Organization

Decluttering Challenge: Day 19

by Katie on April 10, 2014

Today I chose to clean out our hall closet which houses all of our household linens, extra personal care items, and paper products such as bathroom tissue and paper towels.  At first glance, the closet didn’t seem too disorganized; however, as I dove in, I realized I had a bit of work ahead of me.

As I sifted through the extra personal care items, it occurred to me that I might have stocked up a little too much on shampoo during the course of the past few months!  I set aside the shampoo that our family could reasonably use and made a pile of the remaining shampoo for our donation box.

I reorganized all the linens – towels, washcloths, sheets, and pillowcases, and I found a few pillowcases that we no longer use.  I also straightened the bottom of the closet, utilizing storage containers to keep a variety of items organized such as extra razors, grocery bags for the kitty litter, and rags for cleaning.


Overall, I found several items to get rid of or donate including some personal care items, a few samples that I don’t plan to use, several pillowcases, and some hair color.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Decluttering Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 18

by Katie on April 3, 2014

Today I finished our bedroom by cleaning out the closet and the dresser.  Although I was not exactly looking forward to tackling the closet, I’m relieved to have it finished.  Since storage space is at a premium in our house, we utilize our closet for not only our clothes and shoes,  but for our clean laundry basket and a container of various bags and backpacks as well.

I found several bags to get rid of that we no longer use as well as a few pairs of shoes.  Additionally, my husband and I went through our clothes, and together we filled a bag and a half full of clothes that no longer fit us.  In the past, I’ve gotten rid of plenty of clothes that don’t fit because they’re too small, and  I have to say, getting rid of clothes that are big is way more fun!

I also straightened the dresser and got rid of a few pairs of pj’s that I don’t wear anymore.  However, the rest of the dresser (much to my delight!) was very organized and not in much of need of straightening.  Now that our room is finished, I plan to move on to the hall closets and the boys’ room between tomorrow and next week.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Decluttering Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 17

by Katie on March 31, 2014

I started out my Decluttering Challenge with the very best of intentions of picking an area each day, sorting through it, and reorganize the remaining items.  However, I failed to factor in the bronchitis and flu that kicked my tail for four weeks straight.  Phew….there are definitely some things that you just can’t plan for or anticipate.

Now that I’ve had the chance to recoup and reestablish a normal routine again, I’m finally feeling like I’m back on track.  Before getting sick, I was in the process of weeding through our bedroom.  Today I cleaned out our nightstand, vacuumed the lamp shades and the floor, and dusted the furniture.

Since storage space is limited in our house, I utilize the space under our bed to store blankets and beach towels.  I sorted through the tubs, and found several blankets to get rid of as well as a pair of socks that the dog obviously thought were her chew toys.

From the pictures in the post, you might have noticed the ever so colorful blanket that we’ve substituted for our curtains.  Our blinds snapped a few months ago and replacing them hasn’t been very high on my priority list.  However, I plan to purchase an inexpensive set of blinds as well as curtains before the end of spring.

And there’s an awesome story behind the bear on the bed as well.  Vitas Hospice worked with my Dad in his final stages of life.  After he died, their volunteers took several of his shirts and made them into bears for us.  It’s a gift that I’ll truly cherish forever, and I’m beyond grateful to the volunteers at Vitas for their dedication to so many grieving families.

Tomorrow I’ll be tackling our closet and our large dresser to finish off our room.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Decluttering Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 16

by Katie on February 18, 2014

I chose to work on our bedroom this afternoon since it has been the unfortunate recipient of a great deal of clutter over the course of the past week or so.  I started on our largest dresser with the goal of not only cleaning off the exterior surfaces, but organizing all the drawers as well.

When I went through the drawers, I found several items to add to our discard pile, including two old power cords that appear to be from our old cell phones.  I also found four slips that date back at least 20 years.  Not only do they no longer fit, but it’s a rare moment when I have a slip-wearing occasion arise.  I also found a stack of undergarments that are now too big and my husband had two old t-shirts and a bathing suit to get rid of as well.


On top of the dresser, I found a broken pair of earrings to pitch and several items that needed to be relocated to their proper locations throughout the remainder of the house.  With the help of a little Windex and Pledge, I cleaned the mirrors, dresser, and my Willow Tree figurines.


I then took a few minutes to pull out the dresser, unearth all the dust bunnies, and vacuum the entire area.  Tomorrow I plan to move onto the nightstand and fold the remainder of the laundry that I didn’t finish today.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Decluttering Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 15

by Katie on February 17, 2014

I honestly didn’t forget about the Decluttering Challenge last week.  Instead, what I though was a minor cold blew up into a nasty virus.  Instead of organizing and decluttering, I was focusing on tissues, Tylenol, and lots of rest.  Fast forward a few days, and I am feeling human again (I still sound like Snuffleupagus and look like Rudolph….sigh!).

Today I finished tackling the pantry.  I sorted out all the books on the bookcase into three categories – books we plan to read soon, books that we’ll read in the future, and books to return to the library.  I returned the library books and found homes for the non-urgent books downstairs.

I also sorted through the miscellaneous items on the bookshelf as well as those scattered throughout the pantry.  I managed to find a cat toy that our cat never plays with to add to our pitch/donate/sell pile.

After some dusting and vacuuming, the pantry was back to being the functional space that it was intended to be.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Decluttering Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 14

by Katie on February 13, 2014

One of the most functional rooms in our house really isn’t a room at all, but more of a pass-through area.  We’ve affectionately termed this room our “pantry”, although it holds much more than just our extra grocery items.  We also keep our pet supplies, library books, and craft items in this room, and have a small reading area set up as well.

When we first moved into our house, I naively thought that my kitchen cabinets had plenty of storage space to accommodate my dishes, bakeware, cooking pans, utensils, and groceries.  It took all of one day for me to realize that this wasn’t quite the case.  Thirty minutes and one trip to Meijer later, I had a pantry cupboard with plenty of space for our grocery items.  In recent years, we added a narrow bookcase next to the cabinet as well.

It was these two cabinets that I cleaned out today.  As I pulled the items off the shelves, I checked the expiration dates and dusted off each shelf.  The items that were expired or that we no longer use (we’ve cut a lot since we started the South Beach Diet), I set aside to pitch (if it was expired) or to donate to our local food pantry.  I then reorganized the remaining items and placed them back into the storage cabinets.

Tomorrow I plan to clean out the pet supplies and the bookcase in the pantry and vacuum the entire area.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Declutter Challenge Series here.

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Decluttering Challenge: Day 13

by Katie on February 12, 2014

I was a little apprehensive about cleaning out our entertainment center today, as I knew I had a mess waiting for me.  We all love playing games as a family and make a point of having frequent family game time.  However, as idyllic as it would be to have every game piece returned to its proper place, it isn’t always a reality.

Together with our youngest three children, I pulled everything out of the entertainment center and sorted through all the boxes, cards, and pieces.  We matched the cards and pieces to the correct games and decks, and dusted the entire storage unit.

We then weeded through the games that we no longer play and organized the remaining games neatly onto the shelves.  We also discarded any partial decks of cards, unused instructions, and a few pieces to games that we no longer own.

After a little dusting and vacuuming, the living room took a complete 180 from the mess that it was at the beginning of the week.  Tomorrow, I’ll be heading into our pantry to organize canned goods, pet supplies, and books.

Did you miss previous posts in this series?  You can read all of the posts from the Declutter Challenge Series here.

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