True Confession from My Cluttered Life

Dear Friends,

Most of us love to watch house make over shows on television or the internet. I think it is because we just want something different from the CHAOS we have been living in. One of the first things we hear the host ask is, “What is your budget?” This question would be asked before they even knew what their style was.

At that point my heart would sink. Where do you come up with thousands of dollars to change the way your home looks and feels. I remember feeling this way when Robert and I got married.

He had built our home when he was two years out of Law School and a bachelor. It was just right for one person. There was an energy crisis and he wanted it to be as energy efficient as possible. He did have a picture window and a bay window which let in some sunlight.

When we married in 1996, I immediately started to make his bachelor pad reflect us. Now you have to keep in mind that I moved in my clutter, added his clutter, and we started going to estate auctions buying more stuff.

Our kitchen was a one butt kitchen. I loved the dark Formica clad cabinets but I hated large low hanging cabinet that was between the kitchen and the dining room. This cabinet was the size of a twin bed. One day I was determined to get that sucker off the ceiling. You know, where there is a will there is a way.  My brain went crazy. I had no help, but it was going to get done.

Then I had an epiphany. I would use books to hold up the cabinet as I removed the huge screws from the ceiling. We had plenty of books. I stacked them up and I got started. It was so easy! I remove one book at a time and lowered it. When Robert got home from court, he helped me take it to our extra bedroom.

Our kitchen was now open to the dining room/sitting area. My dark little kitchen did not feel as claustrophobic as before. We still had coppertone appliances, green counter tops, crusty (lime scale) stainless sink, and yellow linoleum floor.  I was so happy!  The kitchen was becoming mine.

The problem was I tried to cram all the dishes from the cabinet I had removed into the remaining cabinets. Clutter Clutter everywhere and no real organization. At the estate auction we bought a baker’s rack which attracted more clutter and it was visible. I was still stuck in more more more mode.

Do you remember that big cabinet I removed from our kitchen. It became the base for a twin bed. With the mattress removed, I filled it with clutter. At this point in my life, I had not realized that you cannot organize clutter.

During the next two years, we continued to go to auctions and find treasures. We married on November 30th, 1996. I didn’t catch the Declutter Excitement until January of 1999. As my habits were being established, I was decluttering three times a day. This is when the 27 Fling Boogie was born.

Morning, afternoon, and evening I would run through our home and grab 27 items to give away. Then I would do it all again, looking for 27 items to throw away. I did this for three months. My rule was I had to take the items directly to the car; I could not stop at the garage. The items had to be OUT OF OUR HOUSE. The trash had to be put in the garbage can. When you do a 27 Fling Boogie three times a day; you are going to be so happy with to see your home again.

I do have a confession to make. Decluttering made us love our home. When we finally decided to remodel, I was terrified. The fear came from eighteen months of established habits and routines. I didn’t want to lose what I had worked so hard to build. Our home was staying clean because clutter was not standing in the way of my routines.

Decluttering was the cheapest remodel that I have ever done. It didn’t take a budget to eliminate our clutter. It took the consistency of decluttering every day.

Are you ready to see the beauty in your home without have to spend a ton of money?


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