5 a day continued





The 5 a day continues around here and the only problem I've been having is sticking to just 5 a day. I go somewhat nuts when decluttering.  This was one such nutty day.  I deeply decluttered the office which was sorely needed. The bookcase, desk and I can breathe again.  Lots was given to friends and most was donated to Family Services.  I think when I get a massive declutter done I will be able to shift to just 5 a day.



In other news, Alex swapped out the drop leaf desk for this primitive one and I have to say I really really love it.  It's funny because for years whatever piece of furniture I've had in this spot didn't contain any storage.  Then we pulled the dropleaf desk up from under the house and suddenly it was full of stuff.  Now I'm down to one big drawer and a little one and it feels better.  So much of what I crammed in the desk was "just in case" stuff.



This antique pheasant was a christmas gift.  For the record, I have no problem with antique taxidermy. This guy is almost 100 years old and is beautiful and ethically I just have no issues with him in my home.  If you do, I'm sorry about that.

I still have more to declutter.  How about you?  x




55 comments

  1. I have that problem as well, Janet. I've sold/gotten rid of so much and now I am down to the items that are hard to part with...beautiful items that I have no need for but still hang on to. To collect or not to collect? That is the question :)
    Deni

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    1. ah deni i know what you mean. i think if the item is beautiful and it brings you pleasure just looking at it, it should stay! maybe use the one in one out rule for anything new? x

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  2. Claudia, how do you feel about fur? I have still kept back three of my aunt's fur stoles/collars. They are incredibly beautiful but I have such mixed feelings. When I was young, I'd wear her black cashmere cardigan with the black fox collar you could detach; gorgeously sewn. I also, in the 70s, would attach the red fox long piece to the shawl-collared cardigan of a similar hue. The round mink collar is stunning; meant to attach to a high-necked swing coat; my mother would wear it a lot in the 60s. (OMG, I loved that coat; I wore it myself well into my 30s; Mom wore it also when she was pregnant with me, so the coat had a lot of history; lovely satin lining that just eventually disintegrated.) I'm afraid if I wore any of this fur out in public, I'd get tomatoes thrown at me. Yet I can't seem to let go of the pieces...despite my abhorrence over fur in the current fashion industry when faux is always an option although I know it's more expensive to 'process'.

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    1. Janet, I'm so sorry; I was just 'talking' with someone named Claudia and I guess I left my brain there.

      By the way, I printed out your 5-a-day instructional and have it pasted on my kitchen cupboard. Janet, my guru for all things 'decluttering'!! It's taken me a long time to get brutal with myself about purging, but I'm getting there. Definitely a journey. Trying to tame the need to keep collecting. And tell myself that my small collections are enough; don't need to keep adding to them. So much more appreciated when 'fewer'.

      My biggest 'thing' is that sometimes I don't know where to start and what I've learned is just...start. Anywhere. Make yourself do it. The drawer to your right, for instance. Don't hesitate. Just do it. Start. Have empty boxes and bags at the ready. No excuses. 5 minutes, 5 things; right?!

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    2. I'm just going to jump on this because I saw fur. I love real fur and don't let the pressures of society tell you it's not OK to own. I have fur vests from my grandmother and my mom owns many as well that I know will be passed down to me. They are family heirlooms and I know lots of elegant women who own real fur. Faux is great for fashion and those who are opposed to real fur or have a budget, but if it means something to you and you like it, don't ever let anyone else make you feel bad for owning it! I'm sure people own leather goods anyway... just a little thought of encouragement :)

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    3. vicki and diana, fur is such an emotional issue. i remember years ago on this blog a huge outrage broke out bc i wore my mothers vintage coat that had a fur collar. i wound up deleting the post bc the arguing would not stop! i still have that coat and A&B got me another one for my birthday. needless to say i'm sure it's still a touchy subject. and diana brings up an excellent point re leather. is a cows life any less valuable than a mink's? i know people who will not use anything but leather but judge those that wear fur. what's the difference?! thank you both for your comment! x

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    4. Yes, I appreciate the input from both of you. Touchy subject for sure. My auntie was quite the grande dame of her day (born in the late 1800s). She dripped in jewels and furs; had the most gorgeous head of naturally-wavy, jet-black hair...and bright blue eyes; unflawed and unwrinkled complexion, even in her old age (would only wash her face in creams, never water). Stunningly-beautiful woman, from the time she was born; beautiful baby/beautiful little girl. Few hats on her head as a young woman but, oh, the clothes. (We have some wonderful photos of her.)

