Category: Organization

Tidying Up

Hey friends!

Who’s seen it? Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix? It’s all the rage. I’m not going to lie, I totally binged that show. And then I started in on my own stuff.

A little backstory first.

I did the Great Purge in September. I took an entire carload of donations to our local center (Deseret Industries, or DI for short). I took a dresser, 5 garbage bags full of toys, 2 garbage bags full of clothes, and some other random things. I purged A LOT.

And then we moved, and I had to pack the rest of our stuff up. I couldn’t believe how much we had left over! It was insane!! So, I decided that as we unpacked, I would purge more. Little did I know at the time, I was starting on the #KonMari method, without really knowing it. I hadn’t read the book yet, and the show wasn’t out.

Fast forward a few months. We’re still living in partial chaos. I have 8 boxes left to unpack. I’ve been trying to tidy as I unpack each box, deciding what we need, what we don’t, and what can just go in the trash. But, I couldn’t help but get started on my clothes. In every episode of the show, she always starts with the clothing. So, I decided to do that.

I started by piling all my clothes up on the bed, and dumping out my pants, leggings, socks, swimwear, etc. It was a lot. I was kind of amazed, because when we first moved in I went through all my clothes and got rid of about half of them. To think I had this much left was kind of astounding. I thought for sure I’d cleared out more than I did.

After hanging up all my shirts (I know, I know – it’s not truly #konmari if I don’t have my shirts folded. But, I don’t have enough drawers and most of them are happier hanging anyway.) I started in on my pants. I got rid of soooo many leggings. I had 3 pairs of black leggings and only really liked 1 of them. WHAT?! Why was I holding on to these things? I had a pair of pants from 11 years ago that still had the tags on them. They were my “someday” pants. But guess what? Someday isn’t ever going to happen and I’m totally okay with that. Someone else can enjoy my brand new, name brand jeans instead. I folded my leggings how she showed how to do it in the show. I used to roll my leggings up and stand them on end, but I couldn’t ever tell what I had; there were too many, and they were too bulky to shove in the same drawer. Now, they’re nice and visible. I can tell exactly what I have. And they’re in color order because….you can take the girl out of the retail but you can’t take the retail out of the girl!

Next I tackled my regular pants and jeans. Yes, I have 4 pairs of the same pair of black pants because they are comfy. I actually have 6, but 2 of them are in the mending pile to have seams repaired because I can’t get them anymore.

Next, I tackled the pajamas drawer. I got rid of anything that didn’t fit anymore, and anything I didn’t like. And then I folded the sets together, tops and bottoms, and then placed them in the drawer standing up so I can see them instead of having to dig for them each time. My clothing life was already starting to look soooo much better, so I kept going!

I organized my socks and swim wear. I had bathing suits I hadn’t worn in years. Socks with holes in them. Socks that didn’t have mates. I cleaned the drawer out, folded the socks how she said to, and continued on. I had every intention of stopping when I finished my clothes, but my husband’s ties were all a mess and I was tired of hanging them back up on the hanger, so I made him deal with those next!

Don’t they look so pretty?! We went from 40+ ties down to 9. I’m so proud of him. And now, instead of being squished on a tie hanger in the closet, they’re rolled up so nicely in this little drawer just for him. They’re easy to find, and stay neat, too.

I couldn’t be stopped. I was on a roll! I decided to head to the bathroom next. I’d already unpacked the bathroom, and thrown some things away as I did, but I decided to go through the medicine cabinet and the drawers and clean out some more.

Our medicine cabinet couldn’t close on this side, we had so many medications inside. Looking at bottles, quite a few of the over the counters were expired, as well as a TON of prescription meds we’d been holding on to. Luckily, we live near the police department, so I was able to run those in to the RX Drop Off box there to be safely disposed of.

I cleaned up my portion of the cupboard, with my perfume and face cleaner on the bottom, and my other essentials within easy reach.

In the last side of the cabinet, we keep first aid supplies (I paired those down. We had 4 boxes of band-aids with only a few band-aids inside!), sunblock, lotions, and some hair products. It used to be much more cluttered, but we kept only essentials.

