21 Day Paper Declutter Challenge

Anne Lene over at Minimalist Sometimes hosted a 21 day paper decluttering challenge that was scheduled to officially end tomorrow…

The idea was that she wanted to tackle her paper clutter and she was asking others to join her.  Although things didn’t quite go as planned for her, the goal was 60 minutes a day working on sorting, scanning, filing and shredding her paper clutter.  There were a bunch of other bloggers that joined in.  I don’t really have that sort of time to commit to the task these days, so I said I would try for 60 minutes a week… (I was thinking that I would work on it for an hour each weekend that occurred during the 3 week period.)

Of course, I have done some paper decluttering before… but unless you get a good system to keep the paper clutter at bay, it just piles up again… And so it has accumulated in our house once again… all over the place… Continue reading

Follow-Up On My Email Decluttering

As a part of my 2015 decluttering goals, I scheduled week #3 to be decluttering my email inboxes.  I posted my results after my first round of decluttering, but I didn’t make huge progress, so I left is as a sort of “to be completed and maintained” type of task.  I have just recently totally changed up my email process, so I thought it was about time to do a quick follow up post.

My original total of emails was: 9300 + 1000 + 100 + 100 + 30 = 10530

After my first round of decluttering my total was: 6170 + 850 + 0 + 20 + 20 = 7060

And then Alicia from Financial Diffraction (who is no longer blogging it appears) introduced me to the Email Game.  It changed my email decluttering task from boring and monotonous, to a game to get points.  I like points.  🙂

It worked for a while, and I was slowly bringing down my total… but then I got lazy… and well… I stopped playing the game and stopped deleting emails and just started letting them add up again… Every so often I’d take some time to delete emails, but most of the time, I’d just let them accumulate…

But that has all changed now!  Last week, while I was finally attempting to finish reading the “Getting Things Done” book by David Allen, I decided to check the totals again to see where I stand, and start implementing the GTD process with my emails.  (Side note, I once again did not finish reading the book before I had to return it to the library…) Continue reading

Adulting… also known as tidying up…

We came back from our vacation mid-week last week, and jumped straight back in to the regular full time work routine, which, combined with the crazy jet-lag that you get from traveling to a place half way around the world, caused things around the house to get a little messy and backed up… When you’re an adult, things don’t stop for you to recover from your vacation… So on Saturday morning, it was time for me to step up, and get on with adulting… which in this case meant getting my lazy ass off the couch and doing some household chores… (Have you read the book Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown?  Or read her blog?  She’s hilarious! If you haven’t, you should…)

IMG_2604
Big Cat wants nothing to do with Adulting… 

Of course, I decided that my motivation for getting up would be that I could blog about it… and share how messy my house was, and how easy it was to tidy up… Which brought me to discover an unpublished post from months and months ago sitting in my drafts… it was about decluttering and tidying my kitchen from back when I was doing that 31 day clutter free challenge… that I only got to day 9 on… So, now you will have the joy of seeing a bit of that… and a bit of my Saturday…

First up, I needed to clean up my nest… also known as the couch…

Continue reading

KonMari My Clothes – Part 2

This is part 2 of my KonMari clothes sorting adventures.  In part 1, I got through my tops and my bottoms… and then I was complaining that Marie Kondo’s method of folding and vertical storage didn’t totally work with my deep dresser drawers… but I found a hybrid solution that is working so far…

Hanging Clothes

Anyway, let’s get through the rest of the process…  After tops and bottoms, the next category of clothing to sort was “hanging clothes”.  For this category, I pretty much only had dresses… I had already been through all my tops and bottoms that I hang up, though maybe I wasn’t supposed to include those in that category?  I don’t know…

I owned a total of 6 dresses.  I decided to keep 5 and toss 1.  The one I’m tossing was a very beautiful bridesmaid dress, you know the kind that you say you will totally wear again… but I never do… and I doubt I will.  I still haven’t decided how I’m going to store my dresses, since the side of the closet that I have for my stuff doesn’t have a long hanging area… I may need to trade sides with my husband… or borrow a small section of his side?  Work in progress…

IMG_2454.JPG
The back of the door will not be the permanent location of my dresses… but it will do until we re-arrange the whole closet…

Socks

This is an interesting or somewhat troublesome category for me… I have normal socks that I wear most days, and some do double duty as running socks… but then I have a collection of thick wool socks for wearing in my workboots at sites for work, which also sometimes double as slippers if my feet are cold in the house… and then I have my sport socks (soccer socks)… So I have a LOT of socks, but then I have to, for all the special circumstances.  As I mentioned in my clothing decluttering plan, I will go away for work for extended periods of time, and don’t want to run out of clothes and spend lots of time at the laundromat, so I need about 2 weeks worth of worksite clothes… That’s a lot of socks…

Continue reading

KonMari My Clothes – Part 1

Today marks 1 year of blogging for me.  It is the first birthday of all-round better me.  But I did a post just recently celebrating my 100th post, so I figured I didn’t need to do another post of that sort… instead I’m going to attempt to document my first go at doing the KonMari purge…

Last week I posted my plan for going through my clothes… And I should really know better than to expect everything to follow those well laid out plans… I really should…

As you may have guessed, things didn’t exactly go as I had originally thought… I did most of my laundry on Thursday and Friday nights, so when Saturday morning came around, everything was clean and ready to go…  But then we got a call from my husband’s parents saying that they were in town for the day with some other visiting relatives and wanted to drop by for a visit… So I didn’t really get started on the clothes until early afternoon…  Then I got part way through my tops, and my husband started panicking that we hadn’t done any Christmas shopping yet (I’m a really good procrastinator), so we went out and got a few things knocked off the list, but that put my sorting and purging on hold… And with a Christmas party on Saturday night, I didn’t get back to it until mid-morning Sunday…

