Saturday, October 22, 2011


Redesigning my blog and vision.  Hope you will hope over to my New one and follow there!

Bear with me as I finish the construction.

I will also be setting up a FAMILY blog soon if you want to keep up with our journey of preparing for a year long US tour in an RV.

Stay tuned….

Have a blessed day,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 14: Slave or Master of Clutter?

Are you a ‘slave’ to your clutter?   Seriously…think about this.  Is clutter causing your life to stall? 

I know for myself this can be true!  The more clutter I see in my house, the more cluttered I feel which leads to procrastination, feeling uninspired and un-motivated.

There are many days when I have a list of tasks to accomplish, but I must first clean up the visual clutter to feel ready to tackle the list. 

So this led me to think…am I a ‘slave’ to my clutter?  Does it control or contribute to decisions and actions in my life?  Hmmm…deep food for thought.

One thing I do know…I want less stuff.  The less I have, the less I need to give it my time.

What about you?  Cluttered house, cluttered mind?

Have a blessed day!


Day 13: Cleaning Supplies

Today we are clearing out the cleaning supplies and getting down to the necessities!

Here is a picture of where I started….


I changed my whole cleaning routine completely back in April 2011.  This involved removing all the toxic cleaners and replacing them with natural ones.  You can read more about that quest HERE, but bottom line was because they were making me sick.

And this is a picture of what I have now!  So much better, right?  Waaaaay less to store.  LOVE the idea of a concentrate.



I keep everything in a caddy so I can take it with me from room to room and it provides good organization which in turn leads to less clutter. 

These 4 bottles and small jar clean everything in my house from the mirrors to the floors.  Safe on every surface and safe for people and pets.

If you are curious what I use…you can learn more about it HERE.

How about you?  How do you store your cleaning supplies?  Are they hidden and lost in cupboards or do you use everything you have?  Sort through it to keep the ones use.

Have a blessed day!


Need to catch up?

Start with Day 1

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 12: Kids Clothes

Welcome back!!  How are the kids rooms going?  My kids all grumbled at first when it was time to declutter and now they are soooo happy!  It feels more calm for them and my youngest has discovered ‘lost’ toys and has been busy playing. 

We are finishing up the kiddos rooms today by going through the clothes.  Now, I have all boys….I think it does mean not quite as many clothes than if I had a girl.  My boys are no frills…all about comfort.  My 14 yr old wears sport shorts year round with short sleeve tees only. The only request this mama has is that he has a pair of ‘nicer’ shorts for church.  Of course, this helps keep his laundry under control, too.  I had the boys help me with this task so I could get their feedback on what they like and wear. We also take the time to save things they have outgrown to hand down to the other boys or friends.  We have appreciated this from others as well!

We also don’t have dressers.  We are blessed with big closets so we use closet organizers with drawers.  This saves so much space in their rooms for other things.

Here is a pic of my oldest boys’ closet after we cleaned and organized….


He does have a few things hanging out of view…the rest are in the drawers.

Happy decluttering!!

Have a blessed day,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 11: Kids Toys #2

With 3 boys you can bet we have LOTS of nerf guns and Legos!  Great toys….just a lot of pieces.

Finding a home for toys can help eliminate clutter.  I have tried MANY different ways to store the legos and our current and last method we have been using for quite awhile and it will definitely stay.  I actually got the idea from my mom who did the same storage solution with my brothers’ legos when he was younger. 


The bin on the right is where we store the pile of loose legos for building.

The drawers are for storing his special pieces and creations.  If they are full then he knows he needs to make some choices on what can stay built and what needs to go back in the big bin. 


This is the best part and the tip my mom gave me!  Put them in a sheet or blanket inside the bin.  We used a twin sheet.  Then you can lift the whole sheet out for the kids to play with on the floor.  The legos stay on the blanket for easy pick up!  Simply gather the ends and put back in the bin.  Super easy and the kids like that they can spread them out to see what pieces there are.


My older boys are more lego collectors now so they store theirs on their shelves in their rooms.

Nerf guns are the other toy abundance around here.  My husband and I came up with a great solution for us.  Peg Board!


This one is under a loft bed.


This one is behind the bedroom door.

So, there you have it!  Some simple storage solutions for all you out there with boys like us.

