What to Do When Clutter Overwhelms

When clutter overwhelms

There are ice cream dishes still on the counter from last night.  The dishwasher needs emptied so it can be filled with this morning’s cereal bowls.  There are two loads of folded laundry on my dresser and a load in the washing machine that has been washed, and re-washed twice since yesterday.  The living room is covered with plastic figures and wooden blocks.  The kitchen floor is speckled with drops of milk and splashes of juice.  Not to mention the crushed goldfish and random Cheerios decorating the floor.  The to-do list is longer than I can memorize and I don’t have time to sit down and write it all out.  My head is swarming with thoughts that are echoing just a bit louder than the kid’s who are all demanding my attention at once.  I retreat to the bathroom to sit and have a moment of quiet.  I throw my head back and try to breath deeply, then it happens.  I see the vent above my head is covered with heavy dust and I break out into sobs.

I’m overtaken by my built up emotions, the clutter, my never ending to-do list, my sweet darling children that I would give my life for, and whew, sometimes I just need to take a moment and remember something.

Remember that I have a choice.

Remember that I can CHOOSE TO BE THANKFUL or choose to be overwhelmed, stressed, and weighted down.

Dirty ice cream dishes mean that we’re blessed enough to have extra money for treats.  At one point in my life I didn’t have enough money for three meals a day.  The dirty dishwasher means I should be thankful for many things.  Food to eat, money to pay the energy bill, running water, and well, a dishwasher.  Clean laundry reminds me that I am blessed enough to have family and clothes for them to wear.  Not to mention, I don’t have to drag bags of laundry to a laundromat.  My dirty kitchen reminds me to be thankful for the little mess-makers I gave birth to.  My mental to-do list reminds me that I am thankful for hobbies and opportunities to serve others.

I can be thankful.

Thankful for my life and those in it.  Thankful that I can pull myself away from the madness and reorganize my priorities.  Thankful that I can do things to make my home a haven.

Thankful that I can start.

While running and covering my head is tempting, I can choose to dig my heels in and start.

For me, starting involves me starting a load of laundry while I take a toy basket and scurry around picking up as many toys that are separated from their homes.  I give my kid’s the job of putting away the toys in the basket while I attack the remaining clutter.

As counters reappear and the “stuff” is reduced I can breathe easier.  Life isn’t perfect and my home will never resemble a showroom but they’re both good.  Good again.

I’m no longer overwhelmed by the to-do list.  The stuff.  The urgent.

I can enjoy my kids, tackle chores together, and walk around the kitchen barefoot.

Sometimes it’s important to just stop, evaluate, and then start.

If you’ve ever experienced a similar moment of overwhelm I invite you to join in our 12 Week Declutter Challenge starting tomorrow!  You can find all the details here.  It’s a lot of fun; I hope you’ll join us!  Oh, and there’s a cash prize of $250 too!

January Live With Less Winner Announced

Declutter Game

January was a good month, wasn’t it?  We pitched, we tossed, we decluttered, and we bonded over the love-hate relationship we have with stuff.  As I look back on January I’m excited, thrilled, almost jumping up and down with excitement to introduce our new challenge to you.  It’s a big one ya’ll, full of hard work, promises of success, and of course a cash prize!

Because I know many of you are shouting at your screens, “Okay, okay, enough already, Ashley!” I’ll move on.

With many worthy women who have entered the challenge, there’s only one winner.  Well, technically we’re all winners if we’ve got rid of unwanted belongings in our house….but only one cash prize winner.

The winner of the January Live With Less Challenge 2016 and the recipient of $100 cash is…

drum roll please…

is MANDY P! 

Congratulations Mandy!  You can email me at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com and I’ll get your money to you ASAP!

Congratulations to you all who entered, even if you didn’t make it to the 31st!  I’m proud of all of you!

JOIN OUR NEXT CHALLENGE 

Discouraged you didn’t win?  Take heart, you can enter our next challenge starting on February 7, 2016.  Go here for the 12 Week Declutter Challenge details!

