The Biggest Benefits of Decluttering

Over the last few weeks, I have truly reaped the benefits of my 2017 decluttering efforts.
  1.  The holidays were much less stressful this year.  Instead of worrying about my house the whole time I had company, I was able to relax and spend time with everyone.  That was the best!  My baby granddaughter was here for the first time and it was great! I didn’t worry about her getting into anything at all.
  2. Work has been extra stressful and not having to come home to a disaster helps a lot!  I find it so stressful when I work all day and then come home and all I see is a mess everywhere.  It’s like looking at weeks of work waiting for me.
  3. The kids have had friends over to visit.  The twins have never been able to have many friends over because of the mess.  I only wish that I had done this years ago.  They’re almost out of school so it’s a little late for it but at least they’ve had a few over this year so far.
  4. I think this last one is my favorite.  When I brought Tank the injured cat home, I was able to let my friend from work in to meet him.  Even though we decided to keep him, there may be other injured cats that need homes and it’s nice when I can have people over to meet them.
  5. There’s one more that I just thought of.  I’ve been able to do a lot more cooking.  I love cooking but I haven’t had any counter space in a long time.  Tonight, I was able to make dinner for a friend and her family. They are having a hard time right now so I’m trying to help them out.  It would’ve been too stressful to do it a year ago.

The Christmas Mess Clean Up

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays!! 

My house took a beating!  We had between 10-15 people here every day for four days straight and my house isn’t that big.  Things just kept appearing out of nowhere.  Once we opened Christmas presents, things got even worse.  The whole time though, we were able to sit around and visit and it wasn’t uncomfortably cluttery (I made that word up!)

My son was jumping for joy that his wife could go into the kitchen this time.  In the past, we didn’t let her in there.  Her dad owns a restaurant so they don’t put up with a mess in the kitchen.  I’m not sure if I passed the test or not, but it was nice to not worry about it!  Of course, even though the counters were looking good, it made all the clutter in the cabinets and on the shelves stand out so I’ll be heading in there again soon.

I’ll be working on getting everything cleaned up today!  I already started on the living room and things are looking way better after only a few minutes of picking up.  This is great.  I’m loving it.  It’s days like these that I can’t wait to get back to decluttering!! It sure makes cleaning so much easier.  If you haven’t started already, 2018 is your year to do it!

 

Cleaning Up Just a Little Bit at a Time

Christmas is almost here!  And all the family and friends that come with it!! The best thing is that I’m still not panicking!  I thought that I might be by now because it’s Thursday and Christmas Eve is on Sunday but I’m fine.  Sure, there’s stuff that needs to be done and I didn’t get my cards sent out but there isn’t an overwhelming mess here.  I’ve been doing a little bit everyday and that’s been enough.  Going upstairs makes me twitch a little bit but I can deal with that after Christmas.  There’s no need to worry about it before Christmas.

My front porch is a little bit embarrassing but that’s it.  I haven’t managed to find a way to keep it cleaned out yet.  There’s not organization and I have a bad habit of throwing things out there.  There’s too much furniture and not enough storage.  I think that I’m going to need to get every single thing out of there next summer and do something totally different with the space.  That will be one of my goals for the new year.  I’ll spend a couple months searching for ideas.

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This Christmas is So Different!

IMG_6732This is the first Christmas in a long time that I have a place to dash ‘n stash things!  If you don’t know, what I mean by that is I can clear out my main floor by taking things and stashing them away in different areas.  My house has been so hoarded up for years that there was no place to move anything to.  Trying to get ready for Christmas was so stressful!

I’m doing okay this year.  I still haven’t mailed out Christmas cards but I’ve actually bought some presents already.  Quite a few actually.  The tree has been up for about 2 weeks.  My living room is company ready!  Not perfect by any means but good enough to have people over and that’s what matters most.  And I’m hoping to make some cookies tomorrow!  I’m even getting rid of some of my extra (new) Tupperware by using it for Christmas presents.

My son and his family are coming soon and I can’t wait!  They’re very concerned about the baby getting into things here. What they don’t know is that the last time that I visited them, I thought their house was kind of a mess! Hahaha!  They have baby toys covering the floor and I thought, what a mess!  Then I thought, wow, I must really be making progress at my own house if theirs looks messy to me.

I hope your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely!  And if you’re feeling the stress that I usually feel, then big hugs to you!  It can get better and it will.. it just takes some time (sometimes, like in my case, a lot of time.)  I’m sitting here tonight watching Hallmark movies instead of freaking out that Christmas is only 9 days away.  I never thought I would get this far.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

I hope everyone has a great day today!  I’m a little lost this year.  We usually go on a short vacation over Thanksgiving because it’s not my favorite holiday.  So, it just doesn’t seem like Thanksgiving since I’m not at a waterpark today.  At least we’re going to go paint pottery tomorrow which is something that we usually do on our trip.  I can’t wait!!

