Sunday, August 31, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 31

Wow, this is the last day of the declutter challenge. I can't believe we've come this far!

You guys have all worked so hard.

Today I decluttered an old hand towel and some ponytail holders (still new) to a friend's daughters who love all things purple :)

Future decluttering
Because this has been so great, I've decided to continue doing a weekly round-up. I will promise that I will declutter SOMETHING every week, even if it's something non-photographical like 50 emails, an ebook, etc, because if I can do it, ANYBODY can do it.

So come back on Friday and link up your post showing us what you've decluttered. I still have to find someone to do a button for me so in the meantime, use the current one.

Now about the prizes for this month's challenge...

  • You can only enter if you've been decluttering every day from the beginning of the challenge.
  • I'd like you to write a short post with what you learnt and where you can see the biggest impact in your home. That's it.
  • I will choose two winners - one person will win my bestselling 12-part Organise your Home e-course (currently worth $27) and the other person will win a $25 Stacks and Stacks gift voucher. Please note that for the S&S prize, the person has to be a US resident as the gift voucher doesn't work through their international shopping cart.
  • So, when you link up, if you're NOT from the US, please put (non US) so I know to exclude you from the S&S drawing. Thanks for understanding.
  • You have until Monday 12PM EST to link up and I'll post the winners shortly after that.
  • And now that you're used to decluttering, you may want to get your home organised so if you want to get the Organise your Home e-course and you participated at any point during the challenge, please use discount coupon code declutter to get $10 off the price in my store (you only pay $17).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 30

Literally, scratching around to find things to declutter.

  • disposable cups (to a friend - I know they're having a party soon)
  • communion glasses (to same friend since we don't run cell groups any more)
  • egg-holder
  • water bottle
  • other rubbish :)
What are you decluttering today? If you've been going along with us all month, you deserve a huge pat on the back!

Get ready tomorrow to link up for the GRAND PRIZES!

Friday, August 29, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 29

Only two days left...

I run Virtual Organising Seminars for people all over the world. Isn't the internet amazing?! During our time together, we organise your desk, get your paper and emails organised and set up a planning and priority system for you.

During the last one, I decluttered paper from about 6 file binders that are now totally empty. I'll repurpose the other files...

but this one is going. For me, filing is the same like carrying handbags - the bigger the file, the more paper you collect. So out it goes. Together with a few odds and ends found around my office space. Which just goes to show, there's always room for improvement, even in an organised office :)

Over this month, what have you decluttered from your office? How much paper has gone?

P.S. The next VOS happens on Tuesday 16 Sept at 12PM EST. Are you joining me?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 28

It's the last little stretch now - get ready to link up week 4 tomorrow and then the entire month on Sunday.

I've been threatening to declutter my make-up for awhile and when I saw someone's nicely organised make-up drawer (was it you, Amanda?), I was inspired.

So here's stuff I decluttered from that green triangular thing I use to organise the smallest bathroom in the world. Lotion, old shower cap, lipsticks, make-up brushes (because who am I fooling, right?) and some other tubs of questionables.

After (from L to R) - eye stuff, lip stuff, miscellaneous stuff and eye shadow in the front, all nicely containerised :)

I used to have two tubs on the middle shelf - one is now completely gone. I LOVE SPACE!!!

Have you decluttered your make-up yet? How about your bathroom junk?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 27

Before I get to today's challenge, I want to discuss something with you.

Do you think it would be a good idea to continue doing the decluttering thing on a weekly basis? Say a weekly roundup where you post what you decluttered on a Friday (like Menu Plan Monday)? I think this will help to keep the momentum going but I'm keen to hear what YOU think. Yes, you!

Tell me yes or no, and what can I call it? I'm not the most creative with names and such so I need help!

Okay, now that business is out of the way, here's today's declutter!

This was one of the books I got at this HUGE BOOK SALE over a year ago, also only read recently.

It's about a woman who battles depression and who tries to commit suicide.

