1.01.2014

100 things








Happy New Year from slight hangover land here.  I thought I'd start the first day of this spanking new year with a 100 things challenge.  In less than 5 minutes I've accumulated 39 things that were in drawers or cabinets that need to be gone.  From receipts, magazines, nail polish (which will be donated) to gift bags and grocery bags...they were stored somewhere in this small house.  I haven't even touched the medicine box or under the kitchen sink.  By the end of the day there will no doubt be 100 items.  So may I suggest you get up from wherever you are and take a run through your house and see what you come up with.  Or not, because really who cares but if you like this sort of thing...ready, set, go.

78 comments:

  1. I did that last week, I was utterly ruthless, clearing out is one of my favourite things, though I tend towards the obsessive on it, nothing obsolete lasts long here -clutter is a stranger to my house!

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  2. i purge so often I don't think I could find 100 things right now. But I do love this kind of thing!

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  3. Love it.

    I'm going vegan for the month of January (possibly longer) thanks in large part to inspiration from you. Love your blog, Janet!

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  4. I have been purging as I'm taking down Christmas decorations. I'm planning on passing a lot on to my four children. I think we can get a better idea of the size of your cottage kitchen in this photo. From this angle, your kitchen looks smaller than other photos I have seen. I would love to know the dimensions. I cook in an 8 ft. x 8 ft. space and do OK!

    Isabella

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  5. Happy new year!! I'm up for it today...as soon as the game is over with. I will probably be closer to 200. Since Chad is not here to check the trash cans ... purging is so much more fun!

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  6. Drawers. I'm attacking drawers. Does it have to be just 100?

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  7. Awesome challenge, Janet! We are away visiting our son and daughter-in-love, but will begin this as soon as we are home! Maybe a 100 a week for January and beyond. After almost 44 years of marriage and 26 years in this house....should be easy peasy! Happy 2014!

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  8. I find decluttering relaxing. One thing has me stumped, however. Sometimes things seem perfectly fine at the end of the day but the next day there seems to be more clutter. Sort of like those self-replicating Star Trek Tribbles from years ago.

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  9. haha...Oh I love to do this kind of stuff! Thanks for the inspiration...I know I could get to 100 easily!

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  10. I promise I will do it when I finish my tea and Mary Poppins! Great idea!

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  11. love it! i'm in : )
    here's another variation:
    sometimes when i'm staring at a messy desk or kitchen counter,
    i will choose the 3 easiest things to put away {or give away, or throw away}. then another 3 things... then another:
    "one~two~three... one~two~three... one~two~three..."
    it helps to break up the mess, untie the knot, gets the chi {qi} flowing.
    most importantly, it ends my procrastination.
    happy new year, janet!! ♥

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  12. I love this game. I'm also in hangover land, it's a bit worse than slight I'm afraid. I had 5 glasses of wine over 5 hours but I have to remember I am a cheap drunk.
    I'm going to be clearing out over the next few days as I have a donate truck coming on Monday morning, here we go I'm ready to attack now and be quite ruthless. Channeling you and Tabs!
    Have a great day!

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    1. mine is worse than i originally thought too dani. oy.

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  13. I could so do this...

    Maybe I will!

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  14. I could probably do 100 per room. You're my idol.

    Happy New Year!

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  15. Right there sista. I've been off for 8 days. 1000's of items have left my house. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!

    xo J

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  16. We had two Brambles followed by several glasses of wine over appies a main and dessert from 7 until midnight and never even opened the champagne! Drank LOTS of water and no fuzzy head.
    I do this purging one drawer/cupboard at a time. It keeps me on top of clutter as we only have a few places to store stuff.
    I did my fridge and pantry cupboards the week before Xmas and I was shocked at how many things needed to be tossed!
    Like how you are seizing the day...

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  17. Okay, this couldn't be more timely for me. I'd read something about this sort of thing once. Sounds like it works. Because when you have SO MUCH clutter, it's easier to put your head in the sand or take off in the car or something...just too overwhelming...and I can't do that because I'm a grown-up, "adult responsibilities before adult pleasures." Thanks for another great tip and Happy New Year. Zero clutter equals very happy, right?

