DECLUTTERING, Home

Clearing Frenzy

Jan 1st
Today I got rid of an old t-shirt, my husband an old t-shirt, and my daughter a stuffy. I’m bringing along my family on this venture of clearing out the excess. I can’t do it alone. If the past couple of years has shown me anything it’s that we have to work on this together and be on the same page, or at least simular. It’s discouraging when I’ve whittled a lot of my own closet out yet still trip over piles of toys, laundry and things to put away. I’ve gone through our kitchen appliances and tailored it to our cooking and eating habits. Looking at belongings and attempting to make decisions on stuff that isn’t mine is torture. It’s not mine to get rid of even if I think it should go.

I have devised this plan to modify our stuff that is hopefully painless for everyone changing patterns and overcoming our fear of letting go. So things need to go out once it is decided that it’s going. If it lingers it continues to take space and energy up. Out of site, out of mind and then move on.

With this in mind, the plan is to do this every day. One object is all that is asked. A “moving out bin”, is hanging out by the stairs. Hopefully, we can build and keep a momentum of ridding ourselves of all the extras and along the way develop an attitude of just buying things we need and not be frivolous or impulsive spenders.

Happy New Year & see you tomorrow with our stack of 3 things!

Jan 2nd

A few more things were added to the bin of “stuff to go” at the top of the stairs: a pretty but way to small Chinese style top, a cookbook we no longer use, a couple of Walt Disney CD books and a copy of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll.

Organizing

Working on Goals

This is the time of year that many of us reflect on our past and begin to think about the things we want to accomplish in the next. New Year’s resolutions are somewhat of a failed tradition, so this year I have decided to look at things a bit differently and instead reevaluate some of my existing goals. 

Today in my writing day. I need to set aside a time and for months it has been, “sometime during the week”. The thing is I let everything get in the way… I must do the dishes or the laundry, I need to pick up my daughter at school or I need to go grocery shopping. This is all true. It all needs to be done but not all by me and not right at this moment. Well, certain things do like meeting my daughter after school and appointments.  A friend pointed out to me though that it is a time management problem. She said it and I was embarrassed at first but then admitted to myself that she was right. I want to get better and I have been trying. I admit that I am an expert at procrastination. I have and always done it. I use planners and make lists but where can I improve?

I have to set a routine and realize it takes a while to stick. I have to remind myself to make an effort so that over time it will become a habit. The definition of a routine is:

Noun 1. a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

Adjective 1. performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.

It is a poor excuse to blame the world and everything around us. We all just have to make it work. It is too much energy to not be happy because you pushed aside doing what you love – I’m thinking of my writing and photography.

To simplify life this year – that is my goal. Granted, it is not new. I have been working on this one for a while now and have made some gains, but feel like a renewal of this resolution needs to make. Hence, I am making yet another list. So here is my plan, or goal if you will, to make life more fluid and hopefully fulfilling.

In no particular order these are my goals:

  1. Contentment with our space – getting rid of stuff, all the excess. I am really struggling with this one and I am not sure why. I have theories but it should not be so hard to get from here to there. It has been years of wanting to reclaim my space but I still am just scrapping that wall of excess. I thought maybe slow and steady was the way to go but maybe for me, it really is quick and painless. February 5th is Chinese New Year and so my goal is to have a lot of this place cleaned out before then. It gives a month and a half to just diligently follow a process of picking up an item and asking (Queue music), “Does it stay or does it go?”. Maybe I need some form of a support group to hold myself accountable. I am not fooling myself – it is a mental shift and a way of living and thinking that we have to live by. Ten years later we could be in the same boat if we don’t make ongoing daily changes.
  2. Simplify my cooking – cooking meals for myself and my family should be healthy and straightforward. I never have started the week with a menu but I feel that I need a plan a day or two ahead of time instead of going by the seat of my pants, cooking meals and what we eat can be simple and it usually is but it would be nice if I was a tiny bit more prepared on this one. Sometimes I feel like I am in and out of the kitchen all day making or getting food. And when family members are doing the same the kitchen and eating areas are in a constant state of disarray. What I need is a book or a list of my go-to meals that I can go through when I am stuck.
  3. Take care of myself  – eat well, exercise, meditate, etc.
  4. Photography and writing
  5. Delegate household responsibilities – It is a shared living space and respecting that is part of it. When it comes to maintaining a clean living space, everyone should take part. You are not doing any favours for your children if they don’t learn to recognize and live by this rule. Leave the bathroom the way it was when they went in. The same for the kitchen. Now, this is a bad one in this house and I grumble under my breath, sometimes aloud, about this. Pick my battles, right? This is one I put up with for years but with needing to set a good pattern for my daughter, I think this is a battle that needs be fought.
  6. Greening up/cleaner living – making those lifestyle changes that affect our environment, health and finances. For me, this is switching to reusables. Using less plastic and trying to lessen the amount of waste our household creates. This means critiquing the way I shop for food and other things such as clothes. It means this website and feeling the need to share these ideas, not for validation but for influence. I am also using essential oils to get rid of chemicals, replacing store-bought cleaners and replace some of the medicines we use such as cold