Hope for Your Home Cleaning & Decluttering Book Bundle Sale!

I remember a time when my home was hopelessly messy.  I remember when we used to push all the stuff on the kitchen table to the back of the table just so I could serve dinner.

12 years ago I decided enough was enough and I took a leap of faith into the world of small, slow steps to learning how to keep my home clean.

When I met Nony of A Slob Comes Clean in 2010, she had just begun her journey.  She was blogging her way through it, and eventually wrote an ebook to help others “come clean” as well.

I highly recommend her ebooks and methods to those who feel utterly helpless.  And now through January 2, her ebooks are on sale!
{affiliate links}

Cleaning & Declutter ebook sale

Each individual book is on sale for $3, but you can get the set for just $5!

and use code:

You can do this!

Welcome Home: The Truth About Your Posessions

Landslide damage in basement, 1962

This time of year everyone is focused in organizing and decluttering. It’s a new year with a fresh start and we want to make big, lasting changes.

But will the changes really stick?

Not likely.

I’m not here to rain on your organizational parade because I believe organizing and decluttering are incredibly important; however, we will never be able to truly release the clutter and get our house in order if we don’t have the right attitude about our possessions.

We are a society full of stuff and there’s really no getting around the plethora of things available for us to acquire.  For many people, this means buying more containers and dividers and baskets and bookcases in order to house the stuff they own.  More often than not, they have acquired so much there is no way they could ever use everything they own.  Their stuff owns them instead.

As I am beginning to pack up my home for the 10th time in 15 years, I am reminded of something I learned long ago about possessions.

I don’t need them.

That’s why I’ve written a FREE ebook entitled:

Let Go of What You Own
a Biblical approach to decluttering

How can you get a copy of this free ebook for yourself?

Like the Raising Arrows facebook page, click on the Only Likers tab on the left sidebar and grab the download!

Welcome Home button

I wanted to start the Welcome Home Link Up with this post because I truly believe we must have the right attitude about everything we own before we can create a welcoming home we enjoy caring for.

Won’t you join me on this journey?

Remember, you can get your FREE copy of Let Go of What You Own by liking the Raising Arrows facebook page, and then be sure to join the link up below!  You can grab the link up button in my sidebar.

Victorian Rose SoapThis post is brought to you by Victorian Rose Soap – we love these soaps and we know you will too! And all this month, you can take 15% off your order using the coupon code: Raisingarrows – Enjoy!

This post is linked to The Better Mom.

Buy Less, Declutter More and Share Christmas with Us!

It’s Cyber Monday and here I am telling you to get rid of stuff! And not only am I telling you to get rid of stuff, I’m also going to tell you that you probably don’t need to replace all that stuff with more stuff!

You see, come February 1 (that’s not all that far off!), we will be moving…AGAIN. So, my admonition to you to clear the clutter and make wise buying decisions is really an admonition to myself. {and this post at The Better Mom cheered me along!}

So, I am being brutal!  I’m working through my tried and true decluttering methods (someday I’ll let you in on those, but now just isn’t the time!) and really focusing on getting rid of things!  So far, 10 (yes TEN) bags have gone to the thrift store and just about that many have hit the trash!  Even though I’ve done this before (see my Half My Stuff posts), clutter never really is conquered until you learn to not allow it in.  And even then, it still accumulates because we are not able to control what others bring into our homes.  It really is an ongoing process.

This holiday season, you won’t see a lot of posts here at Raising Arrows about the best holiday deals or buying more stuff to add to the stuff you already have.  In fact, what we will be doing is sharing our family traditions and the things we do during the holidays that have become near and dear to us.  We celebrate Christ and the family of God this season…not stuff.

So, buy less, declutter more and join us for a Raising Arrows Christmas!


Half My Stuff Saturday – Guest Room/Sewing Room

I can hardly believe it!  I have very little left to do in the basement with the completion of this room!  The bathroom downstairs has next to nothing in it.  The playroom is done (and staying clean, I might add!), my oldest son’s bedroom needs just a bit of work, and one of the two storage areas was recently gone through.  So, really, that just leaves one little storage area near where the tubs reside and I will be done tearing the house apart!

Here’s the scoop on the Guest Room/Sewing Room…

My mom had been staying with me (in this room) while my husband and oldest son were away at the 2010 Scout Jamboree near Washington, D.C.  As soon as my mom left, we would have houseguests moving in with us (in that room) for approximately 2 weeks.

