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March 10, 2014 By Becky (Your Modern Family) 38 Comments Do you ever feel like clutter is weighing you down? When we start to have too much stuff, it can really put a weight on us.  An emotional weight, but still a weight. Tomorrow (click here for Day two of Help declutter my home )  I am going to tell you about why we need to get rid of things, but before you move to day 2, I want you to make yourself another list (yes, you are adding to your clutter with this list!) and write down the reason that you keep things. Example:  I keep these 10 packs of return address stamps because I like to have some for each holiday.
I am an organizing blogger too, but right now I’d be terribly embarrassed for someone to see my home and how cluttered it is.
God made decluttering easy for us: we moved twice, had two floods, and are moving to Nepal. Great encouragement to do the hard thing that we all tend to put off, but desperately NEED to do.
Secondly, of late He has been speaking to me about clutter and I must now schedule time not to try and organize clutter but to get rid of it.
First- We had our local consignment sale and I added the toys to that sale that I thought about at the time (it is very time-consuming).
I used three questions when deciding if a toy should stay or go: If the answer was YES, the toy stayed.
I will tell you that years ago I stopped keeping such detailed medical notes and records of our son (he had a rough start) and I started trusting that I knew what I needed to know.
I thought that emailing important stuff to myself was the greatest thought I’d ever had until my former hotmail account got deleted. I had the same worry = I scan everything and email it to myself to my work email, my personal email AND I have it on a memory stick.
I have been in such a purging and cleaning phase in our home, so this post comes at such a great time for me! Day 3 – help declutter my home … Taking your first step towards getting rid of it!
March 11, 2014 By Becky (Your Modern Family) 6 Comments Welcome back to the help declutter my home series.
I threw things out by the handful…  Even by the bins- I just emptied things right into the garbage bag! Less to take care of, less to organize, less to clean…means more time, more energy, more of you to give to those that need you, love you, want to be with you. Move onto day 4 to see the questions that you need to ask yourself and really get rid of everything. My journey to simple living beganA in front of my closet, and continued through every area of my home.
As I opened the airways in my home, purging junk and helping my living space to breathe, I began noticing benefits right away! And I loved that with less possessions, it was much easier when it came time to move into our tiny cabin. One result of declutteringA that I did not expect was the way my spending habits changed.A I thought that I was already pretty careful about how I used money, but after simplifying my home my perspective on spending changed completely. My purchases are fewer and farther between, because I spend time researching the item I want to get.
After I’ve spent money on a good-quality item that I’ve researched, I make sure to really use it!
Simply put, decluttering your stuff does more than just simplify your home–it changes your habits, too. If you want to roll up your sleeves and start decluttering your home, but you’re not sure where to start, I wrote a book for you! March 10, 2014 By Becky (Your Modern Family) 30 Comments This is part two to our decluttering series: Help declutter my home. So, for their one week, the parents let each of their three children pick five toys to keep… 15 toys total. After one week, the mother was interviewed and she said that they didn’t even play with the five toys that they were allowed to pick. The kids were interviewed and talked about how much they LOVED the week without TV or many toys because THEY SPENT MORE TIME WITH MOM, DAD AND EACH OTHER.
Yes, I could have sold it all and make a few hundred dollars (& I did consign a lot of stuff the week before I really de-cluttered, so I did make money on big-ticket items, like our train table), but I knew that I probably would never get around to selling all of my things (taking pictures, putting it online, or tagging for a consignment sale, taking the items to be sold, etc…) . Plus, I was so blessed to be given hand-me-downs for our daughter from various friends, so I knew that I could easily pay-it-forward  (plus, I donated a lot of stuff to Good Will and got a tax write-off). Every day, for one week, I would use any spare time and I would take a garbage bag to a room.
If you are ready to move on, see day 3 of Help declutter my home – I hope its helpful! We got a big tote and went through the toy box and took out ones that we thought they only use if they see it (more like when a friend comes over and sees it). We started to do this over Christmas break and then got right back in the hustle and bustle of life again and stopped. OH, that is so hard, but try to do what you need to do because clutter can physically weigh you down, causing you to be more stressed & thats not good for him at all. PS- I work with autistic children, as well, and I know how hard it can be not to feel like you are reaching him, so my prayers are with you. I tried many times sharing a decluttering book with mum that I found at the library, she nearly threw it back at me.