My health hasn’t been great lately and I think it’s related to the water that we had in the basement a few months ago.  I failed a lung test that the doctor ordered.  They are calling it asthma but I’ve never been diagnosed with asthma before.  I asked the doctor if this could be caused by mold and he said yes, it could be making the asthma worse.  My thyroid isn’t helping matters either.  He said that if it’s not right, that can trigger the asthma too.  Interesting but a little scary too.

A Great Day for Giving Thanks

With all this scary health stuff going on, I feel like I really need to give thanks today.  I may not be rich, famous, skinny, beautiful, or any of the other things that people think make us happy but I’m certainly blessed.  There’s a lot for me to be thankful for.  I have a great family, a decent home (minus the damage from the hoarding), wonderful pets, and food on the table most days.  My neighborhood is nice and I have a good job not far from home.  My internet connection works almost 100% of the time and I have some really great friends.  And I have a horse.  A HORSE!  That was literally my life dream since I was in diapers.  We’ve had some great experiences with him and he is a blessing for sure!

No matter where you are in the world today, I hope you have something to be thankful for too!

You’re Never Going to Believe This! Days 68 – 82

I found another basket full of socks!!

It was a whole basket full of socks plus another bag.  You won’t believe how many more that I got rid of today! My pics are all in sets of 18 socks that are in the garbage can outside already.  Most of them are plain white socks so the pics aren’t very exciting!

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#14 – There’s only 6 socks in this batch and the rest is other things that I found in the basket – except for the Dorothy costume.  That came out of the washer but I’m getting rid of it.

So, I added 14 much needed days to my challenge.  I’m getting a little bit behind so this will help me get caught up.  I got rid of a total of 240 socks and 12 other things for a total of 252!! And they are already out of the house!

Now for the updated counts.  They got messed up somewhere along the way.

I have to make a correction from my count on Day 50.  I think that I double counted days 1-25 so that put me back to 3,419 as of day 50.

So, here we are on Day 82.  That’s 32 more days of 18 things each or 576 things.

GRAND TOTAL is now 3,995 things that never have to be picked up again.  (I can’t believe that I missed 4,000 by 5 things.  Oh well, the next “day” will get me there!)

I don’t think I’m going to get to 5,000 by the end of 2017 but I’m much closer than I was a few months ago.  I’ll keep trying and you just never know what might happen.  Who knows? There could be another basket of socks hiding somewhere!

 

An Acceptable Kind of Mess

I’m 90% of the way to having an acceptable mess, what I like to call a normal mess.  It’s the kind of mess where you can let someone in and not be completely embarrassed.  It’s a mess but you can see the floor and walk around without tripping over things.  There’s no mound of stuff off to the side waiting to grow to the size of Mt. Everest.  It’s very nice!

Unfortunately, you have to walk through my front porch to get into the house and the cleaning I did out there a few months ago didn’t last.  You can hardly get in the front door and now it’s so cold that it’s hard to work on it again.  I’ve been trying to think of what I can do with everything that’s out there and haven’t come up with an idea yet. It’s going to be my summer project.

Acceptable Mess = More Fun

I’m heading out to the barn to spend time with my horse.  I don’t feel guilty doing that since the house looks okay.  Yay!

Day 67 Bowls without Lids, Lids without Containers

Getting to the end of the kitchen things, I’ll have to think of a new place to start working.  I need to get back to the basement but I can only do so much down there at a time.  The storage shelves I put in my living room need to be pared down already. It’s all stuff that passed the first rounds of decluttering but nothing is safe anymore.

When I started this journey almost 2 years ago, I couldn’t put anything in the rooms where they belonged because all the rooms were full.  Like completely full.  Now, there’s some open places.  I can’t say a lot but enough that we can move things around to the right places, most of the time.  My kitchen counter and dining room table are both still buried under about 2 feet of stuff but I’ll get there.  Just as soon as I can find some time.

day 67 decluttering challenge

Day 66 Lids with No Containers

I know that I shouldn’t have done it but I did.. I gave the girls lids without containers.  I think it’s so frustrating when you need a container and none of the lids match.  I told them I was putting a few in there though so they wouldn’t get too mad.  I also snuck in a few jars of peanut butter.  Silly little thing with that too.  The daughter who is moving is the one who is notorious for leaving messes around the house.  She bought one of these jars of peanut butter.  When the container was almost empty, she left it sitting on the counter.  Someone put it in the cabinet.  Really, it was almost empty.  So I put it in the box with that other one.

Day 64

I don’t mind loading the dishwasher but I hate unloading it.  I save that job for the kids but they don’t care for it much either.  We all agreed that the hardest thing about unloading the dishwasher is finding a place to put the clean dishes.  They weren’t fitting in the cabinets! It’s getting easier now since I got rid of lots this week!

decluttering challenge