50 Weeks to Organized, Homemaking, Housework, Minimalism, Simple Living

50 Weeks to Organized: Week Twelve

Sometimes as I do these posts, I wonder if I should be embarrassed to let the world see some of these horrendous “before” pictures (kind of like my “before” picture of the car, since it is proof of how much I love Tootsie Rolls.) But with each week, I try to squash any feelings of pride and just let those “before” colors fly. Also, I figure that in the end, it will just make my road to simplification that much more impressive, since y’all can see how much I obviously needed to de-clutter my life.

With almost three months of organizing behind me, I think I can safely say that the only things left on my organizing to-do list are the gargantuan tasks that simply seem like they’ll be as difficult as Goliath to conquer, or the tasks that are so “simple” that they won’t be too exciting to post before and after pictures of.

Oh well. Who said that getting organized was always going to be on that pleasant middle ground?

This last week’s task was our car, which I would consider probably the last of the “middle grounders.” The before and after pictures are still (slightly) impressive, but it wasn’t so monstrously huge of a project that I keep conveniently putting it off til summer.


(Yes, I still haven’t read that book I bought on procrastination. Why do you ask?)

I specifically scheduled our car clean-up for right after our vacation, so that it wouldn’t just be getting trashed again right after we’d organized it. After roping Matt into helping me, we both quickly discovered that our car had somehow become a receptacle for a hoard of random papers, candy wrappers, and odds and ends that somehow never made it inside for one reason or another. It was definitely not like going through the clothes last week, which was fairly straightforward–with the car, there was a lot of, “What does this belong to?” or “Do you think this is important?” or “What IS this exactly, honey?”

Our glovebox was the worst: registration papers from years back, old insurance cards, coupons, random rags, technology cords that were never used…

Basically, our organization system went like this–the only things that could stay in the car were any necessary papers (registration, insurance, and maintenance–which we are now keeping in an organized folder in the glovebox), emergency supplies (first-aid kit, blanket, water, etc.), c.d’s (now kept in two neat organizers instead of sprawling out everywhere and anywhere, with or without cases), sunglasses (now the only thing allowed in the driver’s side pocket), driving gloves (for when it’s cold), and a few things in the trunk that we regularly use in multiple locations (temple bags, some sports equipment, etc.)

Weirdly, the hardest thing for me to toss were the c.d. cases because I’ve just never tossed any before, and it just seemed so wrong. But judging by the fact that literally all our c.d’s are in organizers, we didn’t really need to keep all those cases lying around. So we chucked them.

So, there you go, our little project for the week:




This Week’s Quick Stats:
# of Items Tossed/Donated: 11
# of Items Left to Toss/Donate Before Dec. 31st: 303
Amount of Money Spent this Week on Organization: $0

Because this week back at the school has been so ridiculously challenging (can’t it be summer already?), I’ve decided to go with one of those “mini” projects that won’t seem quite as impressive, but that will save my sanity a bit:


Since cancelling our newspaper subscription a couple months ago, this one hasn’t been quite so crazy, but considering the fact that I subscribe to 8 or 9 different magazines…it still needs some work.

This Week’s To-Do List:
*Toss or donate all magazines that are over a year old. Make sure you check every single room in the house for magazines (clip what you want to save from old ones before you toss them)
*Toss all newspapers more than a month old
*Toss all catalogs and sale flyers that are expired or that you’ll never use or look at, or that are for places you know you’ll never shop
*Designate a specific place for magazines that you are keeping. Once this receptacle is filled, it’s time to toss.
*Cancel subscriptions to any publications that you are no longer interested in or reading.

Every Month
*Dispose of all publications you have read and don’t want to keep
*Clip articles or ads that you will need for later reference
Every 3-6 Months
*Donate all magazines to a business/charity of your choice or recycle them
*Toss old sales catalogs
*If you keep magazines in your bathroom, refresh the selections by taking the old ones out and putting the new ones in
Once a Year
*Cancel any subscriptions you currently do not read
*Renew any subscriptions as desired

*All to-do lists and cleaning suggestions are taken from Jennifer Ford Berry’s book Organize Now. (This is NOT a sponsored project–I just adore the book! I highly recommend buying a copy for yourself. It literally is what inspired this whole project and is worth the money. Click here to check it out.)


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