Declutter Challenge Update

Here it is, nearly the end of the year. My goal was to rid my home of 1200 items by the end of the year. Have I done it?

Um, I’m getting there.

As usual, I’m expecting a frenzied rush to the finish here. Then is this the last post of the declutter challenge? I’m sure that’s what you would believe. But, alas, I can procrastinate with the best of ’em.

****Wait, hold on a sec. My little dog is barking and needs my attention now. If you don’t care why- just skip past this next section.****

Okay, we can all relax now. One of our dogs here is a Yorkiepoo. She’s a little quirky when it comes to her water dish. If the water dish becomes half empty(or half full, depending on your personality type) she barks at it for about 20 minutes, or until you fill it completely. I have realized this is because the charms from her necklace(or rabies and license tags from her collar- once again depending on your personality type) hit the bowl as she drinks and she doesn’t like the sound. It freaks her out!

Easy fix, but I must do it immediately when a certain child is asleep. That would be my child. Let sleeping children sleep as long as they need to- that’s my philosophy!

So if your dog is barking for what seems like no reason, well, chances are good that there is a reason. I won’t tell you how long it took me to finally take a break and watch her for a little bit to find out why she was barking like that sporadically.

****Back to decluttering.****

The BOX (and items that I didn’t have a box for. I’m not an office supply store, you know. I don’t keep all sorts of boxes on hand for this…)

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The Contents (super long list- feel free to skim)

  • cast iron skillet
  • children’s slippers
  • 5 plastic food storage containers
  • makeup bag with some samples of makeup
  • cuticle pushing tool
  • 3 sweaters
  • water balloon kit
  • 3 body pillow pillowcases(funny because I only have one body pillow)
  • 4 books
  • 10 small stuffed animals
  • 2 shirts
  • cute primitive nightlight(not a match. primitive dĂ©cor, if you will)
  • 3 pairs of shoes/sandals
  • 9 candles of various sizes
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 11 drinking cups/glasses
  • 2 bottles lotion/shampoo
  • 53 (yes, that’s right- 53) kitchen utensils(i.e. measuring spoons, whisks, spatulas)
  • rolling pin
  • parmesan cheese shaker container thingy- it’s glass with a metal lid, sometimes people put crushed red pepper in it. You know what I’m talking about?
  • 7 bracelets/hair accessories(odd combo- trying to keep the list compact…)
  • 4 pig figurines
  • small basket
  • ball cap
  • cloth diaper cover
  • box of cotton swabs
  • 3 glass cutting boards
  • 2 flour sifters
  • hot dog container(plastic container specifically for holding hot dogs…I know!)
  • 1 lonely pan lid
  • cookie jar
  • pie plate with lid
  • small bell
  • 2 wooden/ceramic plaques
  • personal flotation device(that’s random)
  • 2 plates
  • glass candy dish
  • plastic sand castle bucket
  • ice bucket
  • vase
  • costume beard(long story…)
  • 2 greeting cards
  • glass serving dish with lid
  • felt ornament
  • pig trash can(so cute)
  • rain coat
  • 12 boxes of tea
  • new salt grinder with salt in it

Upon seeing the boxes of tea and salt shaker I feel I should mention again that not all of these items go to a thrift store. Some of them are given to friends- who are willing or unaware recipients. A very small amount goes in the trash. Seriously, out of all these posts, maybe 5 items were trashed. Just because you don’t want something anymore doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t be tickled to have it. Keep that in mind when you’re decluttering.

Okay- that is 169 items. That brings the grand total to…883. Oh boy. I’m in trouble. Um, I literally don’t know if I can get rid of that much stuff in such a short amount of time. I should change my goal. Hehe- just kidding.

I really have no time with everything else that is going on. So I just won’t sleep. No. That won’t work.

I hope you’re doing well and that you aren’t procrastinating the way I have been!

Update to come!

SAJ

p.s. I know the pile in that picture looked pretty bad, but I had to hurry and put everything on the floor before DD came and started playing with it all. Which she did, but I got it in the vehicle pretty quickly after taking that picture! Get the stuff out!

 

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Decluttering continued.

See? I’m doing it. I’m getting rid of some of my excess. Actually, I’m getting rid of a lot of my excess. And it feels wonderful! Very liberating!

It does help that I’m trying to follow the FlyLady method. For whatever reason it seems to be working for me. Also, the more you get rid of the easier it is. In the beginning it is hard.

The Box

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What’s Inside?