I tackled the drawers next. At our old house, I’d been using baskets and containers to separate hair things to keep the drawers more organized. Little did I know I was already following the #KonMari way! These drawers are much larger than our last house, so the containers really help keep things neat and tidy.

And of course, now ALL of our floss is in the same place! I swear, we won’t need floss for years! (I know, I know, #KonMari says to throw out the excess in her book – I’m getting there!!)

And here’s what I ended up taking to the DI in February. I’ve been every month since we moved, and the car is always this full. And yes, that is a desk shoved in the back there of my Honda Fit. It fit in the Fit!

I’m reading her first book now. It’s fantastic. I’ve learned so much, and can’t wait to get the next book.

How are you tidying up? Do you like her method? Or do you use something else? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!!


Let’s Talk Laundry!

I posted about this on Facebook last night.

Laundry. I hate laundry.

What brought this up was that new Tidying Up show on Netflix. Have you seen it yet? I started watching the first episode. I was folding laundry, and the wife of the featured family says “I just hate doing laundry, so we pay someone to do it for us.”

Say what?

That’s an option?

Also, how much does this cost, because as I sat there folding 4 baskets piled high with clothes (apparently my children wear three to four outfits a day!), I was seriously considering outsourcing the job.

This is the biggest issue I have with laundry. The care label. Everything has to be washed differently:

  • Cold, no bleach, delicate cycle, dry on low
  • Warm with like colors, hang to dry
  • Cold with like colors, tumble dry low, remove promptly, do not iron
  • Dry clean only
  • Dry clean preferred, or delicate cycle, line dry

These last 2 are the ones I hate. I don’t dry clean anything. I know we have dry cleaners in the next towns over, but there isn’t one here in town. And guess what? I’m not going to drive over there for the 1 dress that someone gifted my daughter. Nope. It’ll just keep getting worn until she spills something on it or outgrows it and I can donate it to the thrift store. Because I’m inherently lazy when it comes to laundry, and having to leave my house to have 1 item cleaned makes me insane.

So what do you look for when you buy clothes?

I look for machine wash cold, tumble dry low. I can manage that. And honestly, nothing really gets dried on low at my house. It all goes in the dryer and gets set on regular until they’re done. (Except bras and tights. They don’t go in the dryer. They hang to dry.)

This sweater is why I hate differing care label instructions. My husband was gifted this for Christmas a few years ago. Somehow, it ended up in the laundry hamper and I didn’t know it. I put 99.9% of the clothes in the hamper, so I typically just pull them out and throw them in the wash. If something has specific care instructions, I have a separate hamper for those. Like I said, I put the clothes in there, so I figure I know what’s in the hamper. Somehow, this sweater found its way into the wrong hamper, and I washed and dried it. (It’s 100% wool. Go ahead and cringe now.)

I felt super guilty it didn’t fit my husband anymore, and I’d ruined a perfectly good sweater, but I couldn’t bear to throw it out or give it away. So I held onto it and completely forgot about it until we moved. I pulled it out, and was ready to donate it when he suggested we give it to Mr M to wear to church. Guess what happened 2 weeks later? Mr M decided he’d worn it to church twice and it needed to be washed.

He didn’t tell me.

Because I put 99.9% of the laundry in the hampers (my kids make it to the doorway – I don’t know why the extra 3 steps are so hard to make), I dumped the whole hamper into the washer, and then dried the entire load.

Go ahead and cringe again. Remember, it’s 100% wool?

The photo above is how it came out. It probably fits my 7 year old. I haven’t tried it on her yet, but it looks like it’ll fit as maybe a cute crop top? Also, it’s practically bulletproof at this point, so it’s got that going for it.

Huge props to the moms and dads who sort and do 90 different loads of laundry by care tag instructions. That’s just not me. And this story is proof of that.

So I want to know: How do you laundry? Do you follow the care tags? Or do you just throw it all in and hope for the best? Let me know in the comments!


New Year, New Goals

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year! I love the new year. It’s like a clean slate. I have 12 whole new months to totally set new goals, and screw them up. But at least I’m setting them, right?!