I think I'm done with books now, but I may be wrong ;)

What did you declutter today?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The winners of week 3...

The winners of week 3 are over at Beth's place.

Congratulations to ALL the participants.

Here are some posts I enjoyed so I started collecting the links to share with you:

letting go of (or decluttering) expectations

beautifully organised cupboards

It's not too late. If you declutter 7 items or more, you can still participate when we all link up again on Friday.

You can do it!!!

August declutter challenge - day 26

Another pile for the secondhand bookstore. I think that's it for awhile except for another one I'll post tomorrow.

What do you do when you're done reading your books?

And more importantly, what are you decluttering today?

Monday, August 25, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 25

We're in the home stretch now, everybody - don't feel despondent - keep going :)

This is from my baking section. That white thing is an ice bucket but we really don't need it - I actually don't think I've ever used it.

And I definitely don't use the biscuit cutters (cookie cutters) since I discovered my oatmeal drop cookies. Less mess and oh so yummy!

The blue mats are silicone - I bought a big one and cut it into smaller pieces to fit my baking pans. I don't need them anymore since I discovered baking paper. Oh my - my life really has changed since Glad's baking paper. No greasing baking sheets any more - it saves so much time!

Here's how I organise my baking pans. I love it and am pleased to say since I posted that picture in October last year, it still looks exactly the same, so it's working for me.

So that's today's contribution. What are YOU decluttering today?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 24

Some more magazines. House and Leisure is one of my favourites - filled with big, beautiful spaces and every month, they do a House of the Month where we get to poke around and see all the beautiful nooks and crannies of people's homes.

In case you haven't guessed, I LOVE to look at houses :)

I was very good with this magazine - I only pulled out one page for my flipfile.

How do you organise your magazine clippings?

And what have YOU decluttered today?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 23

Okay, so I finally made it in here. I go through the kitchen regularly but I decided to look through the cupboards as if I was with a client.

So this stuff came from my corner cupboard - I bought a whole set of microwaveable "goodies" YEARS ago. I used to use these regularly but somehow, I don't think I've used these things in the last year or so, so out they go.

What will you declutter today?
Have you been to your kitchen yet?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Week 3 link-up for the August Decluttering Challenge

Hi guys

I've just been going through the participants' blogs through my google reader and I found a picture that personifies, at least for me, what decluttering and organising does.

Doesn't this picture give you a feeling of peace? Look at the sunlight coming through the window.

All together now, let's breathe deeply. In...out... aah :)

I want each of you to have that same feeling of peace - there is nothing like it.

Right, back to business...

This week, my partner-in-decluttering, Beth, is hosting the Mr Linky over at her place.


Before you leave, tell me the biggest thing you learnt this week while decluttering and organising your spaces.

August declutter challenge - day 22

Look what I found in my entrance way.

Ministry stuff that can go back to the church - yayyy!

I need a fresh wind of decluttering energy - how about you? I might even have to go into that kitchen and start getting rid of my precious mugs!

I also have to go through my make-up...because I am determined to FINISH STRONG!

What did you declutter today?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 21

More books!

I read these while recovering from my operation and like the others, they are joining their friends at the secondhand bookstore.

What are you decluttering today?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Mind map it!


Sometimes, when you're not very far along on the Journey to Organisation, you may start feeling overwhelmed.

There are SO many places to start so you become indecisive.

Should I start in the kitchen? Should I start in the study? Should I start in my craft room? Maybe I should tackle the kids' rooms?


Okay, okay, re-lax...

Here's what I suggest you do:

  1. Grab a piece of paper and go to one room. Do not leave until this is done.
  2. Draw a circle in the middle of the page and write the name of the room you're in (let's just say you're in the office, since this is what I love organising).
  3. Then draw spokes like the rays of the sun for each section in that room that needs to be organised - e.g. desk, bookshelf 1, bookshelf 2, etc.
  4. Now look at each individual area and draw some more spokes off of each main spoke. For the desk you may of desk, drawer 1, drawer 2, under desk, and so on....

