A Happier, Simplified Home

The problem with clutter in our home is that Brett and I are both hoarders. Not last-year’s-dinner-still-on-the-table-and-twenty-cats-hiding-under-living-room-garbage kind of hoarders, but definitely the can’t-throw-away-anything-of-remote-sentimental-value kind of hoarders.

Under our bed? Oh God. It’s a graveyard to our past. Brett still has a cassette tape holder full of his Holy Trinity–Boston, Styx and Journey. And my boxes are full of paper treasures so overgrown, they happen to include, among many other things, a stack of twenty funeral programs from when my grandma died because the act of slipping even one into a garbage bag feels wrong. Our home has slowly become a museum of memories which is not as charming as it sounds.

Recently, in a house blitz (my mom called them blitzes–as in “No, you can’t go play today. We’re blitzing the house.” Which was the last thing you want to hear on a Saturday), I cleaned out a living room trunk to find a stack of Magic School Bus tapes. Yes, tapes. As in VHS.

“Well these are surely going in the garbage,” I mumbled as I pulled them out to make room for other meaningless crap that would take their place.

And like a dog who responds to the whistle only canines can hear, Brett suddenly appeared out of nowhere. “What? What are you throwing away? Those tapes? No! Those were the boys.”

“Are you serious?” I asked incredulously (I know–big word. It’s for dramatic effect). “Brett, do you know how old the boys are? They’re teenagers. Mrs. Frizzle is, like, dead. These are VHS. VHS, Brett. We don’t even have a VHS player.”

He looked pained for a moment and then finally agreed. “Fine. Throw them out. But then you have to throw out something too.”

And this is how it goes. The hose coming into our home flows much more freely than the hose going out of our home, and the result is not only a cluttered home but worse…a cluttered mind.

The way that I’ve always dealt with this in the past is a big house blitz accompanied by a call to my sister where we justify to each other why we are the way we are. Brett calls this Therapy Hour. Our calls usually end with this pumped up team spirit where we’re all “Yeah, we’re Crydermans! We’re creative! We’re laid back! We make great friends! Messes make us cool! We’re so awesome, we shouldn’t have to change one thing about ourselves!” This is, as you are probably thinking, a load of worthless crap.

Maybe a little bit of it is true. No, I will never be one of those women who clean fan blades every Tuesday. Yes, I am laid back, and minimalist does not very well describe my style. But I do need changes. I need to simplify in many areas, and it wouldn’t kill us to maybe clean out the Boston tapes and pare down to saving just one program from my grandma’s funeral. My girls have too many toys they don’t use, and half of my closet is filled with “just-in-case” clothes. Like just in case I get invited to a Roaring Twenties party or just in case a national Dress Like a Cowgirl holiday is proclaimed.

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Happier at Home.

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In true Gretchen Rubin style, Happier at Home combines memoir with science and philosophy, leaving you not only inspired but equipped with solid advice–things you can do right now in your own home to create a more peaceful, comforting environment.

It comes at a good time. Brett and I have been talking a lot about our home lately–what we love about it, what we want to change, what little things we can do to make our place cozier, more family-oriented and yet with quiet need-to-be-alone-without-toys places too (I used to think toys in every corner meant “cheerful” and “we love our family” but I’m accepting that it’s okay if I also sometimes think “I don’t want to live in a freaking daycare.”). With another baby on the way, older boys who come and go and new kindergarten routines that demand consistency and organization, we’ve really begun to examine the space in our home and how we use it.

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Sure, we dream of wood floors and bathrooom fixtures that aren’t brass and tarnished. But those things aren’t what give our home its character. Ultimately, we want our home to be a place where everyone feels safe, where family memories are made, a space that is peaceful and yet stimulates creativity. We already have the resources to do just that.

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I’m giving myself until the end of the year to completely purge every room, every closet. I will pare down and focus on simplicity. I’m going deeper than I’ve ever gone before because I know this is part of why the clutter seems to keep reappearing after blitzes. We have too much stuff. And I’m asking for help because I know orgnanization isn’t my strong point. I have friends who are great at it, and I will trade favors for a little assistance. Not to mention, when I clean I need someone behind me, scolding me for my saving tendencies.

Last weekend, we started in Nella’s room, weeding through clothes that needed to head to the attic, gathering toys for Goodwill.

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This shirt? I know. I love it. Buy one from our sponsor, The Shine Project, and help at-risk youth!

When we’re finished simplifying and deep-cleaning, we’ll take everything off the walls and paint. Start fresh. It’s time.

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Reminds me a bit of the old June Challenge. Climb aboard if you’d like to join me. If your home is in need of a project, a purge-and-simplify, efforts that will help make it a happier place, tell me what you’ll be doing to yours. I’ll update bits and pieces of our simplify-our-home projects (along with where I find inspiration) over the next few months and share some of your ideas as well (our Instagram followers share favorite home space pictures under the hashtag #happycornerofmyhome, a great place for inspiration).

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Check out Quiet Home Paints’ beautiful line of colors and flawlessly crafted safe paints for your home.

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And a few happy home shots this week:

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While I’m simplifying home, perhaps I’ll take a moment to wash that window behind the high chair.

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The just-got-home-from-school sister hug

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Comments

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  1. Happy Thursday :)

  2. I loved her first book, The Happiness Project. Inspired me so much.

  3. Wow. It is as if you read my mind! I am in the middle of an epic declutter – also prompted by life changes. Feels so good and I so need to get that book! Lou x

  4. Watch out! Mama’s nesting :)

  5. I am an anti-hoarder. I’m ruthless. Let me know if you need me, love… xo

  6. I don’t know how you know exactly what I need and when I need it, but I’ve been procrastinating, putting off the paring down and the sprucing up and this was just the kick in the pants I needed. Game on :-)

  7. I NEED this so bad! As I sit in sheer clutter and chaos! Thanks for the inspiration! Hubby and I have been talking about the need to make things more simple…we too are expecting again…and I need to simplify! Thanks!
    LOVE the shoes in the last shot…where did you find matching ones????

  8. Just appreciating your writing here, funny funny funny.

  9. When I got married, it involved moving a couple of states away. Packing all of my stuff from college and growing up was a hard job. One day my husband and best friend came over to help. I had a bottle of water that my husband went to throw away and I stopped him. It was water collected from a snow capped (thus, it was snow when collected) mountain in the middle of summer. I thought it was amazing and I carried it all the way from WA state to SC. I’m thankful (now, not so much then) that my friend was there to mediate and eventually convince me to throw it away. It’s amazing the hold of memories tied to junk has on us.

  10. OMG..this post is like you read my mind. I have been purging like crazy for the last week…I need to do it when hubby isn’t around cause he likes to take things back out of the goodwill bag…

    My daughter is coming home to get a second master’s (she has a master’s in child development from Tufts) to become a speech pathologist next year so I am clearing space now while I feel the urge to purge…

  11. I’m in a purge mode as well. Our basement is where it needs to happen. When we moved almost 2 years ago, everything that we didn’t know what to do with ended up down there. We’re in the middle of remodeling as well, so there are messes everywhere. But now we have our master bedroom remodel done and can finally start to unpack some boxes and get rid of things.

