My Dining Room

A new house, a new beginning.  We sold so much but the new house came with so much.  We have got to keep the clutter under control especially since this house is so much bigger.  We’ve been downsizing to make it comfortable and more calming to help the children and ourselves.

One of the rooms I’m trying to leave sparse is our dining room.  all meals are eaten here and art is created here.  sometimes it feels like it “echos” but filling up the space is not an option.  This room has held meals for 3 to 9 people at a time.  When we have 9 it’s a real tight squeeze.  it’s the most comfortable with 6.

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Our dining room has 7 heavy wooden chairs.  When we have 7 kids with us (our daughter included), we have to pull in two more from the other room.  We have 1 large table, 1 small side table with two booster seats.  A high chair is down in the basement in case we get a young one with us.  There is a basket with crafts – tissue paper, glue, paint brushes and paper.   Occassionally the basket gets replaced by a vase with flowers, or a tote with markers, or a pile of cardstock – depending on the mood.

I thought about putting on a table cloth and adding place mats but decided that means more work and less family time.  More laundry and more stress from spills.  right now all we have to do is wipe down, sweep and occassionally mop.

On our walls we have a map of the world.  Some of the kids have mentioned that it feels like school and asked why I have the map.  I stated that I love the colors and that I’ve always loved maps.  I have found the kids intently looking at the map, searching for countries.  I secretly smile at this. 

There are 4 curtain panels with 3 curtain rods.  I would love to replace these with blinds but there is no rush. 

There is 1 clock and 1 sign.  The sign is part of a series I made for the new house – What Good Behavior Looks Like In:  Each room has a few rules on the sign to help our guests know what we expect. 

New Image

Not pictured – two pennant banners and a few balloons I’m not ready to take down from my birthday.  My husband has also added a fan which is kind of driving me nuts because it’s an eyesore. 

This room has been the location where lots of great conversations, lovely crafts, amazing card tricks and bonding has taken place.  I believe part of it is due to there always being an empty seat and a clear table to encourage the experience.

Need to Read

I haven’t read a book in awhile.  I’m really sad to admit the last books I read was the Fifty Shades trilogy.  Honestly gotta say – i don’t know why I read them.  Also don’t know why I couldn’t put them down.  The series hurt my brain a bit – the writing repeated itself.  could have been better.  thought several times that if a drinking game was made about Fifty Shades you’d die from alcohol poisoning.  bite her lip – drink, she does something stupid – drink, etc.  It is no literary masterpiece and the female character has no self-respect but I read them nonetheless.

That was a few months ago.  They didn’t have anything to do with me not reading anymore.  Sad to say it was a mixture of getting my iphone, the unfortunate bit of wearing my CPAP mask (love to read right before bed) and my increasing addiction to Simpsons Tapped Out.  My ereader sits neglected in the box on my dresser.  I have even taking a few trips to the bookstore (purchased 5) and have gone to the library (borrowed none).  I guess I’m just not in a book mood right now.  Even though I haven’t read a book I still read daily.

I have been reading several blogs – giving me lots to think about.  Here are my favorites right now:

  1. Miss Minimalist – still a huge fan of hers.  She’s been on a writing sabatical so not much in the way of content from her but she continues to post Real Life Minimalists.  I’m not a minimalist but someday I’d love to be able to write my own to submit.
  2. Living Lagom – LOVE this blog.  It’s refreshing and real.  I love how she shares her weakness for starbucks and her personal goal to eliminate disposable cups.  She has helped me see how bad I am with disposables.  I realized I was using at least 2 disposable cups each work shift – 1 for coffee, 1 for water.  I have to cut back because it’s silly especially when I have reusable cups that I love.
  3. Minimalism is Simple – I starting reading this blog after Aly was featured on Miss Minimalist.  She is going through this process with her mother.  I love that.  I wish that I had a friend or family member that I could do this with because sometimes it feels so lonely to be purging things when everyone around you is purchasing stuff.
  4. Zero Waste Home –  I wish I was this passionate about anything.  Such an inspiration – am completely addicted to this blog.  I want to start composting eventually – I’m also starting to become more aware of how much garbage my family generates.  It’s eye opening.  I like how she prioritizes – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.  and she stresses that this is the order.  I have always hated recycling but never could figure out why.  I think it has to do with “green” people who preach recycling while they are drinking water out of plastic bottles (to be recycled).  Recycling takes alot of energy.  It’s better just to refuse and reduce first.
  5. Be More with Less – the archieves are a wealth of knowledge
  6. One Good Thing by Jillee – she is incredible.  love the recipes – my favorite homemade laundry soap was found on this blog.
  7. How Does She – I get the newsletter.  I consistently read the newsletter too.  Typically email newsletters get deleted without me ever opening them up.  These are so good that I save them.  Crafts, home ideas, fun things to do with your kids – it’s all here.

I’ve also been going back to reading the FlyLady emails.  I feel like it’s time to give her program a try again.  I need routines and structure.  I’m missing both right now and I want to get better.  I still have the hoarding mindset but my house doesn’t show it right now.  I need change or else I’ll never learn how to save money, live with less and be content.  I’ve been buying less “junk” to bring into my home.  I’m truly questioning items now before I buy them.  My husband is also helping by asking if i would want to get rid of it soon after bringing it home.  Most of the time the answer is yes so I don’t buy.  Other things are not as easy.  I have bought some books but they are sitting on my bookshelf unread.

1.  Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda.  It’s right up my alley lately.  My strong push to go more natural and to simplify the cleaners in our home means that these 4 items are even more important then ever before.  The book called to me at Barnes and Nobles when I was shopping for a birthday gift so I bought it.  I looked at it once and then put it on the shelf.


I also bought List Your Self – Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery by Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick.  It’s this really great book full of lists that you fill out.  I looked at this and passed over it.  Once home I got it into my head that I couldn’t live without this book.  I thought of all these great reasons that I had to own it – tons of writing ideas, a great way to get to know myself, I’ll be writing more, etc.  I went back to the store to buy it.  It sits on my shelf next the the vinegar book.  Here are some of the great lists though:  List the situations that always make you cry, List your typical daydreams,  List what kinds of people should never drive cars,  List all the details you can remember about your childhood bedroom.  285 pages worth of lists.


Oddly enough I also bought Thinking of You A card Greeting for Every Occasion because I send out SO many cards to people.  I have given away more cards in my decluttering than I’ve ever given or sent.  I have this unhealthy obsession with buying greeting cards.  I buy tons of them with all the best intentions to send them to friends and family to make them feel special.  I’ve even bought stamps.  I just never get around to sending them.


Amazingly – I mailed out three Valentine’s cards just because getting mail feels so good.  My daughter and I mailed one to my sister, one to my brother in the Army, and one to my nephew.

There are two more books purchased recently but I’ll write about those another time.  I feel good and bad about buying these 5 books.  I’ve been working so hard at downsizing and getting rid of stuff.  I want to break my strong need to acquire.  I want to be happy with less.  but I also want more.  books are hard for me.  I love books.

I’ve been telling my husband the less stuff we have, the less time it takes to clean and care for the stuff.  This means more family and fun time.  More time to try new things, play games and read, write or whatever.

I’ve also found new things I want to try:

  • Single serving pie in a jar – yum!  I want to make these sooo bad.  I need to buy some Mason Jars!  I think this would be a great activity to do up at my mom’s house when we all get together.
  • Mini Rainbow Cakes – yes please!  again – the mini mason jars.  this would be so fun to make with a group!  maybe i’ll have to throw a kid’s party for my daughter just to have an excuse to make these!
  • 30 Green Smoothies – food must be on the brain.  i need to start making smoothies again.

