Day 11 of Bedroom Decluttering and Finally Done

I was going to keep working on my bedroom until I had 14 good days of decluttering finished.  But I decided that I’m done after day 11.  I’ve gotten rid of well over 500 things and I spent some time dusting and vacuuming in there today.  Next time I have a little money, I would like to find a new comforter but the one I have now works just fine.

My dresser and closet are both still too full and could use another round of decluttering but I’m ready to move on to the kitchen.  I did manage to find one more pile of stuff to get rid of today.  Here’s the final bedroom list:

  • Holey jeans
  • Eastery shirt
  • Swim shorts
  • Pair of sandals
  • 3 single sandals
  • Pack of Rev-a-locks (these are locks that go inside cabinets and then you use a magnet on the outside to unlock the cabinet)
  • Cucumber lotion (I hate the smell of cucumber lotions so I don’t know why I had so many)
  • Homemade hacky sack (you can make them with sand and balloons)
  • Tealight candle
  • Some blue plastic thing (I have no idea what in the world this is)
  • Feather duster (I tried dusting with it but ended up putting more dust in the room so I guess that means it’s time to get rid of it)
  • Light Control module
  • Snowflake pillow case
  • Camping themed pillow case
  • Shirt
  • Khaki pants
  • Jeans
  • Sweatshirt
  • Light jeans
  • Feather duster
  • Howdy Doody Hallmark ornament
  • Scarlett from Gone with the Wind Hallmark ornament
  • Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind Hallmark ornament
  • Basketball playing mouse Hallmark ornament
  • Brother puppy Hallmark ornament
  • Monkey with a banana Hallmark ornament
  • 2013 Somebunny new to love at Christmas Hallmark ornament
  • Soccer playing seal Hallmark ornament
  • Three Wishes Hallmark ornament
  • Teddy bear in a shoe Hallmark ornament
  • Another Hallmark ornament
  • A vacuum cleaner canister full of dust (Ok, I can’t really count this one but there was so much dust in there that you would think I put it in there on purpose!!)

That’s a total of 33 things today!

bedroom decluttering day 11

Final Bedroom Decluttering Total after 11 Days = 542 things

I still have all of the bags that are ready to go.  I’m going to pile them up in a little bit, take some pics, and then take them somewhere to donate them.  I wanted to do it this way so that I could see the actual amount of space that I’m freeing up by getting rid of all these things.  I’ll post them as soon as I get a chance.

Grand decluttering total for the whole house = 2,029 things that I never have to pick up again!  Yay!! I have finally gotten over 2,000!!

4 Days at the Midwest Horse Fair

After spending four days at the Midwest Horse Fair, my body is exhausted and my head is full of thoughts!  I’ve been looking at photos that were posted by people on Facebook and Twitter from the fair.  I can’t believe I missed so much!  All those days there, how did I not see everything that was going on?  I guess because I couldn’t be in 4 different exhibition arenas all at the same time!

There was a ton of shopping there.  I didn’t buy too much but we did make one big purchase.  We found a saddle for our horse, Flash, that we’ve been looking for a long time!  It’s a black and red Big Horn saddle that goes beautifully with his black and white coat.  We saw one a long time ago but it wasn’t the right size so we’ve been searching ever since!

big horn saddle horse

Flash finally has a black and red Big Horn saddle

The only reason that we were able to buy the saddle was because of the awesome consignment sale that they have there.  It costs $5.00 for every 23 things you sell, plus they take a 15% commission.  I think it was only 10% last year but that’s okay because it’s to raise money for 4-H.  Anyways, we got 23 things together for the sale.  We took 4 big shopping bags full plus 2 saddles and a pony blanket.  We left with only the things in these 2 bags.  We made a couple hundred bucks and were able to buy the saddle that we’ve been wanting for so long!

horse tack sale selling used

This is all that was left after the sale

While we were there, I decided on the breed of horse that I would like to get next.  I would like to have a Haflinger.  They are big stocky ponies.  Most are fairly small but others, like this one, are much bigger.  It will be awhile before I even consider getting another horse but it’s fun to think about what the new one will be like or what kind I’m looking for.

horse

This is the kind of horse that I want to get next – a Haflinger

On A Different Horse Note

My daughter and I made a point to ask a few trainers some questions this year.  We usually don’t do that so we picked out two questions and went and asked them.  I totally bombed the first one.  My question made absolutely no sense at all and the trainer was so confused she told me to send her a video in an email or text.  The second one went much better but I think I still wasn’t asking the right things.  It’s okay.  At least we did it.  I always feel funny asking them questions because I have absolutely no intention of buying their training videos, mostly from a lack of money not because I don’t want too.  But, they make a living by talking to people so I’m sure they’re used to people asking questions but not buying their stuff.  

