October Declutter–Gathering Space

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Your Gathering Space (aka Living Room) is central to your home. This is a place to relax and share family life.

Take a before picture and examine it for clutter.

Remove

 Anything that does not belong

Anything that is broken or not in good repair

Anything you do not use

Anything you really don’t like

Anything you feel obligated to keep because it was expensive (but really don’t like)

Anything you feel obligated to keep because it was a gift (but you really don’t like)

Declutter excess furniture,

too.

Put the room in order and take another picture. All clear?

Wednesday is Desk Day—deal with paperwork

The Area of Focus is the Gathering Space which is the same as our declutter mission today. Yay!

Books, magazines, DVD’s, and video games are coming up soon so don’t worry about dealing with them today.

Have a great Wednesday!

Love, love, love,

Mary

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October Declutter-The Entry

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Today is Tuesday—Day Two in October Declutter—Your Entry

Take a picture—it will help you see clutter that you have become blind to.

Remove the clutter from the area. I shared my declutter doc with you on Sunday

Take another picture. All clear?

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—you know the drill

The Gathering Areas are your Area of Focus—if you are doing the October Declutter just make sure this area is in good general order and focus on the declutter.

Always get dressed, do the basics of making sure the dishes and laundry are up to date and the trash is taken out.

Focus on your entry.

Have a great Tuesday.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Declutter in October–Front Yard and Porch

For Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello, Lovelies!

If you are joining me in a whole house declutter in October you can keep your Areas of Focus neat and concentrate on each mission as it comes. All areas will get attention.

The Whole House Declutter Mission for Monday is your Yard and Front Porch

Just pick up and get rid of clutter. Keep a notebook on any changes you would like to make and save them for January when the after Christmas slump hits.

Don’t forget to take before and after pictures. Us the before picture to help you see what you have become clutter blind to.

Don’t neglect to keep the house picked up, the dishes done,  laundry up to date, and trash out. These are always the basics.

The Area of Focus for the week of October 1 to October 7 is the Gathering Area—your Living Room, Family Room, Den, Parlor, or TV Room

The Weekly Tasks for Monday are to:

Clean your toilets

Put your home in order after the weekend.

The Cleaning Checklist for your Gathering Space is:

DSCN0041My Cleaning Checklist for the Gathering Spaces (Living Room/Family Room/TV Room/Den)

  • Have you cleaned cobwebs? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the light fixtures? (M)
  • Have you cleaned windows? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the window treatments? (EOM)
  • Have you cleaned any marks and fingerprints from walls and woodwork? (M)
  • Have you cleaned decorative items? (M)
  • Have you cleaned out the fireplace? (as needed or seasonally)
  • Have you cleaned out the end tables? (M)
  • Have you straightened the bookcases/entertainment center?(M)
  • Have you dusted the lamp shades? (M)
  • Have you polished the furniture? (M) Have you dusted? (W)
  • Have you culled out dated magazines and catalogs from magazine basket or rack? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the phone(s)?(M)
  • Have you vacuumed the traffic areas? (W)
  • Have you vacuumed under, around and behind furniture and drapes? (M)
  • Have you shampooed the carpets? (S)

Tomorrow our Declutter Mission is The Entry

The Weekly Task for Tuesday is Dusting—Duster Dance Day

Have a wonderful Monday!

Love, love, love,

Mary

 

Let’s Declutter in October–How to Declutter

Hello, Lovelies!

Today is Sunday, October 1, 2017. Beginning tomorrow let’s declutter one area at a time.

First—How do we declutter?

How to Declutter

One of the mistakes we commonly make when we declutter is dragging out the contents of every drawer, closet, nook and cranny. Concentrate on one small area at a time.

v  Before you start to declutter make sure you are showered, dressed, and have your normal daily tasks completed.

v  Prepare four boxes, crates, bags or containers. I like three bins and a basket.

v  Label them PUT AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and THROW AWAY. The basket is for RETURNS.

v  Set a timer for the amount of time you  have decided to declutter each day (5, 10, 15, 30 45 or 60 minutes)

v  Start near your regular point of entry into you home. Work around each room dealing with each object as you reach it.

v  It doesn’t matter which direction you work in, you decide.

v  Decide whether an item is where it needs to be or if it needs to be given away, thrown away or put away somewhere else.

v  Do not leave the room to put items away in a different room. You will be distracted.

v  When the timer goes off put the items to give away in your car trunk to take to your favorite charity, or someone who needs them. Do not bless people with clutter they do not need, please.

