If you haven't heard about Schoola yet, you should check it out. It's an online resale shop that donates a portion of your purchase to schools for the purpose of purchasing supplies, instruments, books, etc. I enjoy purchasing from there for multiple reasons: 

1. They support schools, as I mentioned above.

2. They offer lots of credits and will often email you coupons. I've been able to obtain a lot of clothes for my kids for free. If you use the link above, you and I will both get a $15 credit, including shipping. 

3. I support the principle of reusing clothes and this website helps me do that more efficiently. 


The last week of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge has ended. I wasn't able to do as much as I like because a little stomach bug hit our family mid week. So I spent the last half of the week washing the seemingly never ending pile of soiled sheets, towels, and pajamas. However, I was able to fit in a few small decluttering sessions: the master bathroom cabinet, the surfaces in the living room/dining room, and a little bit in my sewing/laundry room. 

Thank you for joining me on this adventure! I hope you feel good about the decluttering you were able to do. Join me next week when Spring Cleaning begins! 

Day 32 - Office

Peter and I had a whirlwind decluttering session tonight in our home office. We focused primarily on the main desk, but also cleaned up the majority of the office while we were at it. And by we, I mean he sorted everything and I walked it to its home. That man is a champ. Decluttering and organizing are not fun for him, but he knocked out the entire top of his desk in about thirty minutes. The reward at the end was setting up his new computer so he can edit his first Let's Play Friday Video, which should be available to watch tomorrow. 

Day 31 - Recycling

Today was a bit of an odd decluttering day. I didn't stick with one space like I normally do. Instead, I traveled throughout the house, picking up all of the recyclables that had accumulated and were waiting for the recycle bin to be empty again (today was recycle pick-up). We had several piles of deconstructed boxes lying around, as well as a large cardboard airplane I made several months ago that had seen its last days. By the time I was finished, the dumpster was full again, so that tells you how many boxes we had lying around.

I also tossed an expired carseat that had been sitting in our basement for a few years. I felt bad throwing it out, which is why it sat down there for so long. But after doing some research, I discovered that I really couldn't do much else with it except throw it away, unless I wanted to completely deconstruct it and recycle a few bits. While that is obviously the best option, it isn't a practical option with two children needing attention. 

Day 30 - Top of Desk

I've missed a few days again. In an attempt to make up for it, I decided to dive into a biggish project this morning ... the top of one of the desks in our office. It's basically been used to house clutter for the last several months, so I was a little scared to attempt clearing it off. Last night, Peter and I talked briefly about where some things should go, so I had a bit of a game plan going into it. It took about an hour of the morning (not as bad as I thought it would be). Most things just needed to be put away, but there were a few boxes that needed to be flattened and some trash to be thrown away. Check out the before and after pictures. 

My little helper, pulling things out of the trash and making her own piles on the floor.

Finished! The box that is left has a few odds and ends that Peter will handle.

Day 27 - Bookshelf

I tackled four shelves on some built in bookshelves in our basement. One of the shelves was almost completely full of old magazines, half of which got thrown out. I also went through several binders from college and threw out some things I'm probably never going to reference. In the end, I ended up with one trash bag full and space on a shelf to put our kids' games and some special toys that aren't out all of the time. 

Day 26 - Nightstand

If I'm completely honest, I have to admit that I've not decluttered since Monday. I have a nasty head cold combined with allergies that has left me with absolutely no energy the last few days. I actually felt the worst today, but I forced myself to do a little decluttering anyway, mainly so I don't lose all motivation to continue this challenge. But also because this nightstand has been sitting in the same spot piled with the same stuff since Christmas Day.

It used to be beside our bed, where nightstands normally stand. But after Peter made me an awesome bed for Christmas, I switched it out for something different. And there it sat. For almost 3 months. Most of the decluttering today involved putting tools back in the toolbox, but I also sorted through all of the magazines that had collected on the bottom shelf, threw away some trash that was on top, and put away the other odds and ends that were present. It is now completely empty and dusted. Now to find a new home for it ...

Day 23 - Flower Bed

I got to do some decluttering outside today! I worked on one flower bed - removing some old plants and weeds, raking up the rubber mulch, and pulling up the black cloth that wasn't doing its job anymore. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it before it got dark. I still need to finish pulling up the weeds that were under the black cloth and add some compost before I'm done.

Day 22- Diaper Bag

I did a quick decluttering of the diaper bag before we left for the day. Sadly, it was so full of other stuff, that I couldn't fit enough diapers in it to get through the day. I found some trash, old Sunday school papers and church bulletins, and snack containers.

Day 20 - Kitchen counters and lower cabinets

Another quick decluttering for me today. I cleaned off the counters, throwing away old papers and filing old bills (it's funny how those always collect on the kitchen counter). I also went through the bottom cabinets in my kitchen. While doing so, I realized I only have two! I knew my kitchen was small, but I didn't realize how small! On the plus side, there wasn't a lot of unneeded stuff in them since the space is so precious. I came away with an old plastic tablecloth to throw away and a casserole dish holder to donate that I never use. 

