Monday, April 7, 2014

Clearing Out the Clutter- Our Home!

I have been waiting for this week for awhile now!  Why?  Because I LOVE Blog Hops!  They are not only a great way to read and learn about something new, but they are also a great way to find a new favorite blog to follow.  I want to highlight 8 other blogs that are participating with me, but make sure you click on the big banner at the bottom of this post to see all the TOS bloggers that are participating this week.  I have no doubt that you will find a few subjects that will catch your eye.  Visit these great gals and please tell them I sent you!

Brittney @ Mom's Heart ~ Relaxed Homeschooling

Lisa @ A Rup Life ~ Our Favorite Books

Melissa @ Life Off the Paved Road ~ Fit From Home

Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Educational Apps

Jenni @ Conversaving ~ Homeschool Cooperatives

Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos ~ Celebrating Lent

Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling ~ Spring Schooling

Crystal @ Crystal Starr Blog ~ Christ Centered Character Training

As for me- well, what else?

  Welcome to 5 days of Clearing Out the Clutter. 

Might as well write about something I am passionate about, right?  Passionate about, and always doing!  Each day this week we will take a look at an aspect of our life and see what we can do to-

Clear Out The Clutter!

Let's get started today with the place we all probably need to most help- the HOME!

Yep, we are going past just the cleaning and we are getting rid of things.  If you have not read my past posts about this kind of stuff, take a minute to check out our pantry kitchen,  bedroom, teen's room, kid's room, and  master closet posts.

Real quick- let's talk about the whys before we hit a few highlights of the hows.

Clutter collects dust.  Seriously, the more you have the more you have to clean and dust.  Dust collectors are bad for us all.  Just ask my allergic daughter.

Clutter becomes messy.  Real fast!  The more stuff we have the more things end up just sitting around, usually not in its right place.  (and collecting dust- see point above!)  Don't take my word for it- look at any child's room.  Or maybe your kitchen counter.  Or an entryway or two.  See- stuff!

Clutter costs money.  More than we care to admit.  Ask me how I know this.  We donated tons of stuff before our move here from Virginia.  When we arrived we took several more loads to Goodwill. Since moving into this smaller house a few weeks ago, we have sold furniture, given some away and taken four more loads ( read big loads) to Goodwill.  I cringe at the thought of how much money all of those things cost.   All that stuff, many nice things, but certainly all things we did not NEED, could have added up to a BIG savings instead.

Clutter adds to the chaos of our lives.  While I am not quite a minimalist (yet), I do see what motivates those people to be so.  When there are not four layers of STUFF sitting around, your life is simpler.  Quieter.  Less chaotic.  If you have to look in every closet to find your shoes, or every drawer to find your keys, I am willing to bet the rest of your life is chaotic too.

So today- here is what you need to do-

Clear the clutter in your home!
Room by room!
Day by day!
You CAN do it.

Start with your living room.  Got 10 do-dads sitting on the flat surfaces?  Try to take away 3.  How about be brave and try for 6!

Move on to the kitchen.  Do you really need all those plastic containers?  Why do you have 15 cooking utensils?  Can you get by with 5?  I thought I couldn't and then I realized I could not use them all at once anyway.  Do you?  Look through your pantry and fridge and throw out all the expired stuff you are hanging on to.  Get rid of a pot and a pan.  You can do it.

Bathrooms, here we come!  I know, this is a hard one, but we can do it!  Stashes of makeup?  Most old anyway.  Dump it out.  This is my makeup drawer.

I like makeup.  I wear it whenever I am going to be seen.  But there is only need for one of each product.  Drawers full are just taking up space. How about shampoo and soap and lotion and...on and on and on.  Get a container and put the extras in for your stock pile.  No problem.  But then throw the rest out and know your limit on buying.  If you have enough to last a year, you have enough!

Bedrooms are next.  Clothes and books are what gets us in this house.  How about yours?  Weed out the books you have read and donate them to the library or create a book swap with a friend.  While I am still struggling with reading on my iPad, it is a great way to not add to the clutter of your home. And clothes- simplify!  You can only wear one outfit at a time.  And in this day and time, most of us have a washer and dryer that can clean clothes pretty fast.  And shoes.  Yes, I am going there.  I like shoes too!  But do we really need 20 pairs?  Here is a challenge for you- go to your closet and count your shoes and then multiply by $30.00.  (yes, we are going to be really conservative here!)  How many weeks of groceries could you have bought with that money?  'nuff said and moving on.

The garage is next.  Let's not let the men in our lives off too easily.  ;)  This is an area we struggle with as well.  And, yes, I admit, it is not all my husband's fault.  We move.  A lot.  You never know when I might need that curtain rod.  Or shower curtain pole.  But, honestly if we kept everything we MIGHT need one day, our garage would runneth over.  Time to be harsh and move it out.  Your cars will appreciate you when you pull them in for the winter.

