Is there a Boy Scout badge for Purging?

How gross is it when your car could be mistaken as a mobile junk yard and your closet looks like 15 teenage girls live in it?
7 tips to declutter your life
Let me tell you, it’s gross! I have hit the point of crisis in my home.  And I have some great tips if you find yourself in need of some serious “decluttering” too. Currently, I have a guest room that will host a guest in 1 month.  The problem… I know there is a bed in here somewhere. This is my next big job to tackle.
Here is what I have done so far and why. My car had been “babyfied”… What’s “babyfied”? Oh, it’s what happens to your upholstery when a 7 year old has been dropping chicken nuggets and dripping juice boxes on it for 7 years.  These were my car carpets before…. CRINGE
Gross carmats about to get clean
Why am I showing you this?  Because it is evidence that I was not taking care of the things in my life.  I was also not taking care of myself. These things were reflective of some inner chaos….
I was running from one thing to the next.
One FB group to the next.
One blog post to the next (writing some along the way).
One day to the next.
Going from my job teaching, to my mommy job, onto my “wife”ing job, then blogging until 11:30. Up again at 5:45.
Never ever putting anything away.
Spilling, tossing, and leaving…
Washing the same load of laundry 5 times because it never made it to the dryer.
Rummaging through unfolded clean laundry to get dressed (for weeks).
Driving through and not cooking.
I was poorly equipped to handle any hardships because I was rushing.
“Enough!” I exhaled. I was not created to live this way. I was not created a rat to participate in some kind of rat race! 
A few months ago I began to slow down, to purge, and mark things off my to do list.  I have learned a few things along the way!
Start by doing the thing you MOST WANT TO AVOID.
In my case this was my closet. When you cannot get dressed in the morning this is an issue.  But because my closet was such a big job, I was doing other things to avoid it (like attempting to organize my husband).  Finally, I jumped into my closet (armed in hazmat gear), dragged it all out, and dealt with it! I brought out everything cluttering the floor and put it against the bathtub. I set up 4 dining chairs in my bathroom and started grabbing clothes and placing them on the chairs (wrong size but save / donate / wrong season store/ hang up) If I like the clothes and they fit, I left them hanging. 
Declutter your life with Teacher to the Core-001
Addressing this area in my home began to help me mentally address other things I was avoiding. Like prepping for my I TEACH K conference session {stage fright}! As I was cleaning out my closet, ideas and creativity began to flow! Joy and SPARK entered my mind. Not only did I begin to write my power point presentation, but I shopped for my raffle basket, bought my clothes for the entire weekend, and am thrilled to be moving forward and not paralyzed with stage fright. By the way, I am wearing this to I TEACH K!

Drag, Drop, and Donate
Find an open spot in your home, your lawn, or driveway and then designate areas with signs or sidewalk chalk. When I cleaned out my garage, I grabbed sidewalk chalk and sectioned off the driveway.  It’s easier to get a grip when the chaos inside moves outside (weather permitting)and gets organized in the process of moving it out. So you DRAG it out, DROP it in it’s spot, and DONATE as much as you can.  These were my categories:
Take to School
IMG_7113   IMG_7110
Back in the Garage:
-sub category “FIND A SPOT in GARAGE”
-sub category “PUT IT AWAY”
Back In House
Tools (The tools seem to be everywhere)
Once you drag and drop, then deal with each section. I loaded the car with school stuff, called for donation pick up, called for pizza, put away the stuff that had a spot in my garage, then found spots for everything else. When it started to rain halfway through, I set up 6 foot tables inside the garage and kept at it!

