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).

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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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My daughter’s room

Now I would count the items in this room but it’d take me forever.  She isn’t buying into the less is more mindset but as you look through the pictures please remember she had LOTS more.  I don’t necessarily think we spoil her by buying lots of stuff for her though we do frequently buy her stuff.  She is our only child.  For several years she was the only grandchild on my side and the only great-grandchild.  For even longer she was the only grandchild on my husband’s side.  My husband’s mom is a bargain hunting, yard sale junkie.  If there were trophies to be won for purchasing “bargains” she’d have them all.  What I’ve learned is that it’s not really a bargain if you don’t really need it.  I’ve also learned that you can’t base needs off of what a young child says they need.

My daughter absolutely LOVES all of her stuff.  Everything is her favorite and she remembers everything.  The squeaky turtle bought for her when she was two?  she remembers – where she got it and who got it for her.

She got bit by the clutter bug hard.  Gotta love my daughter – but she doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I always dread seeing certain family because I know we are going to be bringing home new “treasures”.  porcelain dolls, dollar tree finds, funky clothes, books, coloring books, their junk mail.  Yes my daughter falls in love with junk mail, catelogs, coupons and scraps of paper.  She collects rocks, coupons, stuffed dogs, squinkys, mighty beans, littlest pet shop animals, polly pockets, my little ponys, zhu zhu pets, leaves, books, candy wrappers (not laziness but because she likes them), pieces of yarn, paper, acorns, pine cones, winter gloves and Christmas socks.

I’ve asked my mom to do a lending library for books and toys so that I can bring them back to her for the other grandkids to enjoy.  She graciously accepted and understands how overwhelmed I get so she has cut back dramatically on gifts for my daughter to bring home.  – small measured doses.  His mom would flood us with yard sale treasures every Saturday.  Toys and items constantly flowing in for my daughter.  People give her stuff – every Polly Pocket item ever made? Check we got it for free.  More My Little Ponies than what 10 girls could play with?  check.  again for free.  Dora kitchen set, baby doll strollers, carseats, giant snowmen, check, check and check.

When we did that yard sale for a friend she told my daughter she could have whatever she wanted.  I cringed inside.

I’m complaining – they all mean well.  We’ve gotten so many things for free from who care.  I get flustered and overwhelmed but some of the things we really needed and couldn’t afford.  My daughter’s bed and sheets were all free.  We couldn’t have afforded such a nice mattress set for her and sheets are expensive.  Our couch and recliner, though not my style were free, given to us by his parents.  Our couch in our family room that I love also free courtesy of my mom, who gave it to my brother, who gave it to my sister, who gave it to us.  Many of my daughter’s beautiful clothes including her favorite pair of Uggs and some high end clothes given to us for free from my boss.   Winter coats to keep her warm.  It has really helped us stretch our money.  I typically only have to buy her 2-4 outfits when she outgrows her clothes because my boss’s friend’s daughter must go through growth spurts at the same time so when my daughter outgrows hers we always seem to get a new bag.

Our microwave? a wedding gift, our dressers? a yard sale find.  My daughter’s dresser? free from my brother.  I need to be a better guardian but I also can succeed by not letting the unwanted items linger in my home.  I’ve sold alot of stuff which often feels selfish as I should be blessing others but I sell the items super cheap.  I also donate quite a bit too.  My massive amount of clutter came in super helpful when my town flooded.  They needed clothes – I had a 100 white t-shirts from when I owned a tshirt press.  All the beautiful clothes?  there was a desperate need for clothes my daughter’s size.  Underwear – the extra packs I bought and were given to us put to good use.  All those unused coloring books went to children who had lost everything along with boxes of school supplies, art supplies and hygiene items I had unfortuneatly stock piled.  Bags of towels and sheets were donated – given to us by friends and family put to good use by people devastated by the flood.

That flood helped us.  It brought our community closer and brought my family closer.  My husband, daughter and I felt so fortunate that we didn’t lose our home and stuff.  We felt sorrow and grief for those who lost.  Countless pictures of lost and devistation called us to action to part freely with items that were just taking up space in our home.

