Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here's To... Productivity

Here's To... Productivity

Awhile back I decided that I wanted to start simplifying my space.  And when I say awhile back, I am in deed referring to the "Simplicity Party" I went to in March.  I cringe thinking that was seven months ago.  Well anyway, onward and upward, right?  Initially, I started by re-evaluating my closet (and the hearth room, which turned out terrific).  I had a lot of clothes that I didn't wear anymore-- and remember-- the motto of the party wasn't just clutter free living.  It was also about giving out of our abundance.  I thought about other women who would wear the clothes that didn't fit my post-baby body all the time.  Suddenly, keeping them "just in case" seemed really selfish.  I also had lots of clothes I was holding onto that I didn't particularly like and that I didn't find a style that flattered me.  So I bagged them up.  Then I went through them again.  And again.  I kept asking myself, "Have I worn this in a year?"  and "Even if I lost 10 lbs would I really wear this?"  In the end, I took seven large kitchen trash bags to our church last week to donate to a terrific organization called FGCI.

This got me motivated, and as I have said before, productivity comes in streaks.  So I decided that I would "strike while the iron is hot" and start cleaning out my guest room/office.  This has been a work in progress and just this summer I switched out the double bed for a daybed with trundle off Craigslist.  That helped un-cram the space a lot.  I also have been going through this closet with some real honesty, as a lot of it was clothes I no longer wore.  So the closet and bed were getting clearer and clearer.  I even took a nap time and purged through my filing cabinet one afternoon.  However, the desk and bookshelf area were still awful!

This is a before picture of the bookshelf/desk area.  What a pit.
A better look at everything that had gotten tossed into this area.
It was the equivalent of a storage shed!
No wonder I hadn't used the new computer Dave had bought me!

Not to mention that this is my "guest" room.  Every time my Mom and Dad came to visit I apologized up and down that the room was such a mess.  And do you see how the clock was strung up on the bookshelf.  Seriously.  First, you can't see it from the bed.  Second, it was never set and third, that cord was a serious hazard with an 18 month old running around.  

I moved the books into three piles.  Keep Pile, 1/2 Price Books Pile, Church Pile.  When I got through all the personal (non-school/work) books, this is what I had condensed to:

Welp, then I tackled that pile of stuff on the floor.  Let me tell you that when you have a baby you get so many packets, papers, magazines, etc.  That's what this pile basically was.  A lot of it went into the newly formed "recycling" pile.  Remember from earlier in the summer I already had a "shredding" pile.  I took that pile in to UPS this week and had them shred it for $13.00.  I will not pay that again but it was great to have the 26lbs of paper out of my office!  Back to the present, I made it through the pile of stuff and purged a lot of textbooks, emptied out 10 three-ring binders (any takers??) of old classwork/handouts, and made yet another Goodwill bag.  In the end, I had three BOXES of recycling, two laundry baskets of books (more how I make out at 1/2 price books later), and one Kohls sack for Goodwill.  My friend from church was in the neighborhood and stopped and took the few books he wanted for the church library.  Good Grief I have a lot of stuff from that room.  But it looks and feels awesome!

I've always discovered that when I simplify and de-clutter, that the things I love get brought forward.  And I love that.  I love that Dekker's "baby box" (the big yellow thing) has a home, and that I got to display my special Vegas frame (it was still in the wrapping), and that the picture of my Grandpa that my cousin drew has a prominent spot.  This is so much more the "home" I want to live in.  This room went from the last on my list, to toward the top.  I love having a lamp, a working clock, a shredder, and a great space to work/blog/photo 'edit'/organize.  I might even figure out iTunes and fill up the iPod I begged Dave for on Mother's Day.  The bookshelf is still somewhat cluttered.  I probably could go another round on it, and I will someday.  But for now I am loving my new work area, and my new computer.  Last night I just kept flipping on the light and admiring my space.  "I love the guest room!" I hollered out to Dave.  To which he laughed at me.  And... I called my mom today and can't wait for her visit.  I think she'll feel a lot more at home with space in the closet for her stuff and an all around lovely room to sleep in.  If she's lucky, I might even get a painting hung!

Am I nesting?  Well, no.  I have no need to.  But we're finishing the office in the basement and I hope to take a corner of it with my stuff, which certainly does free this room up much more for baby #2, come the day.  The work now saves me big time down the road!

On the journey,


  1. I can always take a load of papers to shred to work for you - they have huge shred bins that are picked up & shredded by an outside company. SO easy & nice! And wouldn't cost you $13 or time. :-) Good for you!

  2. I am seriously inspired. I'm also seriously 39 weeks pregnant, and my mom has warned me repeatedly not to get rid of things in this state, no matter how bad I want to. I'm glad you blogged about it, though, because I plan to revisit this, be inspired again, and take action when I don't have a baby sucking the life force out of me. :)

  3. It looks great Stef!!!