Project: Simplify ’11: kids clothes & toys results

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and is currently traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

We are moving across the country this summer. Par for the course around here, so honestly, it doesn’t really feel like a major ordeal. Not having to board an international flight with 15 boxes and three small children? Yes, please.

But we’re still moving, and I’ve found it’s incredibly helpful to start getting ready early. Early, early. If I wait until the month we leave, I’m no fun to be around, and the packing is much more haphazard.

So this week, as I decluttered with the kids, we had three basic piles of things: to sell, to keep out, and to pack up for Oregon.

I was so proud of my kids being so agreeable through this process — no problems at all packing up about a quarter of their things already (this would normally be part of the toy rotation), and as I mentioned on Facebook this week, I had to actually hold Tate back from yard sale-ing too many things.

Here’s our before-and-after photos for both toys and kids’ clothing.

Closet, before:

All our kids are in the same room (the baby sleeps in the laundry room for a few more weeks, to make sure he’s totally sleeping through the night) — this means everything that belongs to them is in one spot. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this is all the hanging clothes, on one high rack. When they’d want some clothes, either they’d break the hanger trying to yank it down, or more commonly, they’d call for Kyle or me for help.

This was the sore spot. Above the out-of-reach closet rod lay all the clothes waiting for Tate to grow into. I tossed them up there when we moved here a year ago, and had every good intention of using one of our boxes to contain them all. Apparently 12 months go by fast.

Closet, after:

Kyle hung a short, lower dowel with some heavy-duty string; it’s simply tied from the top rod. Now the kids can reach the clothes themselves — that’s much more our style.

Turns out she was the right size for a large chunk of the clothes — the remaining fit nicely in a small box, waiting for her this fall. Feels good to finally get that off my to-do list.

Dresser, before:

Sorry about the photo’s weird coloring — it’s quite dark in the closet.

Instead of a traditional dresser, we prefer small buckets. Each kid has his or her own color, and we separate the clothes by tops, bottoms, socks and undies, and jammies.

These weren’t disorganized, I just needed to go through and update their stash, both for the season and for fit.

Reed helped me sort through his clothes. If he needs to use his grabber-nabber to make it interesting, that’s fine by me.

Dresser, after:

It looks pretty much the same, but not as filled to the brim, now that we’re only wearing warm-weather clothes (thank you, spring in central Texas).

We also moved these out from the closet and in to their bedroom, in order to make room in the closet for boxes as we pack.

Toy buckets, before:

Again, we didn’t have too much disorganization to begin with, we simply needed to cull our stash.

Tate did a great job quickly working and passing on items she no longer played with. I had to keep her from tossing too quickly her brother’s favorites.

I love using buckets, but it’s not terribly helpful when you have too many toys to fit in said buckets. Somehow we amassed too many baby toys for Finn. It was ridiculous.

Toy buckets, after:

We tossed a few in the yard sale pile, a few more in the pack-to-Oregon pile, and kept the rest in their usual home. And you might have experienced this yourself — it is impossible to organize the toys without your kids wanting to play with those exact toys. No reason to create a fake perfect shot here, I say. Toys are meant to be played with.

When you have buckets, you’re self-imposing limits — as soon as you can’t fit any more toys in the buckets, some have to go.

Stuffed animals, before:

If paper clutter is my arch nemesis, then stuffed animals are its villain.

Don’t get me wrong, I like adorable stuffed friends as much as the next gal. But one only needs so many. And for some reason, people love to give these as gifts. As a reader once said here, I think the next time someone gives our kids a stuffed animal as a gift, I’ll tell them, “Thank you. Which three would you like to take in return?” I love this.

Kidding.

Sort of.

Stuffed animals, after:

There… that’s better. I told the kids they could keep out five. We got rid of a bunch, and the rest are waiting for our new place in Oregon. They quickly picked their favorites, and didn’t bat an eye about packing up the rest. Way to go, guys.

The rest of the room:

In case you’re wondering, here’s what it looks like on the other side of their room.

I found that orange chair on the side of the road and fell in love with its shape and color. Reminds me of middle school.

The left basket is dress-up clothes, and the dollhouse was from last Christmas’ giveaway here. The artwork is simple scanned pictures from our personal library collection.

