photo by: www.burlapanddenim.com

for some people, the most wonderful time of the year would be the holiday season. except for me, it would be the spring cleaning season.

call me a freak, but i need to clean and i enjoy doing it. i also love organizing, but like diet and exercise, they go hand-in-hand. i can’t do one without the other.

almost 2 years ago i moved into a smaller, but comfortable, apartment and i could not bring all of my exercise equipment.

fortunately, there was a free, on-site, room available i could store items in indefinitely; or until the complex was sold and the new owners said they needed the room cleaned out.

insurance reasons.

crap.

i had my elliptical, treadmill and two rode bikes brought to my apartment and dumped into several rooms. i thought my treadmill could fit into one of my closets so i started cleaning one out, but it would not fit, especially with the stuff i already had stored in there.

now i’m frustrated and it was at this exact moment when my clutter heebie-jeebies set in and i knew i had to get rid of or donate some items from that storage closet.

as i started cleaning and organizing my OCD endorphins kicked into overdrive and i wasn’t only cleaning my closet, but my entire apartment. i started in the kitchen and spent 9 hours cleaning and organizing every inch of cabinet space and any drawer that would open.

all of the labels are freakishly facing forward, boxes and cans in the cupboards are organized in height order. canisters are labeled. condiments and spices live on their own shelf.

i wiped walls, scrubbed and mopped the floor. i cleaned the inside (and yes everything has a place), the outside, the back and underneath the refrigerator.

the microwave, the stove, the oven, the toaster oven, the keurig. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned.

tired yet? i’m not.

the only thing i did not clean in the kitchen were the cabinets and that’s because i didn’t have a super fine grade #0000 steel wool pad and a bottle of old english wood furniture polish. but i will.

an organized closet

an organized closet i don’t mind looking in to

sheet sets, blankets, table clothes and other items are filed and labeled in cloth boxes as this one.

sheet sets, blankets, table clothes and other items are filed and labeled in cloth boxes as this one.

a small portion of my kitchen cabinets. these storage containers are great!

a small portion of my kitchen cabinets. these storage containers are great!

i like to stick things on the wall. these decals make the kitchen look a lot better.

i like sticking things on the wall. these decals make the kitchen look a lot better.

i did some redecorating and changed my chair color and table cloth to garnet.

i did some redecorating too and changed my chair color and table cloth to garnet.

i really enjoy cleaning and organizing, but it’s never done without sacrificing my body. i had to wear my back brace and take an excessive amount of pain medication every four hours to get through it, but i got it done.

like a tornado, i’m slowly making my way through cleaning and organizing each room, labeling baskets in my linen closet and getting rid of anything i have not used within the last year. this includes clothes, electronics, books, toys and kitchen items.

initially, i packed items to be sold locally, but after reading the more of less by joshua becker, i decided to donate my belongings to bbbs, a non-profit organization.

“big brothers big sisters is a volunteer mentoring network that develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.”

the time and energy i would have spent selling the items wouldn’t earn me much but donating them will provide a greater financial impact for someone in need.

the donation pile

the donation pile

i feel energized to be on the less is more bandwagon and look forward to more time, more energy and more space.

over time, it’s easy for our home, closets, drawers, basement, attic, garage to become filled with things we don’t need or clothing we haven’t worn in years.

i’m guilty of neatly folded, but overstuffed, drawers, but do i really need 20 t-shirts?

no. in fact, when i looked around my apartment i felt comfortable being able to part with everything in it, with the exception of my cameras and maybe my guitar.

it doesn’t mean i’m not sentimental but i could take a photo of it and pass it along if i had to. see why i need my cameras?

as much as i love my treadmill and tolerate my elliptical, i only have room for my exercise bike, the other two items will be sold.

i’m interested in how you keep your home clutter-free and organized or do you? are there things you’re holding on to? do you own something you could never part with? leave your thoughts below in the comment section.

Written by valerie

6 Comments

Bijoux

I’m a clean freak and I hate clutter, but I draw the line at labeling anything. I just don’t feel that need. I don’t generally buy anything till I need it, and that includes food, so my closets and cabinets are empty compared to most people’s. I give a few bags of clothes to Purple Hearts about three times per year, but that’s from my family of five.we just don’t buy extras, probably because the house we lived in for 22 years had NO storage space and a basement that constantly flooded!

Reply
valerie

ah, bijoux. you’re a woman after my own heart. a clean freak, yay. you sound like you have a handle on your consumption control, that’s great. i’m going to be mindful that if i bring something in the house then something has to go. i’m still at it, but i should be done next week.

i guess the one good thing about not having storage space is that one can only fit so much in the house, i hope. i don’t have a lot of closets, but if i did, i’d more likely have something in them. i’m forced to give things away, which is cool with me.

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Ron

Val, you and I are soooooooooo much alike! I can’t stand clutter (it makes me very edgy) and I love to clean! Last October when I got out of hospital after being there for two weeks, I had a week off before I went back to work. Well, that whole week I did nothing but clean, organize and get rid of stuff I didn’t need. It was great therapy for me after being in the hospital for so long because cleaning made me feel more renewed and healthy.

I live in a studio apartment, so it forces me to keep things organized and avoid clutter. Living minimalistically keeps my life simple and basic. And I seem to do better that way.

I LOVE those wine decals you have on your kitchen wall, they are so cool! Also, I noticed in one of the boxes (marked: fragrances) you have the perfume, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, I ADORE that fragrance!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
X

Reply
valerie

ron, my brother from another mother and father, hahaha. i can’t stand clutter either, i did get a little comfortable though allowing some things to creep up in here, but that’s over, jack! i’m on a mission to get rid of everything i’m not using or wearing.

if i lived alone, i would be okay in a tiny house, have you seen them on the internet? i really don’t need much at all, as long as i have the internet, i’m okay and a few basic necessities. it’s not like i spend a lot of time at home anyway.

i love the decals too. each room in my apartment is decorated by theme. the kitchen is italian, my bedroom is the music room. i never completed the kitchen like i wanted to with decoration, but i’m almost done.

yes, that’s my DK perfume. i still have it. i wear it once in a while. there’s another one i like by mary kay called midnight. i wear that one a lot.

later.

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Rob Lenihan

Oy, Valerie, my place is a mess. I’ve got too much clutter, but f’m refusing to bring the hammer down and toss or give away books, clothing and other items that i have no room for. This post is inspirational…and a little scary!

Reply
valerie

rob, i will be right over.

open the door, i’m outside.

oh dear.

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