April 22, 2010

Decluttering Project: Getting to the Bottom of It

I'm a home decorating nut. You wouldn't have any idea by the looks of my house (well, the bottom floor of my house that most people see), but it's true. I keep telling myself that one day - maybe after the kids move out - I'll get around to all my decorating projects. I know. Denial is my friend.

The two things that are my biggest obstacle in 'home decorating Nirvana' are: TIME and MONEY. I have nearly none of each. I like to decorate on a dime and it has to be a project that I can complete in a relatively short amount of time - because with homeschooling 2 tweens and babysitting a 1 year old, I have very little of it to go around.

My love of all things 'pretty' tends to be a serious clutter producer for me, however. I can't say no to magazines about window treatments, paint, decorating, gardening and cooking. Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living are my two very favorites... but I have a ton of different varieties of home magazines.

You might even say I have TOO many magazines. Go ahead. You wouldn't be the first. My husband says it all the time.

I was looking at my stack of mags the other day and it is only a couple of feet shorter than I am. I wondered if I would ever be able to find the ideas I loved in those magazines again. With a stack like that, the recipes and ideas for making crafts and fixing up my house are surely buried for good.

I'm not even going to mention to you how heavy a stack of magazines can be when you move. My collection could fill at least three book boxes or more... and magazines aren't so light when they are crammed in to a book box. I shudder to remember the smell of Bengay on my neck and arms from the last move we made.

Vowing to live simply, to get rid of 'clutter', and to be more purposeful... I figured it was time to tackle the magazine stack. Past time, really.

Here was my plan to get it done:
1. Set up magazine holders in the restroom to house stacks of magazines that I want to go through.
2. Keep a pair of scissors in the car and restroom for when I want to cut things out.
3. Set aside temporary folders for going through the torn-out pages, labeled: home, garden, kitchen, articles to read, clippings for journal, photography, arts & crafts... etc.
4. Tear at least one magazine a day up - keeping only the pages I love.
5. Spend a little time each weekend sorting the torn pages in to the proper folders.
6. Eventually, put favorite recipes in binders with sheet protectors and keep the rest in a hanging folder in my file cabinet with labels (same labels as on my temporary folders).
7. Stop ordering magazines until I read all the articles I have clipped/saved.

I've been doing pretty good at my 'magazine project' so far. I like having something to do in the car when my husband runs in to Wal-Mart and I have to stay in the vehicle with a napping baby. It feels good knowing that I'll be reclaiming a part of my bedroom that has been taken up with a tower of clutter. I know it will look better in there without a stack of magazines on the floor.

Besides brushing the clutter monkey off my back, going through these magazines has given me a few new dinner ideas and the desire to paint some walls and do some weekend decorating projects. Who knows; maybe I'll be posting a before and after shot for you some time this summer? I hope so. I'm tired of these white walls.

Here's your homeschool math assignment for today:

Heather has 176 magazines to cut her favorite pages from. She gets three magazines a month in the mail. If she cuts up one magazine a day, starting today, how many days will it take her to get to the bottom of the stack?


MommyLydia said...

What day of the month do those magazines come?

176/30=almost 6 months. In those 6 months, you'll add 18 more magazines.

So. 176+18=194 days

Today is April 22, the 112th day of the year

194 days from now is 306 = November 2nd.

So if you have already accounted for all of April's magazines. And none of your magazines lapse in the ensuing time, you should be done by Thanksgiving, even account for sick days, lazy days, busy ...

Brittanie Gordon said...

whoa.. I thought I had a lot.. nothing on you lol!! I go through mine Friday's.. it's on my Friday Chore list.. I sit on the couch during nap time and rip pages out of whatever magazines I have collected that week.. (I get a LOT from the donated section of the library, there is a magazine swap area)

If you come across any Country Home..Especially Halloween/Fall ones! I would be happy to buy them from ya.. they are SO hard to find anymore!

Four Little Penguins said...

6.5 months.

Sprittibee said...

Sounds good to me! Yes, I have gotten all my April mags already, so before Thanksgiving is awesome. It is making me want to paint something. I went out and got a gallon of paint the other day just in case I find a free moment...

... you never know when the urge to paint might hit?!!!

Gwen T said...

I would pick up that big stack of magazines move it into my schoolroom, tell the kids they could use it for cut and paste and the stack would be gone within a week.

Decorating is on hold for a different season of life for me - for now, my house is decorated with custard bowls on my dining room table full of freshly picked dandelions, bulletin boards covered with artwork made by the little people I love, and windows covered with fingerprints and noseprints from children watching squirrels or for Daddy to get home. Oh, and a yard that is decorated with every possible evidence that seven children and a dog live at our house! That's better than what my Southern Living magazine could ever put together!!!

Rhonda said...

I have a friend that is incredibly organized. Her house is almost always clean. I've learned many things from her over the years. One of them is that you can actually read a magazine, then throw it away! I tell you, it was a true revelation. :)

I don't buy many magazines anymore. I just don't have time for them.

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Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Hmmm...you sound very much like me. BTW, I did that exact same thing and I NEVER went back and used ANY of the articles I cut out and saved. Even though they were very nicely organized. So now I just recycle my mags. I try to keep them to a minimum (except TOS, which I hang on to - for a few more years, anyway).

Ha! Ha! Your word verif is PAINE!!!



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