v  Put the trash in the trash receptacle.

v  Put items from the PUT AWAY container where they belong. Do not attempt to declutter areas you have not reached yet. That area will have its day.

v  Be focused and do not allow yourself to be distracted.  Work intently and quickly during your decluttering time.

v  Do not take out more than you can put away in a few minutes.

v  The kitchen is one of the most challenging rooms. Save the kitchen for last.

v  Do not go out and purchase organizers until you have decluttered and know what you need. Organizers can become clutter.

v  Store items closest to their place of use. If you don’t, these items will migrate and settle into the areas where they are used.

v  Finish one area before you move into the next.

v  Make note of the place where you stop each day.

v  Remember the purpose of each room and what happens in that room in making decisions about what needs to be there and how the room is set up. (Bill paying, reading, sleeping, eating, playing, viewing television, etc.)

v  When I am finished decluttering a flat surface, I like to place something pretty or interesting on it.  If surfaces look attractive people are less likely to put junk on it.

Hint: Take before and after pictures. Examine the before picture. You may be able to spot clutter more easily in a picture.

Next—What do we declutter?

Everything you have/keep needs to have a purpose.

Everything you have should have a home.

Everything must be in good repair and in working order—if not fix it or get rid of it.

Label the places where items go—it will help your family know where to put items back.

No half way measure—get the things you are releasing out of your home or they will find their way back into the house.

For Tomorrow:

The Front of Your Home—Yard and Porch

Let’s start outside. How does your home look from the street? What clutter can you see?

Take a before picture.

Clear anything that isn’t necessary, get rid of anything that does not belong.

Put away anything that needs to be put away. Sweep, dust, and vacuum the area.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Our Home

Wrapping Up Our September Walk – Area of Focus-Bathroom

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Today is Friday the last weekday in September. September 29, 2017.

The Area of Focus today and tomorrow is the Family Bathroom(s) October begins on Sunday so we will be moving to the Gathering Spaces in our home. The Gathering Spaces encompass the Living Room, Family Room, Den, TV Room, or any rooms other than the Kitchen and Dining Room where people gather in your home.

Each Friday:

·         Clean out your purse, diaper bag, computer bag, backpack, totes, or anything that you carry with you when you go out the door.

·         Clean out your car

·         Put your home in order for the weekend.

Some of my favorite things to do to reduce the amount of work in my bathroom:

·         Keep a pile of white washcloths under my sink, wipe out my sink each time I use it, and wipe off the counters. I also wipe down around the toilet right before I put it in the laundry.

·         Use a daily shower spray each time I use the shower to keep it clean.

·         Hug my toilet paper to make it turn on the roll a little less freely. Family members will use a little less toilet paper but have get al l they need.

We are heading into the holidays in November and December. Halloween is not on my holiday radar. I celebrate life not death. Spreading out the preparations over the next few months will really reduce your stress level. Spreading out the shopping will do the same.

In October I plan to review an area in my home each day for clutter and any attention needed before I begin to decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Decorating over dirt and clutter does not work well.

To wrap up both this post and Friday:

Focus on one area of your home each week.

Do a few small tasks each day—today’s were: put your home in order for the weekend; clean out your car; and, clean out your purse.

Begin to prepare now for the holidays by putting your home in order and beginning to spread your food, décor, and gift purchases over the next few months.

Have a wonderful day!

Love, love, love,

IMG_0013Mary

Walking Through September – Power in Praise

Good Morning, Lovelies

Today is Thursday, September 28, 2017. Thursday is Floor Day

Today is the last day with the Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room as our focus

Tomorrow and Saturday, we will focus on our bathrooms.

A new month begins on Sunday! Welcome, October!

I want to share what has happened in my life. I had mentioned several weeks ago that I had remembered a book I read in about 1983 called From Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers. It was followed by a book that I think was called something like Power in Praise. I began deliberately praying each day for each member of my family and for friends as the Lord brought them to mind. I say Lord I thank you for __________. Thank you for the part they have played in my life. I praise you for what you are doing in their life. I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed about for years. The other morning the Lord brought to mind important people in my life who have already died, some who still had the power to hurt me. So I prayed, “Lord I thank you for __________. I thank you for the part they have played in my life. I praise you for what you did in their life. I release all grievance and bitterness against them to You.

