Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp: Week 1

It is Time for the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Bootcamp!!!  Woot!  Does it make me a tad weird that I have been as excited about the unclutter bootcamp as I was for Christmas?  We will unclutter our nest and lighten our load over the next month, starting  with the Bathrooms and Bedrooms.  

If you are just arriving at the bootcamp, go back here to get the printable calendar and discard list, as well as some additional ideas to motivate you.

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 Bathrooms

The bathroom is a conglomeration of cosmetics and medicine/first-aid items.  In my home, it’s an area that is difficult to corral and keep clutter-free.  

I go through a unclutter ‘process’  almost annually, but there have been too many items that I overlook because A) I spent a lot of money on them or B) I might use them some day.

Case in point, hair products.  I really don’t like the feel of products in my hair, but I have accumulated 5-6 bottles of salon-quality products that I never use, but haven’t parted with. I consider myself fairly savvy, but I have also been a sucker for marketing campaigns that promise porcelain skin and stronger fingernails. 

All these purchases are now lying, unused, in various drawers in my bathroom, taking up space and requiring my attention when I need to move them to get to what I really need.  After many years and many purchases, I now know that such purchases are a waste of my money and unnecessarily take up space in my home. Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

[clickToTweet tweet=”I have been slightly better than timid in my past #declutters. This year I’m going for RUTHLESS! ” quote=”I have been slightly better than timid in my past #declutters. This year I’m going for RUTHLESS! “]

  • Get your bags/boxes.  The containers for STORAGE would be used for items you would only use a couple of times a year, like glittery nail polish, or travel items.Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms and Bathrooms
  • Take EVERYTHING out of your drawers and cabinets and wipe them down, inside and out.  I find it harder to put all the junk back in when the area is nice and clean
  • Empty out all of your storage containers and wipe them out.
  • Examine every item.  When was the last time you used it? Unused cosmetics and hair care products are out of here!
  • If it motivates you, take note of what you toss and how much it weighs!  My house is already breathing easier with the clutter that’s going out the door.  

TRASH:

  • Make-up you don’t use or that is past shelf life:  

Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner                                                             2-4 months  

Liquid Foundations                                                                             12-18 months  

 Powder/Bronzer/Blush                                                                     2 years 

Hair Products you don’t use or are past shelf life of                    3 years

Perfume that is no longer ‘your style’ or that is older than        4 years

RECYCLE:

  • Medicine, ointment and prescriptions past their due date.  I spoke with my CVS pharmacist and while this surprised me a bit, he recommends that to dispose of prescriptions you should rip the label off of the bottle, fill the bottle with water, put it in a bag and throw it in the trash.  
  • Be kind to the earth and empty what’s in your discarded lotion/shampoo/etc…  bottles and then recycle them

DONATE:

  • Those little bottles of shampoo/conditioner/lotion and bars of soap you took from hotels for the past 7 years and are keeping in a basket or drawer for houseguests who might need them…out they go.  When was the last time anyone used one of those little bottles?  The folks at your local Interfaith Hospitality, homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter will gladly accept the un-opened bottles and bars and you know they will be used instead of just cluttering your space.
  • Goodwill will accept your curling irons or other styling tools.

STORAGE:

  • Put all your travel related items in a labelled box.  I put the following in my ‘Travel’ box:
    • Toiletry/Makeup bag
    • Small tubes of toothpaste and small bottles of face cleaner
    • Small, travel size bottles that I can put my shampoo, conditioner or lotion in
  • Put all your special occasion makeup/nail polish in an appropriately named box.

After you’ve determined what you want to keep, contain like items together.   I love my label maker, so I made container labels for “Pain Relivers”,  “Digestive”, “First Aid”  and “Cold/Allergies” .    I consolidated like items together in their respective boxes.

I actually got rid of so much stuff that I also got rid of 6 storage bins in this unclutter!

Look at each item carefully and decide if you really want to put them back in your very clean drawers.

After I went through all of our bathrooms, I took 15 lbs of bathroom clutter out of my house!

Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms

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There is a huge benefit to taking everything out of your closet and examining each piece before you put it back in.  It’s much easier to skip over an item that’s hanging up then it is to hang it back up once it’s already out of your closet. Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

  • Get your bags and boxes.  The container for STORAGE would be used for items you would only use a couple of times a year like ski gear.
  • Take EVERYTHING out of your closet , put it on the floor or on the bed.  Pick up each item and decide if its an item that brings you joy and if you feel good wearing it. 

If it does, then hang it back up in your closet.  If it doesn’t then decide if it needs to go in the TRASH, DONATE or the SELL box.  

Don’t consider how much you spent on that dress.  Don’t consider that if you lost 7 pounds you could wear those pants again.  If you haven’t worn the item in 1 year, it’s time to let it go to someone who  would wear it.Unclutter Your Nest: the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

I have to tell you that Marie Kondo’s suggestion of taking everything out of your closets and drawers is spot on.  We have gone through our closets many times in the past, but this time we were so much more effective.  

There is no doubt its because we laid everything out on the floor and had to pick up each item before we put it back in the closet.  

  • Do the same for your shoes, lingerie, pajamas, jewelry, belts, etc..  If you haven’t worn or used an item in the past year, then chances are pretty good you won’t be wearing it in the future.

While our focus is primarily decluttering right now, you might want to consider how you want to hang your items back in your closet. Consider grouping types of clothing by season and by color within each season.

  • Go through your dresser and nightstand. Does EVERYTHING in that drawer have use or bring you joy?  If not, it needs to go. 

TRASH:

  • Those socks with holes in them or that don’t have a mate, the threadbare nightgown, you know what I’m talking about.