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  18. Great idea! If not 100 items, just set a 15 minute timer and gather what you're able to de-clutter. And look...you found a new direction from which to photograph your house!! :) I'm off to gather some untouched items. Happy New Year!

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  19. I really enjoy doing this but I have to wait until my hoarder husband has left the building. Ha Ha!

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  20. Does it make me really OCD that I started (serreptitiously!) doing this on Christmas day? Don't answer that! Happy new year, I look forward to reading about your inspiring philosophies and adventures in 2014.

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    1. Seems normal to me too..but I started on Thanksgiving. :)

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  21. I have 2 huge trash bags full, probably about 50 things, along with a multitude of items I either tossed or recycled. I am shocked, like you, as someone who does not have much, that I have so much. LOL Thanks for the inspiration. Going back in!!!

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    1. laughing at...going back in. :) haha

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    2. I came out alive...and with even more stuff!! WOOT WOOT!!!

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    3. What do you guys do with what you accumulate on the decluttering? Do you stash it somewhere until you have enough to have a yard sale, to make a little bit of money? Or do you just donate it or toss it as you go and forget about making any money on the stuff? I have enough to have multiple garage sales/yard sales and it IS time-consuming but I give enough away and will always donate...along the way, though, if I can pick up a little cash...

      My husband thinks yard sales are a waste of time and effort. I need opinions...anybody...

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    4. Vicki -
      I'm not sure if this is true, but I read somewhere that you would actually make more money if you donate the items (get receipt) and file them on your taxes. I despise yard sales so I donate everything. Good luck!

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    5. Thanks. My husband agrees entirely. A friend called me today and said in a nearby town, there are second-hand furniture stores and she doesn't know if it's consignment or how it works, but I'm going to look at that. There's also another store there that is all second-hand dishes/china/serveware and small decor for home. I have to haul it over there but, on a few things, I think it could be worth it. On the little stuff, my husband says, "forget it; donate." I'm thinking on it. Like I said, I donate lots of stuff already. I've got four big bags of donations right now sitting in my foyer. I had a lucky friend who was downsizing and the neighbor knew of an assisted living center who was looking to furnish four of the rooms as "respite" apartments, like to transition someone from surgery to covalescence before going home, who doesn't want to do that in a actual convalescent home environment, or for like when you might have an elderly parent you're caring for but you've just gotta get away and take a vacation from it, so a respite rental is somewhere which seems like a home environment and not a hospital room although every possible service is available for the ailing/elderly person...anyway, the gal from the assisted living place came in and bought the whole lot of furniture from this acquaintance of mine who was downsizing...beds, nightstands, dressers, chest of drawers, sofas, chairs, tables. Not only moved it and trucked it out of there, but wrote them a big check. That's another idea I am rolling around in my head. I'd been guided, too, by more than one person who said that sometimes you can find some kind of "dealers" (I don't know what the title is) who will come in, look at your stuff, and buy it as a lot, one price. I guess that might be common in estate situations. I have a book dealer in town who does that...will say he'll buy the deceased person's home library of like 1000 books for one price, and then he of course re-sells them on the secondhand market. Sigh. I guess I'll figure it out once I sort it all. Ugh.

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  22. Still in my Jammie's, but I have a vision and a plan! Thanks for a little push...for tomorrow. :)

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  23. Now this is a great idea Janet! I think I could do this once a week for the next year - help clean out the hoard! :) Thank you for continuing to inspire.
    xoxo,
    A
    Happy New Year!

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  24. Okay, I'm going to have a go at this! (It won't be easy, I was a war baby, we never get rid of anything in case it comes in useful!)

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  25. sounds like a good project for the next couple of days as more snow is forecast for the area.
    Darby

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  26. Wish I had read this earlier. I could have worked on it all day and started the New Year off right. Instead, I slept. Just can't party like I used to. And I was home at 10pm.