  12. Oh, I need to do this so badly. I hang on the far too much stuff as well. Good luck on cleaning and simplifying!

  13. Kelle: My husband is the exact same way! Which is why I sneak-attack and purge things when he isn’t around. Or so I think, as I then find them dug out of the trash and hidden in his car trunk. For reals.

    Question for you – with a new Kindergartener do you feel like you have to continue all the “rules” at home? I ask b/c my son just started a Montessori preschool which I LOVE, but when he comes home I find myself wanting to resist the consistency and just let the kid do his thang. Don’t worry about throwing balls indoors, this is your place to have FUN!, I say. But then I worry when he goes back to school I am somehow underming them. I feel part guilty and part sad that the carefree days are gone. Am I the only parent who feels this way when their little ones enter the big world of ‘other’ adult supervision??

    Jen at http://www.themamayears.com

  14. i’m in!!! i was looking around my house thinking i need to do the same project.

  15. i am an emotional hoarder. there! i said it. it’s out there. now, someone come and help me blitz the place!
    love the paint choices!

  16. Good luck with this!! Once you start, don’t turn back! I’ve been out of the blogging world for a bit, but a belated congrats on the baby!!

  17. I’m the opposite, in the way that I love to throw things away. It’s hard sometimes because I get so frustrated with not being able to have my home the way I want it, because of my little ones. They are precious….And messy.
    So, good for you! It’ll feel so good to clean out and clean up.

  18. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who does this. I blame my clutter on seeing the possibility in everything. This button? I might need it one day. This fabric? I could make something with it. This shirt? I was wearing it on our first date. And on and on.

    I’m challenging myself to tackle small spaces when my son’s at preschool. Maybe one a week. Doable doses.

    And my husband is bad at keeping stuff or just procrastinating, too.

    Good luck with all your home goals!

  19. Someone’s nesting…

    😉

  20. I’m an anti-hoarder too! In one item, out goes an old item. LOVED Gretchen Rubin. Just got her new book on my Kindle – haven’t started it yet, but I will. I’ve been stressed lately, so I’ve been reorganizing EVERYTHING – even cleaning supplies! Go figure!

    Once you get started you’ll actually find it freeing and it is VERY rare that you will get rid of something that you wish you didn’t.

    Have fun filling those bags and boxes!!

  21. I was just thinking that I should take a picture of our desk which is currently piled high with preschool art projects, mail that I think I should file somewhere and various things that I’ve put up high in an attempt to toddler proof our room. I could post the pic on FB and I am pretty sure the responses from friends and family would embarrass me into working to de-clutter not only the desk but every closet, nook, and cranny in this house. I could SO use some motivation!!

  22. I am a habitual hoarder/organizer/OCD’er. It can be bad. Thankfully having a wee one has helped me to see that *some* clutter is okay and makes life, well life. I do what you are doing all the time, just not every room at once. That way I keep up on it and things don’t get out of control in my tiny house. We always have a Goodwill pile going somewhere in the house. Unfortunately, our attic sees a little too much of the “I don’t know where to put this, I can’t throw it away (yet), so I’ll put it in the attic.” Recently I stated that every time someone goes into the attic, they have to bring something out to throw/give away. So far we are doing pretty good. But, you have inspired me to paint… how does one paint with a 2 year old in tow though! Good luck!!

  23. I hear you on all the STUFF! I’m not a hoarder- but I’m a homeschooler with 4 kids and a tiny house….so…http://remnantofremnant.blogspot.com/2012/09/homeschoolin-aint-easy.html

  24. I hate clutter. It makes me uneasy and out of place. I’m the kind of girl clearing empty beer bottles off the high-top we’re occupying. There’s no way a (good) waitress can beat me too it. It takes up too much space, and it keeps my mind on what I hate, instead of what I enjoy. I have a pretty good system at home. I just….throw it away, and don’t look back.
    Happy clean out to you :)

  25. Every 6 weeks or so when we do our ‘whole Saturday Blitzes’ I purge drawers, cabinets, and closets, although admittedly, I don’t do every one and if it all ‘fits in nicely’, I tend to leave well enough alone.
    Your post and thoughts to what happens when I need to get something from far in the back of a cabinet, drawer or closet is a reminder that I also hold on to too much, even if it be for similar reasons…
    Time to *really* purge!

  26. You can do it! I have helped so many friends get rid of their stuff. Enlist the aid of your most discerning “You-don’t-need-that-crap” friend. Besides the obvious rule, if you haven’t used it within a calendar year you WON’T, I give them the following helpful Throw-It-Away guidelines:

    1.) Can you easily rent/borrow/find it online?
    2.) If you threw it away today, and needed it tomorrow, could you afford to buy another?
    3.)Can you scan/take a picture of it, or have you worn it somewhere that a picture was taken?
    4.) Is there another one just like it? (IE: You don’t need two pancake spatulas or two colanders.)

    If the answer is yes…toss it!! Good luck, and update us!

  27. Love the matching shoes!!

    I need a challenge like this, especially for our basement. Most of it is finished, but we have HEAPED junk in the unfinished part like it’s our job. Okay, like it’s MY job.

    We just decided last night that i can prep for a garage le of boy clothing. This is huge, because it means the 11 week old that i am currently enjoying is our last baby. I am both super excited and saddened.

    A challenge like this will help me actually get to the clutter in no-man’s-land. Thanks!!

  28. as of right now i am going to put my etsy shop on 50% off mode. seriously. i am off to get the coupon code going.

  29. I hoard baby stuff…I have not thrown away ANY baby clothes and my oldest is three. I completely understand, but it is important to cleanse the home and the mind. Good LUCK!

  30. I’m currently purging as well! Just finished the downstairs closet and desk. Halfway finished with the master bedroom. It feels so good to get rid of stuff and clean and organize the stuff that’s being kept. Go you!! The book looks really good and I’m totally checking out the paint. I’m dreaming of paint for when we finish our deep clean too. Helps keep me motivated.

  31. Wow… Been feeling the clutter in our home these days too. Baby boy (kiddo#3) is set to arrive ANY day and pulling out the baby stuff and adding it to the girls has made me feel claustrophobic in my own house. Looking for any and all inspiration you can throw my way!!!

  32. I just found your blog today via pinterest and started with Nella’s birth story. Then I hit “home” and the first thing to catch my eye was a photo of Nella. I guess I wasn’t expecting her to not be newborn still. I gasped and then just started bawling. I don’t know why. I guess because I’m a mom too. A mom that thought I would have the happiest home with the love of my life and our three kids until the day he decided he didn’t want to do it anymore. My life now looks nothing like the life I saw when I use to look into my future. But, like Nella, it’s beautiful. And perfect. just the way it is.

  33. Wow… Been feeling the clutter in our home these days too. Baby boy (kiddo#3) is set to arrive ANY day and pulling out the baby stuff and adding it to the girls has made me feel claustrophobic in my own house. Looking for any and all inspiration you can throw my way!!!

  34. I too have made a promise to myself to get more organized before the end of the year! I’ve decided to work on things one project at a time, and occasionally do a YouTube video of my before/after completed project in case it could give someone else out there ideas.

