Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Clean Your Drawers Challenge

Have you heard of the Clean Your Drawers Challenge on YouTube? It's a small group, but they are inspiring! You can find the playlist here.

The amount of stuff that can be pushed back, crammed and lost in a drawer is amazing! I think this is a great challenge if you find yourself in need of motivation.  I know that has been short for many of us right now. The advantage of just focusing on one drawer at a time is they generally take a short amount of time to declutter.

I will show you one drawer of mine that is need of help and I will time myself.

The before below. Quite a mix of things!

I  took everything out and immediately tossed the round piece of paper. 
I moved the rubber band to another spot along with all the vitamins. 

I swapped the stick blender with the items needed for cleaning our Berkey water system.
I straightened the tea and left the seed packet in this drawer for now. 

Well look at that. Just three minutes! 

Do you have any idea how many drawers are in your home? I just did a mental count for our home and came up with 50. I happen to know several of those are empty, but there would be quite a few that could use some work. 

Focus on this type of container can help you make progress and not get distracted by piles, cupboards and closets. One drawer a day, or a few per week and I can imagine you will find plenty to trash and donate. I also think these small containers, a drawer, can be done in rather short periods of time, likely 15 minutes or less depending on the size and how much you have in them. 

Some of the items you find likely have a home elsewhere in your house. One organizer, Dana K White, of A Snob Comes Clean, suggests you take the item immediately and directly to the place you think you might look for that item. Other organizers have you distribute the items after you have completed your decluttering knowing you might get distracted if you go wandering about your home. I think what you do is up to you, I personally like to distribute items after I am completed with my decluttering. 

Good luck if you decide to take on your own version of the Clean Your Drawers challenge! I'm cheering for you. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Create An Oasis of Calm

Hello Organized Friends!

My writing motivation went away for awhile, but today, I feel like giving you a few ideas to create an oasis of calm inside your home, where I suspect many of you are spending a lot of your time! Stressful and chaotic environments create stress in the body, which has a major impact on our immune system and for many of us our mental health. We all want to be our healthiest right now, right?

The following have been game changers for me in the last couple days:

  • I turned on music! I've listened to piano and Native American flute music for a hour or so at a time. While it's on I feel a bit like I'm at a spa! For me, something without lyrics is best to create calm, but songs with lyrics are a nice change of pace too.
  • I started up our essential oil diffuser with oils specifically called Relax and another called Worry Free. I also have a Germ Fighter one that is very nice as well. 
  • I've shut off my computer and set my cell phone away from me for good portions of the day. 

My normal routine does include walking outside in the mornings. We get Vitamin D this way which is very important for a healthy immune system. I find that nature is grounding and we have been very lucky to have warm weather in my southern location. If your weather doesn't allow a walk, you might consider stepping out on your porch, deck or driveway for five minutes and gaze at the sky. Or if that doesn't appeal, consider opening a window for ten minutes to bring in fresh air.

I'm making the intention to tidy up more frequently. A clear countertop and table are not always possible, but if I take a few minutes a couple times a day, I find this relaxes my mind and helps the spaces in our home seem calmer.

I've done some art! I made a few watercolors which I added some inspiring words to. I also made a vision board (you can find out more about those on YouTube). I've read an inspirational book. We have watched more comedy (stand up and sitcoms) and found out that Mary Poppins Returns is an excellent movie!

Calm is not just about our physical spaces, but how we feel in our minds. What thoughts are you having about the events of the world, new work environment, spending more time with family? If any of those thoughts are negative, can you turn them around? One of the mantras that calms my mind is "everything is always working out for me".  Are you in a state of gratitude for the current health of your family, that you have food, that you have a safe place to be?

I've spent some time on our back porch, enjoying the geckos playing on the fence, the green grass and potted plants. I've sipped my coffee, water and eaten breakfast in this space.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Ten Days of Decluttering: Day 10

It's Day 10 in the Ten Days of Decluttering series!

Today I stepped out into our garage for about 15 minutes and looked in a few bins on the hunt for clutter!

Here's some basic photos of our single car garage, where we rarely park a car despite having room for it!

I focused my efforts primarily on that shelf above the red Christmas storage bins. I also briefly reviewed the other shelves without going into bins. 

I found some things that can go!

Like boxes from phones...which will add to our recycling bin!

Then I looked in these three bins:

I found a can of spray paint and these gloves that can go. I have two other sets I like better. I kept just one set of disposable gloves since the odds of needing them are very low. Not much, but it counts!

I'm also letting a lantern go, a dead crock pot and a small air purifier we no longer need. 

That blue bin above has a few items I previously decluttered. Time to get it all packed up for a charity drop off! There might be a few items I have decluttered in the last ten days that I will attempt to sell on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Whew!! Ten Days, Ten Spaces was a success!

I hope you noticed that the time I spent was minimal and for the most part I kept the spaces to areas I could complete in a short time. If you closets are packed full you may need to limit your space to one shelf or half a shelf at a time. All the effort adds up and eventually you will start to notice a difference!

