A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Friday, April 24, 2015

Decluttering the Mondo way

Gwen from The Sunny Coconut and I were swapping tales about getting rid of stuff and she posted a link to a good article from Houzz about tidying up.

The article discusses Marie Kondo's book, the life-changing magic of tidying up.  I'm sure many of you have heard about it and/or read it.  I read it and although I really liked her approach, I couldn't always follow her rules.  I couldn't start with taking all of my clothes - closets, drawers, and boxes under the bed - and going through the whole lot to limit my clothing to only what I love.

Instead, I started with my pots and pans.  I don't love cooking.  I don't entertain anymore.  And, in general, pots and pans are just a necessity.  I got rid of as many as I could.  Still had to many left.  But I felt better.  The number of pots and pans left would easily fit on my kitchen trolley so I deemed it good enough.

Since I had less attachment to pots and pans, that was a good starting place for me.  I cleaned the bathroom pantry and got rid of a few dozen articles but there wasn't really a lot because I don't collect beauty products or hair products anymore.  My makeup is contained in a plastic organizer and the few hair products I use last forever because I have short hair and it doesn't take but a dab. I'm sure if I went by how long I've had an item I could have gotten rid of a lot more but I need some jewelers glasses to see the small print before I can do that.
I went through the linens and put a few in the rag pile but again, I only keep a few sets of sheets since its just me and my bed.  I actually wouldn't mind having one set and washing them each week until they fell apart but I'm thinking that some of those sheets will make a good tepee for the grandgirls in the backyard.

Knick knacks were packed up or donated.  A few were gifts from the kids or grandkids and I wanted to think on certain ones before I let go.  I think one plastic box of beloved knick knacks in the garage is not to much.

Books.  That was hard but I took them to the local thrift.  I knew they would go to someone else to love.  I might add, that I have only one small bookshelf in my very small apartment.  That helps make decisions easier, but I truth is I have been moving into smaller and smaller homes since the kids flew the nest so I have downsized books with each move which made it easier than one big clean out.

Because my closets are so small, I have to put away the winter items in containers each year.  I've considered those zippered shelving units for the garage but that just hasn't come up on the to-do list yet.

So, we're back to clothes.  As I told you yesterday, I'm down to a dozen pieces of clothing I wear often.  Yet still there are items under those pieces that I do not wear.  A jogging bra?  When was the last time I jogged?  A slip?  I only have one dress left and it is very structured and does not require a slip.  A bathing suit?  I keep thinking I'll need one for family vacations.  I know I've packed it, but I can't remember pulling it out in a very long.... well I just can't remember the last time. I know there are some little bitty panties in there.  I don't know if they would fit but since going to high waist, high leg cut panties, I've never gone back.  So they should go along with any ratty bras that may be buried back there.

I know there is a diaper and tie-dyed t-shirt  my grandson, who is 15, wore as a baby.  Ok, sentimental value saved them from the garbage pit.

There are a couple of shirts and shorts designated as yard-work attire, but I haven't pulled them out for yard-work so they really need to go.

I have four pairs of slacks left from my working days.  I haven't tried them on and don't know if they'll fit.  They fall into that famous "I Might Need Them Someday" category.

Mondo's theory about starting with clothes because we are less attached and can get into the downsizing spirit didn't work for me but by altering it to the kitchen I was able to build a head of steam that mostly worked for me.

Now that Granddaughter #1 has found the delights of staying for several nights in a row, I really should give her her own drawer.  Maybe this article will motivate me.  I'll let you know.


  1. I so need to do this. Wanna come over and help me? I'll make the tea, coffee, or wine and we can begin. I'll feed you! (lame bribes I know)

    I never had clutter until the last couple of years. I never was in one place long enough. you have to pack and move across country every few years you learn to keep things simple, or you purge before you move. But I have lived her now 15 yrs. Longest in one spot as an adult. So I have clutter and stuff that I don't need and must purge. But I start and then look at pictures and before you know it I'm calling in my husband to look at this and that with me and we sit and reminisce and nothing gets done. :-(

    1. When I moved from my last house, it was a nightmare. There is a big difference between cleaning my drawers and emptying a house of a lifetime's worth of objects. I never want to go through that again. By the way, when you are ready, I think we should just hire a couple of college kids and sit in the chair drinking margaritas while we instruct them what to do with everything!