More time to work on some designs:

  • Brush King – there are some really great grunge photoshop brushes.  I wish I was more skilled with photoshop.  People can make magic happen with this program.  I love the grunge brushes but never can seem to make them work on my projects.
  • I used to spend so much time putting designs on my cafepress store.  I was consumed by my shop.  It never really did amazing with sales but I was totally addicted.  I think I burned out and became discouraged because people were doing well and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried I just never really could make much out of it.  Now my designs just kind out hang out, I don’t do much but I make sales here and there and usually get an extra $50 per month.  not much but hey – my stuff is selling.  Sometimes it makes me want to design more but then I tell myself I just don’t really have the eye for it.

I’ve also been learning new things (mostly for Girl Scouts)

  • World thinking Day – my troop did table on Jordan.  We had pony bead swaps with black, white, green and red beads for the flag.  We offered fig newtons and pita chips.  At our troop meeting I had the girls try hummus and pita bread.  They were not impressed but they loved the baked pita chips.  I had wanted them to try figs but worried they would not appreciate the taste.  At the thinking day event my girls got to walk around to the different tables to learn something new about several different countries.  I would have loved to teach my girls more about Jordan because the information felt superficial but at least they are engaged and interested.

Ongoing Decluttering

I’ve started buying the 10cent plastic Aldi bag when I go grocery shopping there.  I have tons of the reusable bags (i probably should purge some) but I really like the plastic ones.  They are extra big, sturdy and a lovely shade of blue.  I’ve been using these as my declutter bags.  We have finally purged down to enough that instead of finding a dozen plus things in each section I’m now finding 1 or 2 things.

We had so much stuff before that we were using large boxes and 33 gallon garbage bags for our donations.  The large garbage bags that we were using take too long to fill now that we have less to get rid of.  I honestly don’t want the bag to be hanging out for too long – I have a tendency to take things out of the bag to return to the house if it sits for too long.

Another nice thing about the Aldi bag is that we can’t see through it.  I can put items in there and my daughter can’t see what’s in there and take it out.  She wouldn’t get rid of anything if she had the choice whether it was hers or not.  She doesn’t want my husband or I to get rid of stuff either.  she tells us she’ll take it if we want to get rid of it.

I hang one on a doorknob and randomly throughout the day place items in the bag to get rid of.  Once it’s full I put it in the trunk and donate it – without going through it, just to make sure.  Once it’s in the bag it no longer belongs to us. Today I gave my daughter a blue Aldi bag to hang on her doorknob.  I told her to put clothes that are too small or anything she no longer wants in there.  We will see:)


More decluttering

Positive news!  I misunderstood my husband – he didn’t want me to keep all the get rid ofs for a yard sale.  He wanted me to keep some of our daughter’s short sleeve shirts aside for the summer.  He’s already loaded the car with the donations for me to get rid of tomorrow.

I am trying to declutter at least one section of my home each day.  The other day I went through my closet.  the next day I continued with the closet.  I have two long totes and a laundry basket.  I thought that I’d get rid of something but I didn’t.  I sorted through the sheets, pillow cases and blankets that were in there but I previously purged down to two sets for my bed and three sets for my daughter.  We’ve already purged several blankets and I just didn’t see anything I wanted to get rid of.  Last Sunday I did manage to get rid of a chunky blue beaded necklace that doesn’t fall quite right and a dead plant out of my kitchen.

Even though I had a busy day on Tuesday I still managed to get rid of several items.