What ways do you control toy clutter?

Have a blessed day!


Day 10: Kids Toys

This one is a constant clutter for us with three boys!  We are always looking for new ways to help the kids control it whether it’s passing it on to another child or organizing.

Here is a repost of how I help my youngest sort his toys….

WOW!! PLEASE tell me I am not the only house with a messy kid room?!
My youngest loves to play and play and play, but when it comes to clean up... not so much.

In his room he has cubbie shelves with bins for all of his small toys.
When the room gets like this, it tells me there is too much STUFF!
Time to SIMPLIFY and declutter.
I like to have my kids help with this process for a few reasons....
1. It's their stuff
2. It's their mess
3. Prime moment to teach the technique
After all, they won't always have mom to help....
So we separated the the legos, nerf guns & bullets and stuffed animals from the small loose toys. These toys get put away in their own place.
I pulled 3 bins out near the pile of small toys and told youngest it was time to downsize. We need to fit all of the STUFF into 2 bins.

He got right on it and was able to sort and toss it all quite quickly. He ended up with a good size bag that he doesn't need anymore.
Doesn't it look fabulous?! He was so proud of himself and I am proud to see him take such responsibility.

He loves it when his room is clean, too! I try to give lots of praise and really hype up how great it FEELS to have a clean room. Hopefully this will pay off in the long run.

He is overwhelmed if I tell him to clean his room, but if I break it into tasks he feels capable.
I think it helped having a specific task.

Give it a try with your kiddo!
Hope it helps you too!
Post a comment if you have tried this or if you have another idea!

Have a Blessed Day!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 9: Jewelry

I keep my jewelry in my bathroom because of the great storage I have in there.  I also have waaaaaayyyy too much that I do not use.  In my quest to simplify, I went through it with the thought of keeping my favorite pieces as well as some specialty and FUN pieces.

Knowing what I have and being able to see/find it means it will get used!

This series isn’t about organization, but take a look at THIS by I Heart Organizing!  I see this project in my near future.  Simple and Lovely…


She is one of my favorite bloggers.

What about you?  What type of jewelry do you have?  Too much?  Does it get used?  How do you store it?

Have a blessed day!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 8: Master Bathroom

Welcome to Day 8 of 31 Days of Decluttering!  If you are just joining us we are tackling the STUFF in our homes for 31 days to reduce the noise of clutter.  I was inspired by the Nesters challenge of 31 Days of Change and am purposing to complete this before the holidays hit as well as fulfilling a personal goal as explained here in Step 1.

Today we are diving in to the linen closet. 

Remember to ask yourself the 3 QUESTIONS in your decision making….

1.  Do I LOVE and USE it?  (keep)

2.  Can I donate it?

3.  Should it be thrown away?

Now get to it!  Set aside just 15 min to finish the task…and you are on your way to decluttering that linen closet.  And because I am such a visual person, here are a few pics of pretty linen closets to share.

linen closet

via web

linen closet 2

via web


Love the white and baskets!  Visually appealing and calming….

Have a blessed day!


Day 7: Words for Thought


Philippians 4:11-12

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want.



A confused or disordered state



to reduce to fundamental parts; to make less complicated


Have a blessed day!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 6: Master Bathroom

We are moving on from the master closet to the bathroom!  In our home we are blessed to have a master bathroom.  It also has GREAT storage!  Lots of cupboards!  But last time I looked in an RV this definitely is NOT the case.  I will have my work cut out for me.   For now, baby steps…just decluttering….I will worry about space later.

Here is a pic of the storage….




I think since we are biting off small chunks lets break it down.  Today just go through your toiletries.  I actually organized this cupboard in the summer.



Surprisingly I was still able to toss or give away a huge bag!  I find that if I have too much stuff then I forget what I have in there and make double purchases.  I also have been switching out soaps for ones that are soap-free.  I have found two things with this.  One…NO chemicals.  Two….No soap scum in my shower!  LOVE that!  You can check out what I use HERE and HERE.  Also  THIS is the BEST for bubble baths and shaving your legs.   Leaves them soft and again, no soap scum.  I mean really…who likes to clean that anyway?

So get on it and get to tossin’ in your bathroom.

