May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 13 & 14

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

Day 14

Happy Monday!  Let the decluttering continue…

I didn’t post an update on Friday so this haul includes Friday.  We also spent some time over the weekend decluttering a few areas of the house including the backyard.  I tossed a bunch of backyard toys that were damaged or that my little one doesn’t play with anymore.  My husband had the urge to purge so he filled 2 bags with clothes (and hinted that perhaps I should address my clothing).  I went through tons of magazines and tossed/recycled many boxes and items taking up space in the garage.  I also purged items from our upright garage freezer.

Feels good!  I have to admit that I don’t want this month to end because I’m loving decluttering!  It’s becoming an illness.

Here’s what I got rid of:

  • 37 magazines
  • 2 bags of men’s clothing (one bag not pictured)
  • Charging station
  • 1 pair baby socks
  • Backyard toys including small wheelbarrow (not pictured)
  • Items past their prime from upright freezer in garage
  • 1 bag of papers for shredding/recycling (not pictured)

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 12

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

declutter day 12

I had a hard time getting motivated to do anything on my to-do list today.  I enjoyed my walk (yes, on the to-do list)…until I got hot after 45 minutes and looped back for home.  But other than that, I was in the mood to do nothing.  Lazy bones syndrome.  I forced myself to tackle a few chores and then I decided to have my little one find a few things she could do without while I cleaned up our coat/hall closet.

Along with another brown grocery bag filled with more papers to recycle, here’s what I got rid of today:

  • 8 magazines/catalogs
  • 1 book that came in a cereal box
  • wires
  • 4 DVDs
  • dried out Purell and Wet Wipes
  • toy animal
  • white (pink) board

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 11 & A real friend shows you the inside of her fridge

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

fridge exterior day 11

You know I’m being honest with ya when I show you my fridge.  Fingerprints and all.  And that’s not all, folks.  I’m going to show you the inside of it.  That’s true friendship.  Doesn’t get much deeper than that. :)

I didn’t get started on clutter-busting until late in the day, but I managed to get my 7+ items.  Whew.  I also tossed a lot of stuff from the fridge, wiped it down, and organized it.  So here’s what the inside of my fridge looks like now (I forgot to take before pics…aren’t the before pics the best???)

right fridge door day 11

The right fridge door.  We pull from this door daily.  Butter, honey, jams, etc.  I tossed a couple jams that had expired.  I hate wasting, but I found a little mold on some marmalade jars. 

left fridge door day 11

The left fridge door.  Though we’ve had this fridge several months now, I haven’t removed that bright yellow label because removing all labels from appliances scares me.  What if I forget what it says?!

main fridge interior day 11

Fridge interior.  Although this probably doesn’t look organized to you, it IS organized just how I like it.  I think most people have a fridge “system” and this is what works for me.  Also, this isn’t a completely honest representation of how my fridge normally looks.  This is what it looks like when I’ve hit just one market for the week.  My shopping schedule was thrown off a bit with a sick little one, but tomorrow I’ll hit up Trader Joe’s so it’ll fill up even more.   Yes, I am Danielle and I love food. 

Do you feel closer to me now?  ;)

declutter pile day 11

Here’s what I got rid of today:

  • 15 magazines
  • 1 broken flag
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop box
  • Expired items from the fridge

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 10

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

day 10

I managed to go through many magazines today even though it pains me to part with them.  I’ll admit it feels wonderful to get them out of the house.  I only have about 1,589 left to go.  I started off looking through my cookbooks, but I only parted with one.  Hey, it’s a start.

Here’s what I got rid of today:

  • 28 magazines
  • 7 pens/markers
  • 1 Betty Crocker journal/cookbook about heart health
  • Organic body scrub that made me itchy
  • 3 packages of pasta–the boxed pasta was organic from Germany which I thought would be great.  Not so.  It breaks into a million pieces when it hits the water and turns to mush.
  • The Trader Joe’s brown bag is filled with papers from the office.  I’m not done in there, but it was progress.

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 9

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

day 11

I’m plugging along with this challenge and feeling the impact daily decluttering has on our home.  Ahhhh, love it!  I didn’t post about days 5 through 8 because last week was hectic and included some very unexpected moments, but I did work on the challenge though I didn’t take pictures.

