April Challenge: Order out of Chaos

Before and After: Magic of Tidying up

My April goal was to make order out of chaos, create a somewhat minimalistic life and therefore live happily ever after in all of the additional space I created by getting rid of stuff. In my head, that’s what I meant by the “Tidying Up Challenge”.

I successfully tidied up and organized these areas of chaos:

  • Books:
    • Went through my bookcases, donating books I don’t think I’ll ever read again, and books that don’t spark joy. Outcome: two boxes of bookBooks!s were removed, including several textbooks from when I taught marketing and social media classes. Because you know what’s not good any longer? A textbook on Social Media from four years ago.
    • Outcome: All my books fit on the shelves, with space for more. Which is a good thing because I discovered books I loved and want to read again are missing, so I ordered a few (okay find, four) of them.
  • Home Office:
    • This half of the extra room was the half that needed the most help. I went through each of the desk drawers, organized electronic cords, backed up old disk drives of information and writing I had, got rid of old business cards that collected over the years, gathered random concert tickets into one stack and briefly relieved them before I remembered I was cleaning. Organized and filed papers, found space for the bags of stuff from my old work office(s).
    • Outcome: Created a clean, uncluttered space I want to work in when I’m working from home.
  • Dresses, Suits, and Costumes:
    • Doesn’t everyone have these items in one place? I went through the special occasion dresses I still own. The ones you wear to weddings, or big events, that typically cost more than you want to pay but you have to, then only end up wearing them a few times. The same for the suits I used to have to wear. It is so hard to donate these because they were so difficult to find (Tall!) and expensive (TALL!). Then there were the costumes. Obviously the flapper dress and the french maid costume stayed, but many of the others were donated.
    • Outcome: If you happen to see a homeless man rocking a beer wench costume, you’re welcome.
  • Art supplies and assorted stuff randomly thrown in closet:
    • Just as exciting as it sounds. I have a lot of art supplies. From watercolor paints, to sketchpads and pencils, to a limited supply of craft paraphernalia. Unsurprising, I haven’t touched it in years. However, every time I open sketchbooks to get rid of them, or pick up my pencils to donate them, my hands start to itch and I think of the potential they contain.
    • Outcome: Perhaps I’ll add a sketching challenge later in the year to force myself back into practice, and to use the supplies I have and don’t want to donate.
  • Photos, frames, art, and other misc. Stuff
    • Donated 90% of it, even though the frames were pricey when I got them over the years.
    • Outcome: more room on the walls for newer art (formerly in my office).


My extra room actually makes me happy now. When guests come at the end of the month, there will be space for them to relax and sleep. I have room to work, with a view of pictures from my Vietnam and Cambodia trip.
And it’s a good thing I made all of this space in my house, because it is about to be filled with a puppy! Which means my May Challenge pretty much creates itself.

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