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decluttering

January Goals: Organize bathroom closet

Posted on 10

This is so dumb. Like I’m actually sitting here, 8:22 am with a cup of coffee and the rain dripping on the roof, thinking about how literally dumb this blog post is. But here’s the thing. I want to celebrate the little tiny successes in life because nobody is going to throw me a party because I organized something.

BUT I AM SO PROUD.

Also judge me for all the beauty products, I don’t care. Actually I think your judging is probably super valid. I said I wasn’t bringing samples to our apartment and lo and behold they snuck their way in.

Can I just throw out a non-rhetorical question?

Where do beauty bloggers keep all their stuff?

Anyone else feel me on this???? I watch people unboxing crap and I’m like… what are you gonna do with that? Where are you gonna put it? Like I’ll never throw away a bottle of shampoo because give me enough time and I WILL USE IT. But full sized gels and face masks and stuff? What do they do with it all?

Anyway, I’m not a beauty blogger, I’m just a Birchbox Subscriber and someone who has collected far too many samples of hair products for being a person who blow dries their hair 2xs a month and rarely styles it beyond a bobby pin. But still I keep my little bottles of product to one day use up.

See why the Empties Posts are so important? When I finally use something up, I need to stand on the tallest mountain I can find (which I guess is my blog) and shout it from the mountaintops.

My gosh. This is a really long-winded intro to the actual point of this post.

In our bathroom we have this cabinet that kind of became a catch-all for anything that entered into our bathroom. It was like one giant pile of stuff. I put on my January goals that I wanted to organize some things* and this was one of the things.

I’mย reading a book about simplifying life and it challenged the reader to NOT BUY ORGANIZATION STUFF while cleaning out their house because it’s just bringing more stuff in and finding new ways to rearrange/hide the clutter. So I decided that I’d just kind of have to embrace the current state of my bottles of products and still organize with what I had… which was space.

Here, my friends, is the before.

This is the cabinet over the toilet and the cabinet in the bathroom. We don’t have counters in our bathroom so this is what we get.

I started with the cabinet above the toilet because it’s one I see every single day. Here’s the before:

and then the after:

We keep out a LOT of our daily products. At some point I might transition this stuff over to cute little baskets or something, but for now I love being able to grab products and be able to see them right away.

Moving on to the big cabinet. Because the door closes, it’s been so easy to just throw stuff in and close the door. and yeah, this is where we’ve decided to keep our candles, lol.

Close up on the top two shelves. The top is candles and paper good overstock. Organized in a really nice way, too. And a shower curtain liner. and other things.

The second shelf is the one that gets used the most often. Spare shampoos, my daily skincare + haircare products, our toothbrushes and toothpaste. Lots of stuff and I had no idea what was all in there.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I took the candles out of the plastic tub and stacked them. I burn candles ALL OF THE TIME, so when one goes out, it’s easy to grab another one to replace it. Organized the toilet paper and kleenex and such. I COULD get boxes, but I do better seeing everything.

On the second shelf, I took things out of the box and laid them out so I could see them better. I left two baskets in the back – one for often used (but not daily) products, and one for hair products & hair brushes. That little jar is full of Birchbox skin/hair care samples, and the two empty soap bottles is because I was waiting for refills. It’s been so much easier to keep track of things because boxes aren’t hiding them.

The bottom two shelves are towels/washcloths…. catchalls? and then cleaning supplies and hair stylers and boxes of empties and feminine hygiene products.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Once I found places for the random things in this shelf, it was so much easier to organize. The one thing I’ve changed is that I’ve turned the hand towels around. I prefer to display the folded edges of towels because they look less messy, and looking at this picture helped me see that!

That box has the styling products and various other bathroom related chargers, and then our cleaning supplies were put in the little plastic tub that used to hold the candles. That way we can pull it out and get what we need!

On the other side of the bathroom is the medicine cabinet that keeps our medicines and my makeup. It’s been SO HARD to get organized. I have these little pails but they feel like they never work, and I realized that the clear little tub was KILLING ME, because I’d take something out of the white pail and then throw it in the tub and have to dig it out again.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

In addition to an EXTREME purge of things I don’t need/want, I took the time to organize all of the makeup products. The bottom container has ALL of my face products – brushes and sponges, primers, blush, powder. The top two are divided into eye products and lip products. I put all of the medicine together (spot the Miralax, thanks from when I got my gallbladder taken out).