Here’s what I got rid of today:

  • 4 magazines
  • 3 plastic serving utensils I purchased for a birthday party which I didn’t like even when I bought them.  Go with your gut, D!
  • An often-used, but much abused dress-up tutu that the dog got to yesterday
  • A dull knife with nicks (Hmmm, what did hubby use it for?)
  • Several past-their-prime bath toys
  • The broken handle to a fan
  • Several catalogs, papers, coupons, etc (not pictured)

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 2 through 4

clutter-busting-challenge logo

I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May!   Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each week day in May go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

day 2 through 4

I’m still in love with this challenge.  I didn’t post on day 2 and 3 so this picture includes days 2-4.  I trashed MANY items so they aren’t included, but the bag is filled with clothes, toys, and kitchen items.  I also recycled about 20 magazines and catalogs.  And I love getting rid of extra electrical items like old phone chargers.  I got rid of more than 7 items each day and  I feel lighter already.

Did you do more decluttering?  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

More posts in this series:

May Clutter-Busting Challenge: Day 1

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Happy May!  I have a feeling May is going to be a good month.  Power of positive thinking, right?

To get me going on the right track, I’m joining Crystal of Money Saving Mom in her May challenge: Clutter-Busting Challenge: Get Rid of Seven Things Every Single Day in May! 

*Note: I am a big fan of Crystal, her plan and goals for debt-free living, helpful tools, and  her nonjudgmental, encouraging personality.  She shares her experiences & advice with such grace and understanding.  In addition, her challenges are simple yet beneficial to myself, my family, and my home. 

Wanna join me?  Here’s what you do…

Each day in May you go through your house and find 7 things you can toss, donate, recycle, sell, or find someone else who can use them.  That’s it.  But such a simple challenge can reap huge rewards.  I bet many of us will find more than 7 items some days.

I’m having my husband and little girl join me in the challenge.  They may not take part each day, but they can certainly help many days of the month.  Among other things, it’s a great way to spark continual conversation with my 4-year old about helping those less fortunate than us, recycling, cutting back on waste, being grateful for our many blessings, and keeping our home clutter-free and peaceful.

Each day I’ll share a picture of the 7 items we are booting out of our home.  If you have a blog and would like to share a link to your 7+ items as well, please feel free to do so in the comments.  If you don’t have a blog, please still share in the comments about your progress!  Encouraging one another is a big aspect of this challenge!

I was eager to begin–I ♥ decluttering!  Here are the things I’m purging today:

day 1 pic

We didn’t spend more than a few minutes on collecting items today because we were pushing dinner hour.  So Munchie and I each claimed a spot (I took the kitchen and she took a toy basket) and we took less than five minutes to find our items.  We trashed a few items before I took this picture so our item total was 16 or 17.  Woohoo!  Imagine what we could do in 15 minutes?  Or 30?

Alrighty…your turn!  Do come back and let me know if you find any items to get rid of today.  :)

Book List Reads: March Update

In the new year, I’ve made some progress on my book list and it has worked out pretty well for me.  Although I’ve gone through magazines every spare minute I get (the purge continues!), I try to drop the mags and relax with a book at night instead.  Nothing like a good book at the end of the day to ease you into a slumber (well, and red wine…I’ve heard)–except that when the book is engaging, I don’t want to turn off the light and dear, sweet sleep is sacrificed.

I’m also currently reading books which aren’t on my list (I couldn’t resist!), but here are the books I’ve read from my book list thus far and a few thoughts about them:

The Forgotten Garden: I enjoyed this sprawling book more than I thought I would.  I’ve heard people express that it was unnecessarily long, however, I don’t agree and was intrigued with this story that begins with a little girl left alone on a ship headed to Australia in 1913.  Morton weaves a touching tale filled with heartache, often through the use of children’s imaginations and, in ways, pays homage to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden (a childhood favorite of hers and mine).  It appealed to my emotions as a mother and I won’t hesitate to pick up another book by Morton.

Imperfect Justice: My main reason for reading this book was, as I mentioned in my book list post, I couldn’t stop thinking of this tragedy and trial.  I didn’t miss a minute of this trial last summer and I’m not proud of that.  I felt this book might help me with closure.  Personal opinions about the verdict and defendant aside, it did help me “let go.”  I appreciated Ashton’s perspective and though I wasn’t looking for entertainment, I found the behind the scenes proceedings, investigation, and the hows and whys with regard to the prosecution building their case very engrossing.  And now I’m done with it all–which is Ashton’s advice–be done with it, move on.  Thank you, Mr. Ashton.

