March Lifestyle Challenge Results: Spring Cleaning

I saved the best results post for last this time. Hands down, this is the most successful challenge so far. I think we’re going to have a hard time ever topping this one :)

This post is going to be a long one, because I just had to include the descriptions you all sent in along with your photos. Some of these are going to blow your mind. I could create my own TV show with these!

That Wife




I realize that this may look just as messy to some of you, but before this corner was filled with crap we weren’t using. Now it’s filled with things I do use! I can finally try my sewing machine out, and I have a “crafting corner”, and a photo corner! (Photo corner is my favorite part. I”m going to use my sewing machine and sew myself a cute little tablecloth and then I can store everything underneath the table when I am not using it.

Overall I made about $150 selling things on Craigslist, and took 4 huge garbage bags of clothes, shoes, and other miscellaneous unused items to Goodwill.



I wanted to include pictures, but I left my camera at my parents’ house over spring break. Anyway, after the breakup and my ex moving out, there was a lot that needed to be done. I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and took away countless bags of garbage and recycling. I ended up basically (re)decorating the entire place and it really feels great. I probably would’ve done it even without the challenge, but that gave me an extra boost!


Oooh, I totally didn’t take pictures, but we ended up doing a _major_spring clean of our little apartment, for a great cause: We’re planning to bring home a kitten – our first pet ever – on Monday, so together we swept/mopped the whole place over the course of two evenings, DH cleaned a bunch of junk out of our storage space (threw away one big garbage bag’s worth, and gave away another bag’s worth), and I did all kinds of organizing/dusting/tossing stuff out that should have happened months ago.


I didn’t take in any pictures, so I apologize for that. I was able to organize our small storage unit that contains not only a majority of our wedding gifts, but also decorations and such. I’m excited because I was able to somewhat label them so that I can put things actually into cupboards when we move into our newly purchased home next month. And maybe even use them! Yay!


Originally, my goal was to clear through a “box of crap” that has been hanging out between the bedroom and back door since we moved last August.  I did that rather quickly, and then still felt unsatisfied with the level of clutter I had reached, so I cleaned my desk.  This challenge could not have come at a better time for me – after spring break, I’m always starting to feel frantically panicked about finals, which start at the end of April, but I can’t start studying for finals until I clear off my desk.  I also wanted to clear off my sewing/craft table of my stamping supplies so I could pull out my sewing machine and finally start my latest project.  I recycled a ton of papers and magazines, filed the rest into their rightful spots, and finally got around to creating a space for wedding planning information in the vertical files to the left of my computer.  Don’t be fooled by what you see in the picture of my craft table and sewing machine – the “mess” that is there is because I cleared the surface and started my project (a chalk bag for rock climbing.)  I now feel more productive and ready to start the home stretch of the semester.


I planned on taking pictures yesterday to show you, but I can’t find my camera!!!  Whooops!!  I cleaned our “public areas” in the apartment–did a few loads of dishes, discovered our dining room table does have a top after I removed 2 months worth of mail, receipts & who knows what else, I scrubbed and disinfected the bathroom top to bottom AND folded the 3-4 loads of laundry that were living on our Ottoman between washing & wearing.  Wow, this makes my apartment sounds like a pig-sty…….shamefully, it was.  That’s Tax Season!!







I am not a pack rat by any means since my mom suffers hoarding issues but I did manage to dig in my clean and organized closet and cabinets and remove the attached. YAY for me.





Mrs. H-B


One of my secret shames is that I am a closet clutterer. I like to pretend that I’m very organized, but my systems usually end up in chaotic piles of crap all over the apartment. I wish I were able to maintain organization on a more consistent basis as clutter drives me crazy! Mr. H-B’s side is pretty clean, actually. The pile of papers all the way to the right includes bank statement from January 2008, because it’s been that long since I filed. I still haven’t finished filing papers yet, but the next picture shows a pretty good start.



So for the Lifestyle challenge, we got rid of some stuff. I don’t have a before and after, but here are the photos of stuff we got rid of:

Given to my sister since we got a new book shelf for our dining room a little while back.

These boxes had been sitting in our bedroom since October! Most of the items were souvenirs we got for my guy’s parents when we went to Maui. Some things in the boxes were meant to be Christmas presents for them, if you can believe it. Your challenge was just what we needed to get those boxes out of our room, and these presents on their way to the post office. And we got a corner back of our bedroom. The other amazing part? The boxes had been there so long that some mold had started to grow on the wall behind them. Really, I’m horrified by our bad manners, poor cleaning skills, and amazed by what procrastination can lead to. What a relief to have those items on their way.




I went to Ikea and got some organizing shelves (supposed to be for a bathroom I think) and organized my mess! I created a huge bag of clothes and shoes to donate and I can finally find things in my closet :)





So, I decided to clean out my tee shirt drawer. As you can see, it wouldn’t even close. Which is hilarious because i rarely wear tee shirts! So, i cleaned it out, now there is space for more – or maybe i’ll transfer to a smaller drawer! And you can see my three bags- one for the PTA thrift shop (we don’t have a goodwill here, but the PTA is what we use instead, all the proceeds go to the local schools), one for a friend’s kid – why did i think i could wear kids size Ts?, and one of old work shirts i’ll give to other employees.





After a few hours of work, it’s still a bit messy, but much more livable! Complete with one box for Goodwill! Now to find a way to reduce the number of sentimental items…


Click to enlarge an read GaTiger’s captions. I thought they were a hoot!




