Purging the House of Stuff

16 Jan

I’m on a real decluttering spree at present.  Actually it’s more of a massive purge than decluttering.  I’m in a very ruthless mood – the best mood to be in when you are decluttering – and I’m parting with a lot of stuff.   Stuff is making me crazy.  You can’t tidy it.  You can’t organise it.  You can barely function around it.  So it has to go.

I think this purging has been motivated by the big floods.   If I was forced to evacuate my home, would I be able to quickly identify those things that are most important to take with me…aside from family of course…and find them in a hurry.

An added bonus of all this purging is that I have plenty of extras to give away to those who need it more than I do.

So what areas have I attacked so far?

*  The patios – broken trikes, kiddie tables and chairs, a battered mini tramp

*  The garage – lots of rubbish that amounted to two full loads to the dump…yes two

*  A large chunk of the study – two cupboards completed so far and an overflow corner (where the stuff from the cupboard would overflow into); I still want to go through the filing cabinet and get rid of all of those papers that “might” be useful one day, and then there’s the stationery shelf (enough for a whole office block!)

*  The boys’ bedroom – not much left in there now; still have to work on the built in cupboard although there shouldn’t be too much to worry about in there

And today…

*  The homeschool area – oh boy!  That was one HUGE job.  Lots of “might” be useful stuff there that had to go.  There was so much stuff oozing off shelves and out of cupboards and drawers that I couldn’t put stuff away and it was being piled up on the tables until I could find a home.

IMG_2045 (Small)

Halfway through today's cleanup

What homeschool stuff did I throw out or pile up to move to new homes?

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Rubbish from the Homeschool Area

–  textbooks and resources that my boys have grown beyond or I have moved on from

–  activities and worksheets that I printed and haven’t used…and in reality, probably won’t use…it’s that “might” be useful problem again.

– I boxed up all of the boys’ workbooks and work samples from last year, labeled the box and stashed it in the cupboard.

–  Seeing the three other boxes of past work I decided that they were no longer needed for legal purposes.  Plus I have detailed journals that show our work should I ever need to prove anything.  So I threw out all of the textbooks…yes ALL.  There isn’t anything cute or sweet worth remembering in a Math or Phonic textbook.  But I did go through the work samples and selected special pieces to keep, like drawings, books they made, and early writing samples, that sort of thing.  From 3 archive boxes I pared it down to a 1 inch plastic document folder for each boy.

*  I also culled my notebook pile.  I’m always reluctant to throw out a notebook if there’s lots of useful pages left in it.  But they multiply and I now have a whole drawer of “might” be useful notebooks taking up “useful” space.  So out most of them went.

I’m nowhere near finished in the homeschool area though.  I still want to:

*  Cull the pencil and pen drawer

*  Check the homemade resource boxes for resources that we’ve grown out of

*  Make up a pile of file folder games that I found the pieces for

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Just a few of the already cut up file folder pieces I found today

*  Tidy what’s left on the bookshelves

*  Throw out the junk toys and toy shelf in this room.  It’s full of junkie stuff that doesn’t live anywhere else.

*  And pull down the alphabet posters that we’ve grown beyond

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Finished for today but nowhere near completely finished

See!  Plenty more to do.  And I haven’t even got to the rest of the book culling, the linen closet or my closet!

Homeschool planning for the year??  What’s that?!  I haven’t even got that far.  Well I’ve done the legal stuff for the HEU and I’ll post about that soon but I haven’t done the day to day, for the term ahead, planning yet.  I just had to sort out this house first.   It was cluttering up my head and making me crazy…some would say, “crazier”.  Hehehe.


Posted by on January 16, 2011 in Family Life, Resources and Organising


8 responses to “Purging the House of Stuff

  1. LEENA

    January 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm


  2. Tracey

    January 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Technically I already use the linen idea but then I’ve kept some of the sheets because they “might” be useful…for a cubby house or if the boys are sick on multiple sets or something freakish. Heheheh. So that’s why I’m going into the linen cupboard – to get rid of all of the stuff that “might” be useful. Hehehe

  3. Atha School For Boys

    January 17, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Great post. Getting ready to have a week of “spring cleaning” around here before we get back into the full swing of homeschool work after our end of the year holidays.

    Great inspiration for me!


  4. Missy

    January 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    You’ve inspired me, well, closer to dragging me kicking and screaming to the mess downstairs! Post flood clean up is underway, homeschool room totally disassembled and needing to be put together again and I keep thinking, “If Tracey can do it…”. Besides I don’t want to carry it all upstairs again in 2 months time when we get our next flood! Well done, it’s looking good.

  5. Jen in NSW

    January 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I am so with you on the cluttered house, cluttered mind.

    I have an area that has very little furniture, more of a walk through room than anything else and even though it isn’t actually used it is amazing how messy it gets. I regularly get out a washing basket and just pick up every little thing, vacuum, and hand the basket to the boys to sort out.

    All those little piles/messes really hide the good stuff and while we all might like the idea of treasure hunts having to do one in a rush due to an evacuation is not a pleasant thought.

    Good luck with the rest of the decluttering. I am about to do a chart for my school room door listing “homes” and “routines”. With me I need that visual reminder on tired days or we end up with a huge mess.

    Best wishes
    Jen in NSW

  6. bernadette

    January 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Oh MY GOODNESS!!!! i sOOOOO need to do that at my house at the moment! but the problem with the linen thing is i have 3 bedwettters at the moment, so even if i only kept 2 sheeets each thats still 12 sets o f sheets i need to keep LOL. So i add into that all the matteress protectors and blankets for midnight changes and i STILL have a full linen cupboard!. D’oh!! 🙂
    My sympathies to all flood survivors.
    Congrats on “being strong” with the purge Tracey.

    OX Bernadette and crew

  7. Tracey

    January 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    That is only a season at the moment Bernadette…one day you’ll be able to move to just one or two sets. I can say this as it wasn’t all that long back that I got rid of mattress protectors when I realised they hadn’t been used for a few years. Freedom!!! Hey, and not only can we cut down on bedding we can teach the munchkins to wash their own sheets. Oh boy. Now I’m getting all excited. Hehehe.

  8. Ashlee

    January 31, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Bernadette, check out

    I have cut out sheets on the kids beds while they are toileting (I too have 3 doing it!) and simply have a mattress protector (both the ones on brollysheets are nice) and then use brolly sheets as my ‘bottom sheet’. The brolly sheets are easy as to change in the night or each morning, and if you do have an accident then the mattress protector picks that up easy enough, and they are quick to wash and dry and leave your mattress dry too 🙂 So the sheets are stored, each kid has one prtoector, 2 brolly sheets and a top cotton blanket (no duvets, covers or sheets!) Ya gotta keep it easy!!!


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