Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp : Week 2

Hello Uncluttering compadres!  So, how did you do last week? I hope you are having great success during this Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp.   The 207 pounds of stuff that we took out of our home from our bedrooms and bathrooms has really energized and motivated us to keep at this unclutter process.  Now I’m chomping at the bit to get the unclutter going on in other areas of our home.  

If you are just starting the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp, then pop back here to get your calendar and discard sheets.

I’ve got to be honest, while weighing it is one more step to take, it has been so motivating.  If you are a goal oriented person, seeing those numbers on your scale increase will surely motivate you to keep going.  And if I’m at 95lbs, I promise I’ll find something that weighs 5 lbs to take it to 100. 

During this process it has occurred to me that I am attempting to lay hands on just about every item in my home.  That’s quite an undertaking, but it’s so invigorating to shed stuff and reassuring to know exactly what is in my home 

Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load: Kitchen and Office/Craft Room

So grab your ‘kit’ and let’s get going.  For each area:

  • Bring a bag/box for TRASH, for DONATE , for RECYCLE, for RELOCATE and , if you really need it,  for STORAGE.

 See here for a list of places to donate your gently used items or recycle other items.  

  • Bring a dustbuster or vacuum, rags and cleaning solution.
  • Put on your favorite Pandora station, CD or radio station
  • If it motivates you, take note of what you toss and the weight of all the stuff leaving your home.  My home is already breathing easier with some of the weight lifted.
  • You can deduct the clothes you donate on your taxes.  The discard list can also help to keep track of that.  Just estimate values of the items as you go along.

Unclutter Your Nest: The Kitchen

If you are at all like me, the kitchen is a clutter gold mine.  I am on record as being a sucker for kitchen gadgets. Maybe ‘sucker’ is too nice a word…the truth is that I think I have a kitchen gadget ‘problem’. 

My brief stint at Williams-Sonoma only enabled my ‘problem’. So that said, my first order of business was to set aside all my favorite kitchen gadgets and cookbooks to protect them from the tsunami of the unclutter machine!!! Here’s how I went about shedding 117 pounds of kitchen clutter:

  • I picked up every single item in all of my kitchen drawers and some of my cabinets and laid them on the counter.  I skipped the cabinets that housed my everyday dishes as I use them…everyday… and know exactly what is there.
  • By laying everything out and picking everything up, I could easily see where I had duplicate items.
    • I had 3 different versions of handheld lemon juicers; couldn’t tell you why.
    • Somehow our family of 4 had accumulated 17 ( yes, 17) travel mugs! I guess I was thinking that if we each had 4 hands, we’d have 1 spare in case one broke?  Don’t know.  In any case, we picked out the best 6 and sent the other 11 to find good homes elsewhere.travel mugs
    • I had some items that I just never used and can’t imagine ever using.
    • How many baking dishes does a family of 4 need? I had 4 of those white Corning casserole bakers, 3 of those clear Pyrex bakers, several Pampered Chef baking dishes as well as a couple other more decorative bakers.  In laying them all out, I was easily able to realize which ones I use on a regular basis and which ones haven’t been out of the cabinet for years.
    • I researched several sites to figure out which knives I need in my kitchen. The general consensus (from sources such as Epicurious, Real Simple and Huffington Post) is that they are 4 basic knifes you need:
      • An 8” – 10” Chef’s Knife
      • A 3 ½” Paring Knife
      • A 6” Serrated Blade Knife
      • A 6”-8” A Boning Knife

        Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load: Kitchen and Office/Craft Room

And remember that ‘Christmas’ feeling you might get when you discover some long lost item?  Well, I was reminded that I needed another shield for my KitchenAid Mixer to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl because I had lost half of the one I had, probably when we moved 10 years ago. 

So in this unclutter process, I threw out the ½ of the shield that I still had and wrote down on my ‘gift ideas’ list that I needed a new shield.  Well, when I went digging into cabinets later that day, you’ll never guess what I found?  The missing half!! 

Luckily I hadn’t thrown out the trash containing the ½ I knew I had and so was thrilled to reunite these two pieces and happily removed it from my wish list. Christmas in January! ? 117 pounds out of the kitchen

Unclutter Your Nest: The Office/Craft Room

These rooms are full of paper.  Paper is one of those things that comes in so frequently and we don’t know quite what to do with it, so we file it away.  Because you need to lay your hands on every sheet of paper, the office takes a good amount of time. 

