I am keeping track of my progress in an excel spreadsheet. I have 3 columns - a date column - # of items column and an item name column. I have the spreadsheet so I can WATCH my progress. I need the visual plus it calculates for me. Here is an example of what I have so far....
14-Dec 1 old towel
1 20 pieces of old mail
16-Dec 1 cracked wooden rolling pin
17-Dec 1 broken hand mirror
18-Dec 3 formal dresses
2 pair boys shorts
13 boy shirts
19-Dec 2 tank tops
5 capri pants
You can do this anyway you would like, but I have set some rules up as a guideline for myself. I'm pretty sure I will have to add to my list of rules as time goes on, but this will help you get started!
1. 10 sheets of hard to get rid of paper (kids art work, old cards I have a problem with collecting Christmas cards & birthday cards from years past) = 1 item
2. Paper clutter, 20 sheets = 1 item
3. If replacing an item, you cannot count the old that is going out - example, I just got a new vacuum cleaner, I cannot count the old vacuum cleaner even though I am giving it away.
4. Consumable items DO NOT count in the purge - newspapers, shopping bags, empty shampoo bottles & so on.
5. Consumable items that you do not use and that have been sitting around your house for years DO count - example - that nasty bottle of perfume that Aunt Sue gave you for Christmas 3 years ago & you NEVER use, but haven't had the heart to toss it, well now is the time, it counts as one item!
6. If it comes in as one item, it goes out as one item. Shoes, you cannot count a pair of shoes as 2 items. They came in as a pair; they go out as a pair - 1 item. EXCEPTION: if your pet alligator ate one shoe and you have been holding onto the other shoe just in case you break your foot and you only have one foot to dress...give it up, throw out the single shoe and you can count it as one item.
7. Items that come in and go out on the same day do not count, example, mail, shopping bags, kids daily school work etc. I have WAY too much of this clutter around my house. Starting today you (I) need to look at it and throw it out same day. It does not count.
8. You CANNOT bring something into the house JUST so you can count it as an item to get rid of. EXAMPLE - when the school is giving away magazines and you take one just so you can throw it out later - that is a NO, NO. (Hummm....I wonder who I am talking about here...)
9. If you borrow something, you cannot count the item when returning it to its rightful owner.
10. Yes, magazines count - 1 magazine counts as one item.
11. 1 book – 1 item, no matter the size
Happy decluttering!!! Since Dec 3rd, I have removed 306 items from our house!!