How are we doing with the challenge? You may have started off strong, but now, with daily routine and the busyness of life, you might have stopped filling up those bags of things you don’t need. We’ve all been there, where we feel super motivated 1 minute, but after awhile, we just get caught up other things. Let’s get you back on track! Here are a few motivating tips to help you finish your 40 bags: Continue Reading
Are we making some space in those closets, kitchens, or whatever spaces you’re working on? Are you sticking to the list that you made of all the areas you wanted to go through?
This week, I want to encourage you to look at your paperwork…..not fun, I know, but the reality is, we’re always going to have mail and paperwork coming in the door, so it’s best to have a system set up! I’m not going to dive into explaining the system yet (I’ll let you wait for a later date on that!) ,but for now, I want you to simply start with the paper with the GREATEST IMPACT, like the pile on your kitchen counter.
Grab a recycling bin and shredding bin and start being realistic about what you ACTUALLY need to keep. Here’s a checklist from the IRS website of exactly how long you need to keep certain paper.
What are you most frustrated about when dealing with paper?
It’s been 3 weeks into the challenge, how are you doing? Have you been able to fill lots of bags?? This weekend, I took a walk through my home with the purpose of looking at my things objectively. Sometimes, we see a picture hanging, figurine, or what my mom calls “dust collectors” that we get so used to seeing, we don’t really pay attention to them, because they’ve been there for so long. But, I challenge you to take a walk and look at these things with an objective mind. Do you actually USE, NEED, or LOVE this item?
We’re about halfway through, so I thought this would be a great time to give you an extra boost of motivation in filing those 40 bags! I will give away a $10 Container Store gift card & a surprise organizing product to the person who:
1) Fills 40 bags in the 40 days (completed by Feb 9)
2) Sends me a list of every area you went through
3) Send me BEFORE & AFTER pictures of one of the rooms that I have given tips on in this challenge.
Are you motivated to keep going now? You can do it!!
Okay, specifically, this week, I want you to focus on your KITCHEN and JUNK DRAWER (s), even if you have already, take a look at these rooms again! Here’s some tips to guide you through these rooms:
1) How many gadgets do you really use? When was the last time you used your cantaloupe scoop or egg slicer? If you do, great! Keep it! If you really haven’t used those types of gadgets in a year or so, it’s time to put it in the bag! Leave more room for what you DO use! It’ll be so much easier to find it in the drawer that way!
2) Going through your fridge & freezer should be the easiest job. Why? If it’s expired, toss it! Simple as that! After you do that, a great way I found to organize food (so don’t forget what’s in the very back!) is to buy containers and label them according to type of food. I found these containers at The Container Store, which make it really easy to see everything that’s in the bin. After that, label the bins/drawers so your whole family knows where to put food back. I bought plastic label holders from Hobby Lobby so they would be long lasting.
3) Donate canned good or other dry products that you know you’re not going to use. Better to have them go to a food pantry where someone really NEEDS a can of soup, then to just keep it for the sake of keeping it. After you’ve purged the pantry, I recommend using 3-tier expandable shelves for storing your canned goods. I bought mine at Target. This has 2 main benefits, 1) it allows you see all the canned good you own, and 2) You can only keep what will fit on the shelves! Although, I totally get having a bulk food section in your garage, basement, or storage room. So, any canned goods that won’t fit on these shelves, and you know you’re going to use at some point, store these in the bulk food area.
Everyone has a junk drawer I’m guessing? Okay, I can live with that, but it drives me crazy when it becomes a time-waster because you’re searching for that scissors or pad of pen. Retrieving anything in that drawer should not consume precious time in your day! Here’s some quick tips”
1) Use Dollar Store containers to sort items in ‘like’ categories
2) Measure your drawer so you have enough bins to fill the entire width and length. Anytime you have empty space in a drawer, it’s too easy to chuck things in without much thought.
3) Finally, LABEL your bins with each specific category. For my junk drawer, I have pens, paper, matches, keys, and personal care. Have it make sense with what you have.
Don’t feel like you have to do this all at once. It’l be too overwhelming and you won’t really know where to start if you hold super high expectations for yourself. Instead, put 10-15 min in your calendar each day and spend those minutes going through the above areas. After a week’s time, you’ll see a difference, no doubt about it!
Question for You:
“What kitchen gadgets do you keep, but don’t actually use?”
How is it going? Have you been able to fill at least 7 bags full of stuff you don’t need anymore? If you have, I bet you’re feeling pretty good, right? I love that feeling of dropping stuff off at the donation center. Feel like a weight has been lifted! I know, sometimes, it can be tough, though. It’s hard when you’re not exactly sure if you should part with something or not. You haven’t used it recently, but who knows, you might someday? Below are a few roadblocks, along with solutions that might cross your path as you attempt to fill those bags”
#1 “I Might Need It Someday!” But ask yourself when was the last time you actually DID use it? I always say, if you haven’t used it in a year, you’re probably not likely to use or need it.
