Sunday, March 25, 2012

Decluttering: I don't know when to stop.

Apparently, I'm nesting. Only 17 weeks to go until this baby arrives, and I am determined to have THE ENTIRE HOUSE reorganized and ready long before my due date. I know I'll be too tired and won't want to do anything but knit little booties and sew little dresses by June. (OH! Did I just give something away?!)

We have a smallish, old-fashioned house that requires creative rearranging to accommodate our growing, ever-changing family. This includes regular, ruthless decluttering. Of which I have done very little in the last year.

The baby goodies are already arriving -- but what will soon be the nursery is currently my craft/curriculum/storage/library. Two bookcases and their books, a desk and all its clutter, my scrapbooking and sewing supplies have to go Somewhere Else.

One of those places is this closet:

Nope, nothing else is going in there until something comes out.

My problem is, I can't just pull a few things out of a closet. Once I decide to start organizing, I have to empty EVERY CLOSET IN THE HOUSE so that the whole place looks like we've been flying over Kansas with Dorothy -- collecting everything but the cow passing by as we go.

First, though, I made lists of everything that would need a home somewhere. (This I started weeks ago.)

I started thinking about what big items needed to go -- the dresser in the bedroom closet that was not working, the rocking chair that was cute but never comfortable for nursing, the boys' desks that I repainted for the school room two years ago and haven't been used since last May. And I decided we should have a yard sale.

On Monday, I started pulling everything out of the closets. And then I realized I was coming down with the flu. By Wednesday, three of us were in bed sick, and my house still looked like this:

Stuff was piled everywhere waiting for the yard sale.

But, no matter, because my main closet had gone from THIS (before):

To THIS (after)!

Top shelf: Blankets, sorted by knits, fleece, and quilts
Second shelf: Seasonal items in tubs: Snow, birthdays, swim, and crafts.
Third and bottom shelves: Games, craft supplies, and homeschool baskets.
Floor: Gift wrapping supplies. And an EMPTY tub!!

And I wasn't quite finished here. I now have storage on the back of the door for the gift wrap, and I was able to move some sewing and scrapbooking tubs out of my office into the bottom of the closet.  I still have more sorting through craft and school supplies to do, too.

And check out my bedroom closet (BEFORE):

And AFTER (so far):

I'm still working on this one, too, but removing the dresser and adding the tubs and shoe cubbies made a HUGE difference! I found shoes under that dresser that had been "missing" for over a year. :/

The tornado spewed the rest of the mess onto the lawn Saturday morning, and after we made an entire $3.75 in six hours of yard selling (plus $75 for the dresser from someone who saw it on Craiglist), we loaded up the rest to take to Goodwill.

Now to finish the boys' closet...

I'm participating in Project: Simplify 2012!


Heather said...

AWESOME! This is like me too, I pull everything out of everywhere and completely reorganize. We don't have a small house, but it is old, and has no closets, so I am constantly trying to figure out interesting ways to arrange stuff. Usually what happens is I start to move furniture around and then I feel like I am really accomplishing something :-)

Eddie said...

I am laughing here - I took all the stuff out of every homeschooling shelf and closet on Saturday, then other things happened and you literally can not see my dining room table and surrounding floor. I should really finish that.

Carolyn Renee said...

It does seem as if one must MAKE a mess before cleaning UP said mess. Great job & I bet you feel sooooo much "lighter" now.

Mirjam said...

A girl!! :-D

Anonymous said...

love it....I now have a partner in the crime of decluttering!!! now to just get this stuff to good will. By the way, congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...


April Jech said...

Your closets look great! I just operated on a few of our cabinets. It's amazing how many "junk" drawer/cabinets we get here!
Congrats on the girl!!
April- visiting from

sarah in the woods said...

Wow! Your closets look great. Our nursery is also my bedroom, which is also the craft room. So I had some rearranging to do too. Unfortunately, I thought it would be a good idea to wait until the month before baby was due to get things done. Not a great idea since I had about 5% energy at that point.
Congrats on having a GIRL!

Shawnelle Eliasen said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm convicted. We have an old house with lots of closets. And it's threatening to open any one of them (sigh).
We could use a good, strong dose of declutter! I'm encouraged...

Kama said...

Hi! I have a Christian blog called Today's Housewife. We are always looking for guest writers, so I was wondering if you might be interested in writing for us next month (or in the future) in any of our channels--Family, Faith, Food, Hobby or Home. There is a little more information on our blog about writing: You can write just one guest post for us, multiple guest posts or even join our writing team. We are a group of about 15 women who write on different "channels" about different topics each week. I usually do Hobbies on Tuesdays (along with another writer who posts once a month). Then Mondays we have writers about Home, Wednesdays are for Family, Thursdays are for Food and Fridays for Faith. Some writers only write once a month and some write two or three times--just depends on how many writers there are for their channel--but only one post a day. We write about whatever we want to write about that day that fits into our channel. There aren't assigned topics each week. We had 12,720 pageviews last month. It shows we have 216 followers. I hope that you're interested! If so, let me know when you'd like to write and I'll add you to the calendar. Then you can just e-mail me your post along with whatever pics and a small bio. Thanks for considering!
(I couldn't find your e-mail address on is mine.)

Luniquely Maggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dianne Rigdon said...

I can so relate! Best thing that ever happened to me was Fly Lady. She taught me years ago in my small 2 bedroom one bath home with three kids how to declutter. It took a few years, starting when there were only two kids, but I got it all done and learned to just clutter as I go. We have a designated area for good will stuff and when it starts to over flow, we make a trip! :D

Amy Hagerup said...

I love before and after photos of organizing. You did a great job. Wow - you bit off a lot. Blessings, Amy

Diane Roark said...

I love that you show pictures of real life. Great job encouraging others. I also love that you are a Christian blogger. I look forward to receiving your posts. Please visit me some time

Blessings Always, Diane Roark

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