It may be that you put all the papers you need to go through in a box as you work through your office with the intent of ‘processing’ some of them this week and the rest over the next week or couple of weeks.  Just make sure you stay on it.  

Once I’m done with this Boot Camp…I really want to move our home to be as paperless as possible.


Through this process we’ve recycled 315 pounds of paper that we just didn’t need to have because it was outdated or otherwise unnecessary. Let me say that again…315 pounds of paper!!  

Most of the 315 pounds of paper were professional documents from my husband’s business, but we all hold on to documents in case we need them for taxes or other purposes.  

There are some statute of limitations after which you can safely discard your documents.  Suze Orman has detailed what should be keep for how long here.

  • We had tax documents and returns going 20 back years.  We discarded  13 years worth of them.  Because of the personal financial nature of these documents, we shredded or burned these documents.
  • We had cancelled checks going back many years as well.  We burned or shredded them.  
  • Non-sensitive papers were put in our recycle bin.  I’m feeling for the trashmen when they come this week.recycling bin


  • Instruction Books and Manuals. I used to have a 2 big binders of all the manuals& warranties of all the appliances in my home until I realized that these manuals were available on line as PDFs.  On my computer I created a ‘Manuals and Warranties’ file  and then downloaded a PDF for each appliance and scanned the warranties and saved them to the ‘Manuals and Warranties’ file.


  • Scan all your old photos and save them to disk or flash drive/USB drive/thumb drive. Then, and here’s the hard part, recycle your photos.  If you are like me I know this will cause you to panic a bit, but you have the digital versions now and can access them anytime. 

This will take some time and you may not get it all done this week, but if you plan to do a little bit a day, you can work through it.  Once again, put them all in a box  and spend an hour a day weeding through them.  I have a Canon Pixma MX922 which is a printer/scanner/fax machine/copier and it works perfectly for this. I would imagine most machines with a scan capability would accomplish this task.

I made a file for each year and saved each photo to the appropriate year.  

  • Scan your child’s school documents that you might need or want later.   I set up a file for each child on my computer and then saved all pertinent date to their file.


  • Scan all your receipts. My goal for this year is to scan my receipts weekly and then trash them to eliminate that paper clutter.  While my Pixma would have worked just fine, I got a Fujitsu ScanSnap for Christmas which is the BOMB. 

It makes scanning receipts, and other documents, so effortless that there really is not excuse for me to not do this on a regular basis.  The software that comes with the scanner is well integrated such that when you scan a receipt or document, you are immediately prompted as to how and where you want to save the document/receipt. receipts


I would imagine most crafters have a drawer (or 2), a box (or 2), a cubby (or 2) or a bag (or 3) of ‘best laid plans’ craft supplies.  You know what I’m talking about..don’t you?  I hope you do.  Please tell me you do.  

I once purchased ALL the fabric necessary to make a queen size quilt, although I had never ever quilted before.  I had great plans, but they never got off the ground and that fabric found a home somewhere else along the way, though I don’t quite remember where. 

  • In addition to my kitchen gadget obsession, it’s fair to say I’ve collected way too much yarn over the years.  Last year I went through my yarn stash and easily gave away 50 skeins of yarn to my local Senior Center.  They use the yarn to knit blankets for newborns and stocking caps for the homeless in our area and were so very grateful for the donation of my yarn. ( I try very hard not to dwell on how much I’ve spent on all my best laid plans.  UGH!)
  • Scrapbooking Supplies:  I tried my hand at scrapbooking several years ago, but have rather fallen off lately.  I packaged up all my unused scrapbook paper, pages and stickers, put them in a clear bag and sent them to Goodwill.
  • Fabric and sewing supplies:  I donated boxes and bags of fabric swatches, polyfil, trim and other sewing paraphernalia to our local high school for use in their sewing class. 
  • Our local library will always accept our unwanted books for their semi-annual booksale.  I will be taking 151 pounds of books (or about 100) to my library tomorrow. 

So here’s our tally thus far:

Bedrooms                      191

Bathrooms                       15

Kitchen                          117

Office/Craft Room      485

                                       808 pounds of stuff has been taken out of our home!  Holy Cow!The Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp is in our kitchens, office/craft room this week. How I removed 1,330 lbs of clutter from my home & where I took discards.