Yard sale prep

Here’s the collection headed to our yard sale in a few weeks.

Translation of “Eords-ale” = Yard Sale.

Now it’s your turn!

You don’t have to publish as many photos, by any means. Just a simple before-and-after shot is great — as many or as few are perfect, but in order to link up, you do need at least one before and one after photo.

Share your progress by linking below. Click the blue button that says “Add your link,” and follow the instructions. Copy and paste your blog post’s URL (NOT your blog’s home page — it should look like this: http://theartofsimple.net/toys-before-and-after, not like this: http://theartofsimple.net).

If you don’t have a blog, no problem! Submit your photos to the Simple Living Flickr pool, and then come back to link to your ‘before’ photo below. Copy and paste the photo’s URL.

I will leave the link submission space open throughout Project: Simplify (which ends on April 8), so even if you aren’t able to finish your master closet for a few weeks, you are welcome to share your link between now and the end date. However, to be eligible for this week’s giveaway, you must submit your link before this Sunday, March 27 at noon CST.

And what is this week’s giveaway? Let me refresh your memory…

Simplicity Consultant

Laura Edwards runs Simplicity Consultant, but to her, it’s more than organizing your things–to her it is a process of changing your orientation to your attachments, integrating mindfulness and fulfillment. It is an ongoing path of self-awareness.

You want less stuff, but you don’t want to go through the pain of letting it go. You already feel the resistance when you just think about sorting through and making decisions, one-by-one, of your trinkets.

Simplicity Consulting takes a different approach to organizing. Together, you focus on what you originally imagined your life to feel like. You remember your dream together. And then, with this lovely picture in mind, you gently peel away anything that doesn’t serve that vision.

Laura is giving one participant in this week’s Hot Spot two hours of Vision Mapping. This is designed to reorient the approach you have to fulfillment. Instead of focusing on externally focused goals, Laura guides you through the process of mapping out how you want your experience to be.

Laura will spend a few minutes getting to know you over Video Skype, and during the two hours, will take you through a candid and thoughtful tour of your intentions. The result will be a Vision Map that will arrive at your door that week.

Everyone is doing so well with each of the hot spots — I can’t wait to see this week’s! Keep up the good work… After this, we have two more. Even if you’re not crazy about the next one (but I think you will be; lots of you have mentioned it), I know you’ll love the final one. What do you think is left?



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Comments

  1. We just made an international move ourselves 3 weeks ago and did much the same thing. A lot got donated, gifted or just plain thrown out… we’re also downsizing considerably with this move so will have much less space anyway, which is fine because there’s just 3 of us and a good excuse to purge the lutter. I didn’t think to take before and after photos, wish I had now!

  2. love this! especially the part about the stuffed animals. We have boxed some up from our move & I plan on getting rid of them before we miss them. Problem I have is some of them are gifts from my husband – so I appreciate the gift but don’t want it around any longer :S i don’t know – I’ll probably take pictures of them and donate them. Sorry sweetie – LOL

  3. Very impressive! Sounds like the kids did a great job! :)

  4. Thanks for getting me moving into clean-out-clean-up mode…
    And an early welcome to the GREAT green state of Oregon.
    Hope you love it here!

  5. Where in Oregon are you moving to? We live just outside of Portland and I love it here! The Willamette Valley is the Promised Land. Godspeed on your move!

    • We’re moving to Bend. My husband is from Eugene, so we visit annually anyway. We’re looking forward to it, especially since it’ll be right during the summer. Best time to be there; worst time to be here (Austin, TX).

      • I used to live in Portland and have a very good friend in Bend. Love, love the Pacific Northwest! (I’m stuck in TX indefinitely since my hubby never plans to leave…)

      • I figured I wouldn’t be the first to welcome you to Oregon. My husband is glad you are moving to Bend, and not Portland where we live so that I can’t physically stalk you too. : ) I’m sure you know that you are headed to a ripe mission field, but at least the beer is great. God Bless. P.S. Can you follow up this series with a yard sale how-to article? My pile is stacking up.

