35 Things to Get Rid of Now

35 Things to Get Rid of Now

While you may think you have nothing left to donate or throw out if you're in the midst of a purge, here are 35 things to get rid of now.

It always amazes me how much stuff we can accumulate. How is it that despite many of us being on a tight budget these days, we still manage to be overrun with too much stuff? There’s a reason the tiny house craze and the concept of living with less are appealing to so many. While you may think you have nothing left to donate or throw out, here are 35 things to get rid of now.

1) That pile of stuff “to be repaired” (You know, the broken items you are honestly never going to get around to fixing, including ripped clothes.)

2) That other pile of stuff “to be repurposed” (If you don’t have a specific project in mind, toss it.)

3) Old receipts, statements, paper clutter (Invest in a shredder and get rid of any papers past their prime.)

4) Expired coupons

5) Old batteries (Don’t just throw them in the garbage. Check out Call2Recycle.ca.)

6) Old magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and newsletters

7) Things that don’t fit (Including ill-fitting bras, maternity clothes and children’s clothes, too)

8) Things you are hanging on to because of guilt (Ugly gifts from family members…)

9) Old cell phones

10) Old pet stuff (Unless you definitely plan to get another pet in the near future, donate these items to your local animal shelter.)

11) Expired medication (Drop these off at your nearest pharmacy, where they’ll make sure to dispose of them properly.)

12) Expired cosmetics and skincare

13) Nearly empty cosmetics and skincare products

14) Wrong cosmetics and/or skincare for your skin type (Including samples and free gifts with purchase that you’ve collected over time)

15) Period underwear (Girl, get some black underwear and toss those ugly ones!)

16) Too many clothes for the wrong season (Do you own 10 bathing suits, but only swim a handful of times? Do you have 5 pairs of snow boots, but live in a rainy climate?)

17) Outdated clothes that you can’t even salvage as a costume (If they’re not funny enough for Halloween, but too funny for everyday wear, it might be time to donate them.)

18) Jewelry you dislike, is broken, or tarnished.

19) Shoes that stink, are worn out, or uncomfortable (When’s the last time you wore them?)

20) Toxic cleaning products. (Find out how I clean our whole house without harsh chemicals, here.)

21) Unnecessary kitchen items (We all have space-wasters that we never actually use, including, but not limited to gravy boats, fine china, strange gadgets, multiples, and too many cookbooks.)

22) Expired food

23) Food that you won’t eat before it expires (Take these to your local food bank or soup kitchen before it’s too late.)

24) Home décor (including art) that doesn’t express who you are or doesn’t bring you joy

25) Scratchy or uncomfortable throw pillows and blankets

26) Children’s art in excess (Take pictures of them for a digital scrapbook instead of filing away mass quantities of finger paint masterpieces.)

27) Children’s toy’s in excess (If they aren’t age appropriate, are missing pieces, are no longer being played with, books that have ripped pages, or are all used up, it’s time to let them go!)

28) Baby stuff (If you are done having babies, if the items may change by the time you have another one, if they won’t last, if they can be repurchased secondhand for cheap instead of storing them for years…give them to someone who will benefit from them now.)

29) Defunct art & craft supplies (If the supplies are dried up, smell funny or you just have too much of a certain item. Ask yourself whether you even scrapbook/knit/etc. anymore.)

30) Excess office and school supplies (These can be donated to a teacher in your community.)

31) Outdated calendars and planners

32) Damaged luggage and excess bags (Totes, free-with-purchase makeup bags and beach bags)

33) Rusty or moldy patio furniture

34) Broken pots, damaged hoses and any other yard items that have seen better days

35) Anything cardboard (It attracts bugs, so find a different material to store your things in.)

Want a handy dandy printable checklist that you can use as you’re going through your things? Download it here:

free bonus

Organize Every Closet in Your Home in a Weekend

Organizing projects can seem daunting, but if you stay on task and don’t let time get away from you, you can at least tackle the closets in your house by the time the weekend is up. While you may need to enlist a friend to be the objective voice of reason (as to whether to keep or toss something), it can be done!

