Sep 202013

I am so tired of clutter.

I don’t know about you, but we have too much stuff in our house.

And it is past time to do something about it.

October is nearly here. Then comes the busy season of holidays. Anyone want to purge a room a week in their homes in preparation for the winter season? A room a week is doable.

So from October 1-7, the focus is on making the living room a warm welcoming haven to your family and guests.

October 8-14 will be the kitchen. Get rid of those appliances you don’t use, all those extra plastic containers taking up room, rearrange the silverware drawer if you’ve been putting it off. Organize the canned goods. Make it a joy to walk into your kitchen in the mornings to start that coffee maker (or tea kettle if you are like me and use a French Press).

October 15-21 will be clean out that bathroom! Trash those half used bottles of shampoo, that perfume you were given that you hate and all that really old makeup. Make your bathroom a nice relaxing place to take a hot bath in. Is there something small you could do to make it more inviting? What about candles, replacing the dingy shower curtain?

And October 22-28 is clean out your master bedroom! Ditch all those magazines sitting beside the bed waiting to be read, purge the tops of the dressers, fluff up the pillows and make it a retreat for you and your hubby.  Make your room a place you want to go to at the end of the day.

So, who’s in? I won’t make you take before pictures as I really don’t want to take the before pics of my house after the insanity of this past summer…Yeah, my house is really embarrassing currently.  I will do a link up if anyone is interested in joining in!

And Finally, My Word for the Year

 Decluttering, Faith, family, Homekeeping, Marriage  Comments Off on And Finally, My Word for the Year
Jan 122013

Last year I had a word for the year. It took me a few days of thinking and praying but I came up with the word Discipline to be my focus for last year. And while I didn’t hit all of my goals (when setting goals I have a tendency to think I can get more done than feasible), I did have a lot of progress. I am more regular in my workout routines, my house is cleaner than it had been…I am more disciplined with our daily life in regards to school, chores and getting up on time. We are more purposeful in our spending (normally), our food choices and activities. It will always be a process to become more self-disciplined, but it is getting easier.

This year’s word took tons of thought and prayer. I didn’t come up with one until this afternoon. We’ve been blessed by a friend giving us her old couch (bigger than our love seat), end tables and a set of bunk beds for the girls. As I was moving a few things to prepare for the arrival of our new-to-us furniture (delayed now for a week due to the weather, but that is ok and actually helps me out a bit) I was struck with the word for our focus this year. The word for me this year is going to be Sanctuary.

I want to strive to be disciplined to cultivate (last year’s and the year’s before words, see!) our home into a Sanctuary. I want our home to be a refuge from the world not just for my family, but for anyone who crosses our threshold. I want our home to exude peace, calm, joy, hope, love. I want people who come through our doors to feel safe.

In order to do this, I will continue on our decluttering journey. I want our home to not be so filled with stuff that it feels confining and suffocating to those inside. I don’t want the focus of our home on what all we have accumulated, but on the people within. I will also continue to be disciplined and really work on a good cleaning schedule that works for our family. The cleaning gets done, but I have yet to find the right routine for us. I will also put together and USE a homekeeping binder. A homekeeping binder will help to cement the schedules, my family’s important information, ideas for how to better decorate our home. It will become a good extra brain. I also intend to get back to monthly meal planning.

I also want the atmosphere of our home to point to God. I want Him glorified through our home, our family and hospitality. I want people to know from Whom we get our joy, Who sustains us in all things and for Him to get the glory.

My goal is to cultivate a more peaceful experience for myself, my family and friends. I want people glad to come in, to feel relaxed and welcomed as soon as they arrive, and make them glad to return after they’ve left.

Sanctuary, my word for the year. What is yours?

A Few Thoughts on Decluttering

 Decluttering, Homekeeping  Comments Off on A Few Thoughts on Decluttering
Jan 032013

We are into the third day of the new year now. I am in the slow process of decluttering and deep cleaning our living room. I’m not as far ahead as I wish to be, mainly because I totally over did it yesterday by restarting my exercise program back at full strength after a month and a half or so totally off, and then deep cleaning and moving heavy stuff the rest of the day after that in the living room. Yeah, that was genius… Believe me, I’m paying for it today. And add to that my sinuses are backed up from stirring up dust and such. I got the area around the DVDs cleaned up a bit. Have to sit down with HubbaHubba and decide which ones can go before I get it totally organized. I’m sure I would sell off more than he would, so I will be nice and wait for his input 😉

I cleaned out my homeschool shelves yesterday. What a freeing feeling it was to sort out things that didn’t work for us and things that we ended up not using. There is a ton more room in the shelves now. I saved a few things to put up for record keeping purposes (filled workbooks) and a few things that we will cycle through again, but also got rid of a bunch of stuff that we won’t be using at all. It is wasteful to have shelves of unused materials that would bless someone else to have. I am so looking forward to working through the rest of our bookshelves and getting rid of things (which says a lot since I am quite the bibliophile).

The half of the living room that has been deep cleaned and purged through, decluttered and better organized feels wonderful to be in. It feels freerer to sit over there than the area that needs finished. I can think better in that area than in the other. It exudes some serenity and peace. I have big plans on this massive decluttering and purge of my house over the coming months.

I’m thinking I can work through the inside of our house over this next year (I would say six months, however it is looking like we will be having some changing family dynamics coming in that amount of time and I don’t want to over-commit or over-work myself during that time. No, to my knowledge, we aren’t expecting. More on the transitions later when a few more things are hammered out). I do desire to have a garage sale before June though. I meant to have one last year but it didn’t work out to do so. I have a pile of stuff in the garage and stuff sitting around this house that we can get rid of in one.

I keep finding a few things and I wonder why in the world we’ve hung onto them for so long? Are we living in the past that we can’t let go? Or are the things holding you hostage to your past? I’ve found in the past that am reminded each time I get rid of something that shouldn’t have been hung onto for so long that I can’t live today if I am constantly living or being reminded of the past with the stuff hanging around the house. I’m not saying to not cherish the memories and great times, more like, I have late Aunt Hazel’s hideous lamp that always sat in her living room that you somehow inherited that you have had in your house for six years now even though you’ve never really liked it. Just because a beloved relative had it doesn’t mean that you have to keep it. Same for gifts that you don’t want or use. Don’t be shackled by them because you might offend someone by getting rid of it. There is no law that says you have to hang on to everything you’ve ever been given. If it isn’t useful and being used, or something us absolutely love, get rid of it. I realize that getting to the point of being able to shed this stuff can take awhile. Start small, donate or sell one item. Just one and see how it feels. And don’t let yourself feel guilty with getting rid of it.

Next week I’m starting Renee Metzler’s Total Home Makeover. After I’m done with that, I will see where we stand and decide what else needs to be done from there in the decluttering realm. Less really is more I’ve discovered.