Oct 012016

yard sale collage

Oh the wonderful world of saving money by shopping at yard sales.  You never know what you will find.  However, when you decide to have one, it is as amazing to see what you will find.  You start seeing items in your house which you are no longer needing.  The above photo are not of things gotten ride of, but of various finds, some bought some just enjoyed at that moment in time.

I have been working on cleaning out our house.  Sort of like Spring Cleaning, but in Autumn.  I also find the physics law to be true – an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by another force.  In other words, once you start looking for things to purge you will continue to find them (at increasing speeds) unless distracted by something else.  What are those something elses?

  • stopping to make a meal
  • checking your social media site
  • being asked by one of the kids to play a game
  • finding that old book you really loved
  • contemplating for too long as to whether you really need that pair of shoes half a size too small and not at all a flattering style for you
  • wondering if Aunt So-and-so would be mad at you for getting rid of that nice dress coat you have never worn but which she gave you … 15 years ago
  • coming across the book list for school last year, scanning it to see if you actually read all the books
  • the memory of your child having worn a particular outfit when they had first moved in with you/were born

The last one was particularly hard and hit me like a wall I did not know was there.  So many images came flooding back.  Pudgy, little Jack running through the house with a huge smile on his face and the side to side run he had.  Him enjoying an ice cream cone, chocolate spread across his face. George’s favorite shirt, one he always chose above the others. The pjs you bought just for him, knowing he would love them. The sadness when you finally admitted they no longer fit.

So why did I not keep those particular outfits? Because the outfits did not hold the memory, my mind did.  The kids will never be that size again. By the time they have kids, these clothes will either not be in fashion or be the wrong season or not fit their bodies correctly.  I have proof in the form of clothes from when my husband was about 5.  Still have the clothes, though they have never been worn by our kids.

After having a yard sale, a lot of items left the house.  I was amazed at how much.  Yet, there were still things left.  What to do? I gathered up what I thought was worth selling and posted it on our local online For Sale page.  The rest was booted to the curb with a FREE sign.  If it was in really shape it went straight to the trash, so the items at the curb were not in bad shape, just not worth selling.  Apparently someone needed most of the items as I only took three boxes back to the trash a few days later.

free sale by curb

Since that time I have continued to find items.  Some have been listed for sale, some put out by the curb for free, and other donated to a local thrift store that helps support a women’s shelter.  And you know what?  I am still finding items.

Another thing I have come to realize is that it is easier over time to let things go.  This morning, and yes it is only 7 a.m. right now, I went through items I had listed for sale and moved them to the donate pile.  In my mind the memories are still holding, but I know it is better to let them go. Let the stuff go and keep the memories.  Let them go help others who may be in a hard place in life. Let them go bless others who might be tight on money. Let them go bless others who might be like we were a few years ago suddenly needing a whole wardrobe for kids right now!

And so, boxes sit by the back door while the kids are amazingly still asleep.  (No complaining.  I have had enough of kids being up at 6 or before this past week. I AM NOT COMPLAINING.)  Later they will be moved to the trunk of my car for donating next week.  In the mean time we will have conversations yet again as to why we are getting rid of things.  I will again realize my husband was correct; we have too much stuff.  I will be reminded again of how easy it is to start not seeing things.

I will look around the house and realize how much more we still have, not ready to let go of certain items yet and appreciating the usefulness of others.  Another box will be picked up and filled with things I keep “just in case”, though that “just in case” has not happened in 5/8/10 years.  I will grab that extra binder and hole puncher, sit down and sort through papers that need organization beyond being put into a cloth bag.

For now, though, my momentum has been stopped.  I hear not-so-little voice coming down from my bedroom, where it seems everyone migrated last night.  I will grab the pancakes from the freezer (I doubled a batch last week) to start breakfast.  These are the moments to make memories … the little Spies behind me thinking they have pulled one over on me, yet wondering how it is that Mom always hears their very loud, giggling, ‘sneaking’.

Aug 062016

yard sale boy clothes

Hello! Yes, I am still here. No I have not forgotten about you. There were several nights I sat down to post something, only to fall asleep in the middle of a thought.  Not very productive that way.

It is now 3 in the afternoon and I am finishing up my (late) lunch while typing this out on my phone. I apologize now for the graphics. No fancy borders or watermarks, but I also shouldn’t fall asleep on you.



Here are some numbers from our 3 day garage sale:

* Saturday’s earnings contributed only 10% to our overall total. It was pretty much a waste of time.

* Thursday was the best day.

* Most of my items were priced at $1 or $0.25. The goal was to sell, not make lots of money.

* The fan with a broken clip sold, but not the small kids’ bike with training wheels.

* The two security system signs sold (we had that particular service 2 houses and about 10 years ago), but not the cute little black purse.

* The most requested item was tomatoes, and other fresh produce.  It seems my road side table has been noticeably missed by many in the community.

*Almost no kids clothes sold. The ones that did sell were not till Saturday late morning.

* After 6 days of carrying boxes up from our basement, pricing items, and holding the sale, I made less than my husband does in one day at work.

* We got rid of almost 2/3 of our items either by selling, giving, or throwing them away.

* My husband only ate lunch out one day. The other days were sandwiches at home.

* I am pretty sure I lost a few pounds along the way.

free sale by curb

From now on, I believe I will stick to our local online For Sale page or just give items away on a “Free” table by the curb. In all, after all the work, ignoring the house and kids, being tired and grumpy and hot, I made less than $5 an hour. That amount increases a bit if I would have skipped having a garage sale on Saturday altogether.

My husband said he would have just thrown everything in the trash. 🙂 For his time, it was very much NOT worth it. Myself, being one who wants to keep things out of the landfills and who does not work outside of the home, it would have meant:

  1. making many, many trips to Big Town with the kids and spending money on gas for the 1 hour round trip, to donate these items.
  2. Or I would have had a free sale over the course of the week to get rid of the items.

For me, it was better, in time and money, than the donating option.  However, it was a draw on the Free Sale option; it was worse time wise but better money wise.

Right now, though, I am going to focus on dishes and laundry … and something cold to drink.

Apr 012016

Valentines craft children

Here is a post started in January of 2014. It is fun to look back and see a glimpse of life from the past.

What did I learn?  Sample bottles seem to hang around a lot longer than you intend.

There are several things hanging out around our house that I plan to get to or use one of these days.  This month, I am setting a goal to finish or use up several of those items.  Here is the list of things around that house I plan to use this month.

Things around the house that need to be “used up”

  1. Stamping kits for the kids
  2. Tracing books
  3. Extra mirrors (to put into frames and hang)
  4. Old jeans
  5. Old t-shirts
  6. Samples of shampoo and conditioner
  7. Samples of lotion
  8. Soaps from hotels/samples

Many of these things are still here. This is one reason I started either throwing them away or putting them in a Free Table in front of my house.

Apr 302014

 Blessing Others decluttered childrens clothes

While the list on the side of the page did not get updated this month, the list on my fridge has been added to as I got rid of items.  In some ways it is getting easier to say “goodbye” to items.  I have found that life has indeed continued without many of the items I thought were necessary.

On the other hand, I am having to actually go beyond the easy decisions, trying to decide if I am hanging onto something for sentimental reasons.  I am surprised by how often I think, “I just got that!”, only to then realize that I “just got that” 10 years ago.  This has actually caused me at times to use items instead of saving them for “some day”.

Sunday I did miss a pair of dress shoes I had decided to get rid of.  When I go through all the boxes this week or next, I will pull that particular pair of shoes back out to keep.  The two other pairs I currently have are silver and black, the pair I had decided to get rid of are brown.

