How my house lost weight

October 21, 2013

I didn’t get any DIY done this weekend because I had one. sole. focus…get the rest of the house DECRAPIFIED.

By the way, I can’t take credit for that term. A very lovely reader used it years ago and I was instantly hooked on it. I asked her if I could use it cause it was so awesome. And I do. It’s a good word.

I’ve mentioned once or 75 times that I’ve been working on cleaning out the house for the past few months. I didn’t realize how long it’s been till I looked back at some posts. It’s been a LONG time.

I don’t mind the process but doing as intensely as I did got to be a little much at times. I would stall out for a week or two and then go back to it. And I was easily sidetracked and would have to finish up DIY projects as I went along.

I think the biggest difference is in the kitchen. The drawers open easily (nothing “sticking” as I open or close them):

Organized kitchen drawers

A functioning drawer is highly underrated. I like not fighting with my drawers. :)

I showed you how I made my own utensil organizer here:

DIY utensil organizer

And the clean and organized pantry last week:

Organized pantry

I use a lot of dressers around the house, including this pretty blue dresser in our foyer

The handle on that top drawer (my tool drawer) has broken twice because it was so heavy. Now it’s decluttered and light as a feather:

Tool drawer

As light as tools can get anyway.

And no, I don’t organize every bit of stuff in the drawers – when there’s less in there I can see to find what I need easily so I don’t think it’s needed.

There are even a few completely, gloriously empty drawers in the house!:

Dresser for organizing The other room that I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in is our mud room – the floors and shelf were covered with, well…CRAP.

Even the utility closet was a mess – now we just open the door and select the cleaning tool of our choice:

Hanging cleaning supplies

I had been hoarding floor cleaning stuff. It was a bit ridiculous. I need one broom and a couple floor cleaning jobbies – not 12.

While I was at it I gave the whole a room a nice coat of clean white paint:

white walls beadboard

I’m SO glad to be done with the yellow in there and I’m still in love with the white!

The bathroom linen closets were purged and organized as well:

Organized linen closet

Complete with LABELS on the bins so they stay that way!

While I was at it in the downstairs powder room I added some fun to the laundry chute:

DIY laundry chute

Want to smile when you open your closet? Add polka dots.

One of the rooms that lost the most weight was our guest room. The closet was a dumping ground for sure. I cleaned it out and used some scrap wood to make better use of all the space in there:

Using wasted space in closet

While I was at it I painted the room (it had been waiting years for its turn):

ombre square wall

Still loving that light green color too!

I can’t even tell you how many trips to the recycling bins and Goodwill I made – I lost count. I actually have a load in the back of my SUV right now. I just had to get that last pile out of the house. :)

I do have a few more spots to tackle that I knew I’d have to wait on – the master closet is one. Lots of laundry happening this week and then we can really start going through all the clothes. That room just by itself will take at least a month. It’s bad. Very bad.

But the garage is up next on my list. I’m completely reorganizing and moving things around in there. My plan is to create a workshop where there wasn’t one so I’m super excited about that.

And finally…the BAG. While going through the house there were always little things that hung me up. You know, those little jobbies you are pretty sure you need but you can’t think of a good spot and wait, maybe you don’t need them but you need more time to decide?

Yeah. I put all of those in a bag:

I'm a bagger

Those annoying things trip me up suck out my decluttering mojo. So they must be bagged till I can deal with them. It helps.

I already found the rug I’m planning to use as my inspiration in the mud room inside. I knew it was in the house but couldn’t find it anywhere. I wonder what other treasures are in there?? I’ll go through that today, take the final trip to Goodwill and I’m calling it done till next year!

Usually I tackle this earlier in the new year, but I started later this year. Oh who am I kidding – it went all year. But it is nice to hit the holidays with a house that weighs about 200 pounds less, figuratively and literally.

Ahhhhh…it is a GREAT feeling!! Virtual high five y’all!!

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  1. 200 pounds! Your house lost a Backstreet Boy! :)

  2. I need to do that too. My problem is, the less money I have, the more I hang on to. I guess I'm afraid of needing something later on and not being able to replace it. Your house looks great!

  3. I have left my run late but I intend to get at least some done before Christmas. I did the garage yesterday. I just couldn't stand it Hubby grumbled but then got into it with me. Sooo happy to have it mostly done. Just one more shelf to go. Then I am going to start in my kid's rooms which aren't too bad. I dream of empty drawers. Great inspiration thanks!

  4. OMGee good for YOU!! One of the best feelings is when everything is clean and organized. I always seem to have that one last spot that needs it. I go in a circle and always have that last catch-all area. Mine is our walk in storage downstairs right now. That has got to just feel "ahh". The polka dots on the laundry shoot are so stinking cute. Congrats on the decrapification ;0)

  5. Great job! You have certainly been busy and it shows. I love the idea of sticking all that annoying can't decide right now stuff in a bag. Your house is so beautiful, and just in time for the holidays. Now you can relax, right :)

  6. This is awesome! Thanks for prompting me to continue doing the same in my house. Is there a link where you started this series?

    The How to Guru

  7. I go through these purge phases, too. Nothing is safe :) If there is something I really can't decide about, I put it in a box. When the box is full, I tape it shut and date it. If I haven't had to to into that box in a year, it goes to Goodwill, without ever opening it again. Otherwise, I get the overflow to GW as soon as I can. Once it's out of the house, it's no long mine and I don't worry about it anymore.

  8. What a great game last night! Way to go Colts! I am one of the Hoosiers dragging today because of watching the game to the end.