It’s ACTUALLY been maintainable, too! That’s the biggest thing. I take out the containers one at a time and put everything away before I move on to the next one.

 

It’s ultra not Pinteresty. One day I might be able to get there, but right now it functions well, I feel less overwhelmed and I can find what I need. I do think that if I could ever pull this off, I’d be on it 1000%… what about y’all?

(found here)

 

Anyway y’all I gotta go cross some things off of my January to-do list. See y’all around soon.

 

 

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Things I will not be taking to our apartment.

I’m really excited about this, y’all.

Justen and I have found the place we’ll live in after we’re married (AND THEY APPROVED US TO LIVE THERE). Insert that happy crying emoji RIGHT HERE.

I’ve been wanting to find a place that wasn’t cookie cutter. I didn’t want the same cream carpet and beige walls and brown cabinets. I wanted character and charm and something that was different. I’ve been trolling listings for awhile and FREAKED OUT about this one. Justen went to see the apartment, we decided to apply, and then about a week later we found out we’re approved and get the keys right after we get back.

Oh and… I haven’t ever actually seen it. Justen FaceTimed me while he walked through it, and I loved it, but still. My first time seeing the apartment is when I’m bringing stuff into it to move in (I’ll be moving in first).

But y’all. It’s located above an antique store on a cute little downtown street we’ve visited many times before. It has hardwood floors and an exposed brick wall in the kitchen and pretty white doors. I’d show you the pictures but they just don’t seem to do it justice. It’s within walking distance of a $5 theater, a coffee shop that serves Monin coconut syrup, and a bakery with the best nitro cold brew I’ve ever had. AND IT IS ABOVE AN ANTIQUE STORE.

So anyway. When I get home, I’ll be packing my stuff up to move in. and you know what I’m excited about? I’m excited about a blank slate in which to not put a bunch of crap. It’s like the ultimate act of decluttering. Do I take the crap or not?

I’ve already begun to think about what I will not be taking with me to our new home.

6 things i will not be taking to our apartment // just a little bit louder

  • More than 5 bottles of nail polish
    One of my 101 in 1001 items is to get rid of all but 5 bottles of nail polish and not buy any more until I use them all up. This seems like the absolute best time to do this. While there is something really definitively girly about having eighteen zillion shades of pink nail polish, I will never be able to use them up. They will always win. It’s a small victory over clutter and I’m going to claim it.

 

  • Bread and Milk
    If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen the post I made about being ready to do Whole30 in September. A few years ago I was 100% rocking the gluten/dairy-free lifestyle. It was my jam (on gf bread, of course). After my last Whole30, idk what happened. I went food crazy and I’ve been eating all the crap. Having empty cupboards and an empty fridge gives me the opportunity to NOT put things in there. Things like bread and milk and cheese. Instead, I can stock foods that are 100% good to put in my body and not have to worry about it.

 

  • More than 50 pens
    This was also on my 101 in 1001 list – to get rid of all but 50 pens. Justen wrote me a letter earlier this summer and in it mentioned that he didn’t have many pens and would have to get more. I freaked and told him NO WAY JOSE, because I have more pens than I should! Again, it’s that same setting myself up for a small clutter victory thing. Instead of bringing all infinityzillion (made that up) of my pens and then deciding what to keep, I’ll only bring what I’m going to keep.

 

  • Samples
    This is a big one, y’all. Today I was using up a teeny tiny bottle of cleanser I got in a Birchbox a few months ago and I realized that I need to just clean slate the samples. I’ve been trying to be more diligent with using them up, but there’s no way I’ll be able to get this under control. Honestly, I just need to go through and only bring the makeup/products I actually use, and then it will be a joy and not a burden to receive new samples in the mail each month. This one might be hard.