    My first project was our coat closet (I know you don’t really have to worry about that one in FL, lol) – I wanted to make it easier to find things to get out the door more quickly in the colder months.

    I’ll be checking back for inspiration and to see what projects you work on! I too, am an emotional hoarder of sorted (save old programs and the like), but I really feel like parring things down would make us feel a bit clearer and freer around here.

    Here’s my YT video of our closet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8LPGyownDY&feature=share&list=UUk3vNdyd7BJWPeQGqFy3S1g

    You should also check out OrganizedJen on YT for inspiration, she is the ultimate organizer!!

    Love your blog, as always!

    ~ Di

  35. I, too, have a wee bit of a hoarding bug. We just moved to a different house yet our previous house is still FULL OF THINGS. I plan on (and have been bit by bit) weeding things out as I move them. If I am unsure about an item, IT GETS THE HEAVE HO.
    I still have the art cart for my kids…they are now 17 and haven’t touched the art cart for, oh gee, say 5 years??? One look takes me back to all of the projects we did together and the happiness I felt.
    Disclaimer–I do come by hoarding naturally though…my 97 year old grandmother lives (still! by herself!) in a farmhouse that at one time had stacks of newspapers, magazines, etc. lining the upstairs hallways and filling the bedrooms so there was only a tiny little path for her to get to her bed and out. Thinking of that always makes me feel better about my tiny tiny little hoarding bug. Best of luck on your blitz Kelle!

  36. I think we have a few more days of nice weather here in MN, but as soon as I can’t spend my evenings in the yard I am so with you. I have a clutter free home outwardly, but in every (teeny tiny) closet, drawer and in our basement and attic lurks a lifetime of mostly junk. No more handing on to clothes I’ll never wear for vague sentimental reasons. No more keeping every piece of paper that crosses the threshold, and no more stuffing it away so I have to spend time searching for things I need too often. I’m in. But I can’t get rid of the 48 extra programs from our wedding. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. 😉

  37. I’m no hoarder but it is haaard to give away my daughters’ clothes! Every outfit brings back 1,000 memories.

    Love Gretchen’s books!

    cherrypietwins.blogspot.com

  38. Thank you for promoting The Shine Project! Ashley is a doll and a fellow AZ gal like myself!

    Keep being awesome Kelle!
    LOVE YOU!

  39. Random aside, but did you know Ms. Frizzle was Lily Tomlin? So let’s just say that she is retired and not dead, because that would be far too sad! :)

  40. One thing that has always helped us is when we want to save something we take a picture of it! A photo album takes up MUCH less space. Plus it isn’t the ITEM that we care so much about, but the memories attached to it! Win-Win!! Space cleaned out and memories preserved! YIPEE! And let’s be honest… who, other than you, is going to take an AWESOME picture, right?!?

    Go forth and DECLUTTER!

    *note to self* take your own advice.

  41. I have wanted to “blitz” (love that!) my house for some time now and what better way to kick myself into gear than getting inspired by your blog :) I’m due with my second child at the end of January and I desperately need to get things in order before then. I know I have plenty of time but I know it can also sneak up on you, plus I have the holidays in between there which make things even busier! The farthest I’ve gotten was going from room to room and making a list of things to do and/or things I wanted to get. Oh and I loved Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project! It totally had a positive effect on me. Thanks for reminding me that her next book it out! Good luck with everything :)

  42. Ooooh. Somebody is nesting!

    I am also a special things hoarder. I get it. I think I just tossed the last VHS tapes I had last summer.

    Good luck. :)

  43. OHMAGAHD! Before I read this, I started cleaning our tiny gross kitchen. Like mad scrubbing, even the garbage bin got a good scrub and I’m on a freakin’ mission. I’m even going to rearrange some stuff because our rental home is tiny and Zayn’s toys are all over. An IKEA trip might be in the future for storage bins.

    I totally needed to read this. I too, have so much shit (sorry if Poppa reads this) and its’ time to clean out drawers. We’ve moved these clear bins from our last home and I have no idea what’s in ’em. I’ve got autumn cleaning… now I just need to buy a new autumnal smelling candle to make it better! xx

  44. hahahaha……I started the cleaning purge yesterday myself. Painting next spring for sure. My 6 year old is not having the best first week back to school. tears…..everynight. :( Thinking of you and Lainey as well.

  45. In a similar, yet completely different vein, my parents recently went into foreclosure on my childhood home. As of September 10th, the bank will own my baby clothes and books and the things that I was holding on to for my kids. I was absolutely heartbroken and pissed at everyone-my dad for being a selfish prick, my mom for letting him get away with it…my moms former workplace for laying her off after 25 years. But what I failed to remember was that these are just things. Stuff, clutter, junk. I already have all those memories in my heart. Thanks Kelle. Not only do your pictures of sweet Nella and Lainey make my day but in this post you kinda reminded me of that.

  46. This came at such a good time! Last night, my fiance and I cleaned and organized an overflowing cabinet (damn reusable shopping bags) and an over stuffed hall closet. It feels so good to purge junk, even if it is just one tiny area at a time. We’re (hopefully) moving this Spring and paring down gradually will mean less work when the time comes. Organization is my happy place. Good luck!

  47. I’m so IN! I spent several hours yesterday beginning the process in my laundry room, then somehow wandered in and started working on my husband’s dresser (laundry room still half done) and today I’ve got my sights on my closet, laundry room still half done because that’s how I roll. Bottom line: I need to get rid of tons of junk!
    BTW– I can’t remember if I’ve said it yet, but congrats on your upcoming baby! So thrilling!
    Mary, momma to MANY :)

  48. It does feel so good to clean out don’t it?!?
    Can be a wee bit hard. Even clothes…when they are your kids they carry such memories.
    And who knows whose coming along who might like wearing them again….!
    That little vintagey looking dress Nella is wearing is divine. Can you direct me to where it’s from. I would love to make memories of my little lady or ladies in one or two of those this Summertime.
    Take care. x

  49. I’m a reformed hoarder. Rob loathes clutter, so if I can’t put it away where he can’t see it, it’s got to go. Also our hut us so small we can’t keep much! Goodluck with your purging – it’ll make you feel better I promise! My parents are the worst hoarders ever and their home is an example of what you don’t want to descend into.

  50. I just moved and have found this ladies blog: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ that I absolutely adore!!!

    I have taken a few of her ideas already, I will never be as organized as her and my house will never look that well put together, but some of her ideas are genius!!! Good luck.

  51. I’ll have to check out this new book, I enjoyed The Happiness Project. I’m in the process of reading 7, by Jen Hatmaker. Very reflective to my hoarding tendencies. xoxo.

  52. I love organizing and doing a good de-clutter. Next on my list after baby is my closet, Seriously needs some work. Have fun I think Fall and back to school time of the year is the best for this!

  53. I so need to do some purging. some cleaning. some sorting. I recently got brutal in my living room. Took out some furniture. Washed curtains. Cleaned out… then washed half a wall and never went back.. haha this weekend I will wash the walls and sand and paint the coffee table I have been wanting to change up for a while. thanks for the inspiration.