      My aunt also had the fur stoles with the heads on the end (gruesome but I guess very fashionable in the 1920s?) and Mother did (thankfully!) choose not to hang on to those. I can't remember the exact story on it now, but somehow they wound up as part of the wardrobe department with a theater group, so that the stage actors could look 'authentic' with clothes of the day in their productions.

      And, yes, I remember in my youth how it seemed very important to me to amass good-quality leather handbags and clutches. There wasn't any thought about it being unkind to the animal. I simply didn't connect the dots. (I still have most all of them; they last, those bags! But I find I don't use them now.) It just never occurred to me to think of the source, which I now of course find terribly shallow of me. And I wouldn't have thought to buy any shoe unless it was leather. I had some very nice heels back then; leather would last 'forever' (I would just them re-heeled at the cobbler's shop; and I also took good care of my shoes, keeping them supple and polished by my own hand at home). I have a friend who was given a luxury set of leather luggage in the 80s; these were material things of a certain distinction in a less-enlightened time. Then, there are leather wallets/billfolds. Even a toolkit with leather handles is something I recently found in my dad's things; they're very, very old and I imagine they'd belonged to his father. Leather gloves. Leather jackets/coats. Leather-bound books. Staggering, isn't it...

      I got upset when a cousin of mine bought a full-length mink coat about 15 years ago. She'd moved from SoCalif to the Midwest and just couldn't take the cold, snowy, long winters; too thin-skinned from being in a warmer climate all her life. The coat kept her warm, she made a good salary; it was her choice to buy it, although I thought it was a lousy choice. I loved her so much but was very judgmental over it (although I edited my comments so as not to offend...and mind my own business). She loved animals; always had rescue dogs she'd pamper; was a good and kind person. I guess that didn't extend to 'farmed' animals (probably farmed fur as opposed to wild fur). She has passed now...and her daughter and granddaughter, as 'heirs' to it, find the mink coat disgusting, knowing they need to unload it...but, OMG, it's worth a fortune and there's no denying the 'pelt' is, well, exquisite. But all it seems to do is make us feel badly (the animal died, for what(?)...a coat that now stays packed away and never worn).

      It'll always be a complicated discussion, won't it...yes, Janet; emotional.

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  3. That desk is such a great scale for your home and I love that it is black...when I de clutter I feel that I have more room to breathe...so I try stay on top of those extras that can accumulate and bog me down.
    I have no problem with taxidermy and I have a fur from my great aunt Tirzah...
    it is a short mink jacket that I wear once or twice a year and this year I have worn it more often as there is so much snow!

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    1. thank you leslie, the desk is beautiful in person! i'm glad you are using your aunts things! x

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  4. I crazy love to purge. Even pruning my rose bushes made me feel so good haha. But I need to declutter my house even more so! I decided to get rid of some nail polishes and go more healthy and got rid of about a dozen polishes - which is good because the reality is, I don't need that many. You're inspiring me! Keep it up! http://www.dianaelizabethblog.com

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    1. thank you diana. i still need to do my roses, i'm feeling guilty right now! x

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  5. I went through a lot of my grandma toys and books I have here in my home for the grands. There are so many the girls have outgrown, and it was time to let others play with them. I just hope they don't notice!

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    1. isabella i think passing items on so they are in constant use is so good. i feel bad if things languish in boxes hidden away. just seems wrong to me - but i'm def guilty of it. x

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  6. I don't stop at five. The last thing I decluttered was the tv cabinet. filled with DVD's now all are at Goodwill hopefully to be enjoyed by folks who don't have cable. Huge bag full. Next up are books.

