30 Days of Giving Challenge 2018

30 Days of Giving Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!  I love to give to others and can always do more and give more.  I want to teach my children about giving.  I want them to have a heart of gratitude and a giving spirit.  Together my family and I are making November a month of giving and I hope you’ll join us!

Here’s how this challenge is going to go this year:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in November.  I know what you’re thinking, “Are you off your rocker, we’re already a week into November!”  It’s true!  I had this challenge planned before our close friend and pastor’s wife passed away.  I apologize for posting this late but I haven’t felt like being on the computer much.  I hope you’ll start today but whenever you stumble upon the challenge I hope you’ll join in.

The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have every single one of my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army or a family you know in need
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)

30 Days of Giving

The New Addition!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to also find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

By the way, if you’re local to me I know of several families and charities that would love gently used toys and household items.

Giving Challenge Prize?

If there’s enough participation I’ll throw in an Amazon gift card to a random participant!  I love to give money to those who participate in challenges but I’d like to see a lot of people participating before I throw out a large gift card.  I’ve been known to give every participant a $5 gift card before.  You just never know! 🙂  Think of it as a bonus to the good feeling you’ll get blessing others!

How do I know who participated?  Here’s how!

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given (or write what you said, paid for, etc) on the wall of our Facebook group under the daily photo I post.  Today’s post will say Giving Challenge #8 (because it’s November 8th, even though it’s the first day of the challenge), tomorrow’s will say Giving Challenge #9, and so on and so forth.
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject 30 Days of Giving Challenge #8.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge today, Thursday, Nov. 8th.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge.  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – What if you have so much extra stuff and you want to go above and beyond?  By all means do!
  • – 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!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group today!  Join our group by clicking here!

Live With Less Challenge for October 2018

Live With Less Challenge

It’s October and it’s time for another Live With Less Challenge!

We’re getting a late start but I hope you can jump in with us now and start living with less.  This challenge will be unlike any other that we’ve had thus far.  This challenge will largely be up to you.  The ball is in your court so to speak.

How To Enter To Win

  • – Join our Facebook group here.
  • – Find the Live With Less Challenge post set up for that day.
  • – Click the link on that post to read my blog post of the day for decluttering inspiration.
  • – Come back to the Facebook group to add one photo (or more if you really can’t fit it all in one) of the things you’re getting rid of to the comment thread of that post.  It can be an area related to my post of the day (for example, a kitchen junk drawer) or whatever you want it to be.  You know your house and your hot spots for clutter, attack your weak spots.
  • – Repeat this every day to the end of the month.
  • – If you miss a day you can make it up any time but try and not get behind.  The goal of this challenge is to help make decluttering a daily habit.
  • – Watch in our Facebook group for a randomly chosen winner to be announced (from those who completed the challenge from days 5-31)

Prize

When we get rid of things, we all win but I’ll be awarding one random winner a $50 Paypal cash prize.  Free money for getting rid of things.  Yay!

Things to Throw Away

You can choose what area to work on and how much you’re going to let go of each day.  There isn’t a set amount.  Many of us are at different stages of the decluttering race and I thought this would be a way for you to stay motivated while working on the areas that plague your household the most.  Need inspiration on areas to tackle?  Check out our list of 200 Things to Throw Away or check out what others are tossing in the Live With Less Facebook group.

You Don’t Have to Throw It Away

Remember, you can donate, gift, recycle, repurpose, or throw away.  Try to let throwing away be your last option if possible.  Be careful not to get stuck on wanting to repurpose or repair things though.  It’s easy to save things for “one day” and that day never comes.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!  Invite your friends, it’s always more fun to do these challenges with friends who can hold us accountable and cheer each other on.  I’m excited to start this new Live With Less Challenge with you guys!  I hope you’ll join us!

Declutter Challenge 2018

I can do it!

