Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Simplifying..

I want to simply my home...and my life but that is another story entirely. I don't know when I'll find time to do so, but I really want to. I feel like over the years we've simply collected too much "stuff" and though I keep damn good house for a full time working mother, I just feel like there is too much "stuff" cluttering up our tiny house.

Thing is, I don't know where, or when, to start. But I do know that I'm going to try to go through room by room, cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer and get rid of the stuff that has just been hanging out there for ages without even being touched. There will be sections of my garage designated for "Goodwill" "Garage Sale" and "Trash". I'm hoping to be done by July (yes, it will take me that long). I just feel like when its done I will feel so...zen. Silly? Maybe. But I think it will really be a benefit in the end.

Anyone have any tips for My Home Simplifying Project?

ps. I almost forgot my quote and how much do I love this one?

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. " -William Morris


29 comments:

Jamie @ Bungalow Bee said...

When you find tips, let me know. I've been having the exact same thoughts. I want to go minimalist SO badly, but David tends to want to hold on to things. I also need to organize, but that's another story. Ugh. I'm glad we got to see you and Lucy when we were in town! Looks like her birthday was a success - you got some really amazing pictures of her :)

Jennifer said...

Ya know. I feel like doing the *same* thing.

Jessica said...

I did the same thing recently, and it really did help my stress level around the house quite a bit. My advice to you is to be ruthless with your stuff! If you haven't used it for six months, chances are, you probably won't (unless it's seasonal), and you won't miss it when it's gone.

Check out stores like TJ Maxx for cheap organizational items, they have great deals on closet organizers.

Katie Faye said...

Sounds like you've got a good idea going! When we moved into our new house last spring, we did what you're talking about. We had a trash pile, a Goodwill pile, a sell pile (movies and things that would get a few $$s on ebay), a keep pile, and a storage pile. Sometimes I had to go through piles twice, because the first time around you may find yourself getting sentimental over items that you really *don't* need, and a second look might help you realize that you could, in fact, throw or give it away. :) Hope that helps. Good luck!

Mrs. Haid said...

I just found this website called FlyLady. Its pretty good. That is my tip... from a not yet simplified house!

A said...

I think going room-by-room is a great way to go. I am in constant "purge" mode since my DH is military and we move a lot. I refuse to move anything that hasn't been touched since the last move! Also, it's really easy to get stuck into a "we might need this someday..." mode or not wanting to be wasteful by getting rid of something (I really struggle with that one!), so having support to simplify is really helpful! Good luck, have fun and enjoy that zen feeling!

Good Egg Hunting said...

Drawer by drawer is definitely the best approach! I'm definitely not perfect in this area by any means and have plans over my maternity leave to try (I said TRY) and do some cleanup/organization as well. But I have to say that I've become absolutely ruthless over the past few years about not keeping crap that I know we don't need. I throw/give things away/return things to stores immediately rather than keep things I know will just become clutter. My test is always, "Do I love this and will I even remember I had it if I get rid of it?" I'm always surprised at how few things are "yeses." Anyway, enjoy your simplification project -- I think you will feel so fantastic and austere once it's done!

Leigh said...

All week centsational girl has been posting great organizing tips!! I found a lot of good ideas there.

http://www.centsationalgirl.com/

Queenie. . . said...

Oh, how I need to do this!!! I've looked at countless books for strategies. I am such a "but we might need it someday" kind of person-I hate paying twice for something! And I come from a long line of packrats. If I get the job I've been trying to get, we'll need to make a major move, though, so I need to get cracking. I'll be looking to you for inspiration! Good luck.

AmandaG said...

I also second the Fly Lady website. I'd subscribed and checked in there a while back. It's great because if you don't know where to start, she'll tell you! This week you're working on a specified place in your home, next week, a different one. I, however, haven't gone to the site in a while. It's not so easy when you're not at home everyday. Good luck!

Bridget said...

I am going to start this as well. I am starting with our master bedroom and closet. I seem to have a ton of clothes in my closet, but nothing to wear:) We are also going to put a closet organizer in.

Good Luck!

ABLynch said...

RealSimple.com and the Real Simple magazine are often my inspriation for projects such as the one you've mentioned, and they have good ideas about how to organize space. I'm actually planning on doing the same thing by focusing on one room a month so by next Christmas I will be organized. Maybe. I hope. Perhaps.

Michele & Derek Moore said...

just found your blog, and I love it!(I am pretty sure it is because you remind me of myself in a lot of areas:) Anyways, as for this project..I am in the middle of this right now. My pile is mostly goodwill....and IKEA has some cheap storage stuff!