Here’s how to Organize Every Closet in Your Home in a Weekend:

Organize every closet in your home in a weekend. Organization tips.

Start with the bedroom closets.

In each bedroom closet, you’ll need to go through the contents and sort each into like piles (clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.). You’ll also want to make a few other piles for items to donate, return to original owner, or toss. Deciding what gets the ax can be hard, and is the most time-consuming part of the whole process. If you just can’t do it, assume you are keeping it all and organize it! Next, you’ll want to hang everything by category (tops, bottoms, dresses, etc.). Keep in mind that if you hang everything on the same style of hanger, the clothes will line up evenly, which matters aesthetically, but also keeps clothes wrinkle-free. Keep all of your shoes in one place, whether that’s a hanging organizer or a shoe rack. Some people use a cubby system, while others use clear plastic boxes. Whatever floats your boat! Be sure to save room for accessories, hats, gloves, scarves and even jewelry. Use containers to keep them wrangled in one place, or hang hooks on the wall, if room allows.

Move onto the bathroom linen closet.

This is a closet that I highly recommend you take the time to sort, toss and donate from. It’s typically a tight space, so why waste precious real estate on expired medicines and cosmetics, or stained linens? Once you have the items you are going to keep, designate a first aid container and label it so that anyone visiting your home can access these items in an emergency. Keep cosmetics together and group them into containers based on what they are (This includes bath, body, and hair products.) If you have the wall space, hang blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons. You could also designate a heat-safe shelf for setting these items after use. Fold all of your linens as similarly as possible and as compactly as possible. I like to roll our towels.

Next, tackle the kids’ closets.

You’ll handle these the way you handled the other bedroom closets with a few additions. Stack any games or puzzles that live in the closet by size and put any other toys that would normally end up in there inside of containers on the top shelf. Depending on the size of the closet, you can put a large, plastic tote on the bottom for outgrown items that you plan to hand down to another child, or you could set up a cubby shelf for toy, book, shoe or accessory storage.

Finally, organize that pantry!

Sort the items into categories and set aside foods you intend to donate. Check the dates on everything. You have to make sure all food, including spices, are still good. To really get on top of your kitchen organization game, use matching containers (either labeled or clear) to house cereal, pasta, rice, flour, sugar, coffee and other items of this nature. If you have workout supplements, baby items or pet supplies, be sure to separate them into different spaces.

Now exhale! While your house may still have clutter to handle, you can focus on those areas another weekend, knowing at least there are no skeletons left in your closets!

If you’re struggling to organize your clothing, this post that outlines 7 ways to pare down your clothes should really help!

Organize every closet in your home in a weekend? It can be done! Here's the step by step to making that organizing task less daunting.

21 Awesome Planners to Inspire You Now

Love a great planner? Here are 21 awesome planners to inspire you now!

I’m must confess. If I could, I would buy all the pretty planners out there. Just the idea of having all my to-do’s and ideas in one place gets practical old me really excited. Now don’t get me wrong, I do actually own a planner of my own and I love it. In fact I buy the same one year after year. It’s a Blueline Daily planner like this one, but it doesn’t have time slots and I purchase it in-store at Staples. I love that I have an entire page devoted to one day. I can jot down my to-dos, appointments, reminders, menu plan, shopping list and even my ideas!

If you’re a planner geek like me but haven’t quite found “the one” yet, this round up is sure to help you find something that will work for you!