  54. I’m getting ready for a move soon. I’ll be decluttering with you!

  55. First of all, I’m hoping you’re familiar with freecycle. That was my first thought when you said you tossed those Magic School Bus tapes, since I know that in my town those would’ve been snatched up in a second! (By me!) If you’re on the cusp of a giant purge, freecycle will be your best friend. (Not to mention what a great source it could be for your various parties and crafts.)

    And second, your purging project reminded me of a similar one undertaken by Jules at Pancakes and French Fries (http://pancakesandfrenchfries.com). She may inspire you to keep going if you find yourself running out of steam (though that doesn’t sound likely). She just posted something today about all of it.

    Good luck with it! (Love the matching Lainey shoes!)

  56. Socks with heels/flats/boots ARE coming back, aren’t they? Bummer.

  57. I definitely need to do this too! I am a sentimental hoarder too :) You’ve inspired me to de-clutter.. Thank you :) xx

  58. Oh, I’m googling “heart dress” right now: Our 7th baby was born this past Valentine’s Day (2nd with cystic fibrosis) and she is a real treasure. It all just begs “hearts”!!

  59. Haha you are such a good writer, I always look forward to your posts!

    I totally totally hear you on this! I truly have started believing this, that physical clutter does translate to mental clutter. I like to keep my house looking tidy and clean all the time, but inside the closets and under the beds and the garage is another story:p. Organizing and most of all ‘putting things back in their place’ is not one of my strongest traits. We live in a small house and our growing family needs more space every day. We have been on a decluttering/organizing phase for the last two years and there is still lots to do. We Have been donating items as we declutter every month. There is a local organization that collects donations from our doorstop and we have started taking full advantage of them.

    I also get very emotionally attached to things, specially because i live oceans across from my family, so every little thing that connects me to them, i just cannot throw! Although despite the need to clear clutter and organize, I still believe in keeping many of these items for memories sake (Specially after my father passed away early this year after a short, traumatic battle with brain cancer, it made me value these items even more). BUT, instead of sitting unseen in boxes catching dust, I want to include them in our house somehow somewhere. I made a wall art for my daughter’s room out of a wrapping paper that my sister had sent something for her in and which I just couldn’t part with:p (Here’s a peek of that that I shared on my blog, http://www.lazygirlsworld.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-art-for-anyas-room.html). My dad had once brought a ‘Tweety’ tshirt for me when he returned from one of his trips, back when i was in college so I made a cushion for my daughter’s room with that. So for me the challenge is to find creative ways to bring out all these memorable items in our small little house. I’m working on this but these days would rather spend my time outdoors or doing other more fun things, so yes your post comes at perfect time. I need to be inspired to get back to it. And maybe I should start with Gretchen’s book, I loved her first one! Thanks for this lovely post Kelle. Hope you’ll share your progress.

  60. I loved her first book and will check this one out too. Though I can’t say that we need it just now for purging purposes. The movers were here a couple of weeks ago completing our move to New York. There was a crazy serious purge before they showed up! A little intentional organization of space would be good though.

    My three year old pointed at you in the picture where you’re holding the bag of clothes and said “she’s a teacher”. Funny since she met her teacher just this morning and you look nothing alike :)

  61. I loved her first book and will check this one out too. Though I can’t say that we need it just now for purging purposes. The movers were here a couple of weeks ago completing our move to New York. There was a crazy serious purge before they showed up! A little intentional organization of space would be good though.

    My three year old pointed at you in the picture where you’re holding the bag of clothes and said “she’s a teacher”. Funny since she met her teacher just this morning and you look nothing alike :)

  62. I’m in the same mode right now. Making way for a less chaotic home! I’m working in our basement selling toys and clothes that our kids won’t use anymore so we can finally finish out our basement and have a happier, more organized place to play and spend family time. This mama also needs some rooms without toys!

  63. I always seem to be de-cluttering, donating and selling stuff! Where does it all come from? We just moved and I sold about 1/3 of our possessions at two separate garage sales and on kijiji. The money went into out vacation savings account. It feels good and I don’t miss a single thing!

  64. I have a hard time keeping on top of housework and kid clutter. I’m not a hoarder though, can’t stand to hold on to things that don’t make me feel good. We give bags and bags to charity every couple of months. But I have also been on an organization kick lately and have got into the home decor and organization blogs, fun and inspiring! Have you came across ‘i heart organizing’ blog. I love it and it makes me runnto organize things after each new entry! Baskets have been key in organizing my closets. I might be obsessed with them actually! And also buying a little special something from homeboys monthly makes me want to organize the entire room around it! but kitchen and playroom clutter continues to get me down, I can never stay on top of it.

    I vote ‘BEE’ by the way. It looks warma and buttery, perfect for both sexes. I think the other one will be too washy washy when on the wall and will show marks quicker.

  65. Maybe one strategy you could use would be to take a picture of some of the paper stuff you are holding onto (funeral programs, kids artwork, whatever)— then you have a great little digital file for the sake of memory, but you don’t have to hold onto every piece of paper.

  66. That’s homegoods by the way and not homeboys hahaha!

  67. I came to your blog today immediately after shopping at Amazon where I just watched a video about that Gretchen Rubin book! I didn’t buy it but did buy The Happiness Project. I love how your blog makes me feel not weird for wanting to organise and improve life and home even when my husband thinks I am!

  68. Today you have read my mind: A cluttered home is a cluttered mind. I’m going to read that book you suggested.

    I’m not sure if anybody mentioned this one, but flylady.net is a fab source.

    Her motto is 15 minutes a day and to establish routines. This is especially helpful when you have little ones (and teens) in the house.

  69. This is rather random, but as I was browsing through the comments it completely cracked me up that commenter 6 is Angelina and 7 is Jolie.

    Ok I need to get a life. Love organization and decluttering. It just feels so good!
    All your post about Lainey and kindergarten really have me thinking about how really relating to our kiddos through their fears, equips them with life long skills. You are one smart cookie.
    Love your blog!

  70. Oh and one more thing. Watch 1 episode of TLC’s Hoarding Buried Alive and you will be ready to purge your whole house.

  71. Oh, my goodness! As soon as I saw the word “purge” I almost had an anxiety attack. I’m in the same boat. I spent what felt like months purging things out of my bedroom, painted it, bought a new headboard and bedding, polished the antique dresser and painted another one, and was so happy with the way it looked. This was finished in December, and I’m already starting to pile things up in there again. I buy, buy, buy clothes I have no place to wear and have no place to put them. True confession: I literally have bags of clothes/bags/shoes sitting between my kitchen and livingroom. Good luck with your project. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

  72. I’m suddenly feeling very alone in my clutter hoarding little corner….if you can do it…then maybe so can I?

  73. This is so much more inspiring than a certain ‘purple’ cleaning-lady I tried to follow before. I want to purge all our crap so I can have space to breathe.

    I know my son takes after my husband because I threw away a ‘drawing’ (read: paper scribbled on with crayon) and he snatched it back out of the garbage can exclaiming, “I was SAVING that!” He’s three!