 

  • Trinkets I’ve kept out of sentimentality
    I’m the worst at keeping things because they were gifts. I have a really hard time getting rid of gifts, no matter how small or insignificant. Over the course of my life, I have collected quite the trinket collection. But since this will be Justen’s home too, I don’t want for him to have to be surrounded by tiny clutter-y gifts people have given me over my lifetime. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy taking care of these items and now it’s time to say goodbye to them and move on.
  • Books I’ll probably never read
    Whenever someone offers to loan me a book, I lose my mind. I have so many books, y’all. Books can be so cheap if you buy them at second hand bookstores, garage sales or thrift store 1/2 off days. Like the trinkets, I’ve accumulated a collection of books I’ll probably never read. Instead of bringing them with me to be a constant, daily reminder of how I don’t read as much as I should, I’m just going to put them back into the second hand bookstore, garage sale, thrift store cycle.

I’m sure that as I’m packing things up, I’ll find more things that aren’t worth taking with me – any suggestions? I’ll keep y’all updated. It’s like the biggest, most efficient decluttering ever. Just don’t take stuff. I love it and I’m so excited.

Plus.

This apartment, you guys.

 

I’ll take more pictures once I step into it and see it for myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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De-Cluttering: The Pantry

Last year I started a mission to de-clutter my life. One night I looked over and thought… I HAVE SO MUCH FREAKING STUFF and decided to start purging. I started with the top of my dresser, moved on to my desk, tackled the stuff by my bed, and recently massively de-cluttered my bookshelf by just getting rid of it (I sold it at a garage sale for $2).

There’s nothing like a garage sale to get you going to un-stuff your life, right? I took a break from my room and decided to do something with another area of my life. For those of you who don’t know, I live with my mom. While my life is overrun with stuff, for being 30 years old and having most of my possessions confined to one room and a portion of a closet.. I think that’s pretty good. But I love pink and thrift stores and one day I plan on not living with my mom, so I have slowly started collecting my own dishes. and I guess I maybe have a problem with collecting random dishes, because this is what my corner of the pantry looked like:

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Yikes!!! There were SO MANY Starbucks traveler mugs, random appetizer plates, small cups and mugs. It was a complete mess and now I can’t really understand how I found anything in there!

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And again I say… YIKES!!!!

4

I just don’t even know.

So I spent a few hours one evening, taking everything out and only putting back things I really used and wanted to keep. This is the final product, and forgive all of these iPhone photos!

3 2 1

I’m appreciating the thought of only keeping things that are actually of use to me, regardless of how “cool” they might be. Like I had mentioned before, it also significantly affects my spending habits because I can see what is actually of use to me, instead of having no idea what I have.

Also as a side note… I like REALLY love pink. It’s not for show or anything, haha. This garage sale had me purging a LOT of stuff. Today I was looking for my camera chargerย and I realized there aren’t as many places it could be hiding as there used to be, and that was a GREAT feeling… also a scary one, because I was worried I’d lost it for good. It was just in my car ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you been bitten with the spring cleaning bug recently?

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Emotionally De-cluttering, Part 1: Giving things away.

April 2nd of 2015 was one of the coolest days of my life.
I was in California, visiting the Halters, with the boy I was dating/really liked.

I had my Instax and we took a bunch of pictures.

stephanieorefice.net

Whenever I take pictures with the twins, we divide them up at the end of my visit. They keep some and I keep some. Naturally, I kept that picture in the top leftish corner of me and the boy I was all about. I tucked all of my pictures into the collection of Instax that I kept in my wallet.

Four days later, that boy kind of messed my life up. and every time I opened my wallet to proudly show people the little loves of my life, I’d have to quickly shuffle past that picture of us. I couldn’t throw it away, because I was so hopeful that we could be friends again at some point. And maybe it wouldn’t be a picture of two people who had some great romantic love story, but perhaps it could be a testimony of reconciliation and forgiveness and the kind of love story that is often overlooked – the friends through thick and thin kind.

I held on hope for that even when he blocked me on Twitter. On his personal account and non-profit account and faith account and business account. and when he blocked me from his account in instagram. and unfriended me on Facebook. and blocked me from his non profit account on instagram. and banned my blog page from liking his non-profit Facebook… and his business Facebook… and when he blocked me on Pinterest… and when he banned me from liking his business page from my personal Facebook… and when he finally blocked me from liking his business on Instagram. It happened every few days over the course of two months, and I was radio silent the entire time, praying that the storm would die down and I could approach him with white flag waving, asking if it was safe to come out yet.

