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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Declutter Your Home (or Craft Room) in Ten Days

Wow!  What a whirlwind the past week has been!  I have been from one side of the country to the other and in-between.  I think I've finally caught up with myself and what time zone I'm in....

Spring has been slow to arrive here in the Pacific NW.  After our long winter and being away to 5 events since November, my office is showing it with a need of some serious de-cluttering.  I found this article that has been helpful to me.  I started today by cleaning out 6 drawers in my office.  If you find these tips helpful to you, share your progress by leaving a comment.  I'll keep you posted on my progress too :o)

How to Declutter Your Home (or Craft Room) in Ten Days

declutter your home 300x204 How to Declutter Your Home in Ten DaysSpring has long come, bringing along the aromas of wild flowers, freshly cut grass and morning sun. With sunlight streaming through the windows and the change of season our houses suddenly start to feel stuffier and more cluttered than ever.
Our closets are filled with warm clothes, winter shoes and skiing gear. Our drawers are overflowing with stacks of notes, papers, paid bills and old concert tickets that we have not felt like throwing away. Our kitchen shelves are stuffed with spices, soup jars, plastic food containers (many of them without matching lids) and a whole bunch of cook books. And for the sake of our order-loving parents all the clutter that has accumulated in our basement and garage is better left unmentioned.
So how do we claim back our living space that has been taken over by the clutter? How can we bring freshness and lightness into our home? How do we make it look like one of those sun filled and airy homes that we often see on magazine covers?
I have been asking these question myself lately and I am happy to tell you that I have a plan! I did extensive research on all the possible clutter-free tips and have selected the ones I, myself, am going to use to declutter my own rather spacious 3 bedroom apartment.
I urge you to start this clutter-free challenge with me and share your own tips, observations and your progress in the comment section below this post.

Tip #1: Start with one room, area, drawer or space at a time.

It took years for all the clutter in your house to pile up, and it will take more than a day to liberate your house from it. Do not get overwhelmed or discouraged by the amount of work that needs to be done. Instead concentrate on one room at a time. Start with your bathroom or kitchen or single drawer and slowly work your way to the rest of your space. View it as meditation, as a process of letting go of the unneeded baggage of past years.

Tip #2: Think of space functionality.

Every space in our house has a specific purpose: the kitchen is a food preparation area, the bathroom is a relaxing place where we should take our long showers, the living room is a place where all the family gets together, the bedroom is our sacred space where we rest, have long pillow talks with our partner, read books and meditate. It is safe to say that none of these spaces was designed as a storage space for the stuff we do not need at the moment. Use your shed, walk-in closet, garage and attic for anything that you will not need for a long time (like winter sports equipment, tents, home appliances and so on.)

Tip #3: Adopt minimalism thinking.

Leo Babauta, a minimalist guru, once asked his readers to name their most valuable belongings that would fit in their car trunk. I urge you to think about it too and I bet you would not take the 3 sets of china you inherited from your grandmother or a digital photo frame that has been collecting dust on your shelf. Now the real question is, if you would not take those things with you, what are they still doing in your house?

Tip #4: Eliminate mercilessly.

How about weeding out the plastic bag that is filled with other bags in your kitchen? Or donating clothes that you have not worn for the past 3 years, because they are either too small or too outdated? Everything unnecessary, unneeded or unused for a long time has to go without worry or regret, liberating the space for new, beautiful and more useful things.

Tip #5. Do not turn your home into museum.

Glass figure collections, items that you picked up during your world trips, interesting or particular pieces that you have purchased in yard sales – in limited quantities add character to your house and even serve as a focal point of a room. But if you are not careful these collections and souvenirs will quickly take over your house, making it look like a cluttered and mismatched museum.

Tip #6: Conquer mail invasion.

Do you know all those flyers, and promotional magazines and catalogues that we receive daily and do not always have time to read? When dealing with mail adopt the same process that you use to sort out your emails. Touch any piece of paper only once. If it is not a bill, personal correspondence or subscription magazine – put it in the trash. Sort the rest of the papers out.