      • Bend is beautiful.
        I live in Eugene. Summer time is a great time to be here. :)
        ~Amy

  6. I wish I had taken pictures back in January when I went through some of this. I received your book for Christmas, and it lit a fire under me. I think we emptied our house of at least 16 garbage bags full of donations! (I wish I had pictures…dang it…) It is pretty liberating to get rid of things. I am so grateful!

  7. Hi, I was just wondering where in Oregon you were moving? We live in Oregon so I thought it was neat to see your going to be moving here. Hope your move goes well and thanks for all the help getting organized! I love the hot spots!!

  8. I didn’t even think about stuffed animals…most of them are banished to the basement… I guess that means they won’t be missed much.

    I definitely need to do a “food” de-clutter…..

  9. Looks great. I think it is much easier to organize children’s clothes and toys when you have bins, buckets, or some kind of organizer set up. Everything has it’s place.

  10. i feel just the same way about stuffed animals (i even told my husband when we were dating to NEVER buy me a stuffed animal). and i LOVE the idea of scanning pictures from their favorite books for wall art. i’ll definitely keep that in mind!

  11. avatar
    JoAnne McPherson says:

    If stuffed animals are a problem for kids, (and we all know they are) then coffee cups are the problem for adults. Does anyone else agree? I refuse to give a kid a stuffed animal or an adult a coffee mug! I just discovered this blog and am in love with it! I’m going to buy the book. I try not to have too much stuff in the house becasue we are an army family and move often. The last time we moved (here to Hawaii) I started early as well. I really scaled it back and we would do a closet here, the filecabinet there, etc. The “smaller bites” make it much easier to tackle, and starting early gives you plenty of time.

  12. I love your organization and I love the artwork idea! But I have to know, where did you get those hooks that have the backpacks hanging from them in the yardsale prep picture? I have been looking for something just like that for my front entryway (we have NO space there), and that looks awesome :)
    Thanks for doing this project, things have gotten pretty overwhelming here, and this has been a tremendous help!

  13. I love defined buckets or bins for keeping toys. I agree about stuffed animals. Personally, I really dislike them.

  14. Great job! Love all the ikea stuff!

  15. Wondering how your boy and girl like sharing a room, I just found out Im having a boy and I already have a daughter they will share a room for awhile. Other people(family) are making a big deal out of it I really dont think it will be a problem.

    • Honestly, it’s not a big deal until they’re teenagers (and even then it’s mostly the teens because they want the privacy and space from their siblings). I’ve found than when Children share a room, they get along better too.

    • They’ve shared a room since birth, so they think nothing of it. If our next house is bigger, our girl will probably get a room to herself, and the two boys will share. I prefer all the toys to be in the same regardless, so that they’re the “family” toys, not so-and-so’s toys. There are exceptions for favorites, of course (special dolls, etc.).

      A few years ago, we had a discussion about brothers and sisters sharing a room. It was interesting.

      • I am so encouraged by this post and the sharing a room post regarding siblings shared space. I have a 3yr old and a 10 mo old–both boys–and I have been wondering how soon I can put them in the same room. Thank you

  16. Awesome! I love the feeling of getting rid of things I no longer need or want. I don’t have the patience to deal with a yard sale though, and just take everything to the local Goodwill. I figure they need the stuff more than I need the money, and I thank God for being able to say that!

  17. Can I just get a round of applause for my guys? They did a GREAT job helping clean up and choosing toys to donate. I don’t know if the moon was lined up just right or what, but this was not only satisfying but enjoyable! And again, Tsh, great timing!
    I can’t wait for the next hot spot!

  18. You are highly efficient:-)

  19. I didn’t do photos. But i just wanted to say how surprised I was at how much my 3 y/o was willing to part with. We got rid of 3 boxes of toys/books. I had to slow my 3 y/o down a bit. There were a few things I thought her younger sister might grow into soon. But overall she was very thoughtful about it, and yet got rid of a lot.
    We got rid of a lot more than I would have if I did it w/o the kids help. thanks for the encouragement to give my kids a chance to help. I also discovered that my almost 2 y/o really likes blankets. Books, toys, stuffed animals, she really didn’t care. ut the blankets (we have several) she really wanted to keep lol

  20. love your color coded dresser solution!

