Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Declutter Update #1 - Main Floor - Decor & More!


Hello, everyone!  I wanted to share a quick declutter update from the main floor.  For anyone new to my blog, I live in a 2-bedroom loft style apartment and I started my declutter process this January.  Our master bedroom/bathroom is in the loft and the rest of the living space is on the main level.  The loft clean out begins next week! Yay!

Before I move onto the upstairs, I wanted to run another sweep through the downstairs.  This included random areas that weren't included in other posts, such as the coat closet and spare storage room.  There's a variety of things I found like decor, home goods, lunchbox cooler and two pairs of flats.  There wasn't a ton, but I found around a dozen items.  Every bit counts!  Off to the donation pile :)


Previous Declutters:







That rounds up today's post :)  It's crazy how you can still find random things that you wonder why you kept in the first place.  That was the kinda declutter today!  What you are working on?

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Saturday, January 28, 2017

LOVE FOR 5 - January Favorites 2017


Hello, everyone!  Welcome back to January's LOVE FOR 5 :)  I hope you're all having a great weekend so far!  Today I will be chatting about my latest loves ranging from beauty and home goods.  Let's hop in!


1.  Peter Pauper Press Inc 2017 Enagement Planner 
I'm so excited to share this first find with you!  I have fallen head-over-heels for this planner... the style inside and out is perfect for want I need.  It is formatted with a week on 2-pages (my fave!) and is pretty open, so I can decorate as well.  I found it at Barnes and Noble for under $15... not bad at all!


2.  The Rogue & The Wolf Chronos Earrings
My second love are these earrings from The Rogue and The Wolf.  They have the coolest Instagram and if you love anything black or witchy, you will too.  Promise!  These Chronos Earrings are 3D printed in the UK and are meant to symbolize the moon phases.. how cool is that?!  I have quickly become OBSESSED with their entire line and would love to purchase more items in the future!

Here's ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip in Drop Out swatched :)  Love the color!

3.  Colour Pop Ultra Glossy Lip in Drop Out 
Here is my main beauty fave of the month!  I actually won this as part of a giveaway on Youtube (Novakate, Kate has a beauty & minimalism lifestyle channel.. I recommend!) and this is my first Colourpop product I've tried.  I absolutely love this shade... it's the perfect sheer, but buildable burgundy-purple. It's also very glossy and comfortable on the lips!

4.  Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, Unrefined
I've been meaning to share this sooner, but kept forgetting!  Coconut Oil has been a long time love :)  I use it for so many things!  It has become my go-to makeup remover and I have recently started using it as a cleanser (yes, you read that right!).  It's called oil cleansing and it's been helping my dry sensitive skin.  I also use it daily when I oil pull and I've been really happy with the results so far.  If you'd like to learn more about oil cleansing or oil pulling, I highly recommend Holistic Habits on Youtube... she has videos on both and I've learned loads from her!


5.  Tuscany Candle in Vanilla Cinnamon Brulee
Last, but not least is my favorite candle of the month!  The vanilla and cinnamon smells so delicious and the fragrance fills the room :)  I've been keeping it on my breakfast bar and makes my place very cozy!  I also love the pillar style jar and it has 2-wicks, which seems to works so well at burning evenly.

Those are my favorites for the month of January!  What are some of your current loves?  Let me know down below :)

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Thursday, January 26, 2017

KITCHEN DECLUTTER - TOUR AFTER - Hello Minimalism Series


Hello, everyone!  After hours of cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing, I have my Kitchen Tour!  I'll take you through all the cabinets and show how I organized everything.  I hope you enjoy this :)  I'm so glad it's done!

Here's PART 1 - BEFORE & Kitchen Declutter if you're interested :)


This main view and walkway.  I'm SO glad that I no longer have to see my garage and recycling on the floor!!  Much better!!


Here are all my cabinets along the ground on the left side.  Trash and recycling is tucked under the sink and out of sight.  The second cabinet stores my minimized cleaning supplies and small appliances like our deep fryer and blender.


Staying on the left, there's two cabinets above the sink on each side that we use as a pantry.  The first mostly holds breakfast foods, snacks, drink mixes and bulk on the top shelf.  I was able to make room for bulk food since I reorganized!


Here's the other side and we store canned goods, soup and anything dinner related.  We also keep plastic cups and paper plates on the top shelf for when we have a party.


