My Clutter Journal/Journey, Videos

Video: Children Helping Declutter Kitchen

Abby and Abram helped declutter our upper kitchen cabinets and places I couldn't easily access. I thought a video would be a nice change of pace.



Life Unstaged, Messy Home Survival Strategies, My Clutter Journal/Journey, Real Messes--Caught On Camera!

Reality-based Decluttering

Sometimes…I just gotta break all the rules. Sometimes…I gotta declutter big time and fast! Sometimes…I just gotta let go and purge my life without the fine-tooth comb hanging over my shoulder and the experts whispering advice in my ear.

And I gotta say…

When I let go and do it this way, I get rid of SO MUCH, SO FAST!

I know this isn't the perfect way to declutter.

There probably won't be a book written about how to do it this way because it's not in 10 easy steps and there is no way this guarantees that all the clutter will be gone when you're finished.


I've done this three times in my married life, and each time I did it I was thrilled with how much clutter left my house in such a short amount of time!

So here's my pictures and how I did it.

First of all, in order to see how much clutter and how fast this was, you'll need to see this picture.

This beautifully, properly decluttered, dining room was posted on June 27th, the day after finishing it:


And these pictures of all my junk that I've quickly culled from around the house was taken this morning. It's July 5th today.




And did I mention, I'm not done yet?

So, I bet you're wondering how in the world I got so much stuff decluttered all in one short amount of time.

First of all, my life as I hold it all “together”, comes to a crashing hault!


My children watch guilt-inducing amounts of television! And run around in their pjs, and my toddler has a clean diaper but peanut butter under his finger nails, and the baby has way more attention from my eleven year old daughter than me.

Can I watch another episode of Transformers? Yeah.

Can I play on Mindcraft for an extra 30 minutes? Sure.

What you want for lunch, Honey? A piece of cheese, lunch meat and a chocolate donut…with apple juice. Why not.

Dinner variety is more akin to Whataburger one night, Taco Bell the next, and Church's chicken for lunch than it is a real plan.

Cleaning up the house comes down to 15 minutes of gathering trash that has grown a pair of legs and the ability to reproduce, loading the dishwasher, and making sure there's nothing souring in the washing machine because the house looks like this…



During the school year (this time “the mood” struck during summer break), history is watching a documentary on George Washington when we're studying Medieval history (yeah, I'm aware how far off plan that is, but I just don't care 'cause I'm tossing a literal ton of junk).

And my hair looks like I just spilled some olive oil on top and tried hiding it by brushing it through with a wet brush and slicking it back in a pony-tail.



During all of this routine breakdown that is “secretly” going on behind closed dining room blinds, there's a whole lot of work going on behind the scenes.

And honey, there ain't no rules I'm following.

I'm grabbing old boxes, my best laundry basket, the broken Rubbermaid, and whatever else I find while I'm passing by that's remotely in the shape of a box. No labels, no plan.

I've got a roll of masking tape and a marker (the easiest one to find) in one hand and a glass of iced tea in the other. Every item I'm removing gets slapped with a quick price just in case I end up with enough for a garage sale. I'm not about to have the energy to price all that stuff later.

A mental bulls eye is on every place I know has a plathora of excess.

I dive in big time and don't think about it much at all. The heavy decisions are for later. The detail decisions aren't happening today. I'm pulling out that toy box that the kids haven't touched in months, but I skip the other four sitting right beside it. I pull clothes right off the hanger straight into a bag that I know are never worn without stopping to try anything on.

I ask Josh to pull down one box after another so I can see what's inside. Some get taped back up and restored to their place, but 20 boxes seem to loose more than half their weight as I shuffle the little amounts of stuff I can't decide on back, combining the stuff that's left. Instant weight loss, both mentally and physically.

I dive into the closets where I know there are bags of clutter already waiting to be delivered to a thrift store.

I send Abram to go grab the skates that are two sizes too small, and get that rocking chair arm that's in the media room floor while you're at it.

I bend down and snatch several books from a stack under the side table that I never read and add a price in green permanent marker.

As I think of places, I hit them. I check. I unlid and relid tubs that sit in various corners.

And when I'm exhausted, I crash in front of the tv and catch up on some much needed baby snuggle time, since I've only stopped to nurse and change diapers.

I'm likely still in my pjs at 2pm and still up zoning in front of Netflix or Facebook at 2am…but it's all worth it.

Are you in the mood to de-junk your life?

Forget the rules while you have the momentum…and just do it. It's not pretty, it's not routine, it's probably going to be exhausting…and it's definitely chaotic. But it's a thrill!

The only rules:

Kids must be safe and fed…and hugged when they're upset.

Diapers must be changed when they're wet.

That's it.

Happy Decluttering!


Decluttering, Favorite Spaces/Places, My Clutter Journal/Journey, Organizing

My New Dining Room!


So, it started like this…

Yeah, it's quite the mess! I use this room a lot for looking through stuff and deciding what to do with it. Remember the big paper purge?

Anyway, so Stefanie and I are starting at our doors and working our way around our houses, starting at the front door, possibly skipping our kitchens until everything else is decluttered (we haven't actually decided yet), and creating a place for everything. It's major purge time. I'm hoping to get rid of TONS of stuff and have a garage sale.

I usually don't wait for a garage sale.

Soooooo…this room is going to once again be messy with all the stuff I'm holding aside for the sale. But, at least I know that it'll all be gone and back to serenity by the end of Summer. If I don't have a garage sale by then, I'm donating everything I've bagged and tagged!

Back to the nice, new dining room.

Cleared the space to the right of the door.

And put the palm there. On the other side of the window, I put my antique serving cart. I've been saving it to use for a long time.