Tip #7: Forget about ‘Someday’.

We can not bring ourselves to part with stuff, because we think that a day will come when we might need the thing we are about to throw away. Well, let’s be honest with ourselves – “Someday” might never come, but the clutter is guaranteed to be there every time you open the closet or look under the bed.

Tip #8: Stay focused on the task.

Tip #9: Be careful not to lose yourself in nostalgia.

When you are sorting out old photos or going through the clothes you wore decades ago, it is very easy to get carried away by memories and lose track of time. Approach each task with a business like attitude. You can always go back and dig through old photo albums when everything is done.

Tip #10: Review your sentimental ‘attachments’.

Very often we feel bound to keep certain things, because they belonged to old relatives or because they are associated with important events of our past. For example, you might keep a shirt that you wore on the first date with your soon-to-be spouse. To you this shirt tells a story, but for everyone else it is just an outdated, faded piece of clothing that has seen better times. Try to see objects that you are emotionally attached to for what they are. If they serve no purpose, do not be afraid to part with them. Carry your dearest memories in your heart. It is the best place for them.  Or better yet, take a photo and scrapbook your memories.  A much better way to create a legacy than hanging on to objects!

Congratulations to all of you awesome recruiters!  During the first 10 days of May we have added 90 new members to our team!
So far the top recruiters are:
3rd downline Briana Bostick with an AMAZING 12 new recruits!
2nd downline Noreen Petty - 7
3rd downline Phil Wilhelm - 5
4th downline Peggy Risley - 5
This is the first time in 20 years that I can recall the kit being such a bargain!  What a great opportunity for anyone wanting to start their own scrapping and stamping business and become part of our CTMH family!

Creative Corner:

Studio J Boot Camp was just that, boot camp. It was fun, exhausting, full of learning and Ah,Ha moments. I hope you have had the chance to view the "Love My Layouts" video. It will give you a taste of what we learned at boot camp. If you haven't made your first Studio J Layout, DO IT NOW! You will LOVE IT and become addicted to online scrapbooking with Studio J! My two favorite tools are being able to hit the shift key and select multiple elements to copy, paste or move and the "nudge" tool using the arrow keys to move elements bit by bit until they are exactly where you want them! It's the sum of all of the tools that make Studio J so user friendly. It was amazing to see how different each of our layouts were, given the same kit and layout. The ability to really personalize each layout to fit our photos was awesome. I chose to use my daughters wedding photos for all 10 layouts. It was fun to change up the colors of the B&T's to fit the Red, Black and Gold color theme of the wedding.   I was so excited that one of my layouts won a prize for "Most Creative Titling"   Truth be told, it wasn't that creative, but the photo of my daughters "something blue" is priceless!  Here is that layout along with a couple of others:

We learned how to layer the My Stickease to create a cluster and make something totally new by combining elements.  I changed a journaling well into a photo well to be able to have 4 photos on my layout.
In this layout, we cropped a My Stickease frame and re sized, copied and pasted it to create a border.  Again, I changed a journaling box into a photo well.  This one is meant to be a "hybrid"  I will add Sparkles and mesh flowers to finish it.
This layout was quite the color challenge!  We started with the Boo kit and I totally changed up the colors.  We were instructed to keep the Autumn Terracotta as part of the color scheme since we used the My Stickease Letters which are AT.  I was able to "make it work".  We also used multiple text boxes to create out own B&T.

Quote of the Week:
"You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures."
Charles C. Noble


  1. It was great to see each of the boot camp books at the meeting! I did 2 complete layouts last night, incorporating using double titles and nudging to get the shadow effect! Love it!

  2. Thanks, Naomi, for sharing both the article and the examples from Boot Camp. I'm actively using these tips to get rid of my excess stuff, and am also making more time to scrapbook, especially using Studio J.