It’s time for our first declutter challenge of 2018 and it’s going to be a good one.  It’s also the time when I have to stretch myself and push myself out of my comfort zone.  You see, as a blogger it’s easy for me to share recipes (such as my favorite egg nog milkshake recipe), or kid’s crafts (such as these really cool borax snowflakes), or a list of my favorite kid’s toys (coming soon!), but admitting (to THOUSANDS of people!!) that I have a problem is hard.  A BIG problem really.  I have a problem with stuff.  I love stuff.  Shiny stuff, new stuff, stuff that promises in a million ways to make me happy.  Ooh, the bondage of stuff.  Although this is a problem that hundreds of thousands of people face it’s still difficult to admit.  I want to keep purging and purging until we’re living pretty minimal….and I’m a long way from that goal so we’ll press on.

Challenge Overview:  This challenge, or game if you like to think of it that way, will last for the full month of January and one participant will walk away with $50 cash!!  Each day you’ll be given an item(s) to get rid of or something to do.  If you don’t have one of those things to get rid of simply choose another item.  This detailed list is just to get your mind stirring and help jump start your purging.

Challenge Prize: In case you skipped the overview above, the prize is $50 cash to the challenge winner!!

Challenge Rules:  We’re all winners by getting rid of our unwanted belongings but I’ll randomly choose a winner from those who reach the end of the challenge and follow the rules.

How to enter:

  • – Look over the list below and throw away one thing(s) for each day listed below.  If you don’t have that item, find something else that you can part with and let go of it.  Even though we’re starting late, you still have to go back and complete the other days to qualify for the prize.  Don’t worry, some are super easy and you can easily wipe out a week in one day.  You don’t have to do the days in order.
  • – Each day take a photo of your discarded items.
  • Create an album in our Live With Less Facebook group and every day add your photos to it.  If you need help with this ask on the Facebook wall and someone will help you.  If you try and can’t succeed with an album you can always make a post on the main wall and each day comment as a reply with the next day’s photo.  (If you have a picture or two that you’d rather keep private but keep going in the challenge you may email them to me at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject Live With Less.)
  • – Make sure you number each photo as you go so it will be easier for me to check everyone’s work at the end of the challenge.  Just add a #1 with the first picture, #2 with the second picture, etc.
  • *ADDED TWIST* The person who invites the most people who complete the challenge will get $50!  For example if Mary invites 10 and only 2 finish she won’t win the money if the 3 people Sarah invited completed the challenge.  Does that make sense?

Q&A:

  • – When will this challenge start, I just heard about it?  This challenge will be unlike our other challenges where you have to post daily.  I want you to post daily to get in the habit but it won’t be required.  You can start anytime in the month as long as you have it all completed by the 31st.  
  • – 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 will be wonderful and I will choose a winner at random…maybe on a Facebook live video if I can convince my daughter to help.
  • – What if no one makes it to the 31st?  Then I’m keeping the money for myself and buy something pretty for myself….and then get rid of something to make room for it. 😉

READ READ READ:

Since I’ve posted about living with less a few years ago I’ve received numerous emails telling me what a horrible person I am for throwing away so much.  If they only knew the internal struggle I have about letting go of a bent paper clip!  Please know that I’m not advocating throwing away everything, do try and recycle, gift, and donate all that you can before trashing things.

Declutter Challenge 2018

The List:

Day 1- 1 Sentimental thing
Day 2- 2 Red things
Day 3- 3 Unwanted gifts
Day 4- 4 Magazines/catalogs
Day 5- Old coupons
Day 6- Things you can give to someone
Day 7- Glass items (old mugs, dishes with chips, unloved vases, etc)
Day 8- Stationary items (broken pens, extra anything you won’t use)
Day 9- Unfinished project pieces (finish the project this week or consider throwing it out)
Day 10- Old cotton (old t-shirts, cleaning rags, socks, anything cotton you no longer have a use for)
Day 11- Christmas cards
Day 12- Disposable plates, cups, or cutlery (use them up!)
Day 13- 13 items of clothes or shoes (a pair of shoes counts as 1)
Day 14- Duplicates (anything you have two of that you don’t need, two bottles of red nail polish, tweezers, nail clippers, hammers, etc.)
Day 15- Unused old bottles (any empty jars or bottles that you don’t have a use for)
Day 16- Tech (Movies, CDs, video games, random telephone cords, cords you don’t know what they go to but have had 5+ years, etc.)
Day 17- Let go of 1 thing & write a letter/email to someone you’ve lost touch with (no need to provide a picture of the correspondence)
Day 18- Out grown/unloved items (nearly full old perfume bottles, toys, jewelry, etc.)
Day 19- Use something you’ve been saving (decorative soap, fancy dishes for a special occasion, a bottle of sparkling apple cider, whatever you may have that you’re waiting to use “some day” Let today be that day!)
Day 20- 5 Things you can fit in your hand
Day 21- Organize an area that you dread to organize and toss items as you go (before and after pictures are always fun but the items you’re letting go of is okay too if you forget to snap a before pic)
Day 22- Write a list of 22 things that you’re thankful for that money can’t buy
Day 23- Let go of 2 things and make a recipe from an unused cook book (if you can’t bring yourself to do it, let go of the cookbook too)
Day 24- Mend, fix, or glue 3 broken items or toss them (maybe you don’t keep broken things but we always have a few broken things at our house)
Day 25- 5 things from 5 different rooms
Day 26- Move/toss/do 6 things that make you feel guilty (maybe it’s a book that sits on your nightstand and has been laying there unread for months making you feel guilty when you look at it, maybe it’s the dirty windows that irritate you, etc.)
Day 27- Do something you’ve been procrastinating (returning unloved purchases and going through old moving boxes are at the top of my list)
Day 28- Take your donations to a charity 🙂
Day 29- Repurpose/display a sentimental item you’ve decided to keep
Day 30- Find a “home” for lost items that are around your house….as many as you have time for
Day 31- Let go of 12 pieces of paper

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!

Oh, I almost forgot to say something – Happy New Year!!!

Here are two other helpful posts you may like:

200+ Things to Throw Away Now

– How to Get Your Spouse to Declutter Without Nagging

How to Organize your Small Bedroom

Sometimes we find ourselves living in a small home or even a large home that has small bedrooms. Whether you are looking to organize a child’s room or an adult’s room, organizing your small room couldn’t get any easier with these tips.  This post contains affiliate links.

How to Organize your Small Bedroom

Teacups and Saucers

These no longer used teacups or saucers make for great jewelry organization. If you have a nightstand or a dresser that is stocked full of jewelry everywhere, make use of teacups and saucers to creatively store the jewelry in a safe place without looking cluttered. You can pick up these items at a thrift store or from your kitchen cupboard.

Under Bed Drawers

There are many bed frames available on the market these days that have drawers built into them. If you have a regular bed frame, you can easily add those plastic storage bins underneath the bed too. Learn to utilize the underneath of bed area for storage space. This is the perfect place to store clothes, blankets, sheets or toys.

Step Ladder Nightstand

While the average nightstand offers perhaps one shelf and one drawer, using a step ladder nightstand will utilize more shelf space. This is the perfect way to organize your small bedroom so that your alarm, electronic devices, and even a lamp are all in one place that takes up as much space as a nightstand would take up.

Hanging Laundry Bag

There is a great way to store dirty clothes or clean clothes that aren’t yet folded, the hanging laundry bag.  If you have a door on your small bedroom, you can easily hang an open laundry bag hamper on the back of your door so that you can put your clothing in an area other than the floor.

Toy Chest Storage

With a small bedroom for kids, you will have to find a creative way to store those toys. Using a toy chest storage in their bedroom that is either built into a closet, a wall or used on the side of their bedroom for storing toys as well as a top shelf for a play area.

There you have it a few ways you can easily organize your small bedroom without stressing out. Each of these tips should guide you forward in your mission to get that small bedroom organized.

 

December 30 Days of Giving Challenge

30 Days of Giving Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!

The old challenge went something like this:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in December.  Giving doesn’t have to be designated to November!  The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have  my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)

The old challenge had zero accountability and truthfully not many people participated, or if they did they didn’t let me know about it.