Decluttered Items

March (76+ items): 
14 shirts
Contents of 30 canning jars
2 bags of onions
8 sandwich bags of dried produce
3 magazines
1 pair kids pants
2 boxes packing material
2 dress coats
1 swim trunks
6 containers old medicine
1 container of medical equipment
1 pair jeans
1 toy
30 ebooks
2 balls
1 bag marshmallows, stale

April (89+ items):
2 pants
1 shirt
1 lanyard
box dried buckeyes
2 magazines
1 container car wax
decorative bird
box magnetic letters
unopened matching game
3 VHS tapes
expired can of tea
75+ kids’ clothing items
2 pants
1 shirt
1 lanyard
box dried buckeyes
2 magazines
1 container car wax
decorative bird
box magnetic letters
unopened matching game
3 VHS tapes
expired can of tea
75+ kids’ clothing items

While I missed my initial goal of having a garage sale during our town’s City Wide Garage Sale, I have looked ahead and chose another date a month out from now.  Even though I know I will not have made it through the house like I had hoped, I am ready to get rid of the items in my basement.  Perhaps this will also motivate me to keep going through the house and finding unwanted and unneeded items.

I have been finding it harder to go through stuff now that it is warmer outside.  Do you think it is easier to get rid of unwanted items at certain times of the year, as opposed to others?

Mar 152014

Garden Update 2014

This past week has seen me doing very little in the way of gardening.  I was able to take a few minutes here and there to thin out the seedlings I have already started.

So what was I doing instead of gardening?

  • Catching up on over a week’s worth of laundry – something that is possible now that it isn’t 5 degrees outside
  • dental appointments
  • having required home visit for our foster care license
  • finished patching kids’ jeans
  • making the spare bedroom visitor friendly again.  It had become a catch-all room plus a DIY project in progress.
  • making our bedroom visitor and kid friendly (chose to place these visitors here due to the work we are doing in the spare bedroom.  It is very much not kid friendly right now.)
  • making meals for the freezer
  • finding an outfit to wear to court
  • updating my wardrobe (if I was going to toss out clothes I needed enough left to actually have something to wear, by choice I don’t have a lot of clothes – I decluttered 9 shirts)
  • setting up and going to MOPS
  • entertaining 2 different sets of overnight visitors
  • watching a friend’s kid (my kid loved the impromptu play-date and lunch out)
  • going to an all-day conference

Oh, yeah and ADOPTING OUR KIDS!!

I was hoping you all would understand why this just wasn’t the week to be doing a lot of gardening and why my posts have not been my normal schedule.  It has definitely been a full week, and the house looks so much better for it.

picked up bedroom

This upcoming week has a lot more free time, very few required places for me to be or things to accomplish.  I  plan on making the most of it while I can.

Gardening and Home Goals for the week of March 16, 2014:

Call school to inform them this will be the last week in preschool for my youngest.

List all the start dates for the seeds I have.

Start seeds that should already have been started.

Work on removing 2 lilac bush stumps.

Plant peach tree? – I may hold off on this one for another week.

Add mulch to areas around the yard, if the mulch pile is no longer frozen on top.

Declutter 49 items.

Cook and freeze pork roasts in refrigerator.

Create more omelette kits for freezer.

Plant 200 – 300 onion sets – if ground isn’t still frozen.

green onions in raised bed 2I am very ready for the 2014 gardening season.  However, if I don’t start now with my garden jobs, soon it will be an overly busy time and I’ll get behind.  The warmer weather will appear before we know it – though I’m not convinced we are through with snow storms or freezing temperatures.

How are your gardens or garden preparations coming along?

Mar 052014

container of pens and pencils

February found the cold spell continuing in our part of the country.  While this made it hard to do some things, or to even be motivated to do them, what it did help with was continuing to declutter items.

After such a good result in January, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up the pace.  Turns out I passed by the 136 items I had gathered last month and found over 155 items to declutter this month.  Additionally, I was able to get out my sewing machine for the first time in 3 years.  While my pile of mending wasn’t overly large, there were several items that had accumulated.  I have most of it taken care of, though there are still a few to finish up.  Recently one of my kids figured out how to put a hole in the knee of every pair of jean owned.  While I have iron patches on, I need to finish sewing around the edges to help keep them on.

