Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Decluttering My Life

Image Courtesy of [jesadaphorn]/

Dear Decluttering Friends,

 I am retiring my blog called "Saying Bye to Clutter."  I will still be decluttering, but I am managing my time.  Sometimes, I will post a challenge on Chronic Fatigue and Creative Decluttering or on "Learning to Balance Life Changes."  Perhaps, I will transfer some of the blog posts from "Saying Bye to Clutter" to Pages on Learning to Balance Changes or on the blog itself.  I have not yet decided.

Thank you for coming by and encouraging me.  You are very special, and I pray you will be able to get the clutter out of your life.



Monday, August 11, 2014

I Am So Ready...

I am so ready...

  • to clean out more clutter
  • to go through shelves and drawers
  • to get rid of things that I do not love and are taking up space

  • Categories of Clutter I Am Getting Rid of Today

    • Takes up space and I am tired of looking at it.
    • Kid's Craft I Have Had for Years
    • Part of a Lamp Kit That May Be Useful for Someone
    • Two Puzzles That Have Been Put Together and Taken Apart

    7 Item Decluttered
    107 in 2014

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Ready, Set, Go!

    Did you think I had quit getting rid of my clutter?  No!  I am still at it, but I  have gotten rid of  lots of clutter over the past three and a half years, with last year being my first time of decluttering for every day of the year.  The ideal was to do it every day, but I did not find that practical for me.  Moreover, I almost always found more than one item a day.  When I get busy with a task, I tend to get on a roll and keep going.  However, having a goal of getting rid of 365 items in a year and posting it, kept me going.  Maybe you don't have a blog, but share that you were able to fill a bag or name a certain number of items here in the comments or on our support page on Facebook.  If you have a notebook or calendar, set aside a page for writing down the number of items you have gotten out of your house.

    Today, I am listing things that I have been working on over a period of weeks.  I set aside a small area, gradually adding items to donate.  It has been a leisurely pace of cleaning, which is possible when one has already worked hard at decluttering one's home.

    I have four items to give away and four items to throw away. 100 Items Decluttered in 2014

    Try folding a set together.
    This is a cotton tank and jacket,
     which has a lot of wear left in it.
    When I found this bag and a couple
    of receipts, I could not believe I still
    had them after three years.  It was in
    a box, which I had not gone through.

    A Rag I Used For Staining
    A Project - Found in the box
    with the bag and receipts.  

    Soap That Irritated My Hands

    Let's go over some different ways that You can go about getting rid of your clutter.

    A Toy That Works, and A Good
    Stocking Stuffer to sell at
    Habitat for Humanity's  Thrift Store
    • One item a day = 365 items in a year  (and you will probably find more)  Set aside a small out of the way corner for putting your donation items, and make sure you get them out of the house, out of the garage, out of the car into a Charity.  Please only take items that someone really will use.  Don't give away broken, worn out, and torn items.  
    • Grab a trash bag and Throw Away 27 items.  You would be amazed how quickly you can fill up a bag.  
    • Work on one room a day for 15 minutes a day.  Have three boxes, hampers, or baskets marked Put Away, Throw Away, and Give Away. 
    • Clear a hot spot, which is a place in your house you tend to pile things.  Work on this for five minutes a day.
    • Do you want to get the clutter out of your bedroom drawers or your kitchen drawers?  Work on one drawer a day.  Don't take out more than you can do that day.  If you leave things sitting out, they tend to attract more clutter.
    The five ways I have listed are a review.  Perhaps, you have another way you like to get rid of clutter.  I don't always use the same method;  however, these are all tried and proven ways I have used to fight the Clutter Monster.  The idea here is not to let yourself be overwhelmed.  You know what you are able to do for a certain number of minutes.  

    When I was too weak to clean house,  I started with carrying one item on the way to another area of the house.  When my body responded to my doctor's treatments, I started working for  one minute, adding minutes as I was able.  I have had setbacks, and I always began again the same way, a little bit at a time, adding minutes as I become stronger.

    If you are a fairly healthy person, who is reading this because you tend to keep clutter or you want to find an easier way to get rid of it, the same principles will work for you.  Start with small increments of time.  Work in fifteen minute segments maximum, then do something else.  Sometimes, we think we spend all day cleaning when we are really spinning our wheels, wasting time.  I can say this, because I have done it.  It is easy to get distracted;  however, when you set a timer for fifteen minutes, it is easier to stay focused on a task.

    Students, this works for studying too.  Your concentration tends to be highest at the beginning and end of a fifteen minute segment.  Use this information to optimize your study time by breaking it into easily managed blocks of time. 

    Get ready, get set, go! 
    Work on one Hot Spot for 5 minutes.

