Welcome to the party ladies! I think I'm most excited about this one. Decluttering makes me giddy. Organizing makes me blissful. I heart them both, very, very much.


If you decide to take on this mission, you will find out what I did last year --
1. YOU HAVE WAY TOO MUCH STUFF.

2. There is nothing quite as satisfying as throwing out trash bags filled with junk and taking weekly trips to Goodwill to drop off junk.


3. You have WAY too much stuff.


4. Decluttering feels BETTER than spending money/shopping. I swear to you.


5. You know...you have way TOO MUCH STUFF.

Last year about this time, we had been in our home for almost four years, and I realized I had never really gone through the entire house. I thought it would be easy because I didn't feel like we had a lot of "stuff." (I was wrong-O!) But there was a pile in the basement that was growing and growing and GROWING. So I realized I had to do something.

My plan was to go through every. single. nook and cranny of every. single. space of our home. I went through EVERYTHING. Closets, baskets, under the beds, in junk drawers, in cabinets, jewelry, linens.

I mean EVERY. THING.

I did it room by room and did NOT start one room until I was done with another. I tossed whatever I knew we didn't need anymore. The rest I took to the basement. It was my landing zone for everything I was going to donate or that I knew needed to stay down there. I think this is very important -- having a spot to put everything while you are in the process.

Next step was to reorganize it all, or organize it better. I labeled A LOT. I bought lots of bins, baskets and storage containers.

Third step was to deep clean each room as I finished with it. I made a list for each room (it was mostly the same for every room, but I'm a list girl and love to cross things off.) I moved furniture to vacuum, cleaned baseboards, got on ladders to clean above eye level...have you ever seen the top of your refrigerator??

YUCK.

The final step was to work on the basement, to sort through everything and bag it all up. I had a MASSIVE garage sale pile sitting down there for months, waiting for the warm weather, and it just about killed me, but I was determined to make some money from it.

We donated ten LAWN trash bags of clothes to Goodwill. (Not exaggerating.) We took another three to a clothing consignment shop. Another four loads to the home decor consignment shop. You CAN make money from your old stuff -- do some research in your area.

Our home functions so much better now. When I open our linen closet in the bathroom, I don't stand there for five minutes searching. I grab what I need and am done. I know where all of my kitchen gadgets are and USE all of them. Our unfinished basement is functional now...I'll show you that soon.

It feels like a breath of fresh air.

But it's time to do it again! So here we are. Share your tips for decluttering. How you determine what to get rid of? How often do you do it? Show us how you organize:

tools
kitchen stuff
jewelry
clothes
toiletries
junk
mail
shoes
wrapping supplies
crafts
toys
kid clutter
DVDs/tapes
office supplies
food

The list is endless! Just show us! Also, show us how you make your organization look GOOOOD...like tags, pretty boxes, benches, chests, open cabinets...whatever! I want to see it all!!

To kick us off, here's some of mine...there will much more to follow!

I LOVE cigar boxes. I got these for a buck each in NYC and use them for office supplies:


I found photo boxes that matched my family room perfectly, so these stay out...I printed out the labels on the computer...


The Bub's step stool is storage for the power room. (Reading materials mostly. Shhh!)


I wanted a mail sorter for the mud room and couldn't find what I wanted for less than $40. This was less than ten...I drilled holes into the back to hang it. I also added the tags to the front:

Pottery Barn bins for my son's bathroom hold everything in the open so I can just grab it, but is still CAUUTE!


I love chests, I have them all over my house. This one holds magazines:




This one used to be just for baby stuff -- diapers, wipes, blankets -- so I didn't have to run upstairs all day long. Now it just holds random stuff we use but I don't want out. And still a few diapers. ;)

Extra blankets and pillows in our loft:

I needed a spot for the decorative pillows on our bed, and these were a DEAL on clearance at Target:

Because I only make our bed five times a year, the pretty pillows don't see the light of day much:

I'll be back to show you more! Now show us yours. If you have an organization tab on your blog, just link to that. Feel free to link to old posts as well! Have fun!

Oh, and YOU HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF.


 
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