“Simplifying” Life

4 01 2014

So the power was out today for 8 hours, which was just the motivation I needed to continue the “simplifying” that I started yesterday (after putting my son to bed) and worked on into the wee hours of the morning. Plus it was super-cold in my house without heat, so all that running around kept us extra-warm!

I stumbled upon Emily Ley’s blog through Darci’s “Five on Friday” post yesterday, and Emily’s statements really resonated with me for 2014. I really want to de-clutter my life/my brain/my home/my activities so that I can focus on what really matters in my life and put more planning and care into what I do. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and I’m glad Emily put it into words. Specifically in this series of posts that she wrote.

I’ll admit, I have a HORRIBLE memory. It didn’t used to be that way. But after I gave birth to E and nursed him for 17.5 months, it has gone WAY downhill. So I’ve been thinking about how I can spend more time planning, enjoying, and reflecting on my experiences so that I can remember them more clearly.

For example, our New Year’s brunch with good friends: I took time to really think about how I wanted it to be. I used décor we already had (so I wouldn’t create more clutter), using Pinterest as my initial inspiration. I made free printables and used frames we already had. Afterward, I put it all away – because honestly if I don’t, it’d be out forever, and that would lead to STRESS. {Confession: We do still have birthday party décor from E’s 1st birthday out from last July!} And then I went through the brunch pictures and wrote a post about it so that I’d remember everything. {And of course, in my moment of organization, I accidentally deleted all of the pictures from that whole day! Fail!}

Here are some other projects we have tackled in January already:

1)   Made a pile of stuff and took it to Goodwill today – old baby stuff, furniture, etc.


2)   We made a pile of things to sell (brand new cloth diapers we never used, a nice table I refinished, etc.). I posted some stuff on eBay.

3)   My husband built and installed a shoe rack to organize our coat/shoe closet downstairs.


4)   My husband built a second attic to store seasonal décor. He originally built 2 separate attics off of our 3rd floor unfinished room by enclosing the attic space and adding steps and custom doors. With these second attic spaces, he then built sturdy walkways, slanted shelves for storage, a mini staircase for accessibility, and a cute door to match our now-finished office space. One is our regular attic, and one is our “seasonal storage” attic. This week, he came home during his lunch breaks and replaced the slanted shelves with horizontal shelves to increase storage space in the seasonal attic.


5)   Today, I organized our gifting supplies: bows, gift bags (by size/event), tissue paper (by color!), and wrapping paper. Each item got its own sealed container – I cleaned out Tupperware bins that we already had from our garage to repurpose for seasonal storage and then put it in our newly renovated attic space. And yes, I do recycle this stuff – I refuse to spend money on tissue paper and bows unless it’s like 90% off in Target clearance.

Tissue paper:


Non-Christmas gift bags, sorted and labeled:


Christmas gift bags, gift boxes, new tags (in Ziplocs), and bows:


8)   Found sturdy boxes to store seasonal DIY wreaths to keep them looking fresh.

9)   Filed mounds of documents that had piled up in our office.

10) De-cluttered my nightstand – it’s much more relaxing now! I won’t even show a “before” picture because it was just bad. Image

11) De-cluttered my dresser surface (similar to my nightstand).

12) Organized E’s clothes – filled a bin full of clothes he’s outgrown and put bigger sized clothes in his dresser and closet so that they’re visible and I’ll remember to use them!

13) De-cluttered and decorated my bedroom blogging nook (since we never go up to our nice 3rd floor office anymore).

14) Put away all of our Christmas décor, labeled the boxes, and stored in new attic space. It’s SO easy to access now! I love it!

You can’t see it, but I’m on a walkway across the back of the attic where I can access everything!


15) Returned some stuff to Wal-Mart, like spray paint from June we never opened. (And then took what we were going to spray paint to Goodwill instead).

17) Got a HUGE load of trash OUT of our house and into a dumpster. Woohoo!

18) Bought a sturdy storage box for our Christmas tree, labeled what order the limbs go on the tree, and lacquered (taped) the cheat sheet to the box. Before, we had an old, beat-up cardboard box that was dusty and full of dead stink bugs. And it wasn’t even the original box.Image

I think for 4 days in, it’s a good start to 2014!




5 responses

4 01 2014

Way to go! Lots accomplished in just a few days:) I’ve been organizing and de-cluttering over break as well!

4 01 2014

Thanks! Emily has all kinds of really good links to other blogs on her site for organizing!

5 01 2014

I came across her blog the other day as well, through Darci!

5 01 2014

I want her planner!!

5 01 2014

Me too!

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