It was while looking for sewing notions that I came across the many sewing projects that I had started but not finished.  It was sew tempting … okay bad joke …. so tempting to be distracted and finish them up.  After all, doing a craft/sewing project is much more fun than working your way through the basement or talking down wallpaper.  While hard I had to remind myself:

“Focus!  There will be a time when I can work on these, but this isn’t it.  Finish what you are working on first.  These aren’t going anywhere.  They’ve been here 3 years, they can wait a month or two.”

Looking around I still see areas I need to focus on and clear out.  I can’t believe there are 301 fewer items around the house than there were at the beginning of the year.

February’s decluttered items (165+):

4 card games
24 piece small puzzle
15 children’s books
2 homemade puzzles
1 homemade book
2 key chains
4 small toys
2 table runners
6 place mats and napkins
old faded table cloth
6 place mats
4 place mats
4 place mats with napkins and rings
6 place mats with napkins and chopsticks
4 cloth liners for trays
coin purse
luggage tag
2 bottles nutrient supplements
1 decorative ornament
3 cassette tapes
2 kids workbooks
1 large basket
2 Styrofoam coolers
1 table top gas grill
1 utensil holder
1 saucer
1 used coloring book
5 gallon bucket of old paint
1 broken bottom of drawer
2 bottles of frozen bubble solution
1 vest
1 watch
1 Troll doll
1 frisbee
2 twin fitted sheets
2 twin mattress covers
2 twin duvet covers
1 pillow sham
1 pillow case
2 balls
1 key chain
1 washer drain hose
1 dryer electrical cord
1 milk crate
3 outdated spice bottles
2 shirts
1 pair of shorts
10 small toys

There may have been more items that found their way into the boxes (or trash) but which I had forgotten to write down.  That’s okay.  The goal is to declutter them, not write them down.  🙂

paper file storage boxes organization

In my urge to declutter, I find that I am also more likely to clear out paper clutter immediately rather than hang on to them.  At first I felt bad for not hanging on to every paper the kids bring home. Previously I would keep it for a few days then figure out where it should go – trash, recycling, kids’ play room, or keep.  Now, I do it as they come home and show me their backpacks.  This has created opportunities to talk through this process with the kids.  They are finally getting to the point where they may want to keep something for about 20 minutes before realizing they don’t really want it.  At which point I have often heard, “I don’t really want this.  Can I recycle it?”  Love it.


I’m now at the point in the basement that the kids’ stuff is next in line.  This will take more time due to having to go through papers and pictures and items, some of which I aim to keep only because of who gave it to them.  I will also be taking time to put pictures into albums.  A few years back their birth mom gave us a stack of photos from when they were younger and of some other family members.  Even better, she wrote who the people were on the back of the photo, how they were related, and an idea of what was going on in the picture.  These are definitely things that I don’t want to get lost or damaged.  There are also Life Books that need to be finished.

What is a Life Book?  Well, think of it as a scrapbook of sorts for foster or adoptive kids.  With the possibility of multiple moves, various people coming in and out of their lives, and experiences their birth families may not be a part of, you can see how a kid may feel a bit lost or like part of their life didn’t really happen.  A Life Book helps to document these things so that the kid has a place to remember them or keep them straight.  It also allows the adults in their lives to understand where they have been and show the kids that their past is important, even if it happened in a place or with people the current adults don’t know.  Here is an example of Life Book pages from the Iowa Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the University of South Carolina. For example there is a page that shows where the kid has lived previously.  It starts with a picture of a house (the first place you lived) and works its way along a road to the next house, then the next, and so on.  Unfortunately it doesn’t have enough houses for our kids, but that is where it can be personalized.  There is no right way or wrong way to do it.  Does the kid only want to write down their favorite places?  Place they stayed for a certain length of time?  Or do they want to write them all down and make a second page to keep documenting them?  These are all “right” ways to do it.  The Children’s Home Society & Family Services, in Minnesota, has an explanation of what the different parts of the books can be and suggestions on how to handle them.

All this to say, I will be very surprised if I am able to declutter as many items as in January or February.  However, that is a challenge I am very willing to take on and accomplish.

Have you  had a chance to look through a drawer, shelf, or box lately?  What was the oddest thing you found?