    I have been on a purge of my house as well prompted by two college kids bringing tons of stuff home. Cleaned out the pantry and I won't confess to what year the oldest expiration date was. :-O

  9. I had planned to work in the basement this weekend but got waylaid by about 12 other things. Next weekend (for sure) I am going back into the abyss. My goal is to actually be able to set up a workbench with my compound miter saw (which I got for Christmas last year from my son and has NEVER been outta the box!) Way to go sticking with your plan and de-crappifying!

  10. We've only been in our house a year, and I really thought I had done a good job of getting rid of stuff during the move, but I'm already finding that I need to get rid of so much more! My closets especially need a good cleaning out, and the office still needs to be organized and unpacked fully. I think sometimes I just get stuck and don't really know what to do with some stuff so I put it off, but I love the idea of your bag! This will help to bag all of the extra items, and then I'm sure I'll find that I don't even need them.

  11. Oh good grief, this is amazing and something I need to do in a big way. Good for you. I am so envious. Hugs, Marty

  12. You have been busy and it all looks, when can I expect you at my house? lol...great job

  13. Is it only appropriate that the bag that holds the items that get you hung up says "CRAZY" on it? I have one room that could use this--our master closet! It is huge/custom and made for clothes hounds. Not my husband and I . So it houses our luggage (OK), our guest bedding (OK) and about 10 bags of stuff that needs to be donated or sold. Ebay hasn't worked for me lately so I let it sit. Then the clothes to donate--that takes time to write everything down on paper. PLEASE people--if you donate, take the time to record the items for use on your taxes. My husband loves to see my work pay off when we get back anywhere from $300-$700 more because of my donations!!! Growing girls will get you lots of donations. Along with decrapifying your home!

  14. Least favorite chore, but most favorite results. De-stuffing the house is a long process, but it does feel so good when it's done.
    Good luck in keeping everything tidy and organized!

  15. Awesome! I seem to enjoy setting myself up for failure, by starting with the boys' rooms. There is just So. Much. CRAP. that I exhaust myself pawing through the gazillion 'vewy speshul' drawings by my 6-yo, all the broken things that my 4-yo' til pway wif!' and the broken pencils, pens, torn papers and clothes that don't know if they are clean or dirty, littering my almost 9's room.

    I'm taking Friday off this week. My plan is to decrapify the kitchen counter, since that is where everyone dumps their junk at the end of the day.

  16. I love decluttering! The best way to feel productive for the cheapest price ;) Love your blog, it motivates me! Kudos to you for making it an annual routine... and actually following through!

  17. Thank you Sarah for your inspiring posts about this! Yesterday I put on my big-girl panties and went for it. I have a room that is always a crap-fest and I tackled it after over a year of putting it off (I am a terrible procrastinator). I actually found a box full of boxes. Not anything you'd want to save, just crap. I told myself I'd work for one hour then evaluate if I wanted to keep going. That's the only way I can do it or I get so overwhelmed. So I did keep going and I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel!

    By the way, I'm a Charger fan so I can't be happy for your Colts. LOL!

    Have a great day!

  18. Some posts ago you mentioned that you couldn't find a matching basket to the ones in your linen closet- it looks like if you were to swap the one from your bath holding cleaning supplies with the one in your linen closet that isn't like the others, you could be all matchy matchy again in both areas. But only if you want to. Everything looks fantastic and I am in the same process..desperately trying to unload before we have to pack up {again}.

  19. Wow, I can't believe all the work you've done! We cleaned out (OK, decrapified - I love that word, too) our garage last weekend but I've been working on the basement

  20. Ok, you have totally inspired me to decrapify our house. I know it needs to be done and I am constantly stressing about it. But that ends TODAY! Thanks for the inspiration Sarah! Your house looks fantastic (and much lighter).

  21. Love your title here.. and your approach to organize your home! You are so inspiring Sarah!

  22. After we had to evacuate due to wildfires here in Colorado (yes, the ones that you saw on the news) and our house didn't burn, I reassessed and went right to work decrapifying the vortex that was our basement. So much c.r.a.p. Goodwill loved me, the trash guy not so much! I found what worked best for me was to go at it until I couldn't think any more, then return in a couple of days, note that I really *did* make progress (there is a floor down there, who knew?) and that inspired me to press on. Still some more to do. Reading your blog always inspires me when I feel in a slump!

  23. Good for you! I love that feeling! I usually spend my snow days (off from school/work) decrapifying in the winter, and then we have a yard sale come spring!

  24. I am working on thinnng out the junk in my house too! I donated a whole bunch of stuff to my town's thrift store (the $ they make goes to our town's food bank) today and Friday, and I hope to find more stuff in the basement to donate tomorrow!

  25. Love the laundry chute... that's my favorite thing! I don't have one, but if I did, I'd sure do that to it!!

    Must get busy 'decrapifying' my house. It's beyond cluttered. All this crafting, decorating and DIY stuff and I have PILES everywhere! ;-)

  26. Wow, you've been busy! Put a smile on this professional organizer's face. I love that laundry chute...oh how I would like one of these.

  27. I love that you talk about how much weight your house has lost! I've done the same thing and I swear I get weird looks. It's ok, it's who I am. And when it comes time to move I will be so happy that weight is gone!

  28. Okay, you are totally inspiring me! Next week is a mom-cation week for me and my plan was to go through all closets, drawers and cupboards. I LOVE the idea of the "bag." I often get hung up on stuff or off track. This is a great way to get moving on other things and put those hold-ups off.

    Thanks for the inspiration. My goal for next week is EMPTY DRAWERS! I'm giddy just thinking of it.

  29. You are my inspiration...but I'm a really bad pack rat. How do I let things go?...

  30. You are my inspiration...but I'm a really bad pack rat. How do I let things go?...

  31. I have hoarding on both sides of my family. aahhh!!!! I'm sure the people at goodwill and on criagslist have no idea how much I love them for taking my crap as I purge. And I'm so using "decrapified", it's a great word!


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