Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week #4 Wrap up.....TIRED

Is it getting old for you yet? It is for me. The 40 bags in 40 days project that my awesome friend at White House Black Shutters does each year at Lent (And I follow along every year) is over half way done. And honestly.....I'm getting tired. Tired of trash, tired of decluttering, and tired of STILL having so far to go. 

I'm also tired of not having any pretty pictures or amazing results to share. Basically everything I'm tackling this year is down and dirty. No pretty fluffy things being done. Just loads and loads of STUFF being hauled away. It's exhausting really. 

But the good news is that while I still have so far to go, I have cleared 70 bags of STUFF out of the house. Most of it has come from the basement (Where my secret hoarding side spills out). 

I'm letting go of things so much easier now. At the beginning of the challenge, even though it's my third year doing it, I felt overwhelming and worried about tossing stuff. Now? I feel completely confident in getting rid of practically everything. Which, in my opinion is HUGE. 

So, here are my pictures from the week. Once again...nothing pretty or amazing. Just real life, down and dirty cleaning out. 

Organized the donation center and put away boxes of donations that were waiting to be sorted. 

25 Care Bags were delivered this week. 

Along with 3 more boxes of donations to the Children's Home. While these do not count in my project totals, if was work I completed this week. 

Everything on the table^^^ Was in this small space on the buffet below. Which is now cleaned and organized

And the trash is gone

2 more donations from Linen closet and MORE stuffed animals were dropped off at Thrift King

More trash (Aren't you excited to see trash)

Another bag of donations from my closet

Linen closet results. Cleaned and organized

Before picture of one corner in the basement

the "in progress" after picture

Here is my breakdown closing out Week #4

32 Bags of Trash

38 Bags/boxes of Donations

70 Bags Total!

Hope you all are working hard and clearing out too. If I can do can too! We have 3 weeks left to go.    I'm looking forward to the end. But really looking forward to the End Result!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Differently Normal

We went away this weekend to Splash Lagoon (An indoor water park) and I was nervous going. My kids require a high amount of accommodation (mostly on my part) to make things go smoothly. The weekend went great and something else came out of it that I was not expecting and was so happy to see. 

While I tend to "not care" how people think or feel about us, there is a small little part of me that wants that acceptance. So, when I see things that are special, people who go above and beyond it makes me happy and totally overshadows any of the negative we experience.

First let me say that being a special needs mother is tough....I want us to be "normal" but I want to be accommodated. It's hard to draw the line between being accepted as normal versus being allowed special things to make your little ones able to do the things that all other kids do. It's like you can't have it both ways. But this weekend I'm so happy to say I saw some really good people making our life "differently normal". 

Here's some examples and Thank yous:

Thank you to the lady who was listening to her IPOD for taking the time to take off the ear buds and talk to Little Baer. He wanted to talk to you and didn't understand that you were quietly relaxing. And thank you for talking back to him like you understood his babble, and showing him pictures and being interested in him (Different). And thank you for politely telling him no....he couldn't eat your fries (normal). ;) 

Thank you to the mom who chatted while our boys played together. Asking me Little Baer's name and telling me your sons name was Trent! And for sharing that Trent was 3 too! (Normal) And thank you for explaining to your 3 year old that Little Baer needed a little extra time on the steps to the slide, so to be patient with him! (Different)

Thank you to the mom who stopped me to say that Little Baer was a beautiful little boy and she had been watching him play (not creepin....I hope) and how amazing he was! (Differently normal?) It was so very sweet for you to recognize him and how beautiful and amazing he is. Thank you for taking the time to tell me. 

Thank you to the Heart mom (We are everywhere!) who explained to her little girl (A heart warrior) that Little Baer was touching her because he liked her and couldn't tell her. And for pointing out they shared a zipper scar! Thank you for making Little Baer feel normal while showing your daughter that it's ok to be different. 

All of these moms made a difference in our life this weekend. For treating us "differently normal" and for teaching their kids how to be the same. Us special needs moms appreciate the kindness. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Week #3 Wrap up of 40 in 40

Here we are at the end of week #3 in my yearly Lenten project with Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters . During this week, in our support group (YES! We have a FB support group. It's amazing and very needed) we took a lot of time discussing WHY we save clutter and how to work through the emotional ties that bind us to "stuff". It is my hope that once I complete this project and my basement is livable again that I will never go back to my hoarding ways. Something that has helped me is to imagine the basement as part of my house and not a black hole to throw stuff. If it's not acceptable to "live" with the stuff, it's not acceptable to throw it in the basement for later. I am also trying to have only what I love, keep only what I actually use (not what I "might" use in 2034) and to give myself limits on what I can keep. For example: I can keep the amount of clothing that fits into my drawers. Otherwise I need to make choices and pare down until it DOES fit into the drawers. Same goes with every space in the house and basement.  It was enlightening and helpful. I'm officially half way through the basement cluster and my "living" part of the house is about 80% finished! I also got a very special reward this week (You will see at the end). 