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    1. i can't either! i thought my books would be hard but it wasn't that bad. plus knowing they went to good homes is comforting. x

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  7. I work for an annual average. The 100+ item load that I donated last week will see me well for a good while. Even with this, my Donation Box is already about 1/3 full.

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    1. good idea connie. it is shocking how things just creep into my house! x

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  8. Love your black desk! Always fresh and beautiful. I've been purging throughout my house since your last post. I found some beautiful material in a box I was going through. My daughter covered two pillows in a Spring robin egg blue design and a long pillow in a in a fabric with blue birds. Moved and ridded out and rearranged my Morning room..added a few yellow tulips and greenery I had and fresh n new.

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    1. sounds lovely nancy! love that your daughter got busy and made new pillows with the fabric, how wonderful! x

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  9. Thank you for the picture of your decluttering! You're such a master, it's hard to believe you have anything to declutter. Antique taxidermy - how interesting.

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    1. thank you jeanine. i'm always surprised by how much has creeped in this little place. :) x

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  10. You are such an inspiration to me, keep it up!

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  11. Hi Janet, I love the pared down purity of that black desk. And it's magic increases by knowing that you've pared down the contents of your desk too.
    That pile is impressive, there's a lot of bulk there and how uplifted you must feel looking at it and knowing your home is lighter by that much. Well done!
    Like you, I've found that once I start I can't hold back. My kitchen, pantry and bathroom are feeling so much lighter and better organised now. I haven't counted but I'm sure January yielded way more than 155 items :-). Bring it on, February!

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    1. thanks mary. it feels so good doesn't it?! where does this stuff come from?! x

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  12. I too have a very old taxidermy pheasant. He stands proudly on top of my armoire in the living room. This piece was done long before I was even born. I believe by showcaseing hm he lives on. I also have a very old beautiful fur color that I intend to use. I don't hunt but what good does it do to throw them away? That just seems worse. Looks like we've all been on the quest for a peaceful life and home.
    Kathy

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    1. you said it perfectly kathy! it does honor them or at least i feel honored to have him in my home now.:) x

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  13. The meaning article, so inspiring and informative...thank you

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  14. Once I was at an Estate Sale where an antique leopard skin was for sale for $3000. Sadly, I did not have $3000 (I have 2 out of state college tuitions to pay for!). So I left it behind. But I would have snapped that gorgeous thing up if I had the money. I told my kids about it. They thought I was a barbarian!

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  15. And so it continues. Adding to your fine example, another friend advised that I consign items difficult to part with not because of their sentiment but bit of value. So, I now am on a 16 items (their limit) per week. Frankly, this has opened my mind to some of the smallest and long-time over looked items languishing in the dark recesses of cupboard shelves or drawers. And, the amazing/surprising thing about this process is that once I have dropped them off and driven away, I realize I'm "okay" with it and once back at home I begin to accumulate another little collection. Janet, thank you.

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    1. oh that's wonderful. we have a consignment shop here in redlands and there is like a 4 month waiting list to get your stuff in. i have done well on ebay in the past but a shop is so much easier to deal with. x

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  16. I would love to know what you got rid of and why you chose to part with it. I think it would be helpful for people (like me) who want to declutter but feel stuck.

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    1. i got rid of so much! i think the main reason i parted with things was bc i just didn't need the item any longer. country living magazine left a lot of stuff here which seems special to me at that time but it's been 2 years and i wasn't using any of it. another example is i gave away a blender and a food processor bc i got a new appliance that does both. the books i gave away were never going to be read again. clothes that didn't fit me or my style. so many different reasons i let go...x

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  17. Janet, it's nice that some of your friends and charity can benefit from your decluttering. That's quite a pile you have there!

    When my next door neighbor moved away she gave me a zebra hide that she had purchased in Africa many, many years ago on a Safari. At the time I was thrilled that she gave it to me. I had it in my bedroom for awhile until it starting falling apart. It was super brittle from age. I felt bad but I finally had to toss it. It really bugged my daughter that I had it and I have to admit it actually bothered me too. I felt better once it was gone!

