Day 18 The Single Gloves and a Handful of Markers

day 18 decluttering challengeI wonder where the other gloves are…

Stray socks and gloves are OUT!  I don’t have time or enough energy to match them all up so if their pair is missing, oh well.  I’m going to keep getting rid of them. I’m also getting rid of markers, a comb, some bottles of bubbles and a pencil.  I’m done playing around, this stuff has got to go!


Day 8 Mounds of Receipts

Receipts everywhere!  That’s what started this round of decluttering. I had receipts in my purse, in my car, and on my end table.  They kept falling out all over the place.  Time to go through them and purge!

I found a few other things besides the receipts:

  • Cat harness
  • Glove
  • Sock
  • Comb
  • 3 Horse project packet
  • Half eaten bag of BBQ chips
  • Flashlight
  • 3 packs of hamburger buns
  • Bag of plastic bags
  • Bag of way more than 5 receipts lol

Day 8 puts me at 144 things gotten rid of in July that I never have to pick up again!

I think this puts my Grand Total at 2,519 things that I never have to pick up again. Yay!  I finally made it over 2,500!!!  


Only One More Week Before Company Comes

My son and his wife are coming next week! Yay!! They aren’t going to be able to stay here yet but it’s getting close. Maybe by next Thanksgiving. I’m sure they’ll be coming over though and the living room will be ready. I’m hoping to have the kitchen and bathroom cleaned up too which just leaves the front porch. I don’t know why this front porch has been and continues to be such a struggle for so long!

I’ve been working out there everyday for about a week now. I finally decided that all the horse stuff has to get moved to the horse trailer for now so I’ve been loading up my truck. It’s helped get one side down about 3 feet already. There’s a few more big things on that side that I need to either get rid of or find new homes for.

I threw something away today that I consider to be quite an accomplishment. It was hard but I did it! It was a beautiful old lamp with a stained glass shade. It’s another one of those things that I really loved but was unable to take care of because of the hoard in the house. Every time I looked at it, I felt guilty that stained glass shade had gotten broken in one spot. I still thought that maybe I could use it if I put the broken part to the back but then the lamp got crushed and part of that broke too.

I decided that I didn’t want to keep feeling guilty about it so I hauled it out to the garbage right before the truck came. It was gone before I left. The shade was taking up a lot of space so I’m kind of glad that it’s gone. It wasn’t easily put away anywhere.

I hope the visit goes great and we can spend some time here. I just have to finish cleaning off the extra couch and then there will be plenty of room for everyone to sit down.

How Does the Mess Happen So Fast?

I’ve been cleaning, clearing, and decluttering the mess in my living room for a few months now.  It has actually stayed that way for about four months but has recently exploded.  All it took was a few weeks of being too busy to work on it and Kaboom! Mess!

I guess that shows that it takes daily intervention to keep it looking good or the stuff takes over.  My glimmer of hope in this room is the pile of things that will be leaving soon.  I’ve been giving it away left and right.  This weekend would be great for a free table because the weather is going to be beautiful but I’m too busy to set it up.  I hope next weekend is nice too.  I don’t think I have too much going on.  I also have to finish up the things that are on my list from the dreaded letter.

Another part of the problem is the lack of organization on my front porch.  I just don’t seem to be getting anywhere out there and some of it keeps ending up back in the house.  I have a lot of horse tack out there.  It’s the perfect place to keep it but it’s all over.  It’ll be easier to work on it when I can put some outside while I work on it but the weather has been terrible here. Of course, today is nice but I don’t have time to work on it.

Months of planning and my daughter’s bridal shower is done now.  It was nice.  There were only around 20 people there. We haven’t seen some of them in awhile so it was good to catch up. The wedding is in about a month and a half.

The weekend after the wedding will be crazy too but then after that, I think I will need to start setting weekly goals for my house.  I would like the storage room gone through by the time school starts in the fall.  Thankfully, cleaning goes so much faster now.  I don’t have to spend any time making room to put something away.  I just don’t want to run out of steam too soon!

Planning is going to be key to finishing this up.  Setting up goals and sticking to them will help me finish everything.  Each room needs a little work.  It’ll be slow going for a few months (or a lot of months) but I’m getting there.


Letting the Table Go

I wish I would have taken a picture of the table but I didn’t think of it until I was getting ready to leave the city dump.  At one time, it was a beautiful little table but last fall, while I was re-doing my living room, it ended up outside.  I didn’t mean for it to end up outside but I didn’t have enough room for it.  I only wanted it out there while I moved things around but it never made it back in.  I had it under a tarp but our weather has been wonderful for mold and it got a hold of the table, along with a lot of water.