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  27. I have been doing something like this every year for a while now. Last year I finally got down to the nitty gritty. Even what we eat has been pared down over time. Toward the end I was ruthless - electronic stuff went too ... but your blog survived :) It's been therapeutic, satisfying and liberating and I encourage your followers to give it a go.

    A happy new year to you and yours. And thank you for your lovely blog.

    Spud.

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  28. Just returned with dirty hands, spending 5 hours at the office, cleaning out. Yay!
    For those who are too intimidated by 100 things: I highly recommend the Fly Ladies "27-fling Boogie".

    What a good new year this already has become :-)

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  29. I have been purging all week, ruthlessly and I still just purged 100 items in one room in :30 minutes! I'm shocked, as I already purged this room. I'm going to try to do 100 items per room this week. I'm finding that I just want to get rid of clutter NOW, I don't like shopping in malls or chain stores anymore, and I'm seeing how we all fall prey to consumerism. Less is definitely more, now back to purging...

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    1. I wish my husband would read this blog. He thinks it is a "Vicki" problem, all the consumerism over the past years. He actually told the moving van people that I'm a hoarder, which I have made him pay for dearly (said in jest, but he went over the line with that one). I'm trying to tell him that many of us fell victim to it and are trying to do damage control now, so at least throw us a bone. I've said it before, but one of my hardest things is that I was "heir" to so many things from so many relatives, so it's emotional; I feel so guilty to get rid ot their precious things they entrusted with me. He just doesn't get that. But I'm finally ready to let the stuff go. I think I just can't quite realize yet the liberation I'll feel when I'm not weighed down by other people's belongings. The other thing that stumbles me is that I remember what I paid for something...of my own stuff...and it just kills me to dump it when I think of the wasted money. I have to keep saying to myself, "move on, move on." because the sooner it's in my rearview, the better. But it definitely grates on me. I'm just not there yet like the rest of you. I'm struggling.

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    2. I've struggled too, Vicki. It was a slow start for me too, because I kept thinking of the money wasted or who would be offended. I had to put a lot of thought into it and decided to not let these things rob me of my freedom anymore, so I gave "family things" back to family, and I got the courage to remove everything except the things I love or need. I loaded them in the trunk of my car, said to myself "It's only things" and donated them! The relief I felt was incredible! I also made a promise to myself to not make these mistakes again and to carefully choose my purchases for now on. I still have work to do, but I have come so far and it motivates me to keep going. Hope this helps.

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    3. you guys are both on the right track. we really have to do what is best for ourselves. no two people will be able to do this exactly the same. it takes time and thought and when you are ready to let go you will. if you do it before you are ready you will most likely suffer regret but if you are ready you will never look back. i think we underestimate just how good we will feel when it is all gone and instead dwell on the anxiety at hand while deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. once you experience it though...it's so good you will never go back. well this is my experience at least. :)

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    4. thanks to you both...I notice that a common word to decribe decluttering/downsizing is "relief" - I was talking with a friend about it today and she said her #1 2014 'resolution' is to declutter her 7000 sqft McMansion which seemed so sparse of furniture and belongings when she moved into it in 1996 but is now crammed. She said they filled it up so quickly that it was almost shocking. Here's a space; fill it up. Interestingly, she (who is not actually a collector or gatherer!) said that a big culprit to her disorganization has been menopause, when she was zapped with zero energy and crushing fatigue...for years. Like me, as cancer survivors, she can't take any kind of hormone replacement therapy (not that we would anyway/maybe), so you have to tough that stutt out and I'm sort of staggered right now how I have days where I feel like I can't even lift a spoon, although I'm sure it will get better. Point is, it kills your momentum. I'm really going to try to optimize nighttime sleep and whatever else I can do to create/conserve energy, work hard at the best times of my day and really move on it, though, because I want/crave that relief of a clutter-free life. The anxiety-at-hand (Janet) is really key...the getting through that the sooner the better. I've been mourning the loss of my home (sold it when I really didn't want to but rather HAD to) but, curiously, now that each day passes, I'm mourning it less, to my surprise. Maybe as humans we really do rally to the present and future instead of wallowing in the past. I do think of things I've donated and sort of wish I still had them, but they are few; however, like with clothes, I have to remember, they didn't fit, or they looked good on the hanger but not on me, etc. Anyway, I think some of us, our personalities, probably have a harder time letting go of a lot of things, not just material objects, so we have to fight against that aspect harder than somebody else who isn't that way.