Now you have a visual plan of EVERYTHING that needs to be done in a particular area.

Then you tackle each of those sub-spokes until all the little sections are done. As you finish a section, cross it off in a different colour.

The thing is, those little bits can easily be done in 15-minute segments and before you know it, you've sorted an entire room.

At least then there's one room you can call a sanctuary - and then the next, and the next...

If you're a more linear thinker and don't like the "messy" nature of mind maps (for many years, I didn't either but I seem to be "breaking loose" these days), may I suggest that you print out the master to-do list on my site under Free tips and downloads. Use a different page for each room and simply list all the areas, one after the other.

Everything is still contained on one page, just in a linear, logical fashion. You'll still start working on one room at a time.

This works for me. Has this post helped you? Leave me a comment and let me know how you prevent overwhelm.

August declutter challenge - day 20

This is a sweatshirt I bought because I liked the colour and it was cheap, but really it is a size or two too big.

I put it on the other day and realised that actually, I do NOT feel great in it, so why torture myself by wearing it.

I know there are people who could use this so out it goes!

What are you decluttering today?

If you're starting to fade...try some easy decluttering.

P.S. only 11 days left!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 19

Tackled my desk and some files. I like a paperless environment because we only ever look at about 20% of papers ever again.

Deleted things off my master to-do list, made new lists, etc.

What did you declutter today?

Monday, August 18, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 18 & menu plan for week 18 Aug

Promotional "gifts" received

I remember my pastor saying once, "if it's not a need, then it's seed" and so these are going to other people who will be able to use it because we certainly don't need it.

What are you decluttering today?

If you haven't joined in yet, it's not too late. Start small with 1 item a day - that's it. Read more here.

This week, I'm on a conference for two days so our menu is light! Of course, I'm taking my laptop with me so I can at least keep up with my email and blogging.

On conference

Dion to sort out - I will be home very late (around 7:30 - 8pm)

Out for supper

Curry and rice from the freezer

Pasta with spicy lentil sauce

Check out more menus here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And this week's winners are...

This week has been so awesome. I am TOTALLY inspired by you ladies who are decluttering along with Beth and me.

Tip - I made a folder in my Google Reader called declutter challenge and added all the participants from last week's Mr Linky. This week I'll add the new people so that it's quick to follow along every day and see what you're up to :)

Okay, without further ado...

The winners are

6 - Diane wins a Simplicity ecourse from Beth
2 - Joan J who wins a Household Organising File
3 - Forgetfulone who wins a Christmas Planner (it's never too early to start)

Will the winners please send me an email so I can get your prizes to you? Thanks

Go tell all the winners congratulations and really, EVERYONE is a winner because we've all got more streamlined homes, closets, desks, hair (!), etc.

I also want to mention Susan's challenge. Susan is challenging all of her friends to join her for the rest of this challenge. Why don't you do the same?

This coming week...

Within your posts, start writing about what you're learning, whether it's still hard or getting easier, what your self-talk is, etc. I love reading it but not only that, if you let me know what's going on (within your post), I can give you some tips and free coaching!!!

For example, in week 1 (and Marcia, I hope you don't mind me mentioning this but you're such a great example), Marcia was almost tortured at the idea of decluttering some magazines. This week, it was so matter-of-fact because she's getting used to the process of decluttering. That really makes it worth it for me to see this kind of thing happening!

Goal for week 3
Our goal for next week is 50 declutterers - can we do it? Only with your help!

August declutter challenge - day 17

This is a bag I used for gym for a while. It is very small so can literally take a towel, small can of deodorant and hair elastics.
These days I'm so lazy so I just shove my stuff into my normal handbag since I get dressed at home.
Out, out you go!
How are you doing? We're just past the half way mark and it's getting harder, isn't it? I want you to create a lifestyle of decluttering and if you persevere, you'll get addicted to the space - trust me!
What are you decluttering today?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 16

I don't know what's going on - this photo displays the right way up but when I upload it, it goes sideways.

