Tag Archives: tips for decluttering

Pin 52: week two pinterest crochet basket project

Last week I decided to make “someday” today.  I vowed to tackle one of the upteen pins from my Pinterest boards each week. Whether the results were a “nailed it” fail, or a success every Monday you’ll see the results.

Last week I made the delicious slow cooker quinoa enchilada bake, this week I got crafty. Not only was I clearing out some electronic clutter, I dove into my endless supply of yarn and took on creating a crochet basket.

Ok, so mine didn’t turn out exactly like these, but I was still pretty impressed with my first go-round.

Since the link to my original pin wouldn’t work, I found this one from Design Sponge.  While I’ve made plenty of blankets, I’ve never crocheted in a circle before.

I’m quite certain any (and all) errors were from my own lack of experience reading a pattern rather than the instructions themselves.  I definitely used thicker yarn, and my finished basket was not mini. But, it was a quick project that I’d definitely try again.

The result…a little uneven but not terrible.  Too big for keys or loose change, but it works for holding the tv remotes!

Is it perfect? Nope.

But, at the end of the day I have a finished project and something checked off my “someday” list.

Follow the Pin 52: Accomplished board here.


Pin 52: clearing electronic clutter

Yesterday we mapped out a beginner’s guide to well-being.  Understanding that wellness encompasses the mind, body, and spirit, it makes sense that our surroundings affect our health. Paper, toys, and general clutter adds an element of chaos to our mind and environment. Unfortunately today, we can’t escape our clutter even when we leave home…electronic clutter seems to follow us.

http://osxdaily.com/2014/04/29/hide-unread-mail-number-icon-ios/E-clutter: the hundreds of unread emails, countless posts saved on Facebook, not to mention endless Pintrest boards filled with reminders of projects we’ll one day complete.  Just turning on your phone can cause unnecessary stress.

Before the internet (am I dating myself or are you right there with me?!), I used to keep binders full of cool room ideas, books to read, and recipes I wanted to try.  Even though they’re now all on virtual boards, there’s still a nagging thought that I could be/should be doing more.

There’s no shortage of books and tips on clearing paper clutter, but eliminating e-clutter can help reduce mental chaos too.

So, I’ve decided to tackle this virtual clutter.

Yesterday’s “trail guide” suggested creating challenges to accomplish goals, so I’m completing one pin every week.  Origionally I thought Pin 365 sounded catchy, but even I know my limitations and figured every day was a bit of a stretch.  So, Pin 52 it is.

Whether it’s a recipe, book, or project, each week I’ll pick a “pin” from one of my boards and then move it to my “accomplished” board. Of course, I’ll share the results with all of you each Monday.

pin 1Pin #1… Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Bake.

The results…delicious.

Although many people only dust off their crock pot during the busy school year or in the winter, it’s perfect for the summertime too. I’ll gladly spend more time outside doing anything rather than prep dinner inside.

If you really aren’t in the mood to cook, this recipe is ideal for shortcuts.  It calls for corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers.  While some days I don’t mind prep work, but after just returning from vacation (read: slim pickings in the fridge), a jar of salsa (tomatoes & onions already chopped) and my favorite corn salsa (diced peppers? done!) worked great.

You can leave it vegetarian and it would still be delicious; I added some shredded chicken to use up.  Even the kids had seconds.


Getting organized: what to do with all of your stuff

Closets bursting with old clothes? Toys overflowing from their bin? We all have our clutter: maybe its paper, photos, or multiples of kitchen gadgets. But, it’s time to purge and organize. Often that means letting go of the emotional clutter clinging to the objects as well.

imageWhile the West Elm and Pottery Barn catalogues (photo) may seem ideal- remember they are photo shoots- no one’s family of five truly lives on those pages! What is important is finding what works for your family (don’t think my neighbors would appreciate the telescope and I don’t think the room would have held up to last nights indoor hockey game…don’t ask!).

Pairing down and clearing space, though, can help create a calmer atmosphere.

Enlisting a friend to help weed through your closet is a great idea, but most of my friends have their own clutter to tackle rather than spending hours on mine.

Instead, try taking a picture of the room from different angles. Cluttered spots you’re accustomed to are more obvious in a photograph. Same goes for an outfit. Undecided if you should keep the dress you wore once last year? Take a picture of yourself in it- still love it?

My problem is less about filling the boxes with items to discard, it’s moving the boxes out of the house. I have this notion that my unwanted items still need a good home…and I hate throwing things in the garbage.

imageSo, where can you go with clothes too tattered for Goodwill or the resale shop? Contact your local school district sewing teachers. Many of them are thrilled to receive “practice” fabric for beginning students.

Stuffed animals? Some fire and police departments will take them to comfort young kids on emergency calls.

Towels and sheets that are a little frayed? Local animal shelters are always in need of these for their pups and cats.

Kitchen gadgets everywhere? Pass them along to your neighbor’s child heading to college or their first apartment. Or, contact your local women & children’s shelter.

Leftover paint? School or small theatre set crews often welcome extras for building & decorating sets. Remember- paint and dead batteries can not be thrown in the garbage! Most towns have a “hazardous waste” drop-off location, or find recycling options on Earth 911.

Holiday decorations? Many nursing homes are happy to accept decorations for their common area rooms.

imageWhere are your favorite spots to donate?

Wondering where to start? The Art of Doing Stuff has a great organizing challenge beginning now.

striped jute bag
donation box photo credit

Simple Ways to Get Organized!

I know you’re going to be really jealous…there’s a whole lot of de-cluttering going on in my house. It’s huge excitement. It is actually pretty cathartic. Since it’s 100° outside, I figured we’d get started on all of the organizing I claimed would happen at the beginning of the summer.

Backpacks still full of last years papers? Mail piling up while you’re spending the days at the pool?

Life is too busy for a catalog-perfect home.

So, how can you keep some semblance of order- and sanity- during these hectic days?

Transform these gorgeous pieces into three different storage uses, for three different rooms.

mango woodMango Wood Bowl or Platter. Kitchen: set table top for quick grab and go fresh fruit. Entry way: use to hold the day’s (or weeks) mail and keys. Bathroom: set sink side with extra towels and washcloths.

20121116-094914.jpgJute Bag. Laundry Room: stash all of your pool necessities inside the bag so there’s no delay hitting the pool! Kids Room: Stuffed animals everywhere? Keep them contained & portable. Family Room: It’s hot outside, but the AC is chilly. Keep throw blankets tucked inside the bag, but still accessible.

imageRecycled Tire Pot: Family Room: Remote controls keep disappearing? Not anymore, contain them all here. Craft Room: Scissors, pens, and tape won’t get lost with this on your desk. Play Room: Tired of stepping on toy cars? It’s only fitting to store them in a container made from tires!

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean all structure has to go by the wayside. 3 products, 3 ways will help everyone stay organized so you can spend more time on the important stuff- playing!

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