5 Easy Steps to Remove Clutter

Because it’s January and everyone is looking to de-clutter and clean their homes, I thought I would share this post from last year.

It’s the time of year whenever has an opinion on how to relieve yourself and your home of clutter. Check out Pinterest, blogs, even Faceook. Someone has an idea (or two or three) on organizing your life and ridding yourself of excess. I’m not alone in my quest to do this.  I have always been a fairly organized person, but since the arrival of my little ones, I never seem to have  make the time to really really organize.  That said, I have more time now since they are both in school and I had a few quick wins in the de-cluttering world that I would like to share with you.

Starting with:

1.  Chopsticks in the kitchen drawer. This picture shows 44 pairs of chopsticks.  They accumulated innocently enough over the years as we ordered in sushi and Chinese take out.  I only counted them this week when I tried to put some spoons into the drawer and realized there were a few too many.  I have kept six pairs (not sure why that amount) and the rest have been bundled up and will be donated.

2.  Hotel samples.  I love the samples of soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.  I always use the soap and lotion, but rarely the hair products.

Then, I saw this great pin:

And I thought to myself, this is what I will do with all my samples. So, I did.

 But during the course of a year, we don’t have many guests and our one regular guest is bald.  So, our samples are collecting dust.  I have packaged them up and will be donating to a local women’s shelter.

3.  Plastic utensils.  

IMG_7753 They come with take out food, or we grab too many extras when we get ice cream.  It doesn’t seem to matter where they come from, they just accumulate.  I cleaned out 30 extra spoons, forks and knives.  I kept 10 so that I could put them in the kids’ lunch kits for when they have soup, yogurt, etc.

4.  Magazines.  My sister probably started me on the love of magazines.  While I tend to usually buy Style at Home, Canadian House & Home and Chatelaine, I have never been known to turn down a complimentary issue of Oprah or Real Simple.  But my magazines were taking over my bedroom and a shelf in the family room.  I even had a few issues in the pile from December 2012! IMG_7824

I have a hard time throwing them out or recycling them, so I gave a few to some friends, dropped some at the doctor’s office and conveniently left some behind at the community centre after a hockey practice.  And then there were none – until next month.

5. T-shirts.  My kids attend bike camp, soccer camp, art camp and participate in charity runs.  And each time they do, they get a t-shirt. IMG_6219 We use some shirts for when we are doing messy crafts or have a particular colour for a theme day at school, but for the most part, we do not wear these shirts.  They are in such great shape since they are only worn for a few days, so I kept 2 for each child and donated the rest.

These were 5 easy ways to get rid of stuff now without a lot of effort. I bet you might find the same things in your home.

Go look and see if you have 44 pairs of chopsticks.  You never know…

linking up with: The Jenny Evolution

 

Organize your linens in 5 easy steps

organize your linen I’ve written about de-cluttering a fair amount on this blog.  I always have a donate bag on the go in the house and every couple weeks, I drop it off at our local thrift store filled with clothes, household items, books, etc. Last week, we had an unexpected repair in the basement which meant I had to unload our junk guest room into the main play/family space.  This week, I started sorting out all those items and I was determined that the guest room would remain a guest room without looking like a junk room.  Make sense?

Prior to hauling all the stuff out of this room, I had put things under the bed, in the cabinet and just piled up on the floor.  If you are thinking we must not get a lot of guests, you are correct! When I finished sorting, the biggest pile of stuff that I had to deal with was linens!  Blankets, sheets, towels and more blankets, sheets and towels.  I went upstairs to my linen closet and pulled out even more items! I counted:

  • 12 blankets
  • 6 old sheets
  • 1 set of sheets for the sofa bed
  • 1 set of sheets for the guest bed
  • 2 sets of extra pillow cases
  • 6 towels for the dog
  • 1 set of pillow protectors
  • 2 picnic blankets
  • flannel Christmas sheets
  • baby blankets
  • an extra mattress pad, duvet and pillow
  • 20 tea towels

*I excluded the sheets we use daily on our beds in this initial exercise* Then I analyzed my lot.  A fair amount of these linens had seen better days, so I quickly put them out of their misery and into the garbage.   They were not even worth to become cleaning rags if you know what I mean. Next, I carefully looked at each item and decided if it was a keep or donate.  This was tough.  I became fairly ruthless and kept only what we needed.  Off of this pile, I donated:

  • flannel Christmas sheets (too warm for my kids)
  • 4 blankets
  • 1 baby blanket
  • 2 knitted afghans
  • 4 tea towels

The dog did pretty well.  She got 2 blankets, 2 sheets and 4 towels.   I think this is fair considering how often she gets wet and dirty and it means I won’t have to do laundry every other day for her. Based on this quick success, I headed into the kids’ bedrooms to suss out the linen and bedroom closets.

