Posts Tagged ‘ organization ’

Declutter Challenge: 7 Items a Day, 6 Days a Week for 4 Weeks! (week 4)

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

New here?  Check out what inspired this challenge and what the “rules” are.

I feel like doing a little dance!  Not only because I actually stuck it out and finished the challenge but also because as a result I got rid of over 168 things in the last 4 weeks!  And yes, that  feels like a huge accomplishment!

While I loved the feeling of freeing up space and making some money in the process, I have to admit, it did take up a lot of time some days to go through things.  Because often once I started sorting through things I’d end up reorganizing or rearranging things in the process.  And for that reason, I’m kind of ready to be done.  But I’m not actually quite done decluttering.  I haven’t touched my clothes yet and I really want to go through a couple of boxes in the attic as well.  So I hope to do that in the next several weeks.  Other than that, I think I went through the majority of the house and got rid of the things that we didn’t use, didn’t like or didn’t want.  And it feels good.  We gained more space in our house, became more organized and I learned a lot about myself along the way!

I was excited to make over $70 during this decluttering challenge!  And we should make another at least $25 in the spring (based on previous yard sale experience) from all the things that I added to our yard sale pile.  Definitely a nice added bonus to this whole process!

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve earned so far from selling things that I got rid of.  $5 of what I made this week came from some books that I collected during week 2 and finally sold this week to a local bookstore.

Week 1: $36.72
Week 2: $11.50
Week 3: $13.25
Week 4: $12.00
Total Earned: $73.47

 DAY 1:
* 3 dishes
* Journal
* Doily
* 2 note pads

I love dishes but have more than I really need or use.  I added these 3 to the yard sale pile because they were ones that I didn’t like that well anyway.  The journal, doily and note pads were all things I found in random places and were all things that I no longer used or wanted.  They note pads I gave to the children to use and the journal and doily got put with the yard sale stuff.

DAY 2:
* 4 blankets
* cookbook
* book
* Lava soap

The baby blankets were extras that I wasn’t using.  One was actually stained a bit, so I cut it into rags.  The other 3 are getting donated to a local organization that is helping refugees in Iraq.  On Monday I plan to go through some of our clothing to add a few more things to my donation for them.

The cookbook and book were put with the yard sale stuff.  The Lava soap is something that I think we used to use some to wash our hands when we were thick in the middle of remodeling.  But honestly, I don’t remember for sure what we used it for!  I do know that my husband’s grandmother is the one that introduced it to us and I think she gave me this bar.  But we don’t really use it anymore and if our hands are really dirty we typically use this awesome little Fuller Brush Hand and Nail Brush to scrub them and are good to go.  So I figured someone else might as well make good use of it and it got added to the yard sale pile too!

DAY 3:
* baby clothes
* snowman
* fabric scrap and doilies

We have a corner up in our attic guest room/office that is a storage area and it’s been several years since I really went through it and purged.  To be honest, I wasn’t even totally sure what was in every box and tote.  This was a few of the things that I found when I started nosing around.  The baby clothes were clothes that my mom had given to me that I had worn as a baby.  But there were plenty of other ones that were nicer than these and while I want to keep a few, I decided it really wasn’t smart to keep them all!

The snowman and doilies will be yard-saled and the fabric was tossed since it wasn’t really enough to do much of anything with.

DAY 4:
* CD
* diaper bag
* purse
* lotion
* magnets
* silverware

I found another CD that we don’t really listen to much and sold it on the online local yard sale for $1.00.  I also sold the diaper bag for $6.00.  I really liked the bag but have another one that I’m using that is more girly.  The purse and lotion were added to the yard sale pile and the magnets were tossed- they were random little ones that came from who knows where!  I think maybe one of the children found them and put them on the fridge.  But I didn’t agree with their sense of importance!

A friend had given me the silverware (it’s real silver) to use for some DIY decor things I had thought I would do.  But I’m finally facing the fact that I am simply not much of a DIYer and will probably never get those things made, so I’m going to sell it our yard sale instead.

DAY 5:
* fabric

I spent more time in the attic and found a bunch of fabric remnants from previous sewing projects.  Since these are all at least a yard or more I figured I’d try to sell them at our yard sale.