It wasn’t that the room was horrible–after all, we’ve had people in and out of that room for months with it looking just the way it did, but it was cluttered and as sewing rooms tend to get, a little um…”thready.”

Once again, I forgot to take Before Pictures, so you’ll have to use your imagination about just how cluttered and thready it was.

When I go to clean out a room, I like to start on one side of the door and work my way around the room–usually clockwise (not sure if that’s because I’m right-handed or some other totally random reason).  In this room, the scrapbooks are near the door, so I tidied those, straightened the bed, and then dug into my daughter’s sewing stash.

She has her own sewing machine and her own stash of fabric and other crafting things.  Most of her things were already fairly well contained; however, they weren’t in any sort of order.  So, I rearranged the drawers in the 3 drawer nightstand we use to hold her things and made it make more sense. My mom folded all her scrap fabric and neatly put it back in her tub.  (Any fabric I get my goodie out of gets passed on to her.  She likes to make doll clothes and pillows and sachets from the scraps.)

Now, my sewing stuff was a different story.  I have a cutting table next to my serger and sewing machine, but I’d like to see you try to cut anything on it considering it is usually covered in projects!  I also have a 3 drawer chest for my sewing things, so I made one of the drawers for unfinished projects and stashed all of the items cluttering up my cutting table into there.  I figure if the drawer gets too full, it’s time to actually FINISH a project!

I also decided I needed to separate out my cloth diapering fabrics and supplies from my other fabric, so I bought another tote (neon green to boot!) and that’s where I put all my diapering fabrics.  I also moved them to a different area of the room since their presence was also hindering me from cutting out anything on my cutting table (they were just too close behind me to really be able to move around).

I had a lot of ribbon from my “I’m-going-to-make-hairbows” days, so I decided to make another drawer in the 3 drawer chest a ribbon drawer.  The last drawer was for serger thread and the instruction manuals for my serger and sewing machine.

I tidied my pattern box and put together a box for my shipping supplies.  The final destination was the closet.  All it really needed was a good tidy and the doors shut.  The end!

(Note the lovely red carpet and the mirror over the bed?  I live in a rental, folks. ;) )

Have you missed any of the Half My Stuff Saturday posts?  Check them out HERE.

Half My Stuff Saturday – The War of the Clothes and Toys

Remember I said I needed to psyche myself up to actually get started on the basement?  Well, once I’m ready to tackle something, I rarely remember to bring my camera!  Pictures in this post are all AFTER pictures. (which my mom says is probably a good thing since I might scare you if I show you too much of my messy side ;) )

So, I had my mom here helping out for the week.  Because of that, it seemed like the perfect time to tackle the more difficult projects–the clothes and the toys.   I needed to pull out baby things anyway, so that’s where I started.

A few months ago, we moved my oldest son downstairs to his own room which had previously been the home of the tubs.  We found a space for the tubs of clothes in another storage area, but they always seemed in the way.  In fact, they were so in the way, that instead of putting away the clothes I would cull from the upstairs bedrooms, I would just toss them on top of the tubs, waiting for the day when I would have time to actually wade on in there and put them away properly.  In addition to this mess, the tubs were not labeled in easy-to-read places.  Talk about a nightmare!

So, mom and I dug in!

There were tubs of shoes and baby things and cloth diapers, not to mention tubs for every child in this house.  We sorted and culled and pulled out stained items and got them to soakin’ and sunnin’.  Tubs were labeled and moved around into a much more user-friendly arrangement.  Here’s the final result:

The tall closet in the foreground of the picture is my homeschooling closet.  I also cleaned that out and got the doors shut!  As far as the tubs go, I got rid of about 5 bags of stuff!  Pretty good!

I decided to move out of the storage room and head into the main living area downstairs…also known as the Toy Room.  Several months back we moved all the kids’ toys downstairs to try to keep the upstairs neater.  You know what that equals: Out of Sight, Out of Mind!

As I was cleaning and sorting, I kept thinking how overwhelming it all was and how my children were probably even more overwhelmed when I asked them to clean up!

I was pretty determined to get this room under control and I would definitely say at least half the toys were either thrown away, donated, or sent to grandma’s to be stored.  The room is in much better shape now and not nearly so overwhelming to keep clean!

I must admit, I’ve always dreaded going down in the basement, but yesterday evening, I went downstairs to put away some things and I actually sat down in one of the chairs down there and just rested.  Usually, the basement is anything but restful to me.  Amazing what an uncluttered, clean palette can do for a very visual mama. *sigh*

Now, where to next???