May 072013

Yesterday I did two things that were productive and towards my weekly goals.  1. I planted in the garden.  2. I cleared out the kitchen.

Planting took all of 20 minutes, maybe.  That includes running inside to get seeds and plants, twice.

Cleaning up the kitchen took a lot longer.  However, it also involved making several calls, stopping to show a little one how to take the triangle made with Flarp and make it into other shapes, etc.  So that time was not purely spent on the kitchen.  I digress though.  Clearing off surfaces didn’t take very long.









 My cup of coffee that I was currently drinking is still on the counter as I was, well, still drinking it.  Everything else was taken off.



What really took time was going through one of the cabinets we have and clearing out unneeded/unwanted items.  This included jam.


“Who doesn’t want jam?”  you may be asking.  Let me answer that for you with a question, “If the jam was canned up in 2009 and you don’t remember the last time you took a jar from this particular batch, don’t you think it is time to get rid of it and free up the spaces and jars?”  Exactly.  The whole batch, minus one jar, was zucchini jam made when I had an abundance of zucchini and wasn’t sure what to do with it.  At that time we didn’t have an extra freezer and I had just come across a recipe for zucchini jam.  A recipe similar to the recipe Hillbilly Housewife has, Zucchini Jam.  It was quick and easy to make.  Additionally, this jam could be made into a variety of flavors.


 In all I had around 24 jars of zucchini jam that we have not touched in over a year, or two years maybe.


The underside of this lid shows one reason I started to be leary of using the jam.  It has been there a while and I wan’t sure it was safe anymore.  See the brown stuff?  It wasn’t from brown jam …


Many of the jars has jam around the edges that made the was sticking to the lids when I took them off.


In all, about 24 jars of zucchini jam were dumped.  At first I tried pouring them down the sink drain, but that quickly became clogged.  Then I dumped a few contents into the trash, but realized there was too much liquid for that.  In the end, the zucchini jam was added to a garden bed outside that I am planning to add newspaper and mulch to this week.  I wanted to add some extra food scraps before adding newspaper to help amend the soil.  Why not add jam?

I also decluttered a broken music box/Christmas ornament, an extra coffee cup and saucer, bag of jelly beans and 6 recipe books, finding two I love but haven’t used because they were forgotten in the dark corner of the shelf.  These two, plus two others I want to use more, were put from and center.







8 items decluttered:


The kitchen feels more freeing.  I no longer have a shelf full of jam staring back at me making me feel guilty for not using it, yet scared to use it because it has been canned almost 4 years ago.

Do you have any jars in your pantry like that?  What do they hold?

Oak Hill Homestead
Mar 272013

Decluttering is a constant goal of mine. It shows up fairly often on my weekly goals in the form of “I have decluttered 14 items this week” or “I have decluttered a drawer”. The main reason is to keep the feeling of life being taken over by stuff.  It also helps with organization, finding things and not being rules by items (having to dust them, use them, clean them, move them, etc.).  The past few weeks have also shown me another reason: helping others.  It isn’t always easy, but it feels better once it is done.

A young friend of mine is just starting out with almost nothing, literally. She has clothes and a few dollars.  Additionally this person is getting married.  This is not something I would normally recommend.  However, this friend was engaged before being suddenly on her own, so it was understandable that they decided to move the date up. Given I can’t change any of the facts or circumstances the most I can do is show support to help this transition be easier and, hopefully, more successful.

This young friend and her fiancee were blessed to find a place for an extremely reasonable price for after they get married.  The thing is, this place has nothing in it.  When another friend mentioned to me what was happening my first question was, “What is needed?”  The answer, “Everything.”  Because I had been decluttering along the way I was able to go through boxes and find items that may be needed.  It also gave me a reason to finally go through some cabinets I have and declutter them to.  Though I may not have been able to furnish their whole place, what I was able to offer means they don’t have to go buy those items.  It is also not only me offering them stuff, others are helping out too.  If each of us does a little bit, it all adds up.

In addition to offering these items to this particular friend, I also put together two and a half bags of out grown or unneeded clothing for two other people.

