Thursday, August 30, 2012

8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home

I have been participating in 8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home so I posting my list now that the challenge has ended. As I followed along I posted on the facebook page and keep track of my work. I did not always do the tasks in order so some of them may look out of place and some I went back and worked on a second time. You will also notice that I put off a couple projects. I did not take a lot of pictures during this challenge. You can download the 40 Day Plan.

On September 1st I am going to start working on my next organization challenge Home Organization 101. It might be fun for the fall/holiday season since it will last for 14 weeks. I like doing challenges it feels like you are working with others and having fun with something that can be boring.

Challenge #40: Well, if you've made it this far, it's time to get started on garage sale prep. Money Saving Mom has some helpful tips for successful garage sales in this post:

I am not doing a yard sale so I have just been donation my stuff as I go along.

Challenge #39: Today is a "what's left" day. What do you still need to do?

I organized my shoes, cleaned and dusted my bedroom. I also did some organizing in my office/craft room.

Challenge #38: Kids toys- Day 2. If you don't need another toy day, go back and catch up on a day that you missed or choose a different project around your home that needs doing.

Today I am catching up on organizing my books. I made a plan to read the books I own since most of the books are part of several series I organized them based on the author and series. I then went to the author’s website to see what I would need to complete the series and then went to my libraries website to make a list of the ones I need so I can put them on hold when I am ready for the book. I am making a booklist to start reading in January since I have a lot to read by Beverly Lewis and Karen Kingsbury I am going to read everything they have and a couple of other books. I am also going to organize my shelves to store them better.

I plan to make a booklist to read from for the rest of this year also but I like to read a lot of books that have a season theme in November – Mid January so I will have to see what I can come up with on my shelves before hitting the libraries website. I have been listing to a lot of books on CD and playaway this year when I am working around the house or in the car. The playaways have come in handy when I am waiting on my son at his activities because I can listen and still do a craft, work on my seasonal notebooks, or look at magazines since my hand are freed up. I have a bag of activities I can work on when I have down time and take it with me if I need to wait.


Challenge #37: Kids toys- Day 1.

No kid’s toys in our home except a little basket with about 5 rattles for my granddaughter. I think I'll work on my recipe notebooks.

Challenge #36- Holiday supplies and decorations (includes Christmas ornaments and decor, as well as other holidays, and you could also include things like gift wrap).

I have one tub for each season except winter/christmas gets 3 tubs. I sort the tub for each holiday/season as they come so I can decide what to use and what I don't want anymore. I purge stuff again after its over. I love being able to use my holiday stuff in different ways each year and I don't buy new stuff very often since I have enough. I will bring out my fall tub at the beginning of September.

  Challenge #35: Homeschool supplies OR kid's school supplies and backpacks.

The homeschool supplies are organized but I will need to put some books on hold from the library before we start on September 4th. I may even take my son to get a new outfit and haircut as a special treat this year. He is the only kid left to homeschool and we never do new cloths usually we thrift and I cut their hair myself.

Challenge #34: Backyard shed. Tools, gardening supplies, outdoor or sports equipment, camping gear, etc.

My Dear husband worked on our shed but it wasn't too bad since we did our shed and garage earlier in the summer.

  Challenge #33: Linen closet. Bed sheets and pillowcases; throw blankets, any other linen that you haven't gone through yet.

I did this earlier in the summer so we are good.

Challenge #32: Laundry room.

My laundry room is organized now if only I could get people to stop leaving their stuff lay around since it is the main entrance we use to our home.

I made a trip to drop stuff off at the Clothes Closet and the Library the last 2 weeks. Only a couple bags each time but with 8 people in the house I don't want it sitting around too long or they may multiply too fast. Today I am going to visit my oldest daughter and helping her load donations into the van and dropping them off for donation.

Challenge #31: Craft or sewing supplies. You could also use this day to go through other hobby-related items: scrapbooking, painting, knitting, photography-- whatever it is that you do.

I did not work on this project yet but it is still on my list.

Challenge #30: Garage- Day 2. If you don't need a second day for the garage, use this day to tidy your front or back porch. Or, if the garage is a really difficult area for you, why not continue into Saturday and ask your husband to join in and help you?

