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Decluttering Our Home (before and after pictures)

Need some motivation to declutter your home? We’ve been working on decluttering our home this week and I wanted to share the progress we’ve been making:

As I shared in my Weekly Goals post, this week, my goal was to declutter the house from top to bottom. I decided to focus on the biggest problem areas in our home for this week — namely the storage room, the Master Bedroom closet, the library, my bedside drawers, and my purse.

The Storage Room

I’m pretty embarrassed to show you these photos because this room has been neglected for so incredibly long. In fact, when we moved to this house — almost two years ago — we never unpacked or organized a lot of the boxes in here.

We just stuck stuff in here and I hoped to eventually get to it. Obviously, it took quite awhile to get around to that “eventually” plan!

There were hundreds and hundreds of school papers in here. I didn’t want to throw anything out  since this was theirs… so since they were on Christmas break, this was the perfect time to tackle the boxes of school papers.

They pared them down to a few small tubs and recycled a TON of old papers! In the process, they loved getting to look back on how far they have come academically in the last few years!

Jesse also went through a lot of his old law firm stuff and so many different old tech things. He ended up finding quite a few things he had forgotten we had or that he had wanted to find — including one item he’d been looking for for 4 years!

The three pictures above show the final results. It took hours of work, but it was SO worth it!

Our Master Bedroom Closet

So our closet wasn’t near at all as messy as the storage room, but it still needed quite a bit of TLC.

Both Jesse and I got rid of quite a few clothes, we pared down some other things, we moved some items to other parts of the house where they really belong, and we cleared out a space for the baby’s stuff.

(We’re planning to have the baby sleep in our room for at least the first few months, probably longer. So I wanted to have the three drawers on my side of the closet plus some of the shelves available for the baby things.)

I couldn’t believe how much stuff Jesse got rid of — including shirts that he’d had for 8-10 years!!

My Bedside Drawers

Next up, my bedside drawers. This has become a catchall for all sorts of random odds and ends. (Can you believe all of that was in there! Yikes!!)

I thought about what I actually want to keep in my bedside table and couldn’t come up with much when it really came down to it! So here’s what it looks like now!

The Library

Okay, so the before and after pictures of the library aren’t as impressive, but this was a BIG project that I’ve been wanting to tackle for months.

I finally took all of the books off the shelves and re-organized them in a really systematic way. And now we know where to put new books when they come in and where to re-shelf books when we put them back! It feels so amazing to have a system!!

My Purse

And last but not least, I went through my purse. I started by dumping all the contents out — yep, ALL of that was in my purse!

Then, I threw out a lot of stuff, put some other things that didn’t belong in my purse away, and only put back what I really want and need in my purse.

Now, every time I go to take my purse with me somewhere, it makes me smile to see how clean and organized it is! Let’s see if I can keep it this way!

Did you do any decluttering this week?

P.S. I love my purse! A number of people reached out via messages and asked where I got it. It’s from Amazon and it’s around $35-$37 there. I use it pretty much every day and have had it for almost a year. Other than a little wear and tear on the strap, it’s held up really well! Here’s the link to it.

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51 Comments

  • JJ says:

    You did an amazing job!!! Love how you all work together!!!

    • I couldn’t have done it without all of the kids’ and Jesse’s help!!

    • Crysta says:

      Cleaned out my bedroom this week! It feels so good. I’m working on the drawers next and then to master bath. This is my year for working down to a more minimalist lifestyle. I know it won’t be completely minimalist but I can’t wait!

      • Shannon D Runnels says:

        Got to have a tidy purse, as you’ll soon be carrying a diaper bag too! So excited for your newest blessing! Been following you since nearly the beginning and feel like your my money saving friend. God bless!

        • Aw, thank you so much! And I’m thinking I might use this as my diaper bag since it’s big enough. We’ll see! 🙂

          • Mary says:

            My sister in law received a Freshly Picked diaper bag and it is amazing and looks so cute! I can you liking the same one.

            • Thank you for the suggestion! I just looked them up and they are super pricey! Yikes! I think I’ll just make my purse work since I already have it, like it, and it should be large enough (unless we’re taking care of a baby from foster care at the same time, then I might need to look into something larger!)

              • Jessica says:

                I used my purse for baby #8 and it was a dream! I was SO glad I tried it. I loved just having a diaper, pack of wipes and muslin blanket in my bag. I kept a ziploc bag with a change of clothes and all the “extra” stuff you don’t necessarily need to lug around all the time but would like to keep handy just in case.

              • JB Lockhart says:

                I always used a back pack for a diaper bag (35 years ago!). Lots of room, weight evenly distributed AND washable!

  • Maura says:

    Way to go! You’ve made a lot of progress.

    I’ve been busy decluttering too. I’m trying to move a large cabinet from one room to another and I had to make some space in order to do that. (I’m also sorting through a lot of other stuff.)