12 Week Declutter Challenge – $250 Prize

12 Week Declutter Challenge

Who’s ready to start a 12- week clutter-busting, hold-no-junk-prisoner, challenge?  Challenge, that’s right, this is a challenge and it won’t be easy folks!  The January challenge we just finished up had over 200 people starting off and less than 50 finished.  Most people dropped off around day 11.  This challenge will be different, however, and will be more of a marathon than a sprint.  The goal is a BIG ONE – to declutter and organize your house.  Through the course of the next 12 weeks I want you to look at, touch, and analyze every single part of your home.

We’ll attack 12 areas of our home, one area a week.

Each area will be divided into 5 sections.  You’ll have till the next week to finish those 5 sections.  Do it all in one day, spread it out, whatever.  Photograph your progress, at least one photo of each section is required.  Before and after photos and photos of discarded belongings are fun too but not required!  Add your photos to our Live With Less Facebook group (more on the how-to of that later).

If you run into an section of your home that is already decluttered, great!  Take a photo of it to share then feel free to work ahead, find a better way to organize that section, or work on a project you’ve been procrastinating on.  Do whatever you like, you’ve got a free pass!

Sound easy enough?  Great, let me show you the first area that will start on February 21, 2016.

Area #1 is the Kitchen/Pantry

The 5 Sections are as follows:

  • – Counters
  • – Cabinets
  • – Pantry
  • – Drawers
  • – Refrigerator and freezer

Here’s an example of what your week may look like.

Sunday – Rest, work ahead, add an album in our Live With Less Facebook group for this challenge, whatever you want to do!

Monday – Counters

Tuesday – Cabinets

Wednesday – Pantry

Thursday – Drawers

Friday – Refrigerator and freezer

Saturday – Rest, catch up, work ahead, whatever you want but make sure you add the photos of the work you’ve accomplished this week to our Live With Less Facebook group.

What if you have an enormous kitchen and only get 2/3 of your cabinets decluttered?  That still counts because you got two+ cabinets cleared.  Hopefully it will be motivation to clean the rest too but for this challenge you’ve met the requirements.

Prizes!!!  The favorite part is the prize.  The prize for this challenge will be $250 cash!  This will be our biggest cash giveaway to date!  If we have a lot of participation we might even have a smaller prize every few weeks.

I know I’ll have left something off but let’s start with these Q&As and please feel free to ask questions in our group or in the comments here on the blog if I miss something!

Q&A

  • – If you skip a day are you disqualified?  Yes and no.  It’s okay to submit your section photo late but only two days late.  Three days late or later will disqualify you from winning but you’re welcome to continue playing.  Remember we’ll cover an area a week, Sunday-Saturday.  Submit any of those sections by Saturday and you’re good.  Submitting them on Sunday and Monday of the next week is permissible.  Submitting them on Tuesday disqualifies you.  I don’t like rules for the sake of rules but it’s a good way to keep us accountable and moving forward. 🙂
  • – What if I’m planning to be out of town one week?  Everyone is allowed to skip an entire week of their choosing.  No questions asked.
  • – What if I don’t have two hours to declutter each section? Don’t worry, progress is the goal, not perfection!  Even if you only have 15 minutes for some sections, do what you can.  If we put off everything till we had enough time to do everything, in the very best possible way, we’d never get anything done.
  • – Where do I share my pictures?  In our Live With Less Facebook group you’ll need to start an album (this is easiest from a desktop as opposed to mobile).  Once it’s created you can easily add photos from your phone.  All your photos will be in one neat organized bundle for you to look over and admire. 🙂  (Some have noted that unless you comment on your photos that you add, they won’t show up on the group wall so if you want everyone to see your updates add a little comment under each picture)
  • – If I absolutely abhor Facebook can I email you my pictures? Yes, but please put the area you’re submitting in the subject line to help me stay organized.  For instance “Area 1 Kitchen.”   You can email these to EmbracingHomemaking@gmail.com.  You can email these once a week or as you complete them.
  • – When will this challenge start, I just heard about it?  The first week of the challenge will run February 21-27th…and with the two days of grace period you can submit all five pictures on February 29th (Leap Day!) and still be qualified.
  • – Will we be taking Easter off?  Yes, specific details on that will come later.
  • – If I share pictures of my junk in the Live With Less Facebook group will all of my friends see it?  No, not unless they are in the group.  It’s a closed group.
  • – What if I don’t have one of the areas or sections listed?  It’s completely fine to veer from the recommended path IF you don’t have the area listed.  You’re not disqualified in the least.  Simply find another area that needs some decluttering love and share pictures of your progress there.
  • – Will you be sharing the items you’re getting rid of?  Yes!  I’ll be posting them in our Live With Less Facebook group.  Forgive the bad quality pics, these are quick pictures that are usually taken at night. 🙂
  • – What if more than one person makes it to the end?  This would be wonderful and I would choose a winner at random using random.org.
  • – What if no one makes it to the end?  Then I’ll keep the money and treat myself to a day at the spa.