We wanted to ask Stacy Westfall a question about trailering but every time we went by her booth, she wasn’t there.  Oh well, I got to watch her for a little bit in the coliseum but I kept coughing in there so we couldn’t stay for the whole thing.

stacy westfall horse

Stacy Westfall in the Coliseum

 

The Dreaded Letter

I knew it was bound to happen soon – the dreaded letter in the mail.  The one from the city.  I knew it was coming.  I just had a feeling.  We sold that truck last week which left a trailer full of junk in full view of everyone.  Before, it was somewhat hidden but ever since the truck has been gone, I would pull in the driveway and wonder if I would get a chance to clean it up before someone complained.  Nope, I didn’t.  Someone called and I got the letter today.

The list in the letter is somewhat extensive because they don’t stop at the trailer full of junk and I’m quite frustrated now.  The top item was branches. I have ridiculous amounts of branches around my yard and it’s very hard to get rid of them in my city.  The next was the junk.  One of the kids would take stuff to the metal yard to make a little money which is what was all in the trailer, but they never took it and now I have this list of things that I need to take care of.  I put a lot of it in front of the house today and a guy picked most of it right away like I figured someone would.  People drive around here all the time looking for metal.

Last summer, we put up one of those 3 foot high pools that you can buy at Target or Walmart.  Not a real big pool – I think it’s like 3 feet high and 12 feet across.  Anyways, they said we need to have a permit for it.  I’ve never heard of anyone getting a permit for one those before, ever.  We have 10 days to get the permit.

The truck was listed as one of the things to get removed but I’m not sure if they came before I sold the broken one that I got rid of just a couple days ago, or if they are referring to the one that we’ve been trying to get registered for the last few months that just won’t pass the emission test.

The truck and the branches are both huge stressors – they say that we can’t burn branches and we can’t throw them away.  We can take them to the city dump but we have to pay to get in and they have to be all cut up into small pieces and can’t be too wide or long or anything else.  It takes hours to cut up the branches from a small bush which is why I still have so many.  There’s just not enough hours in the day to do that!

I’ve already put hundreds of dollars into my truck to get it fixed.  The people at the test station say that it should be driven around for a hundred miles and then retested again.  I was trying to drive it around but was stopped by the police who told me that the test people would never say that and it can’t be on the street and they would impound it if they stopped me again.  I’m more than willing to take care of this stuff but why do they have to make it nearly impossible???

Last thing in the letter, but not least, the trim on my house needs to be painted.  I did it a few years ago and was planning on doing it again this summer because it just started peeling in the fall.  Now, I have sixty days to get it done.  It hasn’t even been warm enough here for me to paint yet and in the next sixty days, I have the busiest schedule ever.  I have my daughter’s bridal shower, her wedding, two trips, a lot of work at work, a horse camp, horseless horse meetings, horse board meetings, I need to find a vehicle or get the truck to pass the emission test, all among a myriad of other things.  I can’t believe I have to deal with all this now too.

We’ll be outside working on it all weekend and hopefully we can get enough done. I’m worried that we’re just not going to have time to finish it all.

Procrastinating on the Front Porch

I planned to spend the day working on my front porch.  I have some plans for it but it’s loaded with a random selection of clutter that needs to be dealt with.

Certain things always go out there, like all the horse tack, but there’s some stuff that I just don’t know what to do with so I put it out there.  It’s also the place where all the stuff that I want to get rid of goes before making it’s way to the car.

clutter filled front porch

The stuff has been piling up for a few months now.  It’s way too cold out there during the winter to do anything besides open the door and throw more out there.  Now that it’s a little warmer, it’s time to clean it up.  It’s getting hard to get into the house.  The pathway is down to about 2 feet wide so when you’re carrying things, it’s hard to navigate your way through.

