Since the beginning of the year, Mr. T and I have been focusing on simplifying. 2015 was a year of crazy home improvements as we checked off all the items on the Alaska Energy Rebate Program. Every free evening was spent in the crawlspace or garage painting, insulating, piping, etc. (I should emphasize that I was somewhat involved after the kids were in bed, but most of this was done by Mr. T.) We were spending lots of money (most of which we got back as a rebate), plotting our next move, and under a strict deadline to finish all the things on the list. When we finally finished it all last December, we were tired. We didn’t want to plan anything specific for 2016 because we just wanted to calm down.
A few months before we dove into purging our stuff, Mr. T got new socks. I was reading The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up to prepare for the big event. I was just reading the socks section when Mr. T was unpacking his new socks. “This book says you should roll your socks to let them rest.” Probably more to get to me to stop talking about the book, Mr. T dutifully rolled all of his socks. For two months, those perfectly sushi-rolled socks taunted me. They actually seemed happy. Socks. Happy. Crazy? Right? I wanted our whole house to feel that way. Every time I saw his socks, I wanted more! I wanted to dive right in and make it all better.
We did it! We have successfully touched every single thing in our house. I have taken 6 loads to the thrift store. Everything left in our home has a place to go. We spent this weekend double checking all the rooms, dusting, vacuuming, changing sheets, and mopping. I can tell you that my house is really and truly cleaned and organized for the first time ever and it feels amazing. I’ve written updates on organizing clothes, books, and the bathrooms and kitchen. Tackling decluttering for real was life-changing. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
In our effort to touch every single item in our house (see our success with our clothing and our books!), we tackled the bathrooms and kitchen this past week. We anticipated these projects being quite simple since we open up all the cabinets in both the kitchen and bathrooms daily. But these projects were beasts! Every hidden corner had hairbands and bag clips! It would have been so easy to just open all the cabinets, say “yup, we’re good” and close them up again. I’m not backing down on my goal to touch every single thing, so I pulled everything out of every cabinet and wiped everything down! (It feels great to know my clean silverware is no longer sitting in a layer of year-old crumbs.) Mr. T and I actually touched and discussed every dish.
Sarah over at The Yachtless wrote a poignant piece that was featured on Rockstar Finance called Small Things about losing hairbands and tracking your spending. This is a response to that awesome blog post.
Hey Sarah, Maggie here.
I’m just writing to tell you I found them! Yes, ALL the hairbands.
This was a pretty big week for me. Mr. T and I cleared out our bathrooms and our kitchen cabinets. Both of these things we figured would take a couple of hours total, but they ended up being a much bigger deal than we anticipated. I was in that bathroom for hours. And, just as you supposed, every dark corner hid at least a couple of hairbands.
The Banks family has embarked on a journey of creating a house of order in 2016. The first category to tackle was clothes. I started my thorough examination and culling of my clothing last summer. I knew I wanted to make real changes, but I wasn’t sure how. I considered why I had so many clothes. Here were the categories I identified: