Saturday, December 31, 2011

Theme Song for 2012

I don't always post about it, but every year I pick a theme song for the new year. I just saw Beonce perform this and I think its a good one for 2012!

Endings and Beginnings

So it is New Year's Eve and we are counting down to the first moments of 2012. I don't make resolutions really, but I do reflect on the passing year and try come up with some ideas for making the next year a good one.

2011 started pretty good and I had a lot of things in mind that I wanted to do. Some of them I accomplished. I became a Weight Watchers leader which was something I really wanted to do and since then I have found a job working in a gym to further my passion for helping people become healthy. My kids are healthy and happy and I have a lot to be thankful for.

A lot of really crappy stuff happened too however. It really wasn't what I would consider a banner year in my life. Things were pretty tough financially and I've gone through some stuff that I might share in a later post. I'm trying to focus on the good things, and move past the bad.

Today also marked the end of a huge part of my life. For about 29 years I've spent a large portion of my time at a restaurant owned by a man I consider to be my father. This place is like Cheers without the alcohol. Everyone knows you're name and you always have friends there. I went to homecomings and proms from there. I celebrated birthdays and graduations. I brought my babies there right out of the hospital, and celebrated their birthdays. The owner, Jim, walked me down the aisle when I got married. There are endless memories associated with this restaurant and today it closed its door after 34 years. Jim is retiring and deserves it more than anyone I know. I'll still see him regularly, but losing this home away from home has hit me incredibly hard.

So while I am really looking forward to a fresh start in 2012, I am still wondering how this void will be filled.

I hope all of you have a wonderful 2012 filled with peace and happiness!

Simple Christmas Success!

All of my Christmas nerves were for nothing! This was truly one of the best Christmas' we've had in a while. The kids seem really happy with everything that they received and spent the whole day happily building their Lego sets. We had simple homemade pizzas, and ice cream sundaes and laid around in our pajamas all day. One unplanned side effect of the simple Christmas was that we only had one extra bag of trash at the curb this year! In the past I've always felt so guilty about how much trash our celebrations created so this year it felt a lot better.

Overall the day was a total win and we will do it again next year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Nerves

Well it is one week until the big day! Christmas day that is and I'm getting nervous. Why would anyone be nervous about Christmas you ask. Well, as I posted a few days ago, this is going to be our first "simple" Christmas. Now I'm sure that for the more seasoned minimalist our Christmas won't look all that simple. But, for us, it is a big change.

The shift happened partially because of my desire to simplify and mostly because of my lack of funds this year. There has been a bit of mental struggle with this situation I can tell you that for sure! I've made the selections for the boys with a lot of thought. I asked them repeatedly for suggestions and listened for the repeats. I feel like the items I've purchased will be things that they really enjoy and things that will get a lot of use. But I can't deny that the pile of gifts is small. Wrapping didn't take very long and I got serious mommy guilt. It doesn't help reading about all the amazing things other people have bought for their kids.

Will they be disappointed? Will I be the one to ruin Christmas? Or will I get to enjoy the holiday a little more because I bought them things they truly enjoy and I don't feel bad when half of it sits around never being played with and feeling guilty about the money I've spent on it all?

I'll let you know!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Support Systems

I've been thinking a lot about support systems lately. I have a few friends going through separations and divorces, and my own schedule has made me wish I had another person here to support me emotionally as well as around the house. But it was an episode of The Biggest Loser that sparked this blog post. I don't know if anyone watches the show but I pick up past episodes on Hulu since I work when it is one. I'm a few episodes behind and last night I saw the episode in which Bob goes to Texas to the home of one of the contestants for a week.

Now Bob is paid to care about these people, but it's pretty evident that not all of that caring comes from this just being his job. He wants the people on the show to do well, to lose weight, and to get healthy. I suspect that is what any trainer wants. That's why he wasn't nearly as excited when one of his girls won the contest to return home to her family for a week. He knew what it meant. It meant going back into an environment full of temptations, stressors, and support issues.