30 Days of Giving

The New 30 Days of Giving Challenge!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

By the way, if you’re local to me I know of several families and charities that would love gently used toys and household items.

Giving Challenge Prize!

Wait?  Can you really win a prize from giving away your things?  Yes, you sure can!  I’m going to award one reader a $10 Amazon gift card!  Winner will be drawn randomly from those who have completed the challenge.  Okay, so I know it’s not a HUGE $100 or $300 prize like we’ve had in the past but I’m hoping it will still be enough to motivate you.

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given on the wall of our Facebook group – located here.  Post once and continue posting follow up days in the comments of your first post.  If you’d rather set up an album and add your photos to it, that’s great too.  (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 30 Days of Giving Challenge.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge a on Tuesday, Dec. 5th so we can give others a few days to find this challenge and give you who are reading this a head start gathering your unwanted items.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge.  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – What if you have so much extra stuff and you want to
  • – 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!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group now but our official start date will be Dec. 5th.

How to Prepare your Kids to Get Rid of Stuff and Donate

When raising kids, it’s almost certain that your home will be full of clutter. Kids tend to take claim to their items forever and teaching them to get rid of stuff and donate to others isn’t easy. The holiday season is the perfect season to start cleaning out those closets. As a parent, it’s your job to start preparing your kids to get rid of that stuff and give to others on a regular basis.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to start discussing giving back to others with your kids. No matter how old your kids are they are sure to grasp the concept of how nice it is to give and receive. Traditionally speaking most kids tend to get items during the holiday season, but taking this step to teach your kids to give back other families will pay off in two ways; you will have a less clutter-filled home and you will feel great giving to other kids in the local community.

How to Prepare your Kids to Get Rid of Stuff and Donate

Prepping the Kids

Make sure that your kids take part in the decluttering process. Give the kids a rule of thumb that if they haven’t worn it or played with it in the last 6-12 months, it goes into a donate pile. Items that are too worn out to donate, can go in another pile designated for repurposing projects.

Have each kid work on their own area and own toys, clothing, and accessories. Give the kids responsibility to declutter items and to really think about toys they no longer need that would make another kid smile this holiday season.

When finalizing the steps of prepping the kids for getting rid of their items, you must take into consideration that each item holds value to the individual kid. Take this time to have them think through the process of giving back.

Donating to Others

Now that you have prepared your kids with expectations and how to get rid of their no longer used items, it’s important to explain why donating to others is important.

Consider having your kids pick a family to adopt, there are many organizations that collect local family wish lists and allow community members to adopt the said family.

Have your kids pick a kid-friendly organization that they want to donate to. When kids are getting rid stuff, often they feel happier about it when they know where the used items will go.

Work with your kids to showcase how other families are less fortunate, that times get tough for every family in every area of the world. Perhaps your kids were never taught that others go with far less than they have. Taking the time to preparing your kids to get rid of stuff and donate to others will be a rewarding experience for your whole family…and for others.

Now that we covered the basics, it’s time for you to get started in preparing your kids to get rid of stuff and donate to others. Try to make this a new holiday season tradition and have fun with it!

Live With Less Challenge 2017!

I can do it!

It’s time for our first declutter challenge of 2017 and it’s going to be a good one.  It’s also the time when I have to stretch myself and push myself out of my comfort zone.  You see, as a blogger it’s easy for me to share recipes (such as my favorite egg nog milkshake recipe), or kid’s crafts (such as these really cool borax snowflakes), or a list of my favorite kid’s toys (coming soon!), but admitting (to THOUSANDS of people!!) that I have a problem is hard.  A BIG problem really.  I have a problem with stuff.  I love stuff.  Shiny stuff, new stuff, stuff that promises in a million ways to make me happy.  Ooh, the bondage of stuff.  Although this is a problem that hundreds of thousands of people face it’s still difficult to admit.  I want to keep purging and purging until we’re living pretty minimal….and I’m a long way from that goal so we’ll press on.