I am working on tidying up my front and back porch today since we will have company for the Labor Day weekend. I also want to put away a few things that I don’t need sitting out this fall.

Challenge #29- Garage- Day 1. If you don't have a garage, this could be your attic, a storage closet, etc.

I got a new cabinet at the thrift store this past weekend for $40. It will hold all my gardening supplies so that was my Sunday project. I cleaned, got it moved into the garage, and organized my stuff.

Challenge #28 Shoes! Remove any that no longer fit, are in unwearable condition, have been missing a mate for a significant period of time, or that you simply don't like or wear.

I did get all my shoes organized but I may have too many.

Challenge #27- Entry, hall or mudroom closet (where you keep jackets, winter gear, backpacks, etc.).

I think I will do my entry laundry room today. Tuesday I cleaned a drawer in my desk that I store stuff in instead of sitting things on my desk so my office looks neat. Took out the trash, did 2 loads of laundry, dishes, picked up the kitchen, organized the basement grocery stock I bought last week, organized the extra kitchen stuff in the basement, put goodwill donations in van, collected library returns, and collected a big pile of magazines to donate to the library.

Challenge #26: Bathroom #2. Same as challenge #25, but different bathroom. If you have a 3rd bathroom in your home, combine it with whichever other bathroom you think will go the fastest.

We only have one bathroom.

Challenge #25- Bathroom #1. Towels, cupboards, drawers, toiletries, empty bottles- anything you can think of.

This area is good.

Challenge #24- Clothing- Master bedroom dresser(s).

I went through my dresser where I store my summer clothes and got rid of a large bag worth of stuff that I just didn’t like and some stuff didn’t fit. I store winter clothing in my closet.

Challenge #23- Clothing- Master bedroom closet.

I only have one winter coat and 3 jackets so I was fine in this area. I turn my hangers backward at the beginning of fall and turn them the correct way after I wear each clothing item. If I haven't worn it when winter is over then I decide if its something I should donate.

Challenge #22- Clothing- Kids closet(s)- Day 2. If you don't need a second day for this, give yourself a break. You've been working hard! :)

Since I am give myself a break today I will read a book from the library and paint my nails. I am also going to look at some magazines so that they came be donated soon which to me counts as a break and decluttering.

Challenge #21- Clothing- Kids closet(s)- Day 1.

No kids clothing to go through here.

Challenge #20- Clothing- Kids dresser(s)- Day 2 If you don't need a 2nd day, use today to organize/clean your freezer, or get a jump start on the bedroom closets if you think those will take you extra time.

My kids are old enough to deal with their own cloths (23, 20, 19, and 16). Yea for me! I did organize/clean my fridge and freezer and then went grocery shopping on Saturday to restock. I like to stock up on groceries during the summer and fall to make the holidays and winter a little easier.

Challenge #19- Clothing- Kids dresser(s)- Day 1.
No kid’s cloths to go through here.

Challenge #18-Furniture. Walk through the house and, room by room, assess whether there are unnecessary furniture items that can be removed. Either move them into your "stuff" storage area today OR make a list of the items that need to be dealt with as you prepare for your garage sale, donations, etc. at the end of the 40 days.

We don't have any extra furniture right now.

Challenge #17: Decorative items in living areas (living room, family room, dining room, kitchen). Focus on keeping those things that are truly beautiful to you, and let go of the ones that you don't need or that are making your living space more visually cluttered than it needs to be.

We have been slowly painting the rooms in our house this year and are redecorating each room as we go along. Thank goodness for thrift stores not only so we can donate old stuff but also to buy new stuff as we redo each room.

Challenge #16: Magazines and newspapers. How do you handle magazines? Do you save the entire magazine, or just pages? Do you actually ever go back to read the ones that you save? If not, you know where they need to go! :)

I have too many magazines and have been working to decrease them and have gotten rid of a lot of them. I don’t subscribe to any I get them for free. I tear the pages from the magazines that I want to keep and I put them in notebooks along with printouts and such. The notebooks I have are housekeeping, winter, summer, spring, fall, faith & health, and personal interests. I also have a collection of notebooks for cooking. I keep lots of things in my notebooks and use them to plan. As go through the current season’s notebook I add or take things out.