    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Easy Decision

    When it is time to throw away, it is an easy decision.


    92 Items Gone in 2014

    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Going Through the Children's Toys

    It never ceases to amaze me that I can come up with more clutter;  however, I am not at all surprised when it comes to the toys we keep for grandchildren.  There were odds and ends from Easter baskets, ??????, cereal boxes, and items no longer played with. It made their toys disorganized and confusing. 

     It has been a while since I felt well enough to do something about it.  However, I'm happy I have been able to work on their room this week.  It's a small room and it needs to be accessible, not cluttered.  Also, I have moved around some of my books and things, so they can get to toys in the living room, where we congregate the most.  

    Now, I need to think about chillin', so I enough energy for tomorrow.  There is just a little work to do in putting some plastic bins out of the way.  I don't want to give those away, because I have other plans for them.

    90 Things Decluttered in 2014  ( I can hardly believe it.  Who knows?  I may make 375 at this rate, which I did not think possible.  I never realized how much I actually needed to let go in the kid's room.)

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    A Lot of STUFF!!

    By now, I am sure it is obvious to you that I have cut down on my posting for Saying Bye to Clutter.  I still feel like it is phenomenal that I was able to declutter so many things in 2013.

    However, this year has been a little harder, because of health and now I have added another blog to my mission.  Now, I am out to declutter my mind of the diet mentality that has plagued me most of my life.  If you are interested in reading that, it is called  Loving Ourselves, Finding Ourselves.  Nevertheless, I am still plugging along, finding things to get rid of on normal cleaning days and as I go through my days.

    Today, was one of the cleaning days, I decided I had to tackle the area hidden behind our wooden screen in the guest room.  It has been a mess.  I did not even know what was in the boxes that had been stashed there. In fact, a couple of times it felt like Christmas, as I found things I was missing.

    Before I cleaned behind the screen the
     area was entirely filled.  Now look at it.

    All in all, I was able to declutter 15 things today.
    That makes 78 things that have been decluttered since the beginning of 2014.  That makes me a very happy camper.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Frugal and Practical Decluttering

    This old bedspread will never get made into a dog bed.  After it had lain around for over a month on the floor, I knew I had delusions of upcycling grandeur.  Besides, the lining of fluff in the middle would never have held up to washing.  I guess that is why the original cleaning directions were to dry clean.  I now stay away from those kinds of spreads, because it costs almost as much to dry clean a spread as it does to buy one.

    Moreover, I have a king size bed, and a dog that likes to jump on it.  That was a no-no years ago in our marriage;  but, when I could not sit on the floor and get up easily,  that all changed.  We crate trained our puppy;  and later, I started letting her jump on the bed for cuddles.  Therefore, I now buy washable spreads that will fit in my washing machine.  It's a matter of being frugal and practical.

    Automobiles carry clutter too.  While getting out of the car a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed this air freshener that had lost it's scent.

     63 Items de-cluttered in 2014.

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    Encouragement to Start Your Weekly Decluttering

    Everyday is a new day.  Maybe, you do not have enough energy or time to get the clutter out of your house or clean your house for hours upon hours.  However, if you can walk or even if you are in a wheel chair, you can throw away one thing, donate one item, or put away one thing at a time.  I have an out of the way place where I collect enough items to take for donation.  I use boxes or bags to collect those items.  I do not let them just pile up, making that another place of clutter.  They have to go when the boxes or bags are full.  The best time I have found for making donations is on the way to the store.  Sometimes, I ask my husband to take them if I do not feel well.

    If you de-clutter 15 minutes a day it will make a difference.  If you miss a day or two, don't get frustrated.  Jump in where you are.  The same goes for cleaning house.  Work for a few minutes at a time.  If 15 minutes is too long, start with 5 minutes.

    I know how it feels to do very little and you cannot stand another minute.  Now, I am able to work for 15 minutes at a time and do several things during a day.  However, that changes from time to time, depending on how I have slept, depending on whether I have overdone, or depending on whether I have an additional illness.  If you have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue syndrome, you know how it is.

    More Clutter Gone
    #2 The basket stays, but the papers and catalogs go.
    If only the rest of the family would use it, 
    a basket
     is a great way to keep the paper clutter in check.
    #3 I have decided to let decorating for Easter go,
     when it means keeping little bags of eggs and things around.
    They are hard to keep track of.  Nice flowers or just keeping
    the house clean without the hassle is conducive to a better holiday.

    #4 is a cracked plastic
     container.  I put the
    things inside of it away.

    61 Items Decluttered in 2014

    Monday, April 28, 2014


    It brings joy to see the clutter leave your home.
     It brings a sense of accomplishment and peace.
    Oh dear!  If only you could see my dining room table, you would see I did again;  and, I cannot blame anyone but myself.  I started the mess;  and, then I started walking by it.  (A long drawn out Ohhhhhhh, and she shudders.)  Enough of the dramatics.

    This week, the dining room is my zone to work for 15 minutes a day. Here are some of the things that are leaving my house from the dining table and my closet.  When I finish, I will show you the before and the after pictures on Facebook

    57 Items decluttered in 2014

    It's not pretty, is it? 

    I am not a hoarder, but I am sure this is how it begins.  Layer upon layer of items that may have been useful or meaningful at one time gather on the table.  They fall on the floor or get put in boxes and bags, until there is no room.  It is dangerous and unhealthy when people get to the point they cannot clean the floor or the table.  Clutter, dirt, and grime cover the house flowing from room to room.   You cannot find anything, because there is no room left;  so, you go out and buy more. 

    Have you ever watched the shows about hoarding?  If you are easily stressed, do not do it.  But, do start de-cluttering one, two, or three items at a time.  It feels good to be rid of the clutter.  If you need help, get a therapist that can help you to work through getting rid of things.  And, even though you may feel uncomfortable about asking good friends or family to help, let them.  I know it is hard, but it is not shameful to let someone help you, especially when you are dealing with chronic illness and fatigue.  God bless you.  

    Ancient Leg Brace from mid-1990's

    Ribbon I cut off several layers of tulle,
    which I am using to make doll clothes.

    Old Clothes 


    Father-God, I pray that you will bless and help the readers of this blog.  Help them find a way to change their lives by getting rid of the clutter that only makes life more difficult.  You know their needs.  I pray they will open their hearts and lives to letting You help them and letting other people help them.  Lord, I pray you will send the right people for those that need it -- people that will help and bless their lives.  I do not know all their needs, but You do.  I trust you, and I pray that Your will be done.  In Christ's name I pray, Amen. 

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    The Perfectionist Corner

    1+2+2+1+47   =           53
    (this post)   (last post)   (total)

    If I decided I had to get rid of the clutter P E R F E C T L Y, I would be throwing myself right back into the Perfectionist Corner.  With a perfectionistic attitude, I would feel defeated.  Therefore, I am celebrating that I am still doing the job.  Also, I wiped out a drawer in the kitchen that I have been avoiding.  That makes me a happy camper!

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Let It Go


    One of the things that strikes me about most of the clutter I have gotten rid of is that I am almost embarrassed to take pictures of it.  Why on earth am I cluttering the internet with pictures of unlovely clutter?

    It is simple.  I want you to see how the clutter adds up.  It is also a reminder to me that I can do more to make housekeeping simpler, such as not keeping magazines piled up in several places in the house.

    This time I managed to empty a basket and make the pile on the bottom shelf of my side table
    considerably smaller.  It also made me realize I should find a new place to keep photograph albums.
    I confess to being a book-magazine-paper piling girl.
    I get reading material out and there it sits, because I haven't finished reading excerpts, etc.  Oh, I have many excuses.  Can you relate to putting it off until later?  This weekend I feel a bit more free.  I took care of some things I had been putting off - not just clutter.

    Last year in 2013, I had a goal to declutter 365 items and ended up getting rid of 377+ things.  This year started out  a little slow, because of illness.  However, I have been keeping track of the numbers, I can see how what I have done adds up.  This spurs me on, because I can see what seemed almost impossible several years ago is possible.  

    This week I decluttered 14 articles of reading material, so my pile is smaller.  All together in 2014 it adds up to 47 items.  Add that to last year, that is over 400 things out of my house.  In 2011 - 2012, I can only guess at how much I was able to get cleaned out of our lives forever, except for the donated items.  What I had not gone through before we moved, I went through afterwards;  moreover, the boxes stayed in the house until I did it.  If they had gone in the basement, they would have sat there.  Having the boxes in the house helped my husband see we had no need to keep many things he had saved for years.  We also had his office boxes, which he did not want in his new office.  Books, papers, and journals are wonderful, but after a while there are many things that are never going to be looked at again.    Be brave if you have things that are just clutter, not archival materials.  Free up your life and space by letting it go.

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Mind Clutter 1 - Color

    Sometimes, mind clutter can be something as simple as a picture you are sick of walking by.  You may think of that as object clutter;  however, when you think of it often enough that it really bugs you, it seems to me it has become mind clutter.  I suppose it has become object clutter as well, but that is up to you to decide.

    Most things I write about come from something in my life.  I love color and the beauty of nature, but lately, I have found my life sadly lacking in the color and activity that helped nurture my personality for so long.