This girls family seemed to really care about her and want to do what they could to help her, but I think the key to the entire episode was in the restaurant they took Bob to. It was a BBQ place with almost nothing on the menu that she could eat (not to mention it was pretty rude to take Bob to a BBQ place when he's a vegan). Bob looked at her family and told them that that type of restaurant would not be a place she could visit very much in the future.

The looks on the faces of her family members said a lot. Until that moment I don't think they had really grasped the seriousness of the issue. They had smiles on their faces about having their loved one home and a celebrity trainer in their midst, but they hadn't really thought about their role in her weight loss.

Can people be successful in a weight loss journey without the support of those around them? Yes, if they are determined and know how important it is to their health. Is it worlds harder than it would be with support? Oh yes! I see people all the time who do not have support and they make great strides, but those who have people in their corner do so much better.

If you're starting out on a plan to get healthy, do everything you can to bring those you love along. Even if they don't need to lose weight, everyone can be healthier than they are right now. Take them to the doctor with you so they can hear how important it is to your health. If you're going to a weight loss program like Weight Watchers, bring them along. If you're seeing a personal trainer have the trainer tell them all the ways they can help you along. Do whatever it takes to show the people around you how much they can help you on your journey.

If you still can't get those people on board, do it without them! Make the changes you need to make. Many times when other people see you doing well, they want to make changes too. But if not, seek out alternatives. Look for friends, support groups, even online forums. There is always someone out there who will be your rock!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


In the beginning stages of my quest to scale down, I stumbled upon the blog Rowdy Kittens. This woman's life fascinates me and I love reading about her writing and her tiny house. I would love to be armed with a camera, laptop, and a bicycle to get through life. She's an inspiration in minimalist living and she's written a great book called Smalltopia. I picked it up at regular price on my Kindle and it was well worth the money. Right now though, it is on sale for only $0.99 for the Kindle! Don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle reading app for free on your computer, smartphone, or iPad! I highly suggest picking up a copy!

Smalltopia: A Practical Guide to Working for Yourself

Minimalism at Christmas

So it is that time of year. Christmas, when everyone is in such a good mood and we buy in excess from Thanksgiving until New Years! I did not (and never do participate) in Black Friday. There is nothing that I need bad enough to get up early and wait in long lines with grouchy people. So what do I do about Christmas after months of purging my house of excess stuff?

I'm looking at Christmas a little different this year. The decorating has begun and it is far from a minimalist display. I put up one large and two small trees in my two-bedroom apartment. It's crazy and it is too much work, but I like it and so do the kids. I'm taking the decorating time to purge out decorations that we don't use anymore. That's going well and hopefully means I'll have less to put away this year. The only problem is, it seems like the storage closet has grown in the amount of stuff it contains again and I'm not sure why. I just know I feel like purging a whole lot of stuff again.

So how am I going to deal with the onslaught of toys that come into the house this time of year? Well, they aren't coming. Lucky for me the boys still believe in Santa. They felt pretty good about the cleaning out we did and have been pretty good about not asking to bring too much back in. They asked for things for their birthday that they actually really wanted and play with. It was a good test run. So, I told them that I'd had a discussion with Santa about our choice to live with less, and that he was going to comply with that by just bringing some really special stuff he knows they'll enjoy. Lucky for me, they seemed totally fine with that.  They even altered their lists and I think the things they want are really what they truly want.

The thing is, I know this is more my issue than theirs. They have Christmas with their father and step-mother, with their step-mother's family, and with their grandparents on both sides. They'll get plenty. So it's just my fear of looking like I don't love them enough to buy them stuff than any real need they have. They don't need any of it and will probably be a lot happier with the few good things I get them over all of the stuff I've gone overboard with in years past.

So, I'm being very selective about the gifts this year and we will see how it all goes. My hope is that when they open their gifts they are just as happy or happier than in years past and that when it is time to put it all away it will be easy to do!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Monster Tamed

Did you think I was gone forever? Sorry I have been gone for so long. I got a new job with a crazy schedule and between that and all of the other things I have going on there hasn't been a lot of time for blogging. But I couldn't leave you all hanging any longer on my last decluttering post.