Today’s Purge 1.1.13

  • Foam ornament kit
  • Christmas gift bag
  • Potpourri
  • Fake snow
  • Small tube of glue
  • Wall plaque – wedding gift
  • Set of 4 oven mitts – Christmas gift
  • Steelers tree topper
  • Knee highs
  • Green slinky
  • Paintbrush
  • Purple shirt that’s too rough
  • 3 partial sticker sheets
  • Some toy?
  • 2 hair ribbons
  • Moshi monster toy
  • Small pack crayons
  • Dress up tiara
  • Child’s hoodie with broken zipper
  • Christmas dress
I purged quite a bit this weekend but didn’t record it all.  My husband and I sorted through sections of the kitchen and sections of the big bathroom.  We pulled everything out from the cabinets that hold our canned goods, snacks, pantry items, baking supplies, spices and seasonings and storage containers.  Here is a few of the items we got rid of:
  • instant rice
  • more candy
  • chips and pretzels we didn’t eat
  • jello our daughter decided she didn’t like
  • expired food
  • spices and seasonings
  • corn syrup
  • microwave rice cooker
  • large heavy cutting board
  • storage containers
  • lots of tea
  • kool aid packets
  • and more

We tackled part of the mess in the big bathroom.  got rid of more

  • two things of lotion
  • expired medications
  • prescriptions we no longer use
  • extra tweezers and nail cutters (which my mom quickly took)
  • hand soaps
  • old makeup
  • and a lot more

I also got rid of two pairs of black shoes that don’t feel good anymore and a very worn out backpack (only lasted 4 months of school).

More Decluttering

after i posted I decided I wanted to purge more.  unfortunately the items were small so it doens’t make a huge difference and my family room and now it looks like a disaster.  oh well.  my paperless list:

Today’s Purge Part 2

Blue foam crown

Garbage – yes paper trash

Coffee pot that was in a previous yard sale (don’t know why we still have this? It should have disappeared already)

Dingy Santa hat

Mini memory book kit unopened

Blue cloister bead necklace

2 pair earrings and 1 pendant

Light blue shirt  that I love (with stain that i don’t love)

3 mini hotel bars of soap

Reindeer pendant

Tops monopoly pieces

Panty hose


Business cards

Coupons I won’t use

Zots adhesive dots

a 3 pack of cdrs

Izzys school work

Junk mail

Received Christmas cards

Letter to izzy from Santa

School calendar



Gum ball machine toy she won’t remember

Broken sled ornament

9 flameless tea light candles

Tea bags

Hand clapper

Avengers cell phone strap (from a gumball machine)

Scarf that makes her think of Ollie

Pink Christmas socks with a hole in the heel

Too small pink and brown striped scarf

Ring with pink stones

Christmas coloring book

2 sets of animal wall hooks

Cheese balls

Expired coupons I would have used

Halloween candy

Plastic pirate earrings

2 more mini hotel bars of soap

Broken stylus

Christmas wreath pin

Ticket stub to hockey game

Dress up kids gloves

More mini hotel – 3 conditioners, 2 soaps, 1 shampoo


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Decluttering my bedroom

I love my iPhone – apps make the phone both useful and distracting.  One of my favorites is Paperless.  There is a free version but the free one sucks.  The $2.99 Paperless is pretty fantastic.  You can make checklists, assign it a cute little icon and has beautiful themes.  Mine is pink with a cute plaid background.  What i love is that it’s easy to make a list and then you can email it to yourself.

Today I used the Paperless app to keep track of the items I have decided to get rid of and then emailed the list to myself for an easy cut and paste.

Today’s Purge

2 pairs stained socks too yucky to donate (why do white socks get so gross?)

5 holey socks fit for the trash (which hubby said he was still using – too late)

Letter to Santa (after pictures were taken because the letter was so cute)

Orange top too long. and too big at neck

Black capris that smell funny

Jeans that are uncomfortable

Brown striped capris that aren’t flattering

2 belts I don’t wear that came with sweaters that I do wear

2 pairs brown socks

1 pair orange socks (was told they looked like Halloween)

2 Mini hotel conditioners

Purple flower pin

Mini hotel soap

Yellow headband

Pumpkin decoration

Shirt that is a bit see through and a bit too short

Pretty jewelry I never wear; 4 butterfly hair pins,  1 heart pin,  1 bug pin,  4 pairs studs

