Tag Archives: organization

Becoming #Unstuffed: Making Room for What You Want

This post is written as part of the Unstuffed Blog Tour, for which I received a free copy of her book in in order to review her book along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click HERE. 

Becoming Unstuffed Book Launch | Hardly A GoddessBefore you stop reading this, because I have already posted about de-cluttering, and organizing, and Spring cleaning, and you can’t bear to read another one of those posts….stay with me on this one!  De-cluttering is so often put out there as an organization of your things, and streamlining your stuff, that I think the purpose…the actual reason of WHY you want to de-clutter sometimes gets lost.

I am reading 2 books on de-cluttering right now, and the one that I will share with you today is called Unstuffed, by Ruth Soukup. She is well known in the organizing world for getting rid of ALL of her kids toys one year, and also her 40-hanger rule. I have loved her de-cluttering tips before, but thought this book would be more of the same advice, that I know already and contantly revisit…but it isn’t.

This book is different. Why?Unstuffed | Hardly A Goddess

Because it speaks to the “Why?” and the “What?” and also the “How?”

Why do you want your stuff? How do you want your home to look? What do you want others to feel when they enter your house? How do you want to feel when you’re in it? She asks the root-questions of why we feel we need more stuff, and is it working for us. Is it working? 

For me, the answers took a bit longer than I expected.

We bought our current house 2 months after I delivered my twins. My girls were almost 5 and 3, and my husband had just had open heart surgery 6 months prior. It was a crazy time in our lives, and joyful in so many ways. But packing up our beloved first home, and moving into a new (to us) bigger house, was lot of work that I wasn’t up for. My focus was solely on the kids and especially my two babies…And keeping myself from insanity!  Even thinking about house and home was very much on the back-burner.

Now, 6 years later (sigh) we haven’t really done anything to our “new” house. Nothing. We painted a bit. But minimally. We are finally feeling like we have a little time back to do some of these home improvements. Now that the kids understand to stay away from wet-paint, it is time for some major house-love. Before all this love starts, we need to do the tough-love thing: Get rid the things that we don’t love anymore and have been holding onto, because it might be useful someday, or it was given to us by someone, even though we didn’t need it or want it sometimes.

Unstuffed book review | Hardly A Goddess

This was Day7, last year…Doing it again!

Here is an excert from the first chapter: Living

“The very first step towards becoming unstuffed is being realistic about how we actually use our homes, as well as how we want to use our homes. After all, filling our home with things we don’t need based on a fantasy that will never happen is nothing more than an exercise in frustration. Instead, when we are honest with ourselves and with our spouses about the purpose and function of our living space, it becomes easier to sift out the things that matter from the things that only add to the chaos.”

The idea is to only keep the things that make us happy and that we LOVE.

One of the tips she has in her book  (adapted from a statement from William Morris, I believe) is to get rid of anything that you don’t think is beautiful or makes you happy… Well, I still need furniture, so that probably won’t happen right away! I do need to sit somewhere! But what I can do, is make every room the best that it can be: so that it feels welcoming, clean, clutter-free, organized, useful, and pretty.  I want people to want to be in my home. Not a small task, but taken in little bites, I can make it through the house, piece by piece and make it what we had made in our old house: a home that reflects who we are…well, this messy house kind of does…Errr.  I want the house we live in today to feel good to us, and to make us want to be here!

Declutter your home, mind and soul once and for all in Ruth Soukup’s life-changing new book, Unstuffed. Through personal stories and practical action plans, she will inspire you to finally clear the STUFF that is weighing you down—once and for all.

Clear the Clutter with a free 10-DAY #UNSTUFFED CHALLENGE from @ruthsoukup – Sign up at http://ctt.ec/C5631+


Monday Menu: Vacation Meal Planning

vacation meal planning

So every year we vacation with  another family to a house, where we all share dinners for 7 nights.  It has been a few years of trial and error(s) and this is how we make it work:

I shop for 2 dinners. The other mom shops for 2 dinners.  The other 3 of the 7 nights are a mix of left-overs, dinners out and maybe we pick up food on vacation or go out again! It works for us.  I used to make way more food to bring to vacation and make it there…and I never felt like I had a vacation. No more.  Now, I always feel like I get to have a week of fun too.