  2. hearing about people 'weeding out' makes me so happy!
    i love to do it even still... i have very little to get rid of. i luckily had a husband who loved my minimalist ways.
    it's usually the other way around. i finally got family and friends to not GIVE me 'things.'
    i told them that i'm not sentimental in that way... that they lived in my HEART. and if they came to visit and didn't see it...
    not to have hurt feelings. now they give things that can be eaten or enjoyed as an experience! and it's the same kind of gifts i give.
    i loved kondo's book. i like how she thanks her home. . . and the few things in it.
    one of my favorite books was written years ago by elaine st. james . . . it's a small book too. you might have come across it.
    the title is 'simplify your life' ... 100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter'. if you haven't read it... it's worth it!
    and ... even this minimalist was hanging onto a bathing suit that i didn't wear last summer and likely was not going to wear THIS summer!!! so OUT it went last week!!! LOL. it feels SO GOOD. xo

    1. My need for organization comes from my family. My mother, one sister, my son and daughter and their father are, let's just say messy. My other sister and I used to come home from my Mother's house and immediately start cleaning our houses. I had a boyfriend once that kept his garage so clean you could eat off the floor. He said his dad's workshop was a wreck and that it drove him crazy as a kid. I'm sure there is really more to it than if your home was neat or messy. Maybe I'll research it someday. Until then, I'm going to keep decluttering.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out and link, Barbara! I'm also not following her premise to a T, but it has got me motivated and going. My post today tackles the subject of sentimental mementos. That can really slow down our progress if we aren't careful, too. This isn't a one day project, and there are layers. (after all the stuff gets done, then the papers get done, then how do I better display the most precious mementos, etc.) It's fun though, and already rewarding after the very first day!

    Thanks again!

    1. Sentimental mementos is the hardest. I have a 101 Dalmations coffee cup in my bathroom that my grandson gave me eons ago. The handle is broken off, there is a big chunk missing on the lip, but I can't toss it. I keep my toothbrushes in it and everytime I brush my teeth I think of that little fellow picking out a coffee cup for me all by himself. I can't give you any good tips on this part of decluttering. Somethings are worth a million dollars.

  4. Since this book seemed so popular, I got it out of the library. But I didn't really get inspired to dooooo, from it. Which of course, can be my problem, and not the author's!!!! -grin-

    You are way ahead of the game, to start with. Having downsized before, you are mostly 'golden'. But of course, no matter how great we get, at simplifying, we can always do some more. (Except she says that her way, we'll never have to play catch up again. -sigh-)

    I use our library system, for books. We have some 'keepers'... But it's the library for us. When I read about people having "zillions" of books, it kind of amazes me!!!! -grin-

    Onward to having only what we love and use!!!!! :-)


    1. I confess that I was still buying books until I moved to this apartment. I wanted the pleasure of possessing the booik and no pressure about when they were due. Now it is very rare I buy a book. It is usually only if the library doesn't carry it and then I will sell it on Amazon after I have finished. I do love books and if I could I'd have a good old english library but that is only in dreamland and like you, will not stop me from getting most books I want from the library.

  5. That will be a task for me when I get back to my house in VT. Florida house is pretty streamlined and I love it.

  6. Barbara, you da (wo)man! I find it hard to declutter sometimes because I don't SEE the stuff. Isn't it weird how we're blind to things we're around all day? Sometimes I concentrate on one area alone, and that helps keep me focused. I like your idea of doing areas that have less emotional pull (like your pots and pans). That's a great idea. I've not read that book, but I guess at some point I should check it out. And I'm with Tessa on the books. I have the ones I love, but there's the whole library for the rest!

    Take care and have a lovely weekend!