Happy April! Decluttering season is here!

Happy April! It’s a beautiful month for some spring cleaning. Now is a great time of year to declutter some of those winter clothes that never got worn and to pull out what’s ahead for summer. Even if you aren’t using a professional decluttering service (like yours truly) you should still take stock of your summer things. Advantages: see what you have and what you still need; don’t make unnecessary purchases getting duplicates of things you already own that might be buried; gives you time to make any repairs before you need the stuff to wear.

  • Pull out all those shorts and summer tops and make sure they all have their buttons. Have a few you don’t like? Donate them! Have a few you’re excited to wear? Make sure they’re clean and easy to reach.
  • How’s your bathing suit and other beachwear looking? Do you know where it all is? Consider making a beach bag with your suit, cover up, a big hat, sunscreen, and a towel. Then you can just grab the ready bag whenever you’re headed to the pool or beach.
  • For many women, summer means sundress season! (Face it they are street acceptable nightgowns.) Pull out all your sundresses. Have some that no longer fit? Unless they fit last summer and you are two months into a workout routine, what are the chances they’ll actually fit this summer? Donate them to someone who will love them! Have a few that just don’t do it for you? Maybe they don’t sit right at the shoulder or a dart is in an uncomfortable place. Donate it! If you have anything preventing you from reaching for it again and again, it’s time to donate it.
  • Shoes and sandals. I have a hard time talking about this one because I’ve never owned more than six pairs of shoes in my life (at a time) so I don’t understand the fascination, but…….Are your flip flops worn through? Get rid of them! Did a sandal strap break last year and you still haven’t fixed it? Put it on the front seat of your car and vow to deal with it in the next week. Otherwise it gets trashed or donated. Have a pair that makes you happy but nothing to wear them with? Shop your closet first to try and make an outfit. Then decide if it’s worth spending another $50+ on an outfit just to wear with those shoes.
  • Hats! Another one I have troubles with, but take a look at all your hats. Do you like all of them? Really truly? Go through all the ball caps, all the floppy hats, all the berets (Hey, I don’t know much about hats okay?) Surely you have a cap or two that can be donated?
  • Now is a great time to re-evaluate your yardwork and grungy clothes. How many outfits do you really need to paint the house it? Can your paint clothes double as your garden work clothes? How are your garden clothes holding up? Do they have holes that make gardening difficult? Are they too tight? If you had to answer the front door in those clothes would you be embarrassed by what you are wearing? Donate, trash, or repurpose as many yardwork clothes as possible.

If you are feeling ambitious or your clothing situation is perfected, consider decluttering some of these other areas:

  • Seasonal decorations
  • Garden tools
  • Yard furniture and games
  • Pool supplies

There you have it. April is a great time for decluttering and getting ready for summer. Have a summer category I’m missing? Feel free to comment below.

Culling Pins on Pinterest

Pinterest is a wealth of information and ideas and should be a useful tool. But sometimes we get in the habit of pinning something to look at later and then never get back to it. Sometimes, we hunt through all of our boards for that one thing we pinned two months ago, only to not find it. To make finding things easier, and keep pinterest as a tool, it’s best to occasionally declutter your pins. Let’s see how.

First, decide on limits. How many pins do you want? Is there a number that would seem excessive? How many pins per board? How many boards?

Frankly, I think it’s silly (for me) to have boards with under 20 pins on them. Ultimately, I want to keep my pins under 2,000. This is still a number where I’ll like most of the pins, but it still looks like I’m active on pinterest.

Once you have your limits set, it’s time to start purging. I like to start with my largest boards first. Using the “move” button at the top of the page, select pins that you obviously don’t want anymore and delete them. Use the “move” button for groups or the “edit” button on individual pins to put them on the boards they truly belong on.

Now I know I just said set limits on the number of boards, but see if your larger boards could be split up. Maybe you have 70 1950’s dresses under your “1900’s Fashion” board. You might consider starting a new board for this. Also, if you want to see all pins of a certain type, creating a new temporary board for them might be easier than scrolling through the pages.