  21. Haha, while my husband and I were decluttering our daughter’s room, we kept holding up toys to each other and saying things like, “She’s NEVER played with this.” Of course, the moment we picked anything up, she thought it was the best toy ever! We still got rid of everything she had never or rarely played with, but it was funny to see her interest increase just because we touched something.

  22. We weren’t so bad on the toys, I check them pretty often because they need to be safe with a baby around, but we relocated some things – like lego moved into the oldest’s bedroom so its safely away from baby, which freed up some room on our cabinet downstairs for baby’s toys which had been taking over the fireplace as we didn’t have a space for them.
    I didn’t do the clothes this week, I thought they were pretty organised, but the sun has come out towards the end of the week, and on looking for a shortsleeve tshirt for the oldest I realised he only has about 3 in his current age, and is growing so fast its probably worth us buying some in the next size up rather than this one – he had a drawer full, but they are all last years and he’s grown rather more than I thought he would this year.

  23. I didn’t take any pictures as usual. I did manage to clean out my craft stuff and office supplies (the grown up toys which live in the same closet) a bit. I have a couple of good sized stacks to donate. I’m ready for the next hot spot! I’m looking through Organized Simplicity right now trying to guess what the next hot spot will be!

  24. I love how involved your kids are in the pictures! My favorite is of your son using the grabber to sort his socks, how adorable.

    When going through our toys, I asked my girls to pick their 5 favorite toys and then we set them aside. Then they pick 3-5 toys to give away to another child. It was easier for them to see their favorite toys are safe before they can focus on giving toys away. We were able to make quite a donation pile!

  25. We have lived in 10 houses in the past 5 years!!! I told my husband that we have to stay in this house for two years because I want to have a real summer. Despite our constant moving and decluttering we still have too much crap. It won’t go away!!

  26. Wondering if those bunk beds are from IKEA? We’re in the market as as we upsize from toddler beds. Any ideas for bunk beds. I’d love if they would be able to convert to 2 twins, bunks or a trundle.

    • They are (along with half our house – sometimes I feel like we live in an Ikea showroom). I love them because they’re short, but unfortunately, they don’t convert to separate beds. I wish they did, too. You can flip it upside-down, though, and use the bottom frame as sort of a canopy (the bottom mattress just sits on the floor).

  27. Your blog is always full of tips and inspiration. Thank you. I’m curious – how in the world do you manage to get your kids involved in the sorting and getting rid of without tears. My girls have such a hard time parting with things as everything “..is special.” I do some purging in their absence but need to do a major clean out and hate to do it without their input.

    • I think they’re just used to it, having moved so many times and having to get rid of things each time. My attitude also helps — I don’t make a big deal out of it, and they see me getting rid of my own belongings. I also talk a lot (as in, not just when we’re decluttering) that stuff is just stuff, and that as a family, we believe all our possessions belong to God, and that He’s given them to us to manage.

      Beyond that, it might just be their personality. They’re young, but so far, they just don’t seem that attached to their things.

  28. avatar
    Mrs. Kate B. says:

    So wait, your baby is in the laundry room until he sleeps though the night? *Please tell me more about this!* Our two girls share a room and I’m having a hard time getting the babe to sleep through the night, because her crying wakes her big sister up, so I always jump up the second I hear her, which is creating a vicious cycle where she knows if she cries I’ll come right away so she is waking more frequently and I’m so, so tired …

    • I know that cycle well. We have a tiny two-bedroom, so the laundry room is the only other enclosed space that will (barely) fit a pack-n-play. That’s why he’s there. He was in our room for a long time, but he wasn’t sleeping through the night and it was driving us nuts (he no longer needed to nurse at night).

      It’s inconvenient for laundry time, for sure, but it’s better than the older two being woken up at night. Finn’s pretty much sleeping all night, though, so by April, he’ll probably move in with them. We’ve never had a crib, and our baby stuff is minimal, so it’s easy for us to flex like this.

  29. I finished up my kids toys and clothes this past weekend….I was glad that this week was that Hot Spot….since I have a general straightening and cleaning of my whole house….We have company coming in to spend the weekend with us. I wonder what next week’s Hot Spot will be? :)

  30. Figures that the one week I manage to get done, I don’t have any photos taken.

  31. I love the idea of using buckets in cubbies instead of a drawers. Makes it SO much easier for the kids to see what they need AND to put things away. What a helpful and inspiring post.

