DIY & more

Organization and Decluttering 2012

A few weeks before the end of the year, I started a list of all those things I intend to do but usually forget when I actually have a bit of free time. Most were in some way related to organizing and/or de-cluttering. After Christmas, I didn’t have many other obligations, and Ken was at home to help me, so I began my DE-CLUTTER campaign in earnest. This is only the beginning, a kick-start to something I plan to work on for months to come! My family has learned to be very afraid when I announce an adventure like this. (I think they think I’m a little bit psychotic about all this!)

We emptied a storage room upstairs (a glorified large walk-in closet), painted it, and transformed it into Ken’s new home office. This involved a vicious does-it-really-need-to-go-in-there test for every item before he took it into the new office. And if it went in, it had to be organized. It was painful (mostly for Ken), but he is very happy with his office now. (Photo below from his blog.)

We brutally cleared out and reorganized the room we just call “the upstairs room.” It has the only television in the house, plus the Wii, and was also where Ken’s desk was before we created an office for him. We organized the exercise equipment that was laying around, and took down a big dark ceiling fan and replaced it with a small white light fixture; this all made the room feel so much bigger! We now even have room for a recliner (which had been relegated to a guest room) in addition to our little sofa, and I can actually enjoy going up there to work out or watch a movie without being stressed by the mess.

Did I mention Ken got a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas? I usually stick to tea, which has less caffeine than coffee, but I think the ease of the new Keurig — and the added caffeine of coffee I’m not accustomed to — kicked all this into high gear. Bwahaha! (See how the coffee maker lives happily next to the tea kettle? It’s like me and Ken!)
coffee and tea

Then I attacked my kitchen. This involved a total reorganization of the kitchen pantry, and I cleaned so much stuff out of the pantry and kitchen cabinets that I now have 8 bags of kitchenwares to donate. How did we end up with so much stuff we don’t truly need? Since I’m planning on a bigger table in the kitchen, we won’t have room for the small china cabinet that was in there, so that moved to the sunroom.

Next came an overhaul of the master bedroom closet. This featured all new IKEA shelving, purchased with money my dad gave us for Christmas. (Thanks, Dad!) I took everything out of the closet, Ken installed the shelving, and then I put everything back in, minus a boatload of clothes to donate. If I haven’t worn it in a year (with the exception of a couple of special-occasion dresses), I don’t need it. If I don’t like it, I should give it away. So I did. Oh, how happy this makes me!
organized closet

I was on a serious roll, so I decided my sewing desk would go better in the little living room nook where my computer desk was, and I really wanted to have more of an “office” for my mental well-being, but it still needed to be central to the house. So a little rearranging in the sunroom (where the sewing desk had been) created a nice office for me. The little china cabinet that had been in the kitchen is now working nicely to organize my office supplies. I’m still working on wall art and a bit more organization in here, and still deciding how best to organize my fabrics for sewing, but it’s all headed in a good direction.
my office
My organization spree carried over into my online world as well, in re-doing my blog, revamping our Worley Arts Photography site, and creating my own new photography site. Oh, and I designed and ordered new business cards!

Feeling inspired to start your own de-clutter adventure? I found this 2012 Declutter and Organize Calendar at MySimplerLife. It has small tasks to do each day to get your home decluttered this year. If you need some organizing ideas, I have a whole pinboard for that on Pinterest: Organizational Bliss.

Oh, if I had a labeler...

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Aviran Z

Wish I had “cleaning” in my new year`s resolution.
Entered it right now, my home looks a mess, and wife ain`t home yet.

I love cleaning and decluttering. It clears my mind. I loved looking at the photos…and I really love your new blog look — so neat and clean!


My goodness, you weren’t kidding when you said “epic decluttering” ! That sounds like an incredible amount of work, but I know it feels so good. Way to go!

PS – I have a label maker and it’s the BEST THING EVER. My filing cabinets were works of art.


Jamie, You are so inspiring! Those pictures are Pinterest-worthy:)

Cha Cha

Well I am tired just reading about it…..think I will go have some coffee! You have inspired me to start. Can’t wait to see it all in real life.

Cha Cha


It looks great! I’m working on this same thing at our house and this is inspiring!


That is a lot of de-cluttering, a lot of work done. It all looks great, but it must feel even better to have it done. What a great way to start a new year!


Love your newly redesigned site and your decluttered home! Great picture of the coffee maker and tea pot side by side 😉 Happy Decluttering in 2012.


I am in awe of your organizational spree! You make my study/kitchen overhaul look like mere child’s play. Just look what a little coffee can do to a tea drinker! 🙂


That some seriously worthwhile de-cluttering right there! Good job! I bet it makes the sewing more relaxing too! 😀


My office! I am lucky enough to have a separate “closet” in my classroom that used to be my office but now its jusy storage. I would like to make it an office with storage again but its going to take a while.


You’ve inspired me to continue on my cleaning journey for the new year! Looks like I have lots of work to do this weekend. I’ve also been using this great list on Organizing and Decluttering to keep me inspired. There are some great tips. Feel free to add your own suggestions:


Love your organization! Great job.

I would love it if you shared this post with my readers on my organizing link party. I think they’ll enjoy it too: