Posts Tagged ‘declutter’

Cleaning out my Closet…

May 31, 2010

A few weekends ago I scheduled a Feng Shui consultation.  Naturally, I wanted my home as organized and clean as possible so the consultant (www.FengShuiHouston.com) would give me the best advice possible!   

I anticipated she would open doors and look in my closets so I decided I could quickly organize two of them enough so they would reflect orderliness in my life.   

Closet Before Organizing

My clothes closet was simple.  I tackled the top shelf because that’s where it’s easiest to toss things to store.  There was a lot of stuff that had been randomly tossed onto the shelf.  So I took everything off of it and placed the items on my bed.    

I grouped like items with like and then looked at how much I had of each.  I’m reluctant to get rid of my extra pillows (good for napping on the couch and for overnight guests) so those stayed.   I took small evening bags and clutches and put them into labelled containers.   As I was sorting, I realized that most of what I had I planned to keep, it merely needed to be better organized.  So that’s what I did for the top shelf and you can see from the photos what a difference it makes!   

Sometimes it’s not always about getting rid of items but how they are stored.  I’ve done several closet unclutterings over the last two years and it was a matter of limited space for what I wanted to keep.    

My hiking boots were purchased 7 or 8 years ago.  They have not been on my feet for at least 5 years and each time I’ve cleaned my closet, I have put them back under the shoe rack.  This time I asked myself if I would use them at any time during the remainder of this year and when my answer was unequivocably “no,” I moved them into my donation pile.    

I also removed the rack upon which my laundry basket sat.  I never really liked it and thus, there’s no reason to keep it!   

Now all that’s left is to sort through my clothes…and that can wait until another day!   

Ready for my Feng Shui consult!

 

P.S.  The Feng Shui consultation was incredible!  My consultant made some excellent and easy to implement suggestions.  One of the things she had me do was to turn my dining room table 45 degrees.  What a difference it makes in the energy and space of the room!  If you live in Houston or the nearby vicinity, go to this website www.fengshuihouston.com for more information! 

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Fast Project #3 Toss Stuff from Your Medicine Cabinet!

May 14, 2010

Medicine Cabinet - Easy Project #3

 

I took 30 minutes and returned to my bathroom medicine cabinet to see how it could be tweaked.   

Cleaning the medicine cabinet is one of those quick organizing projects that can be completed in half an hour or less.   We tend to crowd items into it without removing things that have been in there for years. 

It was so easy!  I found some medicine that was clearly past its expiration date…gone!  I also found travel items that were moved to a drawer where I keep similar items.  I got rid of the mouthwash that I don’t like. 

You may remember that I cleared my bathroom at the beginning of the year.  This is proof that the second time around there’s always more stuff that is overlooked or kept during the first organizational effort. 

One, two, three…time to toss stuff from your medicine cabinet!  Let me know how long it takes and the results!

Easy Project #2

February 28, 2010

I was inspired last week by a friend when we cleared out her pantry and spice rack.  I came home and in less than one hour, emptied my refrigerator and spices of all items that should no longer be used. 

One place I reference in order to know how long canned foods and condiments stay fresh is http://stilltasty.com/.  This is an incredible website and easy to use.  You merely type in the name of the product you wish to search.  Information is given on how long it can sit on the shelf unopened before the item begins to change composition or how long you can safely use it after it’s open.

Using their guidelines, I threw out several opened products that were no longer good to use.

Try it!  Post your results as well as realize how important it is to buy food that will actually be eaten.   Let me know how you do.

Life’s Priorities does not include Stuff!

February 21, 2010

During the last month, I learned a lesson that you may already know.  Life’s priorities does not include stuff! 

My boyfriend had surgery and his three-hour operation extended to seven.  Thus, both his hospital stay and recuperation time were longer than expected. 

We set up an office at his home since he cannot drive for two weeks.  As I moved items from my home to his, I realized that if these items were to disappear permanently from my life, I would not miss them.  Yes, there are memories of when I bought each one and why I picked it out at that time.  But during my wait at the hospital while he was under anesthesia, my energy and focus was on him…not my things! 

I am doing another sweep through my home and my pile of items to donate and sell has grown.  The last few  weeks were an important reminder that relationships with people are what is important in life…not the possessions we acquire. 

Closet items to go!

It’s the Little Stuff that is So Overwhelming!

