Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 7- Coats and Jackets

Day 7- Coats and Jackets

How many coats do you really need? The answer might be different for everyone (depending on where you live and how much you go outside), but odds are you probably have too many.

Open your coat closet. Pull out anything that doesn’t fit, has stains (unless it’s a work coat), or that you haven’t worn in the last year. Put it in a bag. Pop it in your car. Drop it off at the next clothing donation bin that you pass.

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Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 6- Knick Knacks

Title image for day 6 of the declutter challenge. knick knacks

Day 6- Knick Knacks

Look at your shelves. Look on your cabinets. Look at your walls.

Do you love everything that you see?  

If your answer is no, then why do you have it??

Knick knacks seem to be a hard thing for people to part with. Here are some tips…

When looking around your home, contemplating what to get rid of, look at each object closely. Ask yourself the following three questions.

  • Does the object have a purpose?
  • Does the item bring you joy?
  • If you saw this item in a store tomorrow, would you buy it again?

If you answer yes to any of the questions above, then keep the object.

If you answer no to all of the question, then get rid of it!!!

REMEMBER:
The fewer things we own, the fewer things we have to clean.

Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 5- Kitchen Appliances

title image for day 5 of declutter challenge kitchen appliances

Day 5- Kitchen Appliances

No, I don’t mean your stove or your refrigerator. I’m talking about those small(er) appliances that are cluttering up your counter tops or shoved deep in a cabinet somewhere. Let’s be honest…do you really need all of those fancy appliances?

It is okay to admit that you bought a fancy bread maker, but haven’t made a single loaf of bread. It is NOT okay to hoard the bread maker in your cabinet lying to yourself that one day you might decide to use it. Get rid of it. The guilt will go away once the appliance leaves your home.

Maybe you do use your bread maker, here are some other examples.

  • blenders
  • Instapot
  • air fryer
  • quesadilla maker
  • sandwich maker
  • mixers
  • food processors
  • rice maker
  • slow cookers
  • toaster oven
  • electric griddle
  • coffee maker
  • ice cream maker/ yonana
  • electric tea kettles
  • hot plates
  • juicers
  • soda stream

I am not telling you to get rid of things that you use. I am, however, telling you that if you haven’t used the appliance in over a year, you don’t need it!

Also, if you have 2 of the same appliance, ask yourself if you really need both.

For me, yes, I really do need multiple slow cookers/crock pots. I use them for meal prep, parties, etc. No, I do not need two blenders. I am getting rid of my old one, and keeping the new one.

If the appliance still works, consider gifting it to someone that will use it. Many thrift stores will also take it if you would like to donate your small appliances. Finally, you can also make some money back by listing it for sale online (facebook marketplace, craigslist, and letgo are all great options).

Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 4- Expired Foods

title image for day 4 of the declutter challenge- expired foods

Day 4- Expired Foods

Time to head to your pantry and fridge. Look deep, way back, into those cabinets. Pull out anything that you do not remember purchasing during your last 4 big grocery trips. Odds are that if you haven’t purchased it recently, it has probably been in your cabinets for longer than you realize.

Set aside anything that is expired. I absolutely despise finding expired foods. It makes me feel so wasteful. If you feel this way, use this feeling as inspiration to get better about buying only what you will eat during future grocery trips.

If the food is expired, but still appears to be fresh, set it out so that you remember to use it before it goes bad. Many times the date is not when the food goes ‘bad’, just when it is past its prime.

Example-

The graham crackers in my title image are past the ‘best when used by’ date. I am not throwing them away. The package inside is still sealed. I simply moved them to the front of my pantry so that I remember to use them in a pie crust or as a yogurt topping sometime soon!

Unfortunately, most food banks are unable to take foods if they are past their best by day, even if they are still good. If you won’t use the food, but it is ‘expired’, consider offering it to a friend or family member that may be in need.

Alright, let’s hear it.

What is the oldest date you found when you cleaned out your pantry?

No judgement here I promise! We are all growing together…simply try to be better in the future!

Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 3- Cookbooks

Day 3- Cookbooks!

decluttering title image for cookbooks

I’m sticking with our holiday theme again today!

Did you do any cooking or baking during the holiday?

Did you use your multiple cook books for the recipes? Or did you just search recipes online?

If you’re anything like me, you might have some family recipes that you like to use, but other than that, all of your ideas come from the internet. That means you really don’t need an entire kitchen cabinet dedicated to a stack of cookbooks.

Pull them out. If you haven’t looked at them in over a year, don’t even page through them…that will make it harder to get rid of them. Trust the decluttering process and donate, recycle, or gift your cookbooks. Just imagine all of the space you will have once they are gone!

Interested in donating your books, but don’t know where to take them?

Many thrift stores will take used books. Better world books also has donation bins in many locations. Check out this link to see if there is one near you.

Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 2- Decorations

You made it through the holidays! That means it is soon time to start taking down all of your decorations. STOP! Before you start to pack things away, take a look in your boxes. Are there any decorations left in the boxes that you didn’t get out this year (or ever)? Do you have so many decorations that there are packages you didn’t even open? I challenge you to get rid of all of the decorations that you did not use this year. That’s right…ALL OF THEM! Items have absolutely no value boxed up sitting in an attic for years and years if they aren’t going to be used.

