Who needs it? Challenge #1: Fess Up

Okay, I’m going to take the plunge and jump into SRB’s new blog challenge for 2014. It’s all about the clutter in our lives and how to better manage it all, and this is definitely a topic I could use some help with. Without further ado, here is my contribution to her first challenge!

Who Needs It? Challenge #1: Fess Up

  • Identify the areas in your home that you feel are cluttered. This could be a drawer, a countertop, a closet, a whole room. Or many rooms. Or all the rooms.
  • Take a photo of each area AS IS. No cleaning up before the housekeeper comes!
  • For ONE of these areas (or more, if you like) make an itemized list of what you see in the photo. Really look at it. 
  • Post your pictures (and list) to your blog and link back here. (This step is OPTIONAL. If you don’t want to show the world your actual dirty laundry, perhaps write about how these areas make you FEEL. The EMOTIONS are a big part of this process.)

Our Cluttered Areas:

    • Guest Room Closet (I already tackled this once a month ago and it’s SO much better, but still ridiculously full of “stuff”)
    • Game / blanket / misc. closet
    • Shared bedroom closet
    • Charlie’s work clothes closet
    • Shared kids’ closet
    • Under master bathroom sink
    • Under guest room sink (done!)
    • Josey’s side of the garage
    • Charlie’s side of the garage
    • Stella’s drawer in kitchen (used to be bottle drawer)
    • Tupperware drawer
    • Pyrex drawer
    • pots & pans drawer
    • ’nuff said
    • coat rack
    • shoe area

Do you notice a theme here? It’s mostly the hidden spaces that are a mess! Our open spaces aren’t too bad, honestly. I start getting jumpy & can’t sit down and relax and read blogs if I have too much stuff sitting out on countertops & tables, and because of that I’ve worked hard at eliminating having too much “stuff” sitting around. It helps that I’m a horrible decorator, so we really don’t have much in the way of home decor (minimalism as a result of poor decorating skills for the win!). I’ve also been working on pruning down the number of toys Stella has, though this will be a continual work in progress I’m sure, and it’s about to get more interesting as we add all the baby stuff back into the mix (swing/bumbo/boppy/bouncy chair/etc).

Without further ado, here are a few pictures of the areas I mentioned above: (garage & Stella’s closet not included because I forgot to take pics & now Stella’s sleeping and it’s too cold to go into the garage!)





So there ya go. I can’t even begin to think about listing all of the stuff I see in any of the pictures. That overwhelms me. I already know there is a lot of clutter in my closets, and I totally want to get a handle on that again. We live in a 1,400 sq. ft. house, and half the stuff in the closets we never use – EVER. It’s time for it to go so I can feel CALM when I open a closet/drawer instead of feeling overwhelmed.

As far as the #Emotions side of things goes, I’m not quite sure what to expect as I go through this purging process. I get hugely attached to photo books (see the huge collection of them in the “closets” pictures)… and I still have clothing from college a decade ago (maybe b/c I’m cheap & never shop? maybe because of emotional attachment?)… but I’m pretty darn merciless about getting rid of stuff once I get on a roll, so we shall see. Wish me luck. 🙂


  1. mcmissis · · Reply

    In college, we had to take all our stuff home from the sorority at the end of every school year. That meant anything that didn’t fit into my 4-door Honda Civic was tossed. I HATED it every year and then LOVED it about three minutes into the drive home. So much sh*t thrown away! It’s stayed with me since then. If I’m tired of something, don’t think we’ll use it soon, just can’t find an appropriate place for it, to the garbage it goes! I could be waaaay better about donating stuff, but when I do it that way, it just gets bagged and piled up and then sits FOREVER before actually being driven somewhere for donation. Taking it out to the trash can is so much easier! Now that Poppy’s filling up our fourth and final bedroom, all the stuff that’s barely made the cut year after year and baby after baby is finally getting tossed now, too. Hurts so good!

    1. mcmissis · · Reply

      Oh yeah. And the college clothes? Those got donated about five minutes after Gracie was born and I realized I was never going to be that small – or that slutty 🙂 – again.