    After many years homeschooling, I am only teaching the youngest two. In the process of sorting, I found a lot of things that my kids have outgrown. It visually reinforced that they are really growing up.

    Blessings to you!

  • Priscilla says:

    Love your purse! Where did you buy it?

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I especially love your library space.

  • Kathy says:

    Still working on my kitchen/computer area. My dad built us 2 new cabinets 1 for computer and 1 for storage. Everything on 1 wall had to be moved and organized. A lot of paper work.
    Then every room needs done….ugh Headed back to work Monday so may take awhile to finish.

    • I’m planning to just do 15 minutes at a time next week since I’ll be back to working full-time and will have evening commitments every night, too. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Amy M. says:

    Great work! And my goodness, I love your library!

  • Nora Muse says:

    Yes I got this bug to. Organize bug! Started with Tupperware cabinet, went to hall closet and then went to another hall closet that was full of games we didn’t play. So donated to a family that the teenagers didn’t have much and they loved the monopolies and other games. Cleaning always makes ya feel good.

  • Ashley says:

    Aww – you’re feathering your nest! Yay! You may find more uses for your side table when baby comes. Seems like a handy place to keep diapering supplies as it’s right next to the bed.

    I’m a long time reader and our first 3 are two girls and a boy close in age to yours. We were blessed with 4 more and our youngest is 4 months. I can tell you, it’s going to be so wonderful for you to see the way your kids will love this baby! You will have to fight for baby time – ha! Prayers for your family!

  • Chris says:

    Crystal, to me if took a healthy dose of humility to share before and after pictures of your organizing. Thank you for keeping things real. This is one reason I still follow you after so many years. Everything looks great. I know it is a lot of work.

  • Looks great and excellent team work! I decluttered my recipe homemaking binder, our laundry room, and master bedroom. It’s a start.

    • Alicia says:

      This is inspiring ! I’m definitely finally feeling the urge to start organizing. We just moved to a new area 4 months ago, then had our 5th baby 3 days later! I’m not even fully unpacked. Yikes! But I’m finally starting to feel a little more settled and ready to start tackling these huge organizing projects !

  • April Morin says:

    Thank you for sharing your photos! I always get the organizing bug at the new year. So far, I’ve cleaned out my freezer, fridge, and filing cabinet. Those three things needed it the most. I’m going to start in my bedroom later today and do a thorough purge/organizing.

  • Kimberly says:

    Fabulous job, Paine Family!!

    We really need to figure out a system to organize (and find!) alllll our books, too. Could you do a post on how you all went about doing that, please?

    • Jordan says:

      I’m not sure what Crystal’s approach is but at my house we have three different bookshelves. One for books we like to display because we have nice copies of them or they hold special meaning to us (i.e. my complete works of Shakespeare and Dumas). Then we have a shelf full of what is on our to read next lists. Finally we have a shelf of books we love that we don’t want to part with and books we will read but aren’t at the forefront of our lists. Each shelf is then organized by types of books like fiction, bios/memoirs, poetry, and histories. I hope that gives you a little bit of an idea of one way you could organize your books! -Jordan, MSM Team

    • I kept it super simple and just organized by sections. So one section is Jesse’s books, one section is the kids’ books, and one section is my books. I organized mine by fiction and non-fiction and ones I’ve read and not read.

  • Colleen says:

    Just wondering what your system is for organizing all the books. I could definitely use some help in that department!

    • Jordan says:

      I’m not sure what Crystal’s approach is but at my house we have three different bookshelves. One for books we like to display because we have nice copies of them or they hold special meaning to us (i.e. my complete works of Shakespeare and Dumas). Then we have a shelf full of what is on our to read next lists. Finally we have a shelf of books we love that we don’t want to part with and books we will read but aren’t at the forefront of our lists. Each shelf is then organized by types of books like fiction, bios/memoirs, poetry, and histories. I hope that gives you a little bit of an idea of one way you could organize your books! -Jordan, MSM Team

    • I kept it super simple and just organized by sections. So one section is Jesse’s books, one section is the kids’ books, and one section is my books. I organized mine by fiction and non-fiction and ones I’ve read and not read.

  • Kimberly says:

    These are great ideas. Thank you so much!!

  • Jen Knox says:

    This is fantastic – and I love how the whole family got involved.

  • Anne says:

    Can you tell me what brand your purse is?

    Awesome job!!! I am working on things as I am able. It feels so good to get things clean!!

  • Carmen Martinolich says:

    Loving your posts. I just started decluttering my bedroom. I would love to have an empty room just to put everything in and start over. Also, I’m loving your library and closet ideas. A long time ago, when I was in the baby business, I used a large purse or backpack for all of baby’s “stuff”. Because as soon as you put the name “diaper bag” on any bag, it doubles in price.
    Enjoy the new baby!!

  • Jean says:

    Looking GOOD! Yes, all your work was and is worth it. And yes, I’ve done a lot of decluttering this past week–especially papers, papers, papers.

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