Category Archives: Declutter

Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 3 – Kitchen Counters!

You know what this means for me. Kitchen Counters = My dear sweet kitchen island gets to be uncovered again.

Here’s where we started this time:

Clutter Island 2000

It could be worse, right? A little worse?

For some reason I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as I usually do by this task. That makes me happy.

By the way, those Star Wars oranges are delish. Much better than regular oranges.

I actually remembered to start the timer this time. So after 15 minutes:

papers on island

Of course. Papers! Grrrr.

I set the timer for 15 more minutes:

100_9583

I recycled a bunch, and these are sorted small stacks.

I decided to go for 5 more minutes to see what I could do. I’m wild that way.

Oh! I almost forgot to show you this Easter basket that I found (yes, in the kitchen, in January).

I put all of the kids’ things that I found on the island in there for them to put away. I left that as one of their chores for the morning.

kid stuff to put away

(Not sure what the story is with this picture in the basket, but apparently there is a stolen lunchbox situation. “Hey! You took my lunchbox!” “Hands up!”)

The 2 piles behind the basket are for me and the hubby.

So here is what is left. A pile of mail and a small pile of papers for me to deal with.

Not Too Bad Island

 

Time for bed! It’s not perfect, but I have to get over being perfect so that I can make progress and not wait for the “perfect” time to be able to make it “perfect.”

Ack! I just realized that I forgot to count the things I decluttered this time! It was supposed to be 25 things. Things I got rid of included: trash, papers (mail, coupons, receipts, cards), and food. The rest of the items were relocated to their correct home. I just counted the papers from my recycle bag and there were 25 there, so let’s call it 30. Whew!

How are your kitchen counters doing? Getting rid of any clutter there?

I’m taking Kathi Lipp’s ecourse Kickstart to Clutter Free. If you are interested in the ecourse, you can read more about my thoughts on it here.

Next stop is the home office, whatever that means for you. Looks like I will be getting rid of more paper….

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

8 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter

Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 2 – Bedroom!

Okay, time to get back on track after the dreaded stomach bug hit us. Also, the bedroom was hard for me, but not because I don’t have clutter in there!

The assignment was to get rid of 25 things from the bedroom.

At first I just kept looking around and feeling like I didn’t know what I should declutter. I started by picking up some trash. Easy! But that only counts as 1 thing.

Then I tried looking at the bookshelf. Books are hard!

Bookshelf

There are so many I: A) Want to read (I think) or B) Already read, but think I might read again. And then a bunch of them are my husband’s, so I’ll leave those for him.

I know that a lot of those books in category A I will most likely never read. There, I said it.

But here’s my brain:

But I might! What if it’s a really good book and the library doesn’t have it or I forget that I wanted to read it?

I know I just need to let go, but it might take me a little longer to get there. I did get rid of 2 books and a random DVD that was there (they just didn’t make it into the picture).

Next stop: The Closet.

I went for the easy things first. Maternity clothes – 10!

Next, I took a big leap and got rid of 11 pairs of shoes! And I really like some of these! And some are practically new!

But here’s the deal. I have a foot with issues. Up until about a year ago I was able to get away with wearing all kinds of shoes, but no more!

I have learned that I need to wear shoes with excellent support and/or custom orthotics (at least most of the time) in order to take care of my feet (which is also taking care of my knees, hips, and back).

No reason to keep all of these shoes that make my feet hurt!

decluttering shoes

Seriously. This is most of my shoes out the door. I’m finally trying to be a responsible foot owner.

Total clutter out of the bedroom: 25!

Kitchen counters are next and I am hoping to get on that before this week is done!

How about you? Have you decluttered anything from the bedroom lately? Or anywhere else? 

I’m taking Kathi Lipp’s ecourse Kickstart to Clutter Free. If you are interested in the ecourse, you can read more about my thoughts on it here.

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

11 Comments

Filed under Clothes and shoes, Declutter

Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 1 – Paper!

Here we go! I’m so excited to be doing Kathi Lipp’s Kickstart to Clutter Free e-course! Day 1 was paper. The assignment was to get rid of 100 pieces of paper.

Kathi thought this might be a hard one for people. Not me!!! Do you know why? Because I have gobs and gobs of paper clutter!

I am really really good at collecting and keeping paper that I don’t need!

Here’s a before picture of my “desk”:

paper clutter

 

I decided to go for a section where I mainly keep the kids’ school related papers, because I knew that most of them could be recycled. I grabbed a huge stack and started going through them quickly.

For this class, each decision counts as an item. So a stapled pack of papers would count as one if you just need to basically look at the top piece and decide, but one piece of paper can also count as one. I had both situations here.

To help me keep track, I grouped the papers I was getting rid of in stacks of 10. I am so distracted, I knew I would lose count if I tried to count all the way to 100 at once.