So, I had to let it go.

Here’s the story of the table and why it was very hard for me to throw it into that giant dumpster.

I was at a rummage sale and the lady had a lot of stuff that I really liked.  She was really nice and we had a lot in common.  When I saw the table that she was selling for $20, I loved it.  It was so pretty and elegant looking.  I went to get the money out and realized that I didn’t have enough.  She was an older lady and it almost seemed like her daughters were pressuring her to get rid of things so they convinced her to let me buy it for less.  I think I only had $12 or $15 and she seemed very hesitant but then she said, “I’ll give it to for that if you promise to love it as much as I did.”

I feel terrible about what happened to the table.  I almost kept it even though my mom kept telling me that it needed to go.  And then the guy that was helping me unload the trailer of stuff at the dump looked at it and said, “It’s toast.”  I knew he was right so I put it in the dumpster.

I’m still a little sad about it tonight but at least it’s not outside my house anymore.  The building inspector should be along any day now and that’s one less thing in my yard, which by the way, isn’t looking too bad.

Next Thing on the To Do List

storage solution listI am loving my living room these days but there’s still a ton of things on the to do list for this room.  Since there is hardly any storage on the main floor of my house, I needed a place to keep things from the living room, kitchen, and dining room and I had to come up with a solution for this dilemma.

So I did. I’ve put three shelves in the living room that go all the way across the wall.  It’s been great!  The plan is to eventually put a wall up and make it more of a pantry so you won’t see the full shelves but for now, it looks fine.  It looks a million times better than the piles that used to be all over the place.  I’m planning on the shelves covering most of the wall and then one of the short walls too.

Add more shelves to the list!

I was at work thinking about my kitchen counter.  It’s buried.  It’s been buried for months and I just can’t seem to get it uncovered.  It’s a real sore spot for me but I haven’t been able to find any place to put the extra appliances, mixing bowls, utensils and kitchen things like that.  Then I remembered that storage is the solution.  I need to add the next shelf.  I have been adding them as I get the money and it’s time for another one now!

Unfortunately, this one will take a little more work before I can cross it off the list.  I will have to move a few more things around the living room in order to get the next shelf up and there’s actually a lot that needs to be moved.  I’m hoping that I will be able to get it done in the next week or so.  I will be so happy to see my kitchen counter again so the extra work will be worth it!

Feeling Free after Decluttering

I’ve been working hard on decluttering in the “storage room”.  It’s been one of the most difficult rooms in the house for me.  I’ve worked on it for a little bit every day for the past ten days or so and today is the first time that I felt like I was making a teeny tiny dent.

I took these two pictures and every time I get stuck, I take a look at them.  First, I look at the one with all the bags of stuff.  There’s some good stuff in those bags.  Some junk but some really nice stuff like brand new clothes with the tags still on them and shoes that have only been worn once or twice.  I’ve even gotten rid of some things that I was attached to by memories like a little book that one of the kids made in school.  When I start feeling bad about it, I look at these two pictures and decluttering becomes easier!

Here’s the before picture.  It’s the pile of stuff that’s ready to be donated.  Look at all the space it takes up.  It’s space that could be filled with family and friends instead of stuff that’s demanding my constant attention and all of my time.

declutter the room

I’m so happy to see all this stuff getting donated.

Here’s the after picture.  It’s all gone!  I love looking at this picture.  It makes me want to work hard to make the whole house look like this – Clutter Free.  It’s so warm and inviting and it doesn’t fill my brain with chaos.

clean floor and clutter free couch

It’s so nice to see the couch and the floor with all that stuff gone!

This room has been the hardest one because I’ve thrown so much stuff in there.  Whenever a holiday would come along, I would shove everything in there.  It wasn’t necessarily stuff that I wanted to store, it was just stuff that I wanted to hide.

I have kept a lot of the toys.  I think I know why I do that but it doesn’t really make sense.  When I was a little kid, we had a little attic room in our tiny apartment.  We rarely went in there, maybe once a year.  My mom put a lot of our toys in there so when we would pull everything out, we would find all this stuff that we had forgotten about.  I loved that feeling of seeing those things after so long.  It made me happy and I get the same feeling when going through buckets today.


Decluttering the Storage Room

I spent the weekend working on decluttering the “storage room” in my house.  It’s not really a storage room, that’s just what we call it because when a holiday comes along, we shove all of the clutter in there.  It’s actually the biggest bedroom upstairs and I want to kick myself every time I think about this cluttered room.  Organized storage would be much better.