So....Basement progress. Again, not a lot of pretty pictures of fancy things, but here is the before and after. Note I did put away the holiday decorations from both Halloween and Christmas. :) 



From the Laundry area view:

That pile resting in that corner is my next week's project. Hopefully this entire half of the basement will be completed by next week. I made a trip to Thrift King this week and a TON more trash to the curb. I also cleaned out my car to prepare for our weekend getaway which surprisingly only yielded a half a bag! (Don't worry I filled it up inside the house!)

My reward for completing so much.....An amazing new bed set and matching 1600 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sheets. I also purchased a memory foam mattress topper. It is AMAZING! Completely transformed my ancient mattress into a nice and comfortable bed for sleeping. 

I cleared out 11 bags/boxes to the trash and took 6 bags/boxes to Thrift King. Taking my Total for the Challenge to:

24 Bags of Trash

35 Bags Donated

That's 59 Total Bags for the Challenge so far. I'm pretty impressed with the amount of clutter gone. *Note the Bags are either Garbage Bags or Boxes of items for donation. 

To all my decluttering friends out there: Keep up the good work!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

40 in 40 Week #2 Wrap up!

For those of you following along I'm working on my 40 bags in 40 days project with Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters and am wrapping up Week #2 today. I'm a day early on the wrap up, but I have gotten some amazing work done this week and am ready to wrap it up and consider it closed. 

Honestly there aren't a lot of beautiful pictures this week. Most of this project consists of me dealing with the overwhelming desire to be organized and live simple and dealing with the hoarder in me that fights me at every turn. So, these posts will be mostly filled with garbage, literally. Lots of junk that I have spent years accumulating. 

I came to a realization this week while working on my clutter. I don't "love" most things I have. Most of my home is filled with "stuff" and I want to surround myself with things I love. So, this is about clearing out the stuff and focusing on what really brings joy to me in my home. 

 I'm waging war on this stuff and it must go....and go now! I am being ruthless this year and hopefully when next year's Lent season rolls around I can pride myself in the decluttering of small spaces like under a sink. Or I can spend some time decorating with things I love. For now though, the posts you will be seeing will look like a whole lot of garbage being tossed. :) My work this week was mostly in the basement. 

I did manage to sort through the boys dresser and toss 2 bags of stuff from them. Now I can find everyone's clothes each morning and all my laundry fits in the drawers. That is heavenly! 



This is what I have accomplished in the basement so far (And likely some of the most embarrassing pictures EVER!)

Office Before:

Office After:

Laundry area Before:

Laundry area after:

Purple Heart came today and picked up a load of donations. Another load went to Animal Friends in WV for their thrift store Re-Tails. And a bunch more trash. Final count after week 2. 

13 Bags of Trash

29 Boxes/Bags donated

Total of 42 Bags gone....And umm.....It's only Week 2. This might seem like I'm an overachiever, but the sad fact is I have 2/3 of a  basement left to accomplish and I that is terrible! Next week I will be focusing my efforts on my bedroom closet (Which is still not complete) and more work in the basement. I'm hoping for another area to be cleared out in the next 7 days. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week #1 Wrap of 40 in 40

Well the end of week #1 is here! 40 Bags in 40 Days project started on Ash Wed. (Feb. 13th) and if you aren't familiar it's a way of "Giving up for Lent" (Clutter!) and a way to refocus on Simple Living, Organizing and reducing the clutter in your home. This is my 3rd year hooking up with Ann Marie at White House Black Shutters and the first two years collectively I purged over 100 bags of clutter from our home. 

That might leave you to think that I have a handle on this. Right?! Well, WRONG! I realized this year that I have not tackled the madness and really have barely touched the surface. I have a huge basement that is over-flowing and even worse...Still parts of my home that contains items that are not usable, not loved, and basically....Trash! 

So this year I'm hitting hard. Not holding anything back and purging it. Once and for all. We have a small home. 2 bedrooms....3 kids. You get the idea. Simple Living seems to elude me in the piles of stuff. My disorganization costs me time (LOTS of time searching for that ONE thing I want) and money (Just buying it because I can't find it). And I also realized this year that I don't "love" my home. Mostly because my entire home is decorated with "other people's things". things that people have given me, passed down, and collected through the years. 

So...I have finally decided to break those emotional ties that bind me and work towards "My home". Before the 40n40 project started though, I confess I started early. I began at the beginning of the year and while I didn't count bags or donate things (YET! They were moved to the basement) I started redoing some problem areas. 

