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I am the first to admit that a big fault of mine is allowing myself to get all wrapped up in the day-to-day while pushing less interesting tasks to the side. I am terrible about staying on top of things that just don’t interest me. I will put them off and procrastinate like a champion.

Recently, I have had a HUGE urge to do away with clutter. Purging closets, finally cleaning out the third bedroom and simplifying life in general are things that have been on my “procrastination wish list” for many, many months. I think I’m finally ready to stop putting it off and get it done. The clutter is driving me crazy. I just want less stuff. No more random piles around the house, bedrooms that require closed doors and overflowing drawers and closets.

Help me. I am organizationally challenged. Do you have any tips on reducing clutter around the house? I would love to hear them. This is becoming a major initiative. ASAP. Keep in mind, the simpler the better. I lack patience and am not a “project person.” 😉

Now, Monday. It was an incredibly beautiful fall day here in Charlotte. I kicked it off with 6 a.m. BodyPump and a 90-minute hot vinyasa practice (day 7 done!). It was a fabulous morning!

I had a fierce veggie craving for lunch and assembled a salad as soon as I arrived home from yoga. Spinach, mixed greens, sprouts, feta, dried cranberries and leftover roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and brussels sprouts) with homemade honey balsamic dijon vinaigrette.

My Monday evening hot class at Y2 tonight was amazing. Every single spot in the room was taken and every single person stayed for the entire 75 minutes. They breathed and sweated through a challenging class with beautiful energy. I left with an extremely happy heart and a huge smile on my face.

Oh and a very hungry belly! I demanded that Brandon assemble some of his legendary nachos as soon as I arrived home!

Brandon has a level of patience that is completely lost on me. It allows him excellent attention to detail and the ability to make perfect nachos. Every bite has just the right amount of toppings. We split this giant cookie sheet of nachos on the coffee table in front of the TV. Classy. 😛

Time to unplug and relax!




{ 24 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Sara @my less serious life November 7, 2011, 9:47 pm

    my everyday simple trick to keep the household clutter down in the first place is: first thing when i get home in the evening before i do anything else i set the timer for 15 minutes. then for 15 minutes i pick up stuff around the house and de-clutter. as soon as the timer ends i stop…so it feels bearable. and it is amazing how much you can get done in that short period of time!

  • 2
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate November 7, 2011, 9:52 pm

    I spy a Kombucha in the background 😉

  • 3
    Amy November 7, 2011, 9:56 pm

    I LOVE decluttering and organizing. Let me know if you want any help!

  • 4
    dana November 7, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I wish I could help, but I am the most disorganized person on the planet. I like Sara’s idea though!

  • 5
    Cristen Floyd November 7, 2011, 10:17 pm

    What is the key to declutter? I find it very ironic that I’m reading this while watching Hoarders on A&E. The show is disgusting but I continue to hope that one of those individuals will be totally cleaned up and rehabilitated by the end of the show. It never happens!

    I find it very overwhelming to start cleaning out closets, kitchens, etc and get huge piles together to take to Goodwill. The problem come from the masses that I clean out, moving them to the car, and finding the time to deliver it. I am generally most successful pulling out a few pieces here and there. I have a regular size paper shopping bag that I keep in a closet or cabinet and every time I find an item to donate, I tuck it away in the bag. When it fills up, I donate it. One bag does not overwhelm you like a car load full of stuff does.

    To get started, you should tackle one closet or dresser at a time and donate those items before you move on to the next space. Good luck!!!

  • 6
    Jacqueline November 7, 2011, 10:29 pm

    the timer trick works like a charm. you’ll feel so much better afterward!

  • 7
    Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) November 8, 2011, 6:39 am

    I recently read a post on simple mom about a Tickler file. It is amazing and helps with the paper piles and clutter that homes easily acquire (think piles of paper on your countertops). The link is below. Life changing!