We split up all the shopping since we live together for a week and our kids and their kids will basically being eating from the same refrigerator and wanting the other person’s cereal…we just all share food- we buy half, and they buy half. Easy right? It’s like splitting the bill when you eat out will a bunch of people- you just split it evenly- and don’t worry about either the extras or the less-than amounts…I feel like it all comes out in the end.

So where’s the planning? Well, here’s what we do:

  1. First, we decide how much food we need: This trip, we’d pack enough for 7 days and plan for 7 dinners.
  2. Make a list of breakfast, lunch and dinner things that we thought to put on our list that our family would eat.  Email it to the other person.
  3. Cross off duplicated items from the other person’s list.
  4. Go over dinners we think everyone will like-and decide on the planned dinners that we will make- kids included. Then we decide who buys for what dinners- In our case this year, each of us buying everything that we’d need for the two dinners we each will do.
  5. Divvy up who buys what, trying to keep the two shopping list costs even.
  6. Make a list of things that both of us will buy, ie. water, beer, paper goods, snacks.

That is it. Well, now I go shopping and if I can pre-cook or prep-cook anything, I will do that the week before so I get that much more of a break the week of vacation…because I am not willing to leave the beach early (especially as I love love love the later-afternoon hours on the beach) just to prep dinner…sorry my children, we will eat out before I will do that this week!

This is my meal plan for the week before vacation, remembering to keep it simple so I can shop for the week ahead, while still making dinners for this week…oy!:

August 10th – August 17th

  • Sticky Garlic Chicken & Broccoli– never made this, but it looks simple, fast, and most importantly YUM!  Serve with jasmine rice, and…well…broccoli.
  • Homemade pizzas

homemade pizza

I have to admit I got my ideas from Pinterest Boards that I  am completely reliant upon in wake of brain-fryedness (it is a word). Here’s my recent fave:

Follow Hardly a Goddess’s board Eat your heart out! Healthy Eats. on Pinterest.

And of course, I am linked up with OrgJunkie for even more great ideas! I am sharing not one but TWO recipes this week for your summer eating…and one fun giveaway too! So stay tuned and come back to visit this week!

Clutter Free Days 22-27: The Home Office

Day 22 – Home Office
Day 23- Bills & Paperwork
Day 24 – Digital Data
Day 25 – Photographs
Day 26 – Guest Bedroom- done!
Day 27- Craft Supplies- done!
Be still my heart, the weekend is over.  Sigh.
After a wonderful visit with 4 of my life-long (literally) childhood friends and their children this weekend, it is back to a quiet week of just the 6 of us in my somewhat (hahaha)organized home!  We are just a few days behind for you, so if you are following along the Clutter-Free path, we are just a few days away from the finish!
I have to admit that day 22 – HOME OFFICE has stopped me in my tracks.  I don’t even want to start.  Because then, I will have to move onto day 24 and 25 which are just looming above, as day-long, not a quick fix, type of projects.
Day 26 is done and so is 27; I keep my craft supplies to just about zero, now that I have kids, and use theirs instead!   I had gone through all their things at the end of summer, as I was organizing a bit before school started.  While it isn’t perfect, it is okay for now, and I’d rather spend the time in the office de-cluttering.
So, let’s start with some office inspiration as I try to get started in on the office, photos (online and printed), bills & paper, and computer files:
office ideas
Image Source Inspiration:
  1. Home Heart Harmony Blog: Command Center Central
  2. Bhg Blog: Crafty Living
  3. Bhg Blog

 Wow! I love the tech-organizer of the #1 picture, the wide work table of #2, and the comfort of #3.  All of them beautiful, and none realistic for me…but VERY inspiring!  As my lovely friend says, “it is time to create a vision-board.”  Yes, indeed. Time to get started with the doing, now, and not just the pinning!