      All this encouragement is so helpful; thank you!

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  30. 1. I adore accessorizing a room or outfit but allergic to clutter, there is a difference and you totally understand
    2. Obessed with organizing and decluttering - my Mom padlocks her closets when I visit, well you know what that means

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  31. When the mood hits and I need to declutter, I think.....am I using this....have I used this in the last year.........do I love it. If the answer is no.......off it goes. So liberating.

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  32. Love it. I took a yoga workshop earlier this year that was about feng shui and vastu. We were given a purification exercise where you literally get rid of 27 things every day for 9 days (243 things!) and 9 days after that your life will start to change. The rule of thumb is if you don't love it, if it no longer feels like you, if it is broken and beyond repair, if it is expensive and carries emotional weight to it, if it doesn't make you feel amazing or if it is is beautiful but makes you feel lousy….get rid of it! I did that in July and really had a positive shift in my life. Ready to do it again this month. Happy New Year!

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    1. This was a very helpful comment for me. I've read a lot about feng shui; I believe in it but just haven't been able to incorporate it into my life. I don't know what vastu is. It's been years since I took yoga. My yoga classes were 90 minutes long and I would actually fall asleep in the middle of the class. it was so embarrassing.

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  33. I am IN! I was feeling overtired all day today from excess eating, drinking, socializing, our kids' Christmas presents cluttering the house. Getting rid of the excess might help me feel better! Then I'll probably make a corn husk wreath while sipping a cup of tea. Tonight is a perfect night to treat ourselves with something slow and meditating to reset my mind :) Thanks for the idea.

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  34. I cannot tell you how glad I am to find others out there like myself. Clutter drives me crazy! And in the midst of a million other things to do - I took a few minutes today to clean out the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. So it's a funny coincidence that you posted about this. I visited a family member over the holidays (a very close family member) who lives in the messiest house I have ever seen. It motivated me to come home and de-clutter my home even more. Now, I live in a pretty tidy house. But I work 50 hours a week and things do get messy. So I guess my question to you is, how do you keep up when you work full time? And do you find it difficult to clean and de-clutter when other family members are around? Just curious.

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    1. Michelle, I work full time as well and we have a young son. I find a little a day helps, even if it's just trying to get everything back in it's rightful spot. It might be something as simple as a wiping down the kitchen counter and cabinets- 15 minutes and that's all I get to. I have found having less has been great because I am to the point where everything has it's place and I still have some wiggle room.

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    2. hi michelle. i only work part time so there is that. but like heather, i do a little every day. i don't find it hard to clean or declutter b/c it's only us 2 here now. but i never let having 3 boys stop me either. if it wasn't nailed down it was in danger of getting tossed out. :)

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    3. Ah, there's the answer to my question. Three boys! Awesome!

      There's another side to this that just occurred to me. I know we're all doing some joking around here, although it's an important subject. But I had an ex-boyfriend/fiance whose mother was overboard on decluttering. He'd collect little things he loved like rocks or shells; boy things. He'd have them on his nightstand or in his chest of drawers. He'd come home from school and it would all be gone; he said, "she wouldn't even ask me; she would just throw out my things that were special to me." It was five kids; they didn't have much as it was. I was with him when he was in his late 20s and this was still a big issue with him; he had a lot of resentment toward his mother. I have to say she was kind of a fanatic; plastic covers on the lampshades and plastic sheets on the new carpet so nobody would walk on it for awhile. He would almost cry when he would talk about her excessive purging; she even tossed out the dog. I'm serious. Somewhere in here is a balance of course, like in all things. The other thing she would do was constantly change his room around; move the furniture and all that. He said it was so disorienting and would make him feel uncomfortable; like his own room was never familiar to him when he needed a bit of sanctuary. To me, it sounds like an issue of respect. I think my husband has been very respectful long enough about my clutter. It's finally come to a head with him, but I get it. 'Cause it has gotten to me, too. But at least he went a long time without harassing me about it. I've had some illness/surgery over the past 7 or 8 months and he had to go thru a lot of my stuff to pack it and move it, since we relocated. I'm sure he threw out things I'll think of from time to time and wonder what happened to it. But, for the most part, he's been respectful. I do think it's awfully hard to have one spouse be a minimalist and the other one not a minimalist...gotta meet somewhere in the middle...

