How much stuff can you cram into one small cupboard?

Filed in Blog by on December 3, 2008 7 Comments
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decluttering the cupboardLittle Miss Green has been asking me for some time to sort out the under stairs cupboard in our office. She wanted it for a secret den and I guess because it is in the room where my computer is, it means she has something fun to do while I’m doing ‘boring things’ on the internet.

Sorting out cupboards to me is a bit like, well, put it this way – I’d probably prefer to remove my fingernails from the cuticles with a blunt instrument than do that. Which is why she’s been asking me for a couple of months for her secret den and I’ve been procrastinating, forgetting and finding other far more important things to do.

But then she made the ultimate discovery. She figured out that if she were to have room in her cupboard to play we would have to get rid of most of the contents.

Yipee! Show me the cupboard.

I long for a clutter-free existence, so I was there, sleeves rolled up, hair tied back and donned in old clothes ready for our mission in an instant.

One small cupboard the size of one small child produced this much stuff:
Not to be messed with, right?

We spent ALL DAY sorting this bloody cupboard. Mr Green kept coming up every couple of hours to look glum and say things like ‘That’s a hell of a job you’ve taken on there’ and really useful things like ‘what are you going to do with it all?’

I mentioned that I work best alone and it needn’t be such a stressful thing for him if he would just leave me to it.

In the end, I worked til 10pm. Oh my – just for one cupboard?

But oh how good it felt.

By the end of the weekend I had got rid of an ironing board and a banana box packed full of jiffy envelopes, bubble wrap and assorted packing materials on Freecycle and I still have plenty for myself. I had six enquiries for each item!

We have a large box of stuff that is going into the loft for when LMG has her own babies.

She’s put aside one large box of stuff to sell because she is saving up for a farm and wants to be a lady farmer. Not a toy farm, you understand; the real thing.
cupboard 3

I have a box of music I’m donating to a music teacher
cupboard 4

and a few bags of stuff for the charity shop or upcoming jumble sales.
Most important of all though, Little Miss Green has been left with this


All in all, it was so worth it. The cupboard is completely sorted apart from Mr Green’s hoardings, but after ten years I’m learning to live with it. And now Little Miss Green has a secret place to read and play and we’re a few kilos lighter of STUFF – yay!

The good news is, that I ended up with just a small bag of non-identifiable plastic stuff for the landfill. You’ll see more of that during our weekly weigh in, but it doesn’t feel too bad at all. I must be getting better at this zero waste decluttering lark at long last ๐Ÿ™‚

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. esther says:

    ohoh! I feel that I have a cupboard to declutter…while reading this post, it came up in my head, that the cupboard in the kids room, is piling out too….okay, let’s see when I have a day with nothing to do, hihi!

  2. Fine work Mrs G…there’d be no hope for me if I had such a cupboard. How do you fancy a house-swap sometime? You’re a beautiful declutter fairy and I could use your talents here. Good luck to Esther ๐Ÿ˜€ xxx

  3. Di Hickman says:

    Ha! we must have the same decluttering bug! Friday we began on our garage. It’s by no means finished but we have piles of stuff for charity/freecycle, lots of recycling, and unfortunately some bags for the landfill.
    We can however use the gym equipment in the garage now! YAY!

  4. Oh good job! Isn’t Freecycle wonderful for trash-free decluterring??

  5. Kris says:

    I wish I had more cupboards… all our clutter is a bit too visible!

    Very heartening that packaging materials would/could go on Freecycle as I could certainly lose some of those.

    How brilliant to have a special den ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Layla says:

    WOW!! Great decluttering efforts & great results!!

    (I had to giggle at the description of it all though!! – & bet decluttering is more fun with a camera to shoot it with, & post the results online!! we have way too much stuff to declutter here too!! hmm.. maybe this could inspire me?!)

    & YAY for LittleMissGreen & her farm!! – fingers crossed for her!!

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Any firms plans for the kids cupboard yet, Esther? If you’re anything like me, you’ll put it off for months………

    Thank you, Mrs A. I feel I am getting better at this job; our of necessity and great desire!

    Well done on the garage Di. It feels great, doesn’t it. The garage is on our list too, but it’s a job for a long spell of good weather, so it will be at least 6 months before we tackle it.

    Hi Kristen and Kris. We did really well with getting rid of things; which is so heartening and then gives you the motivation to tackle other areas. I love the whole ‘one man’s trash…’ concept and thanks to schemes like Freecycle, Snaffle Up and Ooffoo we can find people to give our things too.

    Hi Layla, I guess having people to share our endeavours with does make it more manageable. I can look back at these photos next time I think I can’t get through something and find the evidence that states otherwise ๐Ÿ™‚

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