Most people don’t know how much we had.  I was so ashamed by the sheer amount that I couldn’t have people in.  My storage unit was bursting and I made regular trips there to add more.  I couldn’t stop accumulating whether it was free, given to me or purchased.  I needed stuff.  People weren’t invited in when it was at it’s worst.  Pictures weren’t taken inside the house because I was ashamed.  ASHAMED!   I would love to have more before pictures but they simply don’t exist because I would never have taken them.  I have various pictures from the last two years but that’s after I found Fly Lady and then Miss Minimalist.

Here we go!

Embarassment awaits – I found some before pictures of my daughter’s room just now.  These are not before before but beginning of summer before.

This is what you saw when you were near her doorway.

This is what happened every time she played.

This was the top of her dresser.  There were too many clothes than what the dresser could handle.  Please note this room also used to have a student desk in here and a night stand (the one that is now in my room).

After!

This didn’t happen over night but rather over the course of 6 months.

Still cluttered but a lot less stuff.  The before picture was after downsizing.  This one is much better.  I’ll share what she chose to keep on her dresser – Goldie and Goldie’s tank and food.  A jar/ vase with a few rocks and shells from her collection.  the plants vs. zombies house, the signed bowling pin and birthday hat from her 6th birthday, a timer, a toilet paper owl she made at school, a rather large pack of C Batteries (bought with yard sale money) and a jewelry box that she rarely if ever uses.

Her purse hanges on the door, nothing behind or under.  Her two monster high wigs hanging on the door.  I HATE the stickers all over but you really have to pick your battles.

That massive white tower used to be full of Polly Pocket with an additional tote for Polly Pockets.  Now?  just the three bottom drawers, this also now houses her littlest pet shops, her squinkies, her jewelry and assorted small toys.  The black set of drawers?  her dress up clothes and dress up clothes for her babies and toys.

Not too bad – much less than what used to be here.  a box of for paper collection, and her musical instruments.  a shoe box hanging out next to the tv stand.

Her toy net and shelf.

her toys whittled down enormously

more floor space

her bed.  The two giant snowmen are not regular guests.  she typically has a small stuffed dog and small elephant, her dog happy napper and her dog pillow pet, two pillows and tons of blankets.

so definately not a minimalist room or even a Lagom room but no longer the room of a hoarder.  it’s a work in progress.

 

My small bathroom

So my bathroom can be relaxing or stressful depending on the cleanliness of it.  We have two full bathrooms but only really use the small one.  Trying to convince my family that not everything has to go in the small bathroom was hard at first but has gotten easier as we’ve all learned that it functions better when only what we use on a regular basis is left in this room.

Here is what you see when you are walking towards my bathroom.  It used to have a really dark, thick shower curtain.  I thought it over powered the room so I switched it out for a thinner lighter curtain.  I really love the colors in this curtain.

We have two rugs – the dark brown rug is super soft and foamy.  it was by the shower but i found that it stayed wet forever and when the bottom got wet it became a slippery death trap so I just switched them and crisis was averted.  I love the stripes and the green and brown one.  there is a towel bar with two towels on the right.  There is a partial towel bar above it that needs to be taken down and gotten rid of.

The shelf is a new addition but not a new purchase.  Our towel shelf was in the big bathroom but we don’t use that bathroom.  this bathroom is right next to our bedrooms.  It was a real pain to get a clean wash cloth or towel and it didn’t make sense to carry the clean towels all the way to the big bathroom just to have to carry them to the small bathroom.  I’m quite happy with the shelf in the smaller room – my mom was surprised that it fit as the bathroom looked too small to fit anything let alone a shelf.  to me the bathroom looks cozier now the shelf is in there and i actually put the towels away now instead of leaving them on my dresser.

On the toilet is my new favorite lotion – Suave Advanced Therapy.  It feels great and doesn’t overpower with scent.  It’s been saving my hands this winter and I’ve been applying it after washing my hands.  This lotion is fantastic!

