Ding-dong the upstairs is done! This weekend I continued my plan to gradually declutter my home by tackling the spare bedroom. Remember how I often lament that it’s silly we have so much space because we literally don’t use our spare bedroom, well we do use it for one thing: Keeping stuff we don’t know what to do with. Yes we kept the door closed 100% of the time, but the room definitely wasn’t empty.
To be honest, I’ve been avoiding dealing with this room for MONTHS because it had so much random stuff in it. I knew I didn’t need any of that stuff, but I wasn’t willing to sit down and actually sort through it. This weekend I stopped avoiding, and dealt with it.
Oh and just for reference, whenever I say “tossed” or “axed” or “eliminated” below, I mean that the items in question are going into one of three piles:
- A donation pile
- A garbage/recycle pile
- A rehome pile (for items that might belong to other people who might want them back)
We try VERY hard to divert stuff from landfills, so the majority of our stuff ends up in piles 2 and 3. Let’s start with the closet shall we? Here is a before photo that I’m thoroughly embarrassed to share with you:
This closet stores our blankets, our suitcases and travel bags, and, for some reason, a bunch of toys. We had too much of all of those three categories, so I pulled everything out of the closet and started going through it. All of the toys got tossed into our Goodwill pile. They were discards from my husband’s childhood home but they were actually his sister’s toys so he didn’t have any emotional attachment to them. We did save one that looked particularly well loved and added it to our rehoming pile in case she wants it back.
Where the blankets were concerned, I had a lot that had added up as Christmas presents over the years so we axed about half of our collection (though we still have enough to survive a Canadian winter without heat in my opinion). Most of the rest deserved a good laundering so I marched them straight downstairs and into the washing machine.
The suitcases and bags were also pretty out of hand. We use our suitcases and bags a lot while moving, so I don’t mind keep a good selection around as long as they don’t take up too much space. Unfortunately as you can see our suitcases had expanded to take up the entire two bottom shelves so we needed to pare things down. In the end we decided to keep:
- 1 large suitcase
- 1 medium sized suitcase
- 1 small suitcase (my go-to for travelling)
- 2 book bags (mine + his)
- 1 small hiking backpack
- 1 messenger bag
- 1 gym bag.
I reconfigured them to fit inside each other and now they take up much less space, but we still have a bag for every occasion. I think in a year I’ll reassess and get rid of any bags we haven’t used between now and then, because that collection still seems excessive.
Now, here’s the finished product:
We had so much room leftover in the closet that I moved my husband’s wine making supplies into the bottom shelf. I’ve also got big plans for those top shelves, I’m thinking board game storage. The blanket shelf looks very empty but will actually be a lot more full after I’m done washing blankets. After the closet was done we rode our momentum to the rest of the room:
The Rest of the Room
Oh the horror! Seriously, I’m a bad minimalist. On the floor you’ll find a variety of stuff including:
- A blue bag full of Goodwill items that never made it to Goodwill.
- A Lululemon bag that contains all of my worldly memories.
- A cardboard box containing school stuff from my husband’s high school days.
- A blue suitcase full of my old university stuff.
- A Lululemon bag full of winter hats, gloves and scarves.
- A quilt and blanket from when I changed over to my new duvet cover a few weeks ago and didn’t bother dealing with the leftovers.
- Random Christmas decorations and wrapping paper.
- A mattress that we are storing for our landlord.
- A sock. (wtf?)
Having my husband help out made a big difference and this point, because I was getting a little bored of this exercise. But we both just sat down and went through everything. I tackled my university suitcase, he went through his cardboard box of school stuff, and kept on going from there.
Finally, we got the floor cleared, and now it looks like this:
Now the only things left on the floor is the mattress (cause where’s that gonna go?) and my husband’s wine corker, which wouldn’t fit in the closet. I also took the time to dust, vacuum, scrub the floors and strip the cat-hair laden single bed in the corner. Doesn’t it just look so much better?
At this point, I paused and took this picture because I was super proud of my accomplishment for the day, but also a little sad because cleaning up this room reminded me of what a beautiful place this house is, and I’ll likely never find a place in Halifax with half as much charm (look at that window!) for less than double the rent I’m paying now. Oh well though, with that I closed the door on our spare bedroom and I’m hoping I won’t open it again until it’s time for the big move.
Did you tackle any big decluttering projects this weekend? I want to know!