Anyway, this is what I decluttered today - back to my sister-in-law. I've had it here for MONTHS because I have to be in the mood for intense books. I finally read it and also decided I can't do these kinds of books anymore - life is serious enough :)

What did YOU declutter today?

Friday, August 15, 2008

This clutter definitely makes MY butt look fat...aka August declutter challenge - day 15

I've had these grey pants for probably 10 years. I know we shouldn't wear anything with pleats but I camouflaged them for a good few years by wearing bum-length jerseys over the pants.

There is a particular jersey (pale-blue) that I LOVE wearing with these pants - they go SO well together.

They really started looking awful on me and I STILL couldn't get rid of them (like an old friend) so I put them aside for a year. This year I am SO OVER them and it was easy to now get rid of them.

Bye-bye, pants. It's been good :)

What are you decluttering today?

It's time to link up for week 2 of the challenge. You have until Saturday 16th 12pm EST and just like last week, I'll post the winners on Sunday.

Please link to your specific Declutter Challenge post and not to your general blog. Thanks :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 14

Today I'm getting rid of books. I don't keep anything unless it's definitely an 8 or 9 out of 10, and then only if it touched me in a deep and meaningful way.
So these are going to the secondhand bookstore to exchange for book credits :)
Have you started on your bookshelf yet? I'm betting that there are at least 20 books you can get rid of!
What are you decluttering today?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Testimonials from the August declutter challenge

I have been SO inspired by all the ladies participating in the declutter challenge, and have been getting the most WONDERFUL emails, so I thought I'd share the latest email with you.

I’m so glad I found your site…it really has changed my life…my family is thrilled with the way things are getting organized. Because of this challenge, I have become a more organized person. Thank you, thank you for your great tips and the contest. It has changed my life… Patricia from Gifts that say wow

So are you in yet? Get ready for the big link-up on Friday - at least 7 items to qualify, okay?

You can make this as big or small as you want.

My suggestion is start with one area
  • that's bugging you the most
  • that you feel stressed thinking about
  • that drains your energy

Based on my 3 points above, what do you think you should declutter today?

August declutter challenge - day 13

I'm sure you're SOOO glad you're not seeing another handbag :)

These are some of Suzanne's favourite organising tools and I totally agree!

This one is going because it broke (yes, I could have fixed it with a new piece of string) and I've been waiting to use some cute shoebags I bought last year.

Out with the old, in with the new.

What did you declutter today?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We hit the big time over at 5 minutes for mom

I'm so excited! Our declutter challenge was highlighted in this post over at
5 minutes for mom.

If you're not familiar with the site, Janice and Susan are two GORGEOUS twin sisters who work from home and run two toy stores: A Rocking Horse To Love and Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles.

I've been interviewed by them before so you can look for me under Readers Blogs. I'm a personal fan of Tackle it Tuesday because I love the idea of making yourself accountable by posting your projects.

Anyway, go look!


August declutter challenge - day 12

This is the last handbag for a while...unless I get obsessed with throwing out some more. The scary thing is there are many others I still have!

If you've been reading our travel blog, you might recognise this bag from our Ireland pictures.

I bought it at Primark at The Thistles in Stirling, Scotland because Dion said, "we have to wait for Suzanne to do anything touristy". That was all I needed to hear to hit the shops :)

It is HUGE and everything gets lost once it gets inside - good for travelling so that my baggage allowance wasn't compromised but not so good once we were home.

So, what are you decluttering today?

Monday, August 11, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 11

Yet another handbag...I know Beth thinks I'm crazy because she has a total of 4 handbags. I'm thinking, "how, exactly, do you match just 4 handbags to your personality?" :)

Clearly I have a screw loose!

