Decluttering...

Lounge By TexasSugar Updated 28 Feb 2011 , 2:37pm by TexasSugar

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:00pm
post #1 of 39

I'm on a mission to declutter my house and my life. Anyone else want to join me? icon_smile.gif

Today, since I'm at work and not at home, I decided to declutter my email box. I recieve alot of emails that have recipes in them. I will often let them 'stack' up then go through them when I get too many emails. I may even print out some recipe that sound good. And they get taken home and added to the pile of other recipes that sound good, and then when I 'clean' all those piles get dropped in a box and when that box gets full or I can't find it I start another one.

Okay so you get it right? icon_smile.gif

I decided today that I would work on part of the source of that problem. If I don't get the emails with recipes, then I won't see ones that sound good and print them out....so I unsubscribed to them. I'll have more to unsubscribe to I'm sure as some only come weekly, but I'll take care of them as they come.

Now I just have to deal with those boxes of loose recipes I have at home...

Has anyone else done anything today to deal with clutter?

38 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:09pm
post #2 of 39

Over the weekend, I went through my vast library of books, sorting out subjects that are no longer of interest to me, for donation to the local library and the hospital book sale. Of course, the last time I was at the hospital book sale to donate books, I ended up buying a 20-volume home study course in cooking from Le Cordon Bleu.

Today I wanted to go through my watched topics, and save some to my desktop so I can delete them, but I couldn't get past the first page. This happens a lot. One day the system will be in a good mood and I will be able to clear out a few pages before it cuts me off. The way I see it, the less the database has to retain, the faster I can get pages to turn, etc.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:52pm
post #3 of 39

Books do have a way of piling up and collecting on us don't they?

I've got some of my own to go through as well. And many other things!

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 11:00pm
post #4 of 39

I can read blogs online, I can read newspapers and magazines online. But there's just something special to me about the feel of a book in my hands. I've always felt that way about them, and always will. My son just doesn't understand, and is constantly on me to get rid of more of them. It's not like I'm a hoarder of books, I don't have stacks and stacks of them all over the house. They're shelved in one room, where my chair and pole lamp wait for me to spend time with them.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 11:02pm
post #5 of 39

I enjoy books because you can tuck them in to your purse and carry them with you, or lay down in bed or on the couch and read them. I'm sure I will convert one day to the electronic readers, but not yet.

Me and my mom also pass books back and forth, and after she reads them I'll usually read them for a second time.

TheCakerator Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 11:08pm
post #6 of 39

I have no room in my house for clutter .. if it doesn't get used, it doesn't have a home here ...

My mom on the other hand has a lot of room for storage .. to much actually and has found herself working on her new years resolution which is to pick one item each day she hasn't used in forever and at the end of the week, take them to the goodwill. She is doing a really good job of that and she says the feeling of getting rid of things 25 years old is refreshing!

TexasSugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 11:21pm
post #7 of 39

I so wish the clutter free mindset came to me naturally. But it doesn't, I have to work for it. Because I have boxed up a good portion of my house, now is the best time to do it.

Kudos to your mom, sounds like a nice plan!

I can totally understand the refreshing feeling of getting rid of stuff. I'm hoping decluttering will give me a less caotic house. icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 2:53pm
post #8 of 39

Last night I moved about 20 boxes, a foot stool to a wicker rocker, computer, and a 5ft Christmas tree wrapped in a big trash bag out to my storage building. The storage building has been deemed the garage sale zone. Still to go out is the wicker rocker, but I couldn't get it between the space of the fridge (which hasn't been put back in place yet) and the door.