Here are the papers I recycled. There are actually 310 here! Yippee!

kids school papers

This is the stack of papers I am keeping:

keep papers

And believe it or not, I actually put these papers where they needed to go!

This “Stay at Home” tray is now cleaned out!

Paper tray for school papers

Here’s the “after” picture of the “desk”:

Some papers gone

 

Okay, so there’s lots more to do here, but 310 papers out the door is a great start!

If you are interested in taking the e-course, you can sign up hereIt’s not too late! You can start anytime. You can read more of my thoughts about it here.

Have you decluttered any paper lately?

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

15 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Paper Clutter

Need a Kickstart to be Clutter Free? I do!

Hi Guys! Just a quick post to let you know about this e-course I’m taking:

Kickstart-Cover-FINAL-w-Shadow1

 

Something about the new year always makes me want to ramp up on the decluttering. I know I’m not alone! The problem is that even though I really want to do it, when I look at my mess I get overwhelmed. It’s hard for me to know where to start. Sometimes it’s just hard to start even if I know where I should start!

So when I saw that Kathi Lipp is doing a 2 week kickstart called Kickstart to Clutter Free (affiliate link), I was totally interested.

Here are some things I like about it so far:

  • 2 weeks: 500 things gone. That sounds awesome and a little scary all at once! But what makes it not as scary is that Kathi tells you what to get rid of each day. There are little assignments. She has an encouraging video and paper resources, too.
  • Only 15-30 minutes a day!
  • The course is self-paced and you have continuing access. It doesn’t expire after the 14 days, so you can revisit the materials over and over or spread it out over a longer period of time.
  • There is a place for comments on each day of the class, so you don’t feel like you are doing it alone.
  • Cost: $11.99  – Not crazy expensive or anything, but sometimes paying for something like this means you are more likely to follow through with it (I’ve learned that the hard way). And if you are selling or donating some of the things you declutter, you might just make that money back. And it is a lot cheaper than paying a professional organizer to help you get rid of 500 things!

Just so you know who you are working with for the e-course, Kathi Lipp is a Christian author and speaker. One of her books is Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space. (I haven’t read it yet, but it looks good!) She’s funny and down-to-earth. And she hasn’t always been clutter-free (another reason I like her)!

One of the first things Kathi says to start with is finding someone to help hold you accountable. Soooo I’m planning to blog my way through this e-course. If you don’t hear from me for  a while, you have permission to bug me about it! (Comment, Facebook, email me). And if you want me to help hold you accountable, then comment on this post and tell me you are going to do this with me!

If you want to join me in the e-course, click here to register and let’s get rid of 500 things in 2 weeks together!

By the way, especially for those of you who have been following my blog for a while, I do have a post started giving lots of updates on what’s been going on with me while I’ve been a little absent around here.

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

4 Comments

Filed under Clutter, Declutter, Goals

Weeks 10 – 52 (That’s embarrassing) : The 365 Declutter Challenge – I did it!

Well Hello There! Soooo I guess I’m overdue on an update for the 365 Declutter Challenge. You know, the one from 2014? Sorry I went missing for so long! Those of you who emailed and left comments while I was away – thank you! It meant a lot to know that I was missed.

Life got in the way for a while and then when I went back to blog again, and I couldn’t access the back end of my blog! Something went wrong with an auto-update and I didn’t know how to fix it. But once I asked the awesome folks at Dreamhost (I use them to host my blog) for help, they fixed the problem in 20 minutes or less! Yay! If only I had asked them sooner!

And then I just had a hard time getting started again. You know what’s weird? As much as I wanted to blog, I felt kind of guilty doing it. I felt like I really should be doing dishes, laundry, or putting groceries away that have been sitting on the floor for days.

But here’s the thing: My house actually looks better when I am keeping up with the blog. I thought that was true, and my sister confirmed it for me. So I shall continue on!

Now for the update! I took lots of pictures of the things I was decluttering, but due to disorganization and technical difficulties, I can’t access them. Boo. I was going to let that stop me, but that’s silly! Here’s the best I can do right now. This is what my decluttering sheet looked like when I went to update it:


2014 decluttering chart with stickies

I got rid of lots of clothes, paper, shoes, stuffed animals, magazines, catalogs, an Aerobed, a toddler basketball hoop, broken buckets/outside toys, cookbooks, and a vacuum cleaner!

My goal was to get rid of 365 things in 2014 (one thing a day). I did it! I actually got rid of 479 things! Here’s the final decluttering chart for 2014:

Final 2014 Decluttering chart

The Big Question: Did it make a difference?

Even though 479 things left this house, I can’t say it was enough to really make a difference. It is definitely progress, and I am happy about that. It’s moving in the right direction for sure. But there are still too many things in this house, and I am determined to continue decluttering.

I know that my home will be more peaceful and less stressful. I know that I will be able to spend more time on things that are truly important if I am not spending so much time managing and digging through clutter.