You can go about this in two ways. Call your favorite charity and work around their pick up schedule. This might require you to store your donated goods for a while. OR if you don’t want to haul it back in your space, leave it on your front porch and call about 5 charities until you can find one that will pick it up in the next 24 hours.  Luckily my favorite charity and a fast pick up came in the same package!
Plan Your Space
Look at what you really have and plan out what you need easy access to.  I needed craft storage, a place for our 7 years of taxes, and a spot to hold all my necklaces. Enter a huge shelf, and the permission to buy what you need to get the job done.
Organizing your closet  IMG_7121
Buy what you need to get and stay organized.
Buy hooks, shelves, tubs, shoe racks…. Do it because if you find yourself constantly leaving something on the floor and you don’t get hooks then, you will just keep dropping them onto the floor!  What’s almost always on my floors? Jeans, bras, and jackets.  So I bought a wall hanging coat rack and closet hooks. The closet hooks can be purchased at Wal-Mart and the coat hanger is from Hobby Lobby.
IMG_7125   IMG_7126
Enlist the help of others
This is a no brainer. Play music, order pizza, and make it fun. For me that’s another human being to share in the process.  I like it best when it’s my hubby, but I have been known to con a friend or two into the process! I also hire the college aged children of my friends. They need money. I need help. Everyone is happy!
Just Start
“Once begun is half done”- Mary Poppins.  Seriously amen sister. No truer words…
Getting organized
You don’t have to research Pinterest (though it’s not a bad idea), JUST START! You already know what to do.
Email:  I unsubscribed to everything! OK I still get TpT “new items posted” notifications and Old Navy, but that’s it! It took me 3 hours of unsubscribing to everything, but now I don’t hold my breath in fear before opening my email.  I don’t avoid my email out of fear either. I don’t have 999 emails of crap! I can fly though my emails because if it’s in there, it’s important to me! You are seeing that right. I have 6 emails in my inbox. In all fairness, I checked my email 5 minutes ago, but the point is I was not bogged down with junk, so it was fast! 
Facebook: you don’t have to unfriend people and pages, but you can turn off notifications and remove people from your feed. We all know I am not “stopping notifications” on my husband, but I wanted you to see how easy it is to do.
Clean Out FB
Jackson’s room:  Out with the old and in with the new Christmas style.
Clean out your kids room and display the toys they play with.   Organize your childs room to entice them away from video games
The playroom:  Clean out, organize, and donate.
Game and toy storage- stack it to the sky and hope to avoid earthquakes 
Blog Lovin’:
I never opened the emails from blog lovin’ because I did not have time to read 1000 posts. So I got serious about the blogs I love. I still follow 325, but as long as you all don’t post on the same day, I should be a better reader!
Closet: clothes, crafts, and stuff.
Clean it up  IMG_7124
Keep bins in your closet to catch clutter unitl you can deal with it  IMG_7121
Keep bins in your closet
They will catch the clutter until you have the time to deal with it.  These were the bins I sorted my mess into.  Now that I can walk in my closet, I will be dealing with the bins little by little as I have time. I won’t put the bins away. I am going to keep them there because my life will always be crazy in one way or another, and I will always need a spot to drop stuff if I cannot handle it right away.
Vehicle: So you know the car that could be mistaken for a mobile junk heap? Who knew employing a trash bag and a $99 dollar detail service could do this!!!  SEXY BEAST! Not a spot or stain!!! I was driving around in a GROSS car for no reason.  I did not take the time to drop it off to be detailed for 7 years. I got it washed and vacuumed, but not detailed.  “I did not take the time” is my point in this whole experience. If I had “taken the time” I could have been enjoying this gloriousness sooner!
IMG_7115  IMG_7117
I mean really! LOOOOOKY! All fresh and new!  I am going to miss this little baby.  I have loved her for 11 years.  My hubby is going to be enjoying her fresh new look while I take good care of this…
I really do mean “taking care” of this car, not just because it’s nice and new, but because my car and my closet are a reflection {as I have mentioned} of what’s happening in my life… How fast I am going and how hard I am pushing. I am not going to thrash this car or thrash my life by thrashing my way through my days.
The only thing that is going to go a mile a minute is my speedometer! I am going to slow the heck down and be more patient with myself.  I am going to teach myself that everything and everyone can wait  5 minutes for me. I am going to get my things out of the car, get in the door, and put my purse and keys in their spot. I spend tons of my life panicked looking for my keys and my cell phone. Not anymore. Both the closet basket hander and metal organizer can be purchased in similar form at Target. I saw them yesterday.
 IMG_7147  IMG_7146
Putting things away right away can be incredibly freeing and enjoyable!  Today I bought all my thank you gifts for the end of the year at Bath and Body Works. Instead of leaving them on the kitchen counter and then throwing them into my closet to trip on for 4 months, I put them into two bags (instead of 13 bags) and found a shelf in the garage to hold them until June.  They are away.  Away but still handy when the time comes to give them. 
It was powerful to give myself that moment to be clear, organized, and purposeful!  It is powerful to know I wont be tripping over them for the next 4 months!
I want to teach my son to slow down and look back before moving onto the next wildly fun moment.  “Did you leave a mess behind in the car?  Please go pick it up.” I told him today, “You clean up your little spot so it is nice for you to come back to later.”  {You are welcome “Future Mrs. Jackson Knight”.}
This is going to be good people!!! Fabulous even! Will I fall off the wagon? SURE! I plan to be imperfect.  But at least I have a plan!
Next on my list is the guest room, finishing the closet bins, and my linen closet! Is there anything you do that helps you deal with the clutter? Tell me. I’ll do it. I’m all ears!