Make easy decisions first. If you can’t remember what something is and you haven’t opened it in months, ask yourself “If I was looking for this information, would I remember I already pinned it?” If no, then it’s probably safe to delete the pin.

Set realistic expectations for your pins. If you know you aren’t going to work on X hobby  in the next few months or year, why are you saving all the pins from it? I’m very guilty of pinning a lot of crochet tutorials, but I know I’m not going to crochet anything in the next year, and certainly won’t work on something new (I prefer sewing). So why do I have thirty crochet pins? Ask yourself the same question and see if there are unrealistic expectation pins you can get rid of.

Go through the boards where you won’t have to click on the links that often. Scenery boards, dresses, decorations, that sort of stuff that doesn’t require a lot of reading is easier to get through first. Then when you have time you can start clicking on things. (If you do it earlier, you’ll spiral into a reading loop and not a declutter loop.)

Go through the pins you have to look at if there are only a few of those type on a given board.

Start working on the harder boards. For me this is my “Hatchet/Bush craft” board. No I don’t do bush craft, I don’t even like to camp. But it is still the board with the most pins because I like to pretend I’m a bush craft person. 95% of those pins are useless/irrelevant to me, but I love most of them. So it’s a hard board to cull.

If a board is hard to go through, start at the bottom of the page and work your way up. The bottom pins are the oldest ones and you may have forgotten about some of them or changed your mind about them. Since you don’t always see them, they may be easier to go through, rather than the ones up top that you pinned yesterday.

Again, don’t be afraid to make temporary boards to help you eliminate some stuff.

~*~Personal Example (PE): Hatchet Board. Okay so I’ve made a temporary log cabin board because I’ve got almost 50 of those and I’ll go through them in a bit. Then let’s eliminate these things I really truly don’t want or care about – like the umpteenth tarp shelter infograph. And put the 10 or so pins that go into homesteading into homesteading. Okay, now to some of the harder work. The board is supposed to give me ideas for my “Lakeside Pioneers” adventure games, not necessarily skills I want to use in real life. So I’ll just quickly read this article on identifying flint. That link is really a hand drawing wikihow. Not overly useful anyways and I certainly won’t be going back to it so it can be deleted. Continuing on. Hatchet Starting pins: 189. Hatchet Ending Pins: 76. Excellent! ~*~

Use the old expression “If I found this randomly, would I pin again?”

Get rid of broken links or links that go to a splash page that no longer contains the information in your original pin (if you really really want that information, hunt through the website to find the permanent link to that original pin and pin that instead).

Use reliable sources. I don’t really trust Buzzfeed to tell me how to do wilderness survival, but I do trust Outdoorsmen.  So most of the Buzzfeed articles on my Hatchet board are being tossed.

When you want to check your progress, you’ll have to leave pinterest and navigate back to your boards to see how many pins have been removed. A bit cumbersome. Spend some time going through your pins and watch how helpful pinterest becomes again.


More personal examples:

~*~ Oh dear. My “Shinies!” board. Starting at 107. I’d like to get this around 70 if I can. Shinies apparently also includes hot guys, cute animals, and wedding dresses that can’t be on my wedding board right now (since I’m using if for realsies and not for dreaming). I deleted 32 pins but then moved a few more of those cute animals onto the board.  Ending number: 80. Good enough. How many pins total am I down to? 2,264. It’s slow going.

~*~ “Other Historic” the catchall for things that don’t fall under regency or civil war or 1900s. Start: 138. End: 91.

~*~ “Regency” I love this time period. Starts with 147. I hope to eliminate 20 pins. This board was one of the main reasons I joined pinterest and I continue to love it. But I haven’t been looking at it. Deleted 48. End: 99

~*~”Scenery” Start: 130. End: 80 Total Pins: 2,119. I’m getting close to being under 2000 again. I’d be content enough to get under 2100. Also, I’d like to eliminate a board.

~*~”Gardening” Not to be confused with landscaping. I already built my planter bed and I’m sucking at growing vegetables, so let’s see how many of these I can get rid of. Start: 158. And now 104. Much better. Plus that puts me back down under 2000 pins.