Category Archives: Removing Clutter

Scene It?

You know…the board/DVD game…Scene It?

We’ve had two of these games hidden away in a closet for who knows how many years. The original and Seinfeld edition.

We’ve never played them. Ever. I thought I remembered playing the original at one point but when I opened the box all the cards were still in shrink wrap – kinda hard to play a game without the cards. And the Seinfeld edition had never even been opened. Shrink wrap around the outside of the box.

Pretty sure this is what we call clutter.

So, out of the house they go. Hopefully someone else will enjoy them more than we did.

What’s one thing you can clean out of your house this week?


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Cutting Cable

As you may know, I’m currently working on a project to remove the clutter and excess in our home. Each week I try to give away or sell or throw out at least one thing. This week… we cancelled our cable.

Crazy? Maybe. Weird? Probably. Oddly terrifying? Definitely.

I am literally afraid to be without television. (Perhaps this would’ve been reason enough to get rid of it.) The thing is, we aren’t swearing off TV – we’re just canceling cable…and On Demand…and DVR. We are trading it in for a Hulu+ membership. And I’m worried about missing something.

Isn’t that crazy?! I’m so invested in television (something that isn’t real, by the way) that I’m actually worried about missing something. But I’m also hopeful that this will be good for us, healthy even. We watch far too much TV, including Mikayla. Though our main motivation for this switch was financial, I expect we will benefit in other ways as well. Not the least of which will be burning fewer brain cells on reality shows and, my personal favorite, NCIS marathons.

So, here’s to less TV and more…whatever people do when they aren’t watching TV.

Question: What’s something you can remove from your home this week?

Done with Diapers

Continuing with my project to eliminate clutter and the “excess” we live with, this week I have removed the Diaper Genie.

Before Mikayla was born we were given the Diaper Genie as a shower gift and it has quite possibly been my favorite “baby gear” item – definitely the most used. I know there are many differing opinions on diaper disposal. I know some people believe the Diaper Genie is an extravagant waste of space. Strong opinion for a diaper trash can? Maybe, but you might be surprised at the strong opinions parents tend to form (and share) about the littlest of details.

Anyway, I have loved the Diaper Genie. For me it was super convenient, sanitary, and contained the smell of those precious little diapers.

Now that Mikayla is potty trained, mostly, we really don’t need the Genie. So, out it goes. I can’t decide if I’ll send it to the yard sale pile or store it with other baby gear. But, either way, it will be moved to the garage and out of our house.

Question: What’s something you can remove from your home this week?

Digging for Gold

For those who may not know, I’m currently working on a project to eliminate clutter and reduce the “excess” that we live with. Each week I’m trying to remove one item from my home. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week, I’m making some money! Woohoo!

Mike convinced me to try to sell some of my jewelry that I don’t wear anymore. Apparently there are (somewhat sketchy) people who will buy your gold – broken, scratched, knotted or in whatever condition it may be. I don’t really know what they do with it… melt it down and then make it into something else maybe. Anyway, Mike informed me that the price of gold is really high right now (who knew?) and that I could probably make some cash on the stuff that’s just hanging out in a drawer.

I mean…having cash is better than having jewelry I’ll never wear. So I went through all my gold. I kept some things even if I won’t wear them because of the sentimental value. I’m not one for hanging on to things just for the sake of nostalgia but jewelry is something that doesn’t “go bad” and it doesn’t take up much space and it can be passed down to Mikayla someday. Several pieces I kept were things passed down to me from my grandparents or parents and several things Mike gave me at one time or another and I’m just not willing to part with them for a few bucks.

With the few things I did sell I made $401. Awesome! I know!

So, go dig around in your jewelry box and maybe you can make some green as well. While you’re at it, go ahead and organize the whole dresser. You may not get any money for those old socks but wouldn’t it be nice to be rid of them?

Question: Anyone else sold any jewelry? Good experience or bad?

An Empty Shelf

I’m currently working on a project to eliminate clutter and reduce the “excess” that we live with. Each week I want to remove one item from my home. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week I did more “putting away” than “getting rid of” – but with the same goal in mind. We have purchased a ton of movies for Mikayla. Some of them she can’t really even watch yet because they’re either scary or just too mature for her to understand. This is definitely more my fault than Mike’s. I think I just remember LOVING all the Disney movies as a kid and wanted Mikayla to grow up with ALL of them.

However, giving a three year old full reign over 50+ movies leads to: 1. way too much TV watching, 2. a bunch of scratched DVDs, 3. a spoiled kid. So, we’ve thinned out the collection a bit. Setting aside some movies to be sold in the next yard sale or given to friends. The rest I’ve boxed up. Leaving only a few out for Mikayla to watch. I plan to rotate the selection every so often so that the movies stay fresh and new and exciting. As she gets older, her access to the movie collection can increase but for now I think limiting her movie choices is probably best.

And, now we have emptied an entire DVD shelf. I don’t want to get rid of this shelf – because it’s a good shelf. But I think I’ll move it to the garage/laundry room and re-purpose it for a better use. This still removes it from our general living area and allows it to work for us in a better capacity.

