Monday Mayhem Week 2

Monday Week Two


(there is no guarantee I can keep this alliteration up)

verticle files

CHALLENGE: 1/2 Revisit your paper in and out system. Do you have paper that came in that didn’t get homed? Diagnosis any additional symptoms of Paper Mayhem. Sometimes  Having to abandon  your previous efforts.

CHALLENGE: 2/2 Family Record time. Overwhelming (yes) But today I want you to spend just 30 minutes on getting your arms wrapped around your family records. They could be pictures, cd’s with pictures, dvd’s, birth certificates, baby footprints, scrapbooks, genealogy, journals , kindergarten journals, anything that you couldn’t replace in a fire. Breathe. we are just going to swallow this elephant one nibble at a time 30 minutes. Set a goal. it could be Gather items in one place… Pick a home…. group like items together…. put them in date order…. Find your kiddos birth certificates and social security cards and photo copy them. Put them in your fire resistant water resistant safe.  This one  on Amazon looks amazing is a great price and allows you to put in files .

As always pictures, comments, suggestions, links are very helpful to all!!!!

Sectional Saturday Week 1: Garage

Sectional Saturday.  More like Zones but Zones doesn’t start with an S sooooo I want you to think of your garage and divided it mentally into sections or zones. Draw a map if you’d like Here are my zones. bikes (pumps, tires,helmets, bikes) Tools , Painting supplies, Christmas items, Summer bins (rotated with winter bins on high shelf) A low shelf for whatever is in season right now it is snow gear. Garden tools, car cleaning and vacuum supplies. Camping gear.

CHALLENGE: Set the timer I only want you to commit to 15 minutes in the garage. At very least I want you to get a vision in your head of how you are going to group like items together, At best you will start putting things in zones or back in zones if you are already zoned.

With a vision of how things can be grouped in your garage then you can work a little or a lot at a time with some sort of end goal in mind. Even writing the zone on a 8X11.5 sheet of paper can be very satisfying and give you a sense of direction.


Found it Friday Week 1 : Have you lost the love of your Master Bedroom?

Found it Friday. Have you lost the love of your Master Bedroom. Sometimes our bedrooms are the last to get our attention. They should be a retreat a place to rejuvenate (and reconnect) Not just a place to dump the things we don’t have time to take care of. So tackle the end tables and any catch-alls. So find the love of your room again. Friday date is date night so that is your deadline.

(sister high-jack again): Whether you’ve been married 5 minutes or 50 years it’s important to have a place for a couple to be together without the cares of the outside seeping in. How about creating an escape in your own home? The bedroom needs to be free of the bills you haven’t paid, the pile of outgrown baby clothes, stacks of magazines, and more. I realize that for most people space is at a premium, but if you need to keep it-like the bills and the baby clothes, find another space for them. Your old taxes don’t need to be kept in a shoe box under the bed, put them in that cupboard above the fridge that you never use (but make sure it’s mouse proof). Why does it matter if the bills are under the bed or the sock basket is next to the nightstand? Ultimately your mind knows it’s there and ultimately it has the potential to influence the peacefulness and the romance of the room. Here’s a big recommendation: remove the t.v. For the longest time I didn’t see a problem with having a t.v. in the bedroom, in fact we only moved it out because we needed one in the kids playroom. Once it was out we didn’t miss it. After the clutter is gone, consider a little decor. I have small confession. We’ve been in our house since 2006, the house that used to belong to my hubby’s grandparents, and in our bedroom-not only do we have the same 70’s green shag carpeting, not only are the walls a stark white, but the windows are still covered the same homemade blue plush curtains with white poofball accents that his grandma made.

I’ll be posting some before and after pictures of my own eventually (this is still the sister typing). In the mean time we want to know what is the most outdated item in your bedroom? Have you had the same comforter since the 80’s? If you can’t part with it, consider getting a duvet. We want to see your before and after pictures. You don’t even have to redecorate, just declutter for now and the rest will come later.

Thursday threads Week 1Clothes Clothes Clothes Clothes.

Thursday threads!!! I am a sewer so lets deal with thread. Just kidding.
Clothes Clothes Clothes Clothes. but Thursday threads works better with this declutter alliteration thing I am trying for. I have way too many clothes.


CHALLENGE: Target either your own clothing, or your children’s not both. (unless you have way more energy than I do, then I guess go right ahead) Pick a percentage and reduce.

Take the things out of your closet that do not fit. If you get back to “that” size you deserve new ones anyway. Valuable real estate, I know few people who have adequate closet space so don’t waste yours filling it with “someday” clothes. I have this trick I do when I downsize clothing. I go to the closet and If I am not willing to wear it today because it is too tight, to scratchy, too out of style, too loose, too whatever then I donate it. If I wouldn’t wear it today why hang on to it.

