Friday, July 16, 2010


Here is my side table after the decluttering. I left just one decorative item on my table.

You can actually see the beautiful filigree on my lamp now. So much nicer.

I left my photo albums here for now but at least they are in order and I know where to find them.

The yarn basket is empty and I have put it with my other craft items.

My beards are in my "costume box" for when I start teaching school or need one for a skit.

Three of each song book is plenty.

We had bible fellowship at our home recently and no one needed one anyway. But the song books are there when we need them.

Plus it keeps me from cramming stuff in there too. :)

More Emotional Clutter than Physical

Coming into this project I knew there would be physical clutter and I was ready to conquer it. I don't think I was completely prepared for the emotional clutter I will face. The hall closet wasn't filled with mementos, just jackets and junk. A lot of jackets and junk. I wasn't expecting a little side table to stump me so badly, but I am still more than a conqueror and I got through it!

This is the little side table area closest to the hall closet. It is almost entirely unusable as a side table because of the "decorations."

This side table has a shelf on the bottom too. It has stuff on it as well. Surprise surprise.

The hidden horrors. Although this junk is clearly visible when you first come into the house, I am able to ignore it because it looks fairly decent from the front. Not anymore.

Not too much in this drawer, but we'll see what truly belongs soon enough.

Time to empty this little area out.

All laid out and categorized. It really helps the process when I can see everything. This stuff was all from the top of the side table and from the drawer.

We need the song books for our bible fellowship, but we don't need them all in the side table. I kept three of each and stored the rest with our other research books.

THIS was what was under the table and behind the table and trying to hide in the table. When taking out the photo albums I came across my big find for the day...

Pittsburgh sports paraphernalia. That's Malkin from the Penguins and Polamalu from the Steelers. My husband will be so surprised when he finds these framed and hanging on the walls of the Man Cave later on. I have to find frames but the wonderful black and gold colors match so well with simple black metal frames.

The Polamalu trading card may have to find its way into my wallet...he's such a cutie!!

These are solar landscape lights my wonderful husband got me for our anniversary last month. I'm not sure what I was waiting for to put them out in the yard. They have now been placed in our flower beds and have inspired some changes to our outdoor spaces.

Under the 50 CDs of very excellent bible teachings, I found a bowl full of change. The money is in my piggy bank and the CDs are making their way into the hands of people who need them since I have listened to them already.

This is where my decluttering took a more emotional turn. I am keeping all our photo albums and I can think of no other place to store them right now. I am hoping to eventually have a place for them in my office. The problem is I don't have an office...yet. This is one of the things I am working toward.

The emotion started when I emptied out my knitting/crochet basket

It is not a very full basket. As a matter of fact, it contains only two WIP's (Works In Progress).

The blanket on the left is what brought the emotions.

It is the blanket I crocheted while we traveled back and forth 4 hours round trip to Pittsburgh for fertility treatments. For 2 years. Without success.

It also almost became a blanket for the adoption of a newborn baby boy, but the birth mother decided to keep the child after it was born. I always intended to finish it and save it for the child we would eventually have.

While we have not given up hope, my wonderful husband and I have decided to focus on loving each other and the life we have.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
It was time to give up the blanket. But how and to whom? It has such painful memories I can't bring myself to give it to friends or family. I know there are organizations which take blankets for preemies and new moms and I am sure they would love the blanket.

But that would mean researching it and finding one locally and time and more time and some more time. I can't make this decision more than once, I need it to go, I am taking it to Salvation Army. They will find someone who will love it and I won't have to think about it any more.


It's done now. I can always start another one if and when we ever move toward starting a family again and it will be made with joy and not sadness.

OK, no more tears!!! We'll move on to the other WIP. It is much more fun. I made two of them for a skit we did for our bible fellowship. I had to play the part of Daniel. I'm not a man. I don't have a beard. So, I made one. I made two because we needed a King and the other person performing in the skit was a girl too.

Aren't they fabulous?
Oh, yeah, way too sexy!

I decided this was no longer a WIP, I finished them and they can be stored away for our next skit.

Or for the next occasion I need to make the model "duck face" for my blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Closet, CONQUERED!!!!!!!!!!!

And now for the big reveal!!!!

Here it is, all clean and organized. Only what we find to be useful or believe to be beautiful is contained in this closet.

This bin contains hats and gloves. The number of hats is even smaller now after I went through them with my wonderful husband when he got home from work.

