Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finally! An Organizational Milestone Achieved!

Hooray!  Get out the champaigne!  I've hit a huge milestone today!  I hit the one-quarter mark in my purging effort!


I have been working to purge 2000 pounds of clutter from my home, and today I surpassed 500 pounds gone. 


I am proud, but I've taken a couple of steps back today as well.  Here is what happened.


I continued my work in the playroom and was able to get rid of some picture frames I was not using, as well as some board games and a couple of books.  Great, but in the centre of my playroom were a dozen or so boxes with toys sorted in them (like with like).  I have two problems that I need to solve before I will be able to effectively deal with the contents of those boxes. 


The first issue is that of storage.  I have little storage in the playroom which means no home for the toys that I have so meticulously sorted.  I have some ideas on how I want the playroom to look, when I'm finished, but I haven't purchased suitable shelving yet.  Being able to make those purchases is likely several weeks away.  While not expensive, it is something I need to save for. 


The second issue stems from the fact that my house really did start from a point of total chaos. 


My son's toys were not contained to the playroom. 


Since the playroom was often the messiest room in the house, I would do last minute tidying before company came by filling grocery bags with the towering piles of toys and hide them in different areas of the home.  Rarely would I sort through the items that I had packed up before the room would get messy again and I would start the process of bagging up toys all over again.  I would find a new spot in the house to stash the bags, since the other spot would invariably be full. 


Bags and boxes got stashed in the master bedroom, the laundry room, the mud room, the guest room, the nursery... almost anywhere I could carve out the space. 


Until I get a handle on what toys are hiding in other parts of the house, making further progress on the playroom is difficult.


For better or for worse, I placed all the bins in what is likely the only empty space in the entire house:  a shelf in the laundry room.  It was empty because it was inaccessible due to clutter sitting in front of it!  LOL!


I relocated the clutter and put the bins there.  I think this is probably a huge organizational faux pas.  Yet, I find myself doing it anyway.  :(


I need the visual of getting those boxes out of my sight to see and enjoy the few toys that do have a home in the playroom.  When I tackle other areas of the house I will place any found toys in the bins in the laundry room, where I can make further assessment of what stays and what can go.  The plan is then to get proper storage for what we love and want to keep, and then everything can go in it's place in the playroom.


The win for today is that the board games and picture frames added up to a hefty weight.  I purged a total of 14.2 pounds, which means I have blown through being one-quarter done my 2000 pound challenge!


It's a nice little win given the setback I am experiencing with the playroom.  I will focus on a new area of the house for a while, and then maybe with renewed energy and fresh eyes I will be able to get the playroom where I want it.


 The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  496.6 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  14.2 pounds

Total Purged To Date:  510.8 pounds

Pounds Remaining:  1489.2 pounds to go

I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to join me!  Try a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Plan of Attack for Organizing the Play Room

My go-to plan for organizing a space is having to be tweaked when it comes to the playroom. 


Typically, I would place four bins in the room or space I am organizing:  1) Garbage, 2) Recycling, 3) Give-Away, 4) belongs elsewhere. 


But that strategy just is not working with this room.   There is too much stuff with no home. I pick something up, and I just don't know what bin I should put it in, and if I want to keep it, I have no place to put it.


So, I have placed a number of bins in the center of the room and I am going back to a system of putting "like with like".  I still purge whatever I can, but I am taking the focus away from purging, and putting it instead on sorting. 


This is the more traditional way to organize, and it is a bit of a pain because all of these bins get left out in the middle of the room between 15-minute organization sessions, but it is saving me from getting more overwhelmed with not know where to put things.


I have bins for cars, trains, plush toys, board games, books, artwork, and more.  I even have bins for toys that are parts of other toys or games so that it can be re-united with the toys with which they belong when they are found (or tossed if they are not found).


Time will tell whether this strategy was the way to go, but so far things are looking good.  My son has given "the ok" to let 7.8 pounds of his toys go.  I am so proud of both of us!


Now I am dangerously close to being one-quarter done my purging goal, which is to purge 2000 pounds of things from my home!  We've gotten rid of a lot of stuff so far, and have my eye on surpassing the one-quarter mark during my next go at sorting the playroom.


The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  488.8 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  7.8 pounds

Total Purged To Date:  496.6 pounds

Pounds Remaining:  1503.4 pounds to go

I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to join me!  Try a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Clean and Un-Cluttered Closet

For the first time in my married life, and quite likely in my adult life, my closet is clean, organized, and clutter-free.