Challenge Overview:  This challenge, or game if you like to think of it that way, will last for the full month of January and one participant will walk away with $100 cash!!  Each day you’ll be given an item(s) to get rid of or something to do.  If you don’t have one of those things to get rid of simply choose another item.  This detailed list is just to get your mind stirring and help jump start your purging.

Challenge Prize: In case you skipped the overview above, the prize is $100 cash to the challenge winner!!

Challenge Rules:  We’re all winners by getting rid of our unwanted belongings but I’ll randomly choose a winner from those who reach the end of the challenge and follow the rules.

How to enter:

  • – Each day take a photo of your discarded items.
  • – Create an album in our Live With Less Facebook group and every day add your photos to it.  If you need help with this ask on the Facebook wall and someone will help you.  If you try and can’t succeed with an album you can always make a post on the main wall and each day comment as a reply with the next day’s photo.  (If you have a picture or two that you’d rather keep private but keep going in the challenge you may email them to me at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject Live With Less.)
  • – Make sure you number each photo with the day’s # on it so that I can easily check when the month is over.
  • *ADDED TWIST* This game is much more fun with friends so please invite your friends to the group to join the challenge.  If the winner has added a person to the group they’ll get an extra $50.
  • *SECOND ADDED TWIST* The person who invites the most people who complete the challenge will get $50!  For example if Mary invites 10 and only 2 finish she won’t win the money if the 3 people Sarah invited completed the challenge.  Does that make sense?

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.
  • – When will this challenge start, I just heard about it?  The last day to join will be January 7th when you need to have all your days 1-7 posted…or technically 1-5 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 will be wonderful and I will choose a winner at random.
  • – What if no one makes it to the 31st?  Then I’m keeping the money for myself and buy something pretty for myself….and then get rid of something to make room for it. 😉

READ READ READ:

Since I’ve posted about living with less a few years ago I’ve received numerous emails telling me what a horrible person I am for throwing away so much.  If they only knew the internal struggle I have about letting go of a bent paper clip!  Please know that I’m not advocating throwing away everything, do try and recycle, gift, and donate all that you can before trashing things.

Declutter

The List:

Day 1- 1 Sentimental thing
Day 2- 2 Red things
Day 3- 3 Unwanted gifts
Day 4- 4 Magazines/catalogs
Day 5- Old coupons
Day 6- Things you can give to someone
Day 7- Glass items (old mugs, dishes with chips, unloved vases, etc)
Day 8- Stationary items (broken pens, extra anything you won’t use)
Day 9- Unfinished project pieces (finish the project this week or consider throwing it out)
Day 10- Old cotton (old t-shirts, cleaning rags, socks, anything cotton you no longer have a use for)
Day 11- Christmas cards
Day 12- Disposable plates, cups, or cutlery (use them up!)
Day 13- 13 items of clothes or shoes (a pair of shoes counts as 1)
Day 14- Duplicates (anything you have two of that you don’t need, two bottles of red nail polish, tweezers, nail clippers, hammers, etc.)
Day 15- Unused old bottles (any empty jars or bottles that you don’t have a use for)
Day 16- Tech (Movies, CDs, video games, random telephone cords, cords you don’t know what they go to but have had 5+ years, etc.)
Day 17- Let go of 1 thing & write a letter/email to someone you’ve lost touch with (no need to provide a picture of the correspondence)
Day 18- Out grown/unloved items (nearly full old perfume bottles, toys, jewelry, etc.)
Day 19- Use something you’ve been saving (decorative soap, fancy dishes for a special occasion, a bottle of sparkling apple cider, whatever you may have that you’re waiting to use “some day” Let today be that day!)
Day 20- 5 Things you can fit in your hand
Day 21- Organize an area that you dread to organize and toss items as you go (before and after pictures are always fun but the items you’re letting go of is okay too if you forget to snap a before pic)
Day 22- Write a list of 22 things that you’re thankful for that money can’t buy
Day 23- Let go of 2 things and make a recipe from an unused cook book (if you can’t bring yourself to do it, let go of the cookbook too)
Day 24- Mend, fix, or glue 3 broken items or toss them (maybe you don’t keep broken things but we always have a few broken things at our house)
Day 25- 5 things from 5 different rooms
Day 26- Move/toss/do 6 things that make you feel guilty (maybe it’s a book that sits on your nightstand and has been laying there unread for months making you feel guilty when you look at it, maybe it’s the dirty windows that irritate you, etc.)
Day 27- Do something you’ve been procrastinating (returning unloved purchases and going through old moving boxes are at the top of my list)
Day 28- Take your donations to a charity 🙂
Day 29- Repurpose/display a sentimental item you’ve decided to keep
Day 30- Find a “home” for lost items that are around your house….as many as you have time for
Day 31- Let go of 12 pieces of paper