Julie said...

I think you might like this blog: http://www.myfavoriteeverything.com/
I find that as I organize, I simplify. As the PP said, drawer by drawer and room by room is the best route to go.

Jessica Kathren said...

I recommend "Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure" It walks you through step by step doing a deep clean of your entire house, one week at a time. It's really an eye opener to your own bad habits. So the idea is to clean your house but also change those bad habits so it stays clean/clutter free. I don't recommend starting right before the holidays. I sort of took a break but I need to get back on track now that the holidays are over!

Sarah H. said...

We've been blessed to move about every year...and I say blessed, because we always get rid of a TON of crap! I agree with the room-room approach--but the biggest pay day is in the closets!! We just ask do we REALLY need this?? And don't worry if it was a gift--who really cares!?
My husband and I get a natural high from throwing away, donating, and selling our items. It's wonderful! GOOD LUCK! :)

Jill said...

No tips, but just wanted to comment that we are doing the same thing. We have twins on the way in May (plus a 14-month-old!), and we're hoping to move in the summer. We've been going room by room and packing up things we won't need until after we move (and putting it in storage) and getting rid of junk. The amount of stuff I have for the Salvation Army is incredible. It feels wonderful to get rid of some of the clutter!

Shandal said...

I have an award for you, come get it when you can! :)

Working Mommy said...

I need to do that as well!! Hopefully I will be able to start sooner rather than later...but we'll see! If you have any tips on how to clean my house - and keep it that way - from one full time working mommy to another...I would love you forever. For now I'll start by following ;)

~WM

Kelsey said...

I am trying to do this thing. I am also a working mommy (9.5-month-old Drew) and am trying to pare down the distractions so we can focus on quality time together. I took a few days off last week and focused my energy on our "mud room," which isn't really a room but rather two closets and a rug by the back door. My idea was to organize and label and clean this area so that when we come through the doors (in a rush to feed Drew, let out the dog, etc.) we don't bring the mess into other rooms. So far, this has been really helpful! That's my recommendation for a good place to start.

Also, I have an idea for a post. In the post you should invite your readers to leave a comment telling "anonymous" what we think of her mean-spirited ways. She gets my blood BOILING!

Anonymous said...

I read that organizing for 15 mintues a day is good for the soul. I have not been keeping to that but I know when I do get something organized it does feel like my life is more in order. With three toddlers and a small house this is just contant for me. And sorry to say the clutter only gets worse as Lucy will have more stuff. But it is a great time to start just leave room to grow.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good approach. We moved from a larger home to 1000sf one so put tons of stuff in storage. We recently moved into a larger home again and after not using this stuff for more than 3 years, decided to get rid of it. It's amazing what you think you need until you don't.

Leah said...

Move.

We just did and I threw out a ton of stuff. The move also made me crave simplification.

Ok, maybe that's not the most helpful advice, but it sure motivated me! :)

ck2m said...

Don't know if someone already suggested this or not. Instead of donating your used household items to Goodwill there is a great local organization called Community Warehouse off MLK. They give the donated items to families in need for free. The families must be referred to them by DHS workers or domestic shelters. I am currently doing a donation drive at work for them. Here is their website for more info www.communitywarehouse.org. Best of luck

Windy City Kelley's said...

I'd say go slow and do a little bit every day so you don't get too stressed over it. We were forced to do this when we moved and it was so tiring but worth it!

Good Luck!

C and M said...

I read about this idea on
http://valleygirlhasbabygoescrunchy.blogspot.com/
I think they got the idea from Real Simple. Getting rid of 50 items as a New Year resolution. It's help motivate me to clean out. When I get to 50 I'm hoping I'll shoot for 50 more!
Good luck!

Lu P. said...

I have taught my friends the trash bag trick. Once a week (or more if you want) you set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and grab a big kitchen trash bag. Run around the house and make it your goal to fill the bag to the top before the timer goes off. You can decide to fill it for goodwill, garage sale, or trash. Something about timing yourself makes it go faster and you don't find yourself debating whether or not you should get rid of something. And 15 minutes a week? Doesn't get easier than that!

Good Luck!

Lu P.

Robert Singh said...

Hi Beverley

When I get in moods like this i say to myself, "if I haven't used it in a year...it's gone!" Hope that helps.

Just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog for about a little over a year now...our baby's are 4 weeks apart. Sierra is going to be 1 Jan 29th. :) Love your stories!

xoxo
Kristin

maryhaas said...

No tips but I wanted to say thanks for posting so I could read everyone else's tips! Our house is feeling quite cramped lately.

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