You may remember the images of my outside storage closet and how it had become such a source of stress for me because it was so packed full of junk. Well I'm happy to report that it has been (mostly) tamed. There is still a fair amount of stuff in the closet and I hope to purge more as time goes on. However, it is starting to get colder and the holidays are approaching and I just needed to get it manageable before bad weather really sets in. I plan to purge the Christmas decorations when I get them out to decorate. Even though it is not as pared down as I would like it to be, it makes me feel so much better when I open the door now.

So for a refresher, here it is before...

And after...

I know it is kind of hard to tell how much better it really is, but trust me, I can get to the things I need now and it doesn't make me want to wretch when I open the door anymore. So with the exception of paring down things as I find myself not needing them, my massive decluttering project is essentially over. I'm still working on the digital decluttering process which sometimes seems hopeless. Don't leave me though. I plan to try to make a little time to blog as often as I can!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Watch the Dr. Oz Show Today!

I'm not sure if I've professed my love for Dr. Oz on this blog I'll do it now! I LOVE the Oz man! It's a little disturbing really. I know people who spend big money to go to concerts and who get all excited over celebrities in movies. I'd pay big money to see Dr. Oz.

Because of this obsession I'm very excited that Weight Watchers is teaming up with Dr. Oz to help with his Transformation Nation contest. The show will air today and I'm very excited about it!

Watch the sneak preview and check for air times in your area! Hope to see a lot of people take part in this!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Online Dating 101 For Men

I've done the online dating thing off an on for a little while now. I'm not ashamed of this fact as I know several people who have met their spouse in this manner, I don't go to bars, and it saves you a lot of awkward dates by eliminating people you aren't compatible with early on. In this process I have identified some things that men should really consider when creating an online dating profile and I thought I should share the info in case I have any single male readers. Before someone says I'm being mean, know that I'm sure women do stuff they shouldn't as well. But, I'm coming from one perspective.

1. The Picture

You need to have one. If I have one, you should too. No, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but attraction is important. If I'm not the least bit attracted to you, then we're not off to a good start.

Once you have taken the picture, you need to look at it. Are you still wearing your wedding ring? Yeah, you might want to take that off.

Are your clothes clean and presentable? A date is sadly much like a job interview. If you're not willing to put your best foot forward for the picture, should I believe you will make any effort once in a relationship? You don't have to wear a suit and tie, but a shirt without stains and holes might be a start. Now, if your picture was taken by someone else while you were hard at work or something, that's different. But if you're taking it yourself or posing, make some sort of effort.

Are you even wearing clothes? Yeah, you should be. I don't want to see your abs (or lack thereof) before I've even met you. This does not apply if your picture was taken while on the beach or at the pool, but it doubly applies if you're taking the picture in your bathroom mirror. Honestly, it's best to avoid taking the picture in the bathroom.

Flexing. Just don't do it. It makes you look nuts and often you don't have the muscles you think you do.

Leave your jedi light saber or other swords out of the picture. Then again, that's information I need early, so by all means.

Spit out the snuff. In fact, quit dipping. Again you look nuts with a big lump on your face. Not to mention it's repulsive.

Tattoos. I love them, but I don't need a picture devoted just to your tattoo...especially if it's one you should have thought twice about.

2. Your profile

Write something in it. We need to know who you are and what you like.

Spell check and avoid text language. Again, this is like a job interview. You don't have to be a perfect speller but EVERY program underlines the words you get wrong and if you right-click it will give you spelling suggestions. Text speak just makes you look ignorant.

3. My profile

Read it carefully. Read it again before you contact me. I wrote what I wrote for a reason. I wanted to let you know some things about me before you contact me so you can eliminate me if I am not someone you'd likely get along with. If you read that I'm agnostic and your screen name is Jesus Freak then we likely won't get along all that well.

