[Destination]: A Clean, Organized Kids’ Closet

We finally did it!  We moved the girls into the same room, and they are loving it.  I have to say, I’m loving it, too.  It has it’s moments, like naps are pretty much irrelevant at this point for my youngest when the oldest is in there with her.  And they tend to wake each other up in the mornings.  But, all in all, this has been such a great experience, and I’m so glad we finally got ourselves organized enough to do it!

Moving Little B over to Big B’s room was a smooth transition.  However, moving her stuff has taken quite some time to actually accomplish.  DH and I had to figure out how to get clothes and other items to fit into the room without dressers taking over the entire space.  I think I’ve said before (or at least meant to say before) that we have had WAY too many clothes in our house.  Thank God I actually purged a bunch of that stuff already!  I couldn’t even imagine trying to fit two little girls with oodles of clothes into the same room before.  Now, it’s totally doable.  And not only because of the decluttering…

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The original inspiration for this project came from a pin on Pinterest from iHeartOrganizing.  However, after looking at prices and realizing we would probably need a little more storage space in the closet itself, we decided on a DIY shelving system that could hold more storage bins.  The photo above is what DH and I finally agreed upon…and I couldn’t be happier!  Each girl gets her own set of colored bins (the blue ones are for overflow), and each bin holds something different (one has socks/underwear/swimsuits, one has PJs, and the other has seasonal bottoms).  The bins on the bottom shelf hold each girls’ shoes.  I need more hangers, but I’m hanging shirts on the bottom and dresses on the top, and each girl gets one side of the closet.  

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We’re actually close to not needing ANY dresser in their room…ANY!  I’m already coming up with things to do with the extra space (a little reading nook in their room, since they have so many books – add that project to the list).  

While this all may have started from a simple pin, it’s leading me towards becoming content with what we have.  Is this my dream house?  No.  But turning it into our home is bringing peace.  It’s also helping our family to realize there are more important things than “keeping up with the Joneses”.  Maybe someday we’ll have our dream house, and we’ll keep taking steps to get to that point.  For now, this is where God has us, and I need to leave all of this up to Him.  I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and family and friends by my side to share in this joy.  I pray that you all learn to be content wherever you are, too.

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[Destination]: Clean Laundry

I still have intentions of doing some sort of organizing today; however, if I don’t get to it, I’m not too concerned.  An impromptu pillow fight that started out between my husband and the girls and then turned to just me and my four-year-old was just the medicine that was called for today.  It reminded me that, while it’s important to keep your home clean and only have what you need, it’s more important to have a pillow fight with your kids.  We laughed, ran into each other, stole each others’ pillows, and had a great time.  Our hair was a mess and we couldn’t stop smiling.  I’ll take that joy any day.

I know it sounds weird, but while I’m decluttering and removing the excess from my life, I’m slowly finding that I’m able to enjoy all life does have to offer even more.  In a recent post of mine, I listed a few physical and emotional things that clutter and excess can actually cause you if you don’t get a handle on it.  Depression, anxiety, weight gain, and a serious depreciation in our quality of life have all hit me pretty hard in the past.  I just never realized how much damage they were actually doing at the time.  I used to sit and think that this was just the way that I was.  Maybe depression and anxiety were just a large part of who I was.  

Just over the past five days, I’ve found that this is definitely not the case.  When I’ve said that I breathe a little easier now, I mean it.  I have more control over my life than I’ve ever felt that I have.  And it’s the little things like doing a load of laundry every day (and folding and putting it away), and straightening up and putting things back where they belong that has brought peace to my otherwise chaotic-feeling life.  Every donation bag I put into the back of my van provides a little more satisfaction of where my life is and where it’s going.  Clear thoughts, clearer vision, and happiness in the blessings I’ve been given…that’s the direction of this destination.  And I’m moving closer every single day.

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[Destination]: Clean Fridge!

I’m so excited to be cleaning out my house.  It’s so refreshing!  And, trust me when I tell you, this is completely uncharacteristic of me.  For those that know me, you’re probably wondering who has taken over and where the real Michelle has gone.  Don’t worry…it’s still me.  I’m just on a quest for that ideal sense of sanity.  I’m inching closer each and every day.

So today was Clean the Refrigerator Day.  I really hate cleaning things out/organizing/cleaning in general, so this project was looooonnnnngggg overdue.  Here is my before picture:

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To start, of course, I pulled everything out and loaded up my small kitchen counter and dining room table. 

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It really is amazing how much we can actually fit into our refrigerator.

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Once everything was out of the fridge, I started pulling out all the shelves and drawers.  I wiped down the inside of the fridge, and then washed and dried all of the shelves and drawers.  All in all, this project took a full 2 hours of my morning.  Once everything was cleaned, I got rid of (my favorite part) all expired or downright yucky food.  My trash can is full…again.  Then, I figured out a much more desirable organizational strategy for my shelves and how to stock them.  This was the end product:

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Ahh…I literally breathed a sigh of relief.  I can see what’s in my fridge!

What a difference!  Now that I can see what we have, I’ll better know what we truly need in the future.  Hopefully, we won’t continue to buy 10 salad dressings at once, which mean we’ll use what we have…which means we’ll save money!  SCORE!

When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator?  Even just got rid of expired items?  Don’t let it go too long!

 

 

[Destination]: Excess Relief

When was the last time you took inventory of the food you have in your house?  I mean, really dug in the deep freezer, sorted through your pantry, and checked out your spices.  For me, I only made it through my deep freezer and regular freezer yesterday.  What did I find?  Enough food to sustain us for quite some time!  I couldn’t believe it.  Well, I could, but I don’t think I was ready to admit to the fact that we buy way more than we need at any given time. 

So, to organize this area of my life, I made a list of everything that was in both freezers, then sorted the list by food type and taped the list to the back of one my cabinets that I use regularly.  I plan on doing the same thing with my pantry, my spice cabinet, my refrigerator, and my baking cupboard.  Before I go grocery shopping again, I plan on using up whatever I have in my house.  I’m hoping to get to the point that I can get rid of my deep freezer to open up some space in my pantry/laundry room, and only buy what will fit into the freezer in my refrigerator.  I’m sure that most of you already do something like this, but for me, it’s not only going to be a space saver but a money saver as well.  I need to declutter and get rid of the excess in my life.

This all ties into a healthier lifestyle for me.  Having staples on hand is not the problem, but when we buy and buy and don’t use what we’ve purchased, it’s such a waste.  It’s the same as stuffing my face with food I think I want that my body can’t use because it doesn’t need it.  Why not learn to do this externally to help my journey internally?

Do you stop and ask yourself whether you’re truly hungry when you’re reaching for that brownie or bag of chips?  Do you ask yourself whether those things will truly satisfy you?  While I’ve been searching my soul the past few weeks about what it really is craving, I’ve uncovered a lot of pain, a lot of trouble, and have fallen further into despair.  However, I’m starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  In God’s effort to build us up, we will inevitably tear ourselves down.  This only makes God’s rebuild stronger.  We have to break down to the foundation, the root of the problem, in order to fix the cracks, heal, and place each brick back in it’s rightful place.

Learning this internally has helped me to see that I need to do the same thing in my external life: in my home, in my work, and in my relationships.  So the next time you’re getting ready to do some grocery shopping, double check what you’ve already got on hand.  And the next time you go to eat something, take inventory of whether that is what your soul is truly craving.  You might be surprised at what you find.