My house is now several pounds lighter and there is less to take care of.  This means more time for other things, like gardening.

I’m not saying all this to say how good I am or that I did anything spectacular.  The reason for saying this is to show how something you might see as little or unwanted could suddenly become exactly what someone else needs.  Don’t let things keep a hold on  you so much that you miss being able to bless someone else by sharing them.  You may never know how “big” your “little” means to someone else.

Jul 182012

It feels like slow week in the realm of gardening here at my place.

  • We got rain! A lot of it. That meant no need for daily watering.  There is even a chance for storms again tonight.  Though I would prefer a light rain every morning, I will take what I can get right now.  We even have some green in our grass.  Hard to believe, but it is true.
  • Nothing is ready to pick yet from my garden, though there are herbs ready if I need them.  The cucumbers are covered in blooms, just no cucumbers yet.
  • The stand has had pretty steady business.  That is good as I get tired of putting out and bringing in the same items day after day.  Surprisingly, to me at least, zucchini has been a big hit these past two weeks.
  • And I am choosing to ignore the big weed flower bed in my front yard.  I need to go through and take out what I want to keep, pot those plants up for next spring and then do something about the weeds.  That is for another day week, though, so I’m choosing to ignore it right now.

So, what have I been up to?

  • Slowly working my way through the video here.  I had some thoughts on it as I was watching it.  More to come on that later.
  • Slowly reading through Since Silent Spring by Frank Graham
  • Slowly trying to figure out the new theme that you see.  Not everything is how I want it, but I’m learning a little at a time.
  • (Have you picked up on the ‘Slowly’ theme so far?  I find that though I can read or watch something quickly, that doesn’t mean I comprehend it.  I’m intentionally trying to go through the movies and book at a slow speed.  Firstly, because of comprehension and secondly, because there are really other things I want to get done this week.)
  • Cleaned out my fridge.  Feels so good to open it now.  Cleaning is something I find takes my mind off things I don’t want to think about.  Times when I am frustrated, sad, overwhelmed, etc.  For some reason, focusing on cleaning an area or a particular items makes me feel better.  That is why the fridge finally got emptied out and cleaned on a whim.  This is one thing I like knowing about myself because it is a non-chocolate, non-coffee way to make myself feel better … and something actually gets done.
  • Cleared off my kitchen counter and realized how much more that makes me feel calm.  Love the lack of clutter.  Now for the rest of the room …
  • Gather up the last of several items to take for the teen garage sale this weekend.  My plan is to get the car loaded, during nap time, and drive them over this afternoon.
  • Looking at the bird nesting in the Begonia hanging from my front porch. (Not the one shown above, though they are about the same size.)  It was the source of an afternoon of birdwatching with some toddlers.  It was not only their first introduction to ornithology, but also to a bird identification book.  The bird is a female who has a nest with several eggs in it.  We watched as she would fly close by, then leave, only to fly close by again.  I pointed out that she wanted to come back to her nest, why that was, and why she wasn’t doing so.  Finally, we went inside and watched as she flew to her nest.  We then spent a while looking through a bird ID book with me pointing out several different features (maps, pictures of both male and female, etc.)  Being that this is the book I used in college, it isn’t exactly kid friendly.  They did enjoy the pictures though.  I’m hoping to instill a love, or at least an appreciaition, for nature by starting them young.  I have no expectations of molding them into leading ornithologists or conservationists or biologists or naturalist or hydrologists or what ever other -ist you choose to think of.  I just hope for them to have an appreciation for nature and at least a basic understanding of it.
  • And lastly, I’ve been realizing exactly how much I am away from home.  It really doesn’t seem like it to me, but when the first thing I’m asked in the mornings is, “Where are we going today?”, well, that is a big clue that perhaps we are gone more often than needed.