Once you contact me I will read your profile and if it is very evident from that, or from what you wrote to me that you did not read my profile I will not respond. It's just respectful and you look like a fool if it's obvious you only contacted me because of my picture.

4. First contact

If you decide to write to me....write something! "Hey" is not an opening email.

If you start out with anything about how "hot" I am and nothing else, you're getting deleted.

Asking me to meet you in the first email is creepy. Don't do it.

I'm sure people will think I'm being cocky by saying these things, but most of it just seems common sense to me. If you wouldn't do it on a job interview, don't do it in a dating profile. I know real life will set in at some point, but it's nice to at least make some effort when you're actively trying to meet new people.

A little addition to this post. A friend of mine shared this video and I found it too funny and too much like what I've experienced. Warning, lots of f-bombs so be careful where you watch it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It is the morning of September 11, 2011, ten years since a day that changed our country forever. There will be no talk of anything else today. My Facebook wall is covered with videos and comments about it. The question that prevails is "Do you remember where you were that day?" My answer is "Of course I do". For any American old enough to remember with any real understanding every detail is etched into our minds for as long as our minds hold out. As someone with an extreme anxiety issue, it consumed me for much longer than the one day.

But I'm not going to tell you were I was, or how I felt. I'm not going to watch media coverage of it, and I'm not going to post things on Facebook about it. I'm sure people will think that means I don't remember those who lost their lives, those who were left behind, and those who struggle every day with illness related to the recovery efforts. I'm sure it means I'm not patriotic or a good American.

That couldn't be further from the truth. I obsessed about that day for a very long time after it happened. I watched everything and read everything there was to watch about it. It was horrible and it impacted me deeply. But the truth is, I can't relive it every year. My heart aches for the victims. I have found myself thinking about them at totally random times ever since. But I just can't make it the whole focus of the month of September every year.

Call me what you will, but my heart is with all of those involved today. I don't fault anyone for remembering how they choose to remember. If that means posting videos, talking about it with friends, attending services, then that's great. Everyone deals in their own way. But for me, I have to live my life with the knowledge that many people's lives were lost that day. They cannot go on, but the rest of us can. The rest of us can hug our kids a little tighter, call our loved ones a little more, and focus on solutions to the world's problems that don't involve violence. So I'm going to live today for those who cannot. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but I have a feeling all of the victims would be telling us to do just that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Monster!

When I moved into my apartment I was very pleased to find that it had an outdoor storage building attached. I knew it would come in handy for storing Christmas decorations and the link. I did not know that my hoarding tendencies would turn it into the beast that it has become. As the following pictures will show, getting the Christmas decorations out takes an act of Congress. I also had to add a bunch of Weight Watchers gear recently and now it's just more than I can stand.

Today's holiday was supposed to be spent cleaning this space out, but I woke up to rain so I didn't expect to get anywhere on that. I finished the last detail of the boys room which was cleaning out their drawers and then since the rain had stopped I decided to get started. I didn't get very far before the rain started up again and I had to put it all back. I did get several bags ready for donation and a few bags of trash, so at least I made a start which feels good. This week is going to be insane so I have no idea when I'll get back to it. But, just so you can see what I'm up against, here are the before pictures...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thoughts on Money

I live in a great little neighborhood. It's one that I've lived in off and on since I was born in some area or another. It's near a Mennonite university and a retirement home so we have a really interesting mix of older and younger people as well as families. We also have an interesting mix of money. While no one would really be considered "poor" in the area, it ranges from apartment dwellers to some really expensive and large houses. There's one particular hill of really fancy homes that has been there since I was very young and grown over the years.

I've always been in awe of this hill of homes. My Kindergarten "boyfriend" lived on the hill for a while as well as some of my other classmates in elementary school. I've walked the hill many times over the years and admired the beautiful houses and nice cars in the driveways. I have always wanted to live on the hill. My tastes have changed over the years and so I have a different favorite house depending on when you ask me. I always thought that if I were living on that hill I would know that I've made it.

