TGU, Week 1


The first week of The Great Unclutter is over, and was a great success. I met my goal of 35 items easily, and got one room of our apartment whipped into shape. All that remains in there is a quick wipe-down of the tabletops, and a run through with the vacuum, and the living room will look like a whole new space.

Here’s what was removed during Week 1:

  • A huge stack of colouring, potato-print gift wrap, and other paper-crafts from a Brownies camp we did in the fall. I counted this stack as 1 item, and it’s all getting recycled.
  • A variety of magazines, also recycled and also counting as 1 item.
  • 5 different packs, puffers or bottles of embarrassingly expired medication. I’m talking 2005, people. That means that the expired meds have moved with me at least 3 times since they expired. Yikes! Also, 3 old puffers that are used up and have been kicking around the bathroom cupboards. These are heading to the pharmacy, where they will be recycled/disposed of safely through the Medications Return Program.
  • A giant candy cane we were given at Christmas. I think we were both just candy-caned out by the time we got it, so it never got eaten, and now is just looking sad and out-of-season. This was trashed.
  • At least 15 bottles and cans that are heading for recycling.
  • A mirror I used to hang when I lived in the dorms at UBC, but don’t need anymore. It’s seen better days, and it’s made of non-recyclables, so it’s going in the garbage.
  • A bag full of red ribbon, from an old World AIDS Day project, which is going to go to the craft cupboard for my Brownie group.
  • The giant piece of cardboard in which my grad photos were mailed.
  • Two phone books from 2005/2006, which were here when we moved in. Since we moved in, we’ve received 4 more. The remaining extras will go in NEXT week’s count, only because our recycling bag is full.
  • One stack of duplicate photos destined for recycling.
  • One stack of duplicate photos to be offered to the subjects of said photos, and then recycled if not taken.
  • Three pairs of sandals which are dead and need to be thrown out before I’m tempted to wear them when the weather gets better. They look nasty and they’ll hurt my feet, so the garbage can is calling their names!

Total items removed this week: 36/35

Last night, I had a reminder of why this is an excellent time to get decluttered in Vancouver. We live in a basement suite, and in the spring and summer, that means that we get invaded by house spiders. They are gross, speedy, and scare the living shit out of me, even though they aren’t particularly harmful. My reaction is still as swift as last year – I literally FLEW off the couch, grabbed the closest shoe and smote that little fucker. The cleaner and less cluttered our apartment gets, the less hospitable it will be for the house spiders. I will GLADLY trade less “stuff” for fewer spiders – it sounds like an excellent deal to me!

The decluttering also inspired me to get cracking on some other chores and unfinished tasks, which is how our living room got a thorough tidying up. Here’s what else got done, just on Sunday:

  • at least 3 loads of laundry – this may not sound like much, but it is for me. I HATE doing laundry and have enough clothes to keep me going without laundry for a LONG time.
  • rearranged our DVDs and Wii games so that our DVD and CD binders and board games can fit safely on the same shelf.
  • found my GST cheque from January, which I thought I had cashed. Yay for a surprise $60!
  • emptied all the garbage cans in the apartment and got most of the recycling ready for garbage day. (Note: need to find out if Vancouver will accept shredding in the recycling.)
  • finished labelling a huge stack of photos, and got half of them put away into a photo-holder box.

All in all, I’d say Week 1 of TGU was a great success, and I can’t wait to see what I accomplish this coming week. My focus this coming week is on this strange little area behind our living room – we have a couple chairs kicking around in that area, but it isn’t really useful for anything – and on our kitchen table. They’ve both become dumping grounds for random items, jackets, purses, shoes, etc. I have a feeling that Week 2’s 35 items will not be a challenge, if I work through these two areas.


2 Responses to “TGU, Week 1”

  1. Dude, you rock. Way to go!

  2. 2 Laura

    Wow, that’s fantastic to hear! Keep up the great work! 😀
    I just got rid of a bunch of toiletries that I have been lugging around with me for the past 4 moves – feels good for them to be GONE! haha

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