Archive for clutter

Small Goals Lead To Big Goals

Baker’s Rack – After

We will be moving this summer and I’ve started working on decluttering before packing. I haven’t gotten very far. You can see some of my progress in this post or by joining my Facebook group, Finally Free Decluttering Support.

My decluttering efforts have been kind of haphazard and I decided that I needed a more systematic way of going about things. So I was figured out a general timeline. We want to be in the new house in June or July. That means I have to be ready to get work done on our current house starting in May (we’re moving before this house sells).

Then I listed all of the areas I need to work on: laundry room, kitchen, living room/dining room, master bath, master bedroom, bedroom 2, bedroom 3, bedroom 4, bathroom 2, run-in, front shed, back shed (has 2 stalls, guinea pigs, and storage), inside yard (i.e. where the chickens, ducks, Bubba, and Marshmallow are), chicken coop, and the front porch. That’s a long list! And I need it all done by May?!

First I thought, “OMG! How am I ever going to get this done?” Then I realized I needed a plan, a schedule. So I counted months–4 months to finish everything, and broke it down.

I need to have the heat pump and kitchen sink repaired so I need to have someone in to work in the main area of the house. I also need to get an estimate on replacing the windows in those rooms as well as replacing at least the bottom kitchen cabinets and the counter. That puts those areas first. So the kitchen and living room/dining room combo need to be finished in February. I also put the front porch in February because I have some bags of feed inside the dining room that I want to move into feed cans on the covered front porch.

Why is the feed inside? Glad you asked! Have you ever gone to a petting zoo and tried to walk through a bunch of goats carrying food in your hands? Yeah, it was like that every time I went to the back of the run-in to get feed out because they knew it was coming from back there. I would open the gate to get into the back storage part and 13 goats would be at my back trying to get in with me. So it’s inside the house and I now deliver the main herds’ portion in a bucket sealed with a gamma lid. I set it up so that I can feed the bucks through the fence and Bubba and Marshmallow got their own feeding station as well (pics coming soon!). So I can carry the sealed bucket out to the main herd, set it down, and get their feed pans ready while they all stand around the bucket sniffing to see if they can get in. Good times!

Back to the schedule! The master bedroom and master bathroom are planned for the end of February/beginning of March, followed immediately by the second bathroom. I want to get an estimate on replacing the bathroom cabinets, counters, and sinks. The other bedrooms fall in line after these rooms, with bedroom 2 scheduled for March. The inside yard is also scheduled for March so that I can hopefully stop the weeds and reseed the inside yard. I need to have the birds, Bubba, and Marshmallow doing something else by this time.

April gets us to bedrooms 3 and 4, laundry room, both sheds, the run-in, and the chicken coop will be last going into May.

It is a TIGHT schedule, and I am almost panicking even thinking about it! I hope we will be decluttered enough by April that I can have the windows, counters, and cabinets all replaced in April. I want that done so that I can fix any marks/holes in the walls and repaint in May. I hope to be able to get this house on the market as soon as we get out!

I think the most difficult thing about sticking to this schedule will be my energy level. I have fibromyalgia and pretty much wake up exhausted. I’m usually ready for a nap by about 10 AM. (Wish I could LOL here, but I don’t have the energy, so…)

Have you done a massive decluttering before? Tell me about it in the comments!

P.S. If you have any interest in taking better photos, you can take this free photography strengths assessment at:

I plan on taking this quiz after work today, because I need help!

Last Chance! Get The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle


Are you tired of wasting precious time shuffling papers and looking for your missing shoe, or your vanishing purse? You dream of short-cuts to make your life more organized, but is it possible?

You’ve got great reasons for wanting to be more organized. You want the best for your family. You want to teach your kids to live in calmness, not chaos. You want to be patient without losing your ever-lovin’ mind in the insanity of so much stuff. And you just want to savor the time you have, instead of running around chasing clutter.
But sometimes it just feels so hard.

Maybe you’ve tried to get more organized before, and failed. Or thought you found the perfect system, only to have it not work for you at all. You’re not alone.