  74. I’m not a hoarder… I love to purge… but it’s been too long since i’ve had the energy. Pregnancy completely laid me flat, and I’m a single mom (working full time) to a one year old girl and we just moved to a new apartment, a bigger one, thankfully. but it’s killing me to see my beautiful new apartment filled (not entirely) with useless crap.

    So I’m totally in.

    I just need to find the energy, somewhere, to do it. I’ve got Gretchen Rubin’s new book on my bedside table — it arrived yesterday. Her last was one was so inspiring.

    Maybe tonight’s “work” on decluttering can begin with just starting to read her book?

  75. Okay so this may have already been suggested or perhaps you already thought of it but put together a picture book, one for you and one for the hubby. You can take pictures of all the things that have memories associated with them that really should be tossed like the VHS tapes and list the memory associated in the book. Then they can go on the coffee table, you still have the memory and a reminder but don’t keep the stuff. I’ve also seen this done for kids art, take a pic, put a book together and toss the art – especially the noodle art that may grow something in 20 years. LOL

  76. I’m with you sister! Can’t wait to see what you do!

  77. One of the most crucial things us Americans need to do is learn to say “no” to all the excess.

    Hope you find freedom with less!

    But if you need to save those 20 programs for a little while longer, go ahead. Saying good bye to stuff is like saying good bye to memories. One item at a time.

  78. Gish I love your blog! I love everything, your words, your prose, they way you may me feel like I just picked up the phone to you and we’re having s good chin wag together.
    I love nothing more than making a cuppa, and settling down to read your latest post! And then to top it off I get a little visual delight of some of the moments of your week so far.
    So delightful. As if the writing wasnt great enough and then there are these amazing pictures to look at also!
    I cant wait for so many more of these posts. I hope that you can manage to do it all still when you have three babies! I’m sure you will though…you need that creative outlet!!

  79. Nooooo…I LOVE Magic School Bus! I probably would have taken those off your hands where they would have sat unwatched until I decide to toss them. But still, I felt sad when I read you tossed them out :(

  80. I try to clean out every summer or post-semester. I didn’t do as great a job this year, but I hope to do more this fall. I always find inspiration in others cleaning out messes, too! And I have found that as I declutter, I am more peaceful in my house, since I can find things and know what we have. My goals? to get a new filing cabinet and actually file all my papers (and those are plentiful), and to clean out my son’s closet (before it explodes). Thanks for the motivation! I hope you get a lot of prebaby nesting urges and energy to help you along with this project! As my 86 year-old grandmom says, just do a drawer at a time, and it will cheer you up and make your house better all at the same time!

  81. I’ve been writing a lot about this on my blog lately. We are definitely in the purge process of getting rid of everything that we don’t use and that doesn’t enhance our lives. It will definitely be a long term journey, but I’m happ with what we’ve accomplished so far and excited to keep going. We’ve downsized our wardrobes, ditched all unecessary furniture, donated a bunch of wedding gift appliances that we never use. Read about it at http://www.thegreatfulmom.wordpress.com

  82. I wasn’t in love with our home until a few months ago.
    Sure, it gives us the space we need, but the kitchen is outdated, all the bathrooms need to be updated, we could use new baseboard and window trim, it needs an total interior paint job, and we could definitely use some wood floors.
    It was sparse, nothing on the walls, no character.
    We moved in when our first was nine months old and within a little over a year we had another baby. I was exhausted, and couldn’t do anything that my interior design mind wanted to do…nor could we afford it.
    Then, last December I started getting creative with our Christmas decorations and my creative juices started flowing.
    Then, I found thrifting. And, added clutter.
    Happy clutter.
    Our walls have filled, color has emerged where it was lacking, our home is finally ours.
    So, get rid of the extra programs and the unusable (by you) VHS.
    One of my tricks is that everytime I go to Goodwill to find something I also donate something.
    Keep the clutter that makes you happy, fills your home, and makes it yours.
    By the way, I love the #happycornerofmyhome hashtag on instagram…you might have noticed I have lots of happy corners of my home now. :)
    Oh, and my parents “blitzed” the house every weekend…they still do. And, I find myself using the word occasionally with my kids, now.

  83. Ah!! Holy cow. This post made my night. I have been thinking all day how I am just so overwhelmed! I am overwhelmed with the stuff I already have, and disappointed when I start projects I don’t finish. Which is about every day. Art projects, organization projects, cooking endeavors, workout routines, journalling habits. But knowing you, and many of ETST followers are diving in head first makes me want to join the party! I’m in. Biggest goal: organize and clear out my desk so it is actually functional!

  84. I think that’s common with “feelers” like us. We want to keep, save…cherish every minute. That’s why we take so many pictures. I not only keep sentimental stuff. I hoard food. I’m prepared at any given moment for an enormous blizzard to strand us for a solid month. Geesh! And now we live in VA and they don’t even really get snow. 😉

  85. I’ve been so inspired this week (nesting…we’re adding 3 children in the next few weeks!) that I ordered new cafe curtains for the kitchen, shopping for new living room curtains and now I’m planning on painting our ole high chair! FUN STUFF!

  86. I am so ready to do this. My 3 littles will be at school for 2x a week and i plan on utilizing all 4 hours of those days to totally get rid of 30% of what is in our house. There is an annual rummage sale run by the visiting nurse assoc. and i am planning on donating all of the “sellable’ stuff to their rummage sale. great way to get rid of stuff and let it find a new home rather than throwing it away.

  87. Ok so I’m still in trouble for throwing out the VHS tapes! The older I get the more organized I’ve had to become mostly due to having three school aged kiddos. We have a design friend from Europe who always complains about Americans and all their clutter, so I’m all for the “blitz” , but I will NEVER have a cleaning schedule!
    P.S.
    Don’t forget to post your address for receiving!
    Thanks for sharing

  88. Ok we do the same thing! My husband will say your not getting rid of that shirt I got on a trip but have NEVER worn and never will – we did clean them out of his draw but now they are in the closet , it doesn’t help with the clutter. I am so in on this, we need to get rid of things – I to have the clothes just in case and I know in reality I will not wear them again. And oh the piles of papers it is ridiculous. I need to get rid of the clutter it is driving me crazy. I also feel the need to get organize now that my oldest in school. So good to know I am not alone. Happy Thursday.

  89. I’m with you, Kelle. I need to purge my whole house as well. Great idea to give yourself til the end of the year. I think I will do that as well. Will be nice to start the new year that way! As always, I love your pics.

  90. Take a picture of the cherished item, put it in an album and then get rid of it. :) Easier said than done, but if we swear to do it together!!!! Who’s in????

    Also, put a number on each day of the calendar. Whatever number is on that day, that is how many things to get rid of! Try to use 100 somewhere within the month and then give yourself breaks like 7 as well in between. Good luck!

    I guess I should take my own advice now……gotta start the purge!

  91. Very very inspiring! I have been feeling the need to clean some things out, too!

    Love the two colors you’re debating for paint – very pretty.

    And the last picture made me laugh – when I went to Catholic grade school I wore a uniform skirt just like Lainey’s! Memories!!!

  92. Oh – the shoes. Love the shoe pics. Both Nella’s white leathers and yours and Lainey’s browns. Very cute.

    Also love the pic of Lainey in the white ruffle pants with the sun coming in behind them.