I have Suave conditioner and shampoo on top of the shelf – apple scented, and my shaving cream.  My daughter has two Avon bath paint roll ons.

Now I don’t typically use Suave but am really loving on it right now.  It smells good, works good and is way more affordable.

I also admit to owning too many wash cloths, hand towels and towels.  I don’t even have them all pictured because there are towels in the wash and in use.  Three shelves of bath towels, a shelf with hand towels and washcloths and one shelf for my daughter’s bath toys and some bubble bath.  So there are at least 5 towels per person in this house.  What I would really love is to donate most of these and get myself a matching set of luxurious towels instead of this mismatched bunch.  Aldi had a wonderful for about $20 but I would have needed 2 sets.  I couldn’t justify spending $40 on beautiful towels when I have plenty of good ones at home.  Eventually I will replace though.

Hidden is the toilet plunger and the toilet brush.  I converted a vase into a brush holder.  I keep the brush soaking in a vinegar solution with dawn dish soap and lavendar oil so it smells good and soap is always ready to clean.

Here is my sink.  My family loves to try to junk it up but it always gets removed.  hand towels, my bathroom cleaner (vinegar, water and essential oils), hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and my husband’s comb.  I like to store the toothbrushes and such in the pink bucket to make it easy to stash underneath when guests come over.  – yes I hide my toothbrush.  My daughter and my hairbrush are absent from the bathroom because we don’t brush our hair in there.  Also absent is any make up as I never wear the stuff.  My facial wash and moisterizer and contact solution is on a shelf just outside of the bathroom.  I find too much stuff on the sink makes it messier and harder to clean.

Just in case you thought I stashed everything under the sink – bubble bath, my husband’s face lotion, my daughter’s mouthwash, an extra bottle of shampoo, husband’s razer, two boxes of q-tips (i’m addicted), tampons, my daughter’s fish tank necessities, flea shampoo for both cat and dog (though we don’t use it in favor of blue dawn dish soap) and a scrub clean bathroom cleaner.

I could easily part with the cleaner (if favor of my homemade cleaner), the flea shampoos and the evolve shampoo but my husband said that it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it when we could use it.  So my plan is to use it and not replace it.  I’ve also decided that when my daughter’s fish eventually passes away we will not be replacing him or her.

In the shower itself a shower rack with Suave shampoo and conditioner (coconut), Suave body wash (apple), my husband’s bar soap and his shampoo.  I noticed that I have two razors – hmmm 1 to purge.

 

And finally – wall art mostly gone.  We bought bath crayons and I learned that if you don’t remove it right away that it almost becomes permanent.  My daughter fully decorated the walls one day and I loved the drawings so asked her to keep them.  Nothing worked on getting it off time i used baking soda and my vinegar cleaner.  I had the rest removed and almost had this one gone but then stopped myself.

It’s a picture of me smiling with my arms outstretched to give her a hug and I am holding flowers for us.  I love it and it makes me happy!

My living room – the update!

Living Room

Our living room is definately better.  More or less it’s similar to my previous numbers posting.  We have removed most of the video games out of this room. (now in the family room)

We kept the PS3 in this room so we can watch netflix and movies.  I liked the bins so much in my daughter’s room that I bought one for the living room.  I chose not to put the top two baskets in so that I could use the shelves as a place to display my favorite Christmas decorations.  I could never be a minimalist with no Christmas decorations but I did realize that I also don’t need four totes full.

Usually our living room is plastered with holiday stuff to where it’s overwhelming.  not so much this year.

As you can tell there is quite a bit less here than before.  7 of our favorite Christmas decorations are on the two shelves but my snowman sitting on the floor next to Jack’s bed.  The PS3, two controllers, tv controller and surge protector make up the other items pictured.  Want to know what’s in the basket?  Two Christmas collection DVD sets for easy access!  Hanging on the wall is my TV and my picture frame.  It seems cord heavy in the picture but we will have to make due.

Second view – our Christmas tree full of ornaments and a newly aquired tree topper to replace our beloved but broken tree topper.  our snowman tree skirt, a wooden santa, our recliner with my husband’s sweatshirt and coat.  Two pictures hang on the wall – will be moving them to a better location eventually.  Hidden behind the recliner are two folding tables for when we have parties for my daughter.

