A few years ago (2 or 3) I stumbled upon Clover Lane. I don't remember how I got there - a pin from Pinterest, a link from another blog I read, a recommendation from a friend, who knows. All I know is that it is now a daily read. Sarah is an inspiration. I scour her de-cluttering tips, mothering tips, household organization tips and weekly meal planner. In this great big world of blogging, I've actually been too shy to ever email or message her to let her know how awesome I think she is. (Total fandom behavior over here) But today, I have to share my favorite tip of hers.
J and I are using her tips to de-clutter and organize our home during Lent this year. When we bought our house in February of 2013 we threw away and donated bags upon boxes before unpacking. I wanted a fresh start in our house and I know how quickly things can build up. My husband and I are very different in our storage and keepsake habits. I'm happy to donate or sell a big portion of my belongings often and I only hold onto a very few select items. J stores everything and it takes him a long time to decide if something can be donated. It's safe to say my patience was stretched when we cleaned out the guest room and went through a large portion of J's clothes :)
Last year I kept her tips in mind as I was unpacking. Quite a few boxes of my childhood memorabilia was immediately stored in anticipation of future children putting the toys to good use. And if for some reason we end up with all boys - they will all be donated for other children to play with. (Unless my boys want barbies and baby dolls. That's fine too!) I have to admit it gives me a touch of anxiety when I think of how much STUFF is in those boxes taking up storage space. When I started unpacking the kitchen I didn't even think and just dumped items in drawers. I'm so excited to use Sarah's tips to organize and clean up the kitchen this year! Our junk drawer has spread and now a few drawers look like 'junk drawers'. Yikes.
So far we've tackled the future nursery - and it is TOTALLY EMPTY!! Now we can leave it empty until it actually needs to become a nursery. No more miscellaneous storage! We are halfway done with the guest room. The first stage was going through all of the drawers and closets to sort through J's clothes. Now it's the holding ground for items we are trying to find new homes for. This week I plan to formally complete the closet/shelves as well as clean up the furniture drawers. Until we get a chest of drawers in our room, J will still use the guest room for some storage. Last night I worked on the office. The closet is done (first time I've closed the closet doors in a year. Wowza). We need to purchase a filing cabinet for all of the important documents and put up a folding table for my craft space. But we can actually walk in the room and it looks 'mostly' organized.
Here is a picture of the 'dumping grounds' in the office. YIKES!I swear I'm not that messy. With a home in various stages on construction/remodel, it was easier to just set everything down in one room and close the door. We made it our goal to only let the mess linger in one room and the poor office won the vote. I can't wait to show pictures of the 'After'!
Our living room and dining room are 95% done. Most of the work left is not organization or cleaning, but decorating. Same with the family room. Our coat closet is half done. I need to organize the shelves - and once the entry way is finished, it will take a few items out of the closet.
I modified our goal from 40 bags to 20 bags since I cleaned out so much a year ago. This year I'm focusing more on organization. I'm happy to say I'm halfway to my goal! 10 bays were donated this weekend and I love seeing the progress.