I walked that hill last night and something had changed. None of the houses were my favorite anymore. Sure, they are all still beautiful and I don't fault a single owner for wanting to own them. But I don't want to live there anymore. I realized that the desire to be at the place where I could live there has caused me to make stupid choices and pretend like I had more money than I really do. It has put me into a horrible financial place, one I never thought I'd be in...ever.

My dream home has really changed in my mind since the beginning of my financial struggle and this process of decluttering my home and my life. It's much smaller and a lot less fancy than those houses on the hill. I'm not suggesting that if you can afford a home like that or still want to have one one day that there's something wrong with you. I'm just saying don't pretend like I did. Make smart choices to have what you desire and don't sacrifice on your way there.

And while we're talking dream homes. A blog dealing with minimalism wouldn't be complete without some videos of people living in tiny homes. Could you do it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boys Room Complete!

Now that school has started back for all of us (my classes started today) and the weather will soon get cooler I have an overwhelming desire to get this project complete! So, yesterday and today the boys and I worked on their room and I'm happy to announce that it is complete! Now, the rest of the house looks like a bomb went off in it because of all of the stuff that needs to go to the thrift store, but at least their room looks good!

If I'd had my way we would have eliminated a lot more stuff. But, they're kids and I think they did amazing in this process. My oldest is way past ready for it to be over. He has a lot less attachment to things than the rest of us, so as long as you don't touch his books he's OK. But, I still felt like I had to ask him about everything. Overall the got rid of a ton. There are some things they kept that I didn't really see the need for because it never gets used. So, I will observe for a few months and see if they do, if not, they may secretly disappear. So, here are the before and afters!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bedroom Is Done!

I worked on my bedroom off and on yesterday and today and finally finished it up. So far, it has been the most stressful of rooms (I keep saying that don't I). I knew it was going to be rough because I have a lot of sentimental things in there. Under my bed I had two small storage bins with cards and letters, and a huge tote full of pictures in frames. I also have a big cedar chest that was full to the brim of various things.

The boxes weren't too hard. Once contained wedding invitations and other little things that I will use in my scrapbooks, so I kept all of that. There were only a few weddings in there anyway. The other box contained tons of cards and letters. Most were from my kids from various holidays and of course I had to keep all of those. There were a few from my best friend, my mom, my grandmother and my grandfather, so they all stayed too. But then there were also quite a few from my ex-husband. When I went through them last night I kept all of those. I figured that perhaps my kids would want to see them at some point. But then this morning I went through them all again and got rid of all but a few. I don't know how much of that stuff (if any) the boys will care about, so I figured one or two would be enough, and the ones I kept were about the kids so it was all relative.

The cedar chest proved to be much more difficult. There were a lot of things from my wedding, and a bunch of my baby clothes. I collect Gone With the Wind memorabilia so there was some of that in there too. I got rid of a few things that really didn't need to be saved, and then had to decide what to do with the remainder. I kept all the wedding pictures and the video for the boys sake, and got rid of everything else from the wedding.

The baby clothes were a bit tricky. Since I didn't have boys, I couldn't use them for my own child and they really don't have much sentimental value to me, because I don't remember wearing them. They mean a lot more to my mom, as I suspect the boys clothes will to me, so I'm giving them back to her to decide what to do with them. I could have kept them, but I know I have tons of sentimental things out in my storage shed and I want to try to contain all that stuff (not including things I keep of the boys) to this cedar chest. I know I have tons of stuff out there from high school, so I'm going to have to be very selective. Now I have about half the cedar chest empty for those things.

Enough chatter, I know you want to see pictures! The first is from a corner next to the closet and cedar chest.

These are from the side of the bed that I sleep on.

