Monday, January 28, 2013

Decluttering and Organizing: Gift Bags & Wrapping Supplies

Well as I shared last week, we are moving within the next two months and to prepare I am doing a lot of decluttering and organizing. I have gone through a good amount of things so far... Master bathroom, 2 book shelves, stored baby clothes and the latest was our gift bags and wrapping supplies.

Through this decluttering process I have had a few epiphanies about myself. I am quick to get rid of trash, but I have a hard time getting rid of things that could be of use. Like ever of use. To anyone.

This became completely evident the other night when I was going through all of our gift wrap and gift bags. I save gift bags & tissue paper, because when I buy a gift I would always forget to buy something to wrap it with and would have to make another trip to the store. By having them on hand it's a small money & time saver.

I noticed that while going through all the bags I was having a really difficult time sorting through what to get rid of and what to keep. I was trying to get rid of the bags that were really wrinkled or damaged or didn't like.
Like this bag... How embarrassing to give someone a gift in this bag!

Or this tissue paper... It's literally about as big as my hand and ripped! What in the world would I possibly to with it???

This really became quite comical when I came across this bag...

I just started cracking up! How long ago had I received this bag? It looks like it's from the 80's! And why was I saving it? Who on earth would I possibly ever give it to in the future? Lol

Another thing I realized was not only was I saving things that I would clearly never use, but why have I saved so many? Of course variety is good to have, but I probably had close to 70 bags!! When in my life am I ever going to need this many bags??? When will I ever have 70 gifts to give at a single time?

So I have set myself a few guidelines with going forward... There has to be a need and a limit! Of course, there is no point of keeping something that is not needed. Seems like a no brainer, but it's not always that simple. But even if it is something that can be needed at some point there needs to be a limit of items. I need to decide ahead of time what that limit is and stick to it. Sometimes the limit will be a number and sometimes it will be a space.

So now that I have gone through all the gift supplies I have decided to store them inside a large sturdy gift bag. If I want to save more, I will need to get rid of some that I already have. Yes, I do still have a considerable amount. But it's the best I can do right now and I'm okay with that.

How about you??? Is there anything that you have saved, despite knowing it's ridiculous?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Preparing for an Organized Moved

As if our lives are not already chaotic enough with a family of 6 + 1 on the way! We will be moving in about 60 days! While I have been excitedly waiting for this day to come I am also freaking out quite a bit! We have lived in this house for 6 years. And over that time we have accumulated A LOT of stuff!

I want this to be an organized move as possible. My goal is to purge! That way our new home can be organized. Since we will be moving into another rental, this will help with when we move in a year and a half to a home we will own. I really wish we could buy right now, so I didn't have to think about moving a second time before we've even moved the first time... But it is what it is. So, I'm trying to make the most of it.

The upside of this is it is forcing me to accomplish one of my 2013 New Year's Resolution of decluttering! I am determined to not pack anything unneeded!

So here is my plan so far:
  1. Sort & pack unneeded items. Example: holiday decorations, Christmas dishes, serving glassware, extra blankets & towels, all decorations (pictures frames, etc.), and books.
  2. Sort & pack kids clothes that are stored. One way that we keep our cost of living down is through hand-me-downs. Most of this is already organized, but I need to go through the things on top of the kids closets that are just now too small and see if they're worth keeping. If so, then I need to pack according to size.
  3. Sort kids clothes in their drawers & closet. If anything is too small I need to store or donate. I will not be packing any clothes in boxes, just be moving them in their drawers & on hangers.
  4. Sort & pack the majority of the kids books.
  5. Sort the kids toys. We shouldn't have to pack these either. Most things are in containers that can be moved.
  6. Sort my husband's and mine clothes in drawers and closet. 
  7. Sort & pack some of the kids art and game dresser. 
  8. Sort & pack garage items... This one I'm dreading the most!
  9. Sort & organize bathroom items & extra linens.
  10. Sort kitchen items, but pack them last.
  11. Have a yard sale!! This will happen when we have finalized the house we are moving into, so that I can sell any unneeded furniture. 

As you can tell I have a lot to get done, but I'm confident it will happen. Even if it doesn't end up as perfect as I hoped. I also downloaded a moving checklist from HERE. That's been really helpful, too. Also, I know that my kids are old enough that they will be able to help me when necessary. And though, my husband doesn't have too much patience for organizing he does have the muscles for all the heavy lifting I'll be needing!

Do you have any packing tips??? PLEASE, let me hear them!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 New Year's Resolutions

The first week of the New Year is down... Do you still feel just as hopeful as you did on New Year's Eve? How about your resolutions? Have you managed to stick to them for at least 7 days? Or was it more of a good thought and intention, but you knew it was never really going to happen?

For me I am not one to normally bother with making tangible goals every year. I never really got the point. I have never really felt any different at the start of the year. Truth be told I have probably felt more depressed than excited, because the holidays are over and I'm just waiting for Spring to come.

But this New Year has felt different for me. Probably because we have a lot of change happening! In a few short months we will be moving (to another house in the same area) and having Baby #5! Also, since I've been so out of the loop with my morning sickness and now feeling better I am feeling very motivated to get things done! Before this week it had been a long time since I had crossed anything off of a list!

I am feeling very excited and motivated about this year. I even had my kids each write out 4 New Year's Resolutions. HERE is the printable. They taped them to their wall so they can stay focused. 

So I have been doing a lot of reading on how to set and stick to my goals. Here are a few pointers I have found that may help you!

First, make sure that your goals fall in line with your "big rocks." Make sure that these are things of priority to you. That way you will stay motivated and not lose focus.

Second, it needs to be something specific. There should always be a way to measure your success. Example: "lose 5lbs. a month" instead of "lose weight" or "do not eat after 7pm" instead of "be healthier".  Makes sense right?

Third, come up with an action plan. Making a goal is great, but without a plan to achieve it, it is useless. Considering this is something new that you have not done previously you can't expect that it will just happen. You need to read, research and formulate a plan for success!

Fourth, keep it to a minimal. Sometimes it's easy to get a little over zealous in writing down a million goals. Chances are the more goals you have to attain the easier it will be to give up, because it seems unattainable. If you achieve something before the end of the year, then you can always add something else in its place.

Fifth, keep trying until the end. This I think may be one of the most important. It's easy to get off track for a week or two and then just give up. You have 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days to complete these goals. It is never too late to get back on track. Any progress counts!

Here are my New Year's Resolutions:
  1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - I will use Snapfish to organize and will either print for an album or make picture books.
  2. Plan and stick to a budget - I have already started with the Dave Ramsey plan and envelope system. This way instead of saying save more I have an actual number goal.
  3. Work out twice a week - My plan of action for this is to tell my husband when I want to go. He is a workout nut and I know he will help bug motivate me into going. :)
  4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - Planning ahead is crucial.
  5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - This is a hard one! I got a new water bottle and filter system for Christmas. Having that with me will hopefully help.
  6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - This schedule has been thrown off since being so sick, but I need to get back to the routine. Especially with a baby coming.
  7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - lots of Pinterest help.

I will go into more detail with all of these things soon and let you know my progress!

How about you? Any New Year's Resolutions??? How do you plan on keeping them?

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