January 20, 2010

Last week I began uncluttering my bathroom.  The project was an offshoot of my not being able to find my thermometer.   As I started taking things off the shelves, opening drawers, and searching underneath the sink, I decided to organize all the little things that had accumulated.

Originally, I was not concerned about getting rid of half of what is there, because it’s all stuff I regularly use, right?

Ha!  I opened up my medicine cabinet and as I straightened up the shelves, I realized I have five boxes of band aids!   And then I got to my first aid kit and found three more boxes!  Then there was the three storage containers of hair clips (haven’t worn a barrett in over a year), most of which were from when I had longer and thicker hair.  I recognized some that I’ve stored for…gulp…over 15 years!

So here’s what I’ve accomplished.

I consolidated the band aids, threw away old cosmetics, and placed items such as never used combs in my donate pile.  I also gave away a glass bowl I kept on the counter, I have two others on it and don’t need three.

An old seashell night-light (circa 1986) was also given away.

Items are now in boxes with lids and labelled.  I have enough towels for company and me. 

One drawer is empty and the others are less crowded.

I organized the linen shelves and got rid of mismatched containers that did not stack.

I acknowledged I was never going to use most of the hair and nail products I bought and said good-bye to those.

I learned that when I find something I like, I buy multiples…and usually more than I will use.

But most of all, I realized how much little stuff there is around me.  Hair items, nail products, cosmetics, shower gels, first aid supplies (in addition to my kit), dental items, there was far more than I need.  It’s the small stuff that is overwhelming to sort.

And I never did find the thermometer!

Great Resolutions, Not So Great Follow Through

December 27, 2009

  

More Space after the sort!

 

Have you ever decided to begin a new hobby or project?  I have and after thinking about what I’d like to learn or do, I then purchase books and materials to get started.  I have the best of resolutions…and usually less than great follow through! 

Yesterday I organized my closet bookcase.  I originally culled 24 items and left more than half of what I had at the beginning.  I carefully scrutinized what I was keeping and realized that two years ago, I was going to re-learn Latin.  I spent hours going to different bookstores and purchasing several beginning Latin textbooks.  Then I spent more money ordering additional study materials.  Guess what?  I studied about 10 minutes on this project and the books have been sitting in my bookcase ever since.  I asked myself, am I passionate about learning Latin again?  And the answer is, no, so now those books are in my “get rid of” pile.  I am happy to report that I was able to eliminate 30 items and kept 22!  Yippee!  More than 50% are gone! 

I estimated how much money I spent on these books I’ve never read.  Enough said!  

What was neat about going through each book is that I found a book I thought to be long-lost that I had been thinking about last week! 

Now what will I do with the 30 books that I wish to move out of my house? 

I have a friend who may be interested in one book so I emailed her to see if she wants it.  I took another and put it into my gift box as I have several friends for whom this would be a great gift.  Nine other books are ready to go to the Westpark Recycling Reading Room.   I’ll look on eBay later to see if the others can be sold.  I will list those today and for any that are not sellable, I’ll donate those on Monday to West Houston Assistance Ministries, one of my favorite places to take items so they can be resold in their store.  You can find out more about this group at www.whamministries.org.  

I am excited about my head start with this New Year’s resolution, as I am already producing results!   

How the bookcase looked before sorting

A Return to My College Lifestyle

December 20, 2009

During a conversation with a friend this weekend, I reminisced about one of my moves during college.  I loaded everything I owned into my passenger vehicle and was able to move all my belongings in two car loads!  I used a 3 drawer cardboard container for my lingerie.  I had very few outfits, most of what I wore were jeans, boots, and t-shirts.  One of the biggest items I owned was a stereo system with large speakers.  I had a minimal amount of office supplies (primarily notebook paper and highlighters); a small amount of make up, very little jewelry, my Instamatic camera, and few decorative or collectible items.   I was living a minimalist life before it became a lifestyle descriptor!

I’m ready to lighten my load.  Today I gave a cute ball cap to Chris after our walk.  Yesterday I removed 50% of the books on one bookshelf and donated them to the reading room at the recycling center.  I began looking at items in my bathroom and what’s in my kitchen cabinets.  I no longer wish to invest the time it takes to maintain all these items!

The first photo is the bookshelf before I took action.  The second photo is what I decided to keep.  What a nice change! 

I’m turning back the clock to my former college lifestyle of living with less!