We started the “merging” process in December…then his parents moved and we inherited more “stuff”.  As you can see my “office” became a dumping ground since it was “out of sight”.  At right at 2-months to the wedding, I’m starting on some of my DIY projects….and I couldn’t find my supplies!  I actually forgot to take the “final product” photos before I left this week for a business trip.  However, all the boxes are gone (5 boxes to Goodwill and 3 organized craft boxes stored in the closet for easy access)….and the desk & shelves look really bare at the moment.  Now to work on getting a decent overhead light so I can work in the “office” without going blind. :)




Peach & Pearl



Before, it was where I dropped everything on my way in the door.  Now that it’s clean and organized, perhaps we’ll see some more DIY on Peach & Pearl



Newlywed Hostess

I Gave away loads of sheets still packaged and tablecloths to the Local Hannah Home/Kings Ranch Thrift Store. I also gave away two slide projectors, a screen, and a table top hair dryer.


I took a picture of the table as I started to gather the papers together before I sorted and dealt with all of the formal requests that were strewn about in all aspects of my life… it was BAD! I’m a borderline OCD neat-freak when it comes to organization. My job becomes much less stressful when I have a handle on literature, information, and notes that I’ve written down. Because I work from home and from my car most days – a lot of stuff accumulates. It had gotten so bad that I had just moved to another part of my house to work because I just couldn’t work with all of the little things that had accumulated over the last couple of months.

I decided for the lifestyle challenge to clean out my major work areas. The first step was my car – I didn’t take a before picture, but I have an after. It started out with a couple rolled 4 foot by 8 foot campaign signs in my backseat, rusted yard signs, and literature everywhere. Now it’s all organized and manageable for everything I need. I still need to give the trunk a little TLC, but it’s functional again.

The next part was cleaning off the kitchen table where I work most days. It started by looking like a printing press had spit out colorful political literature, stacks of forms, and business cards all over the table with my poor laptop getting nearly buried. Now – I have all of my literature bundled and in a box – easy to grab as I run to meetings and business cards I’ve received organized in a recipe box. I could very easily find anything in a matter of just a few seconds and I’m much more relieved about this.







Well, in our house we don’t have much storage. This is my desk. What a mess. You can see that I have been busy making wedding related projects: there is my first inspiration board pinned up and swatches of fabric samples. There is a cardboard tube of peacock feathers (and one on the desk for colour referencing). And lots and lots of clutter.

So I tidied up a bit, moved stuff, recycled a lot of paper, newspapers and magazines, put away some of my clothes that were hung on the chair and generally sorted out piles of things. I returned the tagine (just out of shot) to M’s brother and wife; I put a glass coffee table on free-cycle and gave it to a girl my age who thought it would be perfect for her flat.

But there wasn’t a lot I could do with the bookcase full of books and work from Law School. So I had to leave them in situ. Still, it looks a lot better.







I attacked three locations in hour house for this challenge: the living room that I cleaned but where I also rearranged the furniture, it’s now so much more open I regret not thinking about it earlier.
I cleaned up around the computer, and I rearrange and cleaned our closet, I have a big pile of clothes that will go either to consignment or to Goodwill whenever I find the time for it.
I also cleaned up my work… Changed job, for one that is a more guaranteed year round one. Not really part of the challenge, but it was a form of spring cleaning ;)


And finally, Jenna. Jenna wins the award for most drastic Spring cleaning change from That Wife. And not just because I really like her name. :)




The before picture is so embarrassing! I can’t believe we let the dining room get that bad. A lot of this stuff (even though you can’t tell just by looking) is related to gifts from our wedding (which was almost a year ago!). In particular, the white trash bags are full of packing peanuts that wedding gifts were shipped in. They are expensive to buy so we thought we would save them for when we move. They are now all stored in the rafters of the garage…finally! We can now actually eat at our dining room table and relax on the couch which we haven’t been able to do in a looooong time. Thanks for the challenge!!



11 thoughts on “March Lifestyle Challenge Results: Spring Cleaning

  1. Those are some impressive photos. It’s good to know that not everyone keeps their house organized 24/7 because I was feeling all out of place with my messy/kids stuff everywhere…but I can tell that even without kids things get to be a mess. Good job ladies…you’ve inspired me to keep on decluttering myself which I had already started to this morning!

  2. Awesome! I feel good knowing, like Ashley said, that I wasn’t the only one with stuff lying around. I’m so proud of everyone’s efforts!!

  3. This is off topic (although, on topic, I feel bad I couldn’t scrounge up a picture), but I think I saw That Husband in the airport today. Is he traveling right now? I didn’t say anything (but I might have stared a bit) because I didn’t want to scare him, and hey, what would I have said, anyway, but I am 99% sure it was him….I thought it was kind of cool. Hopefully it doesn’t sound creepy!

    Jenna Reply:

    He isn’t traveling, but it’s funny to think he might have a twin out there somewhere!

  4. When will April challenges be announced? Do we get to vote? I vote for Finish something we’ve started. I have many things I’ve started but not finished (at work and at home) – and they all sit on my shoulders like heavy bricks and I feel so much better when they are done (maybe like one of your online classes? :) ) but I may have a hard time choosing which of my unfinished projects to finish! Awesome spring cleaning work. I found this blog too late for the challenge, but I did do a lot of spring cleaning this month, so I was with you all in spirit! Good work!

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