Unique Decluttering Ideas While Social Distancing

Mar 24

Welp, not totally sure what to say. Hello and how are you is a good starting point though … so HI!! How are YOU doing?

Like you, I’m feeling out of sorts. Find myself bouncing somewhere between happy for the slower pace / downtime to focus on important topics that have been set aside…scared / worried about what is yet to come…stressed about homeschooling and trying to keep kids connected to friends…worried we are all going to get sick of each other so trying to brainstorm awesome ideas to make everyone happy / fulfilled.

I’m also worried about everyone’s health. Concerned as a small business owner. Worried about the kids being out of school for months on end. Thinking about those who have lost their lives to this virus and their families…and those who are working hard to protect us from the spread. The impact its having on our everyday life we all took for granted. Our mental health. The simple pleasures will mean much more when this is behind us. So much to express…but no point in sharing those feelings. Certainly YOU are feeling the same concerns … and feeling more grateful for the little things these days.

This is an unprecedented, unique and interesting time. Something we have never experienced. But good news is we are all in this together…and we WILL be ok on the other side of it. Even better perhaps.

I’m determined to make the most of this situation and bring you great ideas / awesome content for the duration.

In the Bay Area today marks 1 full week we have been under a “shelter in place” order. When the announcement was made, I quickly funneled my nervous, anxious energy into writing lists of projects and tasks I’ll be working on during this time. Of course this was only after about 17 trips to the market. I’ll share a little more of my lists below, and in upcoming posts, along with an update on what we’ve already done or are working on now. But during this time I want to encourage you to make the most of it. Although a time we could choose to be scared or full of fear or give up and plop down in front of the tv to watch 24/7 media coverage, we have the choice to focus on the good and funnel our energy into ideas, projects, and goals that have fallen by the wayside. Or projects that we never seem to have the time for. Let’s view this as a blessing. And let’s take action!

Last week I shared a long list of ideas with the IG community on stories and it received great feedback…so I’m here to share it with you as well. These ideas are different. There’s the usual deep cleaning and decluttering / organizing that is already being suggested by everyone sharing content. But in the homes I work in I see SO many unique projects left undone because they require long periods of focused energy.

Guess what? We have that available time now!

UNIQUE DECLUTTERING IDEAS WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING

Declutter the photos on your phone

Declutter the photos on your computer

Declutter the documents on your computer

Scan papers and shred

I’ve been talking about scanning for a long time. This is a great time to get started, set up a system and streamline it for ease moving forward.

Back up your devices to a cloud service for extra security

Update your passwords

LastPass is the password organizer I use and it’s incredible!ย It also syncs with your other devices so you’ll never find yourself searching for another password ever again.

Get your taxes done – early!

Declutter and organize your collection of cords

Go through your paper photos

Organize them, decide what is staying, what is duplicates, what can be passed on…re-box them until we’re able to shop / buy the appropriate bins to store.

Sell or donate items

Selling items takes time – especially on Facebook Marketplace and Next Door. It’s a great time to sell or pass them along. No need to make contact with the buyer – plan for a porch pick up!

Organize emergency preparedness supplies

Close old credit cards / destroy cards

Choose a better credit card with better benefits

 

WHAT HAVE I DONE?

I’ll be back again this week to share the list of business projects I’m focusing on and how I’m investing in myself (and how you can too!) during this time. Today the focus of what I’m sharing is related to home organizing and projects.

I could easily go off the deep end and do all the organizing my heart desires but instead am pacing myself. Not to mention, most stores are closed to grab the few products I may need here and there to wrap up / beautify after decluttering. I’ve promised myself no more than 1 organizing project each day – could be small or large, depending on the available time. One day this weekend, for example, I helped Billy and his oldest daughter declutter a large pile of things in the garage. While another day I decluttered and cleaned the spice cabinet…

The spice cabinet is accessed daily and was in need of attention. The attention I never give it because something else is more important. Or after a long day of organizing for someone else, the last thing I want to do is organize one. more. thing. Point being, this small space gave me just as much satisfaction as seeing the large garage pile sorted and minimized.

One afternoon I decluttered and organized the upstairs linen closet…

Another day I cleaned out the fridge…

I know the fridge is kinda a no-brainer, but with everyone home and the shelter in place order / minimal take out…we’ve had more groceries than normal rotating through this space. I have a sense this will be a bi-weekly cleaning project.

An oversized declutter project will be complete as of tomorrow morning – I sold the truck! For a long time I’ve been wanting to downsize – both the big car payment AND the size of the car. I don’t really need anything quite that large anymore because most of the client materials are delivered…and I don’t need a ton of room to haul away donations / trash. I’ve built a team that helps on both fronts too so bye bye huge oversized SUV and hello to something (hopefully) more environmentally friendly and easier to manage / drive into the city.

I had it detailed a few weeks ago and it sold within 1 week. The sweet family who purchased is coming to pick it up tomorrow. Just in time too because we can’t really go anywhere anyways! ๐Ÿ™‚ Felt good to get that one off the list…but now to find a new car.

Selling the car then quickly turned into me closing out an old credit card I had been meaning to let go of. My auto insurance was charged to that card monthly on autopay. Along with 2-3 other auto-payments. I moved those charges to a different card, paid it off and closed it. That felt SO great! I’m also looking at different credit cards to weigh out cardholder benefits. This is something I have been wanting to do but never had the free cycles to get it done.

I have more organizing projects like these to work on – organizing the cord collection, the battery drawer, the laundry room cleaning supplies, getting cleaning caddies set up in various zones, our DVD collection, some office organizing. But we are also turning our focus to home projects.