    We’ve started cleaning. It’s no fun.

  93. I don’t think I’ve ever commented before (maybe one other time?) but I thought I would recommend another book to you. It’s called Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids and was written by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. and Lisa M. Ross. I’m still reading it, but I think it speaks to a lot of the things you’re trying to accomplish – both with possessions and with activities.

    From experience I can say that simplifying toys makes the ones you’ve got so much more accessible and used. I involved our 5 year old in the process — she helped select which items stayed and which got donated for less fortunate kids.

  94. I’ve been following and inspired by Kelly on her blog – http://www.theyearofless.blogspot.ca Makes you want to go clean out your kitchen drawers!
    Thanks for being real!

  95. This post has me roaring with laughter. I suppose that means I can relate!! And just why is it so much easier to organize someone else’s stuff?! We are the same way so I’m not sure I’m of any help other than to tell you what you CAN get rid of…but then I need help getting rid of boxes I still haven’t opened since we moved in a few months back. We’re local, so email if you’re serious about the help. Good luck! :)

  96. The last phote melts my heart.

  97. ***sp-photo.

  98. Have you checked out Simple Mom? She’s got an ebook on organizing/deep cleaning/purging & a hard copy as well. http://www.simplemom.net

  99. This will blow your mind…. my 6 year old twins have a tv in their room with a built-in VCR. I think the tv is literally 16-18 years old. We scour the shelves of our local half priced book store for old kiddy movies on VHS.

    For real.

  100. And THIS is exactly why I read your blog! It’s almost like a mind-meld or something. I was telling my hunny just last night that it was time to reduce ( and he was looking at me like “who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend” )- So Hello,my name is Jennifer and I am a borderline, non-psychotic hoarder. There! I’ve said it and you Kelle, have given me the inspiration and incentive to do something about it! Challenge accepted and thatnk you! Tomorrow it begins! In the dining room I think!

  101. Oh good lord woman…we were sisters separated at birth! I have 3 sisters of my own mind you…none of which are the cluttery/saver/sentimentalist like me. Us creative types live life hard and we don’t want to ever forget anything so..we save it all. My non-creative sisters? They throw everything out. Hrmph. I love them, but they don’t understand me. lol! I’ll be joining you in your epic quest for a simpler more manageable home. But I will not part with my prom dress from 1986. Nope. Can’t do it. :)

  102. I’ve been ready to start purging since May but summer came and so did the 4 kids, and well, it didn’t happen. I’m hoping getting them back off to school will get me in gear. September is my starting goal. I’m so happy to find some support. Happy purging to all!

  103. I had a great Aunt who was a hoarder and I just knew as a young child that something was SERIOUSLY WRONG. No one should have 8 christmas trees in one room and a little Christmas village that had a 50 piece choir billowing like a raging river from the church door. Yeah, crap that scars you for life. Soooo, I try to always balance out what I need and what I need to save. I’m very sentimental. Problem is: I’m married to a minimalist and we live in a small home. Double-whammy.

    After ripping up our entire house this summer to do 10 weeks of extensive projects, I’ve cleaned through every freaking closet and under every bed. Painful, but cleansing. You feel like you can breathe because even if you have a lot remaining, you know where everything is. :) Organization baby.

    And you know what…I have come to the conclusion that I have more material and craft supplies and baking supplies that 5 families should own.

    Save what you love. Make space for life.

    I’m proud of you girl. Really.

  104. I’m cracking up over this post because I’m like the queen of purge. My husbands t-shirts are ancient, stained and ratty. If I get my hands on them, they go in the trash. I clear through my daughter’s toys with reckless abandon and take her clothes, toys and books to the second hand store to sell with enthusiastic, penny-pinching zeal. After I cleared out my closets (which are huge and endless and can hide a lot of crap), I thought, ‘Now THIS is victory.’ Purging is how I spent most of my three-week vacation. I love it… I seriously dislike nick knacks and crap all over the place. Instant nut-up…

    Happy nesting,
    Caryl

  105. This is crazy, JUST TODAY I looked at the mess in my bedroom and decided “today is the day!” I cleaned and folded a bazillion clothes and started a give-away pile. This is about the millionth time I’ve done this, but things get crazy in no little time around here. Thanks for the motivation to keep going! :)

    http://yourloveisbetter.blogspot.com/

  106. On the top of my to-do list: Clean and declutter! Both kids are in school this year and its time to weed out the old stuff to throw out or donate.

    Can’t wait to see your “simplified” home! I’d love to get some tips, maybe on storage =)

  107. First off, before we discuss home organization…that pic of Nella examining the crayon? OMGoodness….that is the best picture EVER! She is so stinking beautiful and adorable and I want to gobble her up (in a non creeperish way!) 😉

    On to organizing: I always have big bins I get at Walmart. One is labeled “Clothes for Caitlin to grow in to” (from her big sister). One is labeled “Clothes to Donate/Sell.” And I have several labeled: “If we have another…” (both for boy and girl clothes).

    And we move a lot. SO we don’t really clean closets around here, we just move! LOL! The bins are great though, after each season I always spend 1 day alone and organize them.

  108. This reminds me of one of my past posts…

    http://intothealaskanwild.blogspot.com/2012/01/organization-smorganization.html

    My boyfriend was starting a new “one in, one out” philosophy. I didn’t buy it and I still really don’t. I’m not much into organization either but sometimes it just feels so good to do a purge, or in your words a “blitz”.

    Thanks for sharing!

  109. This reminds me of the post where you had shoved all your “clutter” into your bedroom when you were having company, and one of your guests walked into your bedroom and was horrified by the sight!

    Very funny!

  110. JUST this week I went through the books in my daughter’s room and made a pile to donate. This was tricky because I LOVE BOOKS. How can I possibly get rid of any?! Knowing others will benefit from my donating them. It felt do good! On to the next room! (decluttering everything, not just books…usually the books have been exempt from decluttering…which is why this is so notable :)

  111. Yay for you Kelle!

    I’m kind of a reformed hoarder. I hate clutter, and am really big on simplifying, but have a hard time getting rid of sentimental paper stuff. I’ve been working hard on that the last few years (yes years!). Every year comes up with new ways and fresh courage to get rid of more.

    I recently reread one of your FAQ posts on how you clear and purge photos. You said that when you first started you agonized over which photos of Lainey eating ice cream to eat, even though there were 15 similar shots. Well it’s like that with purging sentimental papers too. It’s a process and you get better at it the more you do it.

    I’ve found scanning to be really helpful. You still have it, but it’s not taking up a lot of space because it’s on the computer somewhere rather than gathering dust in the attic. Also, I make mixed media art with a lot of it. It makes for really interesting, personalised artwork. Maybe the girls could craft with some of it?

  112. I am a university student and hence for the past three years I had to move out of my flat at the end of each year just to move in to a new one at the beginning of each academic year. With storage being painfully expensive I soon transformed from a hoarder to Ms. “I throw away everything I won’t need in the next year.” – it was a hard and painful transformation, but I feel so liberated and free with only owning what I really need. Constant moving teaches you how to declutter very well.

