Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 31 - Wrapping it Up

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




How fun!  Here we are at the end of 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go.

This has been a great month full of letting go of stuff that wasn't blessing my family anymore, getting real about what we truly use, finding more negative space in different nooks and crannies of the house.  

I'm really pleased about what I let go of in the attic.  That was a lot of stuff for such a small space.  

I learned a really need a bookcase.  I'll be shopping for a pretty one soon, though I need to think long and hard about where it's going to go.

I didn't declutter any current paper files besides my college paper bin.  (Hey, that was a big one.)   I am very excited to try Susan C. Pinsky's suggestions for filing papers from her book Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD.  I am going to put almost every one of her paper suggestions in place for a test run.  The paper trays make the most sense to me.  Can't wait!  I'm pretty sure it will result in more purges!  I loved her book.

I've already forgotten about some of the things I've purged.  Ha!  I was fishing around in my posts for a particular link, and I saw the soap-making supplies from very early on.  Totally forgot about those already!  Excellent.  Must not have needed them too badly.  Maybe I'll finally try that box-it-up-and-date-it trick.  

I don't know if achieved what I originally set out for or not.  I'm curious what you think, if you've been reading along.  I definitely had a lot of posts in which I was thinking out loud about letting it go.  I had some decent before and afters.  (I love those!)  Did I let go of the next layer of stuff?  I think so.  I let go of so many things that had made the cut previously.  Made many cuts, when I think of it.  So, that's a win!  

There are even a few spots that didn't get hit by the purge, but that's okay because there are more days in the year.  I let something go every day this month!

Hurray!

Congratulations to all my fellow writers participating in the challenge.  I salute you.  I hope you had as much fun as me with your series.

Want more posts like mine?  Check out the Write 31 Days Simplicity and Organizing page.  

And before we go, here's one more purge.  These art drawers were bugging the heck out of me:

 Closest dresser to me, second and third from the top

Disaster!


Geez o' pete!
After:

Oh, my goodness, that's better.


Might not look better to you, but I get it, at least.  :)

All done.

That was a lot purged.  Plenty of paper in the recycle bin.  I might play around (again) with location and real estate (does this item deserve to be in this drawer?), but this is much easier on the eyes.  A fun way to celebrate the end of 31 days!

Wishing you satisfactory before and afters.  And gratitude in the durings.


31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 30 - A Candle for the Win

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




I am writing this on the 31st.  I made it all the way to the 30th without missing a day.  Sadness.  Womp, womp.  

But I am taking it in stride, dear readers because life is better that way.  A younger Anne would have beaten herself up about it a bit and very likely declared this series not done well enough.

What kind of way is that to talk to yourself?  

I cleared a whole heck of a lot of stuff out of my house this month.  A part of me wants to keep going with purging something every day.  The wheels have been heavily greased this month with all this letting go.  I love it!  

There was this perspective shift with writing the series.  I've purged stuff before....lots of times, but this time, I had to let go of something.  And then blog about it.  External authority, I tell you.  It does great things.

Yesterday, I was joyfully distracted by Halloween costumes, family, and homeschooling.  I didn't start purging until everyone was asleep.  Then, little sister woke up, and I had to nurse her back to sleep.  Guess who fell asleep with her, woke up at 12:30am, and thought whoops!  Just missed my very first day.

I've been through this area several times in purge mode.  Art and craft supplies are difficult to let go of in this house.  We like to create things.  (There's a little bit more storage off to the right of this picture.)

What's up with the crazy tissue paper??

One of the drawers under the tissue contained only votive candles.  Do you have any idea how long they've been there?  


Broken plastic frame under the candles


But even now, I'm thinking: But I could be like Modern Mrs Darcy and light a candle every morning and night.  Well, yes, I could, couldn't I?  It does sound so cozy to light a candle and stare at the flame right now.  It is colder out, and we are heading into snugglier times.  I could put one on the sink!  (There are some votive holders not pictured.)  

But I don't like extra stuff on the sink.  

These need to go.  I will get a new candle if I decide I want a candle on the sink.  Or anywhere, really.

I am letting them go.

Now, I can add candle hoarding to my list of things I didn't realize I was hoarding.  Candles and glass containers.  What do you hoard?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 29 - Rocker

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




More than once lately, I've thought about childhood things.  Sentimental clutter can bottleneck a home so quickly.  Cards, gifts, old toys, books, decorations, clothes....it just can't all stay with us.

If you had to tell the story of your life, what pieces would speak the most clearly about you?  

This rocker spoke nothing about me.




I pulled that rocker from my parents' house a long time ago.  I brought it to my basement when I had kids.

I'll paint it and put it in my kids' room!  Won't it be neat that they will have my rocker?

No.

It won't, actually.

Just because I owned it or used it doesn't mean I loved it.  I don't even remember sitting on it.  It was not a beloved toy or piece of clothing.  I didn't have grand imaginary adventures while sitting on it or even near it.