My 6’1″ son is sleeping in a twin size bed right now.  It’s too small for him but the room he’s in is too small for a bigger bed.  If I could get the “storage room” cleaned out, I could move him into that room and then get him a bigger bed.  I can’t get through it all fast enough.  I’m struggling.  I could only get through so much before I had to give it up for the weekend.  I was doing too much standing there and not enough getting rid of.

I have 4 big buckets of stuff ready to get rid of (I made a little progress).  I’m kind of waiting until I have a few more because it gives me that sense of accomplishment when I see it all together as one big pile.  I also like the feeling of seeing no room to walk around and then when it’s gone, empty space.  That’s a great feeling too!

We might have some friends coming over on Saturday night.  I’m a little worried about it and I still might have to cancel.  The kids are looking forward to it so they’ve been helping all weekend but it might not be enough.  I will be really sad if I have to cancel this because we have too much of a mess here.  It’s a pretty common thing to happen here though.  There’s a lot of times that we can’t have people over.  It’s one of the biggest reasons that I want this house cleaned out.

Started Working on the Entry Way

buying wood to make a closet

The Different Woods

I finally started working on my entry way today!  I went to Menards for all the supplies.  The first thing I looked for was the wood.  They had different levels of quality – standard, quality, and then one more but I can’t think of what that one was called.  I bought the quality grade.  There was a huge price difference to the top wood.

I wasn’t really planning on having to choose between different quality boards.  Different types of wood makes sense but different quality?  I thought a tree was a tree.  Prepare yourself ahead of time to make this decision!

The Wood Stain

wood stain

Next I headed over to the wood stains.  I really didn’t know what I was doing with stain so thankfully, there was a really nice man named Tom there who helped me out tremendously.  I would have bought a brush to put it on but he told me that I’m supposed to use a rag to wipe it on.  I’m so glad he told me that.  The cheese cloth that he told me to buy was much cheaper anyways!  He also told me that I should put a polyurethane coat on so I bought that in a clear satin finish.

staining wood

I stained a little piece of wood to see how it would look with the floor.  It’s a little darker than the floor color but I think it’s pretty and I think it will look okay.

The Hooks

coat hooks

The last thing that I bought were the coat hooks.  I bought six of them so there won’t be a shortage of places for anyone to hang their coats.  They look black in the picture but they are actually a bronze color.  At the bottom of the coat rack part, there will be a box bench so that we can put either boots or backpacks in it and then close it to sit on while we put our shoes on.  There will also be shelves on the right of the coat part for shoes or other miscellaneous items for each family member.  Above that, I’m planning on putting a basket there for all the hats and gloves.

It’s going to be a few weeks before it’s all done. I’m really excited and can’t wait until I can post before and after pictures! I hope it’s done before Christmas!

Free Day Reward?

not hoarding cookbooks

I’ve been getting rid of things by putting them out on a table in front of my house with a big FREE sign.  I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff so far and I’m hoping to do it again this weekend.  Last weekend, I wasn’t even planning on having a free table but I started working on an area and had so much stuff that we set it up.  A few hours later, almost everything was gone.  It was my biggest and most successful free day yet!

Dinner at my house has been getting a bit routine.  We’ve been making the same things over and over for a few months now.  I was thinking that I really needed some new cookbooks but certainly couldn’t afford any new ones right now.  Besides, even if I could afford them, I still probably wouldn’t buy myself new cookbooks when there’s so many perfectly good used ones out there.

The night after my biggest and most successful free day, I was at a 4-H volunteer banquet.  Everyone got some raffle tickets.  We played a trivia game and the tables that got the trivia questions right won extra tickets.  My table didn’t win any extras.  There were different bags for different things that you could put your tickets in and one was a cookbook basket.  Some of the other things were a Keurig coffee maker, a Starbucks basket with coffee, some scissors, and a car wash basket.  I put a few of my tickets in the cookbook basket and a few in the other bags.  Surprisingly, I won the cookbook basket!

The cookbooks were all brand new Taste of Home cookbooks.  My favorite ones!!! And let me tell you, a brand new cookbook has a different feel to it than a used one!  It feels great!

The books included one for Christmas, one called Church Suppers, one with Best Loved Healthy recipes, and a diabetes family friendly cookbook.  The fifth book wasn’t a cookbook at all but a book that made me think that maybe these books were my reward for having these free days.  The title of the book is The Kindness Diaries.  I thought that was pretty cool!