    P.S. Go for Bee.

  113. I take stuff to Goodwill all the time. I don’t hang on to much at all. A friend called one day and asked, “Guess what I just saw at Goodwill?!…The mugs I bought you for Christmas!!” We laughed so hard!! I’m glad she knows me well enough that she wasn’t offended! Love those last 2 pictures so much!!

  114. P.S. Levi started walking! Had to share!

  115. Just wondering if Nella misses her sister while she’s at school?

  116. My home is in desperate need of a few projects!!!! We need to repurpose my daughters dresser (a craigslist find over 6 months ago, that still has wood filler all over it) and then OUR dressers. I have beautiful hand-me-down cherry dressers that have been beaten, written on, drawers pulls lost and broke…it’s time they get a fresh start.

  117. I write about what you are writing about in this post. So glad you are thinking about the home your lovely children are growing up in, AND thinking about what your family is and is growing to be. Good stuff. Found you because of Gretchen Rubin’s tweet about your blog.

  118. In case no one else has commented on it, you must see the Zero Waste Home site. She doesnt post very often but the archive has great tips! Her and your blog are the only two that I follow. Enjoy your day!

  119. Love the picture of Nella after the picture of ‘sister after school hug’… seems like she is saying: “No, No, I don’t want my Mommy and me alone time to be over!”

  120. good luck with your cleaning! a new baby is a great motivator. and a “deadline” helps too – just a little bit every day. keep us posted! <3
    ps i second the scanning idea. i’ve gotten rid of a LOT of stuff that way. and the “have you used it (nonseasonal) in 6 months? see you!” approach helps as well. i know emotional ties to our things is powerful, but the serenity of a non-cluttered space is magnificent. xoxo

  121. You’re speakin my language, Cryder-sister!!! Molly just told me about something that she and Jon are doing — they have a goal to donate/throw away 40 bags of “stuff”. She heard about it as a Lent thing, where every day of Lent you get rid of one bag of stuff, but they’re just doing it as they can. So we started here and I just took 2 garbage bags to the Goodwill. Here’s my tip — as soon as you get a bag full, take it out to the trunk of the car. That helps a lot — I can’t tell you how many times we’ve taken a bag out to the garage and then it never leaves the garage…we end up finding it later and it’s filled with treasures and we end up just going through it again, ha, or it sneaks back inside the house. Beth has a pile of stuff in the garage for a “garage sale” that is just never going to happen. I have a pile of ebay stuff that I will probably never get around to listing. Trunk of the car – it helps. But keeping a list of how many you donate is a good idea too – like, boxes to check or something — kind of makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. GOOD LUCK!!!!

  122. HA! We DO have a VHS player and awesome VHS tapes! I just never saw the need to throw something in a landfill that is still good and the kids love them. I think it is a fine line of not bringing more things in so often and making do with what you have and bringing our children back to simpler times of buying less.. Good luck with your organization project!

  123. Great post! I actually just cleaned out my 3 year old’s clothes yesterday—SO hard to part with such cute clothes! Speaking of, my Ava and your Nella have such similiar taste in clothes, I often see Nella in an outfit that Ava has it is makes me smile (today it’s that cute red, white and blue jumper!) Good luck with all the organizing, it really makes you feel “lighter”. And then there will be more room for new stuff! :)

  124. I NEED to do this too! I think about it all the time! Thinking is over, and I think the end of the year is a realistic time frame! GO, US!

  125. PERFECT! My hubby and I are trying to get a move on my daughter’s “Big Girl” room before the baby comes…(in November). You have given me great motivation!!! I also ordered a bunch of samples from Quiet Home…thanks for mentioning them. I had no clue they existed and am happy to use a better paint! :)
    Have a great weekend!

  126. I have been saying we need to declutter and simplify! I’m totally on board.
    I too need to enlist help from a few good organizing friends as my problem is that I start a room, get overwhelmed and never go back!
    First up, the office/kids work area!

  127. Clean is serene…at least for some of us who needs to tidy, at least what I can see, in order to truly relax. So sometimes it is just the room I am in…but I look around me and have to get up and clear the table, wipe down the countertop and level the picture on the wall and then, it seems serene and I relax. I am not a neat freak–believe me! But what is in view, I often need to bring into order. I am quite comfortable with that I cannot see.

  128. Ooooh, great motivation! My nesting instinct has kicked in (baby #3 due in 8 weeks), so your inspiration may just help me continue forward with getting our home in shape and “ready.” And I love the beautiful paint colors! Can’t wait tO see updates on your end!

  129. I am there too. Wanting to de-clutter! You are an inspiration. I will go head on this project when I have a friend visiting who can help me get rid of stuff that I don’t need!

    Thank you!

    Kristin in Norway

  130. You read my mind!! We’re in the middle of an organizing and de-cluttering celebration at my house too. I mentioned if it wasn’t furniture, nailed down, my husband or son, then it’s out the door, (kidding, kind of) It feels so freeing to be getting rid of the old and bringing in new, or just discovering older treasures that were forgotten, also it’s nice to reminisce when you come across forgotten photos, tapes, or “memory books” Good luck with the purging and “treasure hunting” keep us posted and btw, I love that shirt.

  131. Ah… I’m sentimental, too, but little by little I’ve thrown out letters I’ve saved (keeping a few from select people) and high school keepsakes. *sigh* Every now and then I like to reminisce and might get rid of another trinket.

    With other stuff around the house, like toys and clothes and kitchen gadgets, I’ve gotten big on simplification because I see how much more smoothly things run with less stuff. When the kids have fewer – and better quality – things to play with, they play more creatively and don’t whine as much about clean up time. Win-win in my book! And hey – fewer clothes = less laundry. I can’t part with the baby clothes yet, though, because we’re not done having kids. I DO weed out the undesirables and have them organized into bins.

    Now that I’m doing homeschool, I’m always trying to figure out the best way to set things up. I love to rearrange and sometimes just moving a chair around and putting a basket of books next to it gets the kids all excited and they’ll plop down and read. I find a fresh space invigorating and wouldn’t mind livening up the area – maybe with a fresh coat of paint??

  132. I know it is hard to throw away those little kid crafty projects. So what I have been doing is taking a picture of each project that I love and putting it in our shutterfly family yearbook that I make every year. Scratches my organization itch and sentimental itch all at the same time!

  133. We’re in! I am in need of a re-fresh. I need to get my home organized so I have more time to create and less time to fret about the mess and disorganization. It isn’t that we don’t try…I just drop everything to make time for my kids and to make memories. Not that that is a BAD thing…there just needs to be a little more balance.

  134. I’m in the process of trying to de-clutter my house too. Or I’m afraid I’ll get worse and end up on a upside of hoarders myself! I’m doing a little bit a day but the whole process is just so overwhelming! I think maybe I need to check out that book for a little inspiration!