Here are 21 Awesome Planners to Inspire You Now:

  1. Chalk It Up Softcover Planner (Monthly planner, July 2016 to June 2017)
  2. Botanical Garden by The Happy Planner (Monthly planner, July 2016 to June 2017)
  3. Believe You Can LifePlanner by Erin Condren (Available in 12 and 18 months)
  4. Floral Spiral Planner by Kate Spade (Monthly planner, August 2016 – December 2017)
  5. Marble Blonde Agenda by ban.do (17 months)
  6. Color Me by Simplicity Planner (Monthly planner, July 2016 to June 2017)
  7. Bohemian planner by Blueline (Weekly, July 2016 to July 2017)
  8. Gold Dots large planner by Kate Spade (Monthly, August 2016 – December 2017)
  9. Pop Art by Vera Bradley (Monthly & weekly, July 2016 to December 2017)
  10. EPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial Planner (Monthly calendar)
  11. Hello Kitty Softcover Planner (2017)
  12. Make It Happen Printable College Student Planner by Brilliant Business Mom (2016-2017)
  13. Peter Pan Leatherbound Planner by Storybook Journals (Monthly planner, July 2016 to June 2017)
  14. The Brilliant Life Planner by Brilliant Business Mom
  15. Bella Planner by Kimaani Studio (2016 complete planner bundle)
  16. Black Spotty Dot by Day Designer Mid-Year Flagship Edition (Monthly, June 2016 to May 2017)
  17. Get to Work Book (Monthly, July 2016 to June 2017)
  18. 2017 Desktop by Rifle Paper Co. (Monthly & weekly, August 2016 to December 2017)
  19. Fancy Floral Simplified Planner by Emily Ley (Monthly, August 2016 to July 2017)
  20. Birds & Bees Blush Limited Edition by Passion Planner (Monthly & weekly, 2017)
  21. The Living Well Planner by Living Well Spending Less (Undated)

I’d love to know, do you have a favourite planner?

7 Ways to Pare Down Your Clothes

Doing a clothing purge can be one of the hardest decluttering tasks out there. Here's how to pare down your clothing once and for all!

I find paring down my clothing one of the hardest decluttering tasks to do.  I get this weird attachment to certain pieces. Like the ones I remember wearing on a golf date with my husband 10 years ago. Or the ones I think I’ll fit into again one day.  Or even the ones that I spent a pretty penny on but hate the way they fit.  It’s silly really, to hang on to clothing that doesn’t fit properly, you don’t like, or is outdated.  It’s easy to replace those things on a budget with items you actually love!

I was talking with my mom the other day about how I was going to be ruthless during my upcoming purge.  In a sense, I want to start over.  Keep the pieces that I love and that fit me well, but finally say goodbye to the things that make me feel frumpy and unbeautiful.  It just doesn’t do my postpartum body and ego any favours by hoping certain pieces will fit me well again.

So in a new effort to add only pieces that I LOVE here are 7 questions I ask myself when I purge clothing:

1.  Does it fit?

If the shirt pulls in entirely the wrong areas, it doesn’t fit.  If I can’t do up the zipper on my jeans easily, they don’t fit.

2.  Have I worn this in the last 12 months?

Chances are, if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year or more, you’re not going to wear it again.  Or you might be like me, and feel sorry for that piece of clothing and wear it again out of sympathy, but it really isn’t flattering.  In order to determine if you’ve worn something in the last 12 months, you could try the backwards hanger trick.  When you’re hanging up your clothes, flip the hanger around so it hangs (with the clothing on it) backwards on the rack.  Every time you pull something out and wear it, hang it back up with the hangers facing the proper way.  That way at the end of 12 months, you can see if there’s anything you didn’t wear because the hangers are still hanging backwards!

3.  Will I ever wear this again?

Maybe you bought something for a special occasion you were attending, but don’t have much, or any, opportunities to wear it again.  It might be time to consider selling it in a consignment shop or even on Kijiji/Craigslist.

4.  Is it currently in style/does it represent my style?

I’m sure we’ve all got those sentimental pieces in our wardrobe that we wore in the “good ‘ol days”.  Well, new “good ‘ol days” are upon us and it’s time to get with the times by getting rid of those outdated pieces.  If it’s just too hard, put them in the dress up box for the kids to enjoy!

