Thursday, July 1, 2010

Operation Declutter: Day 1 - The Little Girls Room

 I am beginning an "Operation Declutter" in my home. This is a constant battle in my house and all the stuff is beginning to stress me out. I love walking into homes where they don't have anything. You know what I mean? I recently happened across this blog, the lady purposed to get rid of 500lbs of clutter in her home. I was immediately inspired. Though her house is much much larger than mine, I'm pretty sure I can part with just as much stuff.

We have a very small house, with a huge lack of storage space. This can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing. With all of us living in this small space, it can get a bit overwhelming to have too much stuff. There are certainly some things that we need to have. I need to get over my idea of having certain things because I just lack the space. I have asked God in the past to please bless us with a larger home. I have changed my prayer to asking him to change my heart to accept and be content with the home he has provided us, and to be happy with the things that I am able to have in my small house. It's really the family in the home that matters right? I don't want to be covetous of what others have. I really want my heart to be happy with the blessings that God has provided us. Perhaps until I tackle my pack rat ways, God will not see fit to bless me with more space, because I will fill it with junk. Also, I must render my heart and accept that we are and probably always will be "poor" monetary wise. Rather than be upset and depressed about it, I am going to make the most of what we have and stop being a baby about what I don't. In most other countries, we would be considered rich.

My sweet, hardworking, loving husband also has the pack rat gene, so between the both of us is a recipe for disaster. I must get this under control. As I do this, I will however take much respect and consideration for his stuff. I will ask before I get rid of things that may be important to him, or things that appear to be garbage but are not. Sometimes that little green wiry plug thing that is sitting on the dresser really isn't garbage, it's the ONLY piece that can connect the surround sound and they don't make it anymore. =(  I really don't want him to feel that he can't have his own stuff in his own home. This is his castle after all, he works hard to finance it, he has a right to his stuff. I will lovingly guide him to part with some things. This man desperately needs a garage. And I really mean NEEDS. From now on I will strive to be faithful with the little I have and pray that maybe God will find it necessary to bless my hardworking man with the much needed garage space he is dreaming of.

This approach will be taken to all areas of clutter:
  • Give away/donate - From now until July 29th all donation items will go to my Church for our annual Christmas in July Rummage Sale for our Missionaries taking place July 31st. All proceeds from the sale are given as a gift to the missionaries that our church supports.
  • Sell
  • Throw away
  • Recycle
I also have the fabulous flylady to help with declutter motivation, and other professional organizers like Serene Spaces. I will be taking a sane approach to this as opposed to a sentimental approach. Sentimental leads to clutter, for me anyway.

I was reading a blog post by a wise Christian woman and she said: "Some of the messiest and dirtiest houses I have seen in the past were those of Christians, and I think that is a poor testimony to others and a lack of care for our own families."

I never want someone to think I don't care properly for the family that God has trusted me with.


In order to keep from getting burnt out, I am going to take this slow and do a little bit each day, even if I feel motivated to do more.  I will only focus on a small part each day. I'm certain the little girls room will take at least 2 to 3 days to complete. Today I focused on the closet and the dress-up box.

They do not have any of their clothes in their room, so it's mostly a huge toy mess. I moved all of their clothes to my room a couple months ago, hoping to cut down on the mess. I wasn't too successful. Although it did cut down on unnecessary laundry. I have not been very diligent in teaching them to be good stewards of their things, then of course look at their example (me) *sigh*.

I had two boxes filled with memory stuff from when they were babies. I still want to keep these things, but the boxes were full, and more things were piled on them.

Their dress-up box was full of ripped dress up stuff and things that no longer fit.

I switched the boxes: the memory stuff went into the big dress-up box, and the decluttered dress-up stuff went into one of the old memory boxes. The other box was empty and ready to be given away.  It is extremely difficult to purge items from a child's room while the child is home. They keep taking the items back to their room. "I love that" "I need that".

Before: bottom of closet
After:  bottom of closet

Before: top of closet

I got rid of the broken doll strollers and removed the umbrella strollers to find a new home for them. On the upper shelf, I took down the white box of books to move to the attic storage. They are books that are a bit too old for them. The pink box of blocks stayed, but the two memory boxes were transferred into what was the dress-up box, and one box was eliminated. The pink box became the new dress-up box. 
On the bottom shelf the wooden puzzles were put in the donations the games were reorganized and some things were transferred into other storage bins and labeled. I took the jigsaw puzzles out of the boxes and put
them into bags like this:

I prefer that most of their toys and games are up and out of their reach so that they have to ask for them and I can teach them to use one thing at a time.

  After: top and middle of closet

The girls LOVE dress-up and have a lot of it. Some items were loved more than others and had to be disposed of, they were beyond repair. Other things were now too small, and some stuff was garbage just shoved in there.

Before: Dress-up Box on the toy/book shelf
Dress-up Box full and overflowing

After: dress-up box back on the shelf

Donation pile for rummage sale: SCORE!
Garbage/Recycling pile

Wow! That was exciting and the closet looks awesome! Total clutter removed for today was:  28.6 pounds. Nice!

Tomorrow, I will still be in the little girls room, and will tackle the toy/book shelf and doll corner.


Sarah said...

oh Kimmie! This makes my heart go pitter pat! Can I link to you from my website and facebook as an example of someone who is taking charge of her own destiny etc?

Kimmie said...

OH Thanks Sarah. That would be fabulous. I love your labels haha, and suddenly my husband walked in the other day with a label maker he had at his moms house. I want to label everything. ha!

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