On Tuesday, I shared my word for 2017 and some of the goals that I have for the year. A main part of that is my desire to majorly declutter and organize our house. We've lived in this house since July 2014 and I'm always surprised at how much clutter we've accumulated. I want to go through each space and be ruthless in what we keep versus donate or sell.
I've got quite the decluttering schedule planned. Right now, Noah is in school 3 mornings a week. At the moment I plan to spend Mondays working on my annual photo album (I'm a little behind at the moment), Wednesdays will be reserved for blogging, and I will spend Friday working on the house. In addition to those uninterrupted 3.5 hours, I will tackle a random drawer or cabinet whenever I have the chance. But let's be honest, there are many areas in the house that are just easier to tackle without Noah asking what I'm doing.
Earlier this week, Noah was surprisingly eager to go through his toys and donate some of the duplicates and things he no longer plays with. He did so happily and we got rid of a trash bag of toys. While we did some good purging, I wanted some time to figure out how I was going to organize the new toys with the old, so right now there are some empty spots on the bookshelves while our new toys don't have a designated home yet. I was surprised when Noah got really upset that there were empty spots on the bookshelves. He started saying that every space had to have something in it. While I'm sure that we will end up filling every possible shelf in the end, I had to remind him that that's not the "rule". We want to make sure that every thing (toy or otherwise) needs to have a home, it's okay to have some open space. He calmed down after a little rest, and I really hope that this won't be a recurring reaction, or else we are in for a bumpy road to a decluttered house!
And if you are interested in seeing what I've done so far, here are some photos. In addition to purging, I want to reorganize some of our belongings to improve functionality. In the last year, Noah has really gotten into board games. He loves playing them and we spend a lot of time playing them during the week and as a family on the weekends. At first, they easily fit into a shelf in our living room entertainment unit. But as our collection grew, we started putting them on top of the unit and it started looking really messy. Meanwhile, our beautiful dining room buffet was filled with our china that we only use once a year. I came up with brilliant idea to move the china to some shelves in our basement and store our board games and floor puzzles in the buffet instead. They fit perfectly in the cabinet and it's working out great since we play the games on the dining room table anyways! And while I moved everything around when Noah was home, I guess he didn't notice me doing it. Because the very next day, when he asked to play a game, he was genuinely confused as to where all his games went. He was looking all over the house and was getting a little nervous that I may have given them away. He was happy to learn that I put them in the cabinet, and that afternoon we played at least 4-5 of his games.
And here is where our china now lives. We have these large open shelves in the finished part of our basement. Noah gets the bottom shelves while the china takes up the top two. While I still sometimes question why we are taking up 2 shelves with something that we only use once a year, I just can't bear get rid of it. We do however have way too many wine glasses... I guess we better invite some people over for a wine tasting!
^^^ right now those baskets are empty, which kind of makes me happy :)
And while I have lots of grand ideas for the rest of the house, the first thing I needed to do was to put away all the Christmas decor and get some of our surfaces back. I am lucky enough to have a huge closet that can be dedicated to all things Christmas. This year, I made sure to go through it before putting everything away and donated anything I didn't use this year. I even left space at the bottom of the closet for a box for things I have listed to sell. If they don't sell, I will be donating them at the end of the month. Once everything was pared down, I took down all the decor and organized it a little better. I still need to bring Noah's Christmas books down to store until next year, but I hope to donate some of the more baby books and would prefer to do that when Noah isn't home. And I'm waiting for Chris to take down our tree and the outside decor, but all that will be stored in our unfinished area.
And while the Christmas closet looks great, my gift wrap closet is another story! Random stuff has been thrown in here over the last few months and it's really hard to find anything in there now. We got a little carried away with buying "just in case" gifts and now we have things stored in there that I have no clue who we'd even gift them to. It's time to go through everything and only keep the things we really need!
And this closet is just the beginning. Both of our offices need a lot of help! They have both become rooms where we throw things when we don't know where else to put them. And from experience, that is a recipe for disaster! So while our house may look clean and organized, I know there is lots of room for improvement. I'm ready for the challenge... at least I hope so!