One emotion I have been going through the past few weeks is failure, because I wasn’t able to help her. We will all be here to support you through this, I am sure your Mum is watching over you as you all work through it. My husband and my parents are hoarders and I know how hard it is for them to throw anything out.

As everyone else has said I am sorry to hear about your mums passing.  I have never been a overly tidy person, although I am an organiser and mostly organised we live in semi organised caios. Your blog has inspired so many small changes in my home that have made a big difference… and yes, there’s a way to go yet!! After seeing this blog and video, she can understand that really, it’s the memory she wanted to keep, not the wool. Thank you so much for your courage in sharing this post with us, it has inspired me not to put off those things I should have been getting organised around my own home, and also to give both my parents extra good hugs this week!
Take care of yourself (you know you need to in order to take care of others right?) and know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel very soon.
Chrissy’s blog is full of all kinds of great information on how to declutter and organize your house.
Rirst it was at your post of teaching children to stop looking everywhere and look up and that was a direct message to me. I have a single account that I use to keep myself organized at work, school (working on another degree), and at home.
We are having a community yard sale TOMORROW and I haven’t even begun to get the stuff around for it. I purged junk from the bathroom,A linen closet, my purse, and every other space that was choked with more things than I could ever use or enjoy. I now spend much differently than I used to, and in the process, I’ve saved a lot of money!
It took lots of time and mental energy to purge so much stuff from my house, and I don’t want to lose that hard-won ground! As I simplified my wardrobe, my shoes, or other things I owned, I was surprised by the number of worn-out and broken things that I found!
I thought about whether or not I had enough money to purchase the item, and how much it would set me back. If it’s something I can find online, I look for the best prices and read product reviews. Your Simple Home Handbook has 30 projects that you can work through to bring breathing space to every corner of your house.
You'll find posts on simplifying, cooking from scratch, and savoring everyday aspects of homemaking. I love reading, but I had to realize that that fact DOESN’T mean I need to hang on to every book! I love window shopping when we visit new places…and then coming away with just one or two thoughtfully-selected items to remember it by (like a special book–I totally get that)! Elsie speaks from experience and offers step-by-step instruction to simplify each area of your home. I have a very small house, but just this year really started the journey of decluttering and purging.
These are things I am trying to incorporate into how our home functions and these are great tips!
I emptied my Kid’s entire closet and donated tons of toys to our local church which was having a yard sale. We had a similar situation after my Mum died, but she had things hidden away in various cupboards, so we weren’t aware of the extent of the hoarding. It’s a hard hard job and I hope you are able to find strength from family and friends.
I wish you all the very best Katrina, and hope that as the clutter is sorted, you can think more about your mum and not the stuff she was hoarding. My inlaws are hoarders and their house had a tree through it during the 2008 storms that hit brisbane.
Brave to go through all of the boxes your mum had collected so close after her passing, brave to let us see the process (it is of course so personal to you), and brave to show your face to us while doing it! I don’t visit any blogs as much as I used to but saw this in my facebook feed and wanted to say hi and pass on my condolences to you and your family. Really glad you liked the post, and I hope your readers have found some useful ideas over at my blog.
Sure, I love all of it…but wanting to keep it and having the space to keep it are two very different things. I have major folders (called notebooks) and within those folders are subfolders with the individual files I need. These items were usually of lower quality to begin with, and they wore out after a year or two of use. Elsie is an author of Real Food for the Real Homemaker, but plans to publish fiction someday, too. One of the nice perks to simplifying and having less is that I’m able to buy better quality items. After hospital stays and all sorts of test, my husband and I have decided that it’s me not a medical problem. Our last permanent home was for 8 years and when we moved across country last year movers packed us up and moved us- so I didn’t have that much time to go through everything prior to the move. Similar to your mum’s peanut butter jars, my mum had kept icecream containers and old towels. For instance, Mum crocheted my newborn twins some blankets, and she didn’t want to get rid of the tiny bundles of wool she had left.
I see how difficult this is for you and admire you and your brothers for tackling this with your dad to help him have a free-er environment. I even have a folder where I keep track of the children’s things and it is shared out to my husband so we can both stay up to date. I have been wanting to do this for so long and your article was just what I needed for motivation today so I can get as much out for the sale tomorrow. Now, I do my best to buy higher quality items when I can afford them (or find them on sale!), knowing that the extra money spent will be an investment.