I know what it’s like to feel that getting organized shouldn’t be so hard, and the answer definitely isn’t to keep wasting money on more storage containers or pricey planners, either!

But what if you could learn from a group of organizing gurus all at once — regular people who’ve found practical solutions to their everyday struggles, and want to share their best tips and tactics with you in all the areas you find most challenging?

Because when you have the right info and tools at your fingertips, it’s so much easier. You know which papers to keep (and which should immediately be thrown away). You’re more confident in saying no to the things on your calendar that don’t matter (and yes to the things that do). You start learning the difference between what you really need and what will just add to the clutter to your home. You feel less stressed (and you’ll probably enjoy life more, too).

That’s why Stephanie and her team have put together the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle for the very first time. Their customers have been begging for help with streamlining their lives. The answer was this super-short opportunity to get a complete collection of organizational resources for a crazy low price.

You sort of need to see it to believe it, but the package includes 38 digital products on topics like how to organize your photos, decluttering, family systems, meal planning, time management, and much more. All together, it’s worth over $650! I bought it and the Homestead Management planner has 100 tools in 108 pages–this planner alone is worth the price to me, which makes everything else bonuses!

Plus, it comes with two brilliant bonus offers worth over $40:

    • SaneBox – An exclusive credit to save you 12 hours per month ($20 value)
    • YNAB – A FREE four month trial to the popular budgeting software ($20 value)

Besides being so incredibly helpful and inspiring, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering the bundle for a short time only, they’re able to give you access to over $650 worth of amazing products for a whopping 95% off!

Here’s how it works:

      1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this Super Bundle, then click “Get my copy now!” to go through their simple 3-step checkout process.
      2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, printing out planners, and redeeming your free bonus products.
      3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the area you want to tackle first and start getting organized!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just 6 days! After Monday night, January 30th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can know for sure that it’s right for you.

No one should have to feel overwhelmed one more minute because it costs too much or they can’t get the help they need. By finding systems and strategies that really work for us, our home and daily life is much calmer than it used to be. It’s made all the difference in the world and I want the same for you and your family.

Decluttering At The Speed Of Molasses!

I’m still working on my decluttering, just a lot slower than I originally intended. At this rate, we might be ready to move 5 years from now…

Time to share a few pictures

Kitchen shelf rack #1

Kitchen Shelf Rack #1 – Before

Kitchen Shelf Rack #1 – After

Baker’s Rack

Baker’s Rack – Before

Baker’s Rack – After

Living Room corner

Living Room Corner – Before

Living Room Corner – After

FlyLady and Marie Kondo, My Inspirations

Before I began my decluttering journey, I read about others’ journeys. Two that stood out to me were Marla Cilley, aka FlyLady, and Marie Kondo of KonMarie fame. Both of them seem to me to sincerely want to help people get their lives back under control.

I like that FlyLady breaks her decluttering method down into small steps. She begins everyone’s decluttering journey the same–shining your kitchen sink and keeping it that way. No matter what the rest of your house looks like, you have something shiny smiling back at you when you get up in the morning.

Another thing I love about her system is that she adds routines for daily living. Too often, it’s not just our clutter that’s out of control, it’s everything. We don’t have set bedtimes, we don’t have set wake up times, or meal times, or days for doing laundry, or days for cleaning. It’s all linked; it’s all unfinished. FlyLady handles that by giving us a morning routine, a daily routine, and an evening routine.

FlyLady’s has an easy-to-follow getting started page, but be prepared to spend some time reading. It’s pretty thorough!

Marie Kondo is my other decluttering inspiration. Many people have read her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” She came to her decluttering technique after years of experimenting with different methods of tidying up her room and her family’s house. She also breaks decluttering down, but in a very different way than FlyLady.

FlyLady breaks the house into zones (e.g. master bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc.), but Marie Kondo declutters by category. She has everyone begin decluttering by going through their clothing first, getting rid of everything that you don’t love. Everything gets touched and your feelings gauged. Check in with yourself about every single item. It takes a while (she says most people can get done in 6 months), but you will know yourself better after getting in touch with yourself about all of your possessions.