Here we have the right side :)  I decluttered all the cookbooks that were collecting dust on top of the fridge and was able to free up one of the large baskets.  Now there's just one basket with snacks, extra dog bones and pancake mix from Costco.  I was cooking in the Crockpot that day, but normally I store it up there as well.  


This is where I store all of my dishes.  The top shelf has wine glasses, beer glasses and thermoses, the second shelf has all the everyday glasses/mugs and the bottom stores the plates, bowls and cooking sprays.  Everything has room and was placed close to the front for easy reach. 


These are two drawers that are below where I store my dishes.  The left is a pretty standard silverware drawer with some other kitchen tools, such as a wine opener, can opener and reusable straws.   Then on the right, there's small bowls (I mostly use these for ingredients when I cook), oven mitts and plastic storage.


Finally the last cabinet!  Sadly, this is my least favorite to look at.. and the most full.  This holds cutting boards, pans, mixing bowls, baking stuff and more.  I hope to improve this in the future.  The only cabinet I didn't show is a small one above the microwave and it's for my spices.

That rounds up my kitchen tour!  It's not perfect, but I'm much happier and enjoy cooking a lot more! Over time, I will probably go through it again to see what else I can declutter or reorganize.  I hope this inspires you to get started on your own kitchen :)  It was a bit time consuming, but so worth it!

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

KITCHEN DECLUTTER - BEFORE - Hello Minimalism Series


Hello, everyone!  Welcome back for my next declutter... today I share the declutter process of my kitchen and goodness, this was a big one!! This is PART 1 the BEFORE and I'll take you through everything.  PART 2 will be my results and new kitchen tour.  Let's get started!

KITCHEN GOALS:

Here's the view of my kitchen through my breakfast bar.


I knew when I got to the kitchen there were several things I wanted to change.  I think it's helpful to set some goals before you start decluttering a specific space... so here are mine :)

First off, I know this will not be a major declutter.  I just moved last May and I decluttered some kitchen items then.  Still, I wanted to see what I could do.  I wanted to minimize the items that are on the countertops, so it will be easy to clean and I have more space when I cook.

Second, I really needed to reorganize.  At the time, I had pots stored in two separate areas, dishes on both sides of the kitchen and my BIGGEST pet peeve of them all-- the trash bag & recycling that was ALWAYS in my way on the floor!  It had to stop!

As I worked through each area, I made sure to clean everything and I took the time clear items off the counters.

1ST: UNDER THE SINK + CLEANING SUPPLIES


First I started with all my cleaning supplies that were stored under the sink.  I really needed to clear this space for my trash and bottle recycling bags.  I completely emptied the entire cabinet, so I could see exactly what I had.


I started sorting into piles.  I made 3 piles: trash (far right), to use up (center) and to keep (far left).  I purposely sorted products in the center that were still good, but wouldn't be repurchased in the future.  I wanted to remember to use them up, so they wouldn't go to waste.  I prefer to make most of my own cleaners now, so I didn't need these all-purpose sprays.

2ND: THE CABINETS!


Moving onto the rest of the cabinets, this is what I had across from the sink (on the right side of my kitchen).  I mainly store cooking pans, cutting boards and small appliances inside.  Once again, I emptied everything out and started sorting.  The left side is what I will be donating and the right is my keep pile.


The next area is the cabinet to the left of my sink and it holds a variety of things.  There's baking pans, mixing bowls, baking ingredients and more.  This was the most loaded area... time to minimize! 

The left is what I am donating and the right is my keep pile.
Most of these items I use, but I was able to clear out a few things: bundt cake pan, mixing bowl and jar lifter for canning.  I also tossed any lids that didn't match.  I plan on revisiting these items in a few months to see if there's anything else that I can get rid of.

Before moving onto the food storage, I repeated the same steps.  I cleaned, decluttered and reorganized the cabinet with our dishes and all of the drawers.  I didn't post pictures because it would become very repetitive.  You'll be able to see any items I will be donating at the end of the post :) 

3RD: FOOD STORAGE!


Once I completed the rest of the cabinets, I moved onto all the food storage.  This included the fridge, freezer, spices, pantry cabinets and any food on the counters.  As I went through an area, I made sure to check expiration dates and clean the surfaces before I put the food back.


Here's everything that I cleared out of our fridge, pantry cabinets (2 small cabinets on the wall with the sink), spice cabinet (above the stove/microwave) and above the fridge.  We went through our freezer recently when we needed to make room for our venison meat, so that was all set.  

