I’m always trying to figure out ways to purge rarely used items and get better organized. Living in 725 square feet means you can’t have everything you had when you lived in 2200 square feet.

My home office nook

When you live in a small space home, you really have to make storage a high priority. Especially if you’re someone like me who, having once found mouse droppings in the kitchen cabinets and drawers, now refuses to ever use them.

Having these new wall shelves are going to help immensely. I’m really a fan of having things out where I can see them. I tend to use things more if I can easily see them.

Vertical storage is really a good idea because then you don’t have to take up horizontal surface space.

I already told you that I gave away over half of my clothing recently. So now I’m only using one walk in closet for myself. The other same sized closet belongs to Ivy.

It has her litter box and extra containers of cat litter. Her extra bags of food are on the top shelf. As are the baggies I use to clean the litter box.

Living room chair with pillow

I’m sure you also have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in ages. Choose a time to go through them and give away clothing and shoes you haven’t worn in a year or so. I had some I hadn’t worn in over 7 years, since I moved to Oklahoma.

I don’t know what on earth I was saving them for. Sometimes when you have nice clothes that have barely been worn or never been worn, you are reluctant to get rid of them. But I told myself that collecting dust is not the purpose of clothing.

I recently ordered some cheap tops and tunics and tights from Amazon and JCPenneys, clothing I really will wear. That was how I mollified myself for giving all those other clothes away.

I never pay over $20 for a top or pants. More often than not I pay under $10 for a top.

JCPenney often has great sales and promotions going on. Their clothing has lasted quite a few years for me. So it’s really worth it. Amazon has some good deals as well. And I find the reviews really helpful.

I also went through my shoes. There were shoes in boxes that I would never be able to wear again due to my ankle, and hadn’t worn since the accident in 2012. Might as well give them to someone who can wear them.

I did the same with jackets and coats. How many thick coats do you really need? I chose one. I have one sweater and a rain jacket. That’s it. And I gave the rest to a neighbor.

I wish I had some place to hang outer clothing, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

You see I don’t really have a true hall. It’s just a space of about 2 feet. On one side is the door to the heater and hot water tank and the door to the kitchen.

On the other is the door to the bathroom. In the small amount of wall space is the thermostat.

Charlie on the couch

Okay, here’s what the pets are up to this morning.

Charlie is, per usual, trying to stay warm and comfy. And also drinking a lot of water and going outside because he’s had his morning diuretic pill.

Ivy is cat napping now after running around like a speed demon the past few hours.

Do you see anything odd about this photo? Something that shouldn’t be there?

Ivy behind faux plants

Ivy heard me get up and she thinks she’s hiding from me. She tried her best to blend into what I had on the dining table.

Ivy behind faux plants

She didn’t know that she’d already been caught. On camera no less. She’s a smart cookie. But Mama is smarter.

Nathan has called and is on his way over. So I’d better get up and wash my breakfast dishes and figure out what can be done today project wise.

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  1. I’ve started selling things I don’t wear on Poshmark – I’ve sold a few items so far and made about $500, so I’m happy! I’d like to sell more – I have clothing that still has tags on it, that I have never worn. My daughters do great selling on Poshmark!

  2. I looked closely at your introductory vignette and I tho’t there was an old tennis shoe behind it! Then, the next photo showed little Miss Ivy Lou! As the other reader said, she does blend in with the cow! What a wily little mischief!

    Your post is giving me a little inspiration to keep on keeping on with my own purging. It’s very tedious and I need all the inspiration I can get! Papers and books and house plant pots, are my big buggaboos. Well, also clothes I never wear–and shoes–there are probably other categories that I’ve blocked out of my memory!

    I love your photos of Charlie, Brenda. He looks so wistful, somehow. Just such a sweet little face.

    Well, it seems like we’re nearing the shelf reveal. I bet you can’t wait to get things on them. It’s always nice to have another place to put things that is handy. I want to install another cabinet in my bathroom but haven’t found the right one for the space I want to use for it and haven’t convinced my daughter that’s it’s a good thing yet. But one of these days there will be a cabinet on craigslist or my on-line auction at a price not to be resisted and then it will happen. It might even happen while she is at work or away for the weekend! It used to be when both my daughters still lived here but were grown, when I’d go away for a weekend they would undertake some major “improvement” or re-model. Usually I’d come home to a big surprise. Most of the time it was a welcome surprise. One time they had called a friend’s handy husband and had the whole half bath next to my back door gutted! THAT was a shocker! But it was okay because I’d been talking about having it done to enlarge that entryway.
    So I just might turn the tables on the daughter that is living here again!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend and pats to the babies.