Question: How much TV do your children watch each week? Do you think they should watch less or are you happy with their screen time?

How Can You Get Rid of Books?

No, seriously. I want to know the answer to that question.

I’m currently working on a project to eliminate clutter and reduce the “excess” that we live with. Each week I want to remove one item from my home. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week I thinned out the bookshelf a bit. If this is your first time ever visiting my blog or if you don’t know me at all, you may not know this about me, but I love books. LOVE books. My absolute, all time, favorite way to relax is to visit a Barnes & Noble without children. Just to touch and smell and flip through all the books…heaven.

But, I don’t necessarily want books hanging out in my house. Which is why I’m a huge fan of the Kindle and will forever be a loyal e-book reader. Thousands of books, one perfectly sized device. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of books we read we only read one time. I have some favorites that I’ll read again every few years, sure. But what do you do with the rest? You buy a book, read it once, then it forever sits on a shelf collecting dust?

Not a good use of the book. Or the space it takes up.

So, I looked through my books and pulled out those that I will probably not read again. This is in no way a reflection on the quality of these books – these are all books I would highly recommend. They just aren’t books I’ll read over and over. So…back to my original question…what do you do with books you no longer want? Do you donate them to a library? Give them to a friend? Sell them at a yard sale? Not sure what would be appropriate. If I had written a book I think I’d want it to be in the hands of someone it would benefit – so I’d want it to be donated or given to someone who needs it.

I think that’s what I’ll do with these. Unless, of course, someone knows a more appropriate way to remove them from my house.

Question: Which do you prefer – paper books or e-books?

Really Old CDs

I’m currently working on a project to eliminate clutter and reduce the “excess” that we live with. Each week I want to remove one item from my home. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week I cleaned out some CDs. I rarely listen to CDs anymore (thanks to iTunes) but I’ve kept every CD I’ve ever owned since like 10th grade. And since I was only supposed to listen to Christian music for most of my childhood, the vast majority of these CDs are Christian musicians from the 90’s. Christian music and the soundtrack to Grease.

It’s not that I don’t like Christian music but my tastes have changed. Like, a lot. So…any Christian music fans out there interested in owning some 90’s music?

Or, Grease fans? I’ve got a soundtrack for you.

What’s something you can get rid of this week?

Office Anyone?

Last week I started a project to eliminate clutter and reduce the “excess” that we live with. Each week I want to remove one item from my home. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week’s elimination – The Office seasons 1 through 4 on DVD.

Don’t get me wrong, The Office is a fantastic show. We DVR it weekly. But if you’re going to own four seasons on DVD, shouldn’t you own all the seasons? I mean…what good is only four seasons of a show that’s been on for eight? And, I don’t want to own all eight seasons. As much as I like watching the show from week to week, I’m NEVER going to go back and re-watch the entire series.

Full disclosure – the fourth season hasn’t even been opened. It has sat on our shelf for who knows how many years and it’s never even been opened. Clearly, this should not be taking up space in our home. It has been moved to the yard sale pile in the garage. Hoping one of my friends has a yard sale soon so I can take my stuff to their house and won’t actually have to do any prep work to sell it.

What about you? What is one item you can remove from your home this week?

Cleaning Out the Clutter

Even the most orderly of homes has corners and nooks collecting clutter…even mine. I’ve talked a lot on this blog about getting rid of the clutter in our homes. And, for the most part, I’ve done a good job of practicing what I preach. If you could walk around my house, peeking in the closets and under the beds, chances are there is little you would see as unnecessary clutter. For the most part.

Even though I don’t have a lot of “clutter”, the fact is that I live with an excessive number of possessions. “Excess” is probably subjective. What one person views as excessive another views as inadequate. I get that. But for our family, we have excess. So, I’m going to do a little project to trim down the number of items we live with.

Each week I’m going to try to eliminate one item. It may be something I would truly consider to be clutter – something completely unnecessary for our lives. Or, it may be something that I just think is excessive – something we don’t need but perhaps someone else does.

This week, I found some clutter hiding high in the pantry. Mikayla has been sick and I finally got desperate enough to look for some medicine for her. What I found was this huge box that used to hold baby medicines (baby tylenol and baby motrin and baby gas medicine) but, since Mikayla is nearly 4, we’ve used all the medicine and all that remained in this huge box was a random assortment of used syringes. Clearly, this is unnecessary clutter.

I kept a couple of the still useable syringes/medicine spoons and threw away the ones with worn off numbers that you really shouldn’t use. For now, I let Mikayla have the box. She’s been carrying her toys around in it. I expect it to only last a few days as it is not nearly sturdy enough to survive “toddler treatment” for very long – at which point it will also be removed from our home.

I’m excited about this little project. I think this will be eye-opening for me. Excess is pretty easy to spot once you start looking for it. I think it will be interesting to see how my definition of the word changes – things that I see as necessary now may seem excessive six months down the road. And, I think it will be good for Mikayla too. The younger she learns to live with less the more appreciative she’ll be of those items she does have.

Question: What’s one item you can remove from your home today?