Sunday, December 30, 2018

Organization: Improving A Laundry Room

We are still slowly getting things settled in our new place. In our past three homes we have had laundry cabinets above or near our washer and dryer. This new place only has an open wire shelf. Of course, it works just fine, but visually, I needed an improvement!

I took advantage of Target's storage bin sale to pick up these 13 inch fabric bins.  They do hang over the edge by about an inch. I simply tossed like items into the bins. We can pull them down when we need something. It looks so much better!

In full disclosure, I did keep the cat food out of the bins. Too bad it doesn't have a blue lid! 

Do you have open shelving or closed cabinets in your laundry room? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Organization: Improving A Closet

We have lived in our new place for nearly a month. We had all boxes opened and empty within four days. We did a pretty good job of getting things into drawers and closets within a week. And since then have lived with it as is.

A new place does take some tweaking, rearranging to get things just right or at least improved. This post is about a secondary master bedroom closet. We have another one identical to this one that holds our most used clothing. It does not have a window.

Here's what it looked like before I started to make some changes:

About half of what you see in the picture below...disappears! Moved to other places or put into another container!

This closet is storing our file cabinet, two large bins of keepsakes, my sewing supplies, photographs and albums, framed memorabilia we haven't hung, my husband's Army gear, suitcases (not shown), craft items, and two comforters. 

Because it was overwhelming, I started simple. I moved the graduation gown to my daughter's closet! It did not need to be in OUR closet. There were also curtains that I moved to our linen closet. And the next decision was to remove a couple craft bins and store those in another closet on our lower level where there was more room. And finally, I moved a small shoebox sized bin INTO the filing cabinet. This was something that we actually may want to lock up, so that made sense. Good thing I eliminated so many files earlier this year...lots of extra room in that filing cabinet. 

The uniforms had been to the immediate left in the closet. Most are not used on a regular basis, so I moved them towards the back of the hanging space. I did leave a couple closer to the door. The space in between remains empty.

The items above the uniforms and gear are all photographs, albums and memorabilia. Some of these items had been in a bin on the floor. I emptied it of these items so I could add other items to it. Photographs out of site tend to be out of mind, so I did want them a bit more visible.

I moved two of the large keepsake bins under the military uniforms. These had been parallel to the left wall, but I rotated them perpendicular (or 90 degrees). 

The blue bin seen below is where the photo albums had been. I added three framed keepsakes, a framed flag, a plaque with its stand and some smaller less important albums to that bin, so they weren't just loose in the closet. On top, I stacked the two comforters.  Look at all the floor space! 

Immediately to the left on the shelf, I added my sewing machine, supplies and fabrics. I expect these to be removed from the closet most often, so I wanted them easily accessible. Before, the machine was in the back corner of the shelf and not easy to reach...and it's a little heavy! 

And finally, the finished product! I put some of our bags on the filing cabinet, along with an old computer we rarely use (it's black, so probably doesn't stand out in the photo).

For me, this is an improvement. We do have suitcases that need to be put on the floor in there. I have a couple ideas of ways I may be able to tweak the space, but overall, I'm very happy with the changes. 

Do you have an area of your home that needs some rearranging or tweaking in order to make the space more functional? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2108 Decluttering: Near Year End Update

It's been a wild year of decluttering! The goal has been to achieve the deletion of 2018 items from our home and life. And there were and are no rules! I knew we would likely be moving in 2018 when I started on this project, so the number was quite achievable in my mind. Once the location was determined, we were soon to realize we would be downsizing to a much smaller space. We went from over 2800 sq ft to just under 1700 sq ft, and only a one car garage.

As of my last update at the end of August, we had eliminated 1980 items! In the months of September we downsized a lot of furniture, which we counted as more than one item each. We eliminated lamps, tools, cleaners, clothes, baskets, rugs, curtain rods, curtains, bedding...and much more to even list at this point. 

I will say that moving so fast in the last few months, it was a bit disorientating letting go of the quantity we did. But it simply had to be done, or I would probably have a room at our new place that is packed full! That luckily did not happen. For the most part we have been able to fit our items into our home with ease. It's still a work in progress as we have been here less than a month. 

You might find this story amusing. My husband's Army gear was in several duffle bags and a backpack. In order to fit it into boxes, the ladies that packed up, partially opened the duffle bags exposing the contents. Thus, when we unpacked my husband was shocked to find multiple sets of OLD army uniforms. Guess what we now need to let go of? Old Army uniforms! They fill a very large box, not yet sure of the numbers. 

The final tally as of this writing for the 2018 Decluttering Challenge is 2,768! Yes, I did count furniture and large items as much more than one. For example, we sold a fairly new refrigerator and I counted it as 250. There is so much more effort to decluttering by selling. Taking pictures, posting a listing in several places, and communicating with the buyer for pickup. That additional effort prompted me to count these types of sales for the amount I sold the item for. A $250 refrigerator sale as 250 items. Remember there are no rules on how you count an item in the 2018 Decluttering Challenge. The ultimate goal is simply to let the items go.

