Today’s post is the last in a series that has chronicled a massive declutter/purge of items from my apartment. So far, I’ve removed 105 clothing/shoe/bag items, 70 books and office supplies, and 110 other random household objects from my home. In those three posts alone, I surpassed my goal to get rid of at least 250 items in total, so anything in this last post is just a bonus.
I need to start by saying that, before tackling my bathroom, I honestly believed I didn’t have that much “stuff” in the cupboard under my sink. I thought I’d find a few bottles of shower gel, some travel-sized containers and an extra lotion or two… but that’s about it. After pulling everything out, I was stunned to find I owned all of that + dozens of other items. Seriously, I filled the sink to give you a visual.
The tricky thing about purging items from your bathroom is that, unlike random decor items on your shelves or old clothes in your closet, there is a good chance you’ll use this stuff one day. And since you’ve already paid money for it, should you really toss it? Or should you take inventory, keep it and make a plan to use it? I did a little of both. If any bottle was almost empty or just looked old, it got tossed (read: cleaned out and recycled). If any item was brand new but I knew would never be used, I put it in a small bag (and filled that bag). Everything leftover was put back in the cupboard under the sink, with all travel-sized containers (and nail polish remover) in the basket and everything else in the bag. It was as easy as that.
When I started, I had 121 items in my bathroom and linen closet. I removed 50 items, or 41% of what I originally owned, and kept 71. Not bad…
Into the final room we go: the kitchen. You may remember that the idea for this purge stemmed from one frustrating moment of not being able to find my can opener. Well, here’s the drawer it was supposed to be in. (And funnily enough, it’s not even in these pictures, because it was in the dishwasher – oops!)
I think everyone has a drawer like this; where you keep a mix of things you do/don’t use, but never bother to go through it and see what you could get rid of? But I actually use most of what’s in this drawer, except for that bag of 30+ clips strewn around the back. (I kissed most of those goodbye and put a few in a container.)
The rest of my kitchen purge was tougher to chronicle through pictures, because it simply involved removing 1-2 items from each cupboard/drawer/countertop. I got rid of 2 small appliances, 4 cookbooks, 5 bowls, 5 mugs, 3 extra cutting boards, a strainer, a few cloths, and lots of random odds and ends. It started to add up quickly, but the total number of items I kept is still fairly high. Actually, the number almost bothered me at first, but I love to cook, I have a well-stocked kitchen and I do use everything I kept. So, I guess that’s the way it works in my home: kitchen items trump clothes/shoes/bags!
When I started, I had 170 items in my kitchen (not including food/oils/spices). I removed 42 items, or 25% of what I originally owned. Just for fun, and because it’s my favourite room in the house, here’s what my kitchen looks like now:
I’m in love with my gas range. Love love love.
On the side countertop, I have two cards I bought for $2 in San Francisco last summer, each in a $5 frame from IKEA. Jose, the littlest penguin, also hangs out in my kitchen. He moved here from Mexico a few years ago. Not seen in this picture: my kettle or beloved French press.
I removed a total of 92 items from these last two rooms. When I started this process, however, I had a total of 904 items in my apartment – crazy, right!? After decluttering and deciding what to keep/toss/donate, I removed a total of 377 items, which means I CUT DOWN MY BELONGINGS BY 42%! And I’m still alive to tell the tale, which shows that none of it was important or essential in my daily life.
I have to admit, there are a few spots in my apartment that look a little bare. However, when I walk around and do all my daily tasks, I can see that I still have more than what I actually need! So, I have a new goal: from now until the end of the year, I want to continue to purge until I’m left with no more than 452 items – half of what I originally owned. Since I plan on donating more books and using up all the products in my bathroom, I don’t think this will be too difficult, but that is another 75 items that need to go. Eek!
The spreadsheet started to get messy, so let’s just leave it at this:
- Towels, face cloths, bath mat, etc.: 18
- Bathroom products (shampoo, soap, lotion, razors, sunscreen, etc.): 53
- Small kitchen appliances: 7
- Everything else (plates, cups, utensils, cookware, etc.): 121
Approved Shopping List
There is nothing I’ll need to buy for either room, in the next year. Well, unless my Magic Bullet dies.
I’m so glad this project is over! While I’m going to continue to purge a few items here and there going forward, the hard work is done. On the weekend, I filled the trunk and back seats of my car with everything pictured in these last two posts, and dropped it all off at Value Village and the Port Moody Library. Now, my space is all mine to enjoy again.
If a month of posts re: decluttering was boring, I apologize, but that was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in a long time. I’d originally planned to let that be my summer project, but quickly realized I had to push through it, because of all the emotions and ideas it stirred up. There’s so much more to discuss in my path to becoming a minimalist, now that all those useless “things” are out of my life.
It’s time for the real fun to begin. :)