28 Day Minimalist Challenge | Week Three

28 Day Minimalist Challenge

I apologize for not getting these up last week, like I should have.  Life got a bit busy.  I will get the final week done ASAP.

Day 15:

Toys.  UGH.  This is another one that certainly could require a lot of attention/time.  I have a rule in my house…the kids can keep whatever fits in their “drawer”.  We have a closet with two large drawers.  Each child has one drawer.  Whatever they can fit in the drawer, they can keep.  This serves two great purposes: 1) it reduces the amount of toys we have and 2) the kids ALWAYS know where their toys go, so it makes cleaning up simple.  They do it without being told (most days).  I realize that this wouldn’t work for all families, but it works well for me.  I should add that our art/craft supplies are kept in a separate box because I always fully encourage the kids to create, so I don’t cap the number of crafty items we have :-)

Day 16:

While most of us don’t have a big problem in the living room, there are occasionally things that we accumulate over time.  Pick your problem area and just do that today.  Maybe it’s a stack of magazines on your coffee table.  Maybe it’s a pile of mail or newspapers that have found an unwanted home on the ottoman.  Whatever it may be, make today’s project to get rid of the old and make a home for the new.

Day 17:

Still focusing on the living room, today will be media day.  I’m sure everyone has movies or music (whether it’s DVDs, VHS, CDs or…cassettes??) that are no longer of interest.  With the birth of online streaming such as Netflix and HULU, we’re finding more and more space in our TV cabinets.  The need for physical discs is being reduced every day.  I sort of love it.  Donate or sell whatever no longer serves you.

Day 18:

The ever-dreaded coat closet it next on our list.  How is it that these closets get so bad?!  Well, they get bad in my house, at least.  This will be a big one for me.  It seems like we get so many coats and then I can’t part with them.  In reality, I probably wear the same one or two all winter.  The goal here, for me, is to get rid of whatever coats the kids and I don’t wear and to pare down the hats and mittens, as well.  I may also make a dual goal and finally finish the breezeway….

Day 19:

Shoes!  They may be in your bedroom closet, they may be in the coat closet…wherever they are, go through them.  Get rid of the old, beat up pair you’ve been having a hard time parting with.  Sell or donate the ones you never wear (or the pair that hurts your feet!).  Your closet will be glad you did.

Day 20:

Whether you have a laundry room, laundry area, utility room, etc, this is our objective today.  Old detergent containers?  Recycle them.  A pile of towels or rags that you’ve been ignoring?  Take care of them.  Old broken laundry baskets, recycle them, too.  Little things like this will make a huge difference in your space!  I’m not promising that it will make you LIKE doing the laundry, but it might make it a bit more tolerable ;-)

Day 21:

Today is dedicated to the mudroom or entryway.  If, for you, this and the coat closet are one in the same, then just choose another small project that we may have missed.  Choose one storage area or closet.

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The H Family

Family Session | Kelly Gorney Photography

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28 Day Minimalist Challenge | Week Two

28 Day Minimalist Challenge

Happy Sunday!  It’s hard to believe a whole week went by already.  For those who are following along,  I would love to hear how week one went for you.  I admit that, when it came to the email, I fell short.  I really need to sit down and finish that.
Now, we are on to week TWO of the minimalist challenge!!

Day 8:

Last day in the kitchen!  Yay!  Counters… a clear counter creates a much more appealing work space.  The less you have sitting out, the less you have to work around.  Find a home inside your new spacious cabinets for items such as the blender, mixer, toaster, etc.  The same goes with your cookware..utensils, cutting boards, olive oil, spices, and more.  Your kitchen will look and feel bigger and cleaner.

Day 9:

The bathroom.  The main goal of day 9 will be to go through all the toiletries.  We’ve all been bombarded with free samples in the past.  Maybe they have piled up, or maybe you just accumulated products that didn’t work for you.  Get rid of them.  If your local shelter accepts these type of products, donate them.  If you have bottles of lotion or shampoo that barely have anything left, empty them and recycle.  Don’t keep anything that you won’t use.  It’s just more “stuff”.

Day 10:

The linen closet.  Some of you may have one, some of you may not.  The point is…go through your towels, washcloths, etc.  This may likely include sheets.  If the towels are old and shredded, retire them to rags or retire them altogether.  As far as sheets are concerned….true minimalists will have one set of sheets per bed.  To that, I say…not me.  While the thought is nice, I have kids.  Three of them.  Who are quite likely to contract the stomach bug.  Or have an accident.  Or spit up all over my bed (last night. what?!).  The reality is, someone, at some point, is going to mess their sheets at night and I will need to remake a bed.  SO, I have a back up set for each bed.  I don’t feel more than two sets per bed is necessary, though.  If you have a ton, I recommend donating the extras.  They are just taking up precious space in your home.

Day 11:

Today, we will focus the hanging items the Master Bedroom. closet.  The closet can feel like an insurmountable task.  When going through your clothes, ask your self one of the following questions: 1) Have I worn this is in the past year?  or 2) would I buy this if I went shopping today?  If the answer is no, I think it’s safe to put in the donate pile.  You should easily be able to pare down your closet by at least 25% by doing this.

Day 12:

Master Bedroom dresser.  I don’t have one of these, but many do.  Choose today to go through each drawer and ask yourself the same questions you did yesterday.  When it comes to undergarments, I think it’s easy to know when to pull the plug on these.  If they are frayed, have holes, are too big or too small, PLEASE throw them away.