#2 “It Cost a Lot of Money, Though!” What is it costing you NOW to store that item? It could be taking up prime real estate space that you could be using more efficiently. Plus, you can always sell it on Ebay or Craigs List. That’s actually one of my services, if you want to make some money on your stuff, but just don’t have time to do it.
#3 “It was a Gift Given to Me” It’s really not the gift, as much as the love behind the gift that’s important. I try to look at it from the giver’s perspective, in that, I would hate if if someone only kept a gift I had given them out of guilt. That totally wasn’t the point! I’d much rather have them give it to someone who would appreciate it.
Those are just a few roadblocks that might come your way through this process of filling those 40 bags. If you need a little encouragement or motivation, give me a call or send me an email and I’d be happy to talk you through it!
What roadblocks give YOU a hard time when purging??
All the best,
What’s the areas you’re covering this week? Have you written your list? Here’s a tip: Start with the area that drives you the most crazy! Typically, that’s the kitchen, closets, entryways, or office.
Where do you start, is what you’re thinking, right? Start taking off your clothes from your hangers and begin sorting them in ‘like with like’ piles. This is an eye-opening way to do it because you can clearly see how many of one type of clothing you have. Do you really need 30 t-shirts? How many jeans do you actually wear and feel comfortable in? Might help to have a friend helping you with this area, so they can give their opinion and help you make decisions with what to keep and what to put in the bag.
Shoes, hats, scarves, coats, backbacks, the list goes on of things that end up on the floor or in overstuffed entrway closets! Quick tip: Only keep what is currently in season in this closet. Also, use hooks instead of hangers for kids to hang up their coats and backpacks. You wouldn’t believe how much easier this is for them.
Also, develop “Closet Rules” to post on your closet wall so that it’s easy to STAY organized!
If you start with your office, I have to say that that’s the area that will probably take the longest, since you have to look over each piece of paper. But, my guess, is that you have quite a few papers in that filing cabinet that could be shredded! If you need a place to shred your papers, visit Shark Shredding, which offers complimentary residential document shredding for small amounts of paper ( monthly basis). Check out the site for more details: Shark Shredding or call 708-388-0011.
You may be wondering, “So, am I going to have to make tons of trips to the donation site, now that I’ve decided to get rid of 40 bags?” Well, yes, you will need to get them out of your home…and fast! If those bags just stay in your home, you’ll either begin to look through them again, or they will just take up space and sit there. I believe so strongly in this, that I actually offer to bring anything that my clients don’t want and deliver it to a donation site or have it shredded.
That said, here’s the steps for discarding those bags:
1) Decide where you want to donate them
2) If it’s a place that picks your things up, call them and schedule 2x for them to come in the next 40 days
3) If you have to load them up in your car and deliver them yourself, I would do this at the end of every week.
4) Don’t forget to get a tax deductible receipt for your donations!
My Favorite of Donation Sites
Pass it On Thrift Store, Crestwood– Free pick-up if you live approx. 30 miles from Crestwood.
Morning Start Mission, Frankfort–fastest place I’ve been to, all you do is drop your bags outside in large bins, they get your receipt yourself inside. Super easy.
Salvation Army–Free pick up, depending on your location.
Bibles for Missions, Orland Park–Great cause and have some of the friendliest volunteers.
To get started on this challenge, use this list to write down every area that you want to go through in the next 40 days. To give you a jump start, some examples could include:
Under the Sink Cabinet
Upper Kitchen Cabinets
Lower Kitchen Cabinets
Mud Room/Entry Way
Master Bedroom Dresser
Master Bedroom His Closet
Master Bedroom Her Closet
Master Bedroom Night Stands
It’s been found all over Pinterest, the ambitious, but totally not hard challenge of “40 Bags in 40 Days.” Here’s the goal:
From January 1-February 10, I challenge you to fill 40 bags with things in your home that you do not USE, NEED, or LOVE anymore. That’s it! Easy, right? You’ll be amazed at how easy it really is. Did you know that we actually only use about 20% of the stuff in our home 80% of the time? Think of all the space that is being taken up by stuff you don’t even use! Let’s start this year off right and take on the challenge to a simpler, easier, and more efficient lifestyle.
1) If you are game for this challenge, comment below or send me an email with “YES, I’m ready to Simplify!”
2) Between now and January 1, fill in this 40 Bags in 40 Days Inventory List so you have a plan of what rooms you will go through each day.
3) Buy plenty of garbage bags!
4) Make sure you know where you’ll be taking the bags. Choose you’re favorite charity, thrift store, or other donation site. IF, you don’t have any more time in the day to take these bags away yourself, contact me and I can offer to take them for you at a nominal cost.
5) Begin looking at your things objectively, especially as you will soon be bringing in new things from Christmas. Things come in, things go out!
6) That’s it! Let the New Simplified Year Begin!