Praise works! The other morning, the Lord brought to mind those people who have already died that in the past have had the power to still hurt me. And so I prayed for the people who I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed for for yearsI praise You for what you are doing in their life. I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed for for years. The other morning, the Lord brought to mind those people who have already died that in the past have had the power to still hurt me. And so I prayed for the people who have had a part in making me who I am, “Lord, I thank you for ___________. I thank you for the part they played in my life. I praise you for what you did in their life. I release all grievance and bitterness against them. Praise works–in us as we thank and pray and let go. I know that I am thanking and praising God for answers before I see them. I am praying in faith, believing my good God and Father to do what is best for all concerned. Above all it is right to give thanks and praise to God even when we don’t see results. My gratitude and appreciation for my Lord is growing. My peace and joy are more tangible to me. I am trusting Him more.
I encourage you to praise before you see the answers. It is transforming.
Love, love, love,
Maryin my life. I praise You for what you are doing in their life. I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed for for years. The other morning, the Lord brought to mind those people who have already died that in the past have had the power to still hurt me. And so I prayed for the people who have had a part in making me who I am, “Lord, I thank you for ___________. I thank you for the part they played in my life. I praise you for what you did in their life. I release all grievance and bitterness against them. Praise works–in us as we thank and pray and let go. I know that I am thanking and praising God for answers before I see them. I am praying in faith, believing my good God and Father to do what is best for all concerned. Above all it is right to give thanks and praise to God even when we don’t see results. My gratitude and appreciation for my Lord is growing. My peace and joy are more tangible to me. I am trusting Him more.
I encourage you to praise before you see the answers. It is transforming.
Love, love, love,
Maryd in my life. I praise You for what you are doing in their life. I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed for for years. The other morning, the Lord brought to mind those people who have already died that in the past have had the power to still hurt me. And so I prayed for the people who have had a part in making me who I am, “Lord, I thank you for ___________. I thank you for the part they played in my life. I praise you for what you did in their life. I release all grievance and bitterness against them. Praise works–in us as we thank and pray and let go. I know that I am thanking and praising God for answers before I see them. I am praying in faith, believing my good God and Father to do what is best for all concerned. Above all it is right to give thanks and praise to God even when we don’t see results. My gratitude and appreciation for my Lord is growing. My peace and joy are more tangible to me. I am trusting Him more.
I encourage you to praise before you see the answers. It is transforming.
Love, love, love,
Maryd in my life. I praise You for what you are doing in their life. I am seeing breakthroughs in myself and in situations I have prayed for for years. The other morning, the Lord brought to mind those people who have already died that in the past have had the power to still hurt me. And so I prayed for the people who have had a part in making me who I am, “Lord, I thank you for ___________. I thank you for the part they played in my life. I praise you for what you did in their life. I release all grievance and bitterness against them. Praise works–in us as we thank and pray and let go. I know that I am thanking and praising God for answers before I see them. I am praying in faith, believing my good God and Father to do what is best for all concerned. Above all it is right to give thanks and praise to God even when we don’t see results. My gratitude and appreciation for my Lord is growing. My peace and joy are more tangible to me. I am trusting Him more.
I encourage you to praise before you see the answers. It is transforming.
Love, love, love,
Mary I am praising and thanking God for His love, grace, and His answer before I see it. I am praying in faith believing that my good God and loving Father will work in what I present to Him in the best interest of everyone involved. I am growing in love toward all, and joy, and trust, and peace. As I do my love for God and trust in Him is growing. Praise God before you see the answer and don’t pray answers—His answer may be more than you every hoped for.

Love, love, love,

MaryChina cabinet

Walking Through September–Get Ready for the Holidays

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Today is Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Wednesday is Desk Day – Time to make sure:

·         your mail is up to date,

·         your bills are paid

·         your needed papers are stored in a way so they can be easily retrieved

·         your correspondence, cards, and notes are up to date

Your Focus Area is the Entry, Front Porch, and Dining Room. On Friday/Saturday it will be your Family Bathrooms/Powder Room. On Sunday we begin a new month. We have been walking through September—Let’s Declutter Through October—one small area at a time.