5.  Do I feel good when I wear it?

This is becoming one of the most important questions I ask myself.  If I just don’t feel confident when I put something on, it’s time to really consider putting it in the purge pile.  As I mentioned above, it’s doesn’t do my postpartum body and ego any favours if I’m just wearing something for the sake of getting dressed.  Even the hoodies I purchase have to make me feel “cute”!

6.  If it’s damaged, will I actually find time to fix it?

Enough said.  If you don’t have time to fix something, whether you want to fix it yourself or go out of your way to take it to a professional, it’s time to part ways.  That piece of clothing will just nag on you anyways as it taunts you from the depths of your closet!

7.  If I were shopping right now, would I buy it?

Often times, I’ve looked at a piece of clothing and wondered what I was thinking when I bought it.  (Most likely it was cheap!)  So, if you look at your current clothes and see things you wouldn’t buy today, maybe it’s time to say goodbye.

I sure hope these questions will help you to determine what you should keep and what you shouldn’t.  Starting now, I’m deciding to buy only what I love and makes me feel like a million bucks.  Sometimes, that might mean I have to spend more to get something that truly fits well.  I’m okay with that, because I’ll probably be buying less in the long run ($5 here and there adds up!) and I’ll feel like a million bucks!

Do you have any other ways to pare down your closet you can share with us in the comments?  What sort of outrageous clothing are you storing in your closet?

Doing a clothing purge can be one of the hardest decluttering tasks out there. Here's how to pare down your clothing once and for all!

3 Things I Like to Do Each Evening for Success the Next Day

3 things I like to do each evening for success the next day.

Does your day typically start with you feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do?

As a mom with a newborn and a preschooler, I usually find myself overwhelmed each day. 🙂 Simple tasks such as getting lunch made is a big deal if the baby is awake. However, I’m learning and getting into more of a routine each day thanks to three things I try really hard to accomplish each evening.

I’d love to challenge you to try doing these three things every single night. The things I try to do are not hard or difficult or time-consuming, but by doing these three things almost every single night, I set myself up for success every morning when I get up. And I believe that a successful day begins the night before.

Here’s my list of three things I try to do every night:

Tidy Up

Waking up to to a tidier house makes my heart sing. Especially if the kitchen is tidy with the dishes washed and the counter cleared. Some nights this can seem daunting because I’ve let the entire day’s worth of dishes pile up. Though, if you’re not in the newborn stage of life, you should have a much better time getting this done. Do it, you’ll feel great in the morning!

Go to bed at a decent hour

This is one thing that I have rarely let slide, even if I have website projects to do. As a mom, I’m not guaranteed to get 8 hours of sleep each night. So by making sure I go to bed at a decent hour, or as soon as the baby falls asleep, I know I’ll at least get a couple of hours before I have to wake up again! Sleep makes a happier mommy. Even if you’re not a mom, or have older kids, I can’t stress the importance of going to bed at a decent hour.

Make a To-Do List

Finally, probably the most important task for me these days. Making a to-do list of the things that have to get done the next day. Currently, my list looks a little like this:

  • Brush teeth
  • Shower
  • Eat

Haha! But in all honesty, If I get those done and get Sienna to preschool and other activities, I feel like I’m winning! A to-do list is important for me because sometimes I have a hard time unwinding in bed if I can’t shut my brain off. So jotting down the must-dos, including my meal ideas for the next day, helps me to relax.

What are some things you like to do each evening to set yourself up for a successful day?

Need some encouragement to have a better evening AND/OR morning routine? I’m SO excited that Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom will be having a Back-To-School promotion on Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings Digital Resources! This promotion, will be running from August 8 through August 15.

Here are the sale details: Buy either Make Over Your Mornings or Make Over Your Evenings for $10 (normally $17)!  But, as an added bonus, if you buy one title for $10, you can get the other title for only $7!

