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Decluttering and Organizing!

I was staying at home last week for pet sitting at the same time they had hired someone to come organize and declutter their kitchen and butler’s pantry.  After semi-watching the process over 3-4 days, I realized a few things:

  1. There is no magic to decluttering and organizing.  It takes time, the ability to purge, and patience.
  2. I can’t afford to have someone else do this for me.
  3. I was tired of living in everyone else’s home and going home to clutter.

Decluttering – One Thing at a Time

So I came home and spent a few hours every day this week on decluttering and/or organizing a different area of my home.  I started with the kitchen counter on Monday and knocked that off pretty quickly – about 90 minutes in total!

Then I moved onto the pantry on Tuesday…that took 2.5 hours total but that also included bagging the non-expired stuff that we weren’t keeping, listing it for free on Nextdoor.com, and it being picked up by a family that just became single income suddenly with four kids.  Woot!

Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to my bedroom, about 6 hours in total.

I forgot to take before and after photos until I was nearly done, but here is a sadly good representation of what my side of the room looked like on Wednesday morning:

Before Decluttering and Organizing My Bedroom
Okay, so this has been edited of course. But I really did have laundry piled up everywhere and ended up hanging up over 80 blouses and tshirts, washing 2 large loads of laundry, donating 2 large bags of clothes to Goodwill, and digging out and cleaning out two suit cases from my pet sitting overnights.

Taking care of the laundry was only the majority of the job.  Then the top of my chest of drawers needed a complete overhaul since it was covered in old paperwork, mail, and random pet sitting stuff from the last 12 months at least!  Then I tackled the rest of my side of the room while my husband did his half.  After 3-4 hours on Wednesday and 2-3 hours on Thursday, here’s what the area looks like now:

After Decluttering and Organizing My Room
No, I didn’t just move stuff out of the way for the picture. 😉 All of my laundry is done or donated and hung or folded. All of the paperwork was sorted through and filed or shredded or recycled.  Everything left on top are souvenirs, masquerade masks, or personal trinkets that mean something to me.

It feels amazing and open in my kitchen and bedroom again!  Totally worth all of the time, and I didn’t even have to pay $20-$100 an hour for it!  I’m running out of steam but plan to tackle the main downstairs closet and filing cabinet next week.  Maybe my office at some point too…

How do you tackle decluttering and organizing in your home?

8 thoughts on “Decluttering and Organizing!”

  1. Funny about Money

    I hired a cleaning lady during the time I was undergoing the endless series of surgeries. Because she’s so excellent and it’s so difficult to find a competent housecleaner, I decided to do without other things so as to have her come once every two weeks. A cleaning lady must be able to find surfaces in order to clean surfaces. So….that means every two weeks I have to shovel out the mess!

  2. Money Beagle

    I’m in the midst of a complete decluttering of our basement. Basically, nothing will go untouched. I’d say I’m around 50% done and the results are noticeable though I can’t wait until the finished product. And, the hardest part, of course, is *keeping* it de-cluttered.

  3. Michelle

    I need to be in the mood to purge, but when I get going there is a big donate pile at the end. I ususally start in the closet (with the things that have dust on them), then move on to shoes (with the same dust problem), its always hard to get rid of old tshirts, cause they usually have the most sentimental value (from a club at college or a big game that my favorite team won, etc).
    I find that my biggest problem with the pantry and tolietries is that I never want to use them up, because then they are gone (yah I know….I can just go to the store and buy more—-but what if its been discontinued). So there is always almost empty bottles of shampoo, lotion, lipstick, perfume, etc. So for me, just getting up the guts to throw it out is most of the battle.

  4. Nicole

    Looks great, but sounds exhausting! I’ve been trying really hard not to let the clutter get out of control so I don’t have to spend a lot of time reorganizing, but that’s easier said than done. I do make sure that most things have a home so I don’t end up getting overwhelmed by stuff everywhere. That has really helped cut down on the piles here and there. I’ve also been donating stuff that’s been languishing in my closets for years without use. Obviously it’s never going to be used so I might as well give it to someone who wants it.

  5. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    Well maybe you just found yourself another side hustle!

  6. Crystal @ BFS

    @Funny, yeah, when we had a biweekly maid, we kept up better too. I miss it. We cut costs since the online business slowed down. May need to cut a few meals out so we can splurge on a biweekly maid again…

    @MB, yeah, I threw a used tshirt on the floor today and consciously chose to pick it up and put it up instead…this is going to be interesting…

    @Michelle, it’s hard for me to purge unopened things that I know I won’t use but they are unopened. Like shower gel in a scent I don’t like that I received as a gift. It’s a problem…

    @Nicole, yeah, I do okay with keeping up until my schedule gets all out of whack…then it builds up as work priorities take over my brain…

    @MomofTwo, ummmm, nope. Not fun at all for me except I get to live with the results for a while. 🙂

  7. Michael Saves

    Have you heard of Marie Kondo? She wrote a book about tidyness. I read it and have used her method for several months. It truly works. There are many YouTube videos showing how it works if you just type in her name. Basically, it is about only keeping things that bring you joy.


    Michael Saves

  8. Ramona

    Does look pretty familiar 😀

    With a toddler and a husband who’s not used to pick after him, my house routinely looks like this. Oh, well, at least it relaxes me to ‘declutter’ after them

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