  32. Where did you get the buckets that you use for the dresser? My boys have got shelving in their closet (previous owners were a lot older than us!) and all the clothes end up on the floor because every time they go to get something it’s always on the bottom of the pile. Of course! :) I’m finally ready to do something about it and I really liked the look of those buckets.

    P.S. LOVED your book! I have our family purpose statement on the fridge and I’m trying to make sure that things and activities always fit in with it. I feel much more relaxed, hence the energy to tackle the kids closet. :)

  33. The irony! I’d just cleaned out my closet the week before you started project simplify, so that week instead of doing my closet I did my daughters. So I attached a link of it, since I’m quite proud of how clean it is now. :) But I don’t need entered in the drawing…

    Incidentally I obviously need to work on my linking skills, my link has a weird photo and I don’t know why! :)

  34. Several things…

    I just finished your book and loved it – I read it all in one day!

    We have a family closet and I love having everyone’s clothes in one spot. There is no more need to “deliver” laundry – it all goes in one place. My girls’ things are kept on the lower rod and lower shelves so they can reach it all.

    I keep reducing the size of our stuffed animal basket. Every time we declutter them, the basket to keep them in gets smaller – works great!

    Glad to hear you are moving to Oregon. We are just outside Portland, but love to visit the Bend area. We moved here 1 1/2 years ago and are enjoying the outdoor adventures the area offers.

    Also…I’m thrilled you are one of the Compassion bloggers going to the Philippines. I can’t wait to follow as you post about your experience! Compassion is near and dear to my heart – I’ve been a sponsor/advocate for 17 years and last summer went on my first trip (to Peru). I’ve recently started a blog where families can celebrate, experience and share the joy of sponsorship together. My prayer is that families will use it as a resource to deepen their sponsorship experience.

  35. Can you tell me where you purchased the bunk beds in your picture? Thanks so much.

  36. If you’re in need of any good Bend references (drs., dentists, churches etc)…let me know. My family still lives there and I did part of my growing-up there.
    Hope you’ll enjoy it :)

  37. OMG, I love your dresser arrangement. How very cool. This actually gives me an idea for my sons room, although I can picture him emptying the bins on a regular basis. Maybe not the best of ideas. We’ll see, once I actually get to his room and can think it over.

    I only did one kids room, with plans to do the second kids room this weekend. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, and it made me feel good that I’d kept up with culling the kids clothes pretty well. Same with toys, though, they definitely another sort through.

  38. This series has been exactly what I needed! By myself it was too overwhelming to attack, but with your guidance I’ve been able to take it a step at a time.

    I really hope the kitchen is the next hot spot… I’m itching to clean it out before we start a remodel!

  39. I love your low to the ground bunk beds. Thank you for the inspiration this week. Also, I love the new book and have recommended it to multiple friends.

  40. Sigh. I got nothing done this week :( I don’t have kids, so I was planning on just cleaning up and organizing the hubby’s toys that are laying around. Unfortunately we’re trying to get things ready just in case the River decides to try and match the record 1965 flood stage of 17.89 feet… So needless to say nothing but finishing up the Home Inventory was completed this week. However, I was finally able to get to B&N and I got your book. I can’t wait for tonight when I can sit down and dig in. :)

  41. You have done a great job keeping things to a minimum, Tsh. I think that moving around may have soemthing to do with that. We have been in the same house almost 22 years and our kids are almost grown, but we have had so much time to accumulate stuff and no comelling reason such as moving to decrease it!
    As our last kids are almost ready to move out, we are preparing to live in an RV in a few years, so reducing slowly now would be a good thing to start!
    Bernice

  42. avatar
    Denise C. says:

    You’re moving to Oregon?????? When did this come about????? Are you, and your family excited?

  43. Yes, please tell where the dresser/bins came from! I’m in love with it!
    I also really like the hooks you have the backpacks hanging from – very, very nice!

  44. “Eords-ale” My favorite part!! Love all the great info!

