Progress slow and steady

im still chipping away at it.
The biggest thing this year is downsizing the dining room. I let Granny’s dining room suite go to the oldest daughter (we enjoyed it for nearly twenty years, it’s her turn)
Now we have a live edge table, no china cabinet.

The clothes are a new challenge now that my wardrobe needs more variety for work clothes (hello office job!) but I hate to admit it, I’m enjoying dressing up too.


Hear that? It's the sound of me chipping away at the clutter.

The decluttering process is feeling good! I made huge headway this week and made some cash along the way too.

Here is a gaming console I gave away to someone who is confident they can fix it:

Here is one of SEVERAL sets of little toys I sold:

And a box of random toys for charity too:

Get rid of the toys... don't need the bins! 

A couple pairs of booties that the heel was just slightly "wrong" for me. Sold to a happy happy lady:
Here is a bin of lovely quality sweaters that I sold this week:
Some baking items I wasn't using:
A perfect juicer that was just taking up counter space (it turns out I prefer blender smoothies over juice):

And just today, I decided I wanted to clear more space in my closet.... These items are good, but I can honestly live without them:

The shocking thing, is there is likely even more in the closet I can clear. But I'm not quite ready for the "capsule wardrobe" as I thought I was. Just like I don't like eating the same thing day after day, I enjoy some variety in my closet.

My pantry is full, but not crammed full. My closet is full but not stuffed. My bookshelf has variety but not piles stacked all around the house and my house is cozy but not ridiculously cluttered anymore! These are all amazing accomplishments for me! I have trust that my life will provide. Which means I can let go of what doesn't fit my life RIGHT NOW.


Good Habits

My oldest son is 18. He finished high school and even squeezed in some career training and has a decent job that may in fact lead to a proper career. I couldn't be any more proud of him! He has been invited to still live at home as long as he respects the rules and pays a small stipend for "rent".

But there is another string attached that he was surprisingly receptive to.... I asked him to put away 30% of each paycheque into a savings account and have automatic withdraws of 20% go into long term investments.

I came up with this plan back when I watched the "PRINCESS" episodes that Gail Vaz Oxlade hosts. (If you aren't familiar with her work, get acquainted! She tells it like it is in simple terms and with straightforward strategies how to live within your means, no matter where you are starting from!) One problem that seems to crop up over and over again on Princess is these young people getting used to having 100% of their paycheques as disposable income why they live at home! They get used to it, they take advantage of it and they don't learn realistic lifestyles. They either end up living under their parent's care forever or amassing huge debt when they strike out on their own unprepared for expenses.

Prevention is fairly simple. Show them what a real life healthy budget looks like: (Thank you Gail!)

Tell them how it works.... if you bring home net $2000/month then you shouldn't be spending more than $700 on housing (thats everything about housing, not just rent!), $500 on life, $300 on transportation... you get the idea. The awesome part is the less (%) you spend in one area, the more (%) you have left over to boost another area! There is flexibility to suit your dreams. But one thing that is NOT flexible.... NEVER go more than 100% - that is debt pure and simple. Debt is never free and it takes work to get out of! So the best trick is to really know what you are making and make sure your spending is in line with the income. Not enough money? Two choices: Lower expenses or find a way to make more money. Not rocket science. Hopefully by teaching my son these basic fundamentals he is passively saving up for moving out on his own. It won't be traumatic or life altering in a financial sense because he will be used to it AND he may even be able to afford some household treats like furniture too! LOL

As for the long terms savings... I showed him a great chart explaining compound interest. It's a simple illustration (maybe over simplified?) that has dramatic implications!

Time is on my son's side. Even at crappy rates of return his age is an advantage. I showed him that chart and he wanted to meet a financial advisor to get started ASAP while his expenses are low! (Smart boy)

So... between budgeting realistically and learning how to batch cook (he's a bit slower learning to cook) I think he is well on his way to finding survival skills for the real world!

Good habits to live by. Knowledge is power.



Very productive week for me, I hope you had a good week too!

The bathroom beauty products met their konmari fate. All the beauty stuff got pulled from every corner of the house and put on trial for their spark of joy (or not). It's amazing how many items seem useful but just aren't. Aside from makeup that was old and half dried up lotions (tossed), I cleared out some scented soaps and four large bottles of perfume (snapped up in seconds on a social site). The result was an inventory or functional, beautiful and well organized items.

My husband is still finding clothing that is ridiculously big on him that we passed on to donations!...

And some youth lunchbox items that my boys have transitioned away from. Plus a few more kitchen doodads...

Even more shirts that don't hit the 10 out of 10 from my closet!...

A nice sunny Saturday had us exploring a shed out back. The old ceiling fan from my dining room and a tub faucet are getting donated to the Restore this week...