Day 13:

Well, I gave you a break on the closet for one day, but now we’re back.  Let’s pay some attention to the floor, shall we?  How easy is it to let things (shoes, bags, etc) accumulate and become neglected on the floor of the closet?  SO easy.  Or maybe it’s just me. HA!  I recommend doing the same with these items as you did with your hanging items and your dresser.  Don’t wear it or use it?  DONATE IT!!

Day 14:

Kids’ rooms.  Okay.  I fully realize that, when it comes to kids, this topic could require an entire 28 day challenge of it’s own.  For now, just do what you can.  Maybe you just go through some of their clothes and weed out those that are too small now.  It’s still progress!  Something is better than nothing, right?

I hope you’re starting to notice an improvement within your homes by this point.  Doesn’t it feel good to reduce the number of items??  I’ll be back in a week with another list!

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28 Day Minimalist Challenge | Week One

28 Day Minimalist Challenge

So, as many of you know, I have been on a mission to create a more minimalist lifestyle.  Buying the new house (which is small!!) is sort of forcing me to follow through with it.  This is a good…no, a GREAT thing.

The complaint I hear from a lot of people is that it’s so intimidating or overwhelming.  Where do I START?!  Well, I teamed up with my dear friend, Amber, of Modern Homeschool to create our own little 28 day minimalist challenge!  Hopefully it will help some of you to begin the process without feeling too overwhelmed.  This is totally doable!!  We will do one week at a time, so hopefully it will be easy to follow.

Some of these may not apply to you or your home.  If that is the case, feel free to create your own challenge that day.  It can be something small.  Every little bit helps!

Day 1:

We decided to start with the office.  Amber has been wanting to tackle her own home office and, since I am working out of my bedroom now, it seemed like a good idea to me, as well.  Day one is simple.  Clear off your desk.  Maybe it means pitching papers, getting rid of pens that don’t work, consolidating notebooks or just putting things AWAY.  It’s often difficult to find homes for things, but the desk is not the place for them.  A clear desk leaves way for more productivity.  Less distraction.  One of the most important things to realize during this challenge is this…EVERYTHING NEEDS A HOME.  If everything has a home, nothing needs to be left out.  Simple.  If you don’t have a home for something, create one.  If it’s something you don’t really need to keep…get rid of it.  This is the absolute best way to get rid of clutter.  Find a home or get rid of it.  The end.

Day 2:

We are still in the office!  Today’s focus will be on paper/mail.  Organize it, file it, shred it, do whatever you need to do.  The main goal is to create a system.  Mail comes in…put each piece where it needs to be.  If this is done daily, you will eliminate the piles of papers on tables, desks and counters.  It is also SO much easier to maintain when done daily.

Day 3:

La La La!  More office!  Today’s challenge is sort of a nightmare for me.  Mainly because I am wayyyy behind on it….EMAIL.  Yep.  Get those inboxes organized!  Create folders for everything.  I, personally, have a ton of folders.  Every account has their own folders.  Same with each client, orders, banks, insurance, my newsletter, school, family, templates, website emails, inquiries, etc.  Everything has a place.  I’ve just gotten behind in putting everything there. HA!   SO, today, work on sorting through your inbox.  I realize it may be a large order, but if you need to just start by creating the folders, at least it’s something.  Maybe work on a few emails each night.  Eventually, you will be able to see the bottom of your inbox and it will feel wonderful!!

Day 4:

Now we move to the kitchen.  Oh my.  Mine isn’t so bad now, since I just moved, but I know it’s an area that often becomes a catch-all.  We will try to make the first day in the kitchen painless.  Remove all old or unneeded food from your cabinets/pantry.  Expired food…it happens.  It’s okay.  Now we fix it.  If you have cans or boxes or bottles of expired non-perishables (oh the irony) in your cabinets, pitch them.  This is also a good time to start fresh, if you’ve been thinking about adopting a clean lifestyle.  Donate foods that you no long wish to eat (that are NOT expired, of course) and replace them with cleaner alternatives.  Two birds.  One stone.  Bam.

Day 5:

Hello, again, kitchen!  Today, let’s focus on the fridge!  This could be a bit smellier than yesterday’s endeavor, depending on how good (or not good) you are at throwing away leftovers.  Say adios to anything that is growing foreign objects.  Wipe down the shelves with vinegar and reorganize.  Another fresh start.  Doesn’t that feel good?!  Maybe even hit up a local Farmer’s Market to obtain some fresh produce.  You can also use this time to clean off the top of the refrigerator.  Fun!

Day 6:

Dishes!  Many times, we accumulate pieces.  Maybe grandma gave you some serving bowls.  Did Aunt Ida leave dishes at your house 5 years ago and decide she doesn’t want them back?  Or maybe you just picked up things here and there and, the next you know, you’re overrun with pieces you really don’t use (or want or need).  This is the time to get rid of them.  Ask yourself what you really need to keep.  Have you used it in the last year?  If not…bye-bye.  It will feel so much better to open your cabinets and not fear things falling out.  Trust me.  Do the same with your silverware.  Your cabinets will thank you.

Day 7:

Storage containers.  Ugh.  For many, this one is a doozie.  Lids with no container.  Containers with no lid.  It happens to the best of us.  If it’s been missing for some time, give up.  It’s not coming home.  Retire those pieces that you don’t use.  When you do get around to replacing your storage containers, please consider glass. :-)  It will last forever and you don’t get the yucky chemicals in your food.  Win. Win.

Week 2…coming next!

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Maddie | Class of 2015

Senior Session  |  Kelly Gorney Photography

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One Response to “Maddie | Class of 2015”
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  1. Missy Wilson

    She is stunning !!!!! Don’t know how she is going to pick favorites !! Love these ! <3