  45. How timely! We have also moved from overseas and are now moving from IL to CA! We move aug 1 but i am packing now. I find i am very much like you! i love weeding out, its fun for me. i am so ungrateful that i dread christmas and such do to more STUFF. we have got to start gifting to charities instead! but ya know…grandparents. :)

    Anyways wish i had a before and after. I completely rehauled the basement/bedrooms/garage/you name it. I organize every littel drawer and just when i think i can’t possibly do anymore i find more to do. its fun for me!

    Thank you for your post. i come here not nearly enough and its funny to me tHIS post was here waiting. i have those ikea shelves and will quickly get the bins from there for your idea. perfect! We are also looking for a bunk bed and moving the kids to one room.

    Less is so much more. but what i need to learn from you is to involve my kids. i have a HUGE pile for rummage sale that i have snuck away toys and yes, stuffed animals…that i actually need to have them gone for my rummage weekend so there is less tears. they SAY they understand (i’ve told them we are taking very little), but when it comes down to it, my 3 and 5 year old will find old toys precious. ya know? oy.

    *thank you.*

  46. Girl, I am 100% WITH YOU on the stuffed animal issue.

    That is a GREAT line, and I can think of a couple people in my life who need to hear it from me. :-)

    And I can’t give them to Goodwill or yard sale them, right? And yet, I have a hard time actually throwing the things away, as if I’m relegating something with a living soul to the trashcan.

    Issues.
    This is why I can’t watch Toy Story too much.

  47. Several of you asked:

    1. The cubbies and shelves in lieu of a dresser — all of it is from Target. You can also find them here and here on Amazon.

    2. The bunk beds are from Ikea.

  48. IKEA bunkbeds or not….”low to the ground” or not….yikes, where are the bedrails for that top bunk? Floors are hard, noggins aren’t….nothing is worth the risk of a head injury from rolling off that top bunk. Your kids appear to be pretty small. Who cares if it ruins the asthetic appearance. Wow. Can’t wait to see the posts that I’m a nutcase, but, I’ll bet you have your kids wear helmets when biking….you do, don’t you? Worked with too many brain-injured people, I guess. But if I save one kid….

  49. This has been a great project, although one week isn’t long enough! I’ve made it through closets, bookshelves, and playroom, but I still need to do dresser drawers. My kids have been really cooperative and we haven’t had a row over anything. My son’s school’s yard sale is going to be realllly happy!

    I was lamenting the stuffed animals too until I found a box in my daughter’s closet that has MY stuffed animals from when I was small. That was when I just shut my mouth.

  50. avatar
    The New Me says:

    Here’s my share: I had brought boxes of my 4yo’s clothes down to the basement, thinking I’d do a little bit at a time with my normal laundry (which happened to have developed into a mountain in its own right). Then, Thursday night, (when we had my parents and aunt over for dinner for the 7yo twins birthday) the toilet overflowed, causing it to rain in the basement on all the clothes. I woke up Friday morning, thinking about ALL the clothes sitting down there, wet with potty water. Ugh! So on Friday, my mother (bless her heart) came over and I washed and she folded…I lost count, but I think it was something like 10-12 loads of laundry. In the process, I was able to thin the little one’s incoming summer clothes to a reasonable amount (she gets hand-me-downs from twin sisters). So she has a stack of summer clothes sitting in her room and it’s been below 30 degrees the last two mornings!

    Sorry, I didn’t think of getting pictures!

  51. I have a huge problem getting rid of toys. We have enough toys for ten children, and I’m not exaggerating. We have bins and bins and boxes and boxes of toys (including stuffed animals) and I just can’t part with them. There’s always something that one of my two children is playing with or will play with soon. Intellectually, I know that it’s silly, and I want to get rid of 75% of the toys, but when it comes time to actually do it – I can’t.

    So we live in a cluttered mass of toys, and it’s my fault.

    I read your book, and Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much. I’m working on it, but it’s not going that well.

    {sigh}

  52. I love the low bunk beds you have for your kids! Where did they come from?

  53. I considered myself “done” for my toddler’s room and has put up my link. But I already start to see 2 potential problems for me:

    1. I usually let her wear her clothes more than one day before it goes into the wash. I very often just lay them on the mattress in her room. The next day, she could totally refuse to wear that again and we could accumulate a few there. Is there a more “eye-pleasing” way to put such clothing?