Pink spiky ball

1 pair gray socks

1 pair black gray white striped socks

1 worn out bra

My clothes

Tank top with ruffled sleeves that I always want to cut off
Tank top that doesn’t hide bra straps
Brown sweater from my mom
Red stretched out sweater that I love
Lovely dark green sweater I never wear
Black shirt with tight sleeves near the wrists
Hoodie with broken zipper
Black capris with rough fabric
Jeans that haven’t fit in years
Blue shirt with scratchy neck
2 lovely blue button up shirts

And one drawer in my daughter’s room:

My daughters clothes; Shaw, Skirt, Dress, 2 sweaters, 18 shirts

slight dilema – I want to take them to the Salvation Army to get rid of the three bags.  my husband says to hold onto the items.  I asked him if we were holding onto the stuff for a yard sale in the spring/ summer and he said he didn’t know.  Do I really need to hold onto this stuff until the spring?  that seems kind of silly.  I’ll store it in the shed (for now) and maybe we will just let it go for real soon.  I’m yard saled out and just want to bless others without the items I just want gone.  73 items – maybe I should find 27 more for an even 100.  wouldn’t be a bad purge for one day.  73 is a pretty good purge though.

trouble picking a resolution

So i’m really struggling with my new year’s resolution.  I veered off track with my resolution last year but I have to say i think I was successful.  I am much happier than I was this time last year.  My mental health is better.  The OCD got in the way of the resolution but in way this was for the best as I’m freer than ever with the OCD and am able to do things I never could have done a year ago.

I want to continue on being happier.  I also want to continue decluttering.  I’ve thought about promising to get rid of 1 item per day as a fellow blogger has done.  I’ve also thought about committing to one healthy smoothie a day or trying to be healthier and lose some weight.  I’ve also considered retrying the Better than Chocolate assignments.  I just don’t really know.  I could also try focusing on overcoming more with the OCD or how to be a successful adult with ADHD.

I would love to write more helpful posts on ADHD and OCD and write about what has helped me.  Maybe I could give myself assignments tackling my barriers and write about this.

My biggest barrier right now is getting mentally healthy to lose the weight.  I’m a real large girl who wants to be healthier but the OCD is blocking me right now.  So much trauma and drama about weight in my life.

I would love to save money so reduce and reuse are huge for me.  I need to stop buying things so maybe to keep things fresh i could focus on a new area each week.

  • spending fasts
  • sugar fasts
  • declutter sessions
  • OCD assignment
  • ADHD assignment
  • happiness assignment

Dabble in each so I don’t give up or get bored.  don’t do it all at the same time but shake things up when I start to get discouraged in one area?  Maybe I could go a week without spending any money (with the exception of gas).  The next week go without sugar, next week declutter 30 items, next week address an OCD fear or compulsion, next week work on addressing my ADHD.

I don’t know – I need help.

Happier, healthier, more money saved, better mental health.  most I’m already working on.

have some fun and create some art!  that would be a great resolution!  design something each week?  could be interesting.

write a book?  don’t know what I’d write.  ideally it would be on parenting or mental health.  – or could be fiction.  drama and trauma?

write a book with my daughter?  short mysteries with a spunky little detective?  she would enjoy this.  illustrated by her.  written by us.

my husband and I would like to have another baby – i’ve told him that if we can free up enough space in our home, if i can get my ocd and adhd under enough control that i can go off my meds and if I could lose 100 pounds that we could have another child.  sounds like craziness there.  We are getting there with freeing up space.  I could manage the ocd for quite awhile without meds, the adhd is harder.  the weight loss is hard though.  at 315 – pregnancy would be tough.  I was overweight when I was pregnant with my daughter and that was tough.  now i’m bigger.  it hurt to walk last time – it would be worse this time.


My family room – the before pictures

I don’t have my after pictures ready as I am still working on this room.  Three garbage bags full of donations to take to the Salvation Army tomorrow morning, 1 1/2 totes to set aside to sell.  Since we’ve moved to this home – quite a bit has been removed – giant toybox, 3 book shelves (1 remains), a very large computer desk, plants, and more.  At one point we had a narrow walkway to get from the door to the large bathroom.  We probably would have turned the large bathroom into a closet if it weren’t for the cat (litter box and feed station in the bathroom) and for the bunny who is in the bathroom (much calmer – was overly anxious all the time before.  I believe it’s from being a daycare bunny.)


