Apartment Therapy 2022 Decluttering Cure - Starts Sep 19
posted September 9, 2022 4:54 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Tue October 4 at 10:00 AM
Hello folks! Starting on September 19, Apartment Therapy is running its annual Decluttering Cure. Who's up for 14 days of clutter conquering? It's free.
So far this year, thanks to mochapickle's efforts*, we've done the January Cure and Spring(/Autumn) Cleaning. Someone in Spring Cleaning said they would have preferred a decluttering event. Here it is!

How it works:
- Sign up via email on the Apartment Therapy website here.
- Each day for two weeks you'll receive an assignment focused on a specific decluttering task.
- Do the task. Or not. Up to you! To quote mochapickle: "There's no obligation to do every task. If you complete one task you otherwise wouldn't have, you're doing great. If you want to declutter but do your own tasks, come check in and share your progress. All are welcome."

In previous events it's been possible to follow along with the tasks as they appear on the Apartment Therapy website, without providing your email. I'll try to post the daily task here too, in AEST-friendly hours.

I hope some people are interested in making the journey together, apart, again!

* I noticed from The Artist's Way thread that mochapickle is unplugging the internet for September, so I thought I'd make the post in their absence.

Day 1: Set up three boxes: Donate, Maybes and Sell
Day 2: Establish a guiding principle and some ground rules
Day 3: Declutter a drawer
Day 4: Pick one small decluttering task and spend 15 min on it
Day 5: Tackle one project in the kitchen for 20 min
Day 6: Spend 20 minutes with your closet/wardrobe
Day 7: Gather your paper clutter and sort it into 5 categories
Day 8: Declutter the bedroom for 20 minutes
Day 9: Streamline your sentimental clutter
Day 10: Identify a clutter problem area and remove 3 items from it
Day 11: Spend 20 min making a dent in bathroom clutter
Day 12: Pack up your maybe box
Day 13: Sell or donate the things you decluttered
Day 14: Celebrate and enjoy your wins!
posted by happyfrog to Online (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

i’m in! thanks, happyfrog🙂
posted by mollymillions at 10:12 PM on September 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

What the hell. Sure.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'll give it a shot. Thanks for posting to the free thread and thanks for putting this in IRL, happyfrog!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 3:49 PM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

All signed up
posted by kathrynm at 5:10 PM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh whew, I really need this!
posted by yueliang at 11:58 PM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hooray! It's great to have others on board. The January Cure really helped me to shuffle my apartment along the scale from 'place with my stuff in it' towards 'home'. I made very little progress with Spring Cleaning, I think I cleaned one (important! kitchen!) window, but I'm excited about this one.
posted by happyfrog at 3:29 AM on September 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

The irony is that I'm actually pretty decluttered as it is, save for one or two dark corners. I had to downsize a shit-ton when I moved last year, and I'm already in something of a decluttering habit after living in an even-smaller space the apartment before the last one. But I do also have a mental block about the last step of the decluttering (i.e., there is a small pile of Stuff I Have Decided I Need To Freecycle that has been sitting in a corner for the past two months, waiting for me to freecycle it).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 AM on September 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Definitely interested! I will at least hang in though I am recovering from a bad medication side effect and going on new meds that may derail progress. The support group will help though!
posted by gentlyepigrams at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Here we go! Once again, I'm grateful they give us an easy task for day one. Find three boxes. I have a supermarket bag I started filling with books on the weekend, so that's my donate box. I have a couple of better quality things - a bokashi bucket, a metronome I don't use - sitting in a pile already, so that's sell. Maybes is a lot harder. What constitutes a maybe? I've been very binary in my thinking - everything must go!

Something I really want to achieve this time is a bit of a digital declutter. I have an old hard drive, an old laptop, an old camera and a bunch of old USBs I'd like to transfer, backup and delete.
posted by happyfrog at 3:20 PM on September 19, 2022


So, on the one hand, I'm already behind because I don't have the boxes. One could argue I don't have the place FOR the boxes either.

On the other hand, part of the reason I don't have the space for the boxes (or even have the boxes) is because we completely cleaned out what was supposed to be our guest bedroom yesterday. I won't even go into the story behind that.

Anyway, we were going to make that our work office since my partner has been 100% remote since Covid and I recently got a promotion which is 90% remote. Kiddo asked if they could have that room as it is considerably larger than theirs (and the smaller room will work fine, maybe even better, for office), so we're in the midst of shuffling things around between those two rooms to put everything back together.

So, we decluttered one area but have temp cluttered two other areas. I am told kiddo will be fully moved in to new room no later than Wednesday. We shall see.

Anyway, my head is on the idea of the three boxes. Wish I would have read the post earlier as I had already been out and about.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:48 PM on September 19, 2022

I don't think this is going to be a DAILY thing for me....these specific 2 weeks are unusually busy. So I am going to instead declare my own two challenges and hold myself to them:

1. There is a pile of stuff I already know I want to get rid of. One block away from me there is a "free swap" table someone has set up outside their building. By October 2nd, I will bring that pile of stuff to the free swap table.