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Purses & Bags



Hello!  If you are new here or missed a few days, we are on day 5 of 31 Days of Decluttering.  I was inspired to join in with the Nesters 31 Days of Change as explained HERE.  It’s not too late for you to dig in to decluttering with us!  We are taking our time and giving just 15 - 30 to tackle the daily task. Scroll down to see Days 1,2,3, & 4 on the right side and click on it.  It will get you up to speed.

So, my purses and bags are stored in my master closet and this will wrap up this area.  You may have yours stored in another spot.

I used my ‘pull everything out into a pile’ trick to see what I was dealing with.



WOW! There were bags and purses I didn’t even know I had!



I realized that I really don’t use most of these so I was able to purge a lot!  On the left side (I don’t know why this pic is blurry?)  there is this weird wasted space between the dresser and cube shelving.  We have always just shoved our travel bags there and piled them up.  Great system, right?  lol  I put 3 hooks on the wall and was able to hang them up.  Now I will be able to find the one I need without pulling out the whole pile.  I know, I know, big stuff!   I think it’s the type A in me that gets giddy about my things organized. 

But the biggest thrill is the EMPTY shelves!!  And, no, I am not planning on filling them up.  Remember our BIG plan?  I’ve got to downsize people.  This is just a tiny start but it feels good to see.

Anyone out there a bit type A like me and get super excited about open space?  Leave a comment….so we can rejoice together!

Have a Blessed Day!



psstt…come back tomorrow for more!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4

I finished up my clothes!!  We ended up with 3 bags to donate.  What about you?  Did you find things not needed anymore?


Ahhhh….love it when things look neat and orderly.

Tomorrow we will tackle purses and bags!

Have a blessed day!


psssst….just joining in?  START HERE

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3

Welcome to day 3 of the 31 Days of Decluttering!

How did you do with your shoes?  I stored my summer shoes in a seasonal bin I have in my closet and put out only the shoes and boots I will wear now until spring.  Saves me a little visual clutter which makes me happy.

Now it’s time to tackle all those clothes! 

The first thing I did was pack away all my summer things.  Depending on where you live, you may have already done this, but in my area we can still get nice days through September.  October seems to mark the official start of fall and it’s time to pack away the capris and shorts.

I was able to purge and went from 4 bins to 2.  Whoohoo!  Feels good!


Totally empty!


These used to be stacked two high.

Because this is such a BIG part of the closet we will take 2 days to complete.  Don’t want anyone to get overwhelmed.

Just remember our 3 questions…and get working on those seasonal clothes.

How about you?  Do you store seasonal clothing or do you have it all out at the same time?

Have a blessed day!


Day 1

Day 2

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2: SHOES

Our mission of 31 Days to Declutter starts in the master bedroom closet.  I picked my bedroom first because I am really looking forward to getting my peaceful space back. 

No matter the size of your closet, somehow it never seems big enough.  Why is that?  My first house had a teeny,tiny closet for my clothes and this house has a small walk in.  I remember thinking 13 years ago…WOW!  This is huge!  And, yet, today it is busting at the seams.  I have my work cut out for me NEXT YEAR!





But…back to the challenge!  Let’s start with shoes today.

I started by taking ALL of my shoes out.  Then I divided summer and winter. 



There are 3 questions I ask myself when I look at my stuff.

1. Do I love it AND use it? (keep)

2. Can I donate it?

3. Should it be thrown away?

We are all at different places with our shoes!  Some of us are shoe fanatics and have lots.  That is obviously not me so don’t go by the amount I have, but rather what is going to work for you. 

After you have gone through them and made your decisions, simply put them back in whatever way you store your shoes.


I love that mine fit in my shoe space now!  Although, I do need a new pair for fall.  Last year I got rid of quite a few because they were just too old.  But for now it fits and feels great!

How about you?  Are you a shoe fanatic?  Or not, like me?

Be sure to come back tomorrow as we continue on in the closet!

Have a blessed day,


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day #1




As I shared HERE, our family has BIG changes coming next year and we must start preparing now for a major downsize.  One of the questions I have been asking myself is how much stuff does one really need?  I think it will be a process, so this month will be the first decluttering.  Then, come spring, hopefully?…it will be one step closer to our life of minimalism on the road.