The closet in my Master Bedroom is "officially" done.   It's a matter of maintenance now.  I have gotten rid of the last of the clothes that did not fit, or that I did not love.  Truth be told, the bulk of the weight was from kilts that I wore in high school.  Not for a uniform, but for curling. 


It's probably kind of embarrassing to say that those curling kilts have stayed in my closet and made it through move after move for, yikes, 20 years . 


That said, I know I'm not alone in having stuff like that in my closet and other parts of my home.  That is what this great purging challenge is all about.  Getting rid of the clutter and material possessions that bring me no joy or happiness. 


What is also great about today is that I am so close to being one-quarter to my goal.  It's something I've been working towards with a "Baby Steps" philosophy.  For the past 2 years or so I've been de-cluttering my home bit by bit, pound-by-pound, throwing out and giving away things I don't really need or don't really want, but for some reason haven't been able to get rid of.


The great thing is that getting rid of some of this stuff has made it a little easier to get rid of other stuff.  I have a bit of momentum, and I look forward to my purging missions each day, and seeing how much it adds up to. 




The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  484.4 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  4.4 pounds

Total Purged To Date:  488.8 pounds

Pounds Remaining:  1511.2 pounds to go

I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to join me!  Try a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Great Purge That Came From Loving My Clothes

Today I went through my closet with one thing on my mind:  Get rid of clothes I don't love, or don't fit. 


There were many clothes in my closet that I don't wear, some of them there simply because I had intended to include them in a garage sale, or put on ebay, and some nicer pieces I planned to sell them to consignment shops. 


I let go of that completely today.   Well, eventually.  


First, I put all the clothes that I never intended to wear again in a plastic bag to take to the consignment shop in town.  I had checked online at the store's website and it didn't appear as though I needed an appointment so off I went.  Once I got there though, there was a sign on the door that an appointment was needed.  I went back to the car and called the store to see if I could get an appointment that day.  No luck.  The soonest I could get an appointment was over two weeks away. 


I got of the phone thinking I would take them to Goodwill instead.  I thought about how happy it might make someone to have access to these clothes that wouldn't normally have access to them.  My plan was to go home, collect the other clothes that I was ready to part with and head to Goodwill.  As I pulled out of the parking lot, however, I got cold feet.  I should sell them on kijiji, or ebay, I thought.  They are good clothes, and even if I got $15 or $20 for each piece (which I was certain I could get more), that would be $100 to $150 in my pocket. 


Getting home I realized how much work it would be to list each of the items, and even looked on ebay and kijiji to see how much similar items were selling for.  They weren't going for much more than my worst-case estimate, and some had no interested buyers. 


That clinched it.  I would drop everything off to Goodwill.  


And I did. 


I had been waiting over 5 years to get rid of some of those clothes, and see today as a huge accomplishment.  Purges that seemed so difficult early on in this challenge are now coming more easily.  It's making a difference in the happiness and peace in my life.


The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  456.6 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  27.8 pounds

Total Purged:  484.4 pounds

Pounds Remaining:  1515.6 pounds to go

I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to do a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's in a Suitcase?

I was in the master bedroom closet again today and was able to make some more progress with my purge. 


I was getting ready to wrap up a large suitcase to protect it from getting dusty when it hit me I had not used this suit case in almost 15 years. 


It is a suitcase of mammoth proportions.  It was used when I had to fit a year's worth of clothing and personal belongings:  I was moving to Scotland to go to Teacher's College.


Standing there in my bedroom, ready to wrap it neatly in cellophane to protect it, I realized that it had served it's purpose.  I fit all the school clothes, work clothes for my placements, outdoor clothes, and personal belongings I would need to spend a year abroad.  Never again would I be spending a period of time away from home long enough ever to warrant keeping such a suitcase. 


I remember the day I bought it clearly.  I was with my MoM at Sears, and it was with excitement and anticipation that  I settled on this suitcase; although I was anxious about the task of whittling down want I wanted to bring enough that everything I thought I would need for an entire year half-way across the world would fit.  My MoM paid for the suitcase, (a going-away present) and then it was off to Shark's Skin to purchase a raincoat and boots. 


