Clutter Free

I think I have always lived with clutter; I’ve never been accused of being a neat-freak!

Actually, I’ve always described it as an organized mess and most of the time I could still find what I was seeking. But recently my children and I were required to move into a very small space and clutter very quickly took its toll. It’s difficult to find places for things; and then equally difficult to find them again.

We are trying to find a new place to live; however, we must live in the allotted space until that new place is found. It is getting bad trying to make space for myself and two pre-teens, but Kathi Lipp has come to the rescue with her book Clutter Free and her 21 Day Challenge.

 

So I began today; and I invite you to join me on this journey. Will you? Will you take the challenge to be Clutter Free in 2015? You can start here: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-21-day-challenge

Here is some of what I’m working on…

 

Box ClutterGames & Crafts Clutter

 

The top image is of Box Clutter. Like I said, we are trying to move, so I am collecting boxes in anticipation. However, we don’t know when that’s going to happen, so the pile of boxes, bubble wrap, paper, air pockets, etc. continues to grow and take over the room.

The bottom image is that of games, craft supplies, bags of items I need when I take my Lilla Rose business to vendor events, etc. This is definitely a case of too much stuff and not enough space. It’s also a result of a bit of laziness on both me and Diva. Granted, given our current living situation, the containers lining the wall are necessary evils, but the clutter on top, around the bottom, hanging out, etc. is not necessary.

I decided to begin with the box clutter. I figured that once the boxes were sorted and organized; once the miscellany around the boxes is cleaned up, perhaps we can assign homes to some of the stuff in the other room (or at least begin to pack it in the boxes – ya know, the whole ‘kill two birds with one stone’ thing).

I was able to spend a little time on it this afternoon and it does look better. It’s not done yet, but things are more organized; and better yet? Some things are G-O-N-E!

Yep, gone. I assigned one of the boxes to be for those items I no longer want and can either sell or donate. I put some items in there, but I won’t count them until they actually leave the house. I also threw some things into the recycling bag. Those I counted and noted for later.

Wait. Why am I counting these things? Well, Kathi has challenged us to get rid of 2000 things over the course of the next year. Dare I attempt 2015 in 2015? I did this back in 2012 and was pretty successful at it. It can be challenging, but that’s what this process is all about, right?

And moving time is a perfect opportunity to start fresh. The only problem is that most of my ‘stuff’ is in storage and won’t be accessible until the move happens; but I will do my best with what I have. Too bad I didn’t count before I sent that bag off to ThredUp two weeks ago – but, wait, they will send me an itemized list, so maybe I will count that once I get that…

After one day’s work, I can sate that I eliminated (via the recycle bag) 28 items, plus a few crumpled up receipts that I didn’t count. Not bad.

Now… Who is going to join me? Who is going to take up Kathi’s challenge? Comment below and share your commitment to go Clutter Free. If you write up your own post about your participation, put your link in the comments and I’ll stop by.

C’Mon Ladies; We Can Do This!

 

* Disclaimer: If you make a purchase at Lilla Rose through my link, I will earn commission; if you sign up for ThredUp, I will earn clothing credit. As for Kathi’s book (Clutter Free), I received a free advance copy in order for my honest and willing participation (the link to amazon is an affiliate link).

 

2012 in 2012 – Back in Action

Weeks 10 through 52…

I really did intend to keep posting about this each week, but I just didn’t do it. I did keep some records of what I sold and donated; however, I kept forgetting to write down what I threw away. So I know my numbers are a little off, but that’s ok. I got a little excited as I was typing everything and I was hoping that it would all add up to 2,012. I was wrong. I didn’t make it. Does that mean I failed? Yes and No.

Yes, I failed to reach 2,012 items.

But I really don’t feel like it’s a failure. How can one fail when there are 1,523 fewer items in the house? There are more than 1500 things I don’t have to clean up; more than 1500 things I don’t have to dust; and more than 1500 things that are no longer cluttering up my home. This also means that there are over 1,000 items that have gone on to other homes through donation or sale; and may be benefiting someone else instead of sitting in a box.