Roughly a third of our home was unusable because of the clutter and chaos.  Also – there are no pictures of any room at it’s worst.  and these pictures are how we lived when no one was looking.  I would have never let even family who didn’t live with us see these rooms like this.  We were very, very good and stashing and dashing.  closets bursting at seems – comments about having a lot of stuff but never would I show anyone this.

Here is picture 2 – our plant is no longer with us.  We’ve had this neglected plant for almost our whole marriage.  I didn’t want to get rid of it but also didn’t want to keep it.  plant and stand were sold at one of the yard sales this summer.  bookshelf given to my brother.  I imagine many items pictured are no longer in our home.


Our vacuum cleaning not put away but near the walkway so we can get to it.  a solitary dress on a garment rack.  nothing goes together and it’s all chaos.


We have this gorgeous furniture set – my husband’s computer desk and matching book shelf.  beautiful set – was a yard sale find.  We obviously don’t take care of it.  it’s loaded down with too many items.  red bins on top full of stuff, piles everywhere.



Okay so I couldn’t just post these and not give you some progress –


Closet (taken in March) – kitchen set sold.  sewing box sold.  pink box full of motivation/ improvement audio CDs – donated to my work.  Will show updated pictures of the closet soon.

Now for some pictures I took about 10 minutes ago – I’ve been wanting to wait until it was “perfect” but I don’t really want to wait anymore.  I spent about 10 minutes straightening up before taking these pictures.

This first picture is what you see when you are looking into the room.  I’ve been going through things and decided that I’m separating out by who needs to make the decision to keep or get rid of.  The bright green bucket on the desk is my daughter’s items, the green tote underneath is my husband’s and the black (hunger games) bag next to it is mine.  The black cauldron still holds Halloween candy and once it’s empty will join the Halloween decorations in the shed.  The bag next to the desk is full of empty bags that were full of stuff.  The tall white totes next to the couch (2 of them) were full of stuff – now empty.


Game shelf still full but not overflowing anymore as we purged a bit of games.


Here is the tv from our bedroom – move to the family room so I can eventually exercise in here with the Wii fit and the Kinect.  Also – here is the printer stand and game shelf that was previously in the living room.  really cord heavy but eventually we will make it more attractive.  my husband’s bowling ball that he has yet to put away in the closet.


some totes chilling where they don’t belong – empty green tote, white tote has yard sale items, gray tote next to it has our winter stuff – hats, gloves, scarves, boots, coats, etc., large gray tote has my daughter’s toys that she isn’t ready to part with but doesn’t fit in her room – going to the shed until she is ready to part with them or wants to switch out her toys.  white box full of empty bottles for homemade laundry soap and fabric softener to give away.  bag is full of stuff I still need to sort through.


The picture below was not taken tonight but gives you a good idea on how it’s looking now.  my husband has decided to sell these two pieces of furniture which means we have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  red baskets still full of stuff.  shelves have less books than before.  those plastic shoeboxes are full of art supplies that we actually use.  he is also taking about selling his computer and buying a laptop.


I wanted to share the dryer balls my husband and I have been making!  still need to be felted.


Minimalism, Lagom and Hoarding

I know you are probably wondering what minimalism, lagom and hoarding have in common – most would say that minimalism and hoarding are the complete opposites but I believe they have a lot in common.  Does stuff or the lack of stuff make people happy?  I imagine many would say yes.  I believe that with either it’s always about one more thing.  One more thing to acquire or one more thing to purge.  it never seems to be enough.  walking through the stores thinking will this item make me happy?  walking through the house thinking will this item need to leave my house?  Either way it’s about that strong urge to focus on stuff (or the lack thereof).

