Oh, We’re Half Way There

Oh oh, livin’ on a prayer.  Bon Jovi, also known as greatest hair band ever, how I love thee.  You are the soundtrack to my life, sort of.  We are half way there, but we’re not livin’ on a prayer.  There being Jen, my blog BFF and genius behind IHeart Organizing‘s 30 in 30 challenge. I know I show a lot of my thrifty (and sometimes not so thrifty) buying, but I’ve never shown what we donate.  Well, that’s about to change.  Let’s see how we’ve done.

First, we started with the entry closet, where we didn’t get rid of anything.  Now, let me explain.  Our closet is small, so out of season (winter coats and boots) and seldom used items (my heels and Ben’s dress shoes) are stored in our bedroom.  I also sort through that closet regularly, so not much that we don’t use or need stays in there.

So, I moved on to our living room.  Again, Ben and I don’t have much that we don’t like or use in there.  But, Vincent and Everett do.  Toys, toys and more toys.  I’m so sick of cleaning up toys!  If you follow us on Facebook, you already know that.  I attacked the toys, showing no mercy.  Anything that hasn’t been played with recently went to the donate pile.  Broken toys got thrown away.  We don’t have anything to sell because we sent our expecting brother and sister-in-law home with anything worth keeping.  No pictures of this because I had to hide everything to prevent Vincent claiming everything as his to keep.

Shortly before this challenge, we donated all the VHS movies we had, seeing as we don’t even own a VCR.  I also put all of our music on the computer, so we donated most of our cds, keeping our favorites for road trips.

For week two, we picked up the pace.  Kitchens seem to store so much, but a lot is unnecessary for everyday.  Things that I’ve been holding onto simply because they were from my great grandma, our old set of plates and glasses, just in case, utensils because we might need them.  That had to go.  After about 30 minutes, kid corralling included, I had our table filled with items to sell or donate.

Right there, we’ve got 25 items, if we count groups of similar items as one.  How about a list?

  • 9 large IKEA glasses.  We broke three and I can’t stand not having a complete set.  Unfortunately, IKEA stopped selling that style, so we bought different glasses about two years ago.  Let me repeat, two years ago!
  • 9 small IKEA glasses.  We broke one, and I decided to keep two because they work well as vases.
  • 1 wine glass, the rest have been broken.  Are you noticing a trend?

  • 6 dinner plates, we had 8 before two were, you guessed it, broken.
  • 8 salad plates
  • 1 sugar jar.  We don’t drink coffee, why do we have this?  Oh right, someone gave it to us.
  • 2 cake stands, that we never use.  Who has cake long enough to put it on a pedestal?
  • 6 plastic floral place mats.  Grabby handed boys + place mats = food mess on my rug.  Not good.
  • 6 gold place mats
  • 2 children’s place mats
  • 2 tattered table runners from my great grandma.  I might try to re purpose these.  Any ideas?
  • 1 rustic wine rack.  Ben isn’t sophisticated to drink wine from bottles, only lovely boxed wine.  I don’t drink.
  • 1 votive holder

  • 3 outdoor plates
  • 6 matching plastic cups
  • 6 green plastic cups.  Why is the Target dollar section so appealing?
  • 1 salt and pepper shaker set
  • 2 small gravy boats
  • 1 blender, the base broke and we kept the glass.  Why?
  • 1 vintage paper towel, aluminum foil, saran wrap, and wax paper holder, from my great grandma.  We’ve never used this, but I love the look of it.  Sadly, I think it is time to let it go.  Unless I can find a use for it in our laundry room?  Ideas, creative folks?
  • 1 pain in the butt puzzle.  I’m sick of picking it up.
  • 1 glass candlestick holder