I procrastinated all day long because a lot came up that I wasn’t expecting.  I took a little nap this evening so now it’s time to start working on it.  I started on the left side and brought it all into the house.  Probably not the best idea but since it’s so late and getting cold outside, I thought it would be better this way.

cleaning the front porch

Now I have a huge pile in my living room.

cleaning up the front porch

I see lots of things that I can get rid of already.  I’m debating about the Little Tikes School Bus.  I want to get rid of it.  I”m just not sure if it’s something to give away or something to sell. I think I’m going to decide in the morning. The purple ting was supposed to be for in the horse trailer but we’ve never used it and don’t plan on it.  There’s also a driving harness for a bigger pony than the one we have. I was going to sell it but one of the pieces need a repair.

I could use the money from selling a few things but I think the need to get rid of some things quickly might outweigh that.  I’m hoping that I can finish this tomorrow.  Even if I only get half of the porch done tomorrow, it will be better than none of it! I’ll get started in the morning.

Someone Else’s Storage Room

I was feeling a little guilty for stuffing a bunch of stuff into a room that I’m calling the new storage room.  The old storage room was too nice to be a storage room.  But really, neither one of them should have to be a storage room!!  All that aside, the guilt was building as I put more and more stuff into that room. There’s a big window in there that lets in tons of light but the pile is now all the way up to window and if it goes any higher, it will start to block it. My house needs all the light it can get.

I was at a friend’s house today and there was a door open that usually isn’t open and lo and behold… an office/sewing room turned STORAGE ROOM!!!  So I’m not the only one!  Yay!

I have another friend with a beautiful house who also talked about a room where they just shoved everything. She had to clean hers out so she could actually use it as a bedroom but she had one too!!  So maybe it’s not such an uncommon thing to have a room like this. Mine might be a little extremely full but in a few months, I will start going through the stuff again and getting rid of more of it.

You might ask.. Why don’t you start now?  If I have time, I might. But the living room is starting to fill up again and I want to keep that from happening so I’m going to spend any free time working on organization in there. Everything needs to have a home. We also need to get a set routine in place so the room is getting cleaned every week. If it’s done every week, it won’t be a huge deal and we’ll only have to spend an hour or so in there, not 6 weeks for one room!!

Do you have a storage room?  Is it really all that uncommon like I thought it was?  Or do most people have one?

storage room full of clutter

Drastic Decluttering Efforts Underway!

I couldn’t take it anymore!  I’ve been working in that “storage room” for weeks and just wasn’t getting anywhere at all.  My normal techniques to get rid of clutter just weren’t working in there.  It’s the really hard stuff to let go of and I wasn’t making progress.

It’s been extra frustrating because that’s the biggest bedroom in the house and there wasn’t a single person who could get in there to enjoy up-!  So today, I decided that was it.  I had to make a drastic decision.  It’s  not exactly the best decision and I’ll probably regret it but I had to do something to change the course of that bedroom.

We’re moving everything from the storage room into my son’s smaller bedroom so he can move into the big room.  I will feel much better knowing that the biggest bedroom in the house is being occupied by a person and not a bunch of STUFF.

We’ve been at it for a little over an hour and we’ve gotten a few big things out, like a box spring and the bunk bed frame.  Then we took a break for dinner.  I’m trying to take pics as I go but it looks pretty darn bad so I don’t want to post them yet but here’s a teaser.

Bunk bed in the clutter

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!