TIP #1   Start small!  Our first area to tackle starting tomorrow will be the master bedroom closet.  We will actually break it down into several areas.   Allow yourself just 15 min per day and we can accomplish LOTS in 31 days. 


So what about you?  Does it sound totally appealing to have your stuff in order and downsized before the holidays?  Then come on and join in!

Come back tomorrow and be ready to purge the stuff!!

Be sure to check out the inspiration at the Nesters 31 Days of Change.

Have a blessed day!


Friday, September 30, 2011

31 Days to Declutter



Yep.  That’s right.  October is THE month the Leightons’ are decluttering and purging the house of STUFF! 

I am participating in The Nester’s 31 Days of Change.  So starting October 1 through the 31, I will post daily tips and ideas on purging the ‘stuff’.

As told in our story HERE…we are preparing to hit the road July 1, 2012 in an RV to travel the US for ONE year with our 3 boys.  That means 9 short months to prepare our house to rent and learn the ropes of minimalism.  Yikes!

First step is decluttering the house. 

So follow along and maybe even be inspired to join in!  Imagine how great it will feel with less clutter and stuff….especially before the busy holidays.

Leave me a note if you are joining me too.

If you are a blogger, grab my button on the right to post on your blog.

It’s gonna be a great month!


Have a blessed day!


Our Dream

My husband and I have a crazy dream to travel the United States with our children in an RV….for ONE YEAR.  We have been asked a lot how we came to that thought and I don’t know if I can give just one easy answer to that question. 

Our biggest inspiration and catalyst to even hearing about this idea came from Tim and Stephanie Sheaffer from Give Every Day.  We ‘stumbled upon’ their blog and immediately felt pulled to the idea of serving others.  We also held some fascination for the idea that families actually do this!  The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds before except when thinking about ‘some day’ when we retire…maybe.

At the same time, we had started to feel a bit heavy with the way our life was.  My husbands’ job was stressful but mostly, it seemed we were just ‘surviving’ instead of living and experiencing.  We were hungering for  passion and purpose again in ways we weren’t even aware of…..until we saw the opportunity in the travel.  I know that for most people, a time such as this may never arise and that we should give it some thought. 

Several things in our life lined up….transition with hubbys’ job, support from family, opportunity to make an income online, the ideal time for our kids to pull out of school for a year, and the biggest one…we had just paid off all of our debt (not including mortgage).  The freedom from those bills actually opened a new door for us and we decided to jump in with both feet!

We are giddy with excitement, nervous about details (ok mostly me) and absolutely thrilled to have the chance to be with our kids as one family before they are too big and off to college.

We would love to share the journey with you!  Become a follower and like me on facebook. 

Ask us lots of questions…I will try my best to answer them!

Have a blessed day!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Light The Night Walk 2011


Each year, in communities all across the United States and Canada teams of families, friends, co-workers and local and national corporations come together to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) Light The Night Walk events and bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers.

Our family participated in the Light the Night 2011 on Saturday with friends and family.




(youngest doesn’t always like his picture taken…lol)

This particular walk is close to my heart because 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer, Hodgekins Disease.  It was right after I had my youngest son and quite the shock as well!  He was 4 months old and due to my illness and treatments, I was unable to care for him fully for almost the first year of my life.  We were so blessed with a fabulous church family and friends who cared for our whole family during that time.  I’m talking house cleaning, meals, child care, gifts, encouragement, prayer and the list goes on and on!  It was quite humbling to need others in this way and to accept the help, but I am so grateful. 

My angel was my mom.  She lives out of town and came for every treatment to stay for a week and care for me and my baby.  I do not know what I would have done without her!  Especially for caring for my son and nurturing him in his first year.  My sister-in-law and mother-in-law were also HUGE in my care.  Seriously…such a reminder why we need others.  We felt so loved and cared for during that hard and scary time.

And now….I have been cancer-free for 7 years!  Many times I feel like it was ages ago…other times it feels like just the other day.  Certain smells, for example, can take me right back to that time.  It has taken me this long to be able to participate in something like this because of the memories.  I only got a little teary when people spoke of loved ones gone.  It humbles me to know that I was given the gift of life while others had a different plan for their life.  Who am I?  Why me?  Such questions may never be answered but it reminds me to be faithful to the God who gave me life and to trust Him.


