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My favorite quote:

Keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Dunah Mulock Craik

April 1826 - 12 October 1887

Your Clutter Free Journey

Take the first step on your Clutter Free Journey to living a beautiful, clutter free life! On your journey, you will examine your relationship with the stuff in your life and it's impact on your overall well-being. You will learn to make choices over what you invite into your home. The way we feel inside is directly reflected in our living spaces. In turn, our living spaces affect our internal well-being. By making small, steady changes in our living environment, we can change how we feel inside and make our homes a reflection of what is important to us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cozy, Comfortable and Sometimes a Little Messy

I need to confront any image or myth that my home is immaculate and completely organized. Quite the contrary, I struggle daily to keep up with the laundry, the dishes, the meals, school activities, sports, work: all the "stuff" of life. Don't get me wrong. I am not looking for pristine and perfect. I don’t want to live somewhere where you can't curl up on a couch with a good book, a quilt, and a cup of tea. I don’t want Floyd, our 85 lb "pup" to be contained to a certain room of the house. I don’t want to not eat popcorn during a movie. I want our home to be livable, cozy, and full of love. Undoubtedly, some of this is accompanied by messy conditions.

During a very sad three weeks in our home in February of 2013 after losing our sweet, 8 year old lab, Flint, to bone cancer, I noticed a significant absence in our home of dog hair, tracked in dirt and dog toys. It drastically decreased the dusting and vacuuming but left a huge void. Having a furry family member comes with all the hair, the spills and the mess and for us is 100 percent worth it, so we quickly adopted another dog. A puzzle that is spread out on the dining room table for a month brings a family together. A cherished family memento, books in stacks throughout the home because you are reading more than one, a favorite collection, or your beloved grandmother's silver all bring life and joy and make a house into a home.

So for me, it is not about an absence of stuff. Simplifying, de-cluttering, and minimizing are about making room for those important things that have real meaning to you and bring your family joy. It is honoring what is loved, precious, and important to you and your family and letting go of the excess. As quoted at the top of my blog, “Keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." -Dunah Mulock Craik

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Old Mother Hubbard

Several years ago, I was visiting a friend who had just moved into a new home. After showing me around her house, we settled down at the kitchen table, and I commented on how much I liked her kitchen cupboards. She grinned and started to giggle. I had no idea what was funny, so I asked her what was amusing. She very sweetly said she had never heard anyone say “cupboard” before and it made her think of Old Mother Hubbard. I didn't realize they were called anything else and asked her what she called them. Trying to keep a straight face she answered "cabinets". We both stated laughing. My parents, having grown up in northern Maine never called them anything but cupboards, so of course, I did as well.

This story came to mind the other evening while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. I went to retrieve a piece of plastic-ware, and as I opened the door, an avalanche of mismatched lids and bottoms poured out of the cupboard. I'd had enough. I sat down on the floor then and there and pulled out a hodgepodge of various shapes and sizes of plastic containers. They covered my kitchen floor. I spent 20 minutes matching lids to the corresponding container, wiping out the shelves and throwing away all unmatched/damaged pieces. I gathered several that were not being used and put them in my donation box. I then stared and smiled at my lovely “less cluttered” space. This prompted me to move to a deep drawer that “breeds” plastic cups and I cut its content in half. A few days later, I tackled under the boys bathroom sick with the help of my youngest, put in new drawer liners and threw away a very large bag of trash!

Unlike Mother Hubbard, these days our cupboards are rarely bare rather overflowing with excess. So, go ahead, feel the liberation of purging what you no longer need.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I am back and will stay least for now!

I have to admit it, I am totally obsessed with the “Tiny House” movement. There is something so centering and calming about owning only enough to fit in one of these little homes. Every inch of space is useful, and organization is a must. I realize intellectually that this type of lifestyle change would be virtually impossible at this point in my life. Well, maybe not impossible, but lets just say it would be well protested. Being the smallest in our family, having men/boys (15, 19, and
21) and a large, rambunctious “puppy” the five of us, plus dog would be crammed and would probably (definitely) drive each other completely crazy.