THE GYM

As we watched one store and restaurant after another close down to the public … or offer limited access … we knew the gym would soon shut down. And it did. Billy quickly ran to the fitness store to grab a few free-weights and a bench for our home gym. I’m really looking forward to sharing more about how this space evolves. Wasn’t planning on sharing it in here quite so soon, but with us now working out here 1-2x per day…and the kids accessing it too…it was essential to get cleaned / set up. We are all feeling the need to move our bodies, sweat and release a little frustration. Maybe yell and scream while working out too.

For those reading my blog a while, you know how much the gym means to me. It’s my mental health. This is truly one of my most happiest places right now. I’m looking forward to sharing more at-home workout ideas with you guys. One of my “unique decluttering ideas” is cleaning out ALLLLL the workouts saved in my notes app. I have hundreds of workouts I’ve written over the years, only to be seen by me at the gym. But at the request of a few family members, I’m going to make a couple binders and print them out for all to enjoy. Look for some of those here very soon!

Am proud to say that the last 4 days in a row I’ve made it onto the Peloton – that’s a record! 3 mornings this week I was up before everyone else sweating on the bike and yelling at the instructor. It’s been great to knock it out in the morning and definitely feel the benefits of a morning workout as opposed to my usual after work / afternoon deal…look forward to continued work on that front. What are you doing to stay active?

Anyway, after moving a few items around, decluttering and cleaning, this is the current set up…

 

The bench is on wheels, making it easy to move near the door for more workout space…but also tucks away for open floor space for Hiit workouts. There’s a small utility room behind the door seen here…

I’m ordering a shelf / baskets / hooks to organize small items like bands, push up handles / grips, jump ropes, mats, and more. Found the perfect shelf for this corner of the utility room…

Sure wishing the container store was open these days so I could walk in and grab it. But more importantly, grateful the gym is set up for all of us to benefit!

We’re going to hang hooks for the mats and investigating the option of where to hang a TRX system. The TV was purchased a few months ago and is an Amazon Fire TV. Actually a really cool technology and super lightweight monitor. We enjoy streaming content from apps like Netflix but can also watch live tv too. It has great features and didn’t cost much. Been a nice addition.

Look forward to sharing more about this room’s evolution!

THE POWDER ROOM

Now, THIS room is definitely going to scratch the home improvement itch. What currently looks like this won’t for much longer!

This cranberry red room is going to be beautiful, bright and brought current when completed. More updated details coming this week as we lower the light boxes tomorrow. We’ve chosen new lights (arrived today), which will be placed lower and on either side of a new mirror. This is the mirror I chose…

( mirror )

We’ve chosen a new faucet and gorgeous wallpaper, which is seen in a little peek here…

And we are hoping to update the sink basin as well. The vanity is staying – love it and its ample storage.

Also on deck for home projects but I don’t have before photos yet…

Garage Organization

Sport Court Demo and Updates

Adding Floating Shelves in the Pantry

Master Bedroom Floor Mirror

The garage updates alone are a big project. I have an awesome plan for the space but first need to get through the clutter before digging in. And again, promised myself to not only focus on organizing and home projects, but to dedicate time to working ON the business, my new product AND investing in myself. AND making time for the kids, and Billy…and getting everyone comfortable with home schooling, while still staying connected to friends and family.

We’re taking it one day at a time…as I’m sure you are.

I guess the biggest point I want to bring home today is taking it easy on ourselves. I’m struggling to find my new normal and new routine amongst everything happening and everyone at home. My focus has been lacking big time. While I can’t work with clients in person, I still have projects on tap that I’m designing or sourcing for…and it’s been really hard to stay focused when digging in to do that work. As much of an introvert I am, and as much as I love being cozy at home / focusing on home projects, I am realizing just how much I love to be around the people I care about. And I love being outside. The weather is cold and rainy now so it’s making matters a little more depressing. But I see sun is on the way soon…

Hope you’re all hanging in – I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment!

xx,

Sam

comments +

  1. Kathleen Embrey says:

    My husband is just finishing a 4 compartment cabinet for pantry like storage…I’m finding it overwhelming to plan out for canned goods, chips, etc. Your thoughts? On a tight budget, btw

  2. Kelsey Townsend says:

    Hi Sam!

    Glad to hear you and your family are doing well! The Townsend’s are adjusting to homeschooling, maintaining a small business, and I am still working M-F. It is all necessary and we are making it work!

    I do normally stay on top of our home organization, but with the schedule and routine shift, I feel like I have more time and energy to accomplish projects I have been avoiding. So, that is good news! I can’t explain it, but I don’t need to. I like that we are all home more. I too am an introvert and enjoy the family bonding time. Don’t get me wrong, it can create added stress as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ ha!

    My husband has been tackling cleaning and major reorganization of our shop, located on our property. He has asked for a few pointers, but I am so proud of the progress he has made alone. I wish I would have take before pictures. The transformation is heartwarming and a huge relief to me. I enjoy knowing that everything we own has a purpose and a place.

    I love the mirror you picked out for the bathroom and I cannot wait to see the transformation process! How exciting!

    Do you love your Peloton? I am envious! I was thinking about getting the app. Do you have the app on your phone? Thoughts?

    Thank you for continuing to fill my heart with ambition and happy thoughts from your blog. You are the best and I am thankful for you!

    Hugs,
    Kels

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Kelsey!!!

      You are so sweet – I love reading your comments…and how much you share ๐Ÿ™‚

      Love hearing everything you’re up to and would enjoy seeing your husband’s project photos – whether before, during or after. So send them to me via email or something. Love it!

      The Peloton is great – have owned it for a while. At one point I had the app as well and it’s just as awesome! I’d use it at the gym and it offers great value for the monthly price. More than just cycling classes on the app.

      I am thankful for YOU!

      xx,
      Sam

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ยฉ Samantha Pregenzer | Bay Area, California