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The last year or so we have been on a quest to declutter our house as we prepare to put it on the market.  It’s funny, we can go through everything… declutter, donate items, throw things away, reorganize…and yet go back 6 months later and find even more things to remove.  Does this happen to you?  I don’t know if it’s a product of getting older or just more emotional detachment from items, but it seems if we go back to the same things we already went to after enough time has passed, we will find more things we can live without.

Last year we had a yard sale in the early fall.  We went through each room as well as our basement storage area and removed everything we thought we could live without during that time.  Whatever was left after the yard sale went straight to the Salvation Army for donation…that day…so it wouldn’t come back in the house or linger around to make another clutter mess.  I thought we did a pretty good job at that time and we also had a yard sale the year before where we got rid of a lot of our baby/early toddler stuff we no longer needed.

In January of this year, over vacation and the drive home from Chicago, we had a long talk about if we are really serious about getting our house on the market and moving, we need to rid ourselves of a lot more of our ‘things’ that we probably thought at one point were things we could never part with.  We made a detailed list of each room and areas we needed to go through for a 3rd or 4th or 5th time. We’re looking at everything with a more critical eye.  Not only will a decluttered house be a better presentation to potential buyers, but also the less things we have, the less we have to move.  We have a 4 bedroom house with a basement.  We have lived here now for almost 16 years.  You can accumulate a LOT of things in that time!

It’s getting towards the end of March and we’ve only been through the rooms on the first floor.  I’m a little disappointed by that, but between multiple illnesses, getting contractor estimates for home improvements and homeschool research for this fall, it’s been a busy first few months of the year.  Still, we made some good changes on the first floor of our home that I’m really happy about.

We had several hodge podge pieces of old furniture in our dining room for things like glassware that we never used, cookbooks, specialty serving dishes, candles, etc.  I went through it all, donating items we didn’t need and storing things we didn’t use on a regular basis.  We removed the furniture and replaced it with 2 identical cabinets that could store all my homeschool materials as the dining room doubles as our homeschool room and everything was stacked up in totes in one corner of the room and other things just sitting against the wall.  I’m so happy with the result, everything has a place and my dining room is no longer junky with totes sitting around and miscellaneous items shoved in where ever they would fit.

I also spent a lot of time reorganizing things in my kitchen.  As anyone with a small kitchen can attest to, you must have organized cupboards and pantries to maximize the use of your space.  I realized I was not using my corner lazy susan cupboards effectively.  I also needed more organization in my small pantry (it’s about a 2 foot square floor space…seriously tiny).  After buying a few organizers, packing up little used items (i.e. christmas cookie cutters and such) and moving things around, I have a much more functional kitchen.  A bonus (and necessity) of this project was moving snack items down to Creative Kid’s level so that he can get his own items (after asking of course) instead of me having to fetch everything from tubs we had on top of the refrigerator.  This saves me time and makes him more independent.

Thanks for reading!

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