And Josh made me this clothes pin board. That took care of some things that I loved but they were adding to the clutter in my home. The chunky frame-LOVE-but didn't have a place for, the scraps of material from our breakfast room chair re-covering, the antique clothes pins that we had been hanging onto, and all those Christmas family photos I never know what to do with.



Then, I cleared out the hutch of all the excess glassware. It was a mess! I found out Stefanie has a real eye for detailed arrangement! And she told me she is clueless when it comes to decorating–NOT. These shelves were re-arranged with her ideas and it ended up looking beautiful!

It was her idea to have all the milk glass on one shelf and to arrange the pitchers as collections with their matching glasses. Why didn't I think of that?

I'm not quite sure I want to keep the picture in there, now that I see it in the picture. It just doesn't go with the glass collection. What do y'all think?


In the opposite corner, to the right of the hutch, I found the perfect place for my little school desk and the old painting of Pasadena, Texas. I've heard the matching one is in the Pasadena museum. I don't know if that's true but I love it all the same. Mrs. Myrtle painted a tremendous amount and I own several in her collection that were left with the old house. I feel so blessed that they let me keep the ones family didn't select when they sold the house. I've based a lot of my decorating around them because I love them so much!

This particular one was left in the garage and I cleaned some coffee splatters off of it. Someday it will have a frame like the others. But for now, at least it has a nice place to live.


And the sewing table had to be moved to make room for THIS…

I'm SSOOOOOOO excited to finally have a piano! It was Josh's Mamaw's old piano. EEEEeeeeeeek!

So, I put the sewing table in the dining room, and I think it fits nicely.


That little gold-leaf tree was my grandma's. It was the one thing I asked for when she died. It brings back so many memories of her. I used to think it was the most beautiful decoration and would touch the leaves while I talked with Grandma. I need a picture of her and Papa there. That would be nice.

And for the curious, the big antique suitcase holds Bubzy's wood train and tracks that he plays with nearly every day.

What do you think?



My Clutter Journal/Journey

Our Hidden Toy Hoard Discovery

I knew we had a problem with toys. We've been battling them since my Olders were little. But Y'all. I had no idea quite how bad!

As my regular readers (the few and truly apreciated) know, I've been confiscating my children's things when they leave them laying about. I've been doing that for about 3 months.

Hasn't fazed them in the least.

I really thought it would work. I mean, they were upset at first at the thought of me just picking up and locking away anything left out, but as the weeks went by I noticed that they weren't even bothered by it. Why?

So I asked them.

The answer was short and to the point. “Well…we still have stuff to play with.”


After three months of picking up everything that they drug out and left all over the house and yard, they still hadn't run out of things to play with?

Surely not. They just got rid of 15 full sized recycle bags of their stuffola.

Then, I went up the stairs.

Remember, I just cleaned up and organized it like a month ago.

And this is what I found:

I've been confiscating bag fulls everyday for three months…except up there.


I seriously thought I was being a little harsh…until I saw and heard that they couldn't care less.

I'm starting to think Mommy might be the one who has a problem parting with toys. I mean, I don't hesitate in the least to say, “I'm sorry. That shirt doesn't fit you anymore. Put it in the hand-me-down bag and we'll take it to church on Sunday.” They whine and complain and throw little fits, but I know how ridiculous it would be to give in and let them keep clothes that don't fit just because they liked them.

Toys, on the other hand, are a different story. I've been begging and pleading with them to let go of them…and totally giving in to their pleas to keep almost every thing I touch.

15 bags may seem like a massive amount, and I thought so too. So, I was giving them some slack. I don't even really know what went into those bags. I just kinda looked through the clear-ish blue bag and saw a bunch of stuff coming out and off it went. I assumed lots of it was toys.

Until I saw the upstairs after having confiscated toys and other stuff for three months straight. Obviously we haven't gotten rid of enough!

So, I told them we had to get rid of more. They were not happy.

“We already got rid of plenty, Mom! We got rid of TONS of stuff. We don't have that much left!”

Then, I had a great idea. Ugh. Me and my great ideas are infamous around here.

I thought…

Maybe they need to actually see how many toys they have. And the only way to do that is to put them all in one place.

So we hunted down all the toys from all over the house, and…

There you have it!

Regret set in about five minutes after I stopped laughing.


My Clutter Journal/Journey

Project Clutter

Sometimes getting rid of my clutter is realizing that I just don't have the kind of time or gumption for projects.

It's neat to see all the transformations online…but my life is just too full for most of them.

It wasn't just paint. The seats were ruined.

And sometimes the choice is nice fixed up chairs, or teach math…or

Get to blog about a project, or get to hold my baby more

Pretty patio or pretty attitude

Luxurious fashionable chairs that took hours or game night with family

So…here's to more life and a bit of sacrifice to have it.



My Clutter Journal/Journey

4 Totally Unnecessary Things In My Pantry Floor

I’ve started the gargantuan task of de-junking my fridge and pantry, and I thought you might like to see some of the junk I found.

1. Lots of brown bags from Aldi’s. We don’t re-use them. They’re harder to carry than the plastic ones with handles and that’s what we really use.

2. A totally empty box of popcorn. On th floor. I mean, if you’re not going to throw it away…at least put the totally empty box back on the shelf! Geez Laweeze.
3. Half a bag of red potatoes that were forgotten and started growing roots. When vegetation starts putting down roots in your pantry….enough said.

4. A box I have legitamently used to pack and move the serving ware it belongs in 3 times now. We’re staying here a good long time though, so I think it can finally go.

So, here’s the before of my pantry floor.
And the after, minus one roaster that needs washing.
That’s how much trash there was…just in the bottom!

Good riddens.

Throwing those out totally Works For Me!

– Tabitha