Friday, July 30, 2010

Decluttering

speed_of_life_165 The other day (in my post about curriculum and resources that I have for sale), I mentioned that I was in a decluttering mood.  I have this book to thank for that ===>

I won this book, totally unexpected, from The Homeschool Village.  I didn’t even know I was entered to win, so it was a huge surprised when I received a note saying that I had won! 

I had NO IDEA that I needed this book.  It wasn’t on my list of “books to buy”.  I get a lot of books to review and don’t often find time to read books “just because” anymore.  But, I didn’t select any review books for the month of July and have  been trying to read through the Chronicles of Narnia and the Bible in 90 Days.  I picked up this book and started browsing through it – then I started reading more diligently.  I’m only through the first few chapters, but I truly did NEED this  book!  Isn’t it neat how God always knows just what we need?  I wish we could all (especially me) learn to trust Him more to meet my needs.

Anyway, way back at the beginning of the year, I chose a word for the year => SIMPLIFY.  I even bought a little plaque to hang in my kitchen to remind me throughout the year.  But, that’s as far as it got.  In HomeSchooling at the Speed of Life, Marilyn Rockett tells us that we can’t do it all.  But one thing that we can do to make our lives simpler and more efficient is to reduce clutter (doesn’t that equal simplifying?) 

So, earlier this week, I made a list of various zones in our house that we need to work on simplifying/decluttering.  We started with the coat closet in our living room.  Now, you need to understand that we live in an old house (circa 1929) – so think “little closet space”.  This closet is the only closet we have on our main floor and it’s built on a corner of our living room (so it’s triangular in shape).  There’s a shelf up top and hooks around the edges to hang coats on (no bar). 

We did as the book suggested and totally emptied the closet and started from scratch.  We only put back in what we absolutely need.  We have a full garbage bag full of coats and jackets to take to the thrift shop, along with another large bag of hats and gloves.  Plus, I have some coats laid aside to take to church to offer to some people there who can probably use them this winter.  When I look at the pile, I seriously can’t believe all that stuff was squeezed into our tiny closet!  The floor space houses our vacuum cleaner and the shelf above now contains 3 bags – 1 for hats, 1 for gloves, and 1 for scarves.  I’d like to try to find some bins for these things, but the space isn’t very high, so they’d need to be low ones to get through the opening. 

summer 175 I wish I had taken BEFORE and AFTER pictures, but I didn’t even think.  Anyway, here is the pile off goodies to give away =>

And here you can see what the closet looks like now:

summer 176

Try to imagine it with those garbage bags full of stuff in there yet too.  LOL  I didn’t realize it was quite that bad.

Yesterday’s project was to declutter the 3 junk drawers in the kitchen.  Yes, you read that right – I said 3 (three) junk drawers.  Disgraceful, I know.  I know everyone is allowed or supposed to have one junk drawer, but 3?! 

Anyway, I just grabbed a bag for garbage and set to work (I enlisted the help of Brian, Gracie, and Ian too!)  The first drawer is to the left of my stove and contained a hodgepodge assortment of things such as old Weight Watchers paperwork for about 10 years ago, recipes printed out on sheets of paper, old knobs for our drawers and cupboards, toothpicks and salt (from Vietnam), lotion samples, etc.  I emptied it all out; and since it’s right beside the stove, I filled it with utensils that won’t fit in my spoon jar (previously these items were in the silverware drawer). 

The second drawer is to the right of the sink, and was just full of so much junk that I can’t even begin to describe it.  Let’s suffice it to say that there were about 3 million twist-ties, pens, pencils, screwdrivers and tons of nails of various sizes – just imagine the worst-looking junk drawer you’ve ever seen and that’s it!  Anyway, we totally emptied it and now it holds dish clothes (makes perfect sense, right?)

Drawer #3 had our phone books, local restaurant menus, birthday candles, etc.  It really wasn’t all that bad – just needed some attention.  It’s much better now.  I’d like to pick up some drawer organizers to create sections in that drawer; and I need a new tray for my silverware. 

Hmmm . . . .wonder what’s on the declutter list for today?!

11 comments:

Penny said...

I'm trying to declutter and simplify, too. I've done three or four spaces - just 996 or so left to go.

Mrs. Taffy said...

Well Done!

I have this book too and totally LOVE it! She is so encouraging all through the book.

(Carissa Blanchard)

Heidi... said...

It seems like when my life gets out of control, my house follows... or vice versa... at any rate, this has been a week of putting my house in order as well. On the agenda today, the refrigerator...a GREAT science experience!

Blessings
~H

Carrie said...

This book sounds awesome. Simplification is something I'm after at the present moment and have been working decluttering around these parts as well!

As a side note and in answer to your question - yes, there is a Narnia conclusion post and it is here:

http://www.readingtoknow.com/2010/07/chronicles-of-narnia-reading-challenge.html

Glad you are reading along! =D

Embracing Destiny said...

I'm working on de-clutter projects as well. I've looked at this book on CBD several times and read the reviews. I've been tempted to get it, but haven't yet. ;0)

Donna said...

It's a sign! I just wrote a post on the secret life of a hoarder, I need this book NOW!!

Heather said...

oh, wow. I NEED this book, also! Glad you won:) I still cannot imagine how you get so much done each day. I just stopped by to tell you I donated a "virtual bag of homeschool supplies" in your name--because you have such a love for children. Thanks so much for all you do!! http://faithfamilyandfun.com/?p=3860

Scarlett said...

Thanks for sharing Heidi, I am so glad I am not the only one in a de-clutter mode. It is great to see you taking your items somewhere so that someone else can benefit too!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

yay for simplicity! i get the urge to declutter all too often but then let the urge pass by without doing anything about it. shame on me! i also admire you for homeschooling. you are an amazing mother!

SisterTipster said...

HOW did you know? that I am suffering with CLUTTER BUGitis? LOL! Thanks for the post and inspiration!

Christa said...

I am REALLY wanting to read that book! I have it on my bookmooch wish list as well as my library wish list.

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