Would you like to catch up on all the nesting going on around here?  Check out all of my Half My Stuff Saturday posts!

Half My Stuff Saturday – My Bedroom

The last room of the main level!  Can you believe it?!

I really, really, really want to get the entire house gone through before this baby comes.  That’s 7 weeks from now!  I’m not even sure that is possible, considering how S…L…O…W I’ve become.  And I know there is a Pregnancy Wall that is coming…you know, the one where anything requiring you to actually MOVE makes you feel like taking a nap!

So….I’m not sure I can do it, but part of me (that nesting part that NEEDS the house in order before we add another little person) is pretty sure I can meet my goal, while another part of me is busy fussing over ouchy hips and lack of sleep.

One baby step at a time…here I come!

So, on to what you really came here to read about…MY BEDROOM!

A few weeks ago (because my husband could no longer stand it), the dresser went from this:

(ok, it was actually WAY worse than this, but I forgot to take pictures beforehand!)

to this:

This is still one of my main Hot Spots and has to be cleaned regularly, but starting with a clean slate does make you more apt to keep it that way.  I also didn’t really get rid of much because I just tidied, rather than really deep cleaning.

Two other Hot Spot areas of the room are my bedside table and my closet floor (ugh…do you see a reoccurring theme here?  As in, “MY” stuff is what is causing the troubles???)

Now, that’s embarrassing!

So, I sorted through the bedside table and rearranged some things and ended up with this:

I want to point out a few things here:

1. Those of you who have followed this blog from Emily’s death, might remember me talking about my corner for memories.  This is it.  I never shared actual pictures of it until now because I just wasn’t ready.  The linked post explains all the parts and pieces of it and just how precious it is to me.

2.  Yes, those are animals on the wall and yes, that is an animal on my bed.  My husband hunts.  It’s his bedroom too. ;)  Here’s a closeup of the buffalo robe on my bed if you care to take a gander…

3. Lastly, on the bedside table sits one of my favorite magazines…SALT.  Over in my sponsor’s section in the sidebar, you’ll see a link to them.  The magazine is only $24 a year, PLUS you get to sign up a friend for FREE! That’s what I did with my friend Sarah.  There are other options you can choose when you click on the link, but that one is my favorite!


I tidied up the shoes and got rid of two pair; however, I still have a dilemma…there are two pair of sandals and my tennis shoes NOT in this closet, and I’m out of room!

I *could* get rid of more shoes, but honestly, I wear every single pair of these.  Also, some are seasonal, so I’ve got both sandals and snow boots in there.  I hate to rotate them because I might forget where I put the other season’s shoes!  Anyone have any great ideas on how to make this work?

It hadn’t been too long since I’d cleaned out closets and dressers, so I left those alone.  The top of the closet could have been cleaned out, but nothing up there was mine and Ty wasn’t available to arrange and dispose of things.

Someday, I hope to dye the curtains a dark brown to match the bed (and the buffalo!), but that can wait.

The final big change in this room is something that happened one night this past week…

I was sitting in my chair, staring at my computer watching Inherit the Land.

I watched these families running around their farms and talking about leaving the city and much of technology behind (or at least relegating it to a lesser position), and I knew something Ty and I had been thinking on for weeks needed to happen that very second (yeah, pregnancy makes me rather impulsive).

Here’s the end result of my snap decision…

It’s not completely set up yet, but already I’ve seen a huge difference in the draw it has on me.  You see, my chair in the living room is my favorite chair and just about the only place I can stand to sit for any length of time.  Since I’m all about sitting these days, I find that once I’ve plopped down in that chair, the computer beckons to me and I’m sucked in for longer than I’d like to be…multiple times a day.  I do have “work” hours set up, but work hours are only as good as the person controlling them…and remember, self control is something I’m working on.

I’m hopeful that having this separate place for my computer will be a step in the right direction.  I do not want my children to remember me as the mommy who’s face was glued to the computer screen.  How sad is that?

Sometimes we have to set things in place to help us succeed.  Moving the computer out of the living room falls into that category.

So, there you have it!  One more room down!  Now, on to that dreadful basement!  But, guess what is down there???  Baby clothes!  Woo Hoo!  It’s time again!

Perhaps you’d like to see the other posts in this series…
Just click on the link to find a list of all the Half My Stuff Saturday Links.