The Real Reason For My Clutter

real reason for my clutter

Guest post from Ashley of Lies About Parenting

Hi, I’m Mom. Otherwise known as the Finder Of Stuff.

We could never find anything, because clutter was a way of life. If there was an empty spot in my house, we found a way to fill it.

I had enough cleaning supplies to run the hospital’s sanitation program. Not-quite-right beauty products piled under every bathroom sink. Closets vomiting clothes, shoes, and bags. My garage was piled high with stuff, the kitchen full of outdated spices, and there was an endless cycle of always-dirty laundry.

My partner is a we-might-need-it-one-day kind of person, and I’m a this-is-old-and-special kind of girl. Our clutter just got worse with the birth of our daughter.

Sunday afternoons were often spent in the garage (or closet) sorting, stacking, and trying to create some order. Pinterest, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart never had a solution to my problem of having too much stuff.

I bought so many storage systems, that I’m still waiting for my thank-you note from The Container Store stockholders.

I found myself organizing my organizing. Like a teenager who can’t decide between two identical pairs of jeans, I was stuck, sorting through options that were not going to change.

Sick and tired of the last-minute hunts that made me feel resentful towards my family, disappointed in myself, and unhappy with my home, I read a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo, that solved my clutter problem with one simple explanation.

Guilt is why I have clutter.

Why was I keeping things I didn’t love, use, or need? The answer was guilt, whether from the expense, a gift, or a poorly executed plan (Pilates reformer, anyone?).

Guilt was making me stockpile my possessions.

Clothes that never fit cost money, gifts from loved ones were supposed to be special, and family heirlooms were meant to be cherished.

I took a deep breath, and just let go.

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 90% of my closet is gone, and I’m left with what I love (and wore most of the time, anyway). A handful of favorite books remain, surplus furniture is out, and holiday decorations got to stay only if they made me smile.

Decluttering worked this time, and my partner is now working through the decluttering, and de-guilting, process.

A surprising benefit is we clean less, because there’s less to clean.

By focusing on decluttering my belongings, I now breath happy, dust-free air. Try it. Just let it go, and you won’t be disappointed.

Ashley loves honest talk about parenting and life choices. She blogs about the good, the bad, and the funny at Lies About Parenting. She is known for debunking popular parenting advice that just doesn’t work, and is a passionate believer that clean homes create clean minds. She’ll consider herself a parenting success if she can, somehow, manage to raise kind and compassionate kids.

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Brigette’s $72 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Aldi

2 3-lb bags Pink Lady Apples – $5.98

2 4-ct pkgs Corn on the Cob – $2.98

1 head Cauliflower – $1.99

2 3-ct pkgs Romaine Hearts – $3.98

1 Seedless Watermelon – $3.99

1 32-oz pkg Spaghetti – $1.59

1 4-ct pkg Tomatoes – $1.79

2 1-lb pkgs Ground Turkey – $3.78

1 large bag Kale – $1.99

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.89

1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.89

1 2-lb bag Vidalia Onions – $0.99

2 Cucumbers – $0.78, plus receive $0.25 back from Checkout 51 – $0.53 after rebate

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $1.19

2 24-oz cartons Cottage Cheese – $4.58

1 jar Salsa – $1.89

2 16-oz cartons Egg Whites – $3.98

Total: $43.26

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Farmer’s Mart

1 huge box Oranges, reduced (my 6-yr old informed me there were 75 oranges, to be exact ;)) – $5.00

1 Cabbage ($0.29/lb) – $1.47

Total: $5.47

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Harris Teeter

1 box Tetley Tea – $1.59, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $0.09 after coupon

2 24-ct pkgs Hefty Plates (B1G) – $2.99, used $1/2 printable – $1.99/2 after coupon

1 pkg Hefty Easy Grip Cups – $1.74, used $0.50/1 Hefty Ultimate Easy Grip Cups, exp. 6/30/15 (RP 03/22/15 R) (doubled), plus receive $1.00 back from Ibotta – $0.26MM after coupon and rebate

1 pkg Chicken Leg Quarters (6.03lbs @ $0.59/lb) – $3.56

5 bottles of assorted Ken’s Salad Dressing (B2G3) – $5.58, used 2 $1/2 Ken’s Dressings, exp. 6/30/15 (SS 05/03/15 R)  – $3.38/5 after coupons

1 large bottle French’s Mustard – $1.44, used $0.75/1 French’s Ketchup, exp. 8/31/15 (SS 05/10/15)(doubled) – FREE after coupons

1 jar Peter Pan Peanut Butter (B1G1) – $1.27, plus receive back $0.30 from Ibotta – $0.97 after coupon and rebate

2 pkgs Sargento Cheese Slices – $5.00, used $0.65/2 Sargento Natural Cheese Slices, exp. 6/28/15 (SS 05/17/15) (doubled) – $3.30/2 after coupons

2 18-ct cartons Eggs – $3.54

2 pks Al Fresco Chicken Sausages (B1G1) – $5.69, used 2 $2.00/1 coupons (emailed to me from signing up here) – $1.69/2 after coupons

1 gallon Milk – $2.99, plus receive $0.30 back from Ibotta – $2.69 after rebate

1 32-oz bag Frozen Broccoli – $2.00

Total after coupons, rebates, and tax – $23.25

Brigette's Shopping Trip

CVS

2 boxes Special K Cereal – $5.00, used $1/2 printable, plus receive back $2 ECB – $2.00/2 after coupon and ECB’s

2 Glade Scented Candles – $5.50, used 2 $1/1 Glade Product, exp. 6/14/15 (SS 05/03/15), plus receive back $2 ECB, $0.50 from SavingStar, and $2.00 from Checkout 51 – $1.00MM after coupons and rebates

Used $1.99 in previous ECB’s

Total after rebates and tax:$3.19, plus receive back $4ECB’s

Weekly Total: $70.98

(This total does not include my CVS shopping trip. Since I only shop there every few weeks, spend very little out-of-pocket as I am mostly rolling ECB’s, and buy mostly non-food items like make-up and diapers, I don’t include them in my grocery posts. This week’s trip did include cereal, though, which is why I am posting it. :))

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Oatmeal with Strawberries (from the freezer) x 2

Cereal x 2

Eggs and Toast x 2

Brown Sugar Twists, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Oranges (Company Breakfast)

Lunches

Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salmon (canned), Veggies with Dip

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Watermelon, Cucumber Slices x 2

Stir-Fried Veggies, Hard Boiled Eggs, Oranges x 2

Leftovers x 2

Dinner

Hamburgers and Chicken Sausages on the Grill, Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes, Watermelon, Corn on the Cob, Raw Veggie Plate with Ranch Dip (Company Dinner)

Chicken Gravy over Brown Rice, Watermelon, Cauliflower Nuggets

Three Cheese Baked Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Homemade French Bread (Company Dinner)

Date Night (really excited for a night out with my husband as it has been WAY too long!)

Taco Salad, Oranges, Green Rice Casserole

Leftovers x 2

Snacks

Orange Dream Smoothies, Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars, Oranges, Popcorn

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