One day during the summer I was at camp, journaling. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to write his name in my new journal. I didn’t want this journal to be full of confusion and hurt. I wanted it to be hopeful and full of grace. I pulled out my pictures to tape one into my journal, and I saw the picture. I looked at it and cried a little bit because I couldn’t throw it away. It wasn’t trash.ย Knowing him was a special year of my life, regardless of how it ended, and I didn’t have the hardness of heart to throw it away.

So I ran to my friend Donna. The one who has been so divinely placed into my life to cry with me and to let me cry with her. Donna, who knows so deeply what it means to wait on the Lord. Donna, who has always shown me how to hurt with grace and gentleness. and I asked her if she would please take my picture and do with it whatever she thought was best.

donna // stephanieorefice.net

In September, I was hurting. and I wrote about Donna sending me a messageย at the very moment I needed her. In the message, she told me about that picture. She’d taken it all the way back to Australia and after having washed a certain pair of shorts THREE TIMES, she reached into the pocket and pulled out that picture.

You know how when people clean, they divide things into piles like KEEP, GIVE AWAY, THROW AWAY?
Donna let me give my emotional clutter to her. By accepting that picture and giving me a reassuring hug, she took the massive weight of a tiny picture into her life.

Sometimes when things hurt us and we don’t want to be reminded of it but we can’t bear to throw it away, we need to give it away to someone who recognizes the importance of it but who is more emotionally attached to us than the thing; who can be trusted to do what they see fit with our pain.

Right now one of my favorite songs of hope just came on shuffle, and the words of the song seem appropriate to share in light of this looking back on one of the most freeing moments of 2015.

“One, two, three, four steps
Take a little more with you
Show me one more step in the world
Thats all I need to move on.
-Will Reagan & United Pursuit

A little more. One more step. That’s all.

People of God by Will Reagan & United Pursuit // stephanieorefice.net

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Decluttering: bedside

Happy 2016. It’s still in the “let’s do this!” time of the new year, you know? Like hypothetically I’m still making good use of the gym membership I just bought. But I didn’t buy a gym membership or anything. I just mean… it’s all still new and there’s still beginning-of-the-year motivation.

I’ve been meaning to catch y’all up on my decluttering. It’s almost been HALF A YEAR since I decided to start decluttering. I started with the top of my dresser and then moved on to my desk. I decided the next thing to tackle was the side of my bed, because this is the mess you’d see when you first walked into my room:

Not only was my nightstand completely overrun with stuff, it was so messy because that’s just what happens when things feel cluttered, you know?

This is what it looks like when you walk into my room today:

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

No random lotions or anything on my nightstand; now it’s just my bedtime smells.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net
That “be brave” print is actually a card from Robyn! I love it.

>decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Instead of a bunch of random books, I decided to keep the books I need most often right here. My She Reads Truth study that I’m doing with my friends, my Bible, my journal and the SRT notebook. Topped off with everyone’s favorite blogger bedroom staple, a Bath & Body Works Candle. Winter is actually my most favorite smell; I stock up so that I can use it year-round, but this year I’ll retire it for my other favorite: SWEET SPUN SUGAR. You get it at Target. It is pink and smells like cotton candy. Sold.

Also that basket is full of slippers and cozy socks. I’m really hardcore about keeping my feet cozy.

Doesn’t it look so much better? And it has so much more PURPOSE.ย Since I was sitting on the floor, I decided to give you a glimpse of what will be the most difficult part of my room to declutter: UNDER MY BED.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

I literally do not have time to begin to think about going through that stuff.

But I did need to find a next space to declutter. It took me no time at all to figure it out.

My bookshelf.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Here, let’s go layer by layer, shall we?

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Two random boxes. a little container full of candles. Files with credit card information and blank paper, and my grandmother’s Bible.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

My Bibles and some Bible study resources and a bird because I’m from Portland and I’ve heard we put birds on things.
decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Books. A random basket from the Target $1 section that is LITERALLY mentioned in my first decluttering post, which holds a $1 section jar filled with $1 section washi tape. that’s basically the only thing in that basket. and a bunch of jars from the $1 section. Anybody want to buy some coffee scrub? I bought those to make coffee scrub in ๐Ÿ™‚ and a jar. I have no idea what’s in it.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Extra piggy banks (when you save your change for like 3 years at a time, you need more than one). Random cards. Aย thing that shows instagram pictures but I can’t get it to connect to the internet because I keep forgetting to take it to Starbucks and use their wifi like the company told me to a year ago. A thing to make journal cards. and a box with somethingย emotional in it.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

Books. Drawers from IKEA filled with random stuff I don’t know what to do with. One of the drawers has a purpose; it has the notes I take from sermons in it! The other ones are catchalls.

decluttering // stephanieorefice.net

You know… crayons, blank notebooks, random binders and address books and magazines and it appears there are some books. Who even knows.