2. There is a credenza in my home office and underneath there is a pile of Stuff. I will weed through THAT pile, and then get some kind of small shelf unit that I can tuck under there to keep the stuff I'm keeping more contained. (The hell of it is, some of that stuff is stuff I know is valuable and I should sell on eBay; the rest is various home fix-it tools.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Okay, fine:

3. Since I'm getting shelves I will also put up the shelves I've been meaning to install in some closets so I can more neatly tuck away other things too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Definitely have to find some boxes, which might involve seeing if there are any empties in the garage that haven't been recycled yet.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 12:09 PM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Day 2: Establish a guiding principle and some ground rules
posted by hydra77 at 2:04 PM on September 20, 2022

I have already made progress on "getting a shelf to stick under the credenza" - I put out a call for either small shelves or milk crates on my Buy Nothing group, and on Friday I'm going to be collecting 3 of them from people who said they have them. A chunk of this weekend will then need to be devoted to actually clearing out what's under the credenza so I can PUT them under there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:04 AM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I strangely don't really have any drawers that are out of control. Though my desk could use a bit of a spruce-up. I'll give it some time this afternoon.

My tip: if you don't have any drawer dividers handy, save small pantry boxes, like a cereal box or cracker box. Cut off all but the bottom inch or two, and voila, that bottom part is an awesome divider. Cover it with wrapping paper or contact paper if you're fancy (I'm not!). Here's a visual if it's helpful, and some other storage items you can make with those boxes.
posted by hydra77 at 9:29 AM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

hydra77, I'm totally going to try that! Thank you.

And hooray, EmpressCallipygos! I've traded a couple of things for some succulent cuttings through a community trade group on Facebook, and finally sold a pair of skates that have been haunting my wardrobe for a decade by taking another $50 off the price. Today's job, which seems like a daunting one, is to put the cuttings in some soil.

Of the suggested guiding questions, "Would you buy this again today?" will be the most useful for me. "Would I take this if I moved?" not so much; I moved not that long ago, so the answer, clearly, to my great dismay, is yes.

Good luck, a non mouse, a cow herd, I hope you made or are a few steps closer to your deadline today!
posted by happyfrog at 4:01 PM on September 21, 2022

Good luck, a non mouse, a cow herd, I hope you made or are a few steps closer to your deadline today!

Thanks! Of course, it didn't happen. Kiddo is 14. :-)

Like Empress, this is at the moment, at least more of "Spirit of the law vs. letter of the law". I haven't even read all of the declutter days yet!


It was our anniversary this weekend so we were gone for three days and, of course lost time to packing/unpacking, etc.

In my old(er) age, I have learned to take an extra day off after vac, to recover from vacation. :-) That is today and, of course, I still woke up at my regular work time. But, in the spirit of the declutter, I had my cup of coffee and finished the job in the old office that the kiddo never did (with their permission). About to go back in and finish washing the walls and then the floor.

My partner and I have already talked today about working on the garage some, too. Just getting the e-mails (and keeping this post open) seems to be subconsciously positively affecting the declutter.

Look forward to hearing how others are faring. Cheering all y'all on!

ETA: Thanks Hydra77 for the link. That's a neat idea!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:09 AM on September 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


I said that one of the things I was going to do involved digging some crap out from under a credenza, sorting through it, and then getting some shelves to stick under it to contain things better.

In lieu of the shelves, I got 3 milk crates from my local Buy Nothing group - it turns out that was all that could fit, but happily, it was more than I needed. Because things were actually about halfway to "sorted" as it was; all I had to do was group some things together a little better, remove some excess packaging from a couple items, and throw out a paper bag of "paper that needs to be recycled" that had somehow gotten under there. I was done in an hour.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Congrats on your anniversay, a non mouse! I've also been away for a long weekend so I'm a bit behind. But somehow on my arrival back home (and after having seen my water bill while I was away, yikes), I screwed my courage to the sticking point and went to the hardware shop to get a tap repair kit and some masonry screws. Happily while I was away my neighbour had tidied up the junk in her car space that was blocking access to the water mains so I was able to shimmy through it, turn the water off, replace the washer and spindle in the two kitchen taps and voila! My kitchen taps no longer leak. I also started drilling a hole for a piece of art I commissioned ages ago and haven't hung because I was nervous about drilling into brick. I started drilling but lost my nerve halfway through. Will try again this week!

I've also replaced the old smoke detector, after discovering it was due for replacement in 2022, and I did manage to plant the cuttings - they're now in a planter on the kitchen windowsill and they seem to be doing OK.

tl;dr so far, like others, this has been less about decluttering and more about getting long-overdue house stuff done. I really want to to climb into the wardrobe at some point though!
posted by happyfrog at 3:02 AM on September 27, 2022

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