  3. Would you mind sharing where you got the tunics. I prefer wearing them but don’t have much luck finding them. Love your blog!

  4. I can’t figure out what shouldn’t be in the pic of Charlie! What is it? no one else has made a comment about it, so maybe I missed it.

  5. Brenda, I know you are concerned about having Mouse poop, in a kitchen drawer. We did, at our cabin,in the drawer with out silver ware. (Yikes) got rid of them, as you have done, But i think since you have “cleaned/ disinfected,” that area, gotten rid of whatever, mouse was there ,really you should be able to use those areas for items other than food or silver ware, just for room you could use ,Hey, pencils, paper, jars, whatever, lots of things. I feel you are not using “good” space, that would be fine.Ok, just my thought, but it is a shame not to use what is available, and it is right there in your kitchen, “empty, and ignored. To have space and not use it.is a shame Don’t be upset, now it is “mouse” proof. No food crumbs, no anything, no mouse. They are long gone…Sorry I had to say it, if you don’t see them, or a trace of their poop, chances are they are visiting somebody else. Use the wonderful space you have..it is so sad and such a waste, when it doesn’t have to be…You have to relax……you have a cat now, that mouse is not coming back to your kitchen…

    1. Bonnie, I agree with you. No mouse would dare to enter Brenda’s apartment with Ivy on watch! Brenda, some really pretty shelf paper to line the kitchen drawers with would be great. There’s a website online that sells vintage looking shelf paper. It’s really pretty. Sorry I can’t recall the website, but I bet if you google it you will find it.

    2. we had mice one time, patched the gas pipe hole, had an exterminator one time and have never seen mice again, we like mouse magic for our out buildings. I know it is none of my business but every time I hear you are purging it bugs me to think of your unused spaces. Stubbornness can be a big negative, too.
      Love your patience with Ivy and am sad you had the growing up experience that you had.

  6. Ivy is so cute and funny. She must have been thinking “My mom will never find me here grazing with this black and white cow. I’ll just hide my face behind the plant and look just like the cow”.

  7. Your leather chair matches my couch! Neat!
    So glad you have your babies to keep you company. People with no pets don’t know what they are missing. Our Molly keeps us entertained, although she is 10 years old, she still gets spurts of running. And she loves to run up the steps from the basement. I figure the exercise is good for her (and me!)

  8. I have 2 boxes and 2 garbage bags full of clothes ready for the Salvation Army and I’m not done yet but I need the room to get rid of more things. Ivy did fit in with the cow and I probably wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t say anything. Your Ivy is like our Lucy, something new every day.

  9. I do find that the more readily available an item is in my home, the more likely it is to be used! One thing that has to be super simple to pull out and use is the vacuum. I don’t like when they’re heavy or bulky. So, I ditched my Electrolux tank style vacuum and now use the Shark Rocket. It’s an ultralight, corded (30’ long which is SO convenient), bagless stick vacuum. I absolutely love it, and use it often because it’s so easy to get to and easy to vacuum with! Plus, I never have to worry about buying bags, which can get expensive. With our 3 cats, the fur can get out of control in a hurry, especially under furniture and on the various rugs throughout our home. This Shark Rocket actually has a small beater bar which gives it its fabulous versatility on both hard and carpeted surfaces. So, yes, simple and easy is my way of life, too!

  10. Whenever you bring up decluttering it gets me in the mood for it. I have a tub that stays in the back seat of my car and over the past week, as I’ve been looking at holiday décor, I’ve been putting some odds and ends into that tub. Our house is so small that we just don’t need a lot of décor. I did buy several grapevine wreaths at a thrift store for just a few bucks that I want to turn into a Christmas tree shape. I’d like that to be my tree and I’ll get rid of the artificial table top green tree. It’s a beautiful day here so we are going to go take a drive in the country. Hope you have a nice afternoon.

    1. I have three tabletop trees: a green one, red one and white one. I’m debating on whether I want to keep them all. I have them all in one big tree sack.

  11. once you have gotten rid of mice if you make sure all cracks around the base of the cabinets and shelves are sealed you shouldn’t have anymore and there would be no reason to not use your kitchen cupboards! really once they are washed and sealed they should be just fine –

      1. Put things up there that you can store in either a ziplock bag or a dollar tree plastic container with a lid.
        I’ll also tell you Ortho’s Home Defense is the best over the counter spray that we’ve found to deter bugs and they are pet friendly.
        Ivy blends in with the black and white cow! lol

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