So that’s my next project.

Keep in mind: this isn’t just cleaning. It’s not “I will straighten this stuff up.” This is going through and getting rid of things I have no purpose for. That bird is probably going to go, just saying.

Man. Feels good to be back in the swing of things.

Other posts on Unstuffing:

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Un-stuffing a bunch of stuff.

The other day I opened my closet and thought, for the first time in my life, “I don’t think I need all of this stuff.” I began to think about the last time I’d worn certain items, and asked myself why I hadn’t worn them in awhile. Then I moved on to the bottom right drawer of my dresser: the jeans. See, I once realized I’d lost 38 lbs since my highest weight.ย The number is now around 50 pounds. So I tried on some jeans and put a few pairs that were… wait for it… TOO BIG… in a pile to take to Plato’s Closet.

And then I realized… you know, I haven’t consistently worn dresses in awhile. So I took every single dress I own, threw it on my bed, and started trying every single dress on. INCLUDING… Bridesmaid dresses. Check this:

This first dress is one I wore last September in Rachel’s wedding.

Before/After weight loss // stephanieorefice.net

When I got the dress it fit really nicely; they didn’t alter the fit at all. When I tried the dress on, I thought “okay it fits kind of the same,” but when I saw the pictures I realized that the waist part is actually more loose now! Also this dress is just the cutest. It makes me feel like a princess.

The next dress is from August 2011, one of my favorite weddings of all time because it was at CAMP ARNOLD!

Before/after weight loss // stephanieorefice.net

I was looking for a picture from Sarah’s wedding and I saw this one and was like… wait, what? First, just note how much shorter it was on Sarah’s wedding day. Second, don’t pay too much attention but I was snug as a bug in that dress. When I put it on, I literally thought “this is what it feels like to wear a potato sack.” There was NOWHERE for it to cling, it just hung flat. This was the moment I thought “okay, maybe my weight loss is actually physically noticeable.”

But wait for this one.

This is from my friend Brittany’s wedding in April 2011.

before/after weight loss // stephanieorefice.net

When I wore this dress, I had no problems keeping it up. It’s strapless, but it had enough to stay in place. Now it wouldn’t even stay on my body.

Okay so here’s the thing. I didn’t stop there. I tried on every… article… of… clothing… I… own. Seriously. I tried it all on, and I decided.. some of this needs to go.

clothes // stephanieorefice.net

and you know what’s crazy? I kind of felt awesome about it. Because I realized this little cycle:

Losing weight –> Selling clothes –> Making a little $$ / un-stuffing –> less to worry about –> more time to do other things –> like sleep –> sleep helps with losing weight…. see this cycle? I realized that so much of what I’m currently tackling is all connected.

As I get rid of stuff in my room, I’m appreciating the value in the things I keep, which makes me less likely to go buy stuff just to make myself feel good. That helps me save money and keep an easier living space. Having a clear mind like that helps me stay focused on things like losing weight. It’s all connected.

I’m seeing that there’s a lot of stuff in my life to unstuff. I’m attempting to unstuff my debt (slowly… but surely. You know who is KILLING this debt repayment stuff? ROBYN. Go read this post like RIGHT NOW). I’m attempting to unstuff my body. I’m attempting to unstuff my closet, my room, under my bed, the drawers, the bathroom, my car, the garage…. not all at once, obviously. I’m just realizing that having lots of stuff doesn’t make me happy. Doing lots of THINGS makes me happy. Seeing lots of PEOPLE makes me happy. Being lots of places, drinking lots of coffee, having lots of conversations, hiking lots of miles… all stuff that makes me happy. Stuff isn’t cutting it anymore, and I’m tired of it.

This month I made a goal to unstuff by my bed. I’m getting there. This was a really healthy detour. I’ll tell you how much I make at Plato’s…. when I finally take it down there.

So here’s to progress in all the things that matter.

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