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I got the three younger kids' clothes switched seasons just in time! We are expecting snow at the end of this week and since I spent time sorting through their dressers and closets I know that the clothing they have is totally appropriate. Of course I might need to pull out the winter bin so we have coats and boots if it gets bad! Ugh. I'm so not ready for this.
If you are just joining us, here's the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 43: Under the Bed (Kid or Guest Bedroom)
I'm pretty sure that if you ask most parents what the scariest place in a kid's room is they will answer, "under the bed." I don't care how old your child is, things get under there, disappear, and weird things happen. I remember hiding all sorts of things under my bed as a kid... like a cheesecake because I didn't feel like sharing. It's shocking I didn't get super sick. Thankfully my kids seem to have better hoarding tendencies than me and they only keep toys and papers, not food.
I'm venturing back into the oldest boys' room for this challenge because I know that on Saturdays when we say, "Clean your room!" that there are certain areas that get neglected... or more mess added to it. And even when we specify that they need to scoop out the toys from under their bed it doesn't get done as thoroughly as we would do it ourselves. I get it, I did the same thing as a kid. And sometimes I do the same thing as an adult. If I can't see it then the mess isn't there, right?
They store all sorts of bins of LEGO under here and that's part of the reason we have such a mess. The bins spill and they clean up a majority of the pieces, but not all of them. But before I can really clean out the mess under here I need to remove something.
And then there is the side of the bed next to the wall... as in where the heater is. Um, that's so not safe! We will be turning on the heaters soon and having books and toys next to it is definitely not a good plan. We deal with this every year. I am not a fan of these wall unit heaters. I know some people love them because they can heat only the rooms they need but they are such a hazard with kid toys!
The first thing I did was remove this bed frame. We kept this extra bed frame under here with the thought that if anyone that came to stay needed it we could pull it out and put Jamison's mattress on it. Well, Micah's parents are fine sleeping in Jamison's bed so we haven't needed it in over a year. I moved it to the crawl space so we can save it for the next house when we hopefully have a space for it.
Next I pulled EVERYTHING out from under the bed to sort through it. Books, artwork, garbage, tithing bank (which you can see directly next to the heater in the above picture. Yeah, that flimsy plastic wouldn't have held up to any heat!
I put all the books back on their shelf, kept the important artwork and recycled the rest, tossed the garbage, put stray LEGO in bins, and put toys in the toy box. I'm pretty sure I shared this photo a few weeks ago when I shared my piles for cleaning off their dressers but because I was doing both tasks at one time (the boys were only going to be gone for a few days so I needed to tackle as much as possible!) all the stuff ended up in piles together.
All that artwork is gone now. I snapped pictures of it for their memory books and then into the trash it went. It's so much easier to toss things like artwork and toys when the kids aren't around. Far too much emotional attachment for them at this stage.
Now, I usually just focus on actual clutter and not on the organizing part because that's a different beast, but I did want to share what we did for the boys' LEGO collections. We purchased four of these under the bed storage bins so they could build on the lids then easily dump the bricks back in when they are done. All four fit easily under the bed and we are thinking of purchasing two more so they have some space for future sets. It seems to be working well so far.
What scary finds were under the bed in your child's room? Anything completely unexpected? Anything turn up that you thought was lost? I'd love to hear about it!
Share a picture on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 44 so we can sort through all the shoes! Kids outgrow shoes quickly or they wear through them faster than we can buy them. I always have a few pairs of flip flops that have seen better days and we need to pull out boots and see what still fits after six months in storage. I'm not ready for snow!
If you are looking for a better way of keeping on top of your homemaking tasks now that you are steamrolling through all this decluttering you might be interested in a new course from Humorous Homemaking. Home Management How To: A Guide to Daily Success is open now! I've got a post about my experience with this course here but this is a great course for you to take control of all the household tasks in a way that is tailored specifically to your family and life.