I remember the purchase of that suitcase clearly.  Perhaps I haven't realized, until now, all that this suitcase holds for me.  It was the first purchase that was related to my trip, and made the trip real.  It was time with my MoM that preceded a significant period of time away, and well out of my comfort zone.  It was the beginning step to finding a real job, being grown up, and eventually starting my life. 


That year was one of the most amazing and memorable of my life.  I amazed me that year, more than I have ever amazed myself before, or since.  And that suitcase was the first tangible thing I had that got me there. For a year, my life fit in that suitcase.


The suitcase holds a lot for me, I guess.  Things have a way of doing that, I have found.


But really, it's just a shell.  Sitting wrapped neatly in plastic on an inaccessible shelf in a corner of my home. 


The fruits of that time in my life are with me, and are not in that suitcase. 


It's time I let someone else have it, so it can get someone else to the place they want to go.
 


The 2000 Pound Challenge:


Previously Purged:  434.4 pounds


Purged Since Last Post:  22.2 pounds


Total Purged:  456.6 pounds


Pounds Remaining:  1543.4 pounds to go


I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to do a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

DeCluttering in the Bedroom for 15 Minutes

I have continued de-cluttering and tidying in the Master Bedroom which has yielded another 4.8 pounds of clutter being removed from my home.


I didn't do anything fancy.  I focussed on tidying up a bit, and made a point of letting go of clothes that don't fit or that I don't love.  It is a small dent into the 2000 pound challenge, but these small purges are adding up. 


The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  421.6 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  4.8 pounds

Total Purged:  434.4 pounds


Pounds Remaining:  1565.6 pounds to go


I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to do a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Cleaning in the Master Bedroom Continues

Today, I continue to focus on the master bedroom. 


Yesterday I resolved to fill a garbage bag, a recycling bin, a bag of things to give away to Goodwill. 


The mission was accomplished, but I had to take a different approach today.  While I know there is a lot more to toss and give away in the master bedroom, the really obvious clutter was gone.  So instead of collecting items to purge I focussed on tidying up.  I still had my bins by my side (recycling, donate, garbage, and a laundry basket to place things that belong elsewhere in the home).  I folded clothes, hung things up, and put what I could in their proper place while also putting what simply didn't belong in the master bedroom into the appropriate bin.  As always, the laundry basket for things that belong in the elsewhere in the house filled first.   


I spent about 15 minutes tidying, sorting, and putting away, and in that time accumulated 8.0 pounds of things that were going to leave my house permanently either via the garbage, the recycling bin, or by donating it.


I have found that I absolutely need to get rid of all purged items right away.  Garbage gets bagged up and is brought right out of the house as if it contained dirty diapers, recycling is placed in the bins in the garage and gets taken to the road every week, and items for Goodwill are put in the car.  I then get in the car, and drive to Goodwill and drop it off. 


This last step of driving it to the donation centre is imperative for me.  Otherwise, donatable items build up in my garage, and I then hum and haw about whether I should have a garage sale, and there it sits for months and months.  I still have a large pile of stuff in my garage from my 2000 Pound Challenge salad days.  I do have to work on getting that out, but in the meantime I have resolved to at least not add to it! 




The 2000 Pound Challenge:

Previously Purged:  421.6 pounds

Purged Since Last Post:  8.0 pounds

Total Purged:  429.6 pounds


Pounds Remaining: 1570.4 pounds to go


I am working towards purging 2000 pounds of my belongings, no matter how long it takes me!  I was inspired by the "100 Thing Challenge", but knew I had to take a different approach.  Instead, I decided to try to purge 2000 pounds of stuff.  It's taken me longer than I thought it would, but the past few months I have been getting motivation and de-cluttering advice from www.flylady.net

If you are drowning in clutter, want to take control of your life, or your home just doesn't make you happy, I invite you to do a 5 or 10 minute de-cluttering session.  

I used to think that just isn't enough time to make any difference.  And yet now I've purged hundreds of pounds, and feeling so much better and less stressed.  I invite you to take a leap of faith and start in on this journey with me.  It doesn't matter that I started before you.  Just jump right on in, where ever you are!  There is no "right" time to start.  You don't have to start on the first of the month, or a Monday, and certainly not when you feel like you have enough time to dedicate to organizing and de-cluttering.  Nope!  You just need to put 1 thing in the garbage or in a give-away pile and you will be on your way.   :)