DAY 6:
* binder
* doily
* page dividers

I spent some more time in the attic and this time came across some binders full of assignments and class notes from my college days.  I threw the majority of the stuff away- I mean really, have I looked at it or used it in the last 8+ years since?  Not most of it!  So I kept only a few of the most interesting assignments and a few other random things that I thought might be useful.  It all nicely fit in a small binder which seemed like a more reasonable amount to keep.  Actually, I later went and emptied about another 4 binders full of stuff!  It really felt good to free up more space for things that we truly need it for.  And since we live in a small house with not a lot of storage space, that is pretty important!

And yet another doily.  I don’t know why I had so many of those!  I think that maybe some of them were given to me by a couple of older ladies that I knew and spent time with when I was a teenager/young adult.  But I’m simply not a doily person so they were serving no purpose here other than cluttering up our space.

What keeps you from decluttering?  What things do you have a hard time letting go of?

Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage
Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage
Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage

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Declutter Challenge: 7 Items a Day, 6 Days a Week for 4 Weeks! (week 3)

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

New here?  Check out what inspired this challenge and what the “rules” are.

Whew!  This week ended up being busier than I expected and it made it harder to get decluttering done.  But I did manage to still get at least 7 things collected each day, so I was grateful for that.  I tell you though, if I didn’t know that I had to “report” here, I would definitely have fallen of the bandwagon this week!  So thanks y’all for helping to keep me motivated even if you didn’t realize that is what you were doing!

And can you believe we’re heading into the last week of this challenge?  I’m starting to get a little bit worried that I won’t actually be able to come up with enough stuff for this final week!  But I have a few spots in our attic/storage room to go through yet….oh and I haven’t touched my clothes either come to think of it!  So maybe I’ll be fine after all!

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve earned so far from selling things that I got rid of:

Week 1: $36.72
Week 2: $11.50
Week 3: $13.25
Total Earned: $61.47

And here are all the things that I got rid of this week!

DAY 1:
* 2 folders
* baby shoes
* pancake/egg shapers
* Scrabble game
* old sheet

I have no idea where the 2 folders came from, they were just randomly in with some office type things.  The funny thing is, I actually needed a couple of new ones so it was perfect!  I put them to good use and threw out an old one that was getting tattered.

The baby shoes were given to me as a baby gift when we had our first daughter almost 3 yrs. ago.  They never fit her because she has such wide feet, but I kept them thinking that I could use them if we had another baby girl.  Well, that happened but our next daughter’s feet were big and wide too and the shoes didn’t work for her either.  So, I decided there was no use hanging on to them any longer because apparently we just are going to have babies with big feet!

The pancake/egg shapers were a gift as well and while I’m in love with the idea of using them, I just simply don’t actually get it done.  Seriously, I think I used them all of one time in the almost 8 years that we’ve had them.  Do you ever do that too?  You know, keep things thinking you’ll use them but never actually doing it.

The Scrabble game was an extra that I had to use as decor (the letter tiles that is).  But I got tired of the box taking up space in our game cupboard so I finally got smart and took the tiles and little trays out and am going to donate the board to Goodwill.  Don’t know if anyone actually will want just a board but figure they can always throw it out.  For what it is worth, I did check on Ebay and there actually were people buying Scrabble boards on there.  Which reminds me of a random tip.  Did you know that you can actually search on Ebay and see if an item has sold and what it’s sold for?  It’s super helpful if you sell things on Ebay because you can kind of gauge if there is any interest in the item before you list it.

The sheet was one that had a small tear in it and it was definitely time to just retire it, so I cut it up into rags.  Rags made from sheets are the best for cleaning windows and mirrors!

DAY 2:
* flavored water
* tin
* baby blanket
* book
* lip gloss
* heel file

The flavored waters were free from a grocery deal that I did several months ago.  I thought my husband would drink them but he never did.  So I asked if he would want to take them to work and sell them to the guys there, which he did and they sold for $0.50 each the day that he took them!

The tin, baby blanket, lip gloss and heel file were all just random things that I no longer needed or used.  They either got tossed in the trash or put in the Goodwill box.

And the book?  Well, here’s a case where being sentimental was an issue.  A good friend gave it to me years ago and had written lots of little notes throughout.  I very much appreciated it and it blessed me but obviously, it wasn’t something that I kept reading and re-reading.  Finally I realized it was rather silly to keep holding onto it- kind of like keeping a greeting card that a friend gave you for years and years.   Initially I was going to erase the notes, since they were all written in pencil and then give it to Goodwill.  But then I realized that it really, wasn’t worth my time.  (There were a lot of notes!)  I’m all for reusing, recycling and not wasting but sometimes it’s simply okay to say it’s enough and let it go at that.  So, as wasteful as it seemed, I just ended up throwing the book away.  That may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it was!  But it also felt freeing.  I’m not sure how to explain it but maybe simply that I’m slowly realizing that it’s all about balance.  And this felt like a small step in becoming more balanced.  I don’t know if that makes any sense or not!