An old, brown, casual handbag I got from Mr Price for R60 a gazillion years ago.

Out, out!!!

What are you decluttering today?

And now for my menu plan...
Stirfried chicken and rice with veggies

Spaghetti bolognaise prepared by Dion

Potato and sweetcorn bake, apricot chicken

Pasta with spicy lentil and tomato sauce

Burgers and chips

Visit Laura for more menu ideas

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 10

yayyy to cutting up this credit card!

to be fair, I don't use this one as an actual credit card, but as a savings account

What did you declutter today?

P.S. If you need to get your money sorted, check out the Financial Freedom e-course

And the winners for week 1 of the challenge are...

All I can say is...good thing I have my spiral-bound notebook on my desk because I forgot I wanted to show you the picture and used the same browser window to start blogging this post! Hence...lost picture :)

And the winners are...

8 - Michelle who wins a Simplicity ecourse from Beth
5 - Marcia who wins a Household Organising File *
3 - Shirley who wins a Christmas Planner *

(I don't sell these products by themselves anymore, only as part of my Home Organising Product Bundle)

Now for some words of wisdom for the week ahead...

It's not too late to jump in - you are NOT behind. Just start exactly where you are. Who of you will join in on the challenge starting now? Post in the Mr Linky if you're a NEW declutterer.

Also, I noticed that some people aren't sure whether to declutter only one item or more than one. My answer depends on your situation.

  • I declutter regularly so I have very little clutter. For me, one item is often a stretch!
  • If you're not in the habit of decluttering, you might have TONS of stuff. In that case, go right ahead and throw out as much as you feel comfortable with, in a particular day.
  • The other Marcia, one of our winners this week, told me that she's doing light decluttering on the weekend because her grandkids will be there. That is GREAT because it means she has a system.
So do you have a system and a plan for the week ahead?

If not, why don't you tackle one room in your house?

Let me know if you have questions, okay? I'm here to help you get decluttered!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 9

Don't forget to link up on this post by 12pm EST today if you've decluttered 7 items or more this week.

This bag was one of my favourites for many, many years for a number of reasons:
  • a good friend gave it to me
  • it has my initials on it
  • it's the perfect size to carry exactly what you need
I haven't been using it for some time now so it's time to let it go...

What are you decluttering today?

It's National Women's Day in South Africa today which is annoying because we like our public holidays on work days, not on weekends.

How are you celebrating being a woman today?
BTW, for any purchases of ebooks, ecourses or audio products from my store during the month of August, I'm throwing in a free Women's Makeover Kit (Women's Health & Wellness Manual & Self-Confidence Handbook) worth $47.

Friday, August 08, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 8 & weekly giveaway

The giveaway for week 1 is now closed.
Why don't you start the challenge now and enter next week's contest?

I'm decluttering handbags again!

I love this little one, especially the shade of green - only thing is it just is a tiny bit too small.

When I use it, I can only fit my wallet (yes, that gorgeous one), make-up case, cell phone, tissues and car keys. I have to leave my notebook and planner at home :(

So that's why I'm letting it go.

I got it at Jet Stores for about R50 a year or two ago.

What are you decluttering today?


Remember if you've decluttered at least 7 items you get to enter the giveaway.

This is what you do:

  1. Write ONE post on your own blog with pictures of the 7 items, or one picture of the 7 items.
  2. Link back here.
  3. Put the permanent link URL in the Mr Linky below so everyone can come see what you've decluttered.
  4. Beth and I will draw 3 names over the weekend and announce the winners on Monday.

Good - let the games begin :)

Here you go - sign up...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 7

Have you been enjoying the stories behind my handbags?

I must say, I've been enjoying the process of giving them a voice before releasing them...sounds very woo-woo, doesn't it?

But it's working because I don't feel like I have to hang onto them for the memories anymore!

Is it working for you too?

Right, back to today...

In Johannesburg, it gets really, really hot in summer. I can't stand sandals with the strips of material over the feet and I practically live in these kinds of sandals (as you can see).

