Clear Out the Clutter: The Junk Drawer

I used to pride myself on the fact that we didn’t have a junk drawer.

Then, I had my third child. And pretty much everything I prided myself on went out the window. :)

I know some of you have told me that having your third child was a breeze. For me, the actual labor and delivery was a walk in the park (1.5 hours of labor, no complications, and feeling back to my normal self within 24 hours!). But after the “babymoon” phase wore off, three children has been a whole lotta work.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my three precious children like crazy, but I no longer have this put-together, pristine life. And it’s been a good thing for me.

I’ve learned to relax more, roll with the punches, and embrace this sometimes messy and chaotic life I’m living. We’ve got a lot of love, creativity, and laughter going on around here, and I’ll take that over perfection any day!

But, I’ll admit it, the overflowing junk drawer was getting to me. So I set out to tackle it today.

And guess what? After only ten minutes’ worth of work, it was transformed.

It’ll probably be this messy again in a few months (or even weeks or days!), but knowing that it can be overhauled in such a short time period makes it not seem like such a big deal.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished in just a short amount of time when you set the timer and attack the clutter with gusto!

Did you do any clutter clearing this week? If you posted about it, link directly to your blog post below. We’d especially love to see before and after pictures, if you’re brave.

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3 Steps to Tackle Your Clutter

Guest post from Jennifer of Pure and Simple Organizing

Our garages and attics are often the most neglected areas of our home. How often do you actually get in the garage to sort through your precious stuff? We just pile and stuff, pile and forget.

We think that once the garage door is closed, we will forget about all the boxes we have piled and stuffed. However, our sneaky subconscious mind reminds us day in and day out about our clutter lurking in these neglected places.

Does the clutter in your home (visible or not) bother you?

My guess is that it does. We, as humans, crave order, and clutter is not order. It causes stress and anxiety, not to mention, it packs our homes full of stuff that we don’t really need or use. Thus, your home becomes a storage unit, not a peaceful, relaxing domain.

Tackle that clutter!

1. Start with the room that bothers you the most (garage, attic, kitchen)

Pick a weekend to tackle the project — it will take longer than you think!

Talk to your family and get them on board with sorting, purging, and cleaning — if the clutter is bothering you, then I bet it is bothering them, too.

If you have a friend who loves to organize, call her, too! You could treat her to dinner or babysit her children for a few hours in exchange for her help.

2. Take everything out. Yes, everything must come out! Make sure that the space is clear.

Sort like with like.  (Toys, holiday decorations, pictures, memory lane)

Throw away anything that is broken, moldy, faded, and not in great condition

Donate multiple items and anything you don’t use, love or need.

3. Evaluate your progress and repeat with the next space!

Organizing helps energize and inspire you. You want to live in the moment rather than be succumbed to the past. Treasure your memories as they live in your head and heart, not in your stuff. Display treasured items. If you keep something special, then serve its purpose. Frame your christening gown and hang on the wall! Put your first report card in a photo album.

Keep what you love and use. Toss or donate the rest.

These pictures are of a garage that was badly overstuffed and forgotten. In four days, I managed to create inventory zones for holiday decorations, pool storage, and memory lane. The owners were thrilled! The husband even mentioned putting a pool table in the middle — he had no idea there was so much room up there!

Organize to live simply. Downsize, learn to live in the moment, and you will soon forget about all of the extra stuff.

Jennifer is a home organizer in Charlotte, NC. Her mission is to help families and individuals find calm within their home after clearing out the chaos. Giving someone the opportunity to increase their quality of life by cleaning up and out is her passion! She blogs at Pure and Simple Organizing.

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Clear Out the Clutter: The Coat Closet

To start off the Clear Out the Clutter project this month, I began at the front door and tackled the coat closet. I was excited to discover it wasn’t as cluttered as I’d thought.

In fact, it only took me around seven minutes to go through and I only found four items to get rid of. But hey, that’s a start!

Tomorrow, it’s onto the girl’s closet. I’m pretty near positive there’s going to be a lot more than four items to get rid of in there–provided I can gently convince the girls that it’s time to let go of some of the extra stuff (like that Happy Meal toy from two years ago!)

“But mom,” I can just hear my daughter protesting, “That Happy Meal toy is really special to me–it makes me think of Grandma because I got it the day Grandma took me to McDonald’s.

Yup, my daughters are pros at figuring out a very good reason why they need to keep all of their items–including papers and toys with missing and broken parts. Cracks me up how different they are than me! They help to balance me out! :)

Did you do any clutter clearing this week? If you posted about it, link directly to your blog post below. We’d especially love to see before and after pictures, if you’re brave! :)

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Clear Out the Clutter Challenge: Do Something With Your Clutter!

Clear Out the Clutter Assignment #5: Get Rid of Your Clutter!

Now that you’ve purged your closets, drawers, shelves and home of unnecessary, unloved and unused things, it’s time to do something with your clutter. Don’t just pile it up somewhere or stuff it into boxes, get rid of it!

Here are some ideas for what to do with your unwanted clutter:

1. Donate

If you don’t want to hassle with selling stuff and you itemize your taxes, than donating your clutter to charity is a great option. Not only are you helping others out, but you can might be able to get a tax break for doing so.

2. Recycle

Instead of just dumping things in the garbage, consider recycling it. If RecycleBank operates in your area, you can earn free coupons and more for your recycling efforts.

3. Sell

There are a multitude of opportunities to sell your unwanted clutter including: eBay, Craigslist, garage sales, consignment sales, Cash4Books, and more.

4. Trade

Did you know you could trade in old electronics and gadgets for cash or store gift cards? Erin from CouponCravings recently wrote an extensive piece on many of the programs available.

What are you doing with your clutter? What other ideas do you have for getting rid of your clutter or making money from your clutter? Tell us in the comments.

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Clear Out the Clutter: The Master Bedroom

Things are slowly taking shape for our garage sale this weekend and my pile of things to get rid of has grown to a massive size. I think my stuff breeds behind closed doors or something because I really and truly have no idea how I can cull together such a huge garage sale pile every year–especially since I’m a minimalist!

Since I didn’t get this posted last night as planned, I’ll likely be posting two Clear Out the Clutter Assignments today. I hope I don’t overwhelm you! Just remember that you don’t have to do it all today. Take a week per room, if you need to.

Clear Out the Clutter Assignment #3

::Go through your Master Bedroom (including the closet and dressers) and ruthlessly clear out any and all clutter and unnecessary items you find. Consider passing on extra clothing to friends or donate it to someone in need. Or, add it to your garage sale pile!

::Tally up the approximate amount of items you’re getting rid of and input it into the Items Decluttered Tally Form in order to be entered to win some fun prizes!

What I Accomplished

I told you a few days ago that I don’t have a computer desk, but I do use my top dresser drawer for extra storage. And sometimes, it gets a little out of hand. Like today:

(Um, and for the record, I have no idea how that red froggie ended up in my dresser; it was supposed to be in one of the garage sale boxes!)

There, much better!

My husband also went through his clothes–without even being prompted to do so!–and gave me a big pile of them to get rid of. I still need to go through my clothes and see if there are any that I haven’t worn in awhile. Although, since I only have a few outfits to begin with, it’s not that big of a chore!

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Are you blogging about your Clear Out the Clutter accomplishments and progress? If so, leave your direct link to your blog post below (with pictures, if possible!) so we can visit your blog, cheer you on and be inspired!

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