Thanks for joining me! Share anytime your decluttering efforts on our Organized Friends Facebook page. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ten Days of Decluttering: Day 9

It's Day 9 of the Ten Days of Decluttering series.

The space I'm reviewing today is a hall closet on our lower level.

Here's the before pictures:

Yep, not a lot in there, but I need to look at the games and this art supply bin:

And I will look in here, too.

This was a pretty quick review, likely around ten minutes. 

And it yielded more than I thought that can go! 

Paper, paint and brushes and glue all can go!

Above, I found a puzzle and dominoes that we haven't used in years!! Quite a few years to be honest!

The rest may be hard to see, but I'm letting go of a new toothbrush, a grout cleaning tool, expired bug spray and sun lotion. The light bulb is used and needs to be relocated until I can get to a place that will recycle it. 

The less we buy, the less we keep seems to make for empty closets! I really don't have enough to put in there do I?

Can you declutter a space today? Do you have ten minutes to review a space? I'm cheering for you! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ten Days of Decluttering: Day 8

Today is Day 8 in our Ten Days of Decluttering series.

I picked my lower kitchen cabinets for today's decluttering space.

Let's start with before pictures, then I will show you what I found.

Yikes! Look at this one...and thus the reason I knew this space needed some attention.

Here's what I'm letting go of:

Look at all those glass containers!! I was starting to hoard them, but wasn't finding a use. They can go! I put the cat food in the drawer (see yesterday's post). I emptied the plastic containers from the packaging and put those in an upper cupboard with other plastic containers. I'm recycling the cardboard packaging, tossing the glass (can't recycle it here). I will donate the cutting board (got new ones), and the black lunch bag. Oh, and the syrup down the drain, recycling the container.

Here's a review of the cupboards after:

I have made room for my Kitchen Aid mixer in that cupboard above. I moved the rolling pin, extra parchment paper and paper plates to that empty drawer I made yesterday. 

Cat food and the lunch bag came out of here. Empty space for I need more though?

And...two other cupboards have one less item as well. Not a lot but it is good to review every so often and see what can go! 

Do your kitchen cupboards need decluttering? Are there things in them that you are not using? Can you check one shelf or cupboard while you make dinner tonight?

Just two days left in this Ten Days of Decluttering series! Stay with me. We are going to finish January off right! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ten Days of Decluttering: Day 7

Today is day Seven in the Ten Days of Decluttering series! Remember it's ten spaces, in ten days. You do this decluttering challenge your way. You pick the spaces!

I chose to decluttering my kitchen drawers for today. I expect to find several things that can go!

Here are some before pictures:

Make note above, I have three drawers below the one on the right to look at. 

Time to fill this one up with more cat food! 

Utensils! Do you use all of yours? 

Knives and plastic stuff!

Here's what I found to pull out of all those drawers:

I am tossing the empty tea box and the box tops. I will ask my daughter about the collection of tea tags. I'm relocating the lighter and the orange charger. I am donating 9 placemats, 9 cloth napkins, two wooden spoons and two knives. 

I didn't pull anything from several of the drawers, so here's just a look at the few I did take things from:

As I look at these pictures, I might move a few things from the left side of the drawer below, and swap them with the blender stick above. Which has me thinking of some other swaps I could make. Hmm...more on that in the future maybe! 

I created an empty drawer by getting rid of the placemats and napkins! I have an idea of what to put there. Stay tuned tomorrow for my plan.

Below is the drawer where removed those two wooden spoons from. Still a bit tight, but at least it seems to be all things I use! 

Do your kitchen drawers need some decluttering attention? Maybe just one drawer each night while you cook dinner? 

Let me know what space you worked on today! And thanks for following my Ten Days of Decluttering series. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Ten Days of Decluttering: Day 6

Today is Day Six in this Ten Days of Decluttering series! Thanks for stopping by!

Let's talk paper!

The picture below is the files we have in paper form. Okay there is a similar amount in the drawer below, but those are all my husband's work papers for the military. We are keeping those!

I did two very large paper purges in the past, which I documented here on my blog. Search paper and you should find all of them. The papers that remain there are things such as birth and marriage certificates, some health records, two large files of our daughter's school keepsakes, receipts for large purchases, passports and social security cards, voter registration cards, titles for our vehicles, tax returns (7 years), college records, one year's worth of car maintenance receipts (we record older records in an Excel file), rabies certificate for the cat and I'm sure a few more items!

We have very few manuals as we use as a place to find and bookmark manuals we think we might want access to in the future. We rarely need them.

The goal of today's declutter session was to go through the first two files. One is for receipts and manuals, the other is a generic file that holds quite a few random things that I expect to need longer than a year (many of the things listed above). 

I found eight pages/receipts that can go. Old car registration receipts, receipts for old phones, contact lenses, and a drill. Not much, but this kind of review done often results in just a few things each time. I love that we no longer keep a lot of paper compared to what we did years ago! 

I have about four other car maintenance receipts from 2018 that I think we will confirm we recorded and then shred. 

Do you have a space you can declutter today? Just take five or ten minutes and see what is obvious and can go. A little effort on a regular basis makes a big difference over time! I'm cheering for you!