What’s Next?

I am planning to continue blogging and sharing about my decluttering adventures. Maybe some other things thrown in there, too. Even though it’s a late start, I did print out the 2015 version of Nourishing Minimalism’s Decluttering Chart. I haven’t decided for sure about what goal to set this year, but I’m thinking 500. It’s tempting to try for 2,015, but I’m still not sure I can manage that in 1 year. We’ll see!

I know a bunch of you were also doing the 365 Declutter Challenge. How did you do? I’d love to hear about it! I’m also taking requests if there is anything in particular you would like me to write about this year. 

This post contains affiliate links.

21 Comments

Filed under Declutter, Goals

Weeks 8 and 9: The 365 Declutter Challenge – baby stuff and kids’ clothes

It’s time to report on weeks 8 and 9 of The 365 Declutter Challenge

Week 8

This was the week that our wonderful house guests actually arrived. Yay! In the hours before they arrived, while we were doing the last-minute (or last-hours) freak out cleaning, I got rid of some more stuff.

This was all stuff from Anna’s room, which used to be the nursery. But my babies are growing up and it’s time to get rid of the baby stuff.

I know those baskets aren’t necessarily “baby,” but I don’t have room for all of them (I did keep 2) and I don’t want to keep them just to watch stuff start collecting in them. How’s that for progress?

Don’t be too impressed, because I also threw a bunch of stuff (mostly clothes) into bags and stuffed them into closets. Yes, I did.

bye bye baby stuff

Week 9

Here we have some kids’ clothes heading out the door!

boy clothes

And this week I realized that we have a lot of kids’ clothes that need to go! I mean wow.

So that’s 7 things for week 8 (orange) and 26 things for week 9 (purple)!

more clutter counting

What have you been up to?

13 Comments

Filed under Declutter, Kids

Weeks 7: The 365 Declutter Challenge – House Guests!!! Before and After pics, too!

Hi Everyone! Sorry I missed doing a week 7 update! I’m hoping to get week 8 posted tomorrow and then I’ll be caught up.

Here’s what happened: Our dear friends who live out of state called to let us know they were coming into town for a funeral. I offered to let them stay here if they needed a place to stay. They accepted!

A couple of crazy things about this:

1. Am I crazy??? Have you seen the state of my house?? Serious disaster area!

2. This is a 3 bedroom house. We have 5 people in our family. They have 7. Last time I checked that means 12 people in a 3 bedroom house. Crazy! But super fun, too!

A couple of good things about this:

1. We were motivated to clean and declutter. We had to, or people would be standing, sitting, and sleeping on clutter.

2. These are awesome friends (they were both in our wedding). They know us well enough not to expect a super tidy neat and clean house.

Well, Mr. RSS was not kidding around about making progress in the basement. Here’s what he was able to accomplish in less than one day.

Ready?

Before:
(FYI – these are before pics I took in January, so that rocking horse is in the pictures even though I got rid of it a few weeks ago):

cluttery basement

After:

basement progress

Before:

basement clutter party

2 After shots:

Yay!

Much better

What went out the door?

3 old computers

old computers

2 shoes (actually 3 individual shoes – 1 pair and 1 single), a book/cartridge from an old LeapPad (water damage), and a bag of miscellaneous clothes and kid stuff (I counted this as 10 things)

shoes, book, cartridge

7 boxes of mostly clothes (I counted each box as 15)

boxes of clothes

Soooo that means I had a lot of little x’s to make….

121 things out the door!

121 things out the door for week 7!!!

In summary: My husband is a decluttering rock star.

What have you been up to? Any decluttering?

15 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter

Week 4: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Kids’ books

It’s week 4 reporting time! If you want to catch up on what I’m doing in this challenge, check out these previous posts:

I’m Decluttering 365 Things in 2014!
Week 1: Easy Bake Oven!
Week 2: The clothes didn’t fit in the drawer
Week 3: Lots of kids’ clothes!

This week I decided to attack some of the kids’ books.

kids' books

I focused on the books that have been living in the big kids’ bedroom. I have been wanting a bookshelf for that room for a long time, but I can be pretty frugal/patient/distracted when it comes to things like that, so the books have just been lined up/piled up on the floor for years. You can see an older post showing that here.

Well, as I was taking before pictures for this whole 365 challenge (which I haven’t been brave enough to post), I realized we had an old Ikea furniture piece that could work quite well as a small bookcase/nightstand.

Somehow it ended up in our small upstairs hallway surrounded by clutter. It turned out to be a blurry picture, too, but I’m throwing it in here because I know some of you enjoy these clutter pics.

Upstairs hallway clutter

So I moved it on into their bedroom and we worked together to pick which books would stay and which ones would we could send out the door.