  • 9 x 13 cake pan
  • broiler pan
  • 2 pie plates
  • 9 x 9 silicone brownie pan
  • griddle
  • 2 bottle koozies
  • glass pot lid
  • 3 bottles of baby lotion
  • small ceramic piggy bank
  • bottle of hair conditioner
  • 5 shirts
  • coat
  • 3 bricks of Wonder Soil
  • 2 coin purses
  • pair of kid’s shoes(you know- my kid’s shoes- not some random kid. weird.)
  • small basket
  • microwave food cover
  • 2 glass serving bowls
  • small candle
  • 2 pairs of cat nail clippers
  • 2 books
  • 3 cloth tote bags
  • colander
  • level(a tool for making sure stuff is level)
  • handle set for a Bissell carpet sweeper
  • bottle of Aquaphor
  • 8 ornaments
  • 6 small stuffed animals
  • 4 bracelets
  • 3 bottles of shampoo
  • small breath mint tin(minus the breath mints)
  • 2 pairs of scissors
  • 2 combs
  • small dishpan
  • Reynolds Handi-Vac sealer

70 things altogether! Pretty good. That brings the total to 714.

Gotta keep at it. That’s what you would say too if you saw my house. Sad face here. For me.

Anyway- let’s keep it up! It’s nice to have little spaces being cleared.

Are you decluttering? How’s it coming along?

SAJ

 

 

Decluttering- back on the wagon!

I am nearing my deadline. 1,200 items removed from my house by the end of the year. I was doing pretty well. Then I just kind of stopped unintentionally.

You know. Things come up. Bad timing. Whatever.

I kept thinking I should start this up again.

Now I’m really under pressure!

Here it is: The Box.

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What’s in it?

  • 2 towels
  • 2 blenders
  • 8 knives
  • 4 oven mitts
  • 3 funnels
  • 2 pie servers
  • bottle of lotion
  • onion keeper
  • 2 headbands
  • corkscrew
  • book
  • 2 whisks
  • 3 spatulas
  • 2 coffee mugs
  • wallet
  • 4 CDs
  • 2 bracelets
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • glasses case
  • 3 ornaments
  • 2 can openers
  • 2 car window shades
  • 4 sweaters
  • 2 board games
  • veggie peeler
  • 2 serving spoons
  • paper towel holder
  • 3 skirts
  • 6 shirts
  • kitchen hand towel
  • jacket
  • pair of pants
  • pair of socks
  • 4 dresses

78 things I got out of the house. Some of those things aren’t pictured because I gave them to a friend before I took the picture. 😩 That’s okay. These aren’t the most interesting pictures anyway. It’s the journey that’s important. Right?!

The last time I did a declutter box, which was in June in case you were wondering, the total was 566. So now it’s 644.

Now as long as I don’t stop doing this for 4 months, I should be okay. As long as I stay on track.

Hopefully if you’re decluttering or getting rid of your hoard- you’re sticking to it! Good luck!

Updates soon…

SAJ

What should I have for dinner?

I thought I’d share a new recipe I tried. I have actually been trying many new recipes in the last two weeks. I just haven’t been taking pictures…

This is a Whole30 recipe. Before you start freaking out about not giving up your sugar and dairy and gluten- hear me out. I’ve never been on a diet before but I felt this was necessary. I love my sugar. I love it in ice cream, cookies, ice cream, cake, ice cream, pies, ice cream cake, and so on. I love sugar. And over the years it has occurred to me that I eat a heck of a lot more sugar than other people do. So I am kicking the habit. That’s it. That’s the biggest reason I am doing this.

So I knew I’d have trouble with this diet for many reasons I can visit on at a later date. Because of this, I wanted something that just walked me along so that I focused more on the next step rather than the sugar I was missing.

Enter this website. Excellent. It plans every meal out for you. Even gives you the grocery list. A slightly intimidating list- but I did it. Even with an unhappy toddler in tow. No small feat.

We have had some excellent meals this way. Really. I will make them again after this 30 days is finished.

Here’s what we had last night(you know-when I finally remembered to take pictures). Oh, and this one is in the slow-cooker- nice in the hot weather.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken (linked to recipe!)

So you take some canned artichokes, quarter them and put them in the bottom of your slow-cooker. If you’re a real foodie, you may gasp at the whole “canned artichokes” bit. I was like,”Where do you find artichokes?” Obviously not a foodie. But I do like to eat- does that count???

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Next I sliced up some lemons and some carrots. The carrots were actually just for me to eat immediately. They have nothing to do with this recipe. IMG_2498

Ignore the carrots!IMG_2499

Then I took the skin and fat off of chicken thighs, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and finally lightly browned them on both sides in a skillet. IMG_2493.JPG

I did this all in a backward way from what the recipe said. If I did it the right way- it would have gone more quickly. But I was trying to save myself from cleaning extra dishes. Oh, the shame.

So when the chicken was browned a bit, I laid it over the artichokes. BTW- I put in 2 extra thighs because I’m a rebel. And because it was packaged that way.