Catch up on all 4 weeks:

Week 1: Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Week 2: Kitchen and Craft/Office Space

Week 3: Den/Living Room/Play Room/Coat Closet/Laundry Room 

Week 4: Attic and Garage

We’re starting the second week of our Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp.  Isn’t your home breathing easier with X pounds of stuff taken out of it?  Aren’t you breathing  easier just knowing  you have fewer things to tend?   

I’ll be back next weekend with suggestions for your laundry room, den and linen/coat closet.  Until then, enjoy your lighter home.  And don’t forget to share your pictures and success stories at #unclutteryournest on Twitter and Instagram.  I love seeing them.










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  1. Leave a Reply

    January 11, 2016

    Wow Lynn! You aren’t stopping! I’m impressed!
    The little box from your kitchen, with the baskets looks like fun, send it over!!! lol.
    My kitchen is way too small to be gathering gadgets and such. I have a crock pot…my best friend in the kitchen and a few others, but not many. Also, moving countries and continents made me get rid of a lot of clutter throughout the years already. But I did un clutter one of my kitchen cabinets on the weekend! I keep “stuff” in there and it was just bursting and everything just dumped in. So, that looks a lot better now!
    As for the office, I’m going to as well…soon. Thanks for the motivation friend, love to see you lightening your home! Have a great week!

    • Leave a Reply

      January 11, 2016

      Good Morning sweet Katrin. If nothing, I’m getting more ruthless! Just finally really taking stock of what is actually in my home. You are right, moving frequently will make you lean and light. We’ve been in this home longer than I have lived in one place in my entire life (13 years) and I can see how so much stuff gets put away and forgotten. Not for long though.

      Have a fantastic Monday,Lynn

    • Leave a Reply

      Mary Beth
      January 6, 2017

      HI Katrin! I am very much feeling inspired by you! I live in a 3 bedroom townhouse which is about 1100 square feet. My son moved out shortly after he graduated College last spring. I found this to be perfect timing to declutter. Also, a friend from work daughter was getting married so I was able to give away a great deal of kitchen items. For example, I had 3 slowcookers. I don’t entertain so one slowcooker for me is plenty.
      Also, I am in agreement with you – decluttering should never stop. I subscribe to the rule one item in my house, one item out of my house. Infact, I keep items in my garage as sort of a staging area so when items come in, I don’t let them in the house UNTIL I find something to toss.
      Also, I wanted to share with you that I am a part time slipcover seamstress who has collected many many yards of different fabrics over the years. I have chosen to donate fabric, notions, and yarn to the Salvation Army (Pittsburgh PA) because they actually have a day in the spring that they sell fabric and yarn to raise money. ( I don’t know if other Salvation Army locations in the country have a similar sale.)
      I look forward to reading more about your decluttering. Mary Beth

      • Leave a Reply

        January 7, 2017

        Hi MaryBeth, These are wonderful ideas! I am with you on the ‘one in-one out’ rule…it’s the only way to go. And the suggestion about the Salvation Army collection is wonderful. So very glad to know of that. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Mary-the boondocks blog
    January 11, 2016

    Lynn you are doing fantastic! ! The office craft room must have been quite a major undertaking. I don’t even want to start with all of the paperwork I have accumulated. I usually use old paper to start fires in my fireplace in the evening. So far I have taken down the ornaments from the tree and put almost everything away. I also got the girls to clean out their bathroom. This week I’m hoping to do both bathrooms again. Keep going and I’m be tagging along behind you.

    • Leave a Reply

      January 11, 2016

      Come on Mary!! Isn’t it invigorating? I am anxious to go from room to room and see what I unearth! So glad you’re joining me in the fun.


  3. Leave a Reply

    Sarah @ 2paws Designs
    January 11, 2016

    Great tips! I just unloaded 5lbs of old craft supplies, wrapping paper, baby food jars, etc. during a donation to a local art thrift store last week. I have a few fresh boxes ready to start filling for my next round of donations. I was just looking in my pantry 30 min ago thinking it needs work. Taking seeing this post so soon after as a sign to get it done! 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      January 11, 2016

      Go girl! I’m not sure what it says about me, but I’m getting a bit of thrill sending so much stuff out of my home! Thanks for stopping by Sarah. Have a good evening. LYnn

  4. Leave a Reply

    January 13, 2016

    I’ve started a lot of purging of my clothes and kid books, but I really need to tackle our home office and the kid’s playroom. It can be intimidating at times. Thanks for the motivation.