Another thing I really enjoy about Marie Kondo is how she approaches each house she enters to assist with decluttering. Upon entering, she greets the homeowner and then greets the house. I think it’s really cool that she approaches the house with respect and advises her clients to do the same. How many times I’ve looked around and thought “I hate my house!” Does that feeling build up? Does it echo off the walls? Does my frustration at my surroundings, my creation, beam back at me from the walls? Marie Kondo encourages us to respect and thank our homes, and says that this actually makes it easier to become inspired regarding efficient storage and tidying.

What I like about the KonMari approach is that she starts with items that are easier to declutter and moves to items that are more difficult to declutter, saving sentimental items for last. Decluttering room by room, you may run across items that you are not emotionally ready to deal with and then end up stuck looking for a place to put them, or simply boxing them up to look at some time in the future. Of course, then you have to find somewhere to store that extra box, and who knows how many you’ll end up with.

Marie also has a second book called “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” that shows you how to fold different items of clothing (I have so much trouble getting ankle socks to stay right!). Definitely helpful for those of us who just learned how to fold clothes to stack them vertically!

For now, though, I did start with working on a room. Part of the reason for doing that is that I need a functional kitchen now. Another reason is that I have so few clothes, none of which I love, and can’t afford to replace them right now. It’s just too depressing to look at what I have that fits and then realize that I’m stuck with those items until I can scrape up enough money to start to replace them. Yes, that includes Goodwill. If it’s not in the budget, it’s not in the budget, and I need to fix my heat pump before I need new shirts. 😉

I love that both systems offer clear road maps to their followers. I love that both offer baby steps that are easier to follow instead of just jumping into a pile and going for it (as they seem to do on Hoarders, but maybe I’m wrong). Best of all, I love knowing that I can use either or both, and will eventually get to where I want to go–clarity of thought and peace in my spirit.

Decluttering for the New Year? Join me at the Finally Free Decluttering Support Facebook group. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry (maybe), we’ll post embarrassing photos. It’ll be a blast!

Decluttering Myself Begins In The Kitchen

Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I’m feeling good. *snort* (Ask me again in 3 weeks when I may be woefully behind and frantic. But I must think positive!)

We plan to move sometime this coming summer and I have to get ready. I have to get rid of so much stuff, pack so much stuff, fix so much stuff, pay for so much stuff–all without panicking. And I panic easy!

So I created a Facebook group for decluttering support called Finally Free Decluttering Support. I invite everyone reading this to join me! We’ll share embarrassing photos around the campfire, push each other (a little) to keep going, and applaud when someone does well.

My first day with it was yesterday. I didn’t touch anything; I just looked. I looked at what I have around me. I looked at why I have the things I do around me. I looked at how I felt about all the things around me. And I found out that having unfinished projects and random stuff laying about is a way to mask my feelings. If I have too many projects to keep up with, how can anyone blame me for failing at one (or all)? If I can’t find a letter or a bill, I get to feel like a victim and let go of my power and any sense of personal responsibility.

I hide my power in my stuff. Somewhere in the piles and the unfinished filing is a competent woman who really can take care of her life, but who’s learned to be afraid. Learned that trying and failing is painful, especially in front of others who are a little quick to criticize, so why try at all?

What to do when you become aware that you are powerful, but have given your power away your whole life? Decisions, decisions. I could go back to sleep, ignore the piles, ignore my growing sense of loss, and let the clutter hold my pain. Or I can stand. I can decide that I AM and that no one, not even me, has the right to take away my power any more. And that’s what I decided.

So my first day of decluttering began with procrastination, trepidation about what kind of failure I would find in my chaos. But it wasn’t too bad.

I loaded a lot of recycling in the minivan (the back trunk space is full now), started a bag of trash, found a donation, and packed away my not-yet-used growing pots. I left the seedling heating pads and towel on the shelf because my daughter’s new cat, Jingle, likes to sit up there. 

I am taking back my space, and my power, one spot at a time. If you’d like some support on finding your power in your piles, join me in the Finally Free Decluttering Support Facebook group. You can also sign up to my email list for updates on my journey (as well as homestead, homemaking, and self-help encouragement), as well as receiving a free Homegrown Green Smoothies report!