In review:

  • –  12 areas of our home, one area a week.
  • –  You only need to complete 11 of the 12 areas to be entered.
  • –  Each area will be divided into 5 sections.  I’ll post at least one week ahead of time.
  • –  Add photos of decluttered sections to our Live With Less Facebook group.

Who’s ready to play?  I hope you’ll join me!  This will be more fun with friends!

If you’re just now joining us and want to catch up on past posts you can find them all linked here on the intro post to our Live With Less series.

Ridiculously Fun Car Accessories

This post is brought to you by Fitzgerald Auto Mall.

These ridiculously fun car accessories will make cruising down the road more enjoyable and less of a drag.  I had fun making this list and I hope you’ll have fun discovering the goodies I’ve rounded up.

Cherry Pie Air Freshner

I’ll start this list off with a sweet treat.  You might not need it, but this adorable little cherry air freshener will freshen up your day too. When you’re tired of looking at your tree freshener, this pie should round things out. Maybe pie isn’t your cup of tea. You can also find “flavors” like popcorn, bacon, cupcake, and Big Foot (pine scent).

Star Wars Car Charger

Maybe you grew up with Star Wars, or maybe you’ve seen SW7 one too many times. “This is the droid you’ve been looking for.” Sorry. I couldn’t help it. The Star Wars droid plugs into your cigarette he and sits in your cup holder. When he’s charging your phone he “bee bop bleeps.” Make your collection complete with Darth Vader car mats and Millenium Falcon Sunshade.

Car Fog Light

Mark your territory (or just look really cool) with this pattern light following behind you. Keep your fam safe and fancy with this rear light especially during rain and fog. When it’s hard to see the car in front, making your presence known will be easy with this psychedelic wonder.

Mini Poop Emoji Pillow

When you’re having a bad or shall we say crappy day, this little car accessory is sure to cheer you up. Next to your daughter’s stuffed Pooh-bear, you can have your own little… Oh, we won’t go there. This mini poop emoji pillow is only $4.40 shipped!

French Fry Holder

I hate it when I don’t have a place to rest my french fries. Whenever I’m driving solo, I have to hold my own fries or cry in despair as they fall in the floor from the cup holder as a I make my 90-degree turn. The french fry holder nestles the crispy heaven-sticks into your cup holder, so they don’t fly out as you drive. Finally, you can eat your french fries peace.

I love French Fries License Plate

Once you’ve bought your french fry holder, you shouldn’t hesitate to declare your love to the world! Say it boldly with this classy I Love French Fries license plate frame.

There you have it, my list of ridiculously fun car accessories!  Do you know of an accessory I left off?

How to Be a Minimalist

This post may contain affiliate links.

How To Be a Minimalist

Everyone is obsessed with buying more and more belongings. Unfortunately, not everything we buy is really important, and that would explain swollen garages and basements in many homes. There is nothing more fulfilling than living with less, owning what you only need. Although some people may find this a little weird…especially if they are into hoarding stuff, minimalism is one sure way of not just saving money but also decluttering your home and office desk and these tips can help you achieve that.

How to be a minimalist?

Here are 3 tips for the beginning minimalist!

  • –  Buy Only What You Need
    This is an interesting idea that can actually turn you from being a hoarder into a minimalist. Avoid buying something that you do not need. This will only lead to a house that is so full that you have nowhere to pass. Instead, ask yourself if you really need anything before making a purchase, and you will be surprised by the items that you will walk right on past.
  • –  Sell or Donate What You Don’t Need
    One of the reasons you probably have a basement and garage full of stuff is because you do not use those items. Instead of storing them away, go ahead and sell or donate them. How do you know what to give away? It is quite simple, anything that you have not used for about six months (or at least a year) is surplus to requirements, and you can let go. One interesting way to accomplish this is by posting one time on websites such as Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon.
  • –  Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists
    Living with less does not just end with decluttering your home. Many of us have subscribed to mailing lists that keep sending things that are probably mot even necessary. Dealing with a full inbox robs you of your time and unsubscribing from such lists will help you declutter your life. Remember, ignorance is bliss, and you will not be tempted to buy something if you do not know about it.  Unroll.me is a great service for helping you unsubscribe to mass emails quickly.

These are not very big changes.  They are small but they lead to a better life where you will not be bothered by clutter.

Remove Rust With Cola

Rusty Tools

What do you do when rust takes over your once loved items?  Buy expensive cleaners?  Donate them?  Hide them in the back of your drawer and pretend you never saw the rust?  Joene from our Live With Less Facebook group posed this question to the group and was surprised by the answer.  Several people mentioned that she should soak them in cola so she did.  30 minutes later the change was remarkable.  Take a look!

Rust Removed With Cola

They don’t look like the same items, do they?  Now they are stunning!

The cola contains carbonic acid which reacts with the iron oxide in the rust and breaks the bond it has with the metal.  I’ve also heard that if you have stubborn rust you can rub foil on the soaked item for even more rust busting power.  The foil is stronger than the rust but not strong enough to scratch chrome.

Thank you for sharing, Joene!!

If you have a tip that you’d like to share on this blog please contact me via the contact form or at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com.

Remove Rust With Cola

Live With Less Declutter Game – $100 Prize!

Declutter Game

Since last January, I’ve been trying to declutter and minimize my belongings.  To gain motivation I’ve shared my process and hosted challenges where people can “play” along with me in this process of living with less.  I’ve had so much fun (and I still have a lot to get rid of!) that I decided to host another challenge for the month of January!

This challenge will be like our very first one.  $100 is up for grabs!

Declutter game - $100 cash prize!

A game that will hopefully end with everyone owning less stuff and one winner walking away with a $100 in cash!

The game is a simple one.  For the month of January, you need to get rid of one thing on the first day of the month.  On the second, two things.  On the third, three things….and so on.  Clothes, toys, tools, junk, magazines, decorations, etc.

This is your mission should you choose to accept it!  It starts off easy but it will soon get trickier.  You can do it!!

How will I choose a winner?  We’re all winners by getting rid of our unwanted belongings but I’ll choose a winner from the people who take pictures of their discarded items each day and do one of three things 1) Share them on social media and tag them #LiveWithLess, if you’re not active online 2) Email the pictures to me at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com or my favorite way – 3) Share them in our Live With Less Facebook group. To keep things tidy, if you chose to share in the Facebook group it’s handy if you post days 2-31 in the comment section of your first post (some have chose to make an album or add a photo to an album and post continuing days below that – whichever – the wall or album is fine).

Q&A

  • – If you skip a day are you disqualified? No, but you may only skip two days at a time.  Three consecutive skips will disqualify you from winning but you’re welcome to continue playing.  Even though you skip a day or two you still have to go back and make up the days you missed.
  • – Can you track my shares on social media?  Yes, if you use the #LiveWithLess hashtag I can track them.
  • – How can I make sure my emails get delivered to you? Okay, so no one would really ask this but for my sanity, could you please put #LiveWithLess Day 1 in the subject line?  Thank you!
  • – When will this challenge start, I just heard about it?  The last day to join will be January 8th when you need to have all your days 1-8 posted…or technically 1-6 since you’re allowed to be two days behind at any point.
  • – If I share pictures of my junk in the Live With Less Facebook group will all of my friends see it?  No, not unless they are in the group.  It’s a closed group.
  • – Will you be sharing the items you’re getting rid of?  Yes!  I’ll be posting in our Live With Less Facebook group daily.  Forgive the bad quality pics, this is going to be a quick thing every day.
  • – What if more than one person makes it to the 31st?  This would be wonderful and I would choose a winner at random using random.org.
  • – What if no one makes it to the 31st?  Then I’m keeping the money for myself and going to the spa! 😉

A Side Note:

Have you been selling some of your items that you’re tossing?  I started selling some of my unwanted things online and have been shocked at the money I’ve made.  I’m excited to announce that I have an ebook coming out soon detailing the process, tips, and tricks that I learned the hard way!