The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) are closer than we realize. Thanksgiving is 8 weeks away. Christmas is around 12 weeks away. Begin to plan now and add any food items that are not fresh –canned and frozen items to your shopping list to spread the expense over a couple of months. Begin to touch base with your family. With thought you can create better Thanksgiving and Christmas experiences for less money. And enjoy a less stressful, more peaceful holiday as an added benefit. The same goes for preparing your home. Bringing it into order over 8 weeks is much easier than a last minute marathon.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Walking Through September-Duster Dance Day and Your Coat Closet

Good Morning, Lovelies!
Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—it may not be fun to dust but you can have fun anyway. Put on happy, energetic music and get it done.
We are also working with our Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room as our focus. I love timers. They inspire a competitive spirit in me. Set a timer for 5, 10, 15, or more minutes and give these areas some focused attention. You will be surprised with how much you can accomplish with focus.
Remember the purpose of each area and make them convenient. Get rid of stuff that does not belong there, put things in order, and clean up. When the timer goes off, quit!
 
Your coat closet or rack is in or near your entry. Don’t forget to weed it out regularly. Each coat or jacket stored there should have a person in your family that currently uses it. Clean and donate the coats that no longer fit or pass it down.
 
I was using stainless steel cleaner/polish on my stainless steel appliances and not getting the results I wanted so I tried using my olive oil cooking spray. It really worked! I am thrilled with the results and it is a lot less expense. Spray and polish with a paper towel or soft cloth.
 
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is Desk Day.
 
Have a really Sonshiney Day!
Love, love, love,
Mary

IMG_0420
The Coat Closet

Walking Through September- Monday, September 25, 2017-A Little Effort

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Today is Monday, September 25, 2017. Our Area of Focus through Thursday is The Front Porch, Your Point(s) of Entry into Your Home, and the Dining Room

Each Monday – Clean Your Toilets

Put Your Home in Order after the Weekend

Check Your Bathrooms for any needed supplies

The concept is steady, small efforts to see gradual improvement in your home. Sometimes it seems like a losing battle. Sometimes we are just in survival mode but if we aim at nothing we will hit it every time. I in no way want you to work harder, you really work hard. I hope to see you work smarter. I want you to see your effort rewarded with progress. One small area, one small task, and then then another as you can. We only fail when we quit. When I clean an area and it gets decimated, it is easier to clean it next time, believe it or not.

Don’t forget to enlist the help of your mini-assistants. Liam puts his diapers in the waste basket. Of course, he now is putting other things in the waste basket so I have to check for and rescue the computer disks, and books he added to the trash. Enlisting the help of your children not only teaches them needed lifelong skills it also distracts them in a positive way.

Set a timer and try to spend at least 5 minutes making a difference in your Area of Focus.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day.

Have a wonderful Sonshiney Day!

Love, love, love,

Walking Through September–A Little Prayer and Praise

Walking Through September—Sunday, September 24, 2017

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Each Sunday is for Worship, Family, Friends, and Planning

Each Sunday is the beginning of a new week. I love new opportunities, new chances, and we can have a new beginning anytime we are ready to make that choice, to change for the better.  I believe we have to make a choice for the better so many times each day. The first choice is to give each day to our Father first thing and to worship on Sunday morning but also throughout each day by consciously thanking and praising Him. As part of the sleep discipline in the Whole Life Challenge I am doing, we are to rest for 7 ½ to 9 hours each night. When I wake before it is time to get up I have taken part of my prayer time to those quiet moments in the dark. I thank God for the people in my life and praise Him for what He is doing in their lives. One at a time I say, “Father, I thank you for  ________________, and I thank you for the part they play/has played in my life. I praise you for what you are doing in their life.” I pray for each of my children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. I pray for each person that the Lord brings to my mind. This morning I prayed for people who have been in my life who are no longer with us—my grandparents, parents, my husband. I released any grievance I have had against them—letting go of any bitterness, and recognizing they were people just like me with the same failings I have. In praying in faith for my family and friends I am finding  peace and seeing change where I have prayed for change for years. God is giving me a gift that I can’t wait to see in each new day.

Worship God with others on Sunday. It is so little to give the One who has given us so much some undivided time and attention on Sunday morning.

Sunday is also a good time to coordinate upcoming events and activities with your family. When the schedules for chorus, orchestra, band, soccer, lacrosse, football, or whatever games, practices, performances, come into your home, add them to your calendar, put them in a notebook reserved for activities and review it each week making sure that whatever will be needed—clothes or refreshments—will be available by the day and time needed.

Tomorrow is Monday. Monday is Launch Your Week Day:

Put Your Home in Order after the Weekend

Clean Your Toilets

Check Your Bathrooms for Any Needed Supplies and add them to your shopping list.

This morning, I am taking Liam to church for the very first time. So I have to get moving.

Have a glorious day and don’t forget the One who created it.

Love, love, love,

imageMary