So, no. I didn’t fail. I made a lot of positive changes this year. And I’m grateful I began this challenge. But I’m not finished…

I decided that I was going to follow through with this challenge into 2013. I’m not going to start over, but I am committed to making sure that I actually remove 2,012 items from my home. I have 489 more to go. I’ve got a head start with about a third of that currently on ebay!

While I intend to successfully reach 2,012, it’s really not about the number. It’s more about the freedom of living with less. I am truly grateful for this challenge and all the went with it – out the door!

Donated:

  • 3 TY Beanie Boppers
  • 4 Die-Cast Cars
  • 88 Kids’ Clothing Items
  • 6 Adult Clothing Items
  • 15 Kids’ Games
  • 219 Kids’ Books
  • 53 Miscellaneous Toys
  • 1 Queen Bed
  • 1 Dresser
  • 12 DVDs
  • 28 CDs
  • 7 Cassettes
  • 1 Pair of Beaters
  • 1 Serving Platter
  • 32 Stuffed Birds
  • 16 Dolls
  • 1 Large Rubber Duck
  • 2 Pairs of Kids’ Shoes
  • 1 Mug
  • 4 Cups
  • 1 Desk Lamp
  • 1 Pair of Reading Glasses
  • 1 Pair of Kids’ Scissors
  • 1 Paper Towel Roll Holder
  • 1 Tote Bag
  • 5 Figurines
  • 4 Cloth Napkins
  • 4 Puzzles
  • 49 VHS Videos
  • 2 Tins
  • 5 Binders
  • 1 Pair of curtains
  • 7 Camera Filters
  • 1 Trinket Box
  • 10 Stuffed Animals
  • 4 Miscellaneous Craft Supplies
  • 1 Wallet
  • 1 Doll Outfit
  • 1 Pair of Earrings
  • 1 Package of Bulletin Board Sentence Strips
  • 1 Box of Attribute Blocks w/Book
  • 4 Posters
  • 1 Pack of Markers
  • 2 Folders
  • 6 Homeschool Magazines
  • 32 Bags of Bulletin Board Letters, Numbers, and Shapes
  • 1 Spelling Cassette w/Book
  • 14 Teacher/Classroom Books
  • 1 bag Block Manipulatives
  • 2 packs of Multiplication Flash Cards
  • 1 Set of Number Disks
  • 2 Educational Trivial Pursuit-type Games
  • 4 Sets of Math Classroom Games
  • 1 Set of Tangrams
  • 1 Set of Alphabet Stickers
  • 24 Folders of Classroom Handouts
  • 1 Piece of Fabric
  • 1 Pair of Booties
  • 1 Large Bag of Glass Stones

Thrown Away:

  • 2 Tennis Rackets
  • 1 Broken Paint Brush
  • 2 Pairs of Socks
  • 1 Box of Melted Crayons
  • 1 Broken 3-Hole Punch
  • 4 Old Software Disks
  • 2 Bags of Damaged Labels
  • 1 Lens Cap
  • 1 Broken Box
  • 1 Bottle Old Scented Oil
  • 1 Bottle Massage Oil
  • 1 Pair of Ballet Slippers
  • 1 Pair of Old Shoes
  • 3 Miscellaneous Magazines (Recycled)
  • 4 Owner’s Manuals for things I no longer own (Recycled)
  • 4 Soap Opera Digest Magazines (Recycled)
  • 21 Expired Coupon Inserts (Recycled)
  • 1 Damaged Doll Clothing
  • 1 Comforter
  • 1 Broken Plant Pot
  • 2 Bike Helmets
  • 1 Bike Horn
  • 2 Items of Adult Clothing
  • 7 Boxes of Miscellaneous Papers (This was recycled, not trashed)
  • 2 Knee Pads
  • 2 Elbow Pads
  • 1 Rain Gauge

