Posted by: mmstanger | January 28, 2010

Thousand Things Thursdays Returns and Order in the Home Continues…

The smile of Mom on a Mission...

Yikes!  What a hiatus I have taken from my Thousand Things Thursdays initiative.  It’s not that I stopped sorting, pitching and giving items away.  I simply stopped recording what I purged at some times and, at other times, noted amounts, but neglected to post about them.  In short, life just got too busy for a while, so I let go of the accounting.

Now, as part of my quest for Order in the Home, I am revitalizing my Thousand Things Thursdays initiative and inviting others to join me! 

How to join?  Easy!  Grab a laundry basket, a bag or a box and start filling it up with random things you either no longer use or no longer love – things that provide little benefit or pleasure to you or simply things you have excess of.  Then, if you wish, as you find each item a new home, start tallying.  Ten, a hundred, ten thousand items.  It doesn’t matter what your total gets to or if you even decide to keep count.  And, certainly, there is no need to do a backwards countdown like me – that’s just my way holding myself accountable… The only real “requirement” is to make consistent steps to simplify your surroundings while appreciating the plenty you still have.  So, go for it! 

And, if you join me, PLEASE leave me comments on your progress:  braggings about your weekly tallies, stories of the silly items you had tucked away, prayers for the folks who make your trash their treasures.  I find initiatives are a lot easier for me to stay motivated about when I have teammates and cheerleaders along the way.  So, I appreciate your support, look forward to your comments and am excited to start prayerfully purging with you!

 And where am I at now with my 1000 things?  Let’s see.

 In my last Thousand Things Thursdays post, I was at a mere 988.  Then, I have the following notes written, but not posted from way back in mid-August.

“Okay.  So I have been more focused on cleaning and preparing for the school year this week than I have been on my purge quest.  I did just throw a huge bag of who knows what trash out, but I won’t count that. 

988-3= 985

Three books:  I finally joined PaperBack Swap and have already had three requests for books, which I’ve mailed off.  I almost didn’t count these, as, in return, I am ordering some faith-based materials for the kids and myself.  But, it was clutter and it is gone.  So, I am…

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to share our unwanted books with those who can use them and to receive what others are passing on.  We so enjoy reading!


One bag of partial MRE’s:   Thank you, Lord, for the good works of the man who is using these to bring awareness of our troops to folks who visit the fair.  Please look over the troops, both at home and abroad, and help us all fight for justice and peace in this world. “ 

So, that brings me down to 984 previously documented items.  And, though there have definitely been more, I am not sure of exact numbers, and, admit, that I have probably brought just as much into my house as I have purged from it over the past few months of birthdays, holidays, hand-me-down offers, etc.   So, I am just going to start with the 984. 

 Adding to that, in the past few weeks: 

984-4=980:  I trashed three games that didn’t have all their pieces, after trying to freecycle them in case anyone wanted their parts to flesh out their own missing-piece games or for re-purposing as art or learning activities.  Believe it or not, I have had folks who have happily scoffed up similar before.  One light-up plastic sword, bent from too many of the kids’ imaginings as a unicorn horn, dinosaur tail, etc. also was circular filed. 

Thank you, Lord, for helping me see I do not need to keep things that MAY be used one day for another purpose.  Sometimes, trash is just trash! - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.98o-1= 979  I sorted loads of books recently and posted some on my PaperBack Swap shelf the other day, and one went right away.  Yay!

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to share the love of reading while lightening the load on our family’s bookcases!

979-14=965  As part of the Eat from the Pantry Challenge, I took stock of my stored food and found 14 shelf-stable items I knew we wouldn’t use anytime soon, so I offered them up to family, friends and freecyclers.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that our least-likely-to-eat soons are another person’s menu ingredients for today.  I was surprised by the HUGE number of freecyclers who wanted the canned goods I posted for themselves and for local pantries.  Please move others to share their dusty pantry items with others so all can have plenty to eat!

I still have a diaper box full of gifts awaiting a freecycler’s fancy and two boxes to post on PaperBack Swap, too!

Not a bad re-start for the initiative, I think.  I hope I can keep my momentum going in order to help me create more order in my home!

Order in the HomeAnd, speaking of Order in the Home, besides purging this week, I focused on two things:

1.  10-Minute Tidies! 

Several times throughout each day, I set a timer and spent 10 minutes, by myself or with the kids, simply tidying messes or doing little tasks that otherwise might pile up.  This amount of time seems perfect for the kids’ and my attention spans when we are working together.  And, when they are more interested in playing than in helping me, it limits the time during which they might create greater messes in one place while I am cleaning different messes elsewhere.  (A true necessity, as any mom knows…) Truly, 10 minutes works for us. 

With 10 minutes at a time, we have held the massive pile-ups that often take far longer to undo at bay!  Now, I just need to make our 10-Minute Tidies a habitual part of our daily rhythm, perhaps pegging them to just-before meal, snack and bedtimes. 