These ones have been with me to Thailand and Malaysia, and I have a picture of us on an elephant in a Thai jungle, with my feet in these :)

What did you declutter today?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 6

It's my birthday today and I'm 34 :)

I am SOOO excited to post these pics because this is a true birthday present.

I've seen these boxes since I first met Dion. They have travelled with us through 13 years of marriage from one house to the next!

So what's in them?

A video camera and projector that used to belong to Dion when he studied TV and Film at Rhodes University.

I went to an old hairdresser recently and we got chatting. It turns out that her son is now also studying TV and Film so I sold Dion on the idea of donating these things to him.

And with that action, there are 3 happy people in Jhb - the guy, Dion (because I'm not nagging anymore) and me!

Because it's my birthday, I get to be extra bossy so...

if you haven't been participating, go declutter 6 items today and post your items in the comments!

Thanks for playing along!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 5

Magazines received while in the hospital last month...

What have you decluttered today?

P.S. Read these two posts to get ideas to organise magazines

Monday, August 04, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 4

I've been known to go up to complete strangers and ask them, "WHERE did you get that GORGEOUS bag?"

Some people will look at me like I'm weird but the true handbag lover will smile because they know what it's like

That's what I did to a girl at work and she told me, so I went out and got one.

I loved it for a while until my cell phone kept falling out of the little pockets because they were too wide.

When things don't function properly, I go off them quite quickly. And that's what happened to this brown bag.

I still love the look of this one...but after you have to scratch around in it for your cell phone for the THIRD time in the day and it's only 10:00 in the morning... you get SO ready to switch to a more functional bag.

And that's why this one is going.

Originally bought at Edgars for R129 about a year ago.

What are you decluttering today?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 3

I bought this bag in Sydney, Australia :)

If memory serves me correctly, it was on Pitt Street. It's in the financial district, right opposite a Gloria Jean's coffee shop and near a Burger King. Trust me to remember all the food places :)

(I've just checked Google and I got the name correct - yay)

This is the hotel we stayed at.

While I'm strolling down memory lane, that was also the same street where I first saw a gay couple kiss. Oh, I do live a sheltered life!

I think I paid Aus $10 (R50) at the time, which was in April 2004.

So tell me, what did you declutter today?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 2

I bought this black bag at Milady's in April. I was looking for a light handbag with lots of pockets that would go with most of my clothes while we travelled in the UK and Ireland.

I found the one in these pictures and while I was there, this black beauty caught my eye.

The only thing is I didn't quite get around to using it. I think it's because I already have one smart, black handbag. And I'm not really into boring handbags :)

You'll notice the price tag is still affixed. R159 for those of you who are interested in prices like I am ($US 20).

I'm now trying to sell it because Milady's does not accept returns outside of a 28-day period (I tried to return it on 5 July - no joy).

What did you declutter today?

Friday, August 01, 2008

August declutter challenge - day 1

Updated AGAIN to add
I tried a new Mr Linky so it is fixed :)

It's HERE!!! I feel like I've waited FOREVER for this day but it's been only 3 weeks :)

Welcome to the new readers and thanks for joining in.

If you're not familiar with the August Declutter Challenge, read about it over on the top of the sidebar ----->>

Don't get overwhelmed thinking about the whole month - start with ONE THING today.

Okay? It's not that bad - really, I promise :)

I'll go first and then it's your turn...

I bought this red handbag in 2001 and it has been one of my favourites ever since.

Do you know why?

Because of its texture. I don't quite know what it's made of but this bag has a deliciously smooth, cool feel. Lovely!

I'm a very tactile person - that means I like to touch things. If you meet me in real life, don't be freaked out if I touch things and go, "mmmmm" ;)

I'm letting it go because it's not quite wide enough for all the things I carry around with me.

Bye-bye, gorgeous red handbag from Truworths.

What did you declutter today?