I'd love to be noble and say I gathered that all last night, but I didn't. It was things that had been coming out of the two bedrooms as I cleaned them out. Last night I had plans of going through holiday decorations, but I took the night off. I've been boxing and moving and boxing and moving for days. I needed a night of nothing.

indydebi Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 4:54pm
post #9 of 39

recipes: Start a Word document where you can cut-n-paste these recipes. I have one of those.
(1) I can also add the link to where I found the recipe (giving credit to where it came from)
(2) I can add a short blip about the recipe ("Learned this one in 7th grade Home Ec and its been a family favorite ever since!")
(3) Easier to search for keywords to find that particular recipe instead of flipping thru a bunch of papers.
(4) Once you cut-n-paste, you can delete the email forever.
(5) Eventually you have a family cookbook that you can pass down thru the generations!

We're also big fans of books. At one point, I cleaned out 300 books and STILL had 5 bookcases, 5 shelves each, with book not only dble-rowed and dble-stacked! We moved from a 4BR house to a 4-room apartment and I loaded my van with probably another 400-500 books and took them to half-price books.

Agree with the above....there's nothing like curling up with a good book! I read articles that books will become obsolute and I just don't believe it. The touch, the feel, the turning of the page, being able to put a post-it note on the favorite pages, underline favorite passages.

But I know some libraries that don't have 1000 books so it was definitely time to clean ours out.

Space is now very limited so nothing is purchased without the thought of "where am I going to put this?" And the answer that is the MOST incorrect is "I'll find some place for it." Oh no, babycakes! Ain't gonna fly no more! Because that means he puts it on the endtable or on the chair in the corner and 5 months later, *I* have to "find some place" to put it.

(I'll tell ya where I'm gonna shove it! )

KHalstead Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 5:33pm
post #10 of 39

every year i empty my drawers in the kitchen, one is a junk drawer (you know the one with random screws, tapes, tools, hair pins, etc.) and also a drawer that houses serving spoons, measuring cups, ladels, tongs, etc. (its a BIG drawer lol)

I empty each one into a box and label the box, then for the next 3 months everytime I use an item from the box I put it away back in the drawer, usually at the end of the 3 months more than half of the box is still full of items..........I ask people i know if they have a use for any of the items and the rest go to a yard sale, goodwill, or right on ebay.........i have reduced clutter and made a lot of money doing this!!! I don't recall EVER having to rebuy an item that was not used within 3 months

indydebi Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 5:35pm
post #11 of 39

KH, great idea!

leily Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 6:07pm
post #12 of 39

I love that idea KH! I am going to do that today with my desk drawers (which seem to collect useless stuff throughout the year) I just did my kitchen in October and i ended up with 3 empty cupboards (unloading all fo my "extra" stuff was easy too)

A tip i saw somewhere (no idea where) for clothing is to once or twice a year turn ALL of your hangers around so you have to hang them from the back of the rod. As you are putting your laundry away turn the hanger around the correct way when you put your clean clothes back. At the end of the year (or season, i do this twice a year) whatever is still on those hangers turned the wrong way donate, you didn't wear it during that season, don't keep it around another year. I've done this the last year and we really see what clothes we wear. The only exceptions i have had to make is two dresses i have (i rarely wear them, but i do try them on to make sure they still fit) and my BF's suit, but he has to try it on twice a year to make sure it still fits too.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 6:44pm
post #13 of 39

Indy, I do save recipes on the computer. The problem is that I don't have a computer at home, so they are saved on my work computer (which is next door) but I usually end up printing them out so I have them at home. And then I just don't really use them.

I started teaching my nephew to cook a few months ago. I need to sit down sometime and type him up a copy of the recipes. Often times when I am cooking it is just off the top of my head, or something my momma made that she taught me that there really isn't written recipes for. Those are the recipes we need to save, since they were things we grew up with.

I don't have a junk drawer in my kitchen. I probably would if I had more, but each drawer has a purpose right now. I did go back in the fall and clean through my kitchen and got rid of a whole bunch of things that I never really used that were taking up space. icon_smile.gif

Corrie76 Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 6:49pm
post #14 of 39

As a mental health tech, a big part of my job is visiting clients in their homes to help organize. I use the same system everytime- the four container method for each room as it gets decluttered. First container gets all the trash, broken items and stuff that needs to get tossed or taken to the dump. Second container is for all the items in that room that belong in another room (later-all those items get put back to their rightful locations). Third container is for the items that you want to sell or donate(very important that this container go straight to your car after filling it). Lastly the forth container (or more fitting a box) is where all the things go that you aren't sure about or are having a hard time letting go of. That last box gets taped shut, labled with the contents, dated and put in an out of the way location. If you do not get into that box for anything, then after 6 months to a year that box must be donated. I've never once had a client desparately need to get anything out of the "not sure" box yet!
Of course the four container method does not work for real horders, they really struggle with letting go of any items-even if it's truely trash in anyone else's eyes.
As far as recipes go, I have around 15 of my most frequently used recipes printed out and taped to the inside of two of my kitchen cupboards. That way they are always handy- I just open my cupboard door and there they are at eye-level and safely off the countertop ,where they previously fell victim to spills, are were likely to get mis-placed.

indydebi Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 8:29pm
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameRaz

As far as recipes go, I have around 15 of my most frequently used recipes printed out and taped to the inside of two of my kitchen cupboards. That way they are always handy- I just open my cupboard door and there they are at eye-level and safely off the countertop ,where they previously fell victim to spills, are were likely to get mis-placed.


That's how I kept my cookie recipes when I baked at home! icon_lol.gif

neecerator Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 1:32am
post #16 of 39

Yes, I'm so excited to be decluttering this winter. I've decided to go through at least one storage box each evening. This way my basement and garage should be fully decluttered by Spring time. I used to work for a very short time for a friend of mine who is a professional organizer. It really helped me to learn how to be decisive and efficient at it. I make 3 piles; garbage, donate and keep. I've had stuff piled up for 10 years, and I'm sick of it. We cannot bring one more thing into this house.
So far, I've gone through approx. 15-20 boxes and I can all ready see a big difference. I sell all my extra books at Half-Price Bookstores. I also have an Amazon Kindle e-book reader and love both kinds of books. I get a ton of my e-books for free, and still shop at Half Price Books for must haves. Good luck decluttering! icon_razz.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 5:10am
post #17 of 39

I'm going to spend some time this winter decluttering and organizing my home and cake shop. But I have run across some items I'm a bit puzzled on what to do with....old character cake pans. They are everywhere....attic, garage, shop, my mama's shed. Some are pretty old. Any suggestions?

indydebi Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 5:22am
post #18 of 39

the old ones fetch great prices on ebay. I, myself, have paid over $50 for an obsolete pan set.

TexasSugar Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 2:47pm
post #19 of 39

I haven't gotten a chance to declutter anything else the last few days, mainly because I was preping and painting. My bedroom walls are now red, Real Red to be exact. I still need to give the closet another coat of white, plus paint the doors and trim, but I did get a good portion of it done this weekend. Tonight hopefully I'll be able to get the trim painting done, then we can move my furniture back in.

When I start moving everything back into the rooms is when I can really start the decluttering process. Since that will be the time I can really give everything a 'home' and work on keeping it in it's home.

TheCakerator Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 10:51pm
post #20 of 39

I bet your room will look great when it's all said and done!

kaseynh Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 11:47pm
post #21 of 39

At my last home my bedroom was a deep red and I loved it! When we moved into our new home we got rid of a ton of stuff that had gathered for the last 20 years. I wish I had the mindset to stay organized. I fall off the track on a regular basis. I have a hard time keeping my cake stuff in order and it drives my husband crazy! I've been working on display cakes for the last few weeks and all my stuff is out!
I started to clean up some today and hope to finish tomorrow. I have to pace myself as I live w/chronic pain and have to be very careful about doing too much. I am trying to get ready for a bridal show this weekend and am a little panicked I won't get it all done. My goal tonight is to make a to do list and start knocking things off it starting tomorrow! We are in for a snow storm w/ice so it will be a good time to do things to get ready for the show!

TexasSugar Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 2:02am
post #22 of 39

Well just my luck! They did get finished with my floor in the other bedroom, so tonight instead of painting I am pulling everything out of the 'cake room'. And I can honestly say it is freaking me out. I know I have a lot of cake stuff, there is no way in the world I can deny that. The area where my kitchen table should be is crammed full, and I still have things to pull out. I just look at all the stuff and think about the money spent on it!

I don't think I'm ready to get rid of a lot of it, but at the same time, I really don't want to put it all back in the room. Cake and kitchen stuff has always been my weakness, and the stuff it is most easiest to say I might need/want/use that someday.

Okay, I took a break because I needed to get away from it for a few minutes. Guess I better get back in there and deal with it.

TexasSugar Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 4:16pm
post #23 of 39

I need to come up with a new name for my 'cake room' so I can remind myself that I need to repurpose it to more of an all purpose storage area.

That room was really stressing me out last night and I spent the evening thinking about what to do about it. I was trying to figure out ways on how I can condense with out having to get rid of alot of it.

I have many of plastic storage containers of cake magazines, not to mention cake books. I've decided to scan the articles, cake pictures and ideas that I want to keep and think I may use. This way I can save them and 'file' them in a way that I can be able to find what I need. I'll have less stacks of books/magazines sitting in boxes, and I won't be ripping up magazines, so I can pass them on to other people to enjoy.

Before I said I didn't have a computer, I should repharse that and say that I do have a lap top at home but because I don't have the internet at home I hardly use it. This would be a good use for it. Plus the laptop and flash drives would take up alot less space than all the books/magazines.

I'm still in a debate about all the paper copies of recipes and other paper stuff. I really feel like I need to just dump it and start fresh there, only really printing out things that I am sure I'll use, vs printing out everything that sounds good. Do I spend hours going through boxes of recipes I have never used? I sorta think my time would be better spent just getting rid of them with out looking at it.

Getting rid of the boxes of paper recipes and magazines would free up some space in my house. It may not be a huge dent in it, but at least it'd be a ding. icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 5:53pm
post #24 of 39

Okay, so I just have to share my progress in my cake room area.

After finally getting finished painting the yellow bedroom, it was time to refocus my energy on putting my cake/all purpose room back together. Not only was I tired of having all that stuff in my kitchen, I needed the kitchen space to clean out the dining room so I can work on getting it ready to paint.

If you have Facebook Im going to share links to pictures of the progress. If you dont have Facebook, my page is open to the public and you are still suppose to be able to see the pictures.

The before pictures
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31370219&l=f01308f8c8&id=1515707372

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31370220&l=7cd098670e&id=1515707372

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31370221&l=704dc6ec94&id=1515707372

The first is standing in the door way and then the pictures go counter clockwise from there. And yes that is four big 48x72x18 shelving units. Plus the picture doesnt quite show everything. There is a stack of boxes to the left side of the white shelving unit.

If you cant see the pictures, let me just paint a quick picture. Imagine four big shelving units FULL, with boxes and plastic containers stacked beside them!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1566301806888&set=a.1275975348908.2036506.1515707372

This is the empty room, after the new floor was put down. icon_smile.gif Ahhh, a blank slate!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31363608&l=3eebf058cb&id=1515707372

And this one, well this one is almost all of the cake stuff moved into my kitchen. It really doesnt show the full scoop of things either. There were literally things piled and stacked from my fridge to the washer and drier. I even had boxes on top of the washer and drier.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31363848&l=89b6f0d4f0&id=1515707372

Im sharing this picture, because this was a little of my decluttering efforts. What cracks up me most about this picture, well my friends daughter just turned 4. Ive done all but this years cake, and I bought candles the last three years for the cake. And for any other of the number combinations, Id have to wait two to three years to use them. Considering these have been in a box for probably at least 6 years, I decided it was time they go and when the time comes Ill just buy new candles. Because really, am I going to remember I have them?