The year is not over! I expect there will be more items we will eliminate before the year is done. I challenge you to keep making some progress in this area as you clean your home for guests or prepare for the holidays. You do not need to make it a marathon, but simply notice as you reach into a drawer, open a bin or stash things in a closet, if those items are ready to leave. There is still time to declutter. Let us finish 2018 strong!!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: August

The month of August has brought quite a bit of decluttering to our home, as we are beginning to downsize for our next move later this fall. It was so busy I failed to take good pictures, but I will share my 2018 Decluttering Checklist so you can see the progress!

My total items decluttered as of the end of July 2018 was 1759. My total for the end of August is 1980! Another 221 items out of the house. 

I did count two mattresses, headboards and their frames we sold as 60 since they were large items. 

I made one trip to Goodwill this month and that drop off was five bags worth of items, which I did count individually and recorded. 

I sold several items on eBay this month that are also included in the total. 

And just yesterday, my husband and I cleaned out the garage a bit. Because we expect to be renters awhile longer we decided to let go of garden items and various tools we would use for home repairs. We dropped these items off at the Habitat Restore in our town so that someone else can get use out of them. We counted these items as 60. There is one corner of our garage that has really opened up as a result! 

I'm starting to feel VERY confident I will exceed letting go of 2018 items in 2018. Only 38 items left to go! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: July

 I've given a few sneak peaks of items we have been decluttering this month on the Organized Friends Facebook page. The month is winding down, so I thought I should figure out my tally for the month and add it to my 2018 Challenge.

 The items in the first picture below came from my daughter's closet. A few hidden items will attempted to be sold.

In addition to my daughter's backpack, I found old marching band shoes, decor items, and some items from our hall closet. 

I'm sure it's hard to tell exactly what is in the bins below, but basically some clothes and shoes from my closet. Some to be tossed, some donated. I'm saving the bins, although I probably don't need them either. 

And then there is some things here that we decluttered much earlier in the month. 

Those items total nearly 25 I think. 

The items from my daughter's closet. Looks to be 11 items.

And this box is FULL! I didn't take pictures of all the items, but the box is full and heavy. Office supplies, decorations, clothes, arts and crafts and other various unneeded items

And the total for July...those last purple checked off boxes...121 items!

The new total for 2018 comes in at 1759 items decluttered this year. And the year isn't over yet. :) How is your decluttering going? If you are counting bags, pounds donated or actual items what is your current tally? 

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: May Update

I started off in May with a Challenge to myself to fill a box full with donations. I did expect I would get some help adding to the box, but that did not happen. I have easily mentioned the box every week this month to my family AND it has been sitting out in plain sight for everyone to see. I think at this point it has become a fixture and is no longer noticed!

Drum roll...I added eleven items to the box. A very slow month indeed.

I did sell two other items on eBay.

I deleted A LOT of emails off my computer yesterday, and counted that as five items decluttered.

And then to make myself feel better I deleted the unnecessary pictures on my phone. I counted those as five also.

In total, I decluttered a paltry 27 items. I'm not sure what the other four items were, maybe some boxes I donated to the neighbor for her move? All I know is my 2018 count was 1601 at the end of April and now my total is 1628.

I'm still making progress, right? I should be happy with that. The One Box Challenge was helpful as a reminder to keep looking despite the low return on the investment. And please don't take my paltry results as a reason not to try it yourself. Many people have found it to be very helpful.

I expect I will reach 2018 items by the end of the year. Only 391 items to go and 7 months to find them. That is an average of about 56 items per month, so I will need to step up my game in the coming months. I expect June to be a slow month only because we have guests coming for a visit and two trips planned!

Tell me how your decluttering went this month. What goal or challenge have you given yourself for June?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Decluttering: One Box Challenge

In order to keep the momentum of decluttering going here at our home, I'm taking on the one box challenge. Have you heard of this? I learned about it from some vloggers on YouTube. It seems to have originated with Rachel at Sweet and Simple Home. A link to her most recent one box challenge decluttering is here.

The first step is to find a box to contain the items I will declutter.

Here is the one I found. I've been saving the box for who knows what I thought I would mail, so it's a good thing this box will be leaving! It measure approximately, 20"x13"x12" when closed, so it is rather big.

I have one item I already know I'm going to add. 

Heck, let me just go get it and put it in there to get this one box challenge started! 

That's a foam roller. And if you followed my thirty bags challenge in the past, you may have seen that I added this, but it didn't actually make it out of the house. Oops! 

I'll be back before the end of the month to count up how many items I added to the box. 

Will you join me and fill one box for decluttering this month? Let me know if you fill more than one box!