    • Leave a Reply

      January 13, 2016

      You can do it Rachel Once you get started and see what you can get rid of and what you find that you didn’t know you had, you’ll be hooked! Keep me posted on your progress! Hugs, Lynn

  5. Leave a Reply

    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    January 14, 2016

    Wow, it’s a great idea to weigh the clutter before tossing it out. I am doing a similar Organized Home Challenge which i attempted last year too. I get stuck in the kitchen. I finished it but never did get through all the cookbooks and recipes! This is a great idea. I look forward to the rest of the series and hope you’ll link up with our Small Victories Sunday Linkup too!

    • Leave a Reply

      January 14, 2016

      Hi Tanya…the weighing is so motivating. I will have a hard time not weighing my everyday trash after this month is over! ? I will definitely check out your challenge too. Fun to see how everyone else does it. Thanks for stopping by tonight and I will swing my Small Victories Sunday.

      Hugs, Lynn

  6. Leave a Reply

    Mandi Korn
    January 14, 2016

    What a great idea, keep up the good work. I would love to join you in your quest, but alas I am so anti-hoarder, the I keep nothing and then a few months later, need whatever I got rid of and regret letting it go. My husband loves my anti-hoarder motto, but he thinks I need to keep more things:o) I just started a craft and sewing room, so I am looking to fill it up…but I will keep in mind your quote “Useful and beautiful”

    • Leave a Reply

      January 17, 2016

      Hi Mandi, I am a little late to the ‘anti-hoarder’ motto, but definitely moving there. Memories over stuff…right!? And fun stuff is going to happen in your craft room. I can’t imagine not having mine. Thanks for stopping by today from your home in north cackalacky from my home in southeast cackalacky!

      Hugs, Lynn

  7. Leave a Reply

    January 15, 2016

    I am always trying to get rid of stuff. I was just reading an article yesterday that said this is likely due to my OCD. Which is fine by me, because I don’t consider my need to be clutter free an obsessive thing though I do find it therapeutic. The only thing I really ever get into trouble for is tossing my kids toys. I feel like if it’s laying around and I never see you playing with it, you don’t need it! Now I just try to stay out of their rooms because if I don’t have to see it laying around it doesn’t bother me as much! Okay, maybe I do have a problem! Lol

    • Leave a Reply

      January 17, 2016

      Hi Shasta, I’d say that staying clutter free is a good side of OCD! And I’m with you 100% as it relates to your kid’s toys. If they are like mine, they aren’t suffering from a lack of toys. My dad used to pick up the toys that were laying around, keep them in a box and when we realized we couldn’t find them, we’d have to do a chore to get them back. Made us a little more aware of keeping them put away!
      Thanks for stopping by to visit today!


  8. Leave a Reply

    January 15, 2016

    We’ve been working on this little by little. I should have my husband do our kitchen drawers – at the very least – this weekend. Those drawers hold so much junk! And the tip about scanning receipts is brilliant!! Especially for tax reasons. So much easier to keep up with!

    • Leave a Reply

      January 17, 2016

      Hello Jaime…Happy Sunday.
      There is much to be said for working on the declutter little by little. I’m diving in head first for a couple of reasons, but have been flagging of late. I’m getting it done, but…lets’ just say I’ve been sleeping well at night!? Hugs to you and your family.


  9. Leave a Reply

    January 16, 2016

    Lynn, I am so excited for you! I can’t believe you’ve gone through all of that stuff and have been able to get rid of that many pounds. So awesome! You’re totally right there is definitely something about laying your hands on every single item and having it all right there together to see what you need and what you’re willing to let go of. When I started working on the kitchen I had no idea I had so many dishes and they were in closets and under the beds. I have a dish pantry now and love it. Hope you have a great weekend, CoCo

    • Leave a Reply

      January 17, 2016

      Happy Sunday Coco, I tell you, it has been invigorating and motivating to get rid of so much stuff…and I still have to tackle the attic and garage! I’d love to see your dish pantry…I’m sure I’ll be able to find it on your site.

      Happy day, LYnn

  10. Leave a Reply

    January 6, 2017

    I moved in with my mom in a two bedroom house with my child to take care of her while she was dying. She passed away 3 months ago and I feel I need to declutter and bring some of my stuff inside and out of storage but I feel uncertain of every decision. So many things of my moms and even my days. Any tips to help me function and make decisions?