Sold

  • 11 Hoppy VanderHare Stuffed Rabbits
  • 12 Muffy VanderBear Outfits
  • 6 Muffy VanderBear Bears
  • 1 Doll from Holland
  • 2 Collectible Teddy Bears
  • 10 Mini Handmade Teddy Bears
  • 13 School Books
  • 9 Disney Lithographs
  • 1 Pair of Boys Pants
  • 1 Robert McClosky Poster (make Way for Ducklings)
  • 1 Concert Program (Blue Murder)
  • 43 Creative Memories Scrapbooking Items
  • 6 Brain Quest Games
  • 1 Box of Math Manipulatives
  • 4 Madeline Dolls
  • 1 Demitasse Set
  • 1 Your Story Binder/Laminator
  • 14 Children’s Books
  • 1 Film Camera
  • 3 Beanie Baby Catalogs
  • 1 Computer Keyboard
  • 16 Die Cast Cars
  • 1 Raggedy Anne Doll
  • 1 CARS Car
  • 2 Charmed Memories Charms
  • 28 Thomas Trains/Cars
  • 7 Thomas Accessories/Buildings
  • 22 Pieces of Thomas Track
  • 1 Madeline Playset
  • 6 Mini Madeline Dolls
  • 50 Madeline Accessories (clothes, books, toys, decor, etc.)
  • 2 Dr. Seuss Books
  • 10 Packages of Dollhouse Miniatures
  • 9 Schleich Figures
  • 2 Boyds Birdhouses
  • 1 Boxed Set Gregorien Chant Albums
  • 1 Family Tree software
  • 5 TY Beanie Boppers
  • 1 Limited Edition Canterbury Bear
  • 2 Dezine Fairies
  • 2 Boyds Bears
  • 1 Boyds Wagon
  • 5 Kids’ Artist Activity Packs
  • 1 Dragonsite Fairy
  • 1 Atari 2600
  • 3 Joysticks
  • 8 Games
  • 1 Case
  • 19 Cicely Mary Barker Flower Fairies
  • 6 Usborne Historical Cut-Out Books
  • 1 Missing Piece Book
  • 3 Jessica Galbreth Fairy Ornament
  • 1 Dremmel Power Tool
  • 5 Amy Brown Fairy Ornaments
  • 1 Wii Game
  • 2 Magazines
  • 2 Baseball Card Sets
  • 2 Packs of Markers
  • 4 CDs
  • 3 Nene Thomas Fairy Ornaments
  • 1 Doll Outfit
  • 7 Large Die-Cast NASCAR Cars
  • 1 Atlas
  • 1 Kids’ Game
  • 1 Adult Shirt
  • 1 Box of Play Money
  • 5 Kids’ Clothing Items

Totals:

  • Donated:  697 Items
  • Thrown Away: 70 Items
  • Sold: 387 Items

Week 10: 1643 – 1154 = 489

Did anyone else do a purge in 2012? If not, how about considering one in 2013?

2012 in 2012 – Week 10

Week Ten – not too eventful *sigh* – I found it’s much too difficult to purge when you can’t walk! My foot is healing nicely, according to my surgeon, but we did have a small scare when one night this week I developed a mild fever; then it woke me up in the middle of the night with pain and extreme itching. I went back to the doctor and he thinks I was having a reaction to the betadine they use as an antiseptic. God-willing, we will be able to remove the stitches on Monday and I will be to begin walking and driving again – yay! I also need to start exercising again so I can get back to this!

For this week’s dismal results…

Donated:

  • Nothing

Thrown Away:

  • 3 Non-Disposable Razors & their Stands
  • 1 Pair of Underwear
  • 1 Adult T-shirt
  • 1 Adult Pair of Pants
  • 1 Adult Pair of Shorts
  • 1 Broken Dry Erase Board

Sold

  • 6 Fairy Figurines

I am very glad I didn’t report these sold items last week ’cause this post would be very thin! I purposely left them out last week even though they sold during that time. They hadn’t been paid for yet, and I have had experiences with some ebay sales where things never get paid for…

Totals:

  • Donated: 0 Items
  • Thrown Away: 8 Items
  • Sold: 6 Items

Week 10: 1657 – 14 = 1643

Yuck! I think I was supposed to average 41 items per week, not 14! Heal foot! Heal! We will be back to our regularly scheduled program in a week or two. Is anyone else purging? It’s not too late to get started – please consider joining me. Have a good week everyone.