Then I mixed up some chicken broth, arrowroot starch, and coconut milk. I poured it over the chicken and laid lemons on top. (Actually, I put the lemons on first, then glanced at the directions and took them back off to pour the broth mixture on. Then I threw those babies back on. Doesn’t matter except for the pictures people!)IMG_2501IMG_2502.JPG

Cook it on high 4-6 hours. Remove lemons- I don’t care where. Just don’t put them back in your Crock-Pot! They’re super soft at this point anyway. Ugh. Take the thighs out and shred them with 2 forks. This is super easy. Mix up a little more of that starch and some water and stir that into the liquid in the cooker. Then add your chicken back in and mix it all up.

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So I had some more carrots…

This is what it looks like when you’ve finished and decided it’s kind of a stew. And that you have to have some other veggie with it, because…BECAUSE. (I have this fear that on a diet you have to starve, and I let this fear drive me to make extra food. Sad really.)

This does not look like the photo that came with the recipe. She obviously did not shred the chicken before her photo!

What did I think of it?

Pretty easy to make. My husband loved it. Do you like honey lemon cough drops? The flavor of this kind of reminded me of them. It was okay, but I kept thinking of those cough drops which I don’t care for. My husband loves that flavor. So it was a hit with him. Our daughter liked it too. There you go. Try it.:)

Stay tuned…I have more coming. Especially from that website(ourpaleolife)– check it out. She’s got some great recipes.

SAJ

 

Declutter Thursday. It’s almost Friday.

It’s late at night, but I have a box and I want to share it!

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Here’s what’s in it:

  • new set of plastic sandwich containers
  • pair of children’s shoes
  • 2 placemats
  • George Foreman grill
  • new cookie press
  • metal grater
  • VHS movie
  • small wicker basket
  • candy spoon mold
  • 5 fabric kitchen appliance covers
  • beer can poultry roaster stand (oh man…)
  • 2 water bottles
  • aluminum fry pan with lid
  • small bag of hair accessories
  • decorative pillow
  • medium sized candle
  • doll clothes
  • 2 children’s shirts
  • baseball cap
  • water filter
  • pair of socks
  • makeup brush
  • Tupperware ham keeper (it seemed like a good idea)
  • single cup coffee maker
  • small bag of random craft supplies
  • 2 stuffed animals
  • box of shower curtain rings
  • Frisbee
  • small makeup bag

37 items in this box…Well, some were on the floor. 🙂 Not bad. That brings the total to 566. Only 634 more things to get out of our house!

Actually, since my goal is to hit 1200 items by the end of the year, it looks like I’m almost halfway there with my time and how much I’ve been able to get out of the house. That’s promising, right?

Are you decluttering too? Do you want to?

SAJ

Declutter Update

In the fall of last year, two friends told me that if you don’t love something, you should get rid of it. At the same time I was reading Sink Reflections by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley. She is a big advocate of decluttering. Basically she tells you to get rid of things you don’t use, need, or love.

I was hearing and reading this, but honestly, I couldn’t comprehend doing it. Get rid of my stuff? All my stuff? Stuff that didn’t have a name, but it was mine. I would look around our home and just couldn’t think of anything to take out of it.

I knew that our house was packed to the brim. We didn’t have pathways through it, but I knew it was too full. I just didn’t know where to start.

Things are different now.

The Box

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The Contents

  • 2 lip glosses
  • bath mat
  • cuticle oil
  • bed skirt
  • bathrobe
  • scarf
  • 9 shirts
  • 3 nightgowns
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 puzzles
  • wooden mailbox
  • 3 stuffed animals
  • 1 large bundle of pens
  • plastic tiara
  • 2 baseball caps
  • wall sign
  • ceramic egg holder
  • penguin toy
  • pig candle holder
  • bunch of plastic eggs
  • bowl
  • eyeshadow brush
  • book
  • large potpourri sachet
  • kitchen timer
  • decorative pig pin
  • curling iron cover
  • pig rubber stamp
  • 3 figurines

That’s 47 items, and that brings us to a running total of 529 items that have left our home. Good!

There was so much in our house. There still is. I had to just force myself at first; and I only started because I knew it was a problem. I had known that for a long time, but it really hits you when you have a kid and realize that you have to start making room for him/her.

I started getting rid of things that were just random and useless. Then I started getting rid of some duplicate items. Now I’m letting go of things that I felt guilty about getting rid of. Letting go of the things I don’t want, use, need, and finally(though I have trouble admitting it) the things I don’t love.

Maybe I’ve become attached to some things that have no sentimentality to them. Maybe someone that holds an important place in my life gave me a gift or something they didn’t want. Maybe I think it was expensive to begin with and that alone should be reason enough to keep it. All these excuses just hold me back from a life that isn’t so complicated and cluttered. I’ve been holding myself back.

Letting go can be really hard. Whether it’s your grandfather, your cute pigs, the world’s best chiropractor, or that quilt your mom gave you. Obviously these are not all on the same playing field. I’m just saying that sometimes you have to let go and move on. Otherwise, you may be stuck in the same place for a long time.

Tell me what you think.

Are you having trouble letting go? Are you finally getting there?

SAJ