      1. Ha, see I’ve lived in jeans & slightly fitted shirts for… you know, the last 15 years. It’s sad how little my style has changed. I had a few slutty shirts that have bit the dust, but for the most part my style is the same, which is pretty sad! I’ve also vascillated from about 145-165# for the past 12 years or so, so I end up with a slight range of size 8-12 clothes in my closet that I keep cycling through. Post baby my goal is to hit the pavement, get in shape, and purge a LOT of the clothes in my closet.

  2. Glad to see you jump on the challenge! I’m sure getting ready to bring a new member into the family poses both reasons to and reasons not to purge, but it’s easy to put off so you might as well go ahead. I had extreme anxiety that our house was too small before Drake got here; now that we are in more of a routine, things seem…manageable. But, I would still like to move into a bigger house in the near future and this challenge will hopefully get me to reach that goal. Good luck girl!

  3. Maybe if you do some cleaning tonight it will bring on labor?! Maybe little man will get the hint that it’s TIME TO COME OUT!!! 🙂 Just kidding, your mess is nothing compared to my IL’s house. OMG, talk about hoarders! I firmly believe that if you haven’t used it in 6 months, than it’s time to be donated/sold/thrown out. We keep a pretty tidy house as well, the closest can get messy, but I try to put everything away when I use it..now if only I could convince the hubby to do the same.

  4. I am like you, attached bit when I get rolling, I’m unstoppable. B is the opposite. I’ve been purging since Jan 1 and he’s asked me to slow down and think more clearly. Ha!!!

    good luck!

  5. You know my heart stopped a little when I saw the Pyrex drawer. I was scanning for the pretty stuff 😉

  6. Cool challange!!!! I hate clutter and we had so much of it until we put our house on the market! The closets were the worst for us too! Oh and the pantry too! Good luck!

  7. Esperanza · · Reply

    Wow. I am seriously impressed you are taking this on right before your second child is due. You are a stronger woman than I–more power to you! I hope it goes well!

    PS I answered that question you asked on my post the other day. I hope the answer is enlightening (of course it probably only applies to my family, but still, it’s an answer).

    1. Oh gosh – I’m not tackling all the areas at once! This will be a year long project. Just documenting where I’m starting from. 🙂 I did the entire pantry today trying to get labor going – no such luck!!

      I’ll check out your post soon. 🙂

  8. kaseypowers · · Reply

    I can see how your large closest get out of hand quickly. So easy to avoid. I’m so looking forward to being able to donate all of the newborn stuff when we’re done with it. And all the maternity and transition clothes ASAP. I think that alone will free up substantial storage space with I am going to do my best to not just fill with more junk. Really going to have to think about why I keep things that are hidden in boxes in closets. Good luck.
    Maybe a project a day until labor? 🙂

  9. Here is what jumped out at me right away – “It’s mostly the hidden spaces that are a mess!” In my house, it is the surfaces that suffer, but the closets/drawers/cabinets are immaculate inside. WHY??? So bizarre. It is also interesting that you used the word “overwhelmed” because I am starting to see that over and over, regardless of the kind of space or “degree” of clutter. For me, it becomes much easier to just not deal with it until it boils over. Since this post, I have seen you tackle your pantry and that is AWESOME. How did it feel, during and after?

    What plans do you have for the closets? I’d love more closet organization tools, but don’t want to spend money right now. Would love to see what others are doing!

    1. Closet plan = TOSS PURGE TRASH. They’d be plenty organized if they weren’t so full. 🙂

  10. I am definitely the same in that it is hidden spaces that need the most work… well you’ve seen my shed!! No one sees those sheds.. ever really.. other than Anthony and I and so they are a safe place to make a mess. Not good! I am excited to see your end results… even if they take a little longer now that the little guy has arrived!!! 🙂

  11. […] Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us that her living spaces may be clutter-free, but it’s the hidden spaces that need some attention in her Challenge #1 post. […]

  12. […] 1: Fess Up  Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen […]

  13. […] 1: Fess Up Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen […]

  14. […] 1: Fess Up Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen […]

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