Declutter Project 1: The Library/Closet….

First off, we have FOUR years to pare down. FOUR YEARS. That’s a long time for us to prepare for our adventure. However, to keep us laser-focused on that task we’re concentrating on getting more stuff out of our house than in, and to be absolutely ruthless with future purchases and what we agree to bring in to our home (except the gift closet). Perhaps that will make this mammoth project a much easier one to tackle over four years. Also, while we’re making more money I’d like to give things away and write that off on our taxes.

I am a self proclaimed bibliophile. I love to read/write and care little for reading from a screen. I have been trying to purge all books I’ve already read by giving them to family/friends or simply giving them away to a charity. However, my penchant for thrift stores and libraries have put me at a disadvantage in this decluttering of books activity. I find I am in receipt of more books than I can consume.

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Wow… That’s just a lot of stuff…

This picture doesn’t quite do the mess justice…. At all. There were boxes in front and a ton of old boxes full of all kinds of things that a family collects over the years on the shelf above. This little library has a closet door on it, which makes it a nice little place for the clutter gremlins to congregate….

So, we went in to tackle this task with extremely high aspirations, thinking we would comb through every photograph, notecard, memory, etc. This just isn’t going to happen today. But, with four years to prepare, we have some time to do this slowly and do it right. I’m committed to regularly dedicate time toward forward movement, and consciously not add to the problem. So what we did accomplish?

  • All Mr. Moe’s business books (leadership and IT stuff) will be donated to his job with a “check in/check out” for those that want to learn something new related to leadership or IT. This cleared an entire shelf of books I’ll never read!
  • Every book that we’ve already read is in the giveaway pile. We have very little overlap between us in reading interests, so once one of us reads it – out of the house it goes!
  • Most of the framed pictures have been stripped of our loved ones and the frames are now waiting patiently in the garage for the charity pickup.
  • Boxes and boxes and boxes of things to be handed to Lupus Foundation of America (they come reliably when scheduled and leave a receipt every time).

Our finished product (for now):

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Done…. for now.

It’s not perfect, but I have the second and third shelves on the left that need to be read and given away. The top left shelf are gardening books and educational books that may come in useful for our daughter in the coming years. Top right, travel books! We’re pretty big Rick Steve’s fans apparently. The one just beneath that are memory photos that we’ve saved to go through another day. A day when I have the time and patience to navigate that. I love our National Book Festival posters that adorn the walls in this little room (we have three – not all pictured) and they are signed by several authors. They are all for our daughter (who at 14 has no interest in them), but one day – she’ll come around to appreciate them, perhaps when she has babies of her own (a long long long time from now).

The big reveal – our donation/trash game strong this fine morning:

A mixture of junk and give away.

This feels pretty good. Not sure how all of this junk fit into that teeny tiny room. One room, mostly done and probably a dozen to go. I’m sure we’ll have to circle back to these rooms a few more times before our final downsizing adventure.


~Mrs. Moe



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