Having trouble throwing things away? Think about this…

Decluttering gets a lot easier when you start to think about what you get to keep instead of what you are getting rid of.

Keep everything that you actually use. Get rid of the rest. It really is that simple. Quit overthinking it.

title image for 6 months of buying nothing new
Simple Living

6 Months of Buying Nothing New- UPDATE

Update on my 6 months of buying nothing new challenge

**Spoiler alert…I bought something!*

As many of you know, part of my simple living journey is learning to buy and consume less stuff.  To jump start this process, I am challenging myself to go 6 months without buying anything new.  I am almost 2 months into my challenge.  See the original post here for more details!

Anytime that I discuss my challenge with someone, I always seem to get the same question.  

'Well?? Have you bought anything new??' 

My answer is yes.  I am not perfect. However, my shopping is drastically reduced.  In fact, aside from my grocery trips, which only occur every 2 weeks, I have not stepped foot into a department store or super market.  

So what did I buy?

I bought the grey and white stuffed animal pictured below (on the right). Unfortunately, I think that Target must have known about my challenge to buy nothing new, because they messed up and sent me the incorrect thing….not just once, but twice.  That grey stuffed animal is what I ended up with, but that is NOT what I purchased.  

6 months of buying nothing new

Allow me explain…

The all white stuffed animal, pictured above (left), is my daughter’s attachment object.  Its name is ‘mini Cooper’ since it is a miniature version of our white huskie mix, Cooper.  Mini Cooper has to be with my daughter for naptime and bedtime.  She will cry and search for this stuffed animal when she gets tired.  This meant that I was constantly lugging the animal to and from daycare everyday to make sure that he was there for naptime and at home for bedtime.  I would even occasionally forget to bring him home…which made for a less than fun bedtime routine.  I decided that having two ‘identical’ stuffed animals would make life a bit more simple…and that is the goal right??

Imagine how happy I was that with a quick google search I was able to find an identical match to her white ‘Mini Cooper’.  A few days later I get the notification that my item has been delivered.  I rush to open the box when we get home, anxious to see what my daughters reaction will be when she sees another ‘mini Cooper’.  Well….it was not a stuffed animal.  It was this Fortnite Elf figure. I obviously got the wrong package. Customer service was quick to fix the issue and sent out a replacement package ASAP.


A few days later, another package arrived. I opened it up and boom, wrong stuffed animal. At this point, I realized that this was a sign that I should not have attempted to buy something. I decided to just give the grey stuffed animal to my daughter and see what she thought. Turns out, it must be close enough, because she loves it. Now, even though they are not identical, I finally have a stuffed animal for daycare and for at home.

My conclusion-

I’m happy that I don’t have to lug a stuffed animal to and from daycare everyday now, but I don’t think I am going to be as tempted to buy something again soon…it was more trouble than it was worth.

Original Post: 6 Months of Buying Nothing New Challenge

Simple Living

My simple method for keeping a home clutter free.

My simple method for keeping a home clutter free

Something in, something out

title for blog post

If you’re like me, you feel like you’re always organizing your cabinets, drawers, and closets.  You get everything in its perfect place.  Then, a few weeks later, everything is overflowing and disorganized again. 

How does that happen?? 

There are many things that happen on a regular basis that hinder our best efforts to stay organized.  One of the major things is that we are constantly accumulating more stuff!  My closets and cabinets do not magically get bigger just because I have purchased more things.  No wonder it always seems like my closets are going to explode.  

The first thing that I did in order to get more organized was to purge everything that I hadn’t touched, used, or worn in over a year.  That means I made it through all 4 seasons, birthdays, holidays, nights out, without ever needing it.  This purging process did not happen over night.  I used a systematic method and spread the work out over a month or so.  More on that in a different post!!

After I spent so many hours clearing my clutter, I was determined to keep things that way. 

So begins the enforcement of my something in, something out rule.  Every time that we come home with a new item that needs a ‘home’ in a cabinet, drawer, or closet- something old must first be removed from there before the item can be put away. 

Once we decide what item is going to be the ‘something out’, we then have to decide what to do with it.  The items has 4 possible places to go.

  • Donate- I keep a donate box in my garage.  Once the box gets full, I pop it in my trunk and drop it off in a donation bin at my local grocery store. 
  • Recycle-  If the item that I am getting rid of has no use to anyone, but is made of a recyclable material…then that’s where it goes.
  • Trash-  Only if there is no use for the item, not able to be recycled, or broken and unable to be fixed.
  • Re-purpose-  Sometimes I pull items out of cabinets or closets that would have a nice use somewhere else in my home.  If this happens, I re-purpose the item and place it in its new home.

Finally- when I feel like we are starting to slack with the something in – something out rule, I will briefly implement a one thing in, two things out rule to actively reduce clutter. 

The ultimate goal is to get to a place where you realize that you really don’t need lots of new items.  You will start to reflect closer on the items that you purchase.  You will start to consider if the item you are looking at purchasing is actually worth getting rid of something else in your home (often times the answer is no).  This will lead to a more content feeling with the items that you own…and less of a desire to purchase new items just for the sake of buying stuff.