Not Much Progress This Week

I’m stuck at a very frustrating point right now.  Nothing seems to be going the way that I would like and I’m feeling the Christmas time crunch already.  It’s less than two months away and you can barely walk through the house.  Work and 4-H have been taking up way too much of my time so progress has been very slow.  Here’s where I’m at:

  • The weather is getting cold so I  need to finish up my front porch.  It’s a small enclosed porch and tends to become the catch-all place for everything going in and out of the house.  It’s also where I keep all of my horse things.  I can envision this porch being decorated really cute with old horse bits and other antique country gear or horse tack IF I ever get it cleaned out.
  • My living room has turned into a bedroom which is pretty much turning all of my plans upside down.  Right when I was in the middle of making huge progress, my daughter broke up with her boyfriend and is here all the time now.  This is the daughter who thinks she has fairies following behind her who clean up after her.  She hasn’t quite figured out that those fairies are other family members and she doesn’t understand why we are always yelling at her.  According to her, she doesn’t make a mess!  Ugh!!!  Anyways, this is putting even more of a strain on my time shortage because every time I have a few minutes to work in here, I have to start by moving all of her stuff and then I either run out of time for working on what needs to get done or I’m too tired to keep working on it.
  • Decluttering has actually been going okay.  I’ve made some tough decisions and taken a few trips to St. Vincent de Paul.  Yesterday, I tackled an area that had a lot of stuff that was meant to be donated but had never made it out of the house.  I was going to load it into the car to take it to St. Vinny’s but one of my other daughters has really started enjoying the free table idea and so she wanted to set it up.  We put a lot of things out there, including a great big box of clothes.  I didn’t take a picture this time.  I just set it up and left for a few hours.  I couldn’t believe it.  When I got home, there was hardly anything left!! The great big box and everything in it was gone!  I had put a really neat lamp out, decorative candle holders, an M&M collectible guy and some toys and they were all gone!! Awesome!!  It was so much fun to come home to those empty tables because I know it was nice stuff and made some people happy!

Well, I see a lot of sun outside so I think I’m going to go work on my front porch!  Maybe I’ll finally make some progress on it today.

ProsperityandCalamities put this quote in a comment on one of my posts and I think of it every time I work on my porch.  It keeps me motivated!

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

My front porch is far from beautiful right now so this quote is perfect for this area!!   If I make enough progress on the porch, I’ll post a pic later today.

Free Day was NOT a Flop Today!

The Free Table is Over Half Empty

This is all that was left at the end of the day!

I am so happy!  The free table was over half empty when I went out to clean it up this evening.  I don’t know why I’m always surprised but I am.  Hey, do you see them?  The Lucky Brand jeans?  Nope!  Someone finally took them!  Yay!  I still have that dictionary which is a bummer but look at how much other stuff is gone.

In case you didn’t see the post from when I set it up this morning, here’s the picture I took:

Table with things that I'm giving away for free

This is the Free Table after I set it up this morning.

I even put a few more things out there during the day and they were all taken.  It was slower today than last week but those almost empty tables make me smile.  I think that last week there was a rummage sale down the street and that might have helped it go faster.  I still have a feeling that my neighbors think I’m crazy for doing this but I don’t care too much.  I really think that we all need to help our own communities a little bit more so if I help even a few people, it’s worth it.

The best part is… I don’t even remember some of the stuff that I put out there so I won’t even miss it!  I have to keep looking back at the before picture to see what’s gone.

I wish that I would have thought of this at the beginning of summer instead of right before winter.  I could have been doing it for months!  I’ll have to come up with a new way to get rid of things once it gets too cold.

Kids with the Clutter Bug

I think a lot about my kids and how much or how little they clean. I would love to say that my kids are great at cleaning and keeping things clutter free but that would only be half true. Half of my kids are great at it. They have no problems letting things go. Their bedrooms or homes are kept fairly clean and straightened up. But the other half have, unfortunately, inherited the clutter bug.

One of the older kids in particular has a way of going through the house leaving little messes behind her everywhere she goes. I’m almost positive that she thinks she has cleaning fairies who are constantly there to clean up after her. I’ve told her numerous times that they have quit and are no longer cleaning up after her but she still leaves little messes for them to take care of. She’s not really a kid anymore which is why this is so frustrating.

Clutter and kids

As you can see in the picture, she left her shoes, a towel, and some cups on the floor but if you tell her that she did, she completely denies it. Trying to get her to clean it up takes much more effort than the two seconds it would take her to clean it up. She left a pair of socks on the bathroom floor. I left them for about 3 days and then guess what… I threw them away. She sees them every time she goes in the bathroom but it never clicks in her head to pick them up. There’s nothing else on the bathroom floor so it’s not like she can’t see them. She needs some sort of organization but she’s not going to find it in my house just yet.