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 8-9

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since my last update! But I have a really good reason: I had foot surgery last Friday. It should have been a simple surgery, but since it was on the foot, I can’t put weight on it while it heals, so I can’t walk for 2-3 weeks. The fact that it’s on my right foot means I can’t drive either. So life’s been a little complicated, yet a little boring for the last week! As a result, I’m going to be combining the last two weeks’ purges into one.

So, for both weeks, here goes:
Donated:

  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Cell Phone
  • 4 Chargers

Thrown Away:

  • 4 Re-Usable Plastic Food Containers (re-used 3 of them again in an art project with plaster of paris)
  • 12 Pairs of Socks
  • 1 More Pair of Tights (Diva is hard on her tights!)
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 3 Adult T-shirts
  • 2 Adult Pairs of Pants
  • 2 Children’s Pairs of Pants
  • 1 Broken DVD
  • 5 Almost Empty Bottles of Old Cleaners
  • 1 Dish Washer Detergent Dispenser
  • 1 Tattered Shelf Liner
  • 1 Broken Glass
  • 4 Old Sponges
  • 3 Cracked/Broken Plates
  • 2 Expired Food Packets
  • 1 Broken Game
  • 2 Dried Out Bottles of Glitter Glue
  • 3 Broken Tokens
  • 1 Stack of Used Bulletin Board Letters

Sold:

  • 2 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbits
  • 1 Thomas Waterfall Building
  • 4 Pieces of Switch Track
  • 2 Pieces of Wacky Track
  • 2 Pieces of Criss-Cross Track

As you can see, I did get some items listed on ebay before the surgery. I am thankful that I am able to print postage from the computer, and the postal carrier will just pick them up at the regular mail delivery time. My kids really helped me to get things packed up and out to the mail box. Thanks Diva and LegoFan! I did sell six other items, but they won’t go out until Monday, so I will wait and include them in next week’s totals I am hoping to get cleared to do a little more walking so I can get more items listed in the next week or two.

Totals:

  • Donated: 6 Items
  • Thrown Away: 51 Items
  • Sold: 11 Items

Weeks 8-9: 1725 – 68 = 1657

Not too shabby for someone who has been cut open and laid up for a week!

With 43 weeks left in the year, I now must average 39 items per week. But I’m not sure how well I’m going to do this week while I’m still living on the couch – we’ll see!

2012 in 2012 – Week 7

Ok, I’m just squeezing this in on Saturday instead of Sunday; at least for some of you who live in later time zones (Hi Heather from Cali!)! This week is the first week that Saturday has rolled around and I looked over at my corner where I keep my donation pile for the week and said, “Ooops!” I had three things. So I spent part of my Saturday morning seeing what I could do to rectify that situation. It seems having the accountability of posting about this each week provides that proverbial ‘kick in the pants’ I sometimes need to get moving.
So here goes:
Donated:
  • 3 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 7 Articles of Adults’ Clothing

Thrown Away:

  • 2 broken Toys
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Pair of Tights (Diva is hard on her tights!)
  • 1 Pair of Underwear
  • 4 Pairs of Nylons
  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 2 Broken Thermometers

I did not, as I had hoped, list or sell anything on ebay this week. But I did take some more pictures to be ready for a mad session or two of listings coming soon.

Totals:

  • Donated: 10 Items
  • Thrown Away: 12 Items

Week 7: 1747 – 22 = 1725

Guess that’s what happens when you wait until the last day to work on your weekly project! I guess I’ve blown that ‘ahead of the game’ status I mentioned last week. But, the bottom line is that items are still leaving the house and we are still de-cluttering.

