Monday, November 5, 2012

Decluttering: Before and After!

I love decluttering!

Ever since my mother-in-law helped me go through my own house last year and declutter and organize it, I'm hooked on the feeling of freedom it gives! I continue to work on my own home, but I also get great enjoyment out of helping my friends and family simplify their lives with this liberating process.

What decluttering does in a nutshell is this: it clears out the baggage from the past you, in order to open up the space for the present you to live today with more freedom and energy. It also helps you not go crazy from all the clutter around you!

Last week I went to visit my long-time friend Misty for my birthday. And while I was there, we started talking. What we'd originally planned to be a relaxing, chill-out visit turned into a back-breaking project to get her house decluttered and organized! But before you feel sorry for me, thinking that my weekend was ruined, know this: I wanted to do the work. I love doing it! And now, I am proud to share some "before" and "after" pictures of some of the areas we had time to do together.

First off, Misty needed an area to store some of the things in her house that she wasn't ready to totally get rid of yet. The garage was a great place for storage. Problem was, there was absolutely no room in her garage! We couldn't even get through the door. Check it out:

So we pulled out every tote and every bag and went through them, item-by-item. I had Misty divide these items up into different categories, such as Giveaway to friends, Donate to thrift store, Keep, Trash, etc. We rebagged and reboxed all the things, according to their new categories.

I would have liked to go through everything one or two more times to see clear out even more space, but we still ended up getting rid of a lot. This is a load we had her father come pick up to take to the thrift store--an entire truck-bed of stuff:

After reorganizing the garage, we actually had space to walk into it and store more items if needed:

(Look! We even had a friendly, little orb keep us company!)

Next up on the agenda was her work space. Misty is in the process of starting a tutu-making business called Chummy Mummy. I thought, if there's anything I do before I leave, I want to clear up a space for her to work on her tutus. So we started clearing out her office area. Here's how it looked when we first walked in:

And here's what it looked like after:

There was also an enormous, old desk on the right side of the room. It was doing nothing but catching things that needed to be organized and put away:

We organized all of the things that the desk had caught, and we simplified the space with a much more efficient table for tutu-making, as well as some organizational drawers and baskets on and beneath the table:

Also, here's what the left side of the room looked like originally:

And here's what it looked like "after":

That wooden cabinet you see (above) was a great storage space. Originally, Misty had stashed all of her old VHS tapes in there (VHS tapes which nowadays are obsolete and really need to be given away or put into storage), and this is what it looked like:

The cabinet now serves as a great, functional place for her to store her Chummy Mummy tools and supplies:

That was all I was able to help with, given the limited time I was able to be out of town. But after I left, Misty continued to work on her house. She was able to, all by herself, transform her baby's room from this...

...into this:

Great job, Misty!

And three cheers to decluttering and organizing! :-D


  1. Absolutely fabulous job, Dil! Thanks for sharing, and paying it forward. Life comes from simplicity. Cannot wait to see the pics for Drew when you start on his man space! I love you!

    1. Thanks, MIL! We are aiming to get him his new desk this week. :-D

  2. Wow! Please come to Spain and help me declutter! :D