    I also try to do a 10 minute mini clean each night – counters, dishes, clothes hung up, etc so that by the end of the week my house isn’t totally out of control! Good luck!

  • 8
    Chrissy (The New Me) November 8, 2011, 6:54 am

    I highly recommend the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. I’m not particularly “into” feng shui, but this book is so simple, accessible and motivating, that you will never look at your stuff the same way again. (Beware – there is a chapter on colon cleansing. The author leaves no type of clutter behind!)

  • 9
    Kim November 8, 2011, 7:25 am

    If some of that clutter contains books & dvds, I would suggest the Amazon trade in program. Items that they wont take will get snatched up at Paperbackswap.com & their site for dvds & cds. I have been going thru 1 manageable pile at a time. No time/inclination for yard sale, pile it up & take it to the local auction house. Mine sells everything & I dont do any boring pricing, etc. For ongoing peace & cleanliness, you can check out the book, “Sink Reflections”, it is a lifesaver! Of course now all my books r swapped at the above website. BOL!

  • 10
    Kim November 8, 2011, 7:26 am

    By the way, if u want a lil motivation, my trade-ins at Amazon netted me a brand-new Garmin for my efforts *score*!

  • 11
    Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) November 8, 2011, 7:35 am

    Those. Nachos. Are. Calling. to. ME. They look awesome- YUM!!!

    I always joke about how I want to live as a minimalist, but somehow we end up with multiple junk drawers, overflowing with… well, junk. If you figure out for to declutter efficiently, please share!

  • 12
    Christina November 8, 2011, 8:35 am

    My husband is a champion declutter-er! We tackle one room at a time, and we always start in one corner and work our way around the room (whereas I tend to spin in every direction and run from room to room, never actually accomplishing anything!). Everything goes into a different pile: put away, throw out, donate, or the “project” pile.

    When finished, treat yourself to a large glass of wine 🙂

  • 13
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad November 8, 2011, 8:39 am

    my advice is to take 1 closet/drawer/etc. at a time and really go through them. once everything is trashed/organized you must keep up with it. spend a small amount of time each day (like 5 minutes) putting things back where they belong. for example, after you pay your bills don’t leave the bills in a pile (on top of last month’s bills!) – file them away immediately. it takes all of 1 minute vs. a half hour filing 6 months worth of bills. good luck!

  • 14
    erin November 8, 2011, 8:42 am

    I declutter every six months. It’s a must for our small space. It can be overwhelming when you want to declutter several spaces, so just pick one at a time. Instead of starting with a whole room, start with the closet or a dresser. If that’s all you get done that day, be okay with it. Pick another space for another day.

    I start three piles–trash/recycle, donate, and keep. I only keep what I love and/or use regularly. Sometimes it’s difficult to part with things, but if I haven’t used it in quite a while, I try to remember that someone else would probably be grateful to have it–so I donate it.

    I always feel like a weight has been lifted when I declutter. GL!

  • 15
    Clara November 8, 2011, 8:52 am

    Get ready for a long comment as I absolutely love to de-clutter and organize! I’ve actually gone to friend’s homes to help them go through their closets and drawers to throw things away. It can be a very emotional process! Here are my tips to get you through:

    -As some other readers have mentioned, go through one area at a time. Trying to do it all will only frustrate and overwhelm you. So choose one room, one closet, or even one drawer and start there. It sounds like you have multiple places in your home, so I’d even list them all out and rank their level of importance in terms of getting organized. Which areas stress you out the most? Start with those!

    -I can totally relate to wanting less stuff, it’s so freeing to get rid of items you don’t need and really streamline your life! I get so much satisfaction from not only ridding myself of these things, but actually getting something else out of it. For example- clothes. I bet there are some great consignment shops in Charlotte. You can take your clothes to these places and if they accept them, they’ll give you a portion of the profits! I’ve made close to $200 from doing this. They don’t always accept everything, so what they don’t accept- you can just donate. As someone else mentioned, the Amazon buy back program is wonderful for books and DVDs, and Craig’s list is awesome for furniture and home items. Again start with one area- maybe just focus on the clothes in one closet, or the books in one room, and go from there.