 Tip: I have a friend who has one closet in her hallway that all the kids clothes go in. She has a hanging sweater shelfy thing for each of her 7 kiddos. They get 8 outfits each. That’s it. (see link to her blog post in comment section)

Drowning in clothes, a slave to the piles of laundry dirty and clean. I know my boys have favorites and I often end up washing non favorite unworn clean items that get tossed around as they get to their favorites. For a great solution for laundry day, check out my sisters blog post here: Ten steps to taking control of your laundry.

TIP: Take your clothes and sort them by type. short sleeve shirts long sleeve shirts pants sweaters ect. Pick a number you are going to let yourself keep (if you are brave donate the rest, if you are kind of scared box them up and see if you can live happily on less)

I am tempted to pick 8 outfits of my own, my favorite, I feel great, and love outfits and just ditch everything else.

TIP: I involve the kiddos I lay out their 13 short sleeve shirts and say, Pick the ones you don’t like to wear, no hard feelings. If you don’t love it today you won’t wear it tomorrow. Then I have them pick say 10 that they love and we put those back in their drawers.

CHALLENGE: So Day 4 Challenge reduce your clothing organize what is left get a system for in and out.

What is the longest you’ve held on to that “someday” outfit? What do you do with the suit that no longer fits the hubby, or the too short dress pants that you only remember on Sunday that no longer fit the 10 year old? Sister tip: I only seem to notice that my teenager’s suit is too small after we’re at church. Every Sunday I think “I have got to get him a new one”. This week, while waiting for the church meeting to start I actually put a memo in my phone with an alarm to remind me to get him a new one. And for the suit that no longer fits the hubby or the dress clothes you never wear? Consider donating them to the homeless shelter or an organization that helps prepare unemployed people for jobs. Having something to wear to an interview could make a lot of difference. (the sister apologizes for high-jacking this post)

What the Heckito Wednesday Week 1: Pantry

What the Heckito Wednesday. As in What the Heckito happened in this pantry? Where the huey is the pasta sauce. When did I buy that? Where is it Wednesday. We are talking food pantry, food cupboard, food storage, food in the fridge, food in the freezer. PICK ONLY ONE

CHALLENGE: Put your food in order. We can blame it on the children if you’d like but having your food organized will help save time and money and can be really rewarding visually.20150126_142434


TIP: Group like items together. Be motion minded if you have to reach for things you use everyday and have items you infrequently use at arms reach it is backwards. 

TIPS: Labeling. Wether it is a label maker or a piece of paper with tape if you label it then you can remember it’s home. I did this recently in the fridge and it is so helpful.

TIPSS: Store things at point of use. Don’t be afraid to get out of the box. I just moved my cereal out of the pantry into the kitchen . The shelf was tall enough to have the boxes stand up ( in the pantry it isn’t) And the kids get in and out of the cereal the most (4 growing boyz)

What I have done: Yeah…. mine was a mess  I have organized my pantry and labeled it…now I need a more frequent system to make sure things go “home” the good news is even when it is a disaster like it was today it gets easier and easier to return it to order because order was once outlined.20150128_141733

Good luck and 4 gold stars for enduring the post.

What was the oldest thing in your pantry/fridge? Did you know that most food kitchens will take expired food? Unless the cans are rusted or bulging you might consider donating it to the food bank.

Too Many Tuesday Week 1: Pick one area that has too many things.

Too Many Tuesday!!!!!! 80 percent of the time we only use 20 percent of our things. Do you have too many cleaners, shoes, lids, things falling out of your drawers? Today is your day. You get to pick the area here is your challenge.

CHALLENGE: Pick one area that has too many things. Get 4 containers 1/ Trash 2/ Donate 3/ Doesn’t Belong Here 4/ Keep. Approach your (drawer, dresser,cupboard,closet) Take everything out. Start sorting into the 4 categories as you group like items together. These should be quick decisions. When you are done we will organize the rest and decide if this is the right home for it. Ask yourself if you are using ocean front property for a salvage yard. In your home there are high use areas things that are not high priority and used daily should not be in these high use areas.

TIP: picture what your home and life would be like simplified, not bursting at the seams, keep this image in your head as you choose which things you need to keep.

With spare change in a drawer you are richer than 90 percent of the world. Be a wise steward of this abundance.

I have a friend who uses the 80/20 rule as she declutters for every 10 items she sets aside the 2 essential ones. 10 cleaners pick your top two. I have tried this sometimes I can’t stick to 20 percent but even 40 percent is an improvement.

I know someone who keeps all the plastic containers like cool whip and sour cream. But even her largest meal would not yield so many left overs to fill every container her fridge would not hold that many ….her cupboard was not adequately holding that many. So she picked the 8 nicest ones and recycled the rest.

Too many junk drawers?? Things in the junk drawer end up there because they don’t have another home, or we are too rushed to figure out where it’s home really is.