  135. This is my first time leaving a comment. I love your blog and have really enjoyed reading it. It is very inspiring. I love to organize and have helped a few friends purge. I use the 6 month / 12 month rule. If it is an everyday item and it hasn’t been used in 6 months it goes. If I feel like I might use it, then I need to use it in the next 6 weeks. If it still goes unused, it goes. If it is a seasonal item and it wasn’t used last year, then it goes. This really helps me to not keep things I don’t need. If I haven’t used it in 6 months or a year, the chances I am going to use it in the next 6 months or year are pretty slim. And if I say that is the rule, then there is little room argument to keep it for those “just in case” moments.

  136. How timely. I just tweeted the other night about how much I like our clutter free home – it’s so calming. Even my three kids seem more relaxed. Of course, the reason for this blitz (I’m so stealing that from your mom) is that we just listed our house as we are moving to a new state (my husband is already moved). It’s such a shame that I was motivated to this for someone else, rather than taking the time and effort to do it for me. That also includes all the painting we just did. I have made a promise to myself that in our next home, I am not going to live with someone else’s paint colors, or crappy wallpaper, or curtains. I’m going to make changes for me and my family, because we’re worth it.

  137. I am a hoarder of your kind… There are so many things that bring back memories. They are so hard to throw out. I am in the process of moving and we have slowly begun to declutter as we pack. It is not easy though. I can find a reason to keep everything. Good luck with your Blitz. I can’t wait to see the results.

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  139. What a wonderful post–and we’re thrilled to know you will be using our paints in your baby’s room…thanks for the mention!

  140. Have you ever read the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne? It is an excellent resource for simplifying.

  141. I can help you Kelle! I am one of those freakish people who L O V E to organize- even other peoples’ stuff. Weird, I know, but true. Good for you for just starting. And for giving yourself time to get it accomplished. I hope the small victories propel you forward!

  142. Kelle where did you get Lainey’s suede shoes. I LOVE THEM!!!

  143. I waaaaant to be organized. Truly I do! I get organized on the surface, but whatever you do, don’t peek in my drawers. Hee, Hee!! Anyway, two things friends have turned me onto….1). Erin Condren planner. I. Love. It! 2) orgjunkie.com. She has a 52 week organizing list. Love that!! It won’t take a year (my man hopes!) because I don’t fit every criteria….. Or am I in la-la land?? Enjoy your weekend. Xoxo

  144. I know I’m not the only one who noticed that the paint choices are, um, pinkish…..
    Are we looking for a girl, or is that just the color settings screwing with me on my computer? :)

  145. Of course you didn’t mind throwing away the VHS tapes because they were the boy’s childhood tapes. If they were Lainey or Nella’s, I doubt you would have had such a blasé attitude.

    I’ve been a long time reader of your blog. I’d say a casual fan because I don’t refresh my browser looking for a post, if I remember one day, I’ll come look. I bought BLOOM last week and read it in one night. I was surprised to read you had two step children. I honestly had no idea. Honestly it made me incredibly sad. I came back to your blog to look for posts about them and they surely are few and far between.

    I’m probably being oversensitive because I’m a Step child and always felt left out of my Dad’s “new” family and I hope the boys don’t feel that way either. I suppose teenage boys don’t want to be included in blog posts but maybe a few sweet words for them sometimes?

  146. @Kelly Reyes the boys are included in a lot of posts. Recently she posted about one of them graduating, and they are included in all the family party posts. One of them was even a Christmas elf. She has mentioned that as teenagers they are reluctant to be featured more on the blog.

  147. I’m sure it’s because I haven’t read every post. I just didn’t like how in Bloom how Kelle wrote that she felt resentful about sharing her time with Bret and how she didn’t see what kind boys they were until *after* Nella was born because of they’re reaction to the DS diagnosis. It took that long to love and appreciate them? I feel like that’s every Step Kid’s worse fear is not feeling like they are a part of the “new” family. I’m sure the relationship has changed over the years but it stung when I read that.

  148. Oh my gaawwd!! We are in the SAME process and starting a project on Instagram called #PROJECTdecor! Well, it’s about purging and cleaning, as well as project around the house (mostly with what you have) or things you’ve wanted to tackle for awhile and needed a little encouragement to do it. We had a project a couple of months back called #PROJECTlipstick, and it turned into something where hundreds of women encouraged each other and made each other feel special, we want the same to happen with our home projects.

    Of course, yours is probably much bigger, and I love it!! What a great hashtag!! :)

    Oh, and those girls… they always get a swoon from me!

    ~Tabitha

    http://www.FreshMommyBlog.com

  149. Yes! I hate clutter so much. It’s inevitable when you have a kid, but I try to keep it down as much as possible. I must be ruthless because I throw things away if I haven’t used them in X amount of time.

  150. It must be something in the air because my hubby just declared that next weekend is clean out the garage & organize it weekend. Ugghhhh! I am not looking forward to it but it is an area of our home that needs some serious attention.

  151. Your post was my day today. I loved it. I cleaned the spice cabinet I’ve hated since we moved in 7 years ago. All the spices are moved to a roomier cabinet and there must be a beautiful lazy susan with my name written all over it, out there somwhere. I hope to find that baby tomorrow. Keep up the blitzing – I’m with you, friend!

  152. My Mom called it “blitzing” too! I think I have used that term myself as well :) I have ablut 13 junk drawers that I planned to clean out this year. So far I’ve done 2. Maybe I’ll jump in and get the rest of them in the next few weeks too. Good luck! – Amy

  153. I think it’s great that you’re nesting before the third trimester. It was always so much harder for me to clean with a big, swollen belly. We just moved into our house but already the clutter has collected. When I was unpacking I threw a lot of things that didn’t really have a place in various closets. This home needs some organization so perhaps I will join you in purging!

  154. Amazing! I too am embarking are the house purge of fall 2012 … I started with the infamous junk drawer in the kitchen (you know, the one where I shove everything before people come over and then find expired coupons and things I should have done months later) … alas, it will continue as we simplify our home and therefore our minds in an attempt to create a cozier, more relaxed abode! I am excited! My sister is coming to town in October to help me with this endeavor and she excels at the ‘questioning why in the heck are you keeping this thing’ skill. Happy to be traveling along the house cleanse path with you, as a fellow ‘keeper’. Happy weekend!

  155. I’ve been a long time reader but I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted a comment! {Shame on me}. This post is almost exactly where I am right now and I am following along in the journey!

  156. Love the matching shoes, where did you get Lainey’s. Thank you.

  157. I LOVE the picture of Lainey hugging Nella in the highchair. It melts my buttter!

    I have also noticed the amazing style your kids have. I would love to know where you find their shoes. I am in need of some adorbs ones for my little one that don’t have cartoon characters on them…:)

  158. Reading this has totally inspired me! We are moving, good time to purge and start fresh! I was about to get off my butt and do it when I had the thought, “I need to go get me some yummy lunch. Then I will be motivated to organize.” You aren’t the only one in “need” of something to inspire. Although now I’m thinking a candle sounds great too!

  159. Bravo Kelle Hampton!!!!. Nice blog and nice pictures, so love to give.

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  160. So good pictures. So cool text. Love is all around this blog.
    Best regards!!!!
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  161. I know I’m so late in commenting on this post, but I just found your blog and am in awe of you and your beautiful family! I love your writing style and am so excited to check out your book. Also, where did you find Nella’s yellow highchair? It is adorable!

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