5 Tips for Decluttering Your Home

One of the biggest tasks I accomplished in our house last year was getting rid of junk. I definitely have hoarder-like tendencies. I am very sentimental and have always saved every little thing that might have a memory attached to it. The planner part of me also has a hard time letting go of things because of the “what-ifs” I can come up with. The thing is, living with excess junk is living with a big burden. I got so tired of being a “stuff manager”. I wanted to enjoy my home by spending quality time with people I love… Not spending my time cleaning all of the stuff we don’t need. 

My only regret in my “Great Purge of 2014″ is that I didn’t weigh the stuff that was leaving my house. We got rid of SO.MUCH.STUFF. It would have been fun to see how much weight our house lost over the course of a year. :) Here are a few of the tips that worked for me in shedding the house clutter. 

 Purging the junk once and for all!

1) Have a Giveaway box

Have a designated spot to keep a box or bag to store giveaway items until you can donate them or have them picked up. We keep a box in our garage at all times for this purpose. Any time I’m cleaning and find something that we no longer need, and is still in good condition, it goes straight to the box!

If something is in poor condition or just not usable anymore, trash it or find a way to recycle it. Last month, I was helping organize a free garage sale that our adoption agency does every year for all of the Birth Moms they have worked with, and I could not believe some of the stuff people had donated. If it is gross or broken, just chunk it. 

2) Purge often!

Make purging a continual thing, not just a big once a year project. It’s much more manageable to purge several times throughout the year. Whenever I am cleaning a room or a cabinet, I am pulling out things we don’t need anymore or things that need to be trashed. You can also set aside one day a week or month to sort through a drawer, cabinet or closet. 

3) Participate in an online organizational challenge

There are so many awesome organization challenges online that you can participate in. Right now, I’m following along with A Bowl Full of Lemon’s Home Organization 101 14 Week Challenge. Each week we have an assigned area of the home to organize, complete with a check list. There is also a Facebook group where we can encourage each other and brainstorm ideas together. You could also participate in a “40 bags in 40 days” challenge. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be encouraged and motivated to declutter your home when you have a little guidance and you’re participating with others. 

4) Find an easy way to donate

When you’re desperate to rid your home of the clutter, it’s usually best to give these things away quickly instead of hoarding them for a garage sale. It may be months before you can get around to this garage sale, and then there will be a ton of work that has to go into prep. If you’re not careful, that pile could start taking over your garage or things will start finding their way back inside. 

Find an easy way to quickly get these items out of your home. Either put your donation box inside your car as soon as its full and drive it straight to a donation center of your choice, or find a charity in you area that does scheduled pick ups and get on their e-mail list. 

I found a charity in our area that supports kids in the foster care system. I subscribed to their list and get an e-mail about once a month letting me know which day they’ll be in my area. I can either click “Yes, I have a donation” or “No”. All I have to do it make sure my giveaway box is out on the front porch first thing that morning and they will haul it off and leave a receipt. It could not be any easier to purge our home of stuff we no longer need, and it feels good to know that those things will help local kids in need! 

5) Sell your high dollar items 

 Sometimes you do have items that you know you could get some cash for and you’d rather sell than giveaway. You have several options at your fingertips for this. You can always try sites like eBay if the item is easy to ship. Craigslist and local Facebook garage sale sites are also great options, especially for heavier things like furniture. If you take this route, make sure all specifics are spelled out – like the price, acceptable payment, and a meeting place and time. Always meet in a well lit public place. Make sure someone knows where you are headed and when. Better yet, take a friend! Most people are great, but you can never be too safe! :)

What are some of your best tips for purging your home? 

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Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

Hello there! I’m still alive! This past week or so has been one of those upside down, backwards, “why is time moving so fast?”, “when can I have a nap?” kinda weeks. Just pure craziness over here! :) 

Before the madness began, I did manage to do a bit of sprucing up in our pantry. I did some major re-organizing in the pantry a couple of years ago and it served us well for a very long time. Lately though, I’ve noticed that we were running out of space and having a harder time keeping things neat. So, I decided it was time to rethink things in there a bit. 

 Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

I took everything out of the pantry and gave it a good scrub and some fresh paint. I went with a dark charcoal grey for the walls and a crisp white for the shelves and door {Alabaster by Sherwin Williams}. 