DECLUTTER PILE:


Above is the donation pile! :)  Yay!! It's nothing crazy or anything but there's over 20 items.  I cleared out ALL.. yes I mean ALL of my cookbooks (I always look online for new recipes anyways).  I kept my little recipe organizer (it's from Dollar Tree and has dividers for notecards) and that's where I've always saved my favorite recipes.  I also will be donating extra mugs, mini George Foreman Grill, baking tools, plastic pitcher and other random bits.  

There you have Part 1: The Declutter and Before!  I'm so excited that I finally reached the kitchen and everything is so much more efficient.  Stay tuned for Part 2: After & Kitchen Tour which will be posted on Thursday!  

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Saturday, January 21, 2017

TV Stand & Media Declutter - Books & DVDs - Hello Minimalism Series


Hello, everyone!  I have another declutter post for ya!  This time I moved onto my living room and wanted to work on the TV stand.  There's a lot of storage inside, so I am able to store books, DVDs and miscellaneous items inside.

I have downsized this area in the past, especially the books but everything has become very overcrowded. The books are stacked as tight as possible and there's piles behind the initial stacks in the front.  The DVDs are all stored on the sides (each shelf can fit 12) and they also are packed to the ceiling.  Also in the center on the bottom shelf, there's a small box that I keep some of Paul's gaming stuff/electronics and our boxed TV sets.

Now, this wasn't going to be a huge transformation by any means because these are not all mine.  My boyfriend is supportive of me simplifying our place, but has no interest in becoming a minimalist himself.  He loves his movies and such, so I didn't force him to clear out what he didn't want to.  I am proud of him though, he has been doing some decluttering with me!  Baby steps, folks ;) Haha

HERE WE GO!


1.  Right off the bat, I took everything out of the cabinet except for our cable box.  I love to watch shows while I work and I started watching the Sons of Anarchy again.  Ahhh, I miss that show!

2.  Once the cabinet was emptied, I dusted every shelf... this will be the easiest time to clean it!


3.  Moving back to the ridiculous pile... which by the way, what the hell?! This looks like so much more stuff when it's on the floor and not hiding away!  I'm so glad I worked on this!!

Anyways, rant over :)  I started sorting by type:  books, DVDs and random items.  Then I worked through each pile at a time.  I set my favorites aside first then moved through the rest.

So a little secret, I counted everything and here's where I'm at:

BOOKS:  50
DVDS (TV series/ boxed set count as 1 unit):  75


Beware ~ you may get some distractions that want to "help" haha


Here's what I am going to donate!  Like I said, nothing too crazy here, but I'm happy with this progress.  I was able to clear out 21 items total: 11 books and 10 DVDS.  Not too bad.

AFTER :)


Another area down :)  I'm so glad that I was able to minimize the cabinet and it's so much easier to find what I want.  It's no longer stuffed to the brim and everything has a space.. thank goodness!  I also replaced the cardboard box with an extra blue tub (my beloved True Blood series is stored in there!).  I would love to purchase a Kindle at some point and once I do, that will clear out several more books and prevent more from being added.

This is the main area that I store items in my living room, so that room is pretty much done and it feels great!  I'm moving onto the kitchen next... wish me luck! :)

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Scrabble Coasters - Simple Home Decor Tutorial


Hello, everyone!  I have a simple home DIY that I just had to share with you!  Although I'm working on minimizing the entire apartment, I still love to create a useful DIY now and again.  I will be showing you how to create your own Scrabble Tile Coasters.

I made a set of these a couple years ago that I love and use on a daily basis.  The original set was made for my living room and I wanted to make another for the loft.  You can completely customize them and I love planning the perfect words!

Another bonus is that I was able to use an old scrabble board game that I no longer wanted, so this makes a great recycled & green project as well!


SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Scrabble Tiles - I used an old game set, but you can find them cheap at thrift stores
Natural Cork Sheets - Found at Michaels and used a 40% off coupon
Hot Glue Gun with Sticks
Mod Podge in Gloss Finish 
Sponge Brush
Scissors 


GETTING STARTED:

1. First you want to plan each of your coasters.  You can use letters at random, but it's fun to use a theme.  Just make sure you have enough letters and each title needs to be 4 tiles by 4 tiles.


2.  Once your letters/ words are chosen, it's easiest to work off the corners of the cork sheet and hot glue each tile one by one.  When you can work off a corner, there's less cutting later!