This is me with my hubby, Clark.  He is my ROCK!  He was Mr. Mom while I was ill and did it fabulously.  He never complained.  It was a very tough time for him too, but he tried to stay strong for me. 


So, we celebrated with a 3 mile walk and lighted balloons!  Red for supporters and white for survivors.  What an awesome sight to see so many there to take part in something greater than ourselves.

What about you?  Have you experienced a ‘bump in the road’ like me? 

Hope each of you have a blessed day!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dinner Shortcut


Meal times are c.r.a.z.y around here!  We currently have soccer 4 nights a week and high school football games on Fridays.  So between work, school and activities the dinner hour can be super hectic. 

Planning ahead is always my saving grace and things run so much smoother when I do.

One of my favorite shortcuts is buying roasted chickens.  I get mine at Costco because they have quality meat, they are good size and the price is right.



Doesn’t this look yummy?


Then I take the meat off, cut up or shred and put into bags to freeze. 


Now I have 3 meals prepped and ready to throw together.  We use it for quesadillas, pizza, sandwiches, soup, etc….  You may get more meals out of it depending on the size of your family.

It allows me to whip up a healthy meal in 20 mins or less for my active boys.

What dinner shortcuts do you have?  I love new ideas!


Have a blessed day,


Monday, September 19, 2011

Crooked River Camp Out


Every August our church gathers for a huge camp out at Crooked River in eastern Oregon.  Some of us go for just the weekend, some for the entire week and others even longer!  This past August marked our 13th year going.  We started before we had our first child.  Our boys have grown to absolutely love this week spent with good friends and family swimming, frog hunting, hiking, eating and playing games.  It is one of our most treasured family memories together.


Here we are getting the truck and trailer packed.  This takes us all day, but thankfully the boys are at an age to help quite a bit.


We stopped in Madras at the new Sonic that opened.  You order and eat outside or order from your car and the waitress brings you your food while on rollerskates!  We ran into friends who stopped on their way to the campout too.




I love this view of Crooked River.  Near the campground there is a lookout tower and this is the view from there.  It is an amazing view of God’s creation and so peaceful.  Isn’t it breathtaking?


There is a trail that leads down to the river.  Here is our family just before we hiked down.  We went with another family and took a bunch of youth kids with us to hike and swim in the river.



Coming back up…several of the kids chose to add a little rock climbing in as well.


The Ranch campground is fabulous!  There is a nice pool that we used everyday.


This church is right next to our campground and they let us use it every year for a special Saturday service.  This is one of my most favorite parts of our church campout.  Fabulous music with a breathtaking view of the canyon followed by great preaching and sharing and ending with communion. 


These two pictures give a small view of how much our church takes over the campground.  lol



Boy #3  all smiles.


Boy #1 just weeks before starting high school.


Boy #2 chillin’ in the air conditioned trailer.


Frog hunting is probably the boys’ favorite memory of all at Crooked River.  We go at night to a pond to look for bull frogs and catch little tree frogs.  Aren’t they cute?



Hubby and Caden playing games.  There is a Risk tournament at our trailer every year with a few of the boys plus many, many card games.  The choice game this year was poker, Texas Hold ‘em.  Even Caden learned to play. ( no money tho!)  The cage on the table is a frog habitat.  In it lives JoJo…the pet frog that Caden caught.


Our first years were spent tent camping, but one year we were able to borrow an RV from my brother-in-law and….the rest, as they say, was history!  Not only did I love the convenience of a kitchen, bathroom and bed, but the air conditioning was heaven.  In previous years, I would feel ill from the heat and this was the first year headache free.  We were hooked and purchased our first little trailer for the following summer.

My hubby, being the handyman he is, made a few upgrades and we were able to sell it the following year for a small profit.  We then purchased our current trailer….a bit newer and bigger than the last.  We have used this one for the past 3 summers and hubby once again made improvements, like a new floor.  It has served us well, but we are ready to go BIGGER again!

We are on the hunt for a 5th wheel now for our year long US tour.  More on this story coming soon!

What about you and your family?  Any favorite camping spots and memories?

Have a blessed day!