I realized we were wasting valuable vertical space by not using the inside of the door to its fullest potential. I removed the existing hooks and installed a wire shelving unit. I wanted something like the Elfa shelves from The Container Store, but I didn’t want to fork over that much cash for this particular project. I searched high and low to find the right shelves. I was looking for a unit that could be attached to the door {not and over-the-door hanger} and with adjustable shelves. I finally found this unit from Amazon* that met my needs for a much better price. 

Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

I reused the same baskets to keep the shelves neat and organized. The labels are solid outlet plate covered painted with chalkboard paint. 

Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

I love these hanging baskets* that I use to store the plastic wrap and baggies. These are another great way to utilize unused space. 

Small Pantry Makeover and Organization


The door organizer opened up a lot of shelf space for us. I’m able to keep my cookbooks, canisters, and a few other “pretty” items to make the pantry look pretty while being fully functional. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when pretty and functional are married! 

Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

pantry 4

Small Pantry Makeover and Organization

Do you have any unused space you could utilize in your home? Vertical storage is a miracle when it comes to organization!

*Some links are affiliates. 
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DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry Space

Y’all. I can’t stop making stuff. People ask me sometimes how I have time to do all of these different projects, and the truth is I just can’t quit. I love makin’! #cantstopwontstop

So, of course, when my sister and brother-in-law moved into a new house, I started desperately trying to find out what I can make for their new digs. I try to at least be practical in my making. I’m not about creating an abstract sculpture that they have to pull out of the closet whenever I come over. I wanted to actually make something that would be useful to them. 

Their front door opens right up into their living room, so they don’t really have the space for a full on entry way. The coat hanger I made for our own small entry space has served us really well. It is so nice to have a place to keep bags, coats, and the dog leash. So! I decided to make them one too! 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry Space

These coat hangers are actually really easy and affordable to make. You can customize them for any space! Our coat hanger is about 4 feet wide. The wall space near the door in my sister’s home is minimal, so I went with a 2 foot poplar board {about $2 at your local home improvement store}. 

 These coat hangers are actually really easy and affordable to make. You can customize them for any space! Our coat hanger is about 4 feet wide. The wall space near the door in my sister’s home is minimal, so I went with a 2 foot poplar board {about $2 at your local home improvement store}.

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry Space

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceYou will also need wood stain, drawer pulls or knobs {these are from Hobby Lobby, but World Market and Anthropologie also have an awesome selection!}, and a Dremel Mirco 8050.  This tool is so handy. It’s light weight, cordless, super precise and easy to use. It’s definitely not just for “power tool people”.   It is the only tool I used or really needed to complete this project. {You can get your own on Amazon for just $89}.

You will also want to grab a pencil and tape measure. Your first step is to measure and mark where you want the knobs to be, and then drill the holes. 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceThe knobs I bought are long screws with nuts that you tighten to secure. Once the coat hanger was done, I cut the excess screw off. I still needed to carve a bit of the wood out for the nut so that the board would sit flush against the wall. I found a carving accessory from a Dremel rotary tool I’ve had for a few years and stuck it on my Dremel Micro 8050. I flipped the board over and carved a space around the hole until I could snugly fit the nut inside. 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceNext, I took a sanding tool to smooth out the edges and corners of the board a bit. This makes it look a bit vintage and not like a brand new piece of wood. If you’re going for a more distressed look, you can beat up the board some to make it look older and worn. {Isn’t that LED light fabulous? Every tool should have a light to help my again eyes see what I’m doing!}. 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceOnce the board is ready to go, stain the wood in the color of your choice and allow it to dry. For this coat hanger, I used Dark Walnut by Minwax. 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceOnce the stain is dry, all that is left to do is put in the knobs and cut off the excess screw. It’s much easier than it sounds! It was really easy to slice the screw off with the cutting blade. I turned the Dremel Micro 8050 up to the highest level of power and the screws fell off in seconds. Just be sure to wear your safety gear! Sparks will fly. :) 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceNow you are ready to hang your new coat hanger! Simply screw the board into the studs {Or use wall anchors to secure. Make sure they can sustain a good amount of weight}. 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceI think the hanger looks great in my sister’s new living room! It’s the perfect space-saving-catch-all for purses, work bags, coats, and leashes! 

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceEven Milo, my nephew-pup, approves! Just look at that smile! :)

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry SpaceDremel wants to celebrate its fans’ brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag #MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit for rules and to learn more.

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry Space

DIY Coat Hanger for Small Entry Space


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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.