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31367817&l=3633b42b3d&id=1515707372

This is another decluttering of mine. The bigger stack on the left would be the to keep pile, but at least I was able to let go of about a third of it. Thats progress for me, especially when I didnt think Id get rid of any of them when I first started opening the boxes. I still have candy molds to sort through, but because I was able to condense down a lot, and I was already drained I decided that they could wait for another time.

And now (You may want to go back up and look at the before pictures just for a moment.)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31368129&l=0de13c70c8&id=1515707372

The white file boxes in the corner of the two shelving units are the candy molds that I need to go through. There are also some boxes that are on one of the shelves Ill need to sort through as well.

Now Id love to tell you that the other side of the room looked like this

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31368148&l=cbe1e86fd0&id=1515707372

But then Id have to be honest and show the other two pictures

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31368190&l=158da79163&id=1515707372

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31368192&l=a4f0b3df02&id=1515707372


These two pictures show the rest of the stuff that came out of the room, that would need to go back in there or somewhere else.

At least 4 of the plastic containers (two tall, two skinny) were moved out to the storage building. Im not sure if they are there to be stored or if Ill put them on the garage sale side. But for now they are not in my house.

The metal boxes, there are two that size, and smaller ones inside of them, which are my cake travel boxes are also out in the storage room. I dont want to get rid of them, but I wont need them until the next convention I go to, which wont be this year.

So this is the other side of the room now

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31368667&l=a593c17806&id=1515707372

The boxes stacked in the corner are 3d or shaped cake pans. Most of the other boxes are papers, magazines and books. Ill go through them and scan what I want to keep then get rid of the books. Right now, I have too many other things going on to worry with it. Itll be nice to clear it out and have more free space. And the items from the Wilton tool box/Castle cake set and the 4 boxes to the left are items that I plan to use as give a ways for my students.

The only things missing from the picture are my two rolling tool boxes, Wilton tool caddy and my bag, all of which are class stuff.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31369593&l=7a10144854&id=1515707372

I have two rows of empty plastic containers. Some of these will be used for the craft stuff that originally was at the top of one of the metal shelves.

Oh and the wall that isnt pictured, well there is currently just two boxes of lids for various plastic containers. Im going to move a Chest of Drawers on to that wall and that is where I plan to keep the craft stuff in it, including the hot glue gun and really glue, plus all those other little items you keep around the house. I dont have a junk drawer in the kitchen, and I have eliminated my roll top desk, so I need an all purpose storage area. I figure since I wasnt using the Chest of Drawers for clothes, I could put it to use for this.

Im getting another shelf above my washer and drier. I didn't have them do it originally, because I wouldn't have been able to easily reach things on it. But I've decided now that it could work out to be a place to store the appliances and things I don't use very often. I just need to invest in a good step ladder.

I'm also hoping when I get the china cabinet set up, that I'll have some room in the bottom of it, or in the buffet that I can put my serving plates and bowls that I've been collecting for the last few years. If so between that and the additional shelf, I may be able to clear off a whole shelving unit in my cake room. That'd be nice because then I could move it out to storage to be used there, and it would free up some more space in the room.

Since October quite a few items have come out of this room and have been thrown away or put in the garage sale pile, so I really dont have a clear idea of how much has really left. But I do know that by looking around the room that it definitely has less in it, especially randomly pilled up. And that makes me feel less stressed when I enter the room.