Individually, we’ve exceeded 75 kitchen items!  Wahoo!  Then, when Ben returned home from work, he chased the kids around.  I found even more to get rid of.
  • 2 wooden bowls
  • 1 glass bowl
  • 1 drawer of utensils
  • 1 small baking dish
  • 1 platter
  • 2 colanders/strainers
  • 1 salad bowl
  • Miscellaneous, mis-matched plastic food storage bins.
  • 8 vintage, hand embroidered cloth napkins
I also tossed about 5 every-page-filled coloring books into the recycling and dried up markers to the trash.  After all that purging, we have two drawers and one cabinet completely open.  One empty drawer opens to the dining room, where we had Vincent’s craft supplies.  I put it to better use to store our napkins, which is much more convenient than getting up to go to the kitchen for a napkin.
I always imagined walking down the hall to see Vincent’s art covering my walls and furniture.  This should put my fears to rest.  Vincent can’t grab his craft supplies without my help opening the cabinet below.  Pre purge, this cabinet stored the food processor, waffle iron, outdoor plates and place mats, leaving no room for craft supplies.
If we ever get around to renovating our kitchen, we’ll have less junk to move around.
Now, I have to decide how I would like to dispose of said items.  I usually donate everything to Goodwill, but I might list the whole lot on my friend Craig’s infamous list.  Though, I could list the vintage items in my Etsy shop.  Or, I might host my first garage sale and try to sell a few larger items, like the Bowflex, Total Gym, captain’s bed, and bookshelf we’re currently storing in the large basement bedroom.  If you are interested in any of the items, please send me an e-mail at ourhumbleabowed@gmail.com.
Have you made any purging progress?  Do you have any tips, secrets, or a process to purge items?  When I was younger, my mom made my sisters and I spend an entire day, once a year, removing everything(!) from our closets, throwing things away and organizing before we could do anything fun.  Is your mom evil like that?  Just kidding, I love you, mom!  Maybe you want to be evil like that to your kids (or husband?)?  What room or rooms, have the most clutter in your home?  Are you a garage sale guru?  How do you price the items you’d like to sell?
*Update:   We have sold the kitchen organizer and embroidered napkins.  Thank you for your interest!

13 thoughts on “Oh, We’re Half Way There

  1. good for you!

    I think the Saran wrap container is so cute, I’d love to have something like that! could it be used for rolls of paper on a kid’s art table?

  2. Fantastic job decluttering! I’ve never held a garage sale but I bet if you posted these pics on Craigs or your store and sold online or in a garage sale you’d have some buyers. You have some beautiful kitchen items. Love your stainless steel colander.

  3. I need to do this too! I know I have at least 3 extra colanders that I don’t like/use. I love love love the saran wrap container, but I would actually use it for saran wrap/parchment paper etc.! let me know if you list it on etsy!

  4. My mom and I totally switch roles and play “evil” on each other’s closets still to this day! We’re both in desperate need of it right now, in fact!

    Isn’t it amazing all the junk we accumulate. Life is so much simpler with less stuff! Organization is awesome for me because it prevents me from buying stuff that I already have/don’t need!!! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!!! Hopefully I’ll get around to my clean-out soon!

  5. Put dryer sheets in that super cute foil container! And sew the two table runners onto the sides of some fabric and make a super cute tablecloth. Or send some stuff to me! 😉

    1. Carole, that’s a great idea!

      Thanks, Monique and Ashley! I think it’s much easier for others to go through your stuff. You purge so much more because they don’t have the sentimental value.

      Hi Elizabeth, I’ll definitely let you know if I list it on Etsy! If you want to send me an e mail, I can send you a link if I do list it. 🙂

      Leanne, that’s a good idea, but I don’t think I can justify keeping it just for dryer sheets. I think I’ll have to sell it…

      Sharen, If want to buy the cake stands, I’ll gladly send them to you. The only problem is shipping will probably be expensive and I don’t have the original packaging. Boo.

      Thanks for your support, everyone!

  6. I’ll take those gorgeous cake stands for my friend Jessica. She just started baking her own cakes to sell and is in love with cake stands!!

  7. I just had a great sale. My goal was to get rid of lots of stuff and to make a bit of money too. I filled 3 large tables with stuff, everything from napkin rings to framed art and had lots of grocery paper bags on hand. I sold the bags for $10 and told folks they could fill them up with anything on those three tables. I did have some larger items that I priced individually, but not much. I started with 18 moving boxes full of stuff….when the dust settled, I took 2 boxes to goodwill and deposited almost $600 in the bank!!! I live for simplicity and orginizing, it is a great way of life. I do lots of posts on simplifing and even offer classes called SOS, and I have found, like everything else, practice does make you better, maybe not perfect….but on my way! Oh, I sent evites to friends, family and interesed parties of the dates and times and details of the sale, that worked very well for me too.

    1. Cathy, I LOVE the idea of a set priced bag! Thank you so much for all of your help and info!


  8. Oh you have made me SO proud! Great job you! I am beyond impressed with your purge!!

    And I love Cathy’s ideas – I am borrowing that for a baby stuff/clothing sale I want to have this spring! What a great way to just get rid of it all!


  9. oh my…. i could never get rid of those cake stands… i use the one from our wedding all the time! every cake we make in our house gets put on my cake stand… and at xmas time i put decorations on it and put it on the table 🙂

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