Kickstart to Clutter Free - Day 8

We have made it to the area I have been dreading on this challenge...Day 8 is Kid's Stuff/Sports Equipment/Hobby or Art Supplies.

Kid's Stuff is not a problem because my kids are older and are responsible for their own stuff.

Sports Equipment is not a problem because my kids never really participated in sports.

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 8

Which brings us to Hobby or Art Supplies...I think part of the reason I have so much of this type of stuff in my home comes with where we live. When we first moved to this area, the closest big box store was about 30 minutes away. This was before Amazon and internet shopping. So as a homeschool mom, and someone who likes to work on craft projects and do a lot of sewing, I would stock up on items in case we needed them. Who wants to pull out everything for a project just to find out that you need something and the closest store that carries that type of item is over half an hour away?

The other reason I have been dreading this day of the challenge, I tend to consider this room in our home as a dumping area. If something doesn't have a 'place', it gets dumped here. If people are coming over, I can dump clutter from other areas of my home into this room and close the door. And pure laziness of just not finding proper homes for these items with the 'I will find a home for it later' and that later never comes around.

So, here is what I started with...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 8

...yeah, it is kind of a mess. But, with Kathi's help, I knew I could make progress!!

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 8

I found a whole bunch of stuff that just needed to be thrown away, and started a pile of stuff to give away. Little by little, things were starting to look better...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 8

Definitely not finished, but so much better!

All of this stuff didn't find its way into my house overnight. And the stuff that doesn't need to stay is not going to leave overnight either.

Kathi's method is working for me. And by dedicating time to work through this challenge, I am learning to keep things in my home that I love and use.

Next up...the family room!

Raising Grateful Kids Book Giveaway

Over the last couple of months, I had the opportunity to read a preview copy of Raising Grateful Kids by Kristen Welch. This is one of those books that I wish I had at the beginning of my parenting journey.

Raising Grateful Kids quote

Ever since our family started sponsoring children through Compassion, we have had many discussions about 'wants' versus 'needs'. It is a tough conversation because we have been blessed to be born in this country with so many opportunities. And the opportunities to have so much stuff!

But when we give into to too many of our wants, we end up neglecting many of the needs around the world.

Kristen admits that she does not have all the answers. In fact, she is still right in the middle of her parenting journey. But...she has put together a book with many personal stories and practical tips to help families that are wanting to raise kids that are different. Kids that are okay with not having the latest and greatest thing so that child growing up in extreme poverty can have their basic needs met.

The end of each chapter is filled with 'Going Against the Flow' tips for multiple age groups. Even for parents...because this is where all of our families need to start. When we as parents start living more grateful lives, we can start raising more grateful kids.

Raising Grateful Kids book giveaway

Because I loved this book so much, I purchased two copies to giveaway.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. Winners will be randomly drawn on Monday, February 8. (Open only to US citizens)

2/8/16 update: Congratulations to Missy and Mindy! Your names were drawn today by my daughter. Please send me your mailing address to kymk99 at yahoo dot com so I can mail your books. Thank you to all who commented and entered! 


My Week of Photos

What did I capture this week with my DSLR camera?

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

I love an excuse to bake! One day last week was National Chocolate Cake Day, so I baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes and sold most of them for my Bake for Brazil fundraiser. Pretty excited that I was able to raise $50 last week for Compassion kids in Brazil!

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/500 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/500 sec with 50mm lens

Took advantage of a break in the rain, set up one of my favorite childhood books in the backyard to capture this one. What children's book is your favorite?

ISO 100, f/10, 1/640 sec

ISO 100, f/10, 1/640 sec

After we got home from church on Sunday, my daughter and I drove around a bit, looking for the perfect spot to take photos of the clouds moving in. 

ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/400 sec

ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/400 sec

This is not a very exciting photo. And I really should have brought all these quart size canning jars in for the winter. But this just shows that we have been receiving a lot of much needed rain out here in California!

ISO 400, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50 mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50 mm lens

Hard to believe we are in the second month of this new year already! Time to put away the winter decorations and bring out the Valentine decorations. Pages from an old, used copy of Persuasion were used to make this craft which hangs in our windows in February.

ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

A few more handmade Valentine decorations are out. Add a bit of paint to some glue and paint the outside of a couple of canning jars. Attach a paper heart doily and tie it with a bit of ribbon or twine, and you have a cute new candle holder for your tealight candles on these dark winter nights.

What did you capture this week?

Kickstart to Clutter Free - Day 7

Today marks the halfway mark for me on the Kickstart to Clutter Free challenge!!

For today's area, I had to take a deep breath and just tackle one small area of this larger space...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

...the garage. There is stuff out here that is mine, there is stuff out here that belongs to my husband, and there is stuff out here that belongs to my son. I don't believe my daughter has anything out here at all.

Since this is a shared space, I am only taking  responsiblity for tackling my own boxes of clutter. So rather than tackle the whole garage, I decided to focus on the three boxes of completed schoolwork.

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

Wait a minute...three boxes of completed schoolwork for two children? 

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

Yep, three boxes...filled! And do you see the date? 2003! Oh boy. This took me a little longer than 15 minutes to go through, but I did find little treasures like this...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

And I threw away a whole bunch of paperwork I really didn't need to keep...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

When I finished going through all three boxes, there really wasn't much for me to keep. Definitely not three boxes worth!

One thing I am starting to accumulate going through the challenge is a bunch of empty boxes!

So now I have empty spaces where those three boxes lived on the shelves in the garage. Almost makes me want to go out there and do more decluttering...but I think I will wait until the weather is warmer...

Kickstart to Clutter Free Day 7

In the meantime, be sure to check out Kathi's Kickstart to Clutter Free eCourse to start clearing out clutter in your home!

Compassion Bloggers in Ecuador

Can I admit something?

I am a tiny (well, actually a lot!) jealous right now...


There is a group of bloggers in Ecuador right now!!

Before I had gone on a Compassion trip of my own, I followed along with these bloggers trip, reading every detail, soaking it all in, 'knowing' that I would never be able to do what they were doing.

God had other plans though.

I have walked the streets of poverty in neighborhoods unlike any other. I have held the hand of my Compassion child. I have been in homes smaller than my kitchen. I have been loved by children who I may never see again here on earth.

If you already sponsor a Compassion child, these trips give you an opportunity to 'experience' what you may never have the opportunity to experience on your own. 

If you do not sponsor a child with Compassion, you will be amazed at the work the local church is able to do to provide for these children and their families. In fact, you might even feel the need to sponsor your own Compassion child!

I invite you to join in this week, follow the Compassion bloggers. And if you have a tender heart, you might want to have a box of kleenex handy...