DAY 3:
* CD and tapes

I’ve been seeing these old tapes that we never use and kept thinking I’d do something with them and never did.  Silly really, because it only took a couple of seconds to collect them and put them in the Goodwill box.  I also grabbed a CD that we never use.

DAY 4:
* cookbook
* yarn
* 2 boxes stationary
* old baby blanket
* lace doily

Everything but the yarn went in the yard sale pile.  The yarn was from a baby blanket I had started years ago and never finished.  I initially was going to sell it but it dawned on me today that my mom would gladly finish the blanket for me since she recently started crocheting again.  I don’t plan to use it but would love to donate it to the Sweet Pea Project.

DAY 5:
* Family Fun magazines

Family Fun is a great magazine and I loved getting it for free for a couple of years thanks to some promotions they had.  I kept these old issues thinking I would use them again for more ideas but again, it was wishful thinking.  I’m going to be speaking about saving money at a local mom’s group in several weeks and plan to take them along and hand them out to the ladies there, at least if they are interested.  If not, then I’ll recycle them.

DAY 6:
* 3 boxes cards
* bunch of kid’s clothes

Random fact about me: I used to work for American Greetings and Hallmark servicing their greeting card racks in numerous stores.  Sometimes I got discontinued products for free and these boxed cards were from that.  I came across them in a box in the attic and decided to yard sale them.

I went through some of my totes of kid’s clothing and pulled out a few things to get rid of.  Actually, I got rid of more than what you see here, I just didn’t feel like trying to pile it all on the picture!  Mostly it was coats and jackets but also a few pairs of pants and some shirts.  I have more that I could get rid of I’m sure and I hope to go through all their clothing later this winter to organize it better and will purge more then.  I posted some of the items on the online yard sale group and made $12.25 on them!

What did you get rid of this week? 

It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration
It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration
It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration

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Declutter Challenge: 7 Items a Day, 6 Days a Week for 4 Weeks! (week 1)

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

I made it through my first week of the declutter challenge and actually survived!  Whohoo!  Okay, so that’s kind of dramatic, I know.  But it does feel like a rather big accomplishment.  And while there were parts of it that were hard, I’m excited because I also caught a glimpse of how freeing this whole thing of getting rid of stuff is!  I’m determined to stick it out and finish these next three weeks, although I’ll admit, about two days into this challenge I was second guessing myself and almost feeling panicky wondering how I was going to come up with 168 things to get rid of.

Before I show you all the things I got free of this week, I wanted to share a question that Meghan asked on my Facebook page about how I’m handling selling things.  She said:

So are you counting it if you’re “trying” to sell it or would you count it if it actually sold? This is what I’m torn on b/c if it doesn’t .. then it’s still cluttering somewhere.

And here’s a summary of my reply:

Good question! If I try to sell an item and it doesn’t sell then I’ll either give it to Goodwill or put it with my yard sale pile.  Several years ago we started designating a small corner in the basement as our “yard sale corner” and whenever we find something that we want to get rid of, if we think it is yard sale material we put it there. Then every summer we have a yard sale using that stuff. So I guess while some of my items might not technically leave the house now, they will eventually and they are designated to leave if that makes sense.

(You might be wondering why I’m decluttering now if we do this throughout the year. Well, it just feels like we still have too much stuff and I thought by being really intentional and looking throughout the house specifically for things instead of just waiting for it to hit me that, “Oh, we don’t really use this anymore!” we could become even more free of our stuff!)

All that to say, do what works for you! The goal is to declutter and so if you find something that works better for you, go for it!!

And now (insert drum roll), here’s what I purged our house of this week!

DAY 1:

* 7 baby food jars/container
* Starbucks jar

I kept the baby food jars/container thinking that I’d use them to put homemade baby food in.  But the fact of the matter is, I have never really needed to use baby food that much anyway with our other two children and so far our 8 mo. old is exclusively breast fed and so I’m guessing by the time she is actually interested in table food she’ll be able to just eat regular food that is mashed.  I posted them for free to a local online yard sale group because I knew several people had been looking for some a couple of months back.  But so far no one has wanted them so they’ll be going in the recycle container shortly.