How to Keep Toy Clutter to a Minimum

Is your house overrun with brightly colored, plastic things that light up and make noise? Has your foot ever been impaled by a tiny sword, whilst simply walking across your living room floor? Have you ever lost a pet or child in a mountain of toys….inside your own home?! It’s time to get this clutter under control!

Is your house overrun with brightly colored, plastic things that light up and make noise? Has your foot ever been impaled by a tiny sword, whilst simply walking across your living room floor? Have you ever lost a pet or child in a mountain of toys….inside your own home?! It’s time to get this clutter under control!

How to Keep Toy Clutter to a Minimum

You may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of toys your little ones have, and not know where to begin. While I advise parents to start during year one, it’s never too late to scale back. We’re all feeling the Tiny House Nation concepts right now of, “Less is more,” and, “Let’s spend our money on life experiences instead of stuff.” Though you may not dream of moving your family into a home the size of a closet, you will definitely gain (and teach your children in the process) from applying a few practical principles.

Out with the old and in with the new

Every time your child gets something new, something old should hit the road. You can include your child in this process, which gives them a sense of control and might teach them to be less sentimental about material objects. If you can get them to part with an entire set or multi-piece toy, it will be less clean-up headache for you in your daily life. A few times a year, especially around birthdays and other gift-giving holidays, go through and get rid of as many toys as possible (without scarring the child for life…and that is actually a larger number than you would imagine). I suggest focusing on things that accumulated in your home, that your child may not even notice is missing.

Don’t physically toss the items you’ve collected. That’s wasteful and teaches your child that these things are disposable, and that they can always get more. If you don’t want to make a few bucks by consigning or selling (through Facebook groups, on Craiglist or through a garage sale), simply donate them so someone else can benefit from the items. With older children, I would encourage you to involve them in the selling process, so they can see that the toy they hardly used translates into money for his/her bank account.

Buy less and ask for less

There are many opportunities throughout the year, to buy for our little ones. Stores make up holidays every month to get you to spend. Stop yourself. Even if money is no object, what better use could it have than bringing more junk into the house? You could even consider clothes or food treats over toys. While it may seem drastic, consider not buying toys on holidays either. Instead, take your child somewhere they have always wanted to go, throw them a party, do anything memorable…I promise they will not feel deprived, especially if a slew of friends and family members will be buying them toys on said holiday, in addition to your excursion. And when it comes to those friends and family members, when they ask about buying for the child, don’t try to stop them. They will buy anyway! Instead, speak up about the child’s sizes or about a surprise you are trying to plan. Who wouldn’t want to pitch in toward a swim with dolphins or even a year of gymnastics classes?

Organize & create rules

As early as possible, get your kids involved in the clean-up process. Teach them that everything has its place, and that we can’t take out more than one thing at a time. Even if you simply stock up on big baskets from a craft store and toss all toys inside at the end of the day, they will be out of sight and out of your way! Things don’t have to be elaborately organized to have a big impact, and the easier you make the process, the less pushback you’ll get from your child.

Incorporate these suggestions into your life and you’ll be well on your way to bringing down that toy mountain!

How do you keep toy clutter to a minimum in your home?

Free Freezer Labels

Do you like to have an organized freezer?  Martha Stewart has some great freezer labels available for free!

Click here to print your labels!

Make Over Your Evenings in 15 Minutes a Day

As I referred to in this post the other day, There’s a brand new Make Over Your Evenings course available! If it interests you, you’ll want to get in on the course today because Crystal is having a fantastic introductory sale.

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In just 15 minutes a day, you learn how to:

  • Establish a Realistic Evening Routine that works — and that sets you up for amazing success!
  • Design a Prioritized To Do List for each day — one that you’re actually excited to wake up and tackle!
  • Create a Best Stuff List of the most important activities and commitments you should be invested your time, life, and energy into right now.
  • Eliminate calendar conflicts once and for all — and how to do so without guilt or frustration.And more!