Until next week…

2012 in 2012 – Week 6

Uh-Oh, started a pattern of not posting my weekly results on Saturday night, I’d better nip that in the bud! But, better late than never, so here’s is this week’s tally!
Donated:
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 9 Pairs of Socks
  • 28 Kids’ Books (most will be going to two little cousins and the rest went to Goodwill)

Thrown Away:

  • 1 Pair of Underwear

Sold:

  • 1 Muffy VanderBear
  • 1 Steiff Collector’s Book

Totals:

  • Donated: 45 items
  • Thrown Away: 1 item
  • Sold: 2 items

Week 6: 1795 – 48 = 1747

Ok, so we didn’t do as well this week. But the most important thing is that we’re still making progress. Things are still leaving our house. Diva’s room has been cleaned up and rearranged. LegoFan has fewer items in his dresser and the drawers actually close (amazing!).

If I go back to my original calculations of how much needs to go each week to stay on track, I am ahead of the game. The average number of items to go each week to complete this task by the end of the year is 40. So, even with this week’s 48, I’m above average! And, with 265 total items gone, I’m averaging just over 44 items per week. We’re on a roll ~ and it feels good!

Now I need to get serious about listing on ebay. I have taken several pictures of things that can go to other good homes and uploaded them to my computer. Now I just need to sit down and list them. It’s really not that difficult. In fact, if you have several items of the same type, you can set up one listing and then just change names and pictures to make subsequent listings much easier. So it’s time to get busy!

Let me know how your purge is going in the comments!

2012 in 2012 – Week 5

I’m getting this week’s report in a day or so late, but here it is…
My son and I did get to go through some of his clothes, but we did not get to all of them. My daughter, however, continued her purge – I am SO proud of her! She got rid of some more clothes and a bunch of toys.
I did sell a few things on ebay, but I’m not including all of them as they have not yet been paid for. Sometimes these items just don’t end up leaving the house, unfortunately!
Donations:
  • 20 Items of Kids’ Clothing
  • 44 Horse Related Toys
  • 5 Misc. Toys
Thrown Away:
  • 2 Shower Caddies
  • 1 Shower Curtain Liner
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 3 Torn Shirts
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Broken Testors Model
  • 1 Out-of-Shape Plastic Cup (actually recycled)

Sold:

  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 1 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbit

Totals:

  • Donated: 69 Items
  • Thrown Away: 11 Items
  • Sold: 2 Items

Week 5: 1877 – 82 = 1795

Now, two of the items we threw away were replaced – you kind of need a shower curtain liner, and a shower caddy is certainly helpful when you have multiple people and all their various bottles! But I still counted them in the totals because we got rid of three things that were no longer in good condition.

Diva is starting to see the difference she has made. Her room is much cleaner without all the clutter, and she has more space to play with the toys that are more important to her. I think this has been a valuable lesson for her. Now I just need the lesson to sink into LegoFan’s head…

Though, if truth be told, I think they both get it from me. I’m thinking that I may need to provide an even better example. We’ll see what happens this week!

Anyone else purging? How’s it going?

Weeks 1-3

Week 4

2012 in 2012 – Week 4

(Here is the first post in this series: Weeks 1-3) Here I am at the end of Week 4  and I have worked really hard to catch up! Actually, I must commend Diva as she was pretty selfless this week in her donating. It’s difficult sometimes to teach this to children, so I am so glad she is learning it early. At one point, she wanted to keep ALL of her clothing as she grew out of it “for her little girl.” I had to explain to her that an awful lot had to happen in order for her to be able to do that; not the least of which was the storage of all these items… We have compromised on a few of her favorite dresses instead of everything she has ever worn! She has also, on her own, decided to donate some of her puzzles and toys. She has come a long way. This coming week, we tackle LegoFan’s clothes…
Oh, we were blessed with our tax refund this week and we finally purchased a new blender! Yay! Our old one was so pathetic – the center part of the lid no longer stayed on by itself! So, even though we bought a new one, I’m still listing the old blender as a throw away. I am oh-so-glad to get rid of it!
So let’s see where we are as of the end of Week 4:
Donations:
  • 6 Puzzles
  • 1 Pair of Boots
  • 1 Pair of Dress Up Shoes
  • 1 Baseball Hat
  • 2 Head Bands
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 1 Small Purse
  • 1 Belt
  • 1 Play Wand
  • 1 Placemat (still looking for its counterpart…)
  • 1 Child’s Hat
  • 1 Wooden Crate
  • 1 Bag of Foam Pieces for a Foam Craft
  • 1 Christmas Garland
  • 13 More Ornaments
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 1 Christmas Stocking

