Archive for the ‘decluttering’ Category

A recurring theme on my blog, before I moved to Texas, was decluttering. When we moved, we made the ultimate move in living simply… we got rid of 99% of what we own. We only took with us what fit on top of our Saturn Vue and inside it after my two kids, two dogs, husband and myself were in place. Basically, we kept clothes, a few toys, the computer, a few books, and photos. Obviously, we had to replace some things when we got to TX. Like furniture. The week and a half we had no sofa drove me batty. We bought the kitchen basics (mostly secondhand) and a few new toys (secondhand) but other than that, we haven’t bought anything new.

And I love it. The kids have more room to play. We have less clutter to clean. Every once in awhile, I think of an item I miss. A few of them I have gone ahead and replaced, (a blender is high on our list right now) but for the most part I decide that I am happier with less stuff. Most people are shocked by our choice to live with less, but we are as happy as can be.

It was really interesting to see what we took with us- it showed where our priorities are. All about the kids of course… I did take two larger personal items- my camera and sewing machine, so I am not totally selfless haha. We surely did take more toys than totally needed, but I wanted the kids to adjust as easily as possible.

I find myself with much less desire to buy things now that I know how nice it is to live without the burden of clutter. Every once in a while I think I am crazy, but when I look around our cute little home, clutter free and cleaner than any home I’ve ever lived in, I am happy.

It’s kind of odd for me to be done decluttering, it was a goal for so long. I guess now the goal is to keep it simple and not allow it back into our lives. I am working hard to resist any urges I do have to get “stuff” just to have it, and we’re doing pretty well.

So for those of you who were decluttering, how’s it going?

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So I’ve had a problem my whole adult life with laundry. My laundry room has ALWAYS been a mess. There have always been piles and piles of clothes everywhere- on the dryer, in the hamper ALL over the floor. Every time we’ve moved (and it’s been a lot) I’ve had to move big baskets of DIRTY laundry with us because I could just not keep up. Having two kids in cloth diapers has not helped, I keep up with the diapers, but I can’t keep up with the rest of the laundry. But today is a new day…

Today is the day I got the laundry room clean and de-cluttered!

It’s hard to tell in my dingy looking camera phone photo, but I went as far to clean the lint residue off the top of the dryer. I’ve never done that… I’ve not even seen the top of my dryer since the day we installed it. This is one clean laundry room!

(minus the random stains on the floor that were there when we moved in and don’t seem to want to leave no matter how hard I try… )

As sad as it is, this is huge for me. The laundry room has been my Achilles’ heel of homemaking. I feel like if I can declutter my laundry room I can actually be a half decent homemaker. Hooray!

A big part of what helped me do this is that I’ve really simplified our wardrobes. We don’t need ten pairs of jeans a piece. So now, with less clothing in the house, I must wash more often.

Just more motivation for me to keep pushing to live simply and declutter more. I can’t imagine how wonderful it will feel to have my whole home feel like this!

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There are downsides to living in a 700 sf house with two small children, two adults and two dogs. It gets messy SO fast! Off to clean and see what we can take to Goodwill.

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I finished Keagan and Eden’s room! Well. It’s mostly finished. We got rid of a few more toys and some of the stuff in the closet after these photos were taken… and we have to decorate. The walls are sad.

I can’t wait until the rest of the house is so free from clutter!

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So we’re working on more decluttering.

I am oh so proud of myself. We managed to get a carload of stuff off to Goodwill this morning. I mean we didn’t go to church and I am not so proud of that (although with a sick child and recovering husband we really should stay out of public places so as not to spread our nasties) but I am proud of my carload of “stuff.”

If we work at it, we can probably get another load out there today. I want my home for living in, not for storing stuff we don’t need!

I was really torn about if I wanted to sell stuff or donate. We are donating most. It goes away more quickly and it goes to a good cause. (Isn’t my wallet a good cause? hehe) We will sell a few larger items, however.

I have this lovely vision of what my home will be like when we are all done. And I can’t wait. I can’t wait until we are not so overwhelmed by toys. I am so sick of tripping on them. I truly think Keagan will be happier playing with less. I know I will be happier cooking with less clutter in the kitchen for sure. And once the clutter is gone, I can decorate, and I am really excited for that. I am so ready to feel like I am at home. It’s been so long since I felt that way.

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We’re at our new home, trying to get unpacked. We just got the internet set up again so I can get back to blogging again.

The new place is a duplex in a great neighborhood. Not as urban as the last place and it’s surely no victorian mansion, but it’s great for us.