Day 19 - Dining Room

I didn't get a post written yesterday, but I as able to do a quick decluttering of the dining room. There was nothing to be thrown away, but a ton of stuff that needed to be put away, including a card table tent my kids had been playing with for the last 3 weeks. This past week, it's true purpose was to hold junk on top of the table, a sure sign that it was time to take it down. 

Days 17 & 18 - Home office

Normally, I take a break from decluttering on Sundays. Monday and Tuesday of this week, however, are going to be extremely busy for me with no foreseeable time to declutter. So yesterday, Peter and I spent about an hour going through the office in our house. We decluttered all of the surfaces and came away with two bags of trash and several items to recycle. If I find the time, I may tackle another little project here and there over the next two days. But if you don't hear from me again until Wednesday, you know why. 

Days 14 & 15 - medicine & storage closet

I didn't blog about it yesterday, but I was forced to declutter a tub of medicine after I discovered the Pepto Bismol had leaked all over everything. I tossed over half of the medicines in the tub because they were expired. 

Today, I jumped into a project that I had been avoiding because I anticipated it to be hard and take forever. It took me 25 minutes. I've literally been avoiding this for 2 weeks and it took me 25 minutes. I guess that serves as a lesson for the rest of this challenge. Anyway, I was successful in decluttering a storage closet in the basement that is mostly used for small kitchen appliances and canned food.  

After sorting through everything, I came up with a large pile of stuff to take to the Re-Store, and a few items to sell. 


A few months ago, we had an entire box of spaghetti (the large family size) fall down the stairs and spill all over the nasty basement carpet. I couldn't bring myself to throw it all away, so I've been saving it for sensory play. 

I finally busted it out today. We're all going a little stir crazy waiting for spring and warm weather, so something new was what we needed to make the afternoon go a little faster. 

Elias started eating the noodles right away. Amelia doesn't like noodles, so she busied herself making piles on the floor and pulling all of the animals out. 

I got smart about halfway through and stripped most of their clothes off so they wouldn't drag mushy noodles all over the house. This naturally invited feet to partake in the fun. 

This was definitely an easy sensory station to set up, but it wasn't my kids favorite. They prefer sensory bins with pouring and scooping. However, it did keep them busy while I got the spaghetti we had for supper ready. 

Day 13 - Top Kitchen Cabinets

I went through all of the top cabinets in the kitchen today. I found two plastic containers, one sippy cup, and 3 vases to donate; one restaurant kid's cup to recycle; and a set of cake decorating tips that I don't need anymore (my mom gave me her larger set) to sell. 

While I was decluttering high things in the kitchen, I decided to go through everything on top of the refrigerator too. I actually couldn't get to the cabinets above the fridge without taking everything off. I relocated several items, including 3 CD's, 4 old Christmas cards, 2 lighters, a door hinge and accompanying screws, Elias' artwork, and broken lid, and a recipe. I scrubbed the top really well to get all of the kitchen grime off before putting my casserole dishes, baking trays, and two large serving trays back up there.  

Day 12 - Laundry Room

Today I tackled the laundry area in our basement. There wasn't much to do in the way of decluttering - just a few things that had collected on top of the washer and dryer that needed to be put away. I did spend some time shopping for and making refills of my homemade laundry detergents though.

For regular laundry, I had been using this homemade powder detergent. It worked great when we had a top loader, but now that I have an HE front loader, it hasn't been doing the job as well. Mainly, it hasn't been completely dissolving so I would find clumps in the detergent dispenser after the load had finished. But I was also finding spots on our clothes that I'm suspecting were from the detergent as well.  So this time, I decided to give a liquid recipe a try. It involved a trip to Walmart to buy a few supplies, but some of the items I still had on had from the powder recipe. Here's the recipe. I haven't used it yet, but I am hopeful that it will do the job.

Homemade Liquid Detergent (with Tide)


  • 1 c Borax
  • 1 c Super Washing Soda
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, shredded
  • 1 75 fl. oz. Tide
  • water
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • essential oil of your choice (I used tea tree oil and lavender)


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the Fels Naptha in 4 cups water on medium/high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Fill the bucket half way with hot water.
  3. Add the soap/water mixture. Stir.
  4. Stir in the Borax, Washing Soda, and essential oil
  5. Add more hot water until the bucket is a little over 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Put the lid on and let it sit for 24 hours.
  7. Stir in the bottle of Tide.

Use 1/2 cup for regular loads.

I also refilled my cloth diaper detergent. This is a super easy recipe that I've found to work really well on our cloth diapers. I only use about 1-2 tablespoons per load, depending on how dirty the diapers are. I sometimes add some bleach if they're starting to get a funky smell.

Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent:


  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 1 cup OxiClean
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • A few drops of essential oil (I use tea tree oil and lemon or lavender) 

On Friday, when my dishwashing soap arrives from, I'm going to give this recipe for Homemade Stain Remover a try.