Friday, November 07, 2014

Donating and Decluttering Day

More beautiful trees I drive past on my way home from errands

Today I'm dropping off a car load of gently used, serviceable donations at the Goodwill van in my town. I'm also planning to clean off all sorts of surfaces in my house: Dressers, counters, coffee tables, the mail table, TV stands, bookcases, wall shelves, end tables, nightstands, the dining table, and the tops of bookcases and curio cabinets.


  • Tidy your house for the weekend. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters, swap out damp bathroom hand towels for fresh ones, shake out throw rugs, empty vases of dead flowers, empty or fill dishwasher as needed.
  • Take your vitamins and pour a big glass of water to drink this morning.
  • Any emails or texts you need to return today?
  • Look over your weekend: Are you doing fun things, but saving some quiet time for yourself as well?
  • Need to stop by a gas station, ATM or Redbox machine to prepare for your weekend?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Donating and Decluttering

I'm doing a few errands today. I always like to do multiple errands while I'm out and about. That way once I get back home I can relax and stay in (until it's time to go do something fun like dinner or a movie!) I'll stop by the post office, the bank, the gas station, and the grocery store. I have a couple books to drop off at the library, and want to run in to pick a couple books up too.

Conveniently located in the grocery store parking lot is a Goodwill donation van and a collection bin for used clothing, used shoes, and one for books as well. This week I've created a small mountain of donations in my living room that need to go out today. I have three big bags of clean clothing (gently used, wearable, just too small for me!), two pairs of boys' shoes, two pairs of my own shoes (never worn), a perfectly good suitcase I never use because it's black and boring, an unchipped teapot I never use, a stack of books, a new DVD inexpensive player I can't remember buying, and a working toaster I've cleaned the heck out of. I feel VERY strongly about only donating nice usable items - nothing dirty, broken, torn or stained. I'd like to think that my toaster and DVD player are going directly into the home of a hard working poor person who will use and enjoy them, but it's more likely my things will be sold at the Goodwill store. Still, that money helps pay for their organization's helpful services, so that's ok.

When I get back home, it's time to clean off my surfaces and declutter a bit. (I'll dust while I'm at it, of course). I am doing this project today to de-clutter before I haul out Thanksgiving and (in a couple weeks) Christmas decorations and clutter everything up again. I don't like having a lot of "knick-knacky" stuff around. I try to keep just a few beautiful or useful things in each room. "A place for everything, and everything in its place."

Heirloom Bottles, from Z Gallerie

On the other hand, I also don't want to have a boring, austere, sterile home either, where people are afraid to sit down or touch anything. Beautiful objects exist because we love looking at them. That's why each room has a few (just a few) decorative objects: vases, colorful candleholders, scarves, framed photos, and decorative pillows.

The less items you have out, the fewer things you have to dust, dust around, and worry about getting broken. I tend to rotate out some of my favorite decorative objects seasonally. When not in use, they're carefully stored in the garage in a Sterilite storage bin. That way I have time to enjoy looking at all my possessions, rather than having so many items cluttering up an end table that I can't really see or appreciate each one. Then, every time I sort, I reevaluate if an object is worth keeping til next year. Right now I have a lot of teal accents out. That means my amethyst purple decorative items are stored away. I'm keeping in mind that any items I haven't set out to display for a year or two should be given away, sold, recycled or thrown out.

Mercury Glass Apple and Pear, at Z Gallerie

Before I go out to dinner tonight, I'm making some time to declutter, put things away, sort and prioritize, dust thoroughly, and edit which items I have sitting on top of bookcases and surfaces. I just removed a coffee maker from my kitchen counters - I don't drink coffee, and this has been on the counter for two weeks after my coffee-drinking guest left. On my end tables, I like to have just one coaster for a beverage, a colorful placemat, a vase of fresh flowers if possible, a candle and a framed family photo or two. On my dining table, I keep just a nice framed photo, a bowl of fruit, a vase with fresh flowers, and a candle I light every evening that sits in a pretty mosaic glass candle holder. My coffee table holds an interesting book or two (I swap them out weekly), two seasonal placemats, a candle, and the stack of magazines and catalogs I'm reading right now.

This project will make my house cleaner (less dusty), more organized, less cluttery, and more relaxing to come home to.

What might you declutter and donate today?

LOVELY BLOGS: The Cottage Market

Andrea's eclectic blog about DIY, crafting, vegetarian recipes, decorating, and organizing. Recent posts I've enjoyed include her links to DIY Christmas wreaths, acorn DIY projects, a tasty looking Eggplant Napoleon, and 5 Fabulous Fireplace DIY Projects.

LOVELY BOOKS: The Language of Flowers

This "alphabet of floral emblems" from 1857 is gorgeously illustrated. I thought you might enjoy flipping through the pages and admiring the floral pictures today!

The Language of Flowers, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY FRAGRANCE: Voluspa's Rouge Maison Collection

I'm wanting something a little more.. grownup and sophisticated, than Bath & Body Works right now. (I do love their inexpensive products though!) I'm trying to choose one or two candles from Voluspa's Rouge Maison line to splurge on for the next month. I'm struggling to decide between Figue Bordeaux, Mandarin Cannela, or Warm Perique Tabac. Also, the glass these candles come in is gorgeous and will look great with my Christmas decor in December!

Rouge Maison, at Voluspa

LOVELY HOME: Method's Preppy Chic Collection

If you've been reading Lovely Living for a while, you probably can tell that I'm a huge fan of Method Home products for cleaning. So you can imagine I'm excited to smell Method's limited edition collection for fall: Preppy Chic. I can't imagine what "Rice Milk & Mallow" smells like (soft?) and I bet I'm going to love White Cranberry. Kelly Moss is the third scent. I definitely need some hand wash for my guest bathroom, but I have enough body wash right now so I'll have to skip out on those.

Preppy Chic, at Method


Butternut Pudding Parfait (Simple City Life)

Caramelized Butternut Squash (2 Sisters Recipes)

Cherry Vanilla White Chocolate Tart (Raspberri Cupcakes)

How to Set a Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Table (The Chronicles of Home)

11 Fall Wines Better than a Pumpkin Spice Latte (CHOW)

Maintaining a Long Term Blog (101 Cookbooks)

Polenta Crostini with Butternot Squash Ricotta (Edible Perspective)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (Geez Louise!)

Thanksgiving Table Cloth (The 2 Seasons)

--Copyright 2014 Lovely Living

Lovely Living University

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