3.  Apply a dab of hot glue on to a tile and hold in place until the glue sets.  Continue placing desired titles, per coaster.  Move onto the following corner when you start the next coaster.


4.  After all the tiles have been attached to the cork, take your scissors and trim around the edges.  You don't see any cork hanging off the sides.


5.  The last step is to protect your coasters!  I used several layers of Mod Podge with a sponge brush and waited 10-15 minutes in between each coat.  Also make sure to seal the entire top and all the edges.

Allow the rest of the day for them to dry.  Finally, you're done!


COASTER THEME IDEAS:
Here's some ideas to get you started!

They're mostly night inspired and I also made a custom gaming coaster
 for my boyfriend's gaming desk.
This the is original set I made almost 2 years ago.. still going strong!  These
 are all Drink Themed :)  Coffee, Tea, Beer & Wine Coasters

There you have it!  I love making these coasters and I hope you give them a try :)  They also make great gifts!

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Art & Craft Supplies Declutter - Hello Minimalism Series


Hello, everyone!  Continuing with my Hello Minimalism series, I have decided to tackle one of my hardest areas to simplify-- my art and office supplies.

My most beloved hobbies are art/craft related and I also run my own Etsy Shop, Freckled Moonchild where I sell decor and accessories.  Between the two, I've gathered quite the collection!  I love to make jewelry, paint, color, crochet and more.  Not to mention, I've been a creative, DIY kinda person my entire life, so yeah this is what happens hahaha

 To my defense, there used to A LOT more supplies... there used to be a craft room.. like literally a room dedicated to my craft and art business stuff.  This was almost three years ago and I've been tapering down ever since.

Being an all-around crafter, of course I love this stuff and if I play the "I could use this to make this or later I want to try this" game I could sit here all day dreaming of ideas and my stash would stay the same. I've gotten to the point that having all this excess is just simply too much and instead of making time to crochet or draw again, I get overwhelmed by everything else.  I want to change that.

My goal is to continue to minimize these supplies and keep what I really use and enjoy.  I hope by clearing out the clutter, I can actually use more of what I have and be more creative.  What's the point of having these items if I don't create anything?    


THE DECLUTTER:  MY PROCESS
First things first, I gathered ALL of my office and art supplies and brought them into my living room. I've been in the habit of keeping things in different areas and this way I can see everything I have.  In the future, I will keep all these items in one spot.  NOTE: I forgot to grab my sewing machine!

1.  First, I started with all my office stuff-- pens, markers etc. and I started by checking that everything still works.  I tossed what dried out, sorted what I thought I would use and set the excess into a baggie for donation.

2.  Next I moved onto my crochet/knit bag.  I checked all the sizes of needles/crochet hooks and made sure I didn't own duplicates and I cleared out almost all my yarn.  Although I love to knit, this is a hobby I mostly do in the winter months and I typically end up buying specific yarn for the project at the time anyways.

3.  Then I proceeded to go through each container and cleared what I could.  I really thought about what is was for and when I last used it.  If I hadn't used it in awhile, I usually cleared it out.

4.  The teal and pink container was pretty much set, as I use it to store all supplies for everything in my etsy shop.


WHAT I CLEARED OUT:
Yarn, excess office supplies, ribbon, 2 scrapbook albums, loads of scrapbooking stickers, beads and miscellaneous craft items.

In the original photo at the very top, I had about 8 main bags/containers to store my supplies.  I am now down to 5 and they are no longer stuffed like they were before.  In the photo above, on the left is what I kept and on the right is what I am donating.  THANK GOODNESS!

That's what I've been able to clear out so far :)  I'm happy with my current stash but I think I will go through it again in a month or so.  This is by far my biggest hobby/ part-time work, so this wasn't going to be easy!

What's your hardest declutter you need to do in your home?  Let me know down below!

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christmas Decorations Declutter - Hello Minimalism Series


Hey, everyone!  As promised, I have my Christmas Decor Declutter which is my first clean-out of my new series, Hello Minimalism.  Now that the holiday season is passed, it was beyond time to go through all my decorations!

I've always had the goal of only allowing myself one plastic storage tote per holiday (I decorate for Halloween/Fall and Christmas only) and I want to stick to that.  Starting out, I had one large grey tote that was packed full and several things that could not come close to fitting inside.  I do have one exception-- I don't require our tree stand to fit in the single container.  (We always buy a fresh cut tree, so it'a bulky and gets pretty dirty.)