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    4. Vicki- I so get that!!! My son helps me with his room. So his little treasures and what nots are his choice. He cleans out his room 4x a year and I work with him but I have only forced his hand once. He was given a huge garbage bag of those battery operated dinosaurs that a HUGE. He played with them once and they sat on the shelf, surviving 2 cleanings. I finally made the choice to get rid of them. I have given him little boxes for all his collections and shown him how to organize them all. He also choose his room color and theme. I don't do "themes" in the house but he is a kid and he is having fun.

      Hubby is laid back, so as long as I am not just tossing to toss, he is good with our simple minimal home. In the beginning, he thought I was a little weird but now he likes the ease of cleaning and packing up for a trip in a snap. For his items, I ask him to sort, that is all. He trashes what he wants and I organize what is left. We work well together.

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    5. That's so sane; sensible; respectful. Loving. Good mom! Good wife! And that's an important aspect of decluttering...the ability to clean swiftly and thoroughly. Can't do that with too much STUFF. Thanks for the good perspective. I so want to be smart like you and the other readers here.

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    6. Eventually, I will just break 'em down!!! LOL

      I truly believe in living the example and others will follow. Like I said, hubby thought I was nuts at first but he is slowly coming to the dark side (insert evil laugh here) ;)

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  35. Recently when I was checking out at the grocery store, the man behind me watched and then said, "You're so organized!" and I laughed and said, "Yes. I'm not working anymore so this is my job." At the time I meant it in a sort of apologetic way - that I don't have a real job, etc. But I've thought of it again several times because this describes the sense of accomplishment I now feel everyday. I KNOW what is coming in and out of this house day by day and I'm in control. Even though I have WAY less money to work with, it accomplishes so much more. Wow! After 34 years of marriage and 28 years in the same house, I never thought I would have the opportunity to feel this! With gratitude. And great expectations for an even better 2014.

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    1. omgosh, i organize my grocery basket too. haha

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    2. How could anyone NOT place the cans on the bottom and the lettuce and mushrooms on top?
      ;-)
      Call me in!

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  36. That is exactly what i did today. I started with the fridge and pantry then worked my way into my bathroom cabinet, vanity and drawers. Happy New Year!

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  37. We just sold our larger home and I purchased a much smaller fixer, which is not ready, so all my stuff is in THREE moving truck size storage units. THREE. FULL. Egads! And, I purged before the move. Thought I could fit it in just one, but I obviously should be the proud owner of T-shirt sporting the phrase "head in the sand." Now, nothing comes back in that is not used regularly, is a pic or scrapbook, or is an heirloom. What single person REALLY needs 100 wine glasses? Im eyerolling at myself. Thanks for reinforcing that the beginning of 2014 is an awesome starting point.

    Love your blog (oh, and your hair cut). Please don't go away.

    And, jeally of your hangover. Spent the holiday cleaning grout. I like your use of time better than mine.

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    1. OMG, I have a twin. Lor! This is me. Just sold the larger place and now have a plain little house that needs tons of remodeling, so the contents are in PODS, sheds, garage. Isn't it awful? I don't have 100 wine glasses but I think I must have ten sets of dishes and I know I have at least six big sets of silverplate knives/forks/spoons from all the relatives. We won't talk about the number of books. In the end, there wasn't enough time to do the kind of purging a person MUST do BEFORE the move and, you know, those storage units are darn expensive, aren't they. I'm glad I'm not the only person in the world who maybe didn't do things in quite the correct order! My other problem: paper. I make too many copies of things. I'm with you: 2014 HAS to be THE year for change. And it's feeling good. I'm ready. Feeling a little uneasy/doubtful I can do what I need to do, yet ready and WANTING to do right.