Lagom however is this wonderful Swedish word that roughly translates to just the right amount.  Hoarding can be too much stuff.  Minimalism can be too little stuff but Lagom is just the right amount.  If 100 items is just the right amount for you to where you don’t feel deprived and you don’t feel overwhelmed then that’s your number or those are your things that you need.  If 5,000 items is just right for you to fit your needs (a crafter maybe? with a large family) then that’s your number.  However it’s not about the number at all it’s more about having what you need no more no less.  For each person this is different.

So with Lagom it is okay to buy new things, it’s okay to own things and it’s okay to be at peace with things as long as it’s the right things for you.  Be happy with embracing enough, embracing equality and sharing of resources by donating items that no longer fit you and your lifestyle, resist the call for too much or too little.

I’ve decided that instead of trying to reach for this unattainable goal of living a minimalist life with my unwilling husband and daughter that I should strive for a Lagom life and be confident that if we keep what we love, enjoy and use that our home will be comfortable and happy.

My home update

I will admit that as I’ve been purging and decluttering that I am happier but is it about giving up the stuff or is it a combination of everything I’ve been going through.  I still think too much about stuff and I’m not okay with that.  I still feel the strong urge to acquire and have actually bought more since starting on this process.  I still feel the strong urge to declutter and get rid of stuff.  Now don’t get me wrong, the number of my items in my home have been steadily decreasing but some of the quality has been increasing.  quality involves more money put into the item.  We got rid of hundreds of items with our last yard sale.  so we rushed off to the store and bought a keurig.  we love it and my husband uses it daily.  so definitely a good purchase.  the kcups are expensive and although we have a reusable filter my husband prefers the cups.  reoccurring “luxury” costs.  still takes up less room than all the other stuff.  this awesome coffee machine creates the urges to buy MORE!  Now that we have this lovely machine sitting on our counter I want to buy a lovely display rack to store the cute little cups in.  We haven’t bought it but I want it.  Hate the wanting.  I want to not want.

The kitchen has less stuff in it but it still gets messy so fast.  I buy food that we don’t really need because I have a food obsession and often feel deprived based on the trauma of my past.  We have less dishes but still hate to wash the ones we have.  We have less bakeware – this one is hard for me as I want to buy more.  We don’t need more than 1 cookie sheet or 1 cupcake pan or more cookware than we have but I WANT it.  I am really trying to justify buying a few loaf pans but I don’t really need them.  When I was at my mom’s house I baked three delicious little loaves of bread so now I want them to bake bread at home but in reality I always have frozen bread dough but rarely do I ever make loaves of bread with it.  I use it to make rolls, or pizza, or pull apart bread or any number of things but very rarely would I make loaves of bread.

One recent purchase that I absolutely love is my rice cooker/ food steamer.  I use it frequently, it’s super easy to use and to clean and it makes more than just rice.  I made quinoa today and it turned out perfectly.

My daughter’s room

We got rid of lots in my daughter’s room but spent money upgrading her things.  We got rid of her rather large toy box and replaced it with this rather cute set of drawers which holds considerably less toys.  She is amazed at how much more room she has to play in her room.  She is spending more time playing now that she has less stuff!  The toy box she purged was one of those long outdoors storage benches made out of plastic – they hold a lot of stuff.  She is ready to get rid of it completely but I’m not.  We put it outside next to the shed and I put her roller skates, moon shoes and the fishing poles and tackle box in here.  Better than them being all scattered about.

She wasn’t ready to part with most of her toys though so I bought a large tote to store these toys in the shed until she is ready to part with them.  She was able to choose what toys went into the bins for her room and what toys went into storage.

One thing she purged from her living room was her bed frame.  strange – and sometimes i worry what people would think of my daughter’s mattresses being on the floor but she is happy with it and it makes her room look bigger.  I like it because nothing disappears under her bed anymore.  I also like it because we are not banging into the metal frame anymore.  (the polly pocket toys all fit in a bin so when her room is picked up the only toys you see are the three babies on top and the stuffed animals in her net.)  so her room bit by bit is getting to where it needs to be.



