The "Bag A Week" Club

<p>Every time I scroll past this thread I think it says, "The Bag 'o Weed Club", and that someone has started a thread about the new laws in Colorado.</p>

<p>LOL </p>

<p>Sorry, carry on.</p>

<p>I joined the club yesterday by cleaning out my sweaters and shoes. Got rid of about a third of the sweaters and three pairs of shoes. My closet is still too full but looks tidy anyway. Not sure what to attack next. I have been telling people that my goal is to have half as much stuff a year from now.</p>

<p>I don't think this has been mentioned - I apologize if it has. Keep in mind that you can claim a deduction for all the stuff you donate. You need to take a photo of the pile, then itemize the donation. Get a list of suggested values from the organization, if they have one. Write that value next to the item, then estimate the amount that you originally paid for it. For the entire donation, you will have a total "Market Value" and "Original Value." Wild estimates are fine! I just try to be conservative, so I don't claim too large a deduction. It is amazing how quickly the deduction adds up, though!</p>

<p>If you give a mouse a cookie...</p>

<p>Oh my. I started to make a file for kitchen stuff, instead of putting everything in a drawer. That led to seeing which drawer in a file cabinet had most room. Started pulling out files and tossing everything from old cars. The moving stuff related to son into one drawer, to be sorted later. Found letters from my mom, long deceased. I read one and decided I would not get far if I became sentimental.</p>

<p>This is looking like a big project.</p>

<p>Yes, if you give a mouse a cookie -- </p>

<p>But remember that the way to eat an elephant is, One bite at a time.</p>

<p>Love this idea, I'm in. I'm a teacher home on a snow day so perfect day to get started!</p>

<p>One thing I'm dying to tackle - H just loves to save the boxes for everything we ever bought (just in case). The coffee maker (3 coffee makers ago), his running shoes, the VCR (yes, I said VCR), you name it. </p>


<p>We should somehow keep track of how many bags or boxes we walk out the door!!!</p>

<p>Ok, I did get started. I cleaned off the top of the computer desk. The big folder with all the warranty/owners manuals was on the desk so I went through that and tossed owners manuals or receipts for appliances and electronics that I a) don't have anymore, b) still have, but wouldn't repair if it died or c) were so faded I couldn't read what they were for. also went through the plastic officer supply organizers on that desk and sorted things, organized them, and tossed things if I didn't know what they were or why I would need them ever again. Half a trash bag, but a huge difference on the desk! I filed stuff that needed to be filed.</p>

<p>For me, this project is as much about getting things organized again as tossing things. Since starting grad school 4 years ago, things have just gotten out of control. </p>

<p>I also went in and signed up for online statements only for a few bills that I keep filing and filing for no good reason. There's one company I won't switch to online billing for because I don't trust them, but the rest can be all online. I'm good with that.</p>

<p>I am going to combine this with my weekly saving plan. Hopefully at the end of the year I will have a little extra in the bank and a cleaner house.</p>

<p>Limabeans, what I did was to store the files in iPhoto. I stored them in albums, by kid. Depends a lot on how much you have, and whether you want to store stuff in something like iPhoto, or just in file folders on your computer. Either way, a photo of a bunch of bowling trophies takes a lot less space than 15 bowling trophies!</p>

<p>Got rid of a lovely queen comforter set (including bed skirt, two shams, and three toss pillows) through Freecycle. We've been in our new house for 15 months and have no use for them. As I was carrying them out to the mailbox, where the Freecycler was going to pick them up, DH said, "You're getting rid of that? It's nice." </p>

<p>Yeah, but we have no use for it. So out it goes!</p>

<p>Question: I have not only tons of junk to get rid of, but also tons of papers that must be shredded. Does a bag a week of shredded material "count", or must it be old boxes, appliances, clothing, books, toys, etc.?</p>

<p>If bags of shredded material count, I'm in.</p>

<p>Coming up for air from cleaning the basement to discover this thread. I'm definitely in!</p>

<p>I shredded a bag of stuff from 2001-1996. Yay. About a thousand more. (Cleaning out mom's hoarder's house will take forever.)</p>

<p>Great thread. </p>

<p>We started cleaning out in earnest this past year. Tons of stuff, one box at a time. We have discovered that instead of shredding, we use all the paper in our fireplace and it has kept us warm many nights! ;)</p>

<p>The key is to have small goals. We do a corner of a room, or a few drawers at a time, otherwise it overwhelms my H, who is the main culprit, the saver in this family!</p>

<p>Thank goodness H has a friend with a pickup truck, who has made one trip here already and we actually have enough for a second trip. Old file cabinets, old computer moniters, an old basketball set, old trampoline, etc.</p>

<p>It feels AWESOME to see it leave the house!!</p>

<p>Coming up for air from a day of (off and on) going through piles of paper---bills, tax records, student papers, assignments, letters, etc etc. So much sorting, so much decisions, so much shredding still to do!</p>

<p>But a couple bags of recycling ready to go!</p>

<p>OK, so I take it that bags of shredded material count towards getting rid of stuff?</p>

<p>JustaMom5465, our Hs must be long lost twins. I had a very similar conversation with mine this morning about several boxes. I agreed to start writing the purchase date on each new box, which he then promised to toss after 90 days. That was a HUGE deal for my H.</p>

<p>Heyalb, shredded paper surely counts. I freed up two drawers in our file cabinet by shredding old bills, documents, etc. Suddenly, H no longer thinks we need to buy another file cabinet. : )</p>

<p>heyalb, it's whatever you want it to be. I think a bag of shredded paper counts as a bag. The point is paring down and making things simpler, having less, and keeping only what you need. </p>

<p>This isn't a contest. Progress is the goal.</p>