Lastly this is from a corner next to my dresser. At the moment I know it doesn't look that much better. However, what you don't see in the before picture is two baskets that were overflowing with fabric and used t-shirts that I use for sewing projects (well you can see part of one). They are now contained to the pink bin and its size is going to force me to work on those projects or get rid of that stuff too. Also, the workout step is still there in the box because I'm hoping to find a new home for it that allows it to be out of the way, and get used. If it doesn't, it's gone too! So I may have a better after picture of this space at some point.

Of all the rooms I've done so far this one still feels the most "full". Even though I cleaned almost everything out from under the bed and the closet was done some months ago, I still feel like there is too much stuff. It's funny how the more you get rid of, the more you want to get rid of!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What a Day

Sorry I've been a little absent, but like I said, a lot's happening around here and I won't be able to keep up the daily pace I had going. I've done some more stuff removal, but nothing too major the past few days. Mostly getting the stuff out of the house, cleaning up behind it and figuring out to do with some things. I did do my bathroom closet and my dresser yesterday. I didn't take pictures of the dresser because you all really don't want to see my underwear, but I got rid of a ton of stuff and it's nice to open the drawers again.

The bathroom closet was interesting too. If you've read my other blog I May Be Cheap (which sadly hasn't been updated in forever) then you know I'm a bargain shopper and get a lot of beauty items for free or nearly free. Well, I can only use so much of that stuff so it was really piling up. Needless to say, most of it is gone and my mom and her friends at work were the recipients of all of that.

In my last post I mentioned that while cleaning my desk I somehow managed to break my printer. This was a pretty big deal given that it was a multifunction and I used it daily. Even bigger because I did not have the money to replace it. I'm happy to announce that a very generous friend whom I cannot thank enough replaced it for me and I'm happily printing, copying and scanning again!

Today was a pretty nutty day so not a lot got accomplished on this mission. I woke up this morning and learned that one of my friends lost her husband this weekend. He was way too young to pass away and left behind a loving wife and two very young little girls. I haven't been able to stop thinking about them all day. I'm not a huge fan of my single status and thinking about how happy they were and what a great life they've shared for all of these years made me realize how much I want that too. Maybe an odd thing to think about related to someone's passing, but I guess I know he'd want people to remember that stuff about him and so would she.

It was also the first day of school for my boys. My oldest entered his last year of elementary school as a fifth grader and loves it so far. My youngest is a proud fourth grader. Upon my return home from getting them on the bus I learned there were two bus accidents, so that gave me momentary panic until I learned it was not their bus. Then, this afternoon for the first time in my life we experienced an earthquake! It was fairly minor overall and the shaking was not enough for a lot of people to know exactly what happened, but it's still not something I want to do again that's for sure! The boys didn't even know it happened though, so that made me feel better.

Overall it was an exhausting day. I'm ready for it to be finished and hope tomorrow is somewhat better. And since I know you want to see, here are the before and afters of my bathroom closet!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Working on the Living Room

With the exception of my desk area and my sons trucks I've totally forgotten to take pictures of my living room declutter. I'm sorry about that because I know the pictures make it more fun, but I just got into it and realized I'd forgotten when I was about halfway through. So, I'll try to paint a mental picture.

There were books EVERYWHERE! I love books. I'm an English major, I have a Kindle, but I cannot get rid of books. I also buy more books almost every time I go to a thrift store. They make me happy and I will likely keep most of the ones I have during this process. But they were taking over. So were toys. We had a three drawer storage bin that was full of toys that the boys never play with, so we started with that. It was packed and we got it down to having about four things in it. We also had a toy box that was mine as a child that doubles as a coffee table. It took was packed full of toys that they never play with. So, that was next on the list. We got it down to where we were able to put everything into the three drawer bin with room to spare!!

Back to the books. I have two large shelves in the living room back two deep and with books shoved in the space on top as well. I also had a basket that was overflowing and a stack against the wall that was nearly as tall as one of the shelves. All of the books in the basket, those stacked against the wall, and many that were in the space at the top of the other books have now been relocated to the toy box. I still get to keep them and read them, but they're not in the way anymore! It's fantastic!