Currently she's sinking her roots down in Alabama, where she lives in a cabin with her husband and cat.
Day Two: The kitchen (Lily and I spent hours cleaning and organizing our spice and baking shelves to create a workable system and it has been well worth the effort!). In some ways, those types of things were the easiest to get rid of, although sad because they were obviously important to her. Since I own less, buying higher-quality items ensures that they’ll last longer under frequent use. My anxiety over the past year or so has been really bad, and I am almost positive it is because of feeling so confined in our space. The harder things to deal with were the special items like costume jewellery and clothes, as well as all my dolls from when I was a child. How you didn’t shed a tear while making the video is beyond me, I have a huge lump in my throat. Space is a commodity and as far as toys go, when I think that they already have more than they need, a toy would have to be pretty special for me to buy them more.
If only I knew 10 years ago what I know now…the kids and my husband and I can live with less. We are choosing to have a yard sale so we can update some things like our bedding, curtains, etc.
I felt that if she had kept these things for so long (40 years in some cases), then who was I to just get rid of them? Yesterday my husband and I were walking around a small mountain town, perusing all the little stores.
In fact, some of these things have joined the clutter in my house and I have found it too emotional to deal with them. And I finally got to the point where I AM OKAY WITH LETTING IT GO even though I wouldn’t get much or any money for it.
My husband is on board, so tonight we are going to plow through the basement and get as much out as we can. And then what doesn’t sell tomorrow is going straight into the van and over to the goodwill.
I divided my decluttering project into three separate weeks: Monday and Tuesday the first two weeks, then Tuesday and Wednesday the third week. Fresh fruit with eggs for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and oatmeal or baked fish with broccoli and rice for dinner. A couple of the nights, Lily (8) cooked dinner for the family and we were thrilled to eat whatever she made!I decluttered even when I didn’t feel like it. Yes, there’s a time to rest and to take a break, but sometimes we just have to push through the tough stuff and focus on the end result!I stopped when I really needed to.
I didn’t meet my goals every day, but last year when I decluttered, I really disliked the process. So when I decluttered this time I decided to reward myself with not dreading the entire process. When the weather was nice, I worked until 2pm and took the rest of the afternoon off so we could go outside for a few hours. This helped our house to feel lighter quickly and didn’t give us time to pull stuff out of bags! I have 3 girls and 1 boy so there’s always CLOTHES, TOYS and a basket full of pens pencils crayons and markers. Reply Davonne says: January 31, 2015 at 12:03 amCarlisha, I understand how it feels to just want to throw stuff out! In our house, it’s not always a matter of overspending, but a matter of family over gifting! They buy so much stuff for my kids (toys, clothes, books, etc), but we literally have nowhere to store them all. Several times per year I find myself having to purge their rooms before we end up on an episode of Hoarders! We donate our stuff to a child concern center that either gives the items to families in need or sells the items for low prices and uses the money to buy food for those who often go without.
The decluttering process has made me more thoughtful and purposeful in my purchases as well, and hopefully that is rubbing off on my kids. Instead of buying some random toy from the thrift store we can wait, save up and get a lego set that they will enjoy for far longer. Its taught me more self control I geuss Reply Davonne says: October 7, 2015 at 11:03 amThank you, Wanita! I’m in the process of starting off my New Year in declutter mode and getting my home in order!!! The negative comment was very uncalled for, but we live in a society of negativity I’m afraid!!! Just because things were put into trash bags, doesn’t mean everything was actual trash or thrown out.
No need to just assume other people aren’t giving to charity and donating to a good cause.
It’s never been a matter of just shopping for me, but guilt about letting go of so called family treasures. So, I’ve taken some advice from Davonne Parks, click here for her link, to really get busy decluttering!
Come on in and join me for a few minutes, then roll up your sleeves and get to work because learning to become clutter-free is about more than getting rid of stuff. It’s about creating room for life to happen, for memories to be made, and for loved ones to gather.Subscribe Via Email Sign up for free e-mail updates as well as a FREE copy of "101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms" Email Address* First Name Last Name * = required field powered by MailChimp!

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