I keep the bedding for each child in their room.  Easy to find and change the beds this way.  I only found 1 extra set of twin sheets that was a little too young in pattern for my now 9 year old son.  They were quickly put in the donate pile. My daughter only has 2 sets of sheets, so there was nothing taken from her room – except I found….more baby blankets!  We no longer have any babies in our house and my daughter doesn’t play with dolls, so the 8 blankets I found in her room were pretty unnecessary.  I kept 1 for sentimental reasons, 2 for her to play with stuffies and the other 5 were being donated.

Then I tackled the towels.   In our powder room, there were 6 hand towels and only 3 were in colours I actually liked, so 3 were donated.  The kids’ bathroom has 2 sets of towels in different colours and patterns to match their bathroom, so I kept them all.  The master bathroom has 3 sets of towels in white and they were all in pretty good shape, so I kept them all. After all was said and done, our family now has the following linens:

  • sheets for the sofa bed
  • sheets for the guest bed
  • 2 sets of sheets for my son’s room
  • 2 sets of sheets for my daughter’s room
  • 2 sets of sheets for the master bedroom
  • 2 picnic blankets – which I promptly put in my car
  • 4 blankets – for the couches and on the guest bed downstairs
  • pillow protectors  – I actually put them on the pillows
  • 10 tea towels
  • 3 hand towels for the powder room
  • 2 sets of towels for the kids’ bath
  • 3 sets of towels for the master bath

My 5 easy steps to declutter your household linens are:

  1. Go room by room and deal with each room on its own.  Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, mudroom, etc.
  2. In each room, pull out all the linens associated with that room and put into one big pile.
  3. Sort into keep, donate and garbage.   Be ruthless and only keep what you need.
  4. If you are keeping them, use them!  Right away, put on the pillow protectors, put the blankets where they are needed and hang those lovely hand towels.  Donating is easy, too – pet shelters and thrift stores are always in need of clean usable sheets and towels.
  5. When you put the linens back, make sure they are neat, tidy and easy to access.  If you have space in your bathroom, keep your towels there instead of a closet down the hall.  I also store the kids’ sheets in each of their bedrooms.

Check out this link from Martha Stewart if you need ideas on how to organize your linens and what might work for your style. I found these images on Pinterest to also give you some ideas:

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Hope this helps you reduce some of those extra linens you have stored around your house. If you have been following Marie Kondo, you will know that this room by room method is not what she would recommend.  I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my list as I am always interested in new ideas on organizing.

If you have read her book, let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas, please share!

linking up with: Dwelling in HappinessThrifty Decor ChickThe Pin JunkieThe Jenny Evolution

5 Easy Steps to Remove Clutter

It’s the time of year whenever has an opinion on how to relieve yourself and your home of clutter. Check out Pinterest, blogs, even Faceook. Someone has an idea (or two or three) on organizing your life and ridding yourself of excess. I’m not alone in my quest to do this.  I have always been a fairly organized person, but since the arrival of my little ones, I never seem to have  make the time to really really organize.  That said, I have more time now since they are both in school and I had a few quick wins in the de-cluttering world that I would like to share with you.

Starting with:

1.  Chopsticks in the kitchen drawer. This picture shows 44 pairs of chopsticks.  They accumulated innocently enough over the years as we ordered in sushi and Chinese take out.  I only counted them this week when I tried to put some spoons into the drawer and realized there were a few too many.  I have kept six pairs (not sure why that amount) and the rest have been bundled up and will be donated.

2.  Hotel samples.  I love the samples of soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.  I always use the soap and lotion, but rarely the hair products.

Then, I saw this great pin:

And I thought to myself, this is what I will do with all my samples. So, I did.