    Getting over one of the worst flu's ever and I got a flu shot! :( It's been 12 days and the appetite is still shot and my ears are plugged. Cooking and buying groceries right now...yuck! But I did lose about 4 lbs.

    Hope you and Larry are staying healthy!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. oh no linda! i never trust the flu shot! so far we've been healthy. hope you are feeling better soon! x

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  18. Sidelined once again this winter by a virus and getting very anxious to begin decluttering. So your post is a reminder to get going as soon as this nasty virus passes. Too fatigued to do much more than sit and watch design shows. I am ready to move to Tahiti, leaving the clutter (and the snow and viruses) behind!

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    1. oh kristien i get that. i have dreams of just leaving it all behind and starting all over. i'd do things so differently at this stage in my life! x

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    2. I am back among the living and have started the 5 a day. Darned if it doesn't help me feel lighter and energized. I managed to dump a load of old makeup while I was sick and that was just the beginning. I am starting to view things differently. Sometimes clutter becomes part of the scenery so I am looking with a fresh eye.

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  19. I think it's great you have given the vintage pheasant a lovely new home!

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  20. Just adore your new (old!) desk. It's a fabulous piece of furniture. I'm on a decluttering roll too, having just installed new bedroom furniture and found not everything will fit in. Cleared out stuff I haven't worn for years and knew in my heart of hearts I never would. Feels good doesn't it?

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    1. oh yes it does! i overheard 2 older ladies talking yesterday about starting project 333. my ears perked up and i listened to them share about how they only wear the same 10 items in their closets over and over and the rest they hold onto waiting for the right occasion. it was an eye opener! x

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    2. Those ladies are quite impressive!

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  21. Hi Janet! I just sent a comment to the wrong post (to one from a couple of posts ago), so I am sending this again for this post. Since I have had the pleasure of a visit in your beautiful home I can say that you really are an inspiration. Your home is relaxing, peaceful, and warm. I like your advice about going through every so often and decluttering again.
    I am overwhelmed at decluttering my entire house. I have fantasized about starting over with just a trunk of pictures and a very few mementos. A blank slate.
    I keep decluttering just my closet and kitchen and then calling it a day. Thinking about this now I realize I need to dig deeper to really get to that "sweet spot" you're talking about. I love that term. Hope you're enjoying this rainy Saturday and not working too hard. Melanie C.

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    1. hi mel! thank you so much for your sweet words. your home is so beautiful it does not look cluttered at all! it's a beautiful afternoon after that drizzly morning right?! xo

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  22. Just wanted to check in and say we have been hard at work decluttering! You inspired me to get past the overwhelming feeling I had by the 5 a day post. I started that slowly a couple weeks ago and have since donated quite a bit to our church's annual garage sale for missions. It feels so good! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. You are the best!

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  23. I finally started, 8 books and a pair of jeans which no longer fit. as always you are an inspiration!
    Darby

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  24. Decluttering? This is what I now have been up to. I am much like you one main place that collectes clutter and I am cleaning that out. Much like you I feel and have said for years now that a home needs to breathe. So much so that it allows one the freedom to take in the calm knowing one has only pieces of use or know to be beautiful.

    I love taxidermy and have know problem with it. Some pieces creep me out yet on a whole I see a whole lot of beauty in them.
    Keep up,the good work, keep inspiring us.

    Xx
    Dore

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  25. Oh, Janet, I know what you mean about filling up empty shelves. If you have it, you fill it. I realized that several years ago when I started my decluttering journey. My mistake was getting rid of the big pieces of furniture before I actually got rid of the stuff in it. I sold it, emptied everything out of it and was then left with the clutter and no where to put it all. Thank you for inspiring all of us to continue on.

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  26. I am feeling the same! We are packing up to move (finally) and I am realizing how much 'just in case' stuff we have!! I think we have take one load to the new home in Illinois and another to Goodwill. :)

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  27. Janet, Did you get rid of those cute pillows? I see them on your pile and they were gorgeous in your previous post with the navy walls! x Kim

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kindness is never out of style.

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