throw away the pair of flip flops filling up their coveted space on your shoe rack.

Gift Card Clutter: Buy up those last two songs, one latte and sixteen cents worth of bath products and make room for some new hardware in your wallet this Christmas.

Resolution Clutter: If you still haven’t started last year’s resolutions, spend five minutes in the gym, eat one head of broccoli, and read the first page of the Cliff’s Notes on War and Peace. You only have two months left before you have to do it all over again.

What are your best de-cluttering tips to get ready for the holiday season and New Year?


About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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6 Responses to Fall De-Cluttering

  1. I still live in a big house in Arizona and am slowly accumulating decorations so that my house makes the Griswolds look like childs play during the holidays.

    Off topic, but is Person of Interest any good? I love Revenge, wasnt sure about that one though.

  2. Loving the post! This past weekend I de-cluttered some closets – still have to tackle the kitchen and the stuff growing under the vanity in the bathroom – I will get there though. Speaking of DVD-clutter I still have VHS tapes that need to go somewhere else since have not watched in years and I think the VCR is lingering still somewhere in the house – YIKES! At times clutter slowly starts to drive me nuts and motivates me to do something about it – maybe we need to move every 5 years so we can de-clutter:) I did a post today about wine baggage – corks, glassware, corkscrews – that is one reason I need to purge the kitchen since it is taking over.

  3. paywindow7 says:

    I was so inspired by your De-Cluttering post that I immeadiately changed into my expeditionary uniform of old shirt, really old jeans and high top boots (snakes ya’ know) and dashed eagerly to my garage. There I planned to begin the removal and re-organization of the accumulated debri that now forces my truck to camp 24/7 outside on the driveway. Upon charging through the pantry door I stood in the midst of the gloom of that poorly lit wasteland wondering how the flotsam and jetsam had grown so tall as to cover the windows. Some of the crap hidden in there has followed me through decades and at least four different houses and has defied many of my best attempts to get rid of it. In fact as I looked around the shadowy area I could swear that I had taken a bunch of the stuff to Goodwill this time last year. Is it possible that old tools, sized in standard fractions, can reproduce, but that their offspring are doomed to be metric? Can broken hedge trimmers propogate into shovels and spades? I’ve long suspected that newspapers can and do hoky poky thus bringing forth reams of never to be read print material. As I surveyed the mess I could have sworn that something growled at me from a dark corner behind the beer cooler. I jumped straight up and turned midflight and hit the concrete running back into the house where I slammed and locked the pantry door closed.
    By the time I made it to the liquore cabinet I had made a decision…I’m moving.

  4. Mind Clutter – defrag your brain and completely cut ties with people that are emotional vampires, time suckers and friends of convenience.

  5. Gift card clutter! I am glad you brought it up; I have never seen it addressed before.

  6. nancyfrancis says:

    I totally grew up in an opposite household to you – EVERYTHING is a memory and therefore can never be thrown away.

    Due to a recent move myself, I took it upon myself to try and change my ways – and really got rid of a butt load of stuff, and there is still plenty more that can go!

    My de-clutter tips for moving can be found here! http://nancyfrancis.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/use-it-or-lose-it/

    Fortunately for me, I’m traveling in Australia right now for work, so my decluttering is of a different variety. I purposely brought stuff with me that needs to be finished (bath products) or thrown away (old gym clothes) to make room in my bag for my return. Also, I love getting rid of crap in my hotel room every day, and love the feeling of coming back to a room that is crisp and clean every night 🙂

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