Closets.  If you are afraid to open them, they are too full.  If you cannot find anything in them, they are too full.  You only need two coats for each season (are you paying attention my dear family?)  And you do not wear five pairs of gloves at a time.  (still paying attention kiddos?)  How about excess towels and sheets?  Move them out!  You will not believe how great I feel when I open our linen closet and see two sets of sheets per bed and two sets of towels per person.  While one is being used, the other is being washed.  So really I see one. ;)

Laundry rooms and entries are our last stops for now.  In most houses these are pretty small places and for some reason the very places we try to stuff all of the leftovers.  This is not good. Don't do it. I do not love doing laundry so I need for that room to be as inviting as possible.  Go on, go in there and ask yourself what you need to do the laundry.  Then get rid of all the extras stashed there. Put those things where they belong or throw them away.  If you cannot find a proper home for something, chances are you do not need it to begin with.

There!  Feeling better?  OK, probably not yet because for most of us these projects are going to take some time.   Our homes did not get cluttered in a day and they are certainly not going to be decluttered in a day.  I would recommend turning on some fun music, find a friend who will challenge you to be bold and do one room a day.

Do you need it, love it and is it useful?  Yes- put it where it belongs and keep it.  No- let someone else have a go at it!

You can do this.  And your life will be made better.

Just by clearing out the clutter!

Join us tomorrow as we move from our home to our head.


Post note- You can find the rest of the series here-
Our Heads
Our Hearts
Our Homeschool
Our Health
April Blog Hop

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Joy Focused Learning

Womanhood With Purpose

A Little R & R


  1. Really! You had to go there about the cooking utensils! Hi, my name is Jennifer and I have 3 pancake turners, 4 rubber spatulas, 7 wooden spoons, and countless other kitchen utensils - a drawer full in all honesty. On occasional all of them are dirty but that's probably another confession for another time. :)

    1. ummm, having a chef as a husband might excuse you! And don't tell him I said throw it away or he will not cook for me anymore!!

  2. This is my life right now! As we began to empty closets and clean out things, I immediately thought of all your posts from your big clean-out in VA. I am channeling Michele as I purge like a maniac!

    1. Wish I was there to help. It has become an obsession of mine! ;) You can do it!

  3. We downsized on this move by about 1,000 sq. ft. We are enjoying the smaller house and less stuff. Makes us want to just get rid of what we left in the Virginia house, short of the Christmas decorations and the lawn mower :-)

    1. Oh, Christmas decorations! Don't get me started! We got rid of two trees this year!

  4. I definitely need to work on de-cluttering! That said I cannot imagine not having 22 lipsticks, 3 mascaras, 6 blushes.... lol!! I use them ALL too!!!

    1. Not all at one, right? ;) I keep a few extras in my stockpile bin for when I need them.

  5. Clearing out my home is my major project right now. I've taken a break, though, so I needed this nice little reminder!

  6. Great tips!! I'll have to use this when I get to the declutter stage of my home recovery! Pinning for now :).

    1. Thanks Lisa! YOU are doing a great job at your place! Feel free to leave your link here for our readers!

  7. Moving helped me get rid of some clutter, lol. I am sure as I unpack I'll find even more to get rid of! Great topic!

    1. Jen, right before and right after a move is when I am more irritated- I mean motivated! ;)

  8. I feel as though I am ALWAYS clearing out the clutter! Bags go out and yet it seems we make no progress! Gotta keep on keeping at it!

    1. Just keep at it! I have found it is like a layered thing- one layer at a time!

  9. I loved your post. I am a very distracted housewife and perfectionist. I also love piles. I am working room by room, but I might start with the utensils tonight. I have a hard time fitting them all in my turnabout. LOL! Great advice. I CAN DO THIS! Thanks for the encouragement

  10. I'm just getting around to reading this article today, Michele, and it's so perfect for me. I always am in a battle w/ clutter (and somehow that doesn't improve with each child's birth . . . ) and I think it's due to 2 things for me: one, indecisiveness (I'm opinionated in most areas, but somehow when it comes to a stack of papers, I have a hard time deciding what to do!); and two, frugality (you touched on this one too).
    It's been immensely helpful for us to be part of a ministry that has a boutique that missionaries shop in for free. I always have a big "boutique box" in my room that we add to regularly; if I see a toy lying around for long, it goes in the boutique box (I figure someone else needs it worse than we do!) and if we shop at the boutique, the kids have to donate 2-3 things for every one thing they take. Works wonders. :)
    Whew. How did I rattle on for so long about this? I guess your article just got my wheels turning and you have some ideas that I really love for de-cluttering.
    What a great blog hop theme! I love the practicality of it!
    (Oh! And no basements in our part of Texas!!! Can you imagine what you'd do w/o a basement? That's been a huge adjustment for me but great for de-cluttering motivation) :)

  11. Thanks for this post Michele! Very motivating for me. I am amazed at your make up drawer! I know I keep too much stuff 'just in case' I might need it someday. I wish you could hire out your services and come help me de-clutter. :) Of course, you would have to travel.

    1. I will discuss traveling back there!!! Miss you all!

  12. Preach it girl! :) The kitchen one has been a real eye opener for me. I had 8 mixing bowls of various sizes previously. Now I have 3. (Giant, regular, little). I probably don't really NEED 3, but I find that it's totally working! Thanks for sharing your ideas.


Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!