It's positioned on the smallest shelf of the shoe rack. I put it low so we could access it easily. If it was up on the shelf above, we'd end up hanging hats all over the place because it would be hard to put them away.

Empty space for guest's jackets. I removed about 50 hangers from the closet. My brother is using them now for his clothes in his room...well, he will once he hangs everything up off of the floor. :)

There is a folding chair and a step stool on the right. They are no longer buried behind so many coats its impossible to access them. I have used the step stool twice already!

These are our jackets. Basic needs are met, we have warm sweatshirts as well as light jackets and windbreakers. My nice wool trench coat is here as well.

I love the wooden hangers from Ikea!

Do you see the double layer of wood which is the shelf? The second layer used to extend the shelf all the way to the door but that made the shelf too deep for practical access.

It was already in two boards, I just stacked them so the shelf is more shallow now.

The red blob on the left is a neck pillow I like to use for long trips. When we got rid of our Minivan in favor of an extended cab Ford F150 there was no longer storage for it in the vehicle. Now I can reach the pillow and the fleece blanket under it when we leave for a long trip and can stay toasty warm when Hubby cranks the AC.

For several minutes after I finished this project, I sat on our couch reading but left the door open to the closet so that I could glance at it and smile.

I have one kitchen trash bag of Donation Items and one trash bag of trash.


I am so blessed to have started.

First Closet, EMPTIED!!!!!!

This post will be filled with photos. I'm so excited I've started this journey. I'm enjoying the benefits of it already.

This is my closet in the beginning. Although it doesn't appear to be packed to the gills, it is.

Ahhh, a nice clean closet. I swept and mopped the floor and I cleaned off that shelf.

So nice and fresh and ready to receive whatever I find to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

This is all the stuff which came out of my closet.

The first thing I did was categorize all the items as I removed them. It was easy to decide to be brutal with my decluttering.

This row is simply decorative items. Specifically wreaths and items which were at one time hanging in my entryway.

The kicker is that I have basement storage for each season and these could easily store there. However, I decided to keep only one wreath and donated the rest of the items to salvation army.

The two plaques got homes on walls in other areas of my home.

These are all the bags I found in the closet. Bags I forgot we owned. Some which needed to be given away and some that I want to use again.

And this is where my biggest find was...

That is a Nikon 35mm camera, a $600 camera.

It takes fantastic pictures, but is is heavy and not digital. Although we have taken many pictures with it in the past, we don't use it anymore and are probably not going to use it again.

After discussing with my husband we decided if we can sell it for $400 we can put that money toward a nice Digital SLR camera if we want to. So, for now it can go back in the closet but will be listed somehow for sale.

There are jackets in this pile that have been with us since before we were married. That's over 8 years!!

Now, this would not be a problem if we wore them at anymore, but we don't.

There were over 15 coats here but I cut it down by over half. We have 7 coats now that are worn frequently and we enjoy. Four of them are hooded sweatshirts, but they are useful and we think they are beautiful.

Hats, glorious hats.

A different hat for every day of the month...that's right, over 30 hats!!! Whew!!!

I got rid of many of them, even some Pittsburgh sports team hats, which is a victory in itself!

My husband just laughed as I laid all his hats out for him to see how many he had. He was able to be more decisive because he saw how much excess there was. Its true, if you don't see it, you forget about it. We were able to narrow our hat collection significantly.

I got rid of all the winter scarves I had. I don't really use them and they aren't particularly beautiful to me.

I also got rid of our earmuffs, you know the plastic headband ones, the ones you wore when you were 5, yeah, those.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paring Down One Closet, Drawer or Cabinet at a Time


Its everywhere.

I've been living with it long enough!

I am going to start at my front door and clear out every closet, drawer and cabinet. I am going to unearth the underbed "storage" and above cabinet "decorations."

I am going to be brutal in my judgment. I am going to follow the creed

“Having nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris
I am going to donate and donate and donate and sell. I will accomplish this in the following way:
  • I will start at the front door and work my way clockwise around my home.
  • One at a time I will empty a closet, drawer or cabinet and lay out every item.
  • I will determine the items' usefulness and/or beauty.
  • I will not hold onto sentiment. I will be brutal.
  • I will clean the closet, drawer or cabinet and then place the items I have deemed worthy back in their homes.
  • I will document every step with photographs for longevity.
  • I will donate or sell items I discover of little use or beauty in my life.
I am very excited about this journey. I am looking forward to documenting it on my blog.

Now, lets get started!