2.  Making modified  Mt. Vernon Method and Mt. Vesuvius Method attacks on our house! 

Once Nina made her speedy recovery from last Friday’s surgery, proving she was “herself” and ready to live and play as usual, Mike was kind enough to do most of the playing with her and Luke this weekend.  Yes, my dear husband took charge of the kids for portions of Saturday and Sunday, so I could concentrate on cleaning and organizing.  The results? 

I made my own Mt. Vernon efforts from the front door through the living room and into the hallway, moving my way logically, one step at a time, through tidying each of these areas.  Admittedly, I had to leave the areas regularly to bring stuff to the trash or to their “real homes” as I went.  And, yes, I confess, I left a few well-contained areas of clutter in tact.  (I will attack these once I get through the more disturbing visual clutter throughout the house, as well as the more dangerous – shall we say mice-attracting and path-of-escape-obstructing – areas.)

I also began some Mt. Versuvias efforts on our bedroom, which somehow has become a catch all room for things we have nowhere else to put or need to get out of children’s curious hands.  There’s still along way to go in there, but – victory! – we have at least a bit of free floor space again.

Plus, over the weekend and going steady since, I  sorted fourteen (and counting) boxes of books that have been tumbled over in the basement, obstructing the path to the garage door.  Wow!  Was that hard for me!  First, there was the physical labor of gathering the contents of each upset box of books into a movable bundle, which pregnant me, then, trudged up the stairs and into the bedroom to sort.  (Our temporary book sorting shelves are in our bedroom – out of the chill of the basement and protected behind a childproof doorknob.)  Now, Mike would have helped me with getting the boxes from basement to bedroom had I had indicated to him that it was taxing for prego-me, but bull-headed me was on a mission and wanted to drive on, so I didn’t let on…  No harm done!  I need the weight-bearing and aerobic exercise…

Anyway, mental exertion took over for physical once I got to the bedroom.  You see, both Mike and I have a great affinity for the written word and would likely build an addition on our house simply to shelve, and comfortably enjoy, a growing library of books if we could afford it.  So, parting with books we own can be difficult… But, I know I won’t have room for true treasures if I don’t get rid of some of the fluff.  So, purge I did.  I set aside big box “pass on’s” for freecyclers and another two to add to our Paperback Swap shelf.  Whoo hoo!

So, between re-starting my 1000 Things initiative and attacking a but of home organization, the week was a success!  We now have presentable entry, living room and hallways spaces again, and are on our way to reclaiming at least one section of our bedroom.  Plus, we can almost walk without tripping over anything from the top of our stairs straight to the garage door.  Hoorah!

I can certainly say the path I have traversed this week makes me more confident about conquering the whole of our personal Mts. Vernon and Vesuvius.  How about you?  Have you made progress on your own quest for order? Have you established new routines?  Begun meal planning?  Come up with or revised a system that works for your household? Gotten into a rhythm?  I would love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment.  Or, if you have a blog and want to “officially” join me, grab my Order in the Home graphic and shoot me a link to your post. I would love to be inspired by your efforts!   Truly, having travelmates, even if only vicariously, has always made my journeys more fruitful!

PLEASE NOTE:  If you click the categories below, they will not bring you to related posts in this blog.  I am not sure why.  But, I am sure that you can use the Categories in the right column to get to related posts. 🙂


  1. Oh my goodness Martianne – I am LOVING catching up with you and your family through your blog…. but where do you find all that energy & inspiration???? You are truly amazing!!

    Miss ya!


    • And I am so excited that someone is actually reading it and enjoying my blog, so it becomes more than just an outlet for me and a way to create some sort of memory log for the kids since I have become the worst at photo albums and scrapbooks -with much of my stuff destroyed by water and mice since I am not amazing, but just a struggling Mom, Wife and Homemaker living by the moment in god’s grace! Truly, Carolyn, I am glad you are enjoying it and we are able to catch up this way, if not through proper letters and emails anymore. (I guess I have succumbed to the century we are in to some degree, though reviving the great lost arts of letter writing and face-to-face conversations are on my list!!!! How I still miss our ones over nibbles in Japan!) I am sure you have noticed through the links, too, that I have another blog particularly for our hoemschooling efforts. It is There are a lot more pics of the kids on the posts in that one.

      And as far as energy and inspiration go… of the latter, I have much. Of the former, I struggle to maintain enough to keep up with even a small fraction of the things I am isnpried about. 😉 I know you are similar…

      I do miss you and so appreciate the comments! Have a blessed day!

  2. […] Last week, I posted about our Ten-Minute Tidies among other things.  We are sticking to them, and they are really working.  Here’s a sample of one of our spaces before such a tdiy:   The kids play and learning space before a 10-Minute Tidy… […]

  3. […] commited to Order in the Home as an offering this past January.  As a part of it, I restarted Thousand Things Thursdays.  But, by February, the Thousand Things had halted.  Then, more recently, 10 Minute Tidies have […]

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