I'm a proud mommy too. My youngest has finally admitted he is too old for some of his toys. He agreed to part with more than 2/3 of one particular role play toy series. Kind of sad for me because they are one toy I always enjoyed playing with as a kid, and enjoyed buying for my boys. We carefully stowed one bin of the very favourites and listed the other 2 bins worth in lots on a selling website.  His room isn't exactly clear by any stretch, but it's a big step forward!



Decluttering is contagious!

All these things flying out of the house at record speed has been noticed and appreciated by my husband. The biggest help has been social media site that gets the big stuff out FAST.

There is an area beside the garage that acts as a parking spot for crap. And this weekend the hubby tackled it. Admitting there were some project machines he didn't actually event want to finish. The biggest one is a lump of metal called a greens mower. Not only did he reclaim that space but I got him $25 for it! The dump run of other miscellaneous bits cost $8 so he's still in the black for that decluttering session!

I finally drove my trunk full of random small items to the thrift shop too.

My sister has also noticed.

This last week she posted and sold several lots of costume jewellery, toys, shoes, CDs and DVDs and even a few big pieces of furniture! I went with her to drop off a load to the thrift shop too. Her house looks waaaaaaaaay better with those few bold decisions. She is happy with the results.

You have to really appreciate the emotional toll some of these decisions take. Each item had its worth. It was brought in on purpose, it had a valuable history (either real or potential). The furniture and toys had real and wonderful memories attached! I am very proud of her.

I don't have any photos of my sister's items, but I can show you the things I have released from my own house.

Weird machine cleared out

Somebody bought this comfy chair... hopefully they have time to use it because I didn't!

bike rack that fit on a car we sold 5 years ago!

Don't worry there are hundreds MORE apples still on the tree, I just thought I would share with the neighbourhood


Live and Learn

The first rule of decluttering is to not buy any storage aids until after the purge.

Last month I bought a small dresser for my closet. Today I cleared it out, posted it and sold it all in record time. Not only did removing it clear out the space, but I feel victorious that it sold so very quickly (and for $10 more than I paid for it)

This morning as I was getting dressed I realized that I didn't actually need it since my closet purge was so successful!! 

Our relationship was short and sweet. Thanks for the month of service little dresser! 

Feeling Good About It

It's been a good weekend for decluttering and organizing. I have found even more "okay but not great" clothing. Yay!

Yesterday I tacked the linen closet. I found a lot of twin sized bedding. Comforters, duvet covers and 6 twin sized fitted sheets. Since we only have one twin bed now, and nights of bed wetting is a distant memory, I kept the three sheets in best condition and a winter weight and summer weight comforter and 2 covers. The rest I posted on a free stuff page on FB and they were snapped up within the hour!

The linen closet also holds my household hardware stash. I re-sorted and streamlined the collection, and found tons of light bulbs we will never use that still are perfectly functional.... FB free page took them away in record time be a very grateful person.

Today I tackled my room. I wanted to clean under my bed.... Dust bunnies gone wild! A bin with the one spare queen sheet set, my sewing box and a small bin of favorite books were easy to deal with. The most annoying item was the old foam mattress that we use for sleepovers, it is not ripped, but also by no means pristine. Time to see if someone else appreciates it more. I gave an accurate description on the same FB page and it was gone before dinner! (Hey it's better than the floor for somebody!)

I felt inspired and pulled the hope chest that my stepdad made for me about 30 years ago out from the crawlspace, cleaned it up and put it at the foot of my bed. It was seriously abused as my boys' toy chest, but it actually looks okay. I also pulled up my off season clothes (except outerwear) I stashed my off season clothes in the chest with a bag of aromatic cedar chips. It feels great to have that old chest back in use! 

Less in the crawlspace, less in my house! A goooooood weekend!


To the china cabinet

We host the big family dinners. Usually 11-17 people a couple times a year. I try to keep the presentation special... So I bring out the China and the serving dishes.

It's fun, and feels good to do something over and above the every day meal.

But as it happens, families grow up and apart too. The sister in law that used to come over with her husband and three kids rarely makes it (because teens think family functions are lame), and my parents don't live in town in the winter. 

I still love the grandma's China pattern. I still love the wedding present pottery serving dishes too. However, I have kept other things out of habit. I don't need 7 champagne flutes or every single obscure bit of the China, or 3 different coloured glass cake plates or a half dozen candle sticks!

So I looked closely. I weighed the emotional value and I purged some stuff! Yay!

A friend has taken the crystal champagne flutes off my hands, and the rest will be off to a new life from the thrift shop. 

Not pictured: 3 hats, 2 nickel plated candle sticks and a couple more shirts!