This is what you see when you walk into our living room.  our couch was moved because my husband wanted to see the tv better so it no longer rests flat against the wall.  my laptop and a tiger pillow on the couch and my cat sleeping.  9 pictures hanging on the wall and blinds but nothing hanging from the ceiling anymore.  Our cat’s tower against the wall.

behind the couch – jack’s crate with his blankets, toys and treats.  Our bench to the kitchen table and 4 of my daughter’s favorite toys for Christmas.

Hidden on the window sill are about 15 acorn squash and mini pumpkins.  I’m going to have to throw these in the woods soon as they will be rotten before long.

So another glimpse of my life – not minimalist, not a hoarder but comfortable and lived in.  My living room makes me happy

Number of things in my bedroom

last night I couldn’t help it – I counted the items in my bedroom.  We recently had our yard sale and removed a bunch of items from all areas of the house.  Earlier yesterday I started putting things away and taking things out of our bedroom that didn’t belong.  To me – the bedroom feels mostly comfortable.  I wish there wasn’t random cords hanging out on the floor or the piles my husband leaves out on the night stand but I can think of worst things.  When we moved into our home I purposely chose the smallest bedroom for our room instead of the biggest.  My husband didn’t initially agree with me but I said that we had a lot of stuff and if we took the biggest room (our family room) that our bedroom would wind up full of stuff.  I said to him that all we really needed was enough room for our bed and our 2 dressers.  He agreed but mostly I think he agreed because it wasn’t worth arguing with me over this.  Over the course of the two years in this home we’ve removed quite a bit from this room.  There used to be an extra bed in here – the mattresses stashed behind our dressers.  There used to be tons of stuffed animals, lots more clothes.  There used to be a bin rack ontop of my dresser with 9 bins all full of stuff.  Slowly but surely since I found Fly Lady my room has emptied out.  She always says that this room should be the cleanest in the house.  That this room needs to be comfortable and relaxing.

What I found to be slightly depressing is the sheer number of items in this room and it’s not even a fully accurate count as there is a load of laundry in both the washer and dryer.  There are 522 items in our bedroom.  522!  that’s crazy.

Interesting breakdown of items:

  • There are 4 pieces of furniture in our bedroom.  Two dressers, a night stand and our bed.  I counted the bed as 3 items as it has a frame, a mattress and a box spring.
  • There are 14 items hanging on the walls/ windows.  This includes 8 picture frames, a set of three hooks behind the door for my necklaces, the blinds, the curtain rod and the blanket we use as a curtain.
  • There are 75 hangers.
  • I have 100 items that are = 95 items are accessories plus 5 items to hold accessories
  • 121 = 92 items of clothes belong to my husband plus 28 hangers and 1 dresser.
  • 193 = 144 items of clothes belong to me plus 47 hangers, 1 hook and 1 dresser.

In our clothing count I also included all of our undergarments and shoes we keep in our bedroom.  I found it slightly distressing that is have almost 200 items related to clothing and I often feel like I don’t have enough clothing.  Isn’t that silly?

I broke the room down into sections – the bed area contains 34 items.  We don’t have a linen closet so we have to store the sheets under our bed.  Storing them in totes keeps the sheets clean – free from dust and pet hair.

Top tote is bedding for our daughter’s bed and bottom is our bed.

The nightstand area and the long, short dresser mostly belong to my husband.  92 items in this section plus the 47 pieces of jewelry tucked away in that little jewelry box.  Yes – a tv in the bedroom.  Don’t really know why we have it as we never use it.  (maybe a dozen times)  I hate tv in the bedrooms.  my husband on the other hand wanted it.  the nightstand drawers contain about 20 items of his.  the dresser is full of his clothes.

the room is small but the furniture fits and we have enough room to walk around comfortably.