Challenge #15: Children's art work, certificates, special notes or cards, etc. This one can be HARD. What are your strategies for preserving special memories while not hoarding clutter?

I still have lots of stuff to organize from our homeschooling but it would take more than one day. We do have a box for each kid’s that we put their special stuff into over the years.

Challenge #14: Medicine or vitamin/home remedies cabinet or cupboard. You could also tackle your First Aid kit on this day.

I organized this area last month so we are good. I think I will add to my shopping list anything we may need for the winter months.

Challenge #13: Adults book- Day 2. Again, if you don’t need a second day, use this day to do some fridge cleaning or organization.

I organized my bookshelves yesterday and dusted everything. I decided to stack the books to make them fit better on my shelves. I have one shelf for the ones I want to read this year and next year; this should help me to make sure I read the books I own. I have 1 box of books to donate to the library, and 1 box to my homeschool group.

Challenge #12: Adult books- Day 1. I'm a book lover, too, but I know that over the years I have collected or kept books I just didn't like or will never read again.

I have stopped buying so many used books and I mostly borrow from the library. I have a lot of books on my shelves that are unread so I am going to get rid of any that I have changed my mind about reading. I also have lots that I have already read and don’t plan to read again so I have decided to donate them to the library for someone else to enjoy.

I haven't bought many books in several years since I have been trying to read the ones I already own or borrow from the library. I haven’t wanted to add to my already full shelves. I have been donation the ones I own after I finish reading them and getting rid of ones I don’t care to keep anymore. My shelves were looking pretty under control until I went to a yard sale this past weekend and bought about 40 books for $20. I read about 70 books a year so I should be good for a while.

Challenge #11: Childrens books- Day 2. If you don't need 2 days, use this extra day to clean out your purse or diaper bag.

I don't need a day 2 of children's books or a day for a diaper bag (I have no young kids) so I am cleaning out the fridge and my purse.

Challenge #10: Children’s books- Day 1. If you don't need 2 days for children's books take a day off (or tackle one of the extra tasks listed in the PDF file).

I got rid of all my children’s books last summer since most of my children are grown. I do need to go through some of our homeschooling books. I had a granddaughter born in May and now have been collecting board book.

Challenge #9- Your desk or work area. This might be an actual desk, but wherever you keep your files or important, notepaper, or take messages if you don't have a desk.

I have been working on my desk for the last week but it still needs some work.

Challenge #8- Videos, DVDs and CDs. This is a good chance to get rid of broken cases, or even (gasp!) get rid of them altogether. 

We have all of our CD/DVD in the binder-style cases and got rid of all VHS several years ago so this area is mostly under control. I did do a little organizing and got rid of a few exercise VHS I was hanging onto but I have enough DVD’s now so I am ready to let them go.

Challenge #7: Kitchen cookbooks and recipes. Including any recipe binders, loose recipe cards, etc.
I did this as a project last summer but never quit got it finished so need to do this again. I will make this my August project to prepare for the school year.

Challenge #6: Kitchen "other"- Water bottles, reusable bags, lunch boxes and containers, cleaning supplies, anything else you store in the kitchen that isn't covered somewhere else on the list.

I cleaned out under the sink last week.

Challenge #5: Kitchen linens- Dish towels, cloths, rags, oven mitts, napkins, tablecloths, placemats.

After I decluttered my tablecloths and placemats I have a big bag to donate. It was fun looking through all my tablecloths and placemats and seeing what I might like to use for tablescapes this fall.

Challenge #4: Kitchen drawers- Any junk or miscellaneous drawers.

This area is good.

Challenge #3: Kitchen cupboards- All cupboards with cooking items (pots, pans, casserole dishes, baking trays or pans) as well as small appliances (blenders, food processors, toaster ovens, etc.).

I will work on this area next week when I start the Home Organization 101 Challenge.

Challenge #2: Kitchen cupboards- All cupboards with eating dishes (plates, glasses, china, wine glasses, etc.) as well as storage containers (like Tupperware or Pyrex containers).
We have one set of glasses for everyday use so no decluttering here. My dish area is fine but I am donating a box of extra dishes I had in storage.

Challenge #1: Kitchen drawers- Cutlery and cooking utensils.

Putting this off until September when I start Home Organization 101 Challenge.

You can visit Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home  or @ facebook

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