One lesson learned though Dont use removable labels on plastic containers. They just dont stick. I didnt look this morning, but last night there were already a few labels on the floor. Might make for an entertaining picture later. icon_smile.gif

mazz Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 3:41am
post #25 of 39

Wow you have been busy. I am afraid to post pics of my dinnining room - I have chrome shelving units on 3 of the four walls. I have over 100 wilton character pans and tons of tiered pan sets along with about a 100 cookie cutters and over a 100 candie molds. I did have an additional 40 duplicate character pans and at least 50 candy and 50 cookie cutters I put at a local auction. I know I wanted to get rid of the duplicates but I got diddle for them. I was so upset. Especially since I want to get rid of 85% of what I have in my dining room and I can't find a good way to sell it. Craigslist - people say they want pans then you email them and they want to give your $1 a pan. Ebay has been slow and with there fees going up it stinks. Maybe after income tax time it will get better. I hope so I need room. I may just do a good old yard sale and post it on craigslist or someother internet source. Anyone one know a good place to post a yard sale?

mazz Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 3:45am
post #26 of 39

Please understand I am not trying to sell my items here on Cake Central. I was just talking about uncluttering and good ways to do it. I do not want any one to get the wrong idea.

TexasSugar Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 3:07pm
post #27 of 39

Mazz, I'm pretty sure your pictures couldn't have been any worse than mine. Actually if you could have seen the room back in Oct, it was way worse. Back in the fall I removed a large selection of charater pans. I can't remember the exact count at the moment, but I'm wanting to say I had a close to, if not over 150 pans total.

The pans I removed from my collection have been put out in the storage building. My plan is to first offer them to my students to buy, I just haven't gotten around to typing out a list, then what is left will go on a garage sale. Because between my parents, and other family we have enough to make a monster garage sale.

I also already sent out like 4 boxes of candy molds, but I couldn't even tell you how many are still in the house. And of the cookie cutters I got rid of, two were 101 piece sets. I told a guy this weekend I was going through cookie cutters and that I had a bunch. I had to then go on to tell him, exactly how many a bunch was, because it sounded a little misleading to me. I mean over 500 cookie cutters has to be more than a bunch right?

In my area I think most garage sales are still advertised in the paper. The only problem with that you need a pretty good sale to make the cost of the ad worth it. So if it is a smaller sale, then I think I would try advertising it on craig's list. And if you are in a good location (get alot of traffic) that would help to.

Cake stuff and kitchen stuff seem to be the hardest for me to get rid of. I guess because I feel like I'll use it eventually, and I know that it cost alot of money. I'd love to make some money on the cake stuff I plan to sell, but there is a part of me that says you know what, sometimes you have to take the loss to feel better. I feel alot better with less stuff shoved in that room. That room doesn't cause me stress. And I'm hoping when I get finished with the house, I'll feel like doing more cakes again. Beacuse it isn't creativity inspiring when you have to spend several hours clearing off work spaces and hunting up things, just so you can 'play.'

Here are some pictures from my project last night. It was more an organization project than a declutter, since I didn't get rid of a bunch of things. But I'm happy with it. Plus I do plan to go through again and purge some more from it. And if I figure out that it is a functional idea, I may just even paint the Chest of Drawers to make it all pretty. But for now, I just want to see if my idea will work well.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2074071&id=1515707372&l=94aa67ebac

mazz Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 5:24pm
post #28 of 39

Oh my goodness you do have a lot. You have definetly have me beat by a landslide. Your students will be very lucky to buy your excess supplies . It is a win win situation . Good luck getting things just the way you want them.

TexasSugar Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 7:03pm
post #29 of 39

I had a ton, now I have a lot. icon_smile.gif Maybe one day I'll have a 'normal' amount. But for now I'm happy with how much I have.

And thank you, I need all the luck I can get to complete this process and continue staying organized. icon_smile.gif

cabecakes Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 6:05am
post #30 of 39

Why do we collect so much "stuff"? My husband is terrible about this. It is a standing joke in our family to remind him when he leaves the house to go to the store not to get stuff because "it was on sale". When we moved into this house 11 years ago, we had next to nothing to put in it. We had over double the living space we previously had. Now 11 years later, we don't have any storage room. This is definitely a project that I must undertake and soon. I just have to make sure my DH is nowhere around when I do. I know what he would say, "you can't get rid of that, I might need that." YIKES. I know I have my work cut out for me.

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