Sunday, January 25, 2015

How to Create a House of Order

How to Create a House of Order heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it!
Picture courtesy of Tyler Foote

How to Create a House of Order


The building in the picture above is the Jordan River Temple of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's one of almost 200 around the world where Mormons can go to serve and pray. Temples are always beautiful, orderly, and reverent - exactly how I wish my own house would be.

We are currently in the market for a new job. As such, we took this week to get our house ready to sell.

What craziness!

My hips hurt from bending over so much to pick things up or scrub things down. But, golly, it feels so good to have a clean house.

Life gets in the way. Tending children, practicing instruments, making meals, chilling out, etc, all give me great excuses to leave the deep and dirty cleaning for another day. I am very externally motivated. Having strangers walk through my house to potentially buy it is a great external motivator!

Thankfully, I had already spent a year on The Great Purge that helped things this week.

The Great Purge


Thanks to Colleen of 365lessthings.com, my New Year's Resolution last year was to get rid of 1000 things from my house. I thought doing 3 things a day instead of just one was an ambitious goal that was sorely needed in my family's life. I could throw things away or give them away, but they had to be gone. Now, normally I stink at keeping resolutions. But I have long had it in my mind that God likes a house of order. I stink at keeping an orderly house, too. Hence, the resolution.

When I reached my goal by the end of March without even trying (what?!?), I decided to change the goal to getting rid of 1000 things each quarter.

First may I say, the fact that we had 4000 things to get rid of (and could certainly do way more) is a sad fact.

Truly the modern American way is that of luxury and gluttony. For an article showcasing the problem the world has with this, check this out from BBC. Maybe that's why I've started following sites like Becoming Minimalist, Treehugger (I love the mini homes they showcase!), and Zero Waste Home.

Cheryl Moreau of Revive said this on her latest guest post on Becoming Minimalist:

Blank spaces mean "Freedom. 
Freedom from being a slave to our stuff through cleaning, organizing, and worry. 
Freedom in our finances to give, travel, and experience life more spontaneously. 
Freedom in our spaces and homes to entertain, play, and live."

Bring on the blank spaces, Baby! The blank spaces I'm relishing right now are on my carpet. The fact that I can see my carpet in all parts of my house is HUGE!

Before: So Gross

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

After: Happy sigh!

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

 Books, Books, Books

Build Your Book Fort! by Perilous Paper How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com
Do you like this? Check it out on Etsy.
I have a problem. And I blame it all on genetics. I am a pack rat, as is my father, and my grandmother before me. I love to accumulate books!

So guess what the first major project I tackled was? Yes! My overflowing bookshelves. We have six bookshelves in our basement and three in the bedrooms upstairs. They were packed to the gills, some with two rows of books per shelf, and several had stacks of books on top. Seriously, Heaven? I don't even read the darn things like I should. 

Luckily we have a great used bookstore that trades for credit. I went in there over Christmas to see how much credit I had accumulated over 2014. I was thinking maybe around $300.00. No. Over $700.00! And that is trading on 1/4 or even 1/8 of the publisher's price! I've gotten rid of hundreds of books. And there is no way I'll be using all that credit. 

Another great site if you want to try to sell your books is bigwords.com. This site helped me sell to the highest payer out of several bookstores. Oftentimes my books weren't worth anything to anyone, unfortunately. That's when they went to the bookstore in town.

The kinda great thing, kinda sad thing about getting rid of so many books is I could only tell you the names of a handful of them. I don't miss them AT. ALL. And yet, as I type, my children are busy making forts with our remaining books. :)

What Counts as Trash?


So what else did I count toward my 4000 pieces of junk? Whatever I could while being a good sport. No, I didn't count individual game pieces unless I had already gotten rid of the game and found a lonely piece left behind. I counted beads, trash if it had sat in the same spot for more than a month. (Look behind your bookshelves for those.) Old magazines, toys when the children weren't looking, toys when the children were looking, clothes that were stained or ripped or just not fun to wear, old papers and receipts, my husband's itineraries from his business trips. I cleaned out our craft supplies and linen closets. I sold on eBay. I took carloads of filled bags to our local thrift store. 

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

My husband even helped me by taking empty garbage bags into the basement. He had the girls go through their room and the closets in the game room. Too many things were not being put away. It was time for a change. And change he made! I'm always a little scared for my own mental health when he helps. I love the results, but thanks to that inner pack rat, I always have a hard time letting go. When he was all done and I had some time to myself to look at all the BEAUTIFUL blank space in the closet, I was very grateful he had helped! I'm getting better at letting go. Really.

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

Hallelujah!


Now my house has order. I have blank spaces. I can see my carpet! And my countertops!

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com

It's a beautiful thing. I'm happy. My family is happy. My husband was very complimentary. Bea Johnson from Zero Waste Home quoted Gandhi in her latest post (see link above).

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

I think I want less clutter. I said I was going to clean it out. And I did! 

When asked what they thought about the cleanliness of the house, one of the children thought the last time the house was this clean was when we moved in. 

Um.....That was 4 1/2 years ago. Pathetic on me.

Actually it was in the summer of 2013 when we had an appraisal. But still. It's been way. too. long.

The house is clean, our spirits renewed. The whole world looks better. Gordon B. Hinckley How to Create a House of Order. Ever wondered how to declutter and get rid of trash? See your floor again. Set your goal and work toward it. Get rid of 3 things a day. You can do it! heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com


Baby Steps and Motivation


Hopefully we'll keep getting rid of things. I dream of mini homes with nothing in them but beautiful things I truly enjoy looking at. Not clutter that stresses me out but I can't seem to get rid of. Can anyone relate? If you need a good starting point, Cheryl Moreau encourages us to:

1. Do some self-analysis.
2. Take daily action.
3. Keep moving forward.

Check out Nourishing Minimalism great guest post at Becoming Minimalist. And if you want a challenge, Lynn at NourishandNestle.com is having the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp for January 2016. Go join now and link your before and after pics with the #unclutteryournest tag.

Two wonderful articles on what clutter does to our brains and health are from Mikael Cho at lifehacker.com and Krissy Brady at She Knows. It's interesting, but it's not good news.
What are your strategies for a house of order? Please comment.

I linked here: Nourishing Joy, Darling Downs Diaries, A Modest Mom, The Mom 2 Mom Encouragement Party, Ask Latisha, and Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Your Homebased Mom, Mandy's Recipe Box, One Project at a Time, Raising Homemakers, Wholehearted Home, Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R&R, Wise Woman, The Mommy ClubWifey Wednesdays, Makeovers and Motherhood, The Thrifty Home, Ducks in a Row, Thrifty Thursday, All Things With Purpose, A Handful of Everything, Katherine's Corner, Children Are a Blessing, The Deliberate Mom, Graced Simplicity, Domesblissity, Sincerely Paula, My 2 Favorite Things, Ciry of Creative Dreams, Crafty AllieLouLouGirlsTotally Terrific TuesdayUrban NaturaleSo Much at HomeLink Party PaloozaG'Daythoughtful thursdaysfrugal FridayCreate and Share The Scoop WAYWOW Cooking and Crafting with J&J Wednesday Showcase Your Inspired IdeInspiration Thursday Throwback Thursday

22 comments:

  1. I agree that order is healthy and peaceful! I crave it! Thank you so much for sharing your enlightening post with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing! Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. It's amazing to me if I stop and think about how I feel when I look at a mess how anxious I really am. Cleanliness truly aids our health! Thank you for the shares!

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  2. This summer I saw a post about a 33 item capsule wardrobe, and it inspired me to get into my closets and drawers and get rid of things. Hundreds of things. Then my husband and kids got into the act, we donated 8 huge black garbage bag to charity. It felt so good to get rid of things that were taking up space. I was lighter mentally and physically because of it!BTW, it looks amazing!

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    1. I think I know the website. She does something similar with the groceries you buy every week.

      That is awesome about your success. Isn't it cool to feel the difference between a lighter house and one stuffed to the gills? Thanks for sharing your story, Nikki!

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  3. I for one, cannot function very well with too much clutter. Things for me run way more smoothly if things are in their places. It allows me to focus on the last at hand instead of wasting time looking for what I need.

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    1. That is definitely the case with me. Even when I'm cluttered, I can still usually find what I need, but if I'm asked to find something one of my kids has lost in their clutter, I'm just filled with negative energy. That's why I'm a firm believer in being the adult in the house who can lead the way. Sometimes that's pretty hard, though!

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  4. I love a good clean up it is great for the soul and also your house! I love the before and after pics so encouraging to keep it all tidy.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! Before and after pics have that magic quality about them that help me remember it is worth it to do hard things!

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  5. A clean and organized home is a happy home. We have been remodeling one room at a time since we moved in and it's been slow going. I will be so happy when we get everything done and in order. It stresses me out when I get things organized and the hubby gets things out and leaves them instead of putting things back where he got them.

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    1. Sorry for the additional stress, Linda! It's hard to break old habits. Hopefully you can find a way to get your hubby on board. Good luck with the remodeling!

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  6. What a great concept, which reminds me of some of my own tackling I've got to do in the near future.
    I love decluttering and organizing; it is SO therapeutic and feels good on your soul. :)

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    1. Thank you! It's a never-ending cycle her at my house. But the results and positive feelings are always the same, too!

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  7. I am so impressed with your ambition the first time around, much less the second! Thank you for sharing how it all came together and motivating ME to get in gear this year and get rid of 'stuff' I don't need. You're amazing and a great example.

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    1. Thanks so much, Carrie. The ambition comes and goes in sporadic bursts. I'm hoping it hits again sooner than later! :)

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  8. It feels so good to clean, organize, and purge! What great motivation!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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  9. Your house looks fantastic and I for one know that a tidy house makes me have a tidy mind among other things! fab - I have pinned too

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I like your reference to a tidy mind. Mine is so distracted, but a clean house definitely does make a difference. Thanks for the pin!

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  10. Your house looks great! You've really done some work! Organization is such a daunting task but it's definitely rewarding. Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! Pinned.

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  11. What a great post! I love seeing what you have to share with us and appreciate you stopping by to share this at Throwback Thursday, hope to see you again this week.

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  12. I can see we are a lot alike! I draw, and it is important to know that visual "space" is even more important in a drawing than the lines and what makes up the subject! I think that same principle is true in our homes and decorating.

    I love your post and truly understand that sigh of relief. If more people would donate what they don't want and don't use, it would make such a big difference to some, and make life so much easier!

    Thanks for sharing this on Throwback Thursday!

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  13. I love this post! Methinks I need to follow your example and start purging! A couple if years ago I read a book called "Stuff" that really made me take pause and think about what I choose to bring into my home. Now I do need to take it to the next level and get fit of all the extra stuff that clutters up my home and mind.
    On an unrelated note, it was so fun to see Jason and the girls, we miss you!

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