Saturday, July 19, 2014

40 Bags :: Halfway there!

It's week six of our 40 Bags {summer edition} challenge and we are officially halfway there. We've enjoyed (?!) some cool, rainy days lately which seems to be perfect purging weather. We're even running a little ahead of schedule around these parts, anticipating a busy second half of our summer.

Here are a few more spaces I've checked off my list recently:

Main floor closets (three total!)

Master bedroom dresser

DVD's / electronics

In addition:


Dylan's room

Dylan's clothes

Paper / magazine piles

Our sell / donate pile continues to grow. We dropped off another load this week and I'll leave you with this gem that I spotted at the local thrift shop (and yes, hopped back out of the van to snap a picture of...)

Quit clowning around. Start decluttering!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

40 Bags :: Catching Up

So it turns out I'm loving the purging process this summer, but not so much loving the blogging that goes along with it. I committed to it at the beginning because I knew it would keep me accountable, but I have been kept plenty accountable by the lovely ladies in our private Facebook group. 

{Our group recently did something new and fun -- we put everyone's name into a hat who had completed 10 spaces, which is where we should be at at the end of Week 3, and drew for a Starbucks gift card. 15 of us have made it to that mark!}

In an effort to get caught up here on the blog, I'm going to quickly touch on the spaces I've been working through. 12 more spaces total crossed off the list.

The garage. Mady is officially a two-wheeler as of this summer, so good-bye tricycle and toddler garage toys. I also returned a ladder, a sign, a table, and a bin to their rightful owners. Check out the way the sunlight is shining down on our overflowing trash can!?!

The bathrooms and upstairs linen closet. Our master bath was the worst -- the drawers all needed a good cleaning -- but all 3 1/2 baths got some TLC. More than anything, I am committed to using up our bathroom goods (shampoo, body wash, detangler, etc.) before buying anything more! I also, unrelated to 40 Bags, freshened things up with some new bath mats, towels, and the like. It feels downright spa-like these days.

The girls' rooms. I spent one day on their clothes (closet and dresser) and one day on the rest of the stuff in their rooms. Our girls are hoarders, no doubt about it. I debated working on Ella's room while she was at day camp last week but as a 7 year old, going on 13, I wasn't sure how much she would appreciate that. Luckily, she went into organizing mode herself without me saying anything (maybe it's contagious?!) and she did a great job doing most of the work herself.

Mady's room. Top left: a purge in process. Top right: little girls are all lip gloss and plastic jewelry. Bottom left: all the 4T's are out the door. When did my baby get so big? Bottom right: the after!

And the rest of it: the laundry room cupboards (before & after, above), the kids' craft supplies (yes, I did spend an entire afternoon testing markers and recycling old coloring books), and our nightstands/built-in drawers (Matt's boxers and my jewelry reside in the same drawer. It makes perfect sense to us).

23 spaces down, 17 to go. I'm ahead of pace but once I get going it's hard to stop. Love the feeling of being surrounded by all of these purged, un-cluttered spaces; love sending all these bags packing. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

40 Bags :: "just in case"

"Unless it’s near impossible to replace, and unless you use it all the time, there’s really no need to hold on to something just in case—especially when that “just in case” almost never actually happens." -- Tsh Oxenreider, The Art of Simple
I came across this quote a week and half into this round of 40 Bags and it resonated with me. Originally, I thought this time around I would start with some "easy" spaces and tackle the bigger ones after I had found some momentum, but with this quote as my guide, I have been able to cross a couple of the harder spaces early on.

First up: the storage room. We have basements in Michigan and everything that doesn't have a real home ends up here. We don't have tons and tons of extras but this space is a clutter magnet and I cringe a little whenever I have to walk into this room. This time through, I tried to be ruthless: if it didn't have a use or a spot somewhere else in the house, and it wasn't seasonal, why continue to hold onto it "just in case"? 

Within about 15 minutes, I had a pretty big pile. Within an hour, I had some empty the storage room. Some of it I sent straight to the donate pile, some of it I snapped quick photos of and posted on a local Facebook garage sale site (most of it sold quickly...a little extra cash never hurts...and what didn't sell within a week went out the door to be donated).

Wherever the stuff ended up, I really don't care, because the "after" space looks like this and that's good enough for me. Good-bye leftover picture frames, outdated home decor, beaten up bags.

As an added bonus, I found a new home for my gift wrap (I love gift wrap!) outside of the sad, dark (although now clutter-free) storage room in a nearly empty hall closet just around the corner.

Sending our "just in case" items out the door -- either to a new home or to a local thrift shop -- and the junk into the trash or recycling bin is exactly what the 40 Bags Challenge is about. It's like lifting a weight off my shoulders, each time I clear out a space, to know I'm no longer in charge of managing/maintaining/storing stuff we don't really use or need.
"There is indescribable freedom to owning only what you truly, really, honestly need. I’ll take that beauty over the risk of “but what if?” any day." -- Tsh Oxenreider, The Art of Simple
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