    2. I start to have a lot of things that are ready to be sold but I have never really sell much before. I could check how people price their things on craiglist but I have a feeling that people expect cheaper price in a yard sale. Is that true? With so many items (thanks to this project!), I kind of wanted to do a yard sale, is there any guidelines? Given my tract record, I am so afraid that I end up just let these things sit in my home. It would totally defeat the purpose, right?

    And I just want to thank you once again. The momentum that Project Simplify brings has helped me a lot!

  54. Thanks for this Tsh, I think the kids were quite generous with donating the toys that they dont need or love anymore. Cant wait for the next hot shot :)

  55. Eords-ale. LOVE it! :)

    This challenge was the most daunting in my mind, but in reality, it took only about 3 hours. My son was very helpful and thorough, not clingy to his stuff as usual. A true joy, actually, to tackle this hot spot.

  56. Awesome! Looks like the kids are really having fun. I have to thank you for all those tips and information. I really enjoyed reading.

  57. avatar
    Brooke Winstead says:

    I’m so excited to hear that you are moving to Bend! We have a rental house in Redmond and my husband and I both grew up in Central Oregon. I would love to hear if you’ll be doing any book signings in the area. Hope that you’ll love it there as much as we do.

  58. I love. Love. Love. Ikea’s Expedit and buckets. We use em too. I’m late on this Project, but I plan to tidy up and weed out our buckets as well, it’s getting so that we can’t cram another toy in em.

    We also had 64,000 stuffed animals at one point. I culled them down to about 10 per kid after we all caught head lice a couple years ago. Funny how my kids never asked me how their favorite “friends” managed to not get lousey — but all those other animals they never played with? They all were infected and had to leave the house for good. {Bad Mama, bad.}

    I’m glad I came across this article today as our neighborhood is having a “Eords-ale” this weekend, and I have been hemming and hawing and pondering if I should join in. Gonna do it! Thanks.

  59. OK, I have an issue – we have a beautiful, hand-made toybox that matches my daughter’s hand-made table and chairs and rocking chair. It’s not an optional item – it’s staying in our home. My problem is that everything just gets thrown in and it bothers me. :P Any tips on organizing the INSIDE of a large toybox??

    Thanks – I’m absolutely loving your book and I’ve actually bought extras for close friends. :)

  60. Thanks for all the great ideas! Hey, It looks like your kids’ “dresser” is the ikea shelves, but I didn’t see that configuration? Did you buy them there. I really like that idea, instead of a traditional dresser.

  61. Hi,

    I just love your toy organizers. Please let me know where you purchased the furniture unit and buckets. Thanks.

  62. Ok, your baby sleeps in the laundry room because he cries at night and wakes everyone up…You don’t want to respond to his cries? Poor baby. How isolated and alone he must feel. They’re only little for a little while. Who cares if you lose a little sleep? That little bit of sleep lost is totally worth it for me for my child to know that I’m here when he needs me. I’m trying to move past your method for “sleep training” so that I can continue to enjoy your methods for organizing and living simply. I know you were just sharing what you do, not recommending that others do it. I just wish things could be kept seperate, cleaning with cleaning, parenting with parenting. Just my 2 cents. :)

    • Denise: I believe what Tsh was relaying is that she didn’t want the other kids to wake her baby up while they try to acclimate him to sleeping through the night. I think that it is petty and a little ridiculous for you to nit-pick at something like that. How would you like someone to comment on your parenting style when you hadn’t asked their opinion in the first place? And furthermore you said that you wished things could be more compartmentalized, so why are you bringing up parenting in an organizational blog anyway?

      Sometimes we should just keep our two cents to ourselves…

  63. Love the “eords-ale”..go phonics! :)

    I realize I am late to the party…just now found your blog, but I am really enjoying all of these fabulous organizational ideas!

    My favorite by far, you have sheets on the kids’ beds and then a comforter folded up neatly on the end. So much EASIER than trying to make the bed the traditional way! Going to employ this time saver immediately! :)

    THANK YOU :)

  64. And yet you have to wonder…how did that child get the spelling of ‘ale’ correct? So very precious they are and i’m sure they enjoy the tidiness as much as you do. I’m inspired so off to work I go! thank you!

  65. I totally stole your idea for adding a rod to my kids’ closets!! How ingenious and easy! Thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!!

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