    • Leave a Reply

      January 7, 2017

      Hi Susan,

      I am so sorry for what you’ve been through. I can only imagine how difficult it has been.

      I have never been in your shoes, so I can’t speak from experience, but did find this site that had some good suggestions. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gloria-horsley/cleaning-out-a-deceased-l_b_6065480.html

      I do think it’s important that you give yourself permission to do this at your own pace. Is it possible to transition some of your mom’s possessions that you aren’t sure you want to part with into the storage unit when you take your things out? Maybe letting them transition there will help you realize what you are ready to permanently part with. If you miss it when it’s in the storage unit, then you know you aren’t ready to really part with it yet.

      I would also say that everyone has their own time table, you need to listen to yours. Maybe try a little bit here and there, but take it at your own pace.

      Do keep me posted on your progress and I’ll keep you in my thoughts.


  11. Leave a Reply

    Cheryl Tollefson
    January 15, 2017

    Thank you so much for your journey. This is exactly what I need to do.

    • Leave a Reply

      January 15, 2017

      Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for popping by and for leaving your kind comment. I’ve got to be honest, it was an exhausting month, but so worth it in the end. One year later and the areas that I worked on have remained mostly clutter free. Any clutter now is much easier to tackle as it hasn’t has as long to accumulate! I do hope I gave you a little encouragement and some valuable suggestions…that was my intent!

      Make sure to pop by my recent ‘declutter’ post to enter for a chance to win a $150 gift card from The Container Store! Here’s the link for the post, the entry form is towards the bottom. http://www.nourishandnestle.com/unclutter-your-nest-2017-organized-officecraft-room/

      Good Luck with your declutter!

      Hugs, Lynn

  12. Leave a Reply

    February 2, 2017

    I think you are doing a wonderful job. I have difficulties due to my health and recently had to hire someone to assist me. Over several sessions we went through things just as you are & decluttered. However my place was a bit more disorganized, with things being in the wrong rooms so there was a bit more to it. One suggestion I wanted to make is to keep your photos. The reason being is that hard drives, thumb drives and even DVDs can fail and then you cannot access your digitized files. If you do purge your photos & digitize them I would strongly suggest that they be backed up to a cloud or a different online photo album location. That way in case of your drives failing or being destroyed you are guaranteed to have them. I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey! Oh btw… Does anyone get the urge to look into the Kitchen boxes to see if there is anything that we could buy from Lynn? I’m too far away, but if I’m close to a Salvation Army Good Will Store I will pop in. I’m on the look out for Pyrex & Corning ware dishes and well I always leave with something else when I don’t find those things! Everything has a home, I’m not recluttering! Jen

    • Leave a Reply

      February 4, 2017

      Hi Jen, I hope your health is improving my friend! But so smart of you to hire someone to help you as needed. Your suggestion about the photos is a very smart one. What I did was make 2 copies…1 I keep and home and the other I put in our safe deposit box at the bank. But even with that backup, it was gut wrenching to toss them. That being said…it’s been a year and everything I needed to find I have been able to locate on the disk.

      And you’re so funny about ‘shopping my boxes’…but I completely get that. I would imagine that I’d love to have a peak in your discard boxes as well! It’s so hard to walk away when that little voice in your head is saying, “hey…I could use that…”

      I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend in your part of the world.

      Hugs, Lynn

  13. Leave a Reply

    March 10, 2017

    Your post was a good inspiration. Working through a pre-move purge, as a combo of I don’t want to pay to move the stuff and I will probably be downsizing. I’ve lived in my current home for 14 years. Three years ago I did a first pass at purging. It was a valiant effort. Today, I mostly worked on the (3) bookshelves in my office and decommissioning a seventeen-year-old computer with (still) valuable stuff on it. Out went two full grocery bags of paper, two laundry baskets of (NWT or like new) donations, and about two shoe boxes of paper that are now properly interfiled in my tax folders (’cause I want to be prepared in case I get audited–it happens). I feel much better already.

    • Leave a Reply

      March 11, 2017

      You go girl! That’s a ton of discards for just one day! I know it feels so good to walk in that room and see the results of your efforts. Just taking care of the computer is a huge undertaking. Well Done You!

      Even though I have done these declutters over the years, I’m getting ready to go back through with a fine tooth comb as we will be downsizing our home and, like you, I don’t want to pay to move/store anything I don’t absolutely love and/or need.

      Are you going back in today or taking a day off?

      Keep me posted.



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