While we’re talking about SWM (socks without mates), as you go from room to room, collect them in a ‘SWM bag’ to see if you can find any long lost mates before you toss them.

  • So, I’m not a clean painter.  As such, I only wear rather old/stained/torn clothes when I have a painting project.  To that end, I have accumulated a stack of ‘painting clothes’.  

Instead of throwing out clothes that can’t be worn in public, I have just added them to my ‘painting clothes’ stack.  When I went through them today, I realized that I had a different set of ‘painting clothes’ for every day of the week!  I threw out all except a set of ‘painting clothes’ for warm weather and one for cool weather.  

Do you have several sets of ‘special occasion’ clothing when you only need one or two?

DONATE:

  • Here are some places you can donate the stuff you’ll be discarding:
    • ClothingFreecycle.org, your local women’s shelter, Goodwill, homeless shelters, Interfaith Hospitality Organization, Salvation Army and churches are good places to start. See here for more options.
    • Shoes:  you can donate your gently used shoes to the places you can donate your gently used clothing.  
    • Those tschotschkes you have lying about?  I know some of them have been gifted to you and you’ve been holding on to them because you’d feel guilty letting them go.  But here’s the thing that Marie Kondo made me realize; if these items don’t really bring you joy, then pass them on to someone to whom they might bring joy.  Take them to Goodwill or your local Habitat Re-Store and let them find a home that will really appreciate them.

RECYCLE:

15 Pounds of Shoes going to the Nike Factory Store to be Recycled

RELOCATE:

  • I’m always giving my guys each other’s socks and skivvies.  Good time to return them to proper owner.

SELL:

  • I love finding great deals at consignments stores and you might be able to make a few dollars by selling your still-somewhat-in-style-stuff to them or on ebay.

We took 191 pounds of clothing, books and toys out of our bedrooms!  Combined with the bathrooms, we have reduced the weight of our home by 206 pounds!!!  WOW…I’m thrilled and excited to see what next week brings.  

 

It's time to unclutter your home. The tips I used to remove over 1,000 pounds of clutter from my home and ideas on where to take your discards.

Don’t forget to share your successes through your pictures at #unclutteryournest on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  If you want to skip ahead, here’s what happened each week:

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 just finished the first week of our Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp.  Now, that wasn’t too bad and don’t you feel better?  Isn’t your home breathing easier with X pounds of stuff taken out of it?  Aren’t you breathing  easier just knowing  you have that fewer things to tend?   

I’ll be back next weekend with suggestions for your office/craft room and kitchen.  Until then, enjoy your lighter home.

Hugs,

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Katrin@KreativK.net
    January 4, 2016

    wow, here it goes! that’s some uncluttering going on there! Great stuff! I love how that make up drawer looks now! I totally hear ya, I sometimes buy lotions and stuff because I like how they look on the bathroom counter… I even have some from Canada still, in case I didn’t find them here… oh my! And what a great weight lifted off your mind and house! I also think it’s great that not everything has to go to the trash, instead can be recycled or even re used.
    Way to go Lynn! You must feel so freeee!
    Can’t wait what comes next!

    btw: love your golden belt with the grey shirt 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 4, 2016

      I know you are a minimalist at heart, so you don’t have nearly has much stuff to get rid of as I do. But the stuff does creep up on us, doesn’t it. But both my husband and I are so motivated this time. He’s a numbers guy, so he is really driven to drive up the weight of the stuff we’re taking out of the house. I have piles all over my room going to different places. We are taking several of Terry’s old suits to an organization for veterans who are now entering the work force. Love that they will be put to good use.

      And thanks for the compliment…got that gold belt for Christmas!?

      Kisses friend, Lynn

  2. Leave a Reply

    @Dayngr
    January 5, 2016

    That’s pretty amazing! Great tips and you did a great job. I’d add keeping a few of those hotel toiletries in an old purse or bag and keep them in your car if you’d like to give them to a homeless person along your drive.

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 5, 2016

      Your suggestion on keeping some toiletries in my car for someone I might see along the way is a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing it and for visiting today. Lynn

  3. Leave a Reply

    Mary-the boondocks blog
    January 10, 2016

    Lynn you are doing great! I eliminated some things from one of the bathrooms but now after reading this I’ll go back with a more ruthless eye! Ha, I also have a a pair of painting clothes for each day of the week. – told ya, we’re twins. I really need to get rid of those, I try to use them as rags, because it’d be impossible to donate them. I also have another collection of wornout clothes which are “farm clothes” because you don’t want to go to the farm in your everyday wear. Slowly but surely I will fight the clutter along with you!!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 10, 2016

      Mary, I’m beginning to believe we are twins separated at birth! I’m really motivated to get rid of stuff, but more importantly, my husband has bought into the deal. That’s a critical piece. He’s so competitive that I think he’s seeing how much weight we can take out. We’re actually heading to his office today…which has been off limits for the past 10 years! I’m giddy with excitement.
      Happy Sunday, Lynn

  4. Leave a Reply

    Wendy
    February 2, 2017

    This article has been a motivator for me…so thank you! One suggestion I have is if the shoes are in decent condition, why not check with local churches to see if they donate them to others in need. For instance, my sister’s church donates shoes to kids in Haiti. God blesses those who help the poor and needy.😊

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      February 4, 2017

      Hey Wendy, I am so glad to have motivated you…even if just a little bit. Sometimes we all just need a wee kick in the butt.

      And your suggestion is a great one. I know my church also collects clothing and such for those in need. Thanks for reminding me.

      So, how is your decluttering going? I’d love for you to pop back in and let me know how it is going.

      Wishing you a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

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