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  38. I like this idea a lot. I'll try it.

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  39. I am up to 50 items so far! Still need to attack a few more drawers on the 1st floor. Thank you for the challenge it really motivated me.

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  40. In England we say, "Ready, Steady, Go!" I don't know why but it just amused me to see it another way. Happy 2014!

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  41. I need to do this. I made a start the other day and found three things for the charity bag, god knows there is a whole lot more! I love seeing your gorgeous stylish home and btw.... by my standards, it is not small

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  42. Great challenge. I was a little hungover yesterday, coming down with a cold and experiencing menstrual cramps so I wasn't up for this at all. I'm still low key today. I will be decluttering though, very soon. I've already attacked my clothes closet before New Years.

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  43. Hey Janet, I was browsing your blog archives and I saw a post where you mention you and Larry eat for just $50 a week. How do you accomplish this? I guess a whole-foods based diet sans meat is pretty cost effective, but $50/week for two is pretty spectacular. I am trying to make inroads with my debts this year and I'm trying to shore up the grocery budget. Thanks! You inspire on so many levels. :)

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    1. yes, that is my average. not buying meat, dairy or eggs is a big help. making my own bread helps too. i really need to do a post on this. but you can see from the recipes i post we eat simply. breakfast is almost always oatmeal and lunch and dinner consists of lots of soups, salads, potatoes, beans and rice. does this help?

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    2. Helps a lot. I just read on my home page that food is going up again this year, along with loans and taxes, medical insurance, college...gee, what else, LIFE.

      I think meat is awfully expensive. I eat little to none but my husband is a big Midwest-raised farmboy who eats a lot of meat and it's the biggest part of the food bill along with cereal. I'm going to start making my own granola/granola bars. I'm trying-trying to develop a liking for oatmeal. Yes, Janet, please, do a post on this! It's a good thing you and Larry are compatible on the menus; my husband and I are miles apart on that; I don't think I can change him. The only veggie he eats is a canned green bean. His only fruit is OJ. Neither of us do dairy anymore, though...except for me and my nonfat Greek yogurt, which I'm thinking also to maybe move away from; I do miss cheddar cheese, so if you have any good subs for that, I'm all ears.

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    3. Vickie, I enjoy your comments and thoughts. Your writing is so easy to read and enjoyable. I'm in that same situation of downsizing and struggling over what to do with family junk that loads on the guilt.
      We shall do this together and move on to a better way of life. Janet has been the Supreme Leader for us and we shall do her proud. Best to you and really...I would love to follow you on your blog. Kathleen.

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    4. i agree kathleen. she really has a lot to say and says it so well. come on vicki....start a blog!!!

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    5. Oh dear. I'm hogging Janet's blog, aren't I. I'm sorry! I just get so wound up and inspired and motivated by Janet's posts and her readers. Very timely for me.

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    6. I envy people who live in an environment, where meat is more expensive than vegetables. I don't eat meat, but it makes me feel sick when I see cheap meat in the grocery store.
      Yay to expensive meat!

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    7. Vicki, I always enjoy your comments. I feel such a sense of community here at The Gardener's Cottage, and I love coming back to read replys. This project has really motivated me, like I'm on a de-cluttering team. I would love to see more on this topic :)

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  44. I soooooo need to do this! Thanks for the reminder.

    ~D
    http://bmorebungalow.blogspot.com/

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  45. 1 more garbage bag full, going to push myself to get one more bag by tomorrow. This is great!!! Very motivating.

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  46. It all looks AMAZING :) I hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday.

    Check out my new post...Cute Swedish Curtain inspiration :)

    Have a fab day.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - Swedish decor, food, and fashion

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kindness is never out of style.