Don't be afraid to get help from a buddy ;)

My first step was gathering everything in one area... I actually did this before I decorated in December and saved the results until now!

Once I had a huge pile, I completely emptied the tote and all the bags that were inside.  I also made sure to open each and every tin and container... everything was looked at!  As I checked items out, I sorted into piles of donation and keep.


WHAT I DONATED:
There was a variety of stuff that just needed to be cleared out... mis-matched ornaments, leftover holiday craft supplies and random decorations that weren't my style anymore.  (Good-bye shoe lamp! My boyfriend tried to stop me from getting rid of it!)

If I couldn't remember using the item to decorate the last two holidays, it most likely went to the donation pile.  I also donated almost all of my glass and fragile ornaments because I have a lot of animals and don't want to waste time fussing with breakable items, especially if they're for the tree!


WHAT I KEPT:
For the most part, I kept my favorites and classics: stockings, go-to ornaments, 3 strands of lights, pair of seasonal kitchen towels and a few stuffed animals.  It was the first year that almost EVERYTHING that was stored in the bin was put out... that's how it should be, right?  We only decorate once a year as it is!


One area down ;)  I'm so glad all my decorations now easily fit in one container!  That was the goal!  This current grey tote is being replaced because the lid refuses to stay on... its been bugging me for years!  Off to Target for a new one :)

Any areas that you're decluttering?  Let me know down below... I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello Minimalism -- NEW SERIES! -- My Story & Getting Started

Hello, everyone!  HAPPY NEW YEAR :)  Today starts a new series -- and life journey -- surrounding Minimalism.  This became such an important goal of mine last summer (2016) and became my first resolution for 2017.  This new series will be known as Hello Minimalism.  Has a nice ring to it, right?

THE SCOOP:

I've always been on top of things when it comes to decluttering items, but it was until recently that I heard of Minimalism and what it's all about.  The idea of living with less and simplifying your life sounded amazing.   This REALLY appealed to me.

Although I would donate several times a year, I still felt overwhelmed by all the "stuff" in my apartment.  I love a clean home and making sure things have a place, but it all takes time.  I believe being more minimalistic would help me achieve that easier and ease some of my anxiety.  I also want to make more time for what's most important: my relationship and animals at home and enjoying more of my hobbies like reading and art.

Don't worry, Aurora will NEVER be decluttered hahaha

GETTING STARTED:

Like I said, I slowly started clearing out bits and pieces and wanted to share my progress.  This is just the beginning!  These are all items that I have been gathering since May 2016 when we moved into our current apartment.  It's a mix of things-- clothing, books, craft supplies, home decor and more.  These five or so boxes are being dropped off at the Salvation Army this week.

It's really funny to me that I already have all these boxes to clear out.  When I moved, I saved the sturdy boxes for future donating and originally had the goal to fill around 4-5 of them.  Well, I've already done that!  Haha I haven't even officially gone through everything!  We actually have a lot less clutter than most people we know.  It just shows how much "things" we all just keep around "just because".  The "American Way" is NOT always better!  It's time to mix things up!


MY PLAN:

Now moving forward, like any Type A person would do, I made a checklist.  I wrote this on paper (I'm a paper and pen kinda person!) and organized it by room/floor.  Then under each room, I would write down key parts that would need to be gone through... NOTHING is being left out.

For example, for the loft, it includes our master bathroom and master bedroom.  I wouldn't simply just write that and move on, I would more specific.  Underneath "Master Bathroom", I wrote: shower, counter top and under sink. Underneath "Master Bedroom", I wrote: closet, dresser, nightstand, vanity area, etc.  This made the most sense to me and as I work, I can cross things off the list and not forget anything.


WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ME:

As I work through my place, I am documenting EVERYTHING.  I really want to track my progress and share it with you.  Hopefully this helps someone.  For main areas, I will be doing Declutter posts that will break down exactly what I have and what I clear out in more detail.  I will also post Minimalism and Declutter Updates when needed to keep you in the loop.

That's the scoop for now!  I will be sharing my Christmas decor declutter next, so stay tuned for that. I hope you're excited for the new series.  Are you decluttering?  Let me know down below!

I hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to follow my site for future posts.  As always, thanks for stopping by :)  Have a great day and talk with you soon!

Lots of Love,

Richelle