Here is the closet that we share – each of us has about 3 feet of space for our hanging clothes.  The closet contains 123 items plus 75 hangers.  my husband’s sweaters are neatly stacked, his dress shoes are in the shoe box.  The two red totes are mine.  The one of the left – useful items.  It’s full of my winter tops.  The one of the right?  13 items that probably do not need to be kept but they are my just in case clothes.  You know – the just in case I decide to wear a buttoned blouse, just in case I need my suit, just in case.  The only thing in there that I really love is my little black dress.

fortunately I’ve purged enough that I can hang up most of my clothes.  I’ve also gotten to where I love all of the clothes that are hanging up.  Each item makes me feel good when I wear it.  The laundry basket on the floor hold our extra blankets and our daughter’s throw blankets.  We keep her extra blankets in our room because if they were in her’s she would use ALL of them.

My dresser area hosts 151 items.  There are more items in this small section than my entire living room.  Crazy!  The first floral box holds about 10 items belonging to my husband.  The second holds 22 accessories that I love.  Hiding behind the door are my necklaces and scarves – 30 items.  The drawers contain my undergarments, my pjs, my t-shirts, jeans and other clothing items.  I try to keep the items on top to a minimum but it doesn’t always work out that way.  When I’m not careful this area is a MAJOR HOTSPOT!  It attracts clutter like crazy.  Ideally the top would be as pictured:  deodorant, perfume, hair brush, change jar, ereader, 1 pair of shoes, flashlight, 2 floral boxes, 1 medication.  I hate the stickers on my dresser but can’t seem to remove them.  I guess that is my task for a lazy day with not much planned.  Any suggestions on how to remove stubborn stickers?

I love how my necklaces are tucked away but easily accessed.  none are expensive but many are special as my husband made some for me.  I adore my long necklaces.

I also love my floral pins and my bangles.  The knitted hats make me happy too!

So here is the big picture!  I love how comfortable it feels.  I love the pictures on the wall.  I love how small it is.  I hate the walls and feel like they need to be painted.  The carpet is also old and faded but both will do for now.  I love that my dog and cat both came in while I was taking pictures and both are pictured below.  I love my comforter and am happy with our decision to get rid of the head board and never bought a foot board.

I found this exercise to be interesting just like the living room experience though I was extremely surprised and how high the number was.  I would have never guessed that there was still 522 items in this room.  I wonder if this means I’ll need to purge down more.  I like the pictures because it helps me to see that everything can be in it’s place and look good.  It helps me see how much I’ve been able to declutter.

The master bedroom was always such a sore spot for me.  We had so much stuff in our first place but it looked good.  Our bedroom had so much storage and we had it full.  When we moved south our spaces were small and we always had housemates so much of our items were kept in our bedroom.  When we lived with husband’s parents for a while everything we owned was either in our bedroom or our storage unit.  it was so hard to rest.  it was so hard to sleep or relax or feel like a grown up.  we were drowning in our stuff.

I love our bedroom because it is relaxing, restful and organized.

 

Pleasantly Exhausted

Today was a successful yard sale day!  the beginning was questionable as it was super wet and very chilly.  we were determined however because my husband had taken the time off of work and we had no other choice but to go ahead or else wait until next month.  the ad was paid for, the signs were up and the items priced.

here are the positives –

  • 1/2 the shed is still full of items to be gotten rid of but nothing was brought back into the house except empty totes to be filled with more unwanted clutter and items that belonged in the house.
  • I got the opportunity to spend the day with a fantastic person and got to meet lots more wonderfully interesting people.
  • I got to see my mom! and my daughter got to spend some lovely time with her as my mom helped us out by taking her to a birthday party at the skating rink.
  • we made enough money to purchase our fire pit plus extra – we are thinking A/C unit as I detest the heat (the gazebo was already purchased with pre-sales and a lovely anniversary giftcard from my wonderful sister).
  • my daughter made a whooping $50 plus by selling her items.  This means she is able to purchase all three items on her wish list – a stuffed Club Penguin puffle toy, Kinectimals for the Kinect and a water table.  a super duper positive is that these items take up sooooooooooooo much less room than the items that were sold.  LOVE IT!
  • my daughter was able to receive her new bike from us today – we offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse – we pre-purchased a new bike for her – larger than her current bike, fancier too with sparkly streamers coming out of the handle bars – no training wheels and in her favorite colors no less.  We put this in the shed.  We purchased her a 6-month Club Penguin membership.  then we offered her $1 per item that she put into the yard sale to be put towards these two Shiney, enticing prizes that she couldn’t refuse.  She earned both with flying colors.

