Goal #23 - Storage In Hiding

In the other house we had lots of storage. Easy to access, indoors and part of the living areas. Sure it was convenient, but honestly I hated it in some ways.  It's hard to describe, all the storage was too "in my face".

This house has very little convenient storage, and TONNES of inconvenient storage. If I'm willing to go outside and battle the elements (and the spiders) I have over 1700 sqft of floorspace that I could access in the heated, dry crawlspace. Or if it's taller storage that I need (and temperature isn't important), there are 3 sheds in the yard.

This new storage situation has been fantastic at helping me sort and purge.

I don't want anything in the crawlspace. I can't have anything valuable in the sheds. And this open concept house itself is unforgiving.

So if I don't love it or find it useful it has permission to leave my life forever!

I am very close to my goals for these spaces: GOAL #23
Crawlspace- for Seasonal items (so I only have to go get them and put them away once a year)
Sheds- for Tools and Sports stuff

Once again I am happy with less. I am not buying things for some distant future anymore. I am not keeping things that could still be fun (but not right now). I am trusting that what I have is enough for now, and trusting that I will be able to get what I need in the future as I need it.


Coupon Temptation

Nothing like a 30% off coupon to get the shopping juices flowing.

Today the coupon expires, so I went to the shop. The coupon was for ANYTHING. I thoroughly went through everything. One thing tempted me (but they were out of stock and wouldn't sell the floor model). I started looking for "anything". But in the end -after 3 laps of the store- I gave up.

I overheard a couple talking to a sales clerk about a bed frame. The man was happy with the price and the sale ended today... he was ready to get it after he took his wife out for lunch. As they walked away I asked, "Are you getting it today?".

He said he was and asked if I wanted to get it. I explained that I had a great on-line coupon that I wasn't going to use and asked if they wanted it for their bed. He was so happy that he hugged me!

I felt good leaving the store with nothing to clutter my house and doing a nice thing. It wasn't a waste of a trip after all.


Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. Wise words that work for using coupons as well as so many other things.




Some women adore it. Can't leave home without it. And have enough of it to decorate a broadway cast for a whole season.

Other women don't even own a tube of lip gloss.

My make-up relationship has been somewhere in between. I have gone through phases of exploring colours, brands and styles... but my normal going-out-in-public make-up is fairly minimal by my sister's glamourous daily standards. Weekends are even less painted... if at all. Nobody seems to care one way or the other (with one exception: my going-out-for-a-date-with-the-hubby make-up makes my boys frown at heavy application).

Since moving I have LOST most of my make-up selections. What I've been using for almost 3 month fits in the small pouch I left unpacked close to the move-time.

Occassionally, I find myself in the make-up aisle of the drug store, but after the initial flush of excitement at all the pretty colours, I get annoyed at the "more-of-the-same" feeling of it all, and leave without buying a thing.

It turns out I am happy with what I have!

1 Small pot of mousse concealer (which they no longer make so I'm not sure what to do when I run out)
3 eyeshadow colour combo options (subtle, evening & playful)
3 eyeliner options (blue black, brown)
1 highlighter pencil
1 waterproof mascara
1 not waterproof mascara
2 lipgloss (1 clear, one coloured)
1 lipstick (natural tint)

These are colours that are tried and true with my eye and skin tones. I feel comfortable in everything in that make-up pouch.

There is a box of conciderably more choices somewhere. If I find it I will toss them all!

It's simply EASIER to find (and use) my favourites with almost nothing in the drawer.


Ten ways to control Clutter

This post is not mine. In fact I took it from here.
It was just so very true that I had to spread the word!

Every slip of paper, new item of clothing, or book to read takes a precious piece of you—some of your money, time, or energy. Some are worth their cost; but many are not. Be intentional about what you allow into your home and your life, and make sure each one is worthy of its place.
Here are ten ways you can keep clutter from building in your life:
  1. Once you reduce your possessions to those you treasure and use, once you restrict your schedule to essential activities, and once you limit your priority list to only the best, enjoy and appreciate what you have. Use your treasures daily, get stuck into your activities, and focus on your priorities. You’ll get joy and satisfaction from making the most of what you have, rather than chasing the endless high of new things.
  2. Use quality as a filter. When quality guides your purchases, decisions, and actions, you’ll feel better and you’ll add treasure to your life instead of junk.
  3. Restrict entry to your home and schedule. Set up precise entry points: one in tray for paper; one feed reader for blog updates; one diary for appointments. Give each item attention before allowing it to make its way beyond this point.
  4. Be a conscious consumer. Consider the true cost of producing an item, and make a statement through what you buy. You’ll naturally buy less this way.
  5. Treat op shops [thrift stores], garage sales, gifts, and freebies the same way you do full-priced items from regular stores. If you wouldn’t go out and buy it, nor pay full price for it, don’t add it to your life.
  6. Avoid impulsiveness. Spontaneity can be wonderful, but when applied to shopping, it usually ends up tinged with regret. The book you’ve wanted to read for ages is okay; the magazine you picked up on a whim is probably not.
  7. Transform unwanted items into value. Sometimes an item in your home is misplaced. The hot-pink satin slip (don’t laugh, I had one) might now be irrelevant in your wardrobe, but becomes a gem in the kids’ dress-up box.
  8. Set up a system for moving along temporary items. Have a spot for items to return, decide how often you’ll destroy outdated paperwork, and throw out old newspapers when you receive the latest one.
  9. Only sell the most valuable of your clutter. Giving an item to someone else who wants it, or donating it to [thrift stores], is a simple way to keep things flowing out the door. It’s rarely worth your time and effort to list something for sale.
  10. Don’t agonise over clutter decisions. Try using the benchmark principle. If you still can’t decide quickly, put it in your undecided box and get it out of the way. If you’re unsure whether to add an activity to your schedule, ask for time to think about it. When you know you have a second chance to make a decision, you give yourself space to view the situation with more clarity and perspective.
What are your favourite clutter-busting tips?