If you have any questions or if I missed something please let me know.

Who’s ready to play?  I hope you’ll join me!  This will be more fun with friends!

If you’re just now joining us and want to catch up on past posts you can find them all linked here on the intro post to our Live With Less series.

DIY Car Detailing Tips

Detailing your own car is quite possible. I love to see every nook and cranny of my car clean. I don’t like all the little crumbs that pervade my car. A couple of these tips can help.

One nook and cranny is the cup holders. They always seem to get grimy. A hack I’ve seen is placing silicone cupcake liners within the cup holders. When they get dirty, take them out and wash them! Brilliant!

You can read the rest of my post on the Cadillac of Dublin’s website.

Fall Fun Day

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for WaterWipes. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.Fall Party Ideas

Fall reminds me of thick sweaters, sweet apple cider, colorful leaves, and our annual Fall Fun Day!  We had our fun day this past weekend and was very, well, fun!  The weather was cool, the pumpkins were plentiful, and games abounded.

Fall Coloring

We had tables laid out for kids to color their hearts out.  My daughter especially liked the glitter leaf stickers laying around just begging to be used.

WaterWipes Pumpkin Painting

The kids painted pumpkins using brushes, sponges, and glitter paints.  I may not be a kid any longer but I still love glitter paints.  We tried cleaning up with dry paper towels till it dawned on me that I had a pack of WaterWipes in my diaper bag.  I’m a WaterWipes Ambassador so I’m always prepared!  They were perfect for cleaning up little painted fingers!

Tic Tac TossTic Tac Toss was a favorite among kids of all ages.  The wall was made of felt and the little balls had velcro dots on them.  My son had to wait a long time for the older kids to occupy themselves with other things before he got the chance to play.  He’s obsessed with balls so this was his favorite activity of the day.  I wonder how hard it would be to make this Tic Tac Toss wall for our playroom?  Hmm, maybe that would be a fun and cheap Christmas gift!

Fall Play Doh Fun

Play-Doh is always a favorite!  Kids old and young love Play-Doh with cookie cutters.

WaterWipes Face Painting

Face painting was a hit with kids of all ages and WaterWipes came in handy to save messy fingers again!  Chemical free wipes make erasing accidental painting errors easy without causing skin irritation.  I love those things! {Visit WaterWipes.com to learn more!}  My daughter chose to get a football on her arm because she loves to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play football with her daddy. 🙂  I think she loves her special time with her daddy more than the does the game.  I love their relationship – so sweet!

Ski ball

An inflatable ski ball?  Yes, oh yes!  With all the rain and high winds we had to improvise from our usual outdoor bounce house.  Wind + bounce house = dangerous!  I had never seen an inflatable ski ball game before but it was a blast.

Our fall is off to a great start!  We still have our annual fall photo session, trip to the pumpkin patch (taking care of that tomorrow!), jack-o-lantern carving, watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and of course Halloween (or Costume Day as my daughter calls it).

What fall traditions does your family have?

31 Days to Live With Less + $200 Giveaway!

31 Days to Live with Less

If you’ve been following my blog for long you know that in January I kicked off a 52 Weeks to Live With Less series.  It has been a fun adventure to take with you all and I’m excited to make the month of October a challenge month.  I’ll be posting a challenge daily and there will be a B-I-G prize up for grabs for one reader.  Don’t worry if you don’t catch the first post right away, I’ll give everyone a few days leeway at the beginning.  This is going to be great, y’all!

Since there is always more strength in numbers, I would love for you guys to join me here and in my Live With Less Facebook group this month for some daily organization inspiration and support.  Each day will only require 5-15 minutes of decluttering for a simpler and less cluttery home.  I’m excited at the thought!  If you share any of your photos on social media or your blog please include the hashtag #LiveWithLessChallenge so I can find it….and that way everyone can search the hashtag for instant organization/decluttering inspiration!

Contest – Win $200!

To give you a little more motivation to toss your unwanted belongings, I’m going to award one reader a $200 Amazon gift card.  Winner will be drawn randomly from those who have completed the challenge.

Contest Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be tossed (recycled, donated, etc.) on the wall of our Facebook group – located here.  You can start a new post each day or continue posting follow up days in the comments of your first post.  Whichever is fine by me. (Side note, if you’re new to Facebook groups and you don’t want to see notifications when everyone posts you can change the settings in the group.  Message me in the group if you need help with this.)
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject Live With Less Challenge.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to two days ahead of time and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge a on Saturday, Oct. 3rd so we can give others a few days to find this challenge and give you who are reading this a head start gathering unwanted items. 🙂  We’ll still do 31 days but the first few will be so easy you can do multiple ones in a day.
  • – Share this with a friend!  It’s easier to stick with it if you have a friend or family member who are joining in too.
  • – Last but not least, have fun!!!

I’m excited to have you join me. 🙂  Feel free to start snapping pics, tossing, and posting your pics in our group now but our official start date will be Oct. 3rd.

Here’s a handy dandy printable version!

Oh and please know that when I say toss, I really mean donate, recycle, and lastly throw away.

Day 1: Paper.
Do you have a pile of old mail, cards, coupons, paperwork collecting on your kitchen counter (or covering all of your counters like mine have been before currently are)?  Sort through old receipts, bills, and shred, recycle, and relocate your paper to it’s proper home…after you take a picture to share with us that is.

Day 2: Junk drawer.
Take a photo of it before.  Take everything out.  Put back in only the things that you’ll use.  Take another photo of the unwanted, well, junk and a photo of the nice, new organized drawer!

Day 3: Sock drawer.
Sort through your sock drawer and toss any unpaired socks or holey beyond repair socks that may be hanging around. Photograph your donation/trash sock heap.  If your sock drawer is already perfect, show me a picture of that drawer and find something else to toss. 🙂

Day 4: Cleaning supplies.
Go through your cleaning supplies and get rid of the products you never use.  If you have half filled bottles of the same product, combine them.  Toss any old rags that you never use or that may have passed the age of usability.

Day 5: Medicine/first aid supplies.
It is recommended that medicine be stored in a cool dry place out of the reach of children.  Sort through your medications and toss any items that are expired or you’re unlikely to ever need again.  Visit fda.gov for proper ways to dispose of them.

Day 6: Bathroom cabinets.
Sort through your beauty products and keep only the ones you’ve used.  Old hotel shampoo bottles?  If you haven’t used them yet chances are you won’t.  Put them in the shower and use them this week or toss them.  Old electric razor you’re not sure where it came from?  Check with your spouse, then toss it.

Day 7: Your choice.
Go to the most cluttered area in your home and toss what you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t find attractive.

Day 8: Shoes.
Evaluate the shoes in your house and let go of the ones that rub blisters, that you’re keeping in case a special occasion happens to arise, that have holes in them, etc.  If you don’t use them, they’re just closet clutter.

Day 9: Decor.
Do you have extra place mats you no longer use?  A picture you never really liked hanging in the hall?  Decorative pillow that matched your last couch?  Search out those unloved belongings and pass them on to someone who can enjoy them.

Day 10: Clutter magnet.
Take a picture of an area in your home that is a magnet for clutter.  Entry way?  Kitchen counter?  Dining room table?  Take a before picture.  Find a home for the keepers and toss the rest.  Take an after picture.

Day 11: Something broken.
Fix or toss anything you have that is broken.  Keeping it around will just make you groan inside every time you look at it.  Free yourself.

Day 12: Magazines/catalogs.
If you have old magazines sitting around because you haven’t clipped that recipe or idea out yet go do that now.  Donate or recycle the rest and free yourself from clutter.  If you have several ideas clipped out for, say a new bedroom remodel (like I do) store them away in a folder in your filing cabinet.  They’re accessible without causing clutter.