What I did:
My suggestion get a small container for each of the grouped items you find in your junk drawer (I recycled my dish washing containers) In my junk drawer I have office/school supply like things tools, money, batteries, the pads for under my chairs to not scratch the floor, extra 3m hooks, fly paper, health and beauty stuff like toe nail clippers flash lights and lighters, and odd electronics. These are the containers I kept batteries, money, tools, electronics, sticky stuff, light me up and ugggh. I moved school supplies to their home beauty supplies in the bathrooms the rest went into the containers in a cupboard in my utility room the uggghhh is where I put the things that I don’t make time to put away right but it is small and doesn’t flow into the other space when it is full or on the assigned day I will put things away properly I labeled it uggghhh so when I look at It i think ugggghhh just find it’s home. Now the 3 drawers that I had in my kitchen being used as junk drawers are now filled with other kitchen things so they cannot regather junk.

Sister tip: (hi this is Kelsey, the family hoarder) I find that gathering stuff is easy, it’s getting rid of it that’s the trick. In my mind I think “I’ve paid for this, how can I just throw it out?”, and sometimes just donating it isn’t easy either. For me, it’s often easier to give things to someone I know I can use them. Ultimately it’s the getting rid of things that will make enjoying what you have easier.

See pictures in Photo section for my before and afters on this project.

Okay this is just a sample of the principals of sorting, grouping like items and finding a home.

Bonus thought: Toys Toys Toys If you were to perform a study on how your children play with toys what would you find? Are they overwhelmed with the choices? Do they dump out the whole box and then end up not playing with anything anyway? I know there are some who put their toys in groupings and store away most of them rotating them every major holiday. I was so happy when I simplified our toy selection to 4 medium smallish bins. guys, cars, blocks, animals. I have boys so I don’t have the tinsy accessories to deal with. But some of the best play and imagination has come from sticks and corn husk dolls. In effort to give our children the best sometimes we “spoil” their opportunity to get used to having less. Just a thought.

What is your “too much” and how do you make it so that it’s “just enough”? Please share, and don’t forget before and after pictures!

Monday Madness Week 1 Paper, Paper, Paper

It could be your children’s paperwork, household bills, business paperwork or the 1000’s of other papers that come into our home, purses, and cars.

The definition of insanity is said to be doing the same thing but expecting different results. So before you succumb to the straight jacket let’s diagnose the problem. Most things end up in piles or stuffed into drawers when it doesn’t have a clear home,or an easily accessible one.


CHALLENGE: Decide a home for paperwork. Will it be in grand central station, a bedroom, a drawer, an office (who is this lucky) under the sink.. ? Pick a home report in comment section where it was, where it is now, and how you tackled the problem. Pictures are a bonus.

If you have conquered this insanity your challenge today is an easy one. Give us your best tip. Also revisit your system, is it still working, any tweaking needed, admire your work. But if not….

Quit pretending you are not the CEO of everything important. If you had an office how would you be filing these papers, what would be your inbox? What would you use to file things you need to keep long term, short term, action items. Would you get fired? 


1. Decide the purpose of the space, get a vision of how you want it to look and work.
2. Group like items together.
3. Sort A) trash B) doesn’t belong here C) give away/donate D) Keep
4. Organize the “keep” Storing at point of use, being motion minded.
5. Develop a ritual for the things coming in and out of this space.

So no matter what the paper is, get a better system for it.

Horizontal spaces are for action not dormancy. Go vertical for storage. Horizontal space is precious real estate in our homes.

WHAT I HAVE DONE: I have a dresser with a drawer for each of my kids they keep school books, spelling lists, scout books, library books, and school folders here. I have also used a portable file folder in the past but I like the cute dresser with a drawer just for the supplies. Not everyone can have a school bus yellow dresser but the idea here is to group all school things together kids know where to look for homework, you know where to place the children’s items when they are not there. And everyone knows where the pencil and scissors are.

Incoming Mail. One touch system. If I cannot sort  it right then I don’t get it out of my mailbox, I get a ritual for bringing in mail. I stand in front of my wall tiered folders and sort in the recycle bin right below it, bills to pay, action items …get my emissions test, to file (for things like property tax statements) I even have a spot for incoming in case I need to have someone else bring in the mail or my hair catches fire and I can’t sort it ….pretty much it is my safety net so I don’t resort to putting them on top of my …microwave.

I use banker boxes to keep things from previous years. You need to keep anything you use to back up your tax filings with. 7 years is the suggested amount of time. These are kept in a storage room on a top shelf they do not deserve space in my home.

I use 3 ring binders for my bank statements, credit card statements, or any revolving loans. All in one binder divided by months .

I have colorful beautiful folders for hanging vertical files Things I am actively referencing for my volunteering, my hobby, insurance paperwork, warranties and owners manuals,

I keep titles, birth certificates, passports and other important documents in a fire resistant safe on a shelf (click on a the link for a cute pink colored safe or pick a color to fit your decor.)

If you made it to the bottom of this post 4 gold stars for you. I would have totally skimmed it. See you tomorrow! We want to see your before and after pictures! Please post those below along with your tips for keeping your paper, paper, paper, under control.