    I refuse to become a statistic, stuck in a drab life, not enjoying the color diversity that God has so obviously bestowed upon our world.  For the second or third time, I am reading Heaven is for Real.  In the book, Colton talked about the color he saw in Heaven.  John the Apostle wrote about color in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21.  There is color and light there beyond my imagination: of that, I am sure.

    So where am I going with this?  God must love color.  After all, he created color in more shades than I ever dreamed.  I am made in His image, and I love color too.  In fact, I get a little bored with everything staying the same.

    One of the things I have grown tired of looking at is my blog backgrounds and headers.  I will say, "I'm sorry to all of you who love things to stay the same."  In all seriousness, for those who did my poll, I heard what you said.  I tried tying my blogs by the backgrounds and colors, and it bothered me.  Since I have to see my blogs more than anyone else, as I write and preview to make sure they look right before I publish, I am doing what I need to do for me.  I am bidding adieu to my own water color background.  What more can can I say, than I have grown weary of it?! 

    Good-bye mind and computer clutter.
     It is time for a change.

    33 Items Decluttered in 2014

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Just Hanging in the Closet

    It has has been hanging in the closet for way too long, hiding between my husband's jackets.  It was disguising itself as something that would actually fit someone that lives in this house.  Moreover, we saw it for so many years, that we could no longer actually see it.  

    What is it?  A woman's athletic jacket that is too small for me.

    32 Items decluttered in 2014

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Getting Rid of Clutter Every Day

    Don't limit yourself to getting rid of clutter from only one room at a time.  Setting aside one thing a day to donate is a doable goal. Think of the different places in your house that have too much clutter.  Do you have drawers, shelves, tables you walk by on a daily basis.  Don't forget floor-space or closets.  How about your kitchen counters or your bathroom counters?

    I have a box that I am filling to take to the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store.  I am becoming quite adept at throwing things away too.  I don't even take a picture every time.  How are you doing in 2014?  


    31 Items of Clutter Gone in 2014

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Clutter Attracts Clutter

    The old adage that clutter attracts clutter is true.  When I leave something out because I am too tired to put it up, I pass it, as if I do not even see it. Does this happen to you?  

    It is easy to pass something by when you have other things on your mind that need to be done.  Or, maybe you are still too fatigued to take care of the items you were using earlier -- mainly, because they have piled up.  Here is a great example.

    This is my dining room table, which is also my work table.  One day when I was recovering from the flu, I thought I would paint using my easel, which I never do.  I ended up frustrated and exhausted.  As I was unpacking from going to see the new baby, I started unpacking craft materials.  I have never found a place for the tulle that I plan to use in making doll clothes for my granddaughters.  Finally, I added an empty box, because I was working on laundry and didn't want to take care of it that minute.

    The box has gone in the trash:  no more waiting. The bag I had the craft items in is also trash (a trash bag now).  There is no point in keeping a jar I do not need that has sat on a table top for over a month.  

    The shaker is part of a set.  Pepper will not come out of it, even though the holes have been made larger.  Something, that gives you frustration every time you use it, is certainly not loved and worth choosing to discard.

    So today, I have gotten rid of 4 more items.  Also, I have taken pictures of some of my messy corners, which I will soon share on Learning to Balance Life Changes.  Even though I have a corner in the dining room that needs to be dealt with, I decided to work on the living room first.  This is the place I usually put my feet up,  we watch television and read there,  and this is the first room I would invite visitors to sit. 

    28 Items of Clutter Cleared in 2014.

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Filling a Box for Habitat for Humanity

    Habitat for Humanity has thrift stores to support their work.  Fortunately, there is one close to me, and it is one of my favorite places to donate.  Not only is the staff friendly, they are helpful.  Also, it isn't a bad place to shop occasionally when your frugal gene is wanting a bargain.  I do not go there to buy more to replace what I have just gotten rid of;  however, it is delightful to find something you can actually use.  Not only that, if you grow tired of whatever it is you bought, you can donate it back -- Lovely.

    Currently, I have a box in my spare bedroom I am filling with items to take to 
    our Habitat for Humanity thrift store.  This is the most convenient place to remind me to continue getting rid of my usable clutter.  If something is too worn or broken, it is trash -- not something I will send to charity.

    I am a little behind on decluttering for 2014, but I'm not worried about it.  Sometimes, one is forced to take a break.

    One rather battered silver tray, which has possibilities as a base for a creative project.

    These were fun puzzles that occupied some of the time
    when I was ill.   Now, I want them OUT of the house.

    3+21=24 Items Decluttered in 2014

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    Cabin Fever Led Me to Clean Out My Make-up Drawer

    Because of Cabin Fever, I got dressed, cleaned my make-up brushes, and cleaned out my old, contaminated, and unused make-up.





     10 Items gone!   11+10=21 in 2014