Things we considered while decluttering our books:

  • How much do we love this book? Do we enjoy rereading it? 
  • Is the book damaged? (We got rid of several like this, but we also kept a few because we still love them and read them.)
  • We had to all agree to get rid of the book. If one person (most often my 4-year-old) wanted to keep the book, we kept it for now. I’m sure we will revisit books again this year!

I realized I forgot to take a nice picture of the finished bookcase, so I just ran up there and took this picture in the dark while they were sleeping:

Books on shelves

A few of our Favorite Keepers:

This one Anna (age 4) would like me to read every. single. day.

Gabe (age 7) is crazy about this one.

Ella (age 9) is loving Narnia.

(The 3 book pictures above are Amazon affiliate links, just so ya know.)

We have 19 books heading out the door! There are a few math workbooks and baby board books that I threw in there on my own.

Decluttering kids' books
And…..I bumped over the 100 mark!!

Counting clutter chart

What have you been decluttering? Do tell!

15 Comments

Filed under Declutter, Kids

Week 3: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Lots of kids’ clothes!

Time to report on week 3! If you want to catch up on what I’m doing in this challenge, check out these previous posts:

I’m Decluttering 365 Things in 2014!
Week 1: Easy Bake Oven!
Week 2: The clothes didn’t fit in the drawer

I was on a roll with the kiddie clothes! Check out my mostly-blurry picture! (It’s almost like I meant to do that in an artsy way, right? Right.)

Getting rid of kids' clothesI had 2 motivators this week:

1. I need to find some stuff to send out the door!

2. There is a toddler girl coming over to my house tomorrow.

Put those together and you get: I’ll find some toddler clothes to give away to my friend!

I didn’t time myself, but I think it was under an hour that I worked through some miscellaneous laundry baskets and piles of clothes and came up with 63 things!!! Wahoo!

They are separated by size now (brilliant) and the pile in the middle has those stained/ripped/not-so-great clothes. I usually cut those up for rags, but if you have any other ideas (especially for jeans), I would love to hear them!

I also found some more boy things to pass on to my nephews. Oh, and the trashy-looking pile of bags on the left is just that. I was looking for bags to put the clothes in and I found those 3 ripped up bags in my bedroom!? I didn’t even bother counting them in my 63 things, but they made it into the picture.

Speaking of 63 things, check it out:

counting clutter

That was fun. (If you want a chart like mine, you can get one over at Nourishing Minimalism if you sign up for the free mailing list.)

OK! Your turn! And please feel free to join in with the challenge at any point if you haven’t yet!

17 Comments

Filed under Declutter, Kids

Week 1: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Easy Bake Oven!

So, I decided to get rid of 365 things in 2014. Oh! And I decided on a name for the project: The 365 Declutter Challenge!

Here’s what’s leaving from week 1:

week 1 decluttering

The goal is 7 things each week. This week I have gone to 11!!

What’s Heading out the door?

  • An Easy Bake Oven!!! I always wanted one of these as a kid and I never had one. (Boo hoo.) So when I had the chance to get one for free from someone at church, of course I jumped on it! How cool! And we had so much fun with it…about 3 times. And then I realized that this thing is a lot of work to make 1 teeny tiny little itsy bitsy cake. Wouldn’t it be more fun to just use the real oven and make a big cake? Then I just went ahead and left that Easy Bake Oven in my kitchen cabinet for about… 4 years. Until now! This one is sneaking out the door. And now I have more space in that cabinet!
  • 7 miscellaneous small toys – the kids helped with these. The (off brand) “Mega Bloks” are from a set we already gave away.
  • The stuffed dog. The dog was a sweet gift. And it looks just like our old dog who died. Which is why this thing has creeped out the adults in this house too many times. It looks too real when you just catch a glimpse of it from the corner of your eye. And it’s watching you. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. I didn’t tell the kids I was getting rid of it, but they don’t play with it anymore. I’m sneaking it out. Here’s a picture of our real Snugs. She was the best dog!

Chillin' on the dock

  • 2 pots – One has a coating that is peeling badly and I’m not interested in eating that stuff with my food, the other one I just don’t use. Here’s a before and after of that space:

decluttering pots and pans

 

How I’m keeping track of my progress

I found this great super-easy chart for tracking decluttering from Nourishing Minimalism. She is doing a 2014 in 2014 Decluttering Challenge, which is so awesome but a little too overwhelming for me right now. You just have to subscribe to her mailing list to get the printable chart for free. Of course you can make your own or keep track in other ways, too. But this was perfect for me. I put a red border around the 365 box so that I can see my goal a little better, but I’m hoping to go past it and I think 2014 things is a great stretch goal for me.

Keeping track of decluttering thanks to Nourishing Minimalism

 So how is your decluttering going? I would love to hear about it in the comments! It’s not too late to join me on this challenge!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

22 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Goals, Kids