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!

Oh, I almost forgot to say something – Happy New Year!!!

Here are two other helpful posts you may like:

200+ Things to Throw Away Now

– How to Get Your Spouse to Declutter Without Nagging

Live With Less 12 Week Challenge Winner Announced!

Balloons

It is with great pleasure that I get to announce the winner of our long, exciting, and well challenging challenge.

Drum roll please…

Oh, and if you want to join our next challenge join our Live With Less Facebook group for an update.

With 12 whole weeks of picture proof progress our winner is….

One last thing, if you want to start decluttering but don’t know where to begin, check out our 200 Things to Throw Away Now list.

Without further ado… the winner of $100 cash goes to…

Michelle M.!!!!

Congratulations, Michelle!!!

Everyone who completed the challenge is a winner in my eyes.  Even if you didn’t finish, look at all the progress you did make.  Keep on living with less and I’ll share details about the next challenge once they’ve been finalized.

7 Things I Have Learned From Our Move

This post contains affiliate links to products I own and love.

From Our Move

Since moving last week I’ve discovered quite a few things about myself and I’m sharing them here with you in hopes that you might find them helpful.

Plain Nursery

  • 1.  The biggest thing thing I’ve noticed is that I LOVE clean and open spaces.  Okay, that really shouldn’t have surprised me but how much I love it certainly does.  I don’t even feel like decorating.  I’m sure I’ll decorate as time goes on but right now I’m enjoying the serenity of freshly painted walls.
  • 2.  I thought I would be disgusted by eating out so much but it gave me an opportunity to seek out those healthier options at restaurants that I usually avoid.  …and I liked them!  I may not completely revert back to my “go-to” restaurant favorites.

Temporary Kitchen

  • 3.  After a few days of eating out I decided to see what all was possible with my make-shift kitchen consisting of a fridge, toaster oven, microwave, and a wok on a hot plate.  It turns out that you can make a lot with those!  I’m feeling creative and enjoying the challenge of cooking with less equipment.
  • 4.  I am enjoying, no absolutely relishing in the amount of things we have out.  I feel like I’m on a vacation, just living with the minimum and having the time of my life.  We have all of our unopened boxes in one room and we keep the door shut.  We go in to get what we need and leave the rest there.  Once we have our kitchen cabinets installed and closet systems in place we’ll unpack a bit more but right now I’m loving having less.  We donated a lot as we packed up our old house but because of this high that’s coming from seeing and interacting with less I have a feeling I’m going to be donating a lot more in the coming weeks.  Less toys means less to put away.  Less clothes means more laundry but less choices.  Less things to dust around and vacuum around.  Less has truly made my spirits brighter.  I wish it didn’t take the painstaking ordeal of packing a few hundred boxes to fully convince me but that did the trick.  If you want to live with less you can get started with my 200 Things to Throw Away post!