    -When evaluating stuff you’re considering getting rid of, be very honest with yourself! If you like to hold on to things, this can be very hard. I literally had a friend almost in tears once when she was considering giving up some t-shirts! She’s a runner and the thought of giving up the t-shirts from races was unbearable. But she runs races all the time and had literally 30 of them (and it was only going to grow!). She finally was able to let go of the shirts and instead decide to showcase the medals she had for each race on her wall. The memories are not stored in the items- you’ll have them either way. So for clothing, if you haven’t worn it within the last year- let it go. If you’re unsure about any of the items- clothes or anything else, store them in a bag somewhere and if you don’t go back for them within 6 months, get rid of them. It’s clear you don’t need it!

    I literally could go on and on, but this is getting crazy long. I hope that helps, Jen!

  • 16
    annMarie November 8, 2011, 9:43 am

    I read this once and followed the advice ever since “never leave a room with nothing in your hands”. Now if everyone in my house did this…….my house could be spotless.

  • 17
    Sara November 8, 2011, 10:15 am

    Hey Jen!

    I actually just went through this a few months ago. Got my closets organized, tons of clothes donated to Goodwill, and got all my files organized too! Next up is our garage …

    One thing that has helped me is to get a mail/key holder for the wall. I tend to let the mail pile up on the counter, and even it I still haven’t gone through it, it’s nice to put it “somewhere” where i won’t lose it, and the counters still stay clean. there are tons of this kind of holder on amazon, but i’m sure if you looked around you could find a cute one at crate and barrel or somewhere!


  • 18
    Jen@FoodFamilyFitness November 8, 2011, 2:00 pm

    OOOOO! I love the new site!!!!! So well designed, well done!!!!

  • 19
    Alaina November 8, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I am all about decluttering! Now that I’m living in a smaller apartment, I’m doing what I can to live simpler, so I’m giving away clothes, donating books, throwing away papers, etc. I live for cleanliness. David on the other hand has so many tools and hardware type things; I cannot wait for us to have a garage where he can put that stuff!

  • 20
    Gabrielle November 8, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I just want to say that I love your blog and your energy. I so wish I lived in Charolette so that I could take your classes!

  • 21
    Mary Beth November 8, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I’ve been helped by Marla Cilley’s book, Sink Reflections. Her philosophy: If you don’t love it and it doesn’t bless your family, TOSS IT OUT!!

  • 22
    Emily November 8, 2011, 9:14 pm

    Pinterest.com has some really great DIY ideas for organization around the house 🙂
    http://pinterest.com/pin/473103965/ ..that link should help give you some ideas! Hope it helps!

  • 23
    HollyMW November 9, 2011, 11:51 am

    I tried to leave a comment yesterday but it looks like it didn’t go through! I wanted to recommend two blogs that I recently became a fan of bc of their organizing tips. (I know, just what we all need…more blogs to read.) “The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking” just finished a 31 day challenge to de-clutter her house and “I Heart Organizing” is super helpful as well.


  • 24
    Dana November 9, 2011, 12:22 pm

    Love your blog! I’m inspired by your runners content (especially in Summer when I started to read) and the yoga content as well. Thanks for posting also the not-so-perfect-pics of your practice like last week. Life is progress!

    Regarding the decluttering: Take pictures of your rooms/closets before and afterwards – and enjoy the difference. Do the before pics really before – without cleaning or putting away things. It motivated me a lot also later for other declutter-projects.
    I also followed a 7things-a-.month-rule/game. For a year I tried to clean out seven things a month (everything counts; books/dvd/clothing given away, broken things that you throw out, decorative stuff that you give away or throw out). I made a list and did this for ten month, I think and it really helped to get rid of a lot of little things. This was 2010 and my room still looks less cluttered ;-).

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