So, there it sat in my basement, never getting used, partially because it didn't coordinate with the room my boys are in currently (and I really pictured it more for a girl, who didn't join us until this year) and partially because I didn't think there was enough room for it anyway.  I am not a fan of furniture without function in a room.  I don't want to just fill space to fill space.  This rocker would've just sat there.  I can't imagine it would be appealing to my kids beyond its size.  I see them curl up with books on the couch or armchair.  Not a spindly wood rocker.  

This doesn't mean I don't appreciate that my parents bought something like this rocker for me.  I certainly do.  They've bought and provided me with a great many things out of love.  But that's not really what this post is about.  

This is about detachment from things.  Really evaluating what we need or desire to have around us in our homes.  

This is about what I really want to share about myself with my kids.

It wasn't this rocker.

I let it go.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 28 - Utility Drawer

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




I am just not sure where to look to let stuff go.  I feel like I have hit all the big spots in our house.  There are little things here and there that could go.  I could round all of those up in one post, but I don't have a feeling of I must get to xyz.

Instead, I am going clean out a drawer because that's what is bugging me right now.  

It's a little messy, not too bad.  Still, a good cleaning is a good cleaning.

Before:




Sort: trash, office supplies, small home improvement supplies, foreign coins (not pictured).  Office supplies went to the office supply closet.






I was trying to be like the Petersiks from Young House Love.  They keep certain things upstairs in a kitchen drawer for easy access.  I think this is smart, but I have a new open bin of painting supplies downstairs on a shelf that is well-labeled.  I think I will utilize that for now.  I wasn't using these tools enough to warrant keeping them upstairs.  I am probably going to regret moving the screwdrivers downstairs.  My husband uses a large, several-gallon-bucket with a sorting insert for his tools that we keep in the basement as well.  I put the screwdrivers in that for now.




After.  The calculator doesn't fit into there very neatly, but this is a good place for it.  The dividers are bottoms of cardboard food containers like cereal boxes and one Goldfish box in the back.





That felt good to do.  Clean out any drawers lately?  



Monday, October 27, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 27 - Knock Your Socks Off...or Not

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




There was another bin in yesterday's pictures that I knew I needed to go through. I hadn't touched it in ages, but that still didn't help me let go of the stuff in the bin.




I really wanted to put the contents of this bin somewhere else, but I didn't have the brain power to say where.  I could've just left the stuff out that I was keeping and put the bin in my huge empty bin pile, but I just didn't want the stuff out.  I am in the middle of the Big Seasonal Children's Clothing Switch, and my brain is already melting from that (3 kids, 1 dresser, 1 closet).

Here's a before: Christmas socks, thermal underwear, thicker socks, theater/dance gear, random pantyhose, swimsuit coverup....




Purged.




Back in the box reluctantly.




I have ideas about what to do with everything: special theater box, reorganize sock drawer to fit extras in, purge my hanging mesh bags for a refill with a label, but I don't have time for that right now.  

It will be on my list of things to do, however.  I might need to make room in my closet for some of my baby's things!

Not feeling like I accomplished much today.  Hmph.

What do you do to get your decluttering juices flowing again?  I need a refill.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 26 - Closet Surprises

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



I sense I am losing steam over letting stuff go.  I still want to let go of stuff, but I am finding the decision-making more difficult.  

Exhibit A: this bin (on the bottom of pile) that I hadn't looked through in some time.



I opened it up and exclaimed surprise at its contents.  So, this is where this stuff was!

I went through it diligently.




I kept this pile.  Man, it is ever apparent to me that I need a big bookcase.  Or two smaller ones.




Here 's the recycle pile.  I'm feeling kind of meh about it.




Five minutes to go before Day 26 comes to a close (central time)!

Are you missing any furniture that would make a big difference organizationally?  I sure am!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 25 - A Sharp Donation

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



This is challenge is almost over!  Only 6 more days after today.  

I'd been wondering about today's donation for a while, but I hadn't approached my husband about it.  Today, I laid out my argument for letting it go, and he quickly agreed.  I thought it might be harder for him to let go of this, but.....it wasn't!

Behold, readers: a knife set.



Ask me what we use out of this.  I would tell you only the steak knives occasionally.  Sometimes, my husband uses the paring knife, but we have an identical one that we keep in a different cabinet.  So, it can go.  I don't like using that particular paring knife because it doesn't have a grip.  The stainless steel handle is not comfortable.  I like the OXO paring knife much better.




We mostly use a santoku knife, a round-nosed serrated knife, and paring knives. We will purchase a set of steak knives later that we can keep in a drawer.  We thought it would be best to leave the steak knives in this set with the set.

There you have it.  That took up a fair amount of space.  Gotta get it in the van!

Do you have a knife set like this one?  Do you use it?