Thrown Away:

  • 2 Pair of Tights
  • 2 Christmas Garlands
  • 1 Pair of Pajama Bottoms
  • 1 Broken Hanger
  • 1 Dragonfly Magnet with Broken Wing
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Broken Flashlight
  • 1 Damaged Picture Frame
  • 1 Brush
  • 1 Rocking Chair (sad…)
  • 1 Ottoman (sad…)
  • 1 Broken Blender (oh happy day!)

Sold:

  • Nothing sold this week, but I listed a bunch of items on eBay tonight. So, hopefully by the time I write this next week, I will be able to add something to this category!

TOTALS:

  • Donated: 42 items
  • Thrown Away: 14 items
  • Sold: 0 items

Week 4: 1933 – 56 = 1877

Boy, I sure do like seeing that number go down! And as I sit here thinking about it, the new blender is really the only thing we brought into the house. Other than food and toiletries, etc.

But there is one more funny thing I want to add… Diva is really getting into the spirit of this project! She wanted to count every piece of paper she recycled too!

Now, I am off to get some sleep and enjoy a day of rest at Mass, with God, and with my family before I start to tackle LegoFan’s clothes…

How did your week go? Were you able to donate, sell or throw away anything to de-clutter your home? Tell us about it in the comments!

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 1-3

The other day I was visiting At Home, At Work, At Play and this is what I saw (Catalina gave me permission to use her graphic – thanks!):

Catalina had started a quest to get rid of 2012 things in the year 2012. Here is that original post. I told her that I really liked this idea and was going to tackle this as a goal for myself and my family – although the family members in question are unknowingly participating. The problem is that when I do the math that comes out to almost 40 items per week! And I’m three weeks behind…
Now I have 41 items to get rid of each week. Sigh. I still think it’s a doable goal though. Between the four member of this family, we can purge enough to make this goal a realistic one. So, here I go:
Donations:
  • 2 pair of pants
  • 12 articles of kids’ clothing
  • 32 kids’ rubber stamps
  • 1 teddy bear
  • 1 tree topper
  • 26 small Christmas tree ornaments
  • 1 doll

Thrown Away:

  • 1 pair of tights

Sold:

  • 1 book
  • 1 collectable catalog
  • 1 fairy ornament

Totals

  • Donated:75 items
  • Trashed: 1 item
  • Sold: 3 items

Weeks 1-3 ~ 2012 – 79 = 1933

As of January 20th, 2012 I have removed 79 items from my home. The problem is I have no idea how many items made their way into my house. I suppose I should keep track of that too, but that may become too depressing. The idea is that we should get rid of more than we bring in, so that there is a net loss at the end of the year. However, I wouldn’t look at it as a loss…

It would be a gain of space. Less clutter means more open space in which to live and breathe.

It would be a gain of time. Less stuff means fewer things to clean, dust, and launder.

It would, in a way, be a gain of money. I would be spending less on cleaning, laundering supplies if I had fewer things. (Ok, maybe that one’s a stretch, but it feels good to put that in there.)

So, will anyone else join me on this journey? Let me know in the comments. If I get a couple of people, perhaps I can look into putting a linky-thing on here in the coming weeks so we can support each other in this endeavor. Who’s with me?

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well, and  Raising Homemakers.