Here is an update on the television issue we had last week.  I am being more proactive of the amount of television taking place in our house, durring the day especially.  My goal is for zero, zilch, nada to happen.  This accomplishes several goals:

  1.  More imaginative playing
  2. Better attitudes
  3. Less energy being used; the wattage kind, not the caloric kind.  Something I’ve very happy about during these warmer months

Today, I agreed to ONE, half hour epsidose of a non-cartoon television show, but turned off the television afterwards.  This was followed by about one hour of “I don’t want to….”, stomping feet, whining and uncoroperative behavior by one child. They were the lucky winner of In-The-Same-Room-As-Me time.  After that hour, you could hear the kids playing nicely together, using their imaginations and toys to mimic the road construction that is taking place right outside our house.  This was the same construction that we went outside to watch before watching the half hour of television.  The more I am running this little experiement, the more I am convinced that for this particular child, any television is a bad thing right now.  Not sure why this reaction is happening now, in this child, even though they are well rested and have a lot of other physical activites going on.  I have my suspicions, but it is something I will never be able to prove one way or the other.

May 222012

Note: I know several of my posts recently have not had to do with gardening exactly.  However, I find there to be more to a garden than just the plants, and more things affect gardening than just the weather.  This morning for example I felt free to be in the garden, or rather planting cucumber that were hung near it, because I knew that my house was in decent shape.  Beds were made, dishes were done, the kitchen counter was basically clutter free and a load of laundry was started.  Toys were decently picked up and the trash was not over flowing.  Having a morning outside in the garden allowed me to be more relaxed at lunch and nap time.  This in turn resulted in one of the easiest nap times I’ve had recently.  Now to go back out to do more gardening.  If I can get it all prepped right, then I can garden while the kids ride their bikes in the side yard.  It is all interconnected.

Recently on a local radio show there was a guest talking about gardening.  It was a good program that was at the basic level.  No complicated topics were talked about, just how to start a basic garden or what to do if you didn’t have room for a garden.

One of the questions asked was, “Should I start a garden?”  The answer to this was not quite what I would have thought of.  Thinking on it further, though, I thought it was a great response.  The gist was that if your  house is not clean, then you should not have a garden.  The reason?  If you can’t keep your house picked up, what then would make you want to go out and keep a garden watered, weeded, and harvested?  Now, I unfortunately don’t remember which radio show this was on.  If you however happen to know, please leave a comment and tell me.

At the same time, Money Saving Mom was doing a series called “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home“.  Now, I didn’t participate at that time, but I was seeing these posts almost daily.  It was bound to have an effect. Part of the daily assignments was decluttering 7 items.

Between the two of these, I got the urge to finally declutter some things around the house.  Something also happened in my life that finally allowed me to declutter a section of stuff that, up until that time, I had been required to hang onto.  Last week felt great.  My goal had been 7 items for 7 days.  I didn’t make it 7 days but went well above the 7 items each day.  Here is a bit of what I was able to get rid of.

Day 1

A pile of 7 shirts, two books and an old suitcase that is starting to tear where the handles attach to the body.

Day 2

3 books and a pile of kids clothes

Day 3

A pair of roller blades (that look new and barely used), a pile of old belts, two fake tattoos, a book, two dresses and two shirts, and a well loved old truck.

Day 4

Day 4 was by far the largest and took the most time.  However I felt the lightest afterwards.  Pictured are 38 pieces of clothing and a rubber mop/sweeper/scrubber item (an extra to one we already have).  Not pictured are the paper bags (2.5) of clothing I plan on taking to the consignment store to see if they can try to sell.  Any items they won’t take will be put into the “yard sale” pile.


I wasn’t able to follow through with 7 days, but it was a start.  Even know I am still seeing items that can be put in either the “to give away”, “to throw away”, “to consign (take to the consignment store)” or the “yard sale” piles.  Okay, the “to throw away” pile is actually the trash can.  The “to give away” pile is the free table out front or my neighbor’s free table.  One of us has one every so often if we have several things to just plain give away.  If it is for someone in particular, they get a paper bag with their name on it and the item(s) for them goes in it.  No hanging about on the shelf.

I plan on keeping up with this.  Already today I saw two things to add to the yard sale pile and two things to take to the consignment store.  Now I just need to put those 4 items in the correct spots and find 3 more.