 Pretty new Fiesta Ware (Which I LOVE and are Lead Free, the main reason for the replacement!!!!) Replaced all the items that were crammed in the same cabinet. Crazy!

(These are technically still in my home in the basement...but it's progress)

I cleared off my buffet that seemed to ALWAYS collect junk and now it's a usable space for storage of my dry goods. I found these awesome glass jars at Thrift King for $2.00 a piece!

And now Wednesday I started cleaning out the clutter!!!

In the bathroom I found an entire box full of old vitamins and prescriptions. Some expired in 1998! Seriously people...I moved them 3 times. That is madness!

 "Bag" #1 down!

 Baby Baer's drawers were tackled. I found about 30 pair of infant booties. And umm...She's 2! 

these bags aren't "counted" yet because they technically have not left my home either. This is an important part of it for me. While I have cleared it from our living space it still sits in waiting....In the basement. Once it is MOVED from my home then it will be counted. 

I tackled under the bathroom sink! And then...under the kitchen sink

 And then I also "started" the basement. Which means there are no pictures of progress because all I did was walk through and gather trash. 

Total Count for the first (short) week is 8 Bags of Trash! GONE! 

Next Week I'm tackling more of the basement. The Linen Closet, My dresser, and hopefully Papa Baer's dresser as well. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Bags in 40 Days Project

It's that time again! It's Ash Wednesday today and that start of 40 Bags in 40 Days project. The Giving up of  clutter for lent. This is my third year doing the project and I'm so excited and ready to do it this year. 

I'll be updating weekly (If not more often) about my accomplishments and tips on how to clear the clutter. I will be coming from the slightly emotional hoarder side of things as I struggle to get my own clutter under control. You can follow along though with the 40 Days Guru, Ann Marie, at her awesome blog (One that actual gets updated). She runs White House Black Shutters and is amazing at DIY and organization. 

She has printables available (Which I'm using) and is also hosting a closed facebook group for those of us who need support and lots of direction! Come join in the fun this year and give up your clutter for Lent. 

You can see her post here

Here are by "Before" pictures in all their glory. The basement, which is my BIG decluttering project of the year.....And a few other small areas of my home that haven't been organized yet. 

I'm also tackling the Kids clothes....Tubs and Tubs of kids clothes that don't fit any of my kids. They are going! 

So....Come get motivated with me and I promise to update my blog more then once a year. ;) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not my kid! Nope...I will be a good mother

Thought I'd share a little story for all you moms, moms to be, and people in general. It goes a little something like this:

My kid will never act that way *shaking my head* I will be a good mother, and teach them right. My children will listen and have manners. THAT mother *pointing my finger* needs to be a better parent.

So, the story may go a little different, but the theory is always the same. I thought the same way. I mean really? Who thinks this..... 

You see this handsome boy Brother Baer? Well, he would never have the substitute van driver drive around our block 3 times today and end up calling me because he's telling her he doesn't live here and her paperwork says he does! ( not my kid!)

And my daughter, Baby Baer would never climb into her kitchen sink, nor would she take her diaper off under her nightgown while I'm wasting time on facebook cleaning the kitchen and pee in the sink and proceed to "splash in it". Nope...not my kid. I'll be a better mother for one, and my kids will act better then that for two.  

Nor will she climb on things, mover furniture and that shelf in the other picture above....I certainly will not move it from the living room so that she stops climbing it. I will just "watch her better" and not change my house for her. I will make her listen. 

My pretty girl will wear bows in her hair.

Or not. (But it will be my choice...not hers...because who's the mother anyways?)

And this beautiful boy, Little Baer would never take his diaper off and pee out of the crib, or on the floor, and he won't push his sister or try to hammer her. And Baby Baer will never strip her diaper off a million times a day either. I'll be sure to be a better mom then that. 

They won't get things like Nutella on their bread, simply to get them to eat the bread. *shaking my head* what kind of mother does that? A lazy mom, that's who.

I'll insist they eat their fruit too....not just Nutella smothered bread. See that wasted banana? My kid will eat it. 

My kids will be perfectly mannered and I will be the perfect mother. Whose kids who act that way?.....Their moms just need to be better parents. 

So,  Let's face it, There are lots of things I swore my kids wouldn't do. And I am pretty certain that everything I have sworn wouldn't happen, has. Or will in the near future. Probably while I'm wasting time blogging. :)

So....Mr. snotty, too good for you, judgmental man in line at the mall the other day looking down your nose at me and my children. Let me explain something to you....they were laughing and giggling! Who cares they were wrestling and pouncing on each other like wild apes....they were laughing, there was no blood, so relax dude!

And I hope you have kids that act just like mine!