The Starbucks jar?  I use them for my homemade salad dressing but this one was missing a lid.  Why was it still in my cupboard?  I have no idea.  One of those great mysteries!  Ha!

DAY 2:

* 2 pieces of fabric
* 3 books
* cookbook
* magnet

I posted the fabric to the online yard sale group, and the one piece sold for $4.50.  The other one is on our yard sale pile in the basement and if it doesn’t sell online, then I’ll try to sell it when we have our next yard sale.

The cookbook sold for $0.50 on the online yard sale!  It was the first thing that sold for me so even though it was just $0.50 I was pretty happy!  And I know I’ll be able to sell the books too.  There is a local book store that buys some kinds of books and the owner said she would take these.  I was going to drop them off this week but unfortunately she was away on vacation so I’m hoping maybe it will work for me to drop by next week.  I might even be able to find a few more to add to the collection!  I’ll keep you posted on what I make on them.

The magnet was annoyingly cluttering up the side of our fridge.  I have no idea why I didn’t just take it off and trash it earlier.  But it’s gone now and my fridge looks happier!

DAY 3:

* Digital Scales
* 2 Bread Pans
* Boyd’s Bear
* Pancaker Turner
* Shoes

I sold the digital sales for $5, the bread pans for $6 and the pancake turner for $1 on the online yard sale group.  I love making my own bread but I had 8 bread pans and only ever make 6 loaves at a time.

The Boyd’s Bear was given to me by a dear co-worker friend of mine when I left for college.  I often thought that I should get rid of it, but I’m kind of sentimental and it was tiny (only about 3 in. tall) and so I kept passing over it.  But I finally admitted that it had served it’s purpose and was no longer doing anything for me other than cluttering my space, so it hit the yard sale box too!

Those shoes?  Again, I have no idea why I didn’t chuck them earlier.  They were very worn and I haven’t used them in a couple of years.  I noticed them hiding in the back of my closet when I went to get another pair of shoes.

DAY 4:

* 2 boards
* OxiClean laundry booster
* boys vest
* 3 pairs of torn jeans

Those 2 boards came with a box of stuff that we got recently at a sale and I had initially thought they’d work great for a base for my homemade birthday cakes (covered with something obviously!).  But you know what?  If I need a base for a homemade birthday cake I’ll worry about that then.  I don’t really feel like storing these 2 things for a “what if” occasion.

The OxiClean went to the yard sale pile.  I got it free as part of a blogger promotion I think and I never really used it.  The boys vest was part of a batch of clothes that I got for my son at a yard sale and it didn’t fit him.  It’s on the yard sale pile too, although if I find more clothes to get rid of, I might try to sell them all on the online yard sale group.

I usually try to keep 2 pairs of not nice jeans for our 6 yr. old to wear.  You know for things like helping my husband with a house project such as painting or for when he plays football by himself outside (major grass stains).  Well, I was helping him get his jeans for school one morning and realized he had 5 pairs of not nice pants filling up his drawer, so I grabbed 3 of them and sent them to the trash.  And now his dresser drawer actually closes without trying to stuff the clothes in!

DAY 5:

* Doll house
* Text books
* Magnet clips
* Cloth bag

This was the best day of the whole week!  We bought that huge doll house early this summer at a yard sale.  I saw it and I think I was trying to relive my childhood or something because I was just sure that we needed it even though we live in a small house.  My husband bit his tongue and went along with it and truth is, the children did have fun playing with it for several weeks.  But after that, it just kind of sat there and cluttered up their bedroom.  And did I mention that it had a gazillion little pieces that got strewn everywhere too?  We had talked to the children about selling it and they were fine with it.  Friday, I was cleaning their room and yet again picking up the gazillion little pieces from the doll house and decided that I had had enough!  So I stopped sweeping and hauled the thing out to our front steps and within an hour or so I sold it for $5!

I sold the textbooks through Sell Back Your Book and got $14.72 for them!  I’ve used them before- their prices are fair and it’s super easy.  They provide you with a mailing label and even pay for your shipping if you use the USPS.

The magnet clips were something I no longer use and they went on the yard sale pile.  The cloth bag was tearing and wasn’t that nice to begin with so I just trashed it.

DAY 6:

I went through my laundry and cleaning supplies.  The spray bottle in the back was empty.  I had intended to make some more of my Homemade Bathroom Cleaner and put it in it so that I’d have a bottle downstairs and a bottle upstairs just to  make things easier.  But I decided to just leave it and stick with one bottle for now.  The Clorox 2 and Ammonia went to the yard sale pile.  The duster went to the trash and the other things were random packs of detergent and the like that I used up while doing laundry this week!

Total Money Made from Selling Stuff this Week: $36.72

So did you declutter this week? How did it go?  What was the most bizarre thing you got rid of?

It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration
It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration
It Worked For Me: Organization Inspiration

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Declutter Challenge: Rid Yourself of 7 Items a Day, 6 Days a Week for 4 Weeks!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

I wasn’t aware of how much of a “stuff” person I was until I married my wonderful husband almost 8 years ago.  My man is a minimalist and is of the mindset that less is more.  He’d much prefer only having a few things and needing to sometimes improvise as a result, than have to deal with the clutter of owning all sorts of things that we rarely, if ever use.

Over the years he’s been gradually rubbing off on me and I’m starting to realize that there really is something nice about not having so.much.stuff.  Still, when it comes right down to it, it’s amazingly hard for me to actually declutter!

For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking about tackling this thing of decluttering and have been trying to figure out the best method to do it.  Then over the weekend it occurred to me that maybe other people would enjoy reading about my experience too.  Obviously, this would also give me the added benefit of providing a kick-in-my-pants so to speak.  There’s nothing like accountability to motivate you!  And so I asked on my Facebook page if anyone would like to follow along as I worked at decluttering.  Wow, I had no idea that this was such a popular topic!  The answer was a resounding yes!  And so, there is no turning back now!  My house is going to get purged of the excess and hopefully our lives will be better as a result!

So, how am I going to do this Declutter Challenge?  Here are my rules.

1.  Get rid of 7 things a day, 6 days a week for 4 weeks.

Why 7 things?  Simply because I was trying to decide between 5 and 10 and decided to compromise and settle right in between the two.  Besides, 7 is the number of perfection so I figured that was a good sign!

Why spread it out over 4 weeks?  Well, my life is very busy right now and doing this in small chunks feels more manageable and will make it easier for me to succeed at actually getting it accomplished.

2.  Do one of the following with each of the 7 things.

  • Use it up (as in food items or cleaning supplies etc.)
  • Throw it out
  • Sell it
  • Find a new use for it
  • Donate it

I’m especially anxious to see how much money I might be able to make through this.  I really have no idea if I’ll even be able to make anything, but there is nothing like knowing I can make money on something to help motivate me to get rid of it!

3.   Do a blog post each Saturday showing you all what I got rid of each day that week and what I did with it. 

I’ll admit, this is going to probably end up being pretty humbling for me!  But I’m hoping that by seeing the things that I am purging and what I did with them, it will help encourage you do also consider diving in and work at decluttering too!

Do you find it hard to declutter?  What motivates you to get rid of things?  I’d love to hear about it!

Want to declutter your home too?  Join me in the challenge!  Each Saturday when I post about how my decluttering went that week I’ll give you a chance to chime in with your thoughts and what your experience was like too. 

You might enjoy…..

* ThredUp: $20 Off Your 1st Order = 4 Items of Kid’s Clothing for $6.42 Shipped!

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Household Tip: An Easy Way to Organize Your Spices and Save Time

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for ways to simplify your life and save you time.  While this is no jaw dropping organizational tip, it should help you do both of those things without too much trouble.

The spices in my two spice drawers used to be in any old order.  When I’d go to get an herb or spice I’d root round until I finally found the correct bottle- not horribly frustrating, but definitely mildly irritating! About 1 ½ years ago, I suddenly had this “ah-ha” moment.  Why not alphabetize my spices and herb?  Several minutes later and they were all in nice alphabetical order and I have loved it!  No longer do I have to stand there trying to figure out which bottle is basil.  Is it in the first row or the last, left side or right?  I know it is at the beginning on the left hand side and can go right to it!

Misc. Info:
I use spice organizers similar to these in my drawers. They were here when we bought the house and I absolutely love them!

Other ideas I have seen are to use a turntable or a shelf organizer.  Either way, you can still use the alphabetical tip to help you save time and keep your life a little simpler.  :)

How do you keep your spices organized?

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