The last part of the living room that needs to be tackled is this table that used to be used for scrapbooking. It still contains all of my scrapbook stuff (which I hope to relocate once my storage shed is cleaned out) and our bird. I'm going to clean it out and organize it the best I can so that it will be easy to move around once I have the ability to do so.

Overall it has been a productive day and once I move to the bathroom I'll remember to start taking pictures again!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Desk Disaster

My desk area has always been a disaster, and once again a source of constant stress. I'm at it a lot, use a lot of the things that are in the space, but knew I had too much that I didn't need or use. I started working on it the other day, but couldn't complete it straight through. Last night I couldn't take it anymore and finished it off.

However, there was a casualty. I turned my printer sideways to dust behind it and now it doesn't work. Every indication is that it is toast and not worth fixing out of warranty. I'm very upset as I use it nearly every day for some purpose.

So here are the befores...

And the afters....

Now to find a bargain on a new printer!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Room Down!

Sorry I didn't post any yesterday but it was a very busy day. No cleaning, just work. Things may slow down a bit here because I have tons of work to do, my kids start school next week, and I start classes the following week. There might not be as much to take before and after pictures of either, but I'll do my best!

This evening I did the last of the straightening and cleaning in the kitchen and I am happy to announce that it is finished!!!!! Some things just got relocated to the room that they belong in for decluttering there, but for the most part I did everything in the kitchen so I didn't have to worry with it somewhere else.

I couldn't believe how much easier it was to clean my kitchen without all the junk in it. For the first time, it didn't stress me out to do it! If you're thinking about doing this, I highly recommend it. I feel so much lighter already!

I'm moving on to my desk area and will hopefully have some pictures for you soon! In the meantime, please share your decluttering stories with me!

Monday, August 15, 2011


My mother brought it to my attention that you had to have an account to post a comment. I have updated the settings so that is no longer the case. My apologies and I hope that means more people will comment!

I've Created a Monster

Last night I had the boys help me clean out the craft supplies because they use a lot of them and I wanted their input on what needed to be kept. Apparently, I've created a monster. My youngest son was the least on board about this process when I explained it, but he caught the bug. While I was working this afternoon he decided he wanted to clean out his car bins. The child loves his cars and they're the one thing I thought he'd have the most trouble going through. Apparently, I was wrong!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture before he got started, but here are the containers that were literally overflowing before he went through them.
And now we're down to this!!!! I'm so proud of him and he did this all on his own with my constantly telling him he could keep more if he wanted to.

The best part is, a sweet little young man is going to get the cars he no longer uses!

Today's Donations

I should have taken pictures of everything that was going out of the house as well as the before and afters. I only realized this this morning when I was looking at the pile I had to load into the car. I filled a huge rolling rack at Gift & Thrift by myself. Bear in mind, I've already donated a similar sized pile and this is just from the kitchen! Ignore the rest of the mess, my kids had stuff everywhere!

There were five trash bags, a box and a paper bag. I felt like a ton had been lifted off me after we drove away. I also mailed three cookbooks I sold on Amazon, gave away an ice cream maker to a friend, and a few things to my mom. It's so nice walking into my kitchen now!

If you're interested in where all of these things are headed, I donate to Gift & Thrift. All of the proceeds go to Mennonite Central Committee and it's such a nice and well organized store.

Craft Supply Overload

I was working last night and got tired of sitting, so I thought I'd do another quick clean out as a break. Turns out that was a bad idea because what I decided to work on was NOT quick at all. Because I live in a small apartment, there just isn't room for a lot of the things we have. I know I'm going to have more than I want in here but that's the way it is. Our kitchen doubles as a craft space and it had reached critical mass.

Totally insane isn't it? You can see where I was keeping the pet food that I mentioned in the pantry clean out. It took forever, but here's the after! I felt so good when I finally went to bed that you would have thought tomorrow was Christmas! I wish I didn't have to have so much of this in the kitchen, but for now, this is where it will be. Perhaps as this process continues I'll find a better home for it all.