Purging continues – into the kitchen

so we are going through our kitchen cabinets – first things first I had to wash all of our dishes so that we could see the whole picture.

We started with the drinkware – i pulled all the water bottles, glasses, coffee mugs and cups down and arranged them all on the table.  10 coffee mugs for a family of two adults.  4 wine glasses that we rarely ever use.  12 glasses that we don’t use.  well over 20 plastic cups.  We purged down to a much more reasonable number and freed up tons of cabinet space.  All in all we cut down by over half.

Next was the plates and bowls.  We kept all 12 of our glass dinner plates but got rid of all of our small glass plates and our glass bowls.  We kept our lovely red plate bowls, our red bowls and mini bowls and a new set of plastic bowls.

the rubbermaid is arranged on the table waiting for my husband to help me narrow down but it’s break time – an episode of Deep Space Nine then more purging.

more to go but definately making progress.

Number of things in my living room

I’ve always been fasinated by people who are minimalists.  If you’ve read any of my blog you’ll know that I’m more of a hoarder than minimalist but I have the desire to downsize.  Just out of shear curiousity I decided to count the number of items in my living room (in a non-compulsory, imperfect way).  I’ve worked really hard in my living room and have gotten it to a place where I am comfortable in it.  We’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff from this room.  It feels open and usable which is the way a living room should feel.

I did not count the little area that is just off of the living room though it may be considered part of the room?  I don’t know.

What I found interesting is that there is a large number of items on the walls alone.  Including the two smoke alarms, the blinds and the curtain rod (no curtains) there are 20 items on the walls.  There are 13 picture frames on the wall.  It really doesn’t feel like that many items are hanging up. (TV is also hanging up – did not count the wall mount or the cords).

There is 6 pieces of furniture in my living room though it does not feel like this much.  There is the couch and recliner. There is also the gaming shelves and the television stand that doesn’t have a television on it.  Behind the couch is a folding table that we use instead of a coffee table (we started out with two coffee tables in this room – both gifts).  Behind the recliner is a folding child’s chair that my daughter loves.

The picture looks cluttered I know but it works for us right now.  Here is where the majority of our items are in our living room.  18 items for the game systems (if you count assorted cords as one item), 48 games combined for the systems, an all in one printer. a tv remote, 3 movies in their cases and then a small pile of dvds without cases, the two vases with my anniversary flowers and 6 candles (down from over 30 when I started).

Also in the living room is our pet section – the dog’s items (crate, bedding – 4 items, wicker basket with 10 toys and a sweater and a container of dog treats.) and then the cat’s items (her tower and 14 small toys inside).

If you include the rotating fan and the quilt over the recliner it adds up quickly.

  • 20 wall items
  • 6 furniture items
  • 118 assorted items (gaming stuff, tv stuff, vases, candles, etc)

Which adds up to 142 items total for one room.  crazy isn’t it?

I think what makes it not seem so bad is that 82 of these items pictured in the first photo and then 35 pictured in the second and these areas take up relatively little space in the largest room of our room.

I found this exercise to be interesting and eye opening.  I am happy with the items in this room.  There are cosmetic fixes such as minor patch work to the walls and a new coat of paint.  eventually we are going to replace the carpet and the trimwork to the doorways.  I could only imagine how many items were in this room before I found flylady, Clean House and then Miss Minimalist.  I don’t think I even want to know.  (two more bookshelves, a nintendo, super nintendo, 64, sega genesis, playstation 2 – tons of games to go with those systems, board games, and quite a bit more – as Niecy Nash would say – Mayhem and foolishness!)

Finished Living Room! (does the cat count in the number?)

I hope you enjoyed a personal glance into my progress.  No longer the living room of a hoarder.  Look at all that floor space!!!!!!!