Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Big Declutter: Finishing Up our first Week!

So its been our first week of our major declutter! I'm sooo tired. But I'm also so thankful for this week, everything that it has taught me, and how much difference it has aleady made in our lives.

I did say that I was going to make a journal of the first week, and by my last entry, I was up to Thursday evening. (The first part of the week is also here, in journal form..) so I'll finish you up the last few days. Friday was kind of an off-day. We had to travel to meet my sister, to pick up my youngest daughter. We had planned to go visit for a few days, but the weather forecast called for lots of snow, and my Mom tested positive for Covid :( So our plans changed and my daughter came home a few days early. With all the traveling and just the sheer exhaustion of the week, I took a day to rest and spend time with my hubby.


Over the weekend, I started with the kids books. This turned out to be the hardest part of decluttering for me. I LOVE books, I love reading with my babies, and books hold more memories for me than any toy ever did. I managed to pack a couple of boxes full of books that were ex-library books, mostly educational-type books that have the same things that we learn about in school.. but for the most part we kept lots of books. I have two of these open shelf bookcases that I have had since the boys were very young, as I read somewhere that if they can see all of their books they are more likely to read. It must be working, my kids are avid readers! I also kept a little box between the two bookcases that are equally as full. I guess its hard to say whether this is a hit or miss, but I'm giving myself lots of grace when it comes to books!

Other than cleaning out the school bookshelves, the living room somewhat keeps itself clean! I think this is due to the fact that there aren't a lot of toys floating through the house and the toys that are all have their own stroage containers that the kids carry them in. So if they take the toys, they take the containers along with them! I've been amazed at just how clean the living room has been since the toy declutter! I did go through and discard several coloring books. You only need so many coloring books afterall!

Callista started on her room as soon as she got up on Saturday. Between her and her sister, its possible they had the most 'stuff' in the house. She's an avid collector of all toys. To help her out with this, I let her watch this short video by Marie Kondo..


To be fair, my own experience wih Marie Kondo is watching a handfull of her Netflix shows. Other than the spirtual aspect of the house and the clothing (not positive whether this is connected to her own spiritual beliefs or if this is just a way of connecting.. I do plan to read some of her books and find out! ) I really enjoyed a lot of her methods. Even though this video is simple and adorable, it really helped my daughter a lot! She said she had several items that reminded her of some sadder times in her life, and although she always felt like she had to keep them, they didn't make her happy. She feels like right now she's in the best place she has been in her life emotionally and spiritually, so anything that reminded her of a time that she didn't feel that way, she discareded. I think that was a really great way to make decisions about what to keep and what to discard! She ended up donating about 12 bags of toys and clothes from her room! 12!! That's huge! She worked dilligently on her room and its taken a couple of days, but I think once we get all of the storage boxes stored and the donation things removed, her room will feel very different. She's very excited! I'm excited for her as well!

Monday made a week of decluttering! I know that we still have a long road ahead. It seems that everytime I do a second run-through of anything I end up wondering what in the world I was thinking when I kept certain things. So I know that over time we will minimalize again. I know that 'spring cleaning' is just around the corner, and with all of the seasonal clothing sorted a little better (and minimized big time!) we will have more time for walls, windows and just cleaning! I'm excited about that! That is the one thing that has fallen by the wayside, but I can always do a deep cleaning day over the weekend! I'm just excited that it will take far less time.

Monday, we finally tackled the pantry! We had a friend and fellow church member stop by and we turned a closet into a pantry! I'm VERY happy! The pantry looks amazing, and I have so much more counter space with being able to put the small appliances in the cabinets! It makes a huge difference! I also turned our breakfast-nook cabinet into a small space to put all of my school books, and my workbooks and planners! I'm so excited about this as well! It's actually amazing how much empty space I have in my kitchen now. I even minimized my decorative items. They are cute and I love them, but I like them even more when there are fewer of them. Who would have thought?

PS: I have not minimized the food in our pantry lol.. I'll work on that later!

Yesterday marked day 8, and time for me to finish up the kitchen! I actually used the "KonMari" method to tackle this project. I paid each of my boys a dollar to get everything out from under the cabinet and put it in the middle of my kitchen floor...

Really? Why? Why do I have so much stuff???

They counted over 100 kitchen items, including lids. Mostly lids that didn't have a match, go figure. At the end of sorting, I ended up discarding a massive amount of kitchen stuff....

   It's important to remember the basics. Our why: because you can't enjoy the things that you do love when you have so much that you don't. Because clutter makes me stressed and unhappy. Because if I spend all of my time cleaning I don't have time for anything else that is truly important.
All in all, the first week of declutter was absolutely exhausting, but we got SO much done! Today we are putting away storage boxes neatly, taking one last big donation to the thrift store, and tidying up the odds and ends in my daughter's room (I haven't helped in there yet! She's made a lot of headway by herself, now it just needs Mom's final touch!) I'm excited to live our first week minimally!
There are just a handful of projects that I need to finish through the week, and I plan to take my time on them! I need to tackle my makeup counter... that will be a big project. I love makeup.... Also, under sinks, the storage closet (it used to be full of our overflow of food that is now in our pantry! yay! It can now actually be for storage of crafts and cleaning supplies, as I originally intended it to be!) the storage in my husands office... my husbands office as well! I have a tote of books to send to McKays (a used bookstore! It's close to my daughters school so we can drop that off when we pick her up this weekend!) I intend rather than getting store credit to turn them in for the cash this time and let each child choose ONE book. We usually end up leaving with as much as we brought in, but I need to buckle down on the amount of books we have....
I'm also working on some projects for digital minimalism, which is my next endeavor! Stay tuned for that, and for the little projects, and just how different it is living more minimally! Thanks for following our first week! We survived yay! haha!

I'm going out on a limb and finally sharing my blog with the outside world! I have linked up at some of the new parties that I've found here!: Link up!!! I am excited to see where this blogging adventure will take me!

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