The course includes a handbook, daily videos, worksheets and projects.

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Head on over to MakeOverYourEvenings.com to learn more about the course, and get in on the rock-bottom price for this fabulous course today!

Free 12 Week Organization Challenge

Free 12-Week Organization Challenge

Need some motivation for getting your home more organized? Sign up for a free 12-week organization challenge over at S is for Sarah!

What I’m Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

What I'm Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

Nothing! Ha! Well actually that’s not true, but let me tell you, things are different for me with the second baby. I don’t have huge urges to go shopping or decorate a pretty room. (This baby won’t actually have a room of their own…) However I am a list maker at heart and love to be prepared. 🙂

This time around, I’m mostly concerned with having things in order for after baby’s arrival. So, here you have today, my brain dump of things to prepare for baby #2:

Wash the newborn clothing

I will pull out all the itty bitty clothes, blankets and swaddling blankets that I have from my daughter so I can wash them. They’ll be going in an empty dresser drawer I have.

Buy batteries for the swing and bouncy seat

I picked up a swing and a bouncy seat for this baby (they were free!) that need new batteries. So I’ll be sure to pick some up 🙂 I’ll also check our baby monitor, though I can’t remember if it’s battery operated or not.

Possibly buy a stroller

I’m toying with the idea of purchasing a double stroller, either new or used. My daughter still loves to ride in the stroller, especially if we’re on a long outing. So I think I could get my money’s worth by the amount we would use it. Plus, if I get a “good quality” one, I can resell for a great price.

Pack an overnight bag for my daughter

She’ll be staying with grandparents so really all she needs is her special blankets, PJ’s and clean clothes.

Pack diaper bag

I’m sort of dreading lugging around a big bag again, but really what can you do! The bag will come with me to the hospital, of course. Here’s what I’m planning on having in it:

  • sleepers
  • diapers
  • bum cream
  • muslin blankets
  • wipes
  • snacks

Set up the car seat

Obviously most of these things on my list won’t be done until closer to baby’s arrival, but still they need to be done! Setting up the car seat in the car needs to be done. (Fingers crossed if fits in the car with the other seat!)

Set up the playpen

My daughter slept in our bedroom for the first few months in a playpen beside me and I intend on doing that again. Makes night time a lot easier, plus, the baby won’t have its own bedroom in this small place of ours! And I definitely don’t want a tiny baby sleeping with the other…that just speaks of unrestful nights for everyone in my mind!

Set up the diaper changing station

I have a drawer in an end table in the living room that I stock with some change mats, diapers and wipes. We don’t have a change table due to space constraints and the fact that I find it easier to do diaper changes downstairs.

Stock up on household essentials

I’ll be taking inventory closer to my due date to see if we’ll be needing any toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap…etc. Mind you, my husband or other family members can go out for me if need be 😉  I also want to have gripe water, diapers, wipes and other things on hand.

Pack my overnight bag

I’ll need stuff for the hospital too I guess!  I’ll pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comfortable clothes, makeup, chapstick, hair brush, phone, camera and possibly my laptop. I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but I’ll figure it out.

Freezer cooking

This is a BIG one on my list!  My plan is to spend the month of February stocking the freezer with some delicious freezer meals.  I’d like to have at least 20 dinners on hand. I’ll be mixing up some homemade freezer meals with some store bought pizza, lasagnas and other things that catch my eye. I plan on having my freezer meal plan available for you all to enjoy, including the recipes, shopping list and labels!

Blog scheduling

Another big one on my list. Even today as we “speak” I’m behind the scenes getting things ready on Simply Frugal so that I can take at least 2 weeks completely off after the baby is born. I’ve got some great articles and other things in the works that I hope you’ll really enjoy!

Whew!  I’m sure there are some things missing from my list, or I went overboard in some areas, but the list keeps me sane 🙂

What are some things you did to prepare for baby number two (or more)?