This is one of those things that I am sure I romanticize. I am know to do this. I envision the simplicity of this type of living and what it would offer and bring to the life of my family. I think of all the time that would be saved on the mundane tasks that are required when you live in a big space and have lots of stuff-stuff that has to be cared for, maintained, cleaned, sorted and organized. I envision loving, quality family time with minimal distractions or conflict. Okay... I know this is totally crazy. However, given my propensity to de-clutter, I thought about what these tiny home are really saying to me. I researched information around minimalism and believe this is perhaps what I am seeking. So my quest, instead of moving to a 400 square foot home is to figure out how to take what is so attractive to me about this movement and apply it to my life. Follow me, or better yet, join me as I attempt to minimize the "stuff" and maximize happiness.

Just for fun, go look up Tiny Homes and see if they inspire you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

So, it has been a long while! My desire to simplify and minimize is burning strong. This blog will start back in January of 2014! I hope you will join me on my Clutter Free Journey!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 100!

WOW! 100 days of decluttering! Doesn't purging the excess feel great! Look around and notice the difference! If you have just skimmed the top of your personal clutter, start the 100 day challenge over. Go through the daily posts of days 1-100 to motivate you on your way. If you have made a huge dent and can really tell a difference, then set up a system of regular routine decluttering and you will never have to face the mountains of clutter again!

It is by no accident that the 100th day ended on April 15, tax day. I had decided this to be a perfect day to end our Declutter Challenge! perhaps each year as you prepare your taxes you can look around your home and release the clutter!

I am going to take a few weeks off from this blog and assess what I want to do with it, as I look at my schedule and decide how to incorporate it. I hope you have had a very successful 100 days! Thank you for following me and please let me know of your progress and clutter count!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gratitude and Appreciation

Day 99 of 100

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake earlier this year, I thought a lot about how blessed we are. When you hear about something like this, it is hard to think about anything of material matter, as most of us have so much and those in Haiti have nothing, not even clean water and food. I have thought about this often and wanted to address in the blog. However, talking about purging all our excess in the midst of such tragedy seemed so superficial.

But the more I thought of it, I realized that getting rid of excess, actually helps us to see how blessed and fortunate we truly are. Most who are reading this are wealthy beyond measure. We are in heated homes, with clean running water and food, and hopefully, surrounded by those we love and hold dear.

Holding on to everything we have (when it is no longer useful to us) actually makes us come from a place of want. Whereas, giving with a grateful heart and letting go with love and kindness, opens are eyes and heart to appreciate all we really have. It gives us perspective on what is truly important in our lives. When you look at and recognize that stuff is stuff, it all seems so silly and irrelevant. Hanging on to an old pair of skis that we will never use again, seems crazy, especially when there are people who don't know when their next meal will be.

With breath of kindness, gratitude and appreciation let the clutter go!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Day 98 of 100

WOW! I can't believe it has been almost 100 days since I began this blog. Our household certainly has benefited from decluttering and I hope yours has as well! Only 2 days left in the challenge!

As you have probably realized by now, decluttering is and should be an ongoing activity. Hopefully,, you were able to jump start it with the 100 day challenge and it has become a habit. Once you begin to declutter and see and feel the benefits of doing so, you are naturally motivated to continue.

If you have been able to stick to the challenge and have really cleared out a lot of the clutter in your home, after the 100th day, you may want to make a new goal. Perhaps on Saturday mornings you will go around your home and declutter a certain amount of items or for a certain amount of time. Or maybe, each day you will look for one item to declutter as you go about your day. Remember the rule that when you bring something new into your home you will let something go. Finding a routine or activity to tie to your decluttering will make all the difference. It is much more likely that it will happen, if it is around something that you always do.

See how you can be creative with this, making it your own! Be sure to involve all family members as you continue on your Clutter Free Journey!