Declutter calendar
31 Day Declutter Challenge

Day 8- Clippers, Nail Files, Tweezers

excessive number of nail clippers, tweezers, and scissors

I added this topic, because I am just amazed at how many sets of manicure supplies I have around the house. A while back, I got ‘organized’ and put them all in one place. Despite all of the items being contained to one small plastic bin, I still have absolutely no reason to have eight different tweezers when there is only one that I actually use.

Take a peak through your self care supplies. Keep what you actually use (and maybe one item as a back up). Get rid of the rest.

The list includes anything that you have multiples of such as:

  • Hair clippers
  • finger and toenail clippers
  • files
  • tweezers
  • manicure and cuticle scissors
  • combs
  • brushes
  • etc. etc. etc.
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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 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. 

simple living title image
Simple Living

Simple Living- 7 ways get your spouse on the same page

simple living title image

SIMPLE LIVING-

7 ways get your spouse on the same page

Tell me if this sounds familiar?  You’re overwhelmed with work, bills, house work.  You have no time to enjoy your family or friends.  You stumble across the simple living movement.  A community of people that are starting to say ‘no’ to consumerism.  You already know that stuff doesn’t equal happiness.  In fact, you probably have so much ‘stuff’ in your home that it is overwhelming you, yet you continue to buy more stuff.

You have decided it is time to make a change.  It is time begin living a more simple and meaningful life.

You excitedly run up to your spouse.  You begin rambling about how you want to get rid of all of the clutter, stopping buying so much stuff, and aim for a simple life.  If your significant other is anything like my husband, instead of getting an excited response, he will look at you like you are crazy.

You need to realize that it has taken you your entire life to come to the realization that simple living is better.  How can you expect your loved one to come to the same conclusion at the same time?  Take it easy.

Below are 7 ways that I helped my husband to get on board with my simple living changes.

 

1. Have an open conversation about your goals-  Don’t expect your significant other to start making a big life change for no reason.  Make sure that they know your ‘why’.  For me, I explained to my husband that I was pursuing a more simple life in hopes of being able to reduce some of my stress and to be able to spend more quality time with my family.  At this point, he was still apprehensive, but he was receptive to me starting to make some changes.

2. Make it a game-  Let’s face it, cleaning out the closet to reduce clutter or going a month without eating out isn’t exactly the definition of fun.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be.  I try my best to make things into a game when I get my spouse involved.  He is super competitive, so this always peaks his interest.

**Example- See who can get rid of the most articles of clothing from the closet.  See who can go longer without stopping at a drive-thru on the way home from work.  Loser will usually get stuck doing the dishes all week.  Winner usually gets to pick the tv show when we sit down to relax.  In the end though, I feel like we both win…even if I am the one stuck doing dishes.

3. Do the heavy lifting- figuratively-  Picture this.  You decide to start living a more simple and frugal lifestyle.  You come home and announce that you are going to start this new lifestyle by cleaning out the boxes in the basement.  You then order your perfectly content husband to get up and start helping you go through boxes.  Yeah…that’s not going to get your spouse exciting about simple living.  You will have to take the initiative and get things started on your own.  This brings me to my next tip.

4. Lead by example-  People are naturally wired to oppose change.  If you want a more simple life, do it.  Start doing things that help you to simplify.  With time, your spouse will notice that you are serious about this new way of life.

5. Start small-  Do not come home one day and just change EVERYTHING.  Your spouse will likely retreat to a corner and cry….hopefully not, but still.  He/she may not be ready for a huge life change.  Start small and work together towards a common goal.

6. Accept that nobody is perfect-  We do not change our ways overnight.  Celebrate the small victories, but understand that there may be set backs.  Don’t give up all of your simple living goals just because you went a little overboard and impulse bought a giant inflatable snowman for the front yard.  Did you need it?…no.  Is it kind of fun?…yes.  Enjoy it and simply vow to get back on track with your goals.

7. Celebrate the small wins- Has your junk drawer stayed de-cluttered for over a month now?  Did your spouse up on buying new shoes because they were on sale?  These are wins!  Celebrate!  This will help keep everyone excited about working towards a goal together.