Decluttering Fest: An Annual Occurrence

This past week was my annual (sometimes semi-annual) decluttering fest. About every six months to a year I get an itch  to go through our entire place and toss toss toss (really we donate it, but you get the idea).

Being organized is something that is really important to me, but its something that I have to work really hard at.  It doesn’t come naturally to me at all, therefore I have learned to take advantage of the times when I do feel the urge to purge (sorry couldn’t help it :-) ) and make as much headway as I can.

In the past I have tried to set a schedule such as every May and October to declutter but that just didn’t work. I’ve learned to just rely on myself to become overwhelmed at some point within the year (year after year it happens) and then I’m motivated to just get it done.

When I declutter and organize my focus is always functionality first, aesthetics a distant second.   In other words, the outcome may not always look the best, but it’s always what works the best for us.

Here’s a few before and after pictures from my most recent decluttering venture.

We live in a two bedroom one bath converted condo. It’s the perfect size for us, but not for having an abundance of stuff.  We had car seats and bases stored in both bedrooms, a crib mattress in the middle of one of the bedrooms and other stuff sitting unused and taking up precious space throughout.

decluttering, organizing

Our biggest project was clearing out our pretty good sized storage closet and packing up all of Champion’s baby things (that we have high hopes of eventually being able to use for another baby or two or three.)

We got rid of a good amount of things that we just knew we weren’t going to use and were able to fit what we’re keeping in the storage closet. This instantly freed up space in the bedrooms, making them feel more organized as well.

Here’s our storage closet now.

decluttering, organizing, special needs

Another problem area that we tackled was our entryway.

This is what greeted us (and any guests who came by) each time we came home.

decluttering, organizing, launch pad

We like to have a “launch pad/area” where we keep items that we take with us whenever we leave the house and items that we don’t want to forget (think library books, dishes to return etc.)

Before we were just keeping it there laying carelessly on the floor but now we have some very functional little cubbies and a freed up end table to use as our launch pad. This helps tremendously in getting us out the house in a more orderly fashion and also with continually forgetting items.

Picture  of Launch Pad now:

Decluttering, launch pad, organzing

I don’t have any before pictures of the kitchen  because by the time I got there I was in a pretty good groove and forgot I was going to blog about it. Here’s an after picture.

Decluttering, organizing

I’m not able to get completely clear counter space but its functional therefore its good enough.

With our space more organized my mind is more free, my heart is more open to others, I feel more creative and frankly more motivated to enjoy life. I’m satisfied with it for now but I guarantee within six months to a year the itch will come back and I’ll take advantage of that motivated time to free us up even more.

(*Another reason I make it a point to periodically de-clutter is I have found the less “stuff” we have, the easier it is for the items we do use  to find their way back to their place, which makes maintaining an organized state much easier. Plus it allows this little one more room to explore :-) )
g tube, special needs, organizing


(*These are affiliate links:  Read Disclosure here.  I only link to and recommend resources I use and love!)

My hands down absolutely favorite book on organizing is:  Making Your Home a Haven: Strategies for the Domestically Challenged. This was the book that got me on the organized track.

A couple other good books are:

The Get Yourself Organized Project  (I’m reading this one right now)  This is currently $1.11 for the Kindle Version, as of this posting.  Be sure to check price before purchasing as they change often.

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year.  This book deals mostly with budgeting but emphasizes the importance of being organized to save money.  (Special Needs = Need to save money. The price on anything labeled special needs= ridiculous) Crystal Paine, the author of this book has an outstanding blog with some really good tips on living intentionally, decluttering, money saving, etc.  A great one to check out.

Let’s Talk:  Are you naturally organized or is it something you have to work at?  Any organizing tips to share?

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  1. says

    I tend to de-clutter each season it seems. Where we live there are definitely 4 distinct seasons, and each one has me looking at my home in a different way. My de-cluttering also includes a lot of moving furniture. I can’t keep things in one place for long! Right now we are working on re-organizing the craft/homeschool room. It is quite the chore, and with two littles underfoot wanting to take out the newly discovered books/craft supplies, it takes a little while :-) Great job! I’m sure you feel better getting rid of some stuff! It is amazing how much we can accumulate in such a short span of time.

    • says

      You are so right, we accumulate so much stuff in such a short amount of time. I can’t believe that I still always have so much to get rid of each time I go through all our stuff. Moving furniture and doing some rearranging is always nice too. The seasons here aren’t all that distinct but seasonal organizing and changing things up makes a lot of sense. I know each season tends to invoke different emotions and having your space reflect that sounds like a good way to go!

  2. says

    I love that Money Saving Mom book! I’m getting ready to do a MAJOR purge myself. It’s going to be a lot of work. I get overwhelmed by clutter as well, so I have to go through the crapola even if I hate it.

    • says

      It is always so much work but the benefits always end up being so worth it. It’s hard to get going on it though. I will definitely be thinking of you as you tackle clutter too. And I’ll rejoice with you as its cleared away and there’s the sigh of relief (till the next time :-)).

      Wasn’t The Money Saving Mom book really good??!! Very good stuff in there.

  3. says

    Love the photos! Organization makes me happy :)

    This year was my first time ever of organizing and decluttering my entire house at once – we got rid of SO much.

    I’m finding it helpful to get rid of things as we get “new” stuff in. For example, a friend gave my girls several hand-me-down purses. So they went through their purse basket and got rid of some older ones to make room.

    We’re far from perfect at this but overall my house is much easier to maintain and I no longer panic when someone wants to stop by!

    • says

      Organization makes me so happy too! I loved seeing the photos of your play room when you did your decluttering. It is quite the undertaking the first time. It is amazingly ridiculous how much stuff just accumulates.

      That’s a really good way to go about keeping the clutter at bay, the new “stuff” in, the old out. What a great example for your girls too, they’re going to learn early on not to allow clutter to collect. Lol, and yes the non panic when the doorbell rings is definitley a huge benefit of clutter free, good for the adrenals too :-) !

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