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: I can’t say enough positive things about Paine’s approach to budgeting and the class and kindness with which she shares her experiences and offers sage advice.  Although I thought this book might be a pretty package of everything I’ve already learned from her, I should have known that it would be far more than that.  What I love about Paine’s style is that she goes beyond telling you what you should be doing–she provides real-life examples and guides you with step-by-step approaches to reaching your budgeting and financial goals.  Her book was especially timely for me because of my household and personal goals for 2012.  I aim to declutter my entire life this year and Paine is one of the biggest proponents of decluttering your home as a stepping stone to gaining control of your finances and  budget.  This is a practical and useful book that I’d highly recommend to ANYONE looking to organize their life and finances.

What’s on your nightstand?  Any good reads you’d recommend?

My 2012 Book List

Photo courtesy of Claire Brocato

I’ve put off posting my booklist for 2012 because I keep making changes to it, reviewing it, making more changes, and so on.  Stifling personal progress!  So I went back to my original list, am sticking with it, and finally posting it today.

I love to read other people’s book lists and many of those lists  inspired me while I created mine.  Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom has been instrumental in motivating me to create and stick with my 2012 Goals (which I’ve not posted, but will do this coming week).  Crystal writes about public accountability (posting yearly and weekly goals) and how this helps her stick to her goals–I think highly of this concept.  I liken it to public shaming (although I don’t think that’s what Crystal has in mind) and I’d like to avoid that.  She also shares her book lists each year which encourage me as well.

My book list plays a large role in my goals for the year–each group of books offers me something different; outlets with inspiration, education, motivation.  And as I work on my disciplined life and accountability, my hope is that at least some of these books aid me in my quest to meet this year’s goals.

I’m including 34 books on my list.   A few of the books are short e-books and quick reads (I don’t own an e-reader, but I downloaded the Kindle for PC software for free which enables me to read the short e-books).  A couple are cookbooks (I read more cookbooks in bed than I do novels).  In addition, I’ll read other books that grab my attention throughout the year, but I’m “committing” to just those on my list.

Many of these books have been on my bookshelves for some time while others come highly recommended or have been on my mental book list for years.  I’ve requested the ones I don’t own from my public library–I can’t say enough positive things about the library.  I do miss the Dewey Decimal System though.  Remember those card catalogs?

Without further ado (because I’ll change it if I don’t hurry up already) here is my 2012 Book list.

Faith, Family, & Parenting

Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson (I’m hoping her books are as amazing as I’ve heard they are!)

Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow (Highly recommended by so many.  Can’t wait to begin this one)

The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Meg Meeker

The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted by Kathi Lipp (I hear so many wonderful things about Kathi’s books.  Had to put a couple on my list)

The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man–on Purpose and with a Plan by Kathi Lipp

Don’t Make Me Come Up There! by Kristen Welch

Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson

Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

Homemanagement & Homemaking

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider (e-book)

Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford (e-book)

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider (e-book)

Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson

A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine  (I read the magazine in bed so why not the book?)

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Interest

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton ( I need closure.  Sadly, this trial consumed me and I.need.closure)

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (yay!)

Persuasion  by Jane Austen(re-read)

Best of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber (So tough to find her books!)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson  (started, but never finished)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier (A little light-hearted fun)

Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I’ve resisted this one for a long time, but since a copy sits on my shelf I’m giving it a shot)

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout

Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty by Robert K. Massie (A trip to Russia piqued my interest)

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Finances & Budgeting

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey (I’ve listened to and watched Dave as well as followed some of his writing, but I want to dive into his books this year.)

The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey

Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey

The Money Class by Suze Orman (I’ve always liked her straightforward style and money smarts.)

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine

I’d be thrilled if you shared books you are reading/plan to read this year, some of your favorite reads, or thoughts and feedback on books on my list.  If you’d like to provide a link to your book list, I urge you to do so!

Photo courtesy of the talented Claire Brocato.  Thanks, Claire!