(What I tell ya?! That extra-organized lady knows how it works!)

Goal #22 The BIG goal - unpacking

This last bit of unpacking is very very hard. It's in my office space, and it's driving me crazy.

I guess the hardest part is figuring out what SHOULD be kept out of these supplies, reference materials, cords and cables. Some of it COULD go back into the crawlspace, but I'm trying to avoid that because I won't want to retrieve anything unless it's vital.

There are still SOME boxes in the crawlspace, but not very many!
Oh the power of decluttering! The trek has been great, and it will be an ongoing journey.

  • Making a goal
  • Setting limits
  • Trusting the decisions to let go
  • Removing the chosen items quickly
  • Trusting that there will always be "enough"
....together, those are the techniques I give credit to.


One foot in front of the other

I found another box of shoes in one of the sheds.

Because I wasn't "missing" any shoes (except maybe the cold-season ones) the cull was easy.

My wonderful TOMS have taken over the majority of my warm weather shoe needs. Ergo any shoes that were even remotely loafer style got the axe.... no matter what the quality or country of manufacture -- that was 4 pairs! A pretty (but hard to wear) dressy heel, mules, ballet flats, and mary jane wedges taken out too AND a pair of winter boots and water shoes that my youngest has outgrown. Exciting progress on the shoe front!

full box of purged shoes

ALL the shoes fit in one of 2 places now - hall closet and mud-room. At the other house I had them in the master closet, coat closet, utility closet and laundryroom.... and a few in the garage too.



Peter Walsh has a terrific mantra to make more effective decisions about what to keep. He says "SET LIMITS: you only have the space you have"

When it comes to book collections, no truer words were ever spoken. But what if you have the space to get MORE organizing tools (a bigger bookshelf for example)? Well then other choices must be made. Use my example, I could make it a goal to pay a carpenter to make the perfect built in bookshelf like my other house. Or for a quick fix, I could easily embrace the idea of taking the ferry and a road trip to the mainland to buy a close-to-perfect bookcase - in fact that was what I was planning to do before the lightning bolt struck.

The lighting bolt I am speaking of was found in the garage. I have been hanging onto some commercial-strength glass shelves for about a decade. I love the weight of them, the clarity, the perfect bevelled edge... but they never found a home at the other place. I moved them here thinking they might come in handy for the garage. And last week I saw them there leaning against the wall and felt sad that I wasn't using them. "SHAZAAM!"

The solution to my bookcase dilemma was right in front of me. And it was the easiest, fastest (and least expensive) option!  I would be able to us my beloved glass by getting rid of enough books to live with a simpler stacked bookcase!

A brief mission to find the right supports began. Flowerpots were too expensive. Bricks too messy. But some water hyacinth storage baskets with metal frames proved sturdy, clean, grippy for the glass, affordable and reasonably priced. Viola!

under construction
Not nearly the capacity of my old shelving wall. But now at least I know what space I have with which to set the realistic limits Peter Walsh is talking about. A dozen or so boxes of books to fit into 16 linear feet of shelving.

Just yesterday I took 3 boxes of books to the Elementary school. It was hard to get rid of some of the old favourites... (I did keep a short stack of the younger-age books) But so many of the classics are easily found at the library (I had to finally admit it, my boys aren't big readers).

And for my own selections, I decided the very best place for my favourite pocket novels and the "yet to be read" collection should be narrowed down to JUST ONE slim, rolling, under-the-bed container (another space that has definable limits). It felt good to accomplish that. They are still easy to access and in a logical place (since I like to read in bed).

More boxes to charity, more purging and prioritizing and sorting... here we are!

I'm pleased with the low height. And tickled pink seeing the glass shelves being utilized too!
Total cost... $53.76 for the baskets. It was so reasonable that I treated myself with the picture rail shelf above... obviously I'm taking that "set limit" to it's maximum capacity. Maybe time to consider the quantity of family photos I like to display?

What do you think?