Tonight I’m sitting in my home – it’s messy and things need to be straightened and put away but it feels SO much bigger.  Clutter makes spaces smaller and crowded.  Declutter is the best way to make a small home bigger.  I can twirl and dance around in my family room should I so chose.

There is so much space and I’m in a little bit of shock, a lot of bit of awe and all over relief.  this is going to be so much easier to clean.  this will give me more time to have fun with my family!  how happy is that!

today i was also able to joke about things with the people that i met and the people i spent time with today!  it felt good – joked about my OCD (as it’s not crippling me – thank u Dr. L and the medicine that’s working), joked about me, joked about life.  it felt good to laugh and just be happy.

today i spent the entire time outside.  this is HUGE!  6:30 – 8pm setting up then 8-4 yard sale then 4-9 dinner and games in the gazebo.  all day and i’m still alive and well – (with the exception of a sun burn).  all day outside and i’m still happy.  life is good.

pocket full of money to buy what we really want, 100’s less items in my house so clutter banished, and an enjoyable day.

tomorrow i think i’ll spend 15 minutes cleaning up the kitchen, 15 minutes in zone 1 (the entrance, front porch and dining room) and then relax and enjoy time with my daughter.

Fly Lady’s habit for the month is drinking water so i’m going to give this a shot – maybe more water will help with my on-going health problems (multiple UTIs since February) and give me a glowing complexion.  Did you know that drinking water can help you lose weight, helps you get rid of headaches, makes you look younger, relieves fatigue better than coffee and can put you in a better mood?  there are many incredible benefits from this “simple” act.

I learned this years ago and it still sounds true – do you know how much water to drink per day?  many people know the 8 glasses of 8oz of water.  I learned that you should take your weight then divide it by half (200lbs divided by 2 is 100).  there you have the daily fluid ounces.  so the 8×8 makes sense if you do the math.  An average person of 128 pounds would need to drink 64 ounces per day.

Here is a great water calculator that I found!  It equaled my above method for determining water requirements.

Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify

When I was younger I read an article about a girl who was a minimalist and everything she owned fit inside one large box.  I was excited and told my mother about it who promptly said it was stupid to want to live this way.  You see I come from a family of hoarders to varying degrees.  I in turn became a borderline hoarder and I see the same in my daughter.  When I first met my husband everything he owned could fit in his car with the exception of his bed.  Now he holds onto everything just in case – it’s like a disease.  I’ve come to see that the STUFF makes us sluggish and effects our mental health. As I started decluttering my daughter became calmer. It’s amazing. More space to think, to play and to be. I hit a decluttering wall until I found this book – well-written, easy to use and spurred me back to action. Loved it so much that I bought The Joy of Less too. Currently reading it between decluttering sessions. Thank you Francine Jay for two great books! (and in digital format too! no book clutter)

Decluttered the shed and played in the creek

After surviving the outing I was starting to feel energized.  I was ready to tackle the shed.  We only have 3 small closets in our home so everything goes in the shed (or on the family room floor).  My husband pulled out the grill which required everything being taken out and then put back in so it was a hot mess.  craziness abounds.  I took with me a roll of masking tape, a black sharpie, garbage bags and a microfiber rag.

One by one I pulled out a tote, sorted through it and pulled out items for the yard sale.  The mismatched items put together and totes formed lines out on the lawn.  As I pulled out an item for the yard sale I wiped it over if needed with the rag and then priced it then and there.  It felt good knowing that at least those items won’t be priced during the yard sale itself because it’s already done.

2 full totes ready for the yard sale.

Here’s what I was able to sort and organzine!

