Well, I made it! I got through the first week of our 30-Day Peaceful Home Challenge!
I don’t know how to explain where I’m at with all this decluttering and organizing. I didn’t get as far as I wanted to but I’m surprised I got as far as I did. That might not make a lot of sense, but when I first started this challenge and had things planned out, I thought I would just follow along with everything as scheduled and could knock it all out if I stuck with the plan. Well, I didn’t plan for all the things I had to get rid of and I hadn’t planned on getting rid of some of the things I did.
I guess all the preparation leading up to this challenge prepared me in ways I didn’t expect. I was able to look at things and say to myself “We really don’t need this anymore.” or “Do I really even like this….will I ever use it? Does it serve a purpose?” Reading about the health benefits of decluttering and how life-changing it can be to free yourself from unnecessary stuff was just what I needed to be realistic about it all. There are things I never would have let go before and now I’m able to let go of things that are just taking up space. It’s a freedom I can’t explain, but the process has been a little overwhelming. I guess that’s what happens when your mess is right out in front of you instead of hidden away in a closet or drawer.
So maybe I didn’t get it all finished according to schedule, but I’m very happy with what I did accomplish! We managed to declutter our closets and dresser drawers in all three bedrooms, I cleaned out the linen closet, and our bathroom sink. I didn’t get to the laundry room yet or under the sink in the kid’s bathroom, but that one doesn’t have a lot in it so it shouldn’t take long. I’m hoping to accomplish that today or tomorrow…we’ll see.
I started with the closets and drawers in our bedroom first. I recommend starting with your bedroom before the kid’s bedrooms because getting your own space done first will get you motivated and if your kids are like mine, they have a harder time parting with things than I do. My kids are more attached to things- like the cheap plastic happy meal toy they totally forgot about until you go to throw it out and suddenly it’s meaningful to them. Okay, that was when they were smaller but it doesn’t get much better with a teen and preteen. Our son didn’t like the idea of us putting his Baltimore Orioles shirt in the donation pile, though it was way too small and he had three others. He’s attached to stuff like that but he came around and out it went. I couldn’t believe the amount of clothes and shoes we had to donate AND the large trash bag we filled with things that could not be donated, such as clothes that were very worn or torn, socks, underwear, etc. Please, PLEASE, do not donate things like that, just throw them out!
So here’s what the top of our dining room table looked like after we had cleaned all the closets and drawers. I couldn’t believe it. This is a 9 ft. dining room table, by the way.
Sorry for the poor quality picture. This was a snap shot from the video I took for my Instagram stories. I walked all along the table showing this collection of clothes we cleaned from the closets and drawers. I couldn’t believe it!
I feel like there is still so much to do in the house, but getting the closets and drawers out of the way was a very big job. I snapped this picture of our closet just before getting started and I have to admit I’m a little embarrassed about the way my shelf looks here. It’s easy to see which area is my husband’s and which is mine because he is a lot more organized than I am. Yep, that’s my sweaters all crammed in there and I guess we got a closet system just so I could stuff my scarf in with my shoes. *Sigh.
Well, it’s all cleaned up now and we got rid of SO many things!
We installed this closet system a few years back and it has been wonderful! We lost so much closet space in the master bedroom when we moved into this house and this closet system from Home Depot was the perfect way to add space and keep things organized, though I was obviously not doing too good with that. It’s much better now, though!
The drawers are done too! I don’t have a photo to show you but I got rid of so many socks and old t-shirts that were just worn out. I was surprised to see what all we had in the nightstand drawers too. I can’t believe the space we have in our drawers now! It’s the same in the kid’s rooms. They may not admit it but I think they are happy with the way things are looking in their bedrooms!
Next up was the linen closet. The linen closet is different from the bedroom closets because you can flip through all the clothes on hangers in the bedroom closets but it’s not as easy to see and go through everything in the linen closet. I recommend just pulling everything out and have a clean slate. It’s overwhelming to have everything sitting out but you won’t want to just throw things back in there when your closet looks so nice and clean! You’ll be able to plan it out, organize it, and be realistic about what to get rid of…like those sheets that have been stuffed in there “just in case” but they’re in bad shape or missing the fitted sheet. Yeah, that’s what we had! Two sets of sheets that were in bad shape or missing pieces and they have been in there for YEARS and “just in case” never happened. So there you go!
One thing I really felt like I couldn’t put back in the closet were the old towels we had. We had so many towels that were in bad shape or frayed. We only have a few towels in here now along with the ones hanging in the bathroom, so I will need to get some more towels, which will feel like Christmas to us because it’s been a long time since we have had new towels in this house!
One piece of advice I have for decluttering is to shop your house! That’s right, find things you already have! I had these totes and bins around the house that I wasn’t using and I was able to fill them with things we keep in the linen closet! The bucket at the top now has our sunscreens, the green and white tote holds our kitchen towels (the linen closet is right by our kitchen), the blue tote holds health and first aid products, and the locker bin at the bottom holds the soap jugs for refills and toilet paper. I had everything I needed by looking around the house and using what I already had!
The last thing I accomplished was cleaning out underneath the bathroom sink. I posted this past project of a simple update I did under our bathroom sink on Instagram that I completed a while back. I used leftover paint and spent a total of $7 for peel-and-stick vinyl tile to refresh the look and surface of the inside of our very dated bathroom vanity. It motivates me to keep a space more clean and organized when it’s refreshed and this was a really easy project!
So, there you have it, week one of this 30-Day declutter challenge! Next up will be the kitchen and laundry room. I’ll update next week to let you know how it’s going and if you would like to join us on Instagram to share your own decluttering tips and tricks during the month of September, use the hashtag #VaBloggersPeacefulHome for a chance to be featured!