So first up I’ll show you what I started with.  Full disclosure here: When we moved in to our house over a year ago, we just threw our clothes in to the closet and didn’t give any thought as to how things were organized and how best to store things… At our townhouse, our bedroom had 2 closets, one was sort of a walk-in closet that my husband (then boyfriend) took over when he moved in, and the other was not a full walk-in, but generously sized and well laid out that I kept for myself.  Our new house has only one closet in the master bedroom – we are still learning to share…

KonMari_Closet_Before

 

It used to have sliding doors on it, so that only one side was accessible at a time, but if we both wanted to get dressed at the same it would be a battle of sliding the doors… so my husband took the doors off, and now we have an open closet.  I like it much better, but the side walls make it hard to get in to the back corners of the closet, and I know that we could rearrange it better…

Continue reading

Clothing Declutter – The Plan

As I mentioned last week, I finally got ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo from the library.  I have to admit, that with the craziness of the season, I didn’t manage to read the whole book before it was due back (it is so popular that it is still on the fast reads shelf at the library), but I did read most of it and took notes on what I need to do to start…

So, this weekend I am going to tackle the first category: clothes.

When I starting making up my decluttering goals for the year, I had my closet and dresser (ie my clothes) as my tasks for week #10 & #11.  That would have been in March, right?  Ha ha ha!  Better late than never!

A while before I started my own blog, I had been reading blogs about minimalism and the capsule wardrobe (like into-mind), and I was inspired to start making some drastic cuts… or so I thought… so this starting place that I am at now, is actually after I have already gone through and purged a lot of pieces.

Anyway, I have spent a lot of time reading about capsule wardrobes and seasonal wardrobes, but Marie Kondo is of the mindset that you shouldn’t store seasonal clothes away, but keep all your clothes accessible all the time.  But she is also seems to be of the mindset that you won’t have that many clothes if you only keep those that “spark joy”.  I want to use her process, but I also want to explore the idea of a capsule wardrobe or limited wardrobe.  So I want to only keep what sparks joy, but also keep the number of items down to only what I really need.

First step was to figure out what I needed for my life, and Caroline over at Un-Fancy.com has a handy work sheet that helps you lay out what your lifestyle activities are.  I took some time this morning to go over the worksheet and this is what I came up with:

Capsule_Lifestyle

Some notes about my lifestyle:

Continue reading

My Adventures with KonMari – the beginning

So, if you follow me on Instagram (or look at the side bar on my blog…), you’ll know that I finally got to the top of the waiting list at my library to borrow “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.

IMG_2362
Big Cat is reading up on tidying.

 

I have read so many blog posts and book reviews on the subject, that I wasn’t sure I even needed to read the book, but I made it to the library and picked up my reservation.  I had to see if reading the book really did “change my life”…

Now, to be honest, I actually haven’t finished the book yet… It’s a quick and easy read, but I’m not in the habit of taking time to read these days… and I’ve also had some pretty busy and stressful work deadlines, so when I’m looking to chill out before bed, it’s really “turn brain off” time… Not “get immersed in a new project” time…

Continue reading

Clutter Free Challenge – Update 2

So, almost two weeks ago now I reviewed my goals that also included my decluttering goal.  My new goal is to finish up the 31 “days” of challenges before Christmas.  I posted an update a couple months back now, and I actually did more decluttering after that, I just didn’t finish writing the post about it.  Then, earlier this week, I made a deal the Anne Lene at Minimalist Sometimes that we would both get some decluttering done this week.  I promised to get something posted yesterday… So, now I’m going to cheat a bit and finally post about some of the things I did a while back… But now I’ll have to add some updated photos and results because we all know that clutter likes to return when you aren’t paying attention…

Continue reading

Clutter Free Challenge – Update 1

Last week I posted about how I was going to do this 31 Day Clutter Free Challenge from Living Well, Spending Less, and I promised to do an update once I caught up… I’m am not caught up… however, I have managed to tackle a few more tasks, so I thought I’d post about them.

Day 4: Living Room

I wasn’t about to go through my entire living room… though I guess there isn’t too much in there except couches… but I decided to tackle only the shelf in the living room.  The before and after aren’t super exciting… but it’s the work that went in to it, and the lack of clutter inside that is the real exciting part… So perhaps I should explain a bit more…

Day4

From the top of the shelf, I removed a bunch of old greeting cards and invites.  I put some in to our mementos boxes to keep (for now…) and recycled some… I donated a vase (with some fake flowers in it), and moved the stuffy (probably left there by my nieces) to the chest of stuffies (to be gone through another time).  I moved some of the books down to the book shelf in the basement (see Day 5 below) and also moved some boxes of craft supplies (why were they in the living room?) to where the rest of my craft stuff is (again, a larger task for another day…), then decided to donate a couple random games that were on the shelf that we never play with.  The big task was going through all the papers that were stored in the drawers, the cupboard and the document holders…

Continue reading

31 Day Clutter Free Challenge

A while back, when I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t kept up with my decluttering tasks, I came across Living Well, Spending Less‘s 31 Day Clutter Free Challenge.  Thinking “why not?”, I signed up for the emails that started on July 1st.

Living Well Spending Less - 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life
Living Well Spending Less – 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life
You are probably thinking  something along the lines of “Are you crazy?  Or stupid?”  And I’m with you there… why would I take on something else when I have a wedding to plan, lots of goals on the go and an already crazy hectic schedule.  But here’s the thing… I am having trouble keeping up with my decluttering goals, and I think it is because I want them to be so big, so successful and have awesome before and after photos, that I just don’t do anything… which is totally not going to work.  So… Continue reading