  1. 2 yard sale totes
  2. 4 totes full of my daughter’s things for her to ultimately decide what to do with.
  3. 3 Halloween totes – decorations, costumes, etc.
  4. 1 Thanksgiving/ autumn decorations tote
  5. 4 Christmas decorations totes

There is more to go but I’m proud of my accomplishments today.  1/2 the shed is neat and organized.

The Creek

I’m not very good at outside play.  My daughter asked to play in the small section of woods near the creek.  The answer is always no but today it was a yes.  I figured I was outside sorting totes so she would be within earshot if needed.  She ran up to me and was so excited about a “BIG ROCK!” that you could walk on and she wanted me to see it SOOO BAD.  Normally I would say no.  Today I said sure if you help me finish up a small section in the shed.  We walked into the woods and she pointed down the steep slope down to the creek bed and rocky shore.  She slide on her butt down the hill and yelled up, “See Mom!  That’s a big rock isn’t it?”  I must admit it was huge.  I stared at the slope – battling within myself – “Do I go down? I could get dirty?  My shoes might get dirty and I really like these shoes.  What if I fall?  I could get a cut and bleed and then I would have to look at it.  If I lost my balance and had to touch NATURE then my hands would surely get dirty.  The dirt would get on my clothes and then what if the wash machine doesn’t get the dirt out all the way or what if dirt is left in my washer and then the dirt would get on my other (dirty) clothes.  What if I get down there and there is a spider?  What if I step on a snake?  What if, what if, what if.  maybe i can search for an easier way down because this way is MUCH TOO RISKY but then I’d be walking further into NATURE and then I might encounter more unpleasant things and I don’t want to disappoint her but I JUST CANT DO IT”  This internal monologue took all of 1 minute and I gave you the abridged version.

I was about to say, “okay now, it’s time to come back up” when the unthinkable happened.  My feet took me down the steep slope.  I had to quickly force my hands out of my pockets so I could actually make it safetly down the hill. but I didn’t fall.  It was easy – much easier than I ever could have thought.  I walked right over to the giant rock and climbed up it with her.  On my way down the hill I saw some spring flowers hidden in an unusual place and wandered up the rocky shore to show her my discovery.  It was beautiful – she thought so too.

She was overwhelmed with childhood delight and was telling me how much she loved it down there.  I remember loving it once when I was young before the OCD took hold.  I remember the adventures, my love for nature.  She saw an “undiscovered island” in the middle of the creek.  This creek is only a few inches deep (6 at the most) and about 15 feet across, maybe 20.  The island was a small section of rocky ground that was barely above the water.  she started building a rock bridge to get to this exciting island.  her feet were getting wet, so were her socks and pant legs.  It was a bit chilly out and I thought about correcting her and heading back up when I found myself bending down to pick up a large, dirty rock.  I carried it over and added it to her bridge.  I add another, and another.  I saw some spiders, a salamander, lots of mud, thankfully no snakes.  I stepped on her bridge and felt the water seeping into my favorite shoes and I stepped further in.  I dropped a particularly heavy rock in the next spot and water splashed up over me and her and she started laughing so loud.  I laughed a bit too.  We got her bridge to a point where she thought she could jump to the island.  It was a bit too far and I knew she couldn’t make it.  Normally I would say that it wasn’t good enough yet and make her go the extra step to make it just right.  I said, “Go for it”.  She was a few inches shy of the dry land but i knew she would be safe (wet, but safe).  She picked up some rocks from the other side and added a few to make up for the shortage and proudly walked back across and said, “we made this – our bridge to our island.”

Hesitation is a problem maker (though it is a safety mechanism).  Mine is overactive.  It was time to climb that slope.  Normally I would second guess every step, every scenerio and ultimately need help getting up the hill.  I just went for it and beat her up the hill and was actually able to offer someone else the helping hand.  Which she refused to my delight because “she got this”.  she figured it out on her own.  she won’t be stuck staring helplessly at a situation without working her way through.

Today was my day to explore the creek instead of passing this opportunity off to my husband like all the times before.