Geese on a pond

  • 5.  Because we’re in a new place I want to be at my best for my kids.  I don’t want my cranky attitude to make them dislike their new house.  I know that seems silly but if you’re a parent you know how your attitude can affect your child’s.  To help with my attitude I’ve started going to bed earlier.  On purpose.  Every night.  It has helped my attitude tremendously!  I’m still tired through the day because of my narcolepsy but I’m more alert (and happier!) than I have been.
  • 6.  Along with going to bed earlier I’m trying to prep for the next day by laying out clothes, towels for the morning, and planning and prepping breakfast for the next day.  It takes very little time but helps me tremendously as I’m stumbling around in the morning.  I started doing this on my own and I had success but a few days ago my blogging friend, Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com released a new 14 day course that provides a step by step system to help you Make Over Your Evening.  I immediately bought it, devoured it, and can say that I have truly benefited from it.  Here’s my affiliate link if you’d like to check it out for yourself.  The course only takes 15 minutes a day…unless you’re like me and go ahead of schedule. 🙂

In just 15 minutes a day over two weeks the course promises you’ll learn how to:

  • – Establish a Realistic Evening Routine that works — and that sets you up for amazing success!
  • – Design a Prioritized To Do List for each day — one that you’re actually excited to wake up and tackle!
  • – Nourish your body, nurture your soul, and no longer put your health on the back burner — even in the middle of a busy and full life.
  • – Assemble a wardrobe of simple outfits you love and that make you feel great — so you can finally, as Dear Abby Leigh says, “Dress for the day you want to have, instead of the one that’s trying to have you”!
  • – Develop a contagious, positive attitude — so you can experience and express more joy in your everyday life.
  • – And more…  visit MakeOverYourMorning.com for more information.

Walk in the woods

  • 7.  Lastly, I hate to admit that there may possibly be downsides to living in the woods.  The only downside so far is that I’ve found way too many spiders to have only been here a little over a week! (Yes, I saved you and shared a picture of my darling daughter instead of a yucky spider.  You’re welcome!)  I’m seriously thinking of investing in one of these little spider catchers that I’ve seen on Facebook a few times.

If you’ve endured a move and lived to tell about it I would love any advice you have to share!  Happy Monday, friends!

How to Find 15 Minutes a Day to Declutter

How to Find 15 Minutes a Day to Declutter

It can be overwhelming to try to declutter your home when you take a large chunk on at once. Rather than attack it full-force, you are probably more prone to put it off. Day after day, the task seems less than inviting. Daunting even.  You’re not sure but you think you heard your pile of papers and dust bunnies mocking you.

What if you set aside 15 minutes to declutter? Would you be able to approach it then?  Try these tips to get yourself closer to a clutter-free home.

1. Set a reasonable goal
If you want to take on a closet, for example, you will not be able to get it all done in 15 minutes. Start with a shelf, time yourself for 15 minutes and do a really job purging what you don’t need and re-organizing that particular space. The next day, continue with that shelf if needed or move on to another one.

2. Use the KRRT rule
Decide if you want to keep it, re-use it, recycle it or trash it. If you have not used it within the past year, then it is not an item you need to keep. Can it be donated? Is there someone you know who needs it more than you do?  Sometimes, by asking these questions, our perspective on the item changes.

3. Decide on a home
Everything you are re-organizing needs a home. If you just toss it back on the shelf, it will become chaotic quickly. By having a specific home for each item, you are bound to stick to a more organized space. Use bins, jars, labels and whatever else works to keep your space the way you want it. This will add visual appeal and motivate you to stick to your newly organized space.

4. Wake up 15 minutes earlier
I like sleep as much as the next guy. Probably more! However if you’re having trouble squeezing 15 minutes a day to declutter wake up a little earlier. Don’t declutter with your eyes still glued shut but once you’re awake and moving attack a problem area and I bet you’ll have a spring in your step the rest of the day.

5. Talk and declutter at the same time
Can’t chew gum and walk at the same time? Well, this probably isn’t for you. 🙂 The idea is simple, to distract you while you declitter. Hopefully this will help you from overanalyzing everything and make you more efficient. Plus, if you’re talking to a girlfriend she can help give you the nudge you need to let go of some things.

15 minutes a day is all it takes to get yourself started with de-cluttering your living space. That could amount to almost the same time as a Netflix show or a few songs from your favorite playlist.