Usually, I’ll set a million goals that are completely unattainable. This year, I decided to set a small handful, and then add in as the year progresses. I tried to think of 3 goals that would provide meaningful change to me and my family. These are my main 3 goals that I’ll focus on throughout the year.

My first goal is to have more meaningful scripture study. This year, our church is focusing on daily scripture study with our families at home, supported and enhanced by lessons at church. We are studying the New Testament this year. If you’d like to join us in our weekly study, you can see this week’s material here. The Come Follow Me program put out by the Church has really been a great program. We got together at the start of the year as a family and decided when we would study together. The kids decided that they would wake up at 6 AM every school day to study with us. So far (and we’re only in this thing 2 weeks) they have done it. Miss B wasn’t feeling well the other day, and they didn’t have school, but they still got up and sat down and we did a mini review for about 20 minutes. Some days we study for 15-20 minutes, and some days we can go for about an hour. It just depends on the day. But, we’re doing it! Of course, I have a little help from some amazing online resources. The Red-Headed Hostess has a subscription service where you get study kits to help you teach each week’s lesson (you can also just buy the kits you want/need on her site). She also has amazing workbooks, study guides, lesson journals, and other helps. You can find them on her site, or buy them with Prime shipping off Amazon!

My next goal this year to is to pay off most of our debt. I have a 5-year plan that includes building a house on our property. It’s been our 5-year plan for about 14 years now, but we’ll get there! Now that we’re actually living in the city we want to be in, in a house, we’re getting closer. Now we just need to be in our house. But, to do that we need to pay off our car and our cards. I’ve made a fairly aggressive budget to do this, and it’s been hard so far! We’re only 2 weeks into the year and I’m already struggling. I’m so used to being able to buy lunch whenever I felt like it at work. Now, I have to actually eat the food I brought from home. But, it will be so good to be out of debt!

We’re taking a modified approach of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. If you haven’t read that book, you should. It’s a great read. He stresses the importance of building up a $1000 cash emergency fund first. We aren’t doing that. We’re going to work on eliminating our debt snowball first. Basically, you pay off the lowest balance cards first, and roll those payments into your other monthly payments for higher balance cards. While I am planning on applying some, if not all, of our tax refund to some cards, I fully expect to have the bulk of our lower balance debt paid off by July of this year! It’s going to be hard, and we’ll have to stick with it, but it will be so worth it when we’re done!

My last main goal for the year is to get everything unpacked and organized. I still have 16 boxes left from our move. Most of those are board games, card games, and files from my desk. I used to have this old secretary-style desk, but it just became a catch all for anything and everything that no one wanted to put away where it belonged. So, I’m donating the desk to the local thrift store (if it will fit in my car, but that’s a post for another day!). Eventually, we’ll buy some desk pieces from Ikea. We’re thinking of just buying some desk tops and legs, and making our own 2-computer desk for both of us to sit at. But, we’ll see when we get to that point.

In the meantime, I purchased a half file cabinet from the thrift store for $15, and I’m going to put all my files in there (that’s 1 box). Eventually, all the files will be scanned into the cloud and I’ll be able to shred the hard copies. With Mr M’s medical issues, I have literally kept 12 years of medical records in my file drawers. I’d love to be able to – someday – get those all scanned and uploaded into the cloud. And that goal falls into the “organized” part of this last main goal.

The kids’ rooms are also kind of a mess. They used to share a room, so we had 1 dresser, 1 toy organizer, 1 table and chair set. Now, we’ve had to split the furniture up between them. We bought my husband a new bedside table, so we took his old Sterlite drawer set and moved it into Mr M’s room to put toys in it. Has he? Nope. How long has he had it? About a week and a half. *sigh*

So organizing the house, unpacking everything, and putting the stuff that needs to go down into the cellar storage area away are all on my list. And of course, cleaning, because no matter how clean you think a place is when you look at it, once you move in you find that it just isn’t.

I have a few other goals that I’ve made that are less important, and I’ll touch on those in later posts. For now, thanks for reading! And comment with your goals below! What is important to you to achieve this year? If you made more than 3 goals, what are your top 3?