Day 13: Email clutter.
Use unroll.me to unsubscribe yourself from all those mailing lists you never remember signing up for.  It’s such an enjoyable experience, you might even hear angels singing!  Take a screenshot of how many you unsubscribed from if you want to brag.  You can also take a photo of your computer for this entry…after you’ve unsubscribed from emails.  It’s not necessary to use unroll.me for this challenge but it’s a great tool to make unsubscribing a breeze (and it’s free!).

Day 14: Games.
If you have old board games you never play consider donating them to someone that would get use out of them.  Old electronic games count as well!

Day 15: Garage/basement.
Both garages and basements are known for collecting clutter.  Set a timer and spend 10 minutes in your garage or basement finding things you no longer use.  Sell, donate, recycle, or trash.

Day 16: Kid’s Toys.
If you don’t have kids, find a random cluttery item to toss.  If you have kid’s evaluate which toys are loved and bring happiness to your child.  Let go of the unwanted toys so that they can focus on their favorites.

Day 17: 4 Things
Find 4 items, any items in your home to get rid of.

Day 18: Pantry
Go through your cabinets and toss all expired products.  Put the ones nearing their expiration date nearest the front.

Day 19: Bookshelves.
Sell, donate, or recycle books that you will no longer read.  This is a hard one for me but if all it does is collect dust, it’s not worth having.

Day 20: Kitchen Cabinets.
Search for kitchen items you no longer use.  The high shelves are probably a great place to start.  Make sure all your storage containers have matching lids.  Toss duplicate kitchen gadgets and utensils.  Have an enormous appliance you only pull out once a year?  Consider storing it in a different location (attic, garage, basement, under a bed, etc.) to keep your kitchen less cluttered.  Toss any cookbooks you have never used.

Day 21: Car.
Grab two plastic bags and head out to your car(s).  Use one bag for trash and the other one for items that belong in doors.  If your cars are perfectly kept, show us a picture and find another item to toss.

Day 22: Linens.
Evaluate all the sheets, blankets, and towels in your home.  If you never use them all, let go of some.  Don’t forget dish towels too!

Day 23: Entertainment area.
Find all your CDs and DVDs and make sure they’re in the right cases.  Toss any you don’t listen to or watch anymore.  Possibly download your CD’s electronically and then toss it.  Make sure you’re not just collecting them because you spent money on them.  If it isn’t bringing you joy now, let it go.

Day 24: Your choice!
Go to the most cluttered area in your home and toss what you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t find attractive.

Day 25: Something embarrassing.  
If you can, find something to throw away that you would be embarrassed if anyone knew you had it.  Mine is a near-dead plant.  My husband calls it dead but I see a little bit of green so I’m clinging to the hope that one day it will come back.  It’s been this way for two years.  I need to admit it’s gone and let it rest in peace.

Day 26: Fridge/freezer.
Find and remove all items from that have expired, are frost bitten, or you know you will never use.  See Making & Maintaining a Freezer Inventory so this doesn’t happen again.

Day 27: Something sentimental.
I’m not talking about your most prized possession that your great great Mimi left you but something you don’t like but you’re holding to because you would feel guilty letting go of it.  If you can’t make yourself part with it store it away in a closet or attic for a few months and reevaluate it again later.  Chances are you won’t have missed it any and will have an easier time letting go then.

Day 28: Closet.
Take a picture of at least one thing you’re tossing from your closet.  Wrong size, wrong style, or just wrong for any human to ever wear, toss it.  No guilt.  Wear what makes you feel good about yourself.

Day 29: Your choice!
Go to the most cluttered area in your home and toss what you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t find attractive.

Day 30: Something seasonal.
Do you have Christmas wrapping paper that never gets used but you found it on sale for $0.10 so you feel like you have to keep it?  Maybe that’s just me.  What about old decor that you no longer set out?  Toss it.

Day 31: What’s left.
What did I miss?  Look around your room now and see what looks out of place?  If it doesn’t have a home or a purpose, let it go.

I can’t wait to share my 31 day decluttering journey with you and am excited to see how you much you all will get rid of!

Are you ready to begin?  I promise that come November 1st you’ll be happy you joined in!