 But during the course of a year, we don’t have many guests and our one regular guest is bald.  So, our samples are collecting dust.  I have packaged them up and will be donating to a local women’s shelter.

3.  Plastic utensils.  

IMG_7753 They come with take out food, or we grab too many extras when we get ice cream.  It doesn’t seem to matter where they come from, they just accumulate.  I cleaned out 30 extra spoons, forks and knives.  I kept 10 so that I could put them in the kids’ lunch kits for when they have soup, yogurt, etc.

4.  Magazines.  My sister probably started me on the love of magazines.  While I tend to usually buy Style at Home, Canadian House & Home and Chatelaine, I have never been known to turn down a complimentary issue of Oprah or Real Simple.  But my magazines were taking over my bedroom and a shelf in the family room.  I even had a few issues in the pile from December 2012! IMG_7824

I have a hard time throwing them out or recycling them, so I gave a few to some friends, dropped some at the doctor’s office and conveniently left some behind at the community centre after a hockey practice.  And then there were none – until next month.

5. T-shirts.  My kids attend bike camp, soccer camp, art camp and participate in charity runs.  And each time they do, they get a t-shirt. IMG_6219 We use some shirts for when we are doing messy crafts or have a particular colour for a theme day at school, but for the most part, we do not wear these shirts.  They are in such great shape since they are only worn for a few days, so I kept 2 for each child and donated the rest.

These were 5 easy ways to get rid of stuff now without a lot of effort. I bet you might find the same things in your home.

Go look and see if you have 44 pairs of chopsticks.  You never know…

linking up with: The Jenny EvolutionSweet HauteBonBon Rose GirlsCurly Crafty Mom

Fall Organizing

If January is a time of resolutions and fresh starts, and March is for spring cleaning, then September is the month of organizing.

I have been feeling the urge since the end of August to use my label maker, buy some baskets and clean closets.  Maybe it  was the post by Thrifty Decor Chick and how her house was being decrapified (love that word).  Read what she did here.  It is so inspiring!

I have been doing this on and off for months, but now I am way more motivated!  Fall is my season to decrapify (love that word) my house.   I have already accumulated about 4 small garbage bags of clothes, shoes, books, toys and random household objects.  All these will be donated to our local thrift store and I am excited knowing I will be adding more to my donation pile.

I have made a list of both indoor and outdoor projects that I would like to accomplish before November 30th.  Some of these projects are:

  • painting touch ups
  • finding a cabinet for the kids’ bathroom
  • storage solutions for our basement playroom
  • hanging pictures
  • planting bulbs outdoors
  • re-staining the deck
  • closets, closets, closets

The list goes on and on.  Wish me luck.

One of my first organizing tasks was my shoe closet.  I used to always remember what shoe was stored in what box.  Well, add a few years, 2 kids and I no longer have that skill.

Before:

IMG_4350

So, I decided to switch all my shoes into clear shoe boxes.  The shoe boxes were on sale at Canadian Tire for $1.24. I originally bought 6, but had to go back and buy more (of course…)

IMG_4353

After:

IMG_4360

This project was a quick win.   It took very little time, was low cost and now I can see my shoes.

And who doesn’t want to see her shoes ?  🙂

linking up with: The Jenny Evolution and Suburbs Mama and Thrifty Decor Chick

Out of sight ? Not really.

So, today is day 12 of our challenge. I have been organizing my closet during our challenge and in order to prevent myself from grabbing a grey top so easily, I hid moved them all to a high shelf in the corner of my closet.

Out of sight, out of mind? No, not really. I can still see them. I am feeling a little lackluster today. Maybe it’s the grey clouds, or maybe I’m a little tired. I have burgundy coloured denim on the bottom and I am wearing a white shirt with grey stripes with grey converse runners. The outfit actually works and I like it, but I am a little disappointed that I reached for this shirt. Then again, it’s not fair to punish this shirt just because it has grey stripes, is it ?

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Quick trip

I am working on a post about organizing my closet which I will share very soon. This job required a “quick trip” to Ikea for hangars. As most of you know, there is no such thing as a quick trip to Ikea!

In addition to the hangars and other small items, I realized I needed wanted these beautiful blue tea towels for the kitchen.

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After all, even the kitchen could use a little colour!