It’s small. Around 800 sf. Actually, I think closer to 750. But that’s okay. We have been progressively living more and more simply with each move and I like it. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably realized that we’re pretty anti-consumerism and that we have been freeing ourselves from stuff slowly over the past year. Well this little place is a push in that direction. We currently have too many belongings to fit into our home. Our closets (which by the way, are awesome for such a small space!!) are overflowing with boxes. What is even in those boxes, I can’t tell you. But I can tell you this: I am dead certain that we don’t need most of it. We haven’t touched it in two months. That means it can’t be all that important!

So I started today with what mill likely be one of the hardest parts.

I got rid of books. Lots and lots of books. And I so love to read. I also love to have books around me, and around my kids. I want them to love reading as much as I. However, we just don’t have the space. So three large boxes of books went to Half Price Books today and they paid us $37 in cash for them. Just enough for me to buy two new nursing bras. Funny how God looks out for us like that. I needed those nursing bras badly (I won’t even get started about the sad state of my old bras….) and we don’t have much extra to spend at the moment, but God always provides.

So I started with books. Considering how much I love them, I think that will make going through the rest of this “stuff” seem much easier. I am trying to let go of my sentimental attachment to things of this world and thing how much happier we will be when our home is clean and free of clutter.

I plan on doing some before and after photos, so be looking for them. 🙂

Anyone else do a major downsize/declutter? Want to share some tips?

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My last blog got into the goals for life changes that I have.

The organization goals have not gone well. I need motivation… I need to see someone who has it together or something 🙂 But it’s still there. I still want to accomplish this very badly. I hate clutter and my house is full of it despite the fact that I’ve donate several carloads of stuff to Goodwill. Most of what is laying around now is paperwork. I need a filing cabinet or something to keep all of it straight.

Other goals are going well. A friend and I started going out and feeding the homeless in our community. It’s been an amazing and rewarding experience. We’ve met people from all walks of life. People who are just down on their luck, former gang members, recovering addicts, current addicts and everything in between. It is really great to not only bless them with some food, clothes and bibles (when they’ll accept them) but it’s been amazing to just converse with these people. You can tell that a lot of them are not used to people even looking them in the eye and they really enjoy the conversation. It works both ways. I love getting to know them and being blessed by their stories. So many of them have strong faith even though things are rough for them. That is beautiful to see.

If anyone reading this is in the Puget Sound area and wants to help out, contact me. We can always use more sandwich makers, financial donations and helpers to pass out the lunches.

Otherwise, life is good. I’m starting an elimination diet tomorrow and though I am not thrilled to be so restricted, I am glad that I will be able to sort out some of my health issues. I know I am going to have a hard time coming up with new meals with it though… and three weeks without chocolate are going to be hard!

Keagan is doing well. I can’t believe he is 15 months old already! He is such a little boy these days. Hardly a baby at all anymore. I think he gets cuter every day 🙂

Ok off to the store to buy foods without glutton, dairy, soy, egg, orange, corn and a bunch of other stuff.

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At a recent event with my church, someone said that being disorganized is a sin. It hit me hard. I’ve already been wanting to declutter, organize and basically get my life on track, but that really put a fire under me.

I had big plans for a yard sale, but I decided to just give away all the “stuff” instead. I may not be loaded, but I don’t need money that bad, and others could use my “stuff” better than I could.

So I loaded up the Saturn and had to make TWO trips down to Goodwill. This is after a recent trip (maybe a month ago?) where I filled it to the brim as well. HOW ON EARTH DO I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF??!!! Oh, and I will probably have about this much to take in tomorrow too. Ack!

And that’s just ONE load!

I am on a mission to get my life together, not just in the decluttering sense, but also in the sense that I should really be a less selfish person and should be living my life for Christ and for others more than for myself. So I am on a mission for change. If you are one of the few people who reads this, you can come along for the ride. Hopefully, I will learn a lot and be able to share some with you.

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check out
http://storyofstuff. com

It’s 20 minutes, but it’s worth it. I never realized the extent of the wastefulness of America until I watched this. I am in awe. It really makes me think about what I should be doing on my own without comercial influences and it makes me want to figure out ways around the system as much as I can. I don’t want to be part of that problem.

It seems sad to me that while Americans are convinced that we need so much stuff that both parents in most families are forced to work so that they can keep up with all this “stuff,” somewhere across the world, someone else is paying for the pile of crap I don’t need in my garage.

I am to tired to get into it any better than that right now.

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