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February Challenge – Clear It Out!

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE ALS Challenge Series February Challenge – Clear It Out!

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    A new year, a new start – let’s make a little space in your life!

    This month we have a decluttering challenge – I sure need it! ‘Stuff’ seems to accumulate try as we might to prevent it!

    After Christmas, I find is a good time for decuttering – the hot weather drives us indoors in the middle of the day, we feel an urge to start the year off on the right foot and we often have extra stuff around from holidays and Christmas gift-giving.

    Where to start?

    It’s seems a big job sometimes, but start with one location – a hallway cupboard, the linen press, one child’s bedroom a kitchen cupboard. Keep each task small so you will be motivated to actually finish the job. Then move on to the next area.

    Get Some Boxes

    Get some boxes – one for landfill, one for recycling and one for charity. If you like one for long term storage. If you like, one for garage sale or ebay. I personally don’t like the last one because I rarely get around to selling… Boxes can be found at the local warehouse type hardware places and other place of business.

    What next?

    Now go through the area you are decluttering and touch every item. If you haven’t used it in a year and are unlikely to use it in the near future – do you really need it? Would you be better to store it, say in the roof cavity or the shed? Could a charity shop sell it? Can it be recycled? Freecycled? Or is it beyond all that and just needs tossing out?

    Be Ruthless

    If it is a family heirloom or has great sentimental value, then ok. But for everything else, really evaluate why you have it. Does it have a future use? Did you get it for a wedding present 16 years ago and have never used it? It there someone out there who might need it more than you?

    Be Charitable

    You could sell your stuff in a garage sale or Ebay if you have the time and inclination but it is also very good kharma to give it away. Charity shops get great use from it – immediate gifting to those in need (eg. blankets) or by selling it to make more money to help people. Tell yourself this when you are having trouble putting unused things in that box!;) Some charities will also come and collect if you have a large haul or large items like wardrobes or beds.


    Freecycle is another way to give things away. I have had great sucess with this – sometimes the junk I don’t need is exactly the thing someone else was looking for, or couldn’t afford to buy or whatever.

    Putting it Back

    The stuff you want to keep obviously has to go back on the shelf. Ask yourself if it can be organised better. Would baskets help? Charity shops often sell cane baskets quite cheaply. they make great storage for kids toys, accessories, magazines, you name it.


    Forest wrote a nice article about decluttering here:

    Good old Google reveals:

    And if you search through the forums you will find quite a bit of discussion on this topic.


    Who is in? Where will you start?

    By the way – there are two prizes: one for the best/most helpful forum participation on this thread and one for the best example of decluttering (photos and/or description required).


    DEFINITELY IN!!! Been thinking about doing this again all day.




    YES I’m in.:tup:

    Have already started with a bang. Hubby listed some stuff on ebay last week and we made over $3K!

    I have more stuff listed this week and stuff to put on next week as well.

    Gave DS loads of kitchen stuff to take when he moves out of home.

    I dropped a load off at the op shop today and I just gave my easiyo maker to mountainmum, so I’m on a roll.

    I still have my bedroom, the guest room, hall cupboard, bookcase, kitchen dresser and bathroom to go.


    woolies have some really good boxes they contain potatoes Top fits over bottom and keeps it dark inside. and they are free.

    I packed away Bubs toys she has grown out of. I put them away for our youngest son when they have a family. I put in it stuffed toys. Elmo vacuum cleaner. mower that cost a lot of money when bought. a couple of toys that belonged to the boys when they were babies. A couple of outfits that were her favourites. One was made from my wedding dress.

    The boxes fit nicely on the shelf in the walk in wardrobe. One I filled withthe taperisties I have from my sister to complete. they can be laid flat in them.

    We have gone through all of our clothes that we no longer wear.

    the cupboards have had a real good clean out and I bought baskets to fit in them so no more dragging everything out to get to the back. 2 fitted in each cupbord. I have limited space in my kitchen and the 4 cupboards 2 are hard to get into

    The linen press is huge but I only use the top for the linen the rest is a pantry.

    The cupboard in the laundry has been cleaned out and small plastic cubes have been replaced instead of boxes and everything has been labelled.

    Bubs toys have been gone through and what is too young has either gone to the animal welfare op shop or passed on or stored for later.


    We started this one on Australia Day. Cleaned out the WI Robe (the master bedroom is actually the 2 boys bedroom – more space that way) and removed all the boxes of my book collection that has been boxed up for over 6 years now.

    Sorted through all the toys, donated 4 full boxes to the local playgroup, sorted out 3 full garbage bags of boys clothes to go to the local op-shop, and re-organised the toys into stackable crates in the TOP shelf of the robe. This way they can’t reach to get more than one crate out at a time LOL so if they want them, the other lot that’s on the floor HAS to be packed up first.

    Today I’ve got the rest of the lounge room to do. Sorting all the toys meant trying to find them all from various corners of the house. So currently the lounge room is a display floor for everything LOL

    The next step is to sort the dining room, which became a storage area last week for all the boxes of kids clothes that my mum had been storing at her place for when the little ones grew into the things the big one has grown out of. They are moving to a unit, so we have acquired a whole lot of stuff that needs putting away.

    It feels right now like you can barely walk from one end of the house to the other, but it’s not a bad feeling, because it shows that things are actually being sorted instead of crammed into any available space.

    And I’m very excited about finally getting some books back on shelves where they are supposed to be!



    I got an head start on this – done the most of house and a large shed for the last few weeks and now the last space to work on is the food pantry. We are going to add one more shelf in there and re-arrange stuff and throw out whatever we dont use/eat.

    It is a nice feeling knowing you’re on the top of ‘stuff’ now and will find them more easily.

    Now I just need to re-arrange my 2 hard drives!! :uhoh:

    Go for it, ALSers!

    Cheers! :hug:


    I’ve been doing this for a while (keep getting distracted :shy: )

    So I’m putting my hand up to keep me honest and say I will finish by the end of Feb. It’s amazing how much crap one person can accumulate.

    At the moment I can barely get down my hallway cause of the boxes and stuff I need to take to the op shop. Mum want’s to go through it all first but she’s been away since boxing day and I’m over it. So I’ve stopped till she gets back (hopefully this week) Just had a thought maybe I should just take it up to her place and leave it there to go through when she gets home 😮 would get it out of my place huh.


    I am SOOOO doing this one. My house needs a good going over from top to toe. I am getting depressed about my clutter!!! 🙁 I agree with the thing about ebay – I have put some things away to sell and never get the time to go through the motions and end up giving away to charity.

    I would dearly love a garage sale but I still think the whole organising is beyond me plus where we live I just know people would never ever come out here!! People like main roads!!!! :o)

    So, count me in. I am going to start on my sewing/ironing/craft room first today…..:clap:


    This challenge is what I need. The boys room is overflowing with clothing, toys and goodness knows what else.

    I think I will start in there.

    My other issue is I need a larger set of draws for their clothes, the draws we have were ok when they were tots but now I can barely sqeeze half of their clothes in. And they (the kids and their clothes) are only getting bigger. I have found a set but they are so expensive!

    I think I will sell the baby toys and the other goodies I find in their room online to pay for the draws….

    Ah ha, this challenge is working for me already 😀


    I think I will sell the baby toys and the other goodies I find in their room online to pay for the draws….

    My DD has had great success selling baby things on ebay, sometimes for more than she paid for them.:tup:


    I can DS1 floor now. thank god they are at school. They don’t know what poor old mother throws out.:D. Gone though the mags and cut out what i really wanted and donated them, along with some books to the school. Just gotta tackle DD room. She is madly cleaning up prior to me getting in there.:lol:


    I found a great site called:

    I hope the link works, cause at the moment the site is spitting a dummy :tongue:

    To be honest I can’t remember if I found it on the scrolling list to the left of these posts…

    I’ve had to do a fair bit of uncluttering and re-organisation since the Niece came to stay.

    Best tip that I ever had was to photograph sentimental items that are too big for storage or in such a poor condition that they won’t store well. If you use a digital camera, make sure you save the photo’s in a standard file format that can be accessed by any machine.

    Have fun uncluttering!!!!

    Lizzy 😀

    Edited to activate link.


    I will put my hand up and sign up for this. Since I am still unemployed I have far to much time being wasted while stuck at home. May also find some things to sell and make some money now that we have none lol


    Great to have you all aboard.

    Thanks, Robyne for the tip of on the boxes. :tup: And to you too, Lizzy for that link. :tup:

    I have been motivated to sell some stuff on ebay – there are a couple of things on my wishlist that could be bought with the cash!

    This week I have cleaned out the linen press and reclaimed it as my space – DH had some beer bottles in there. We are also clearing out a spare room for SIL to come and live with us, so heaps of boxes have already gone to Lifeline – about a boot load so far. I also go stuck into my wardrobe and got rid of a bunch of clothes I never wear. Someone will get good use of them, I hope.

    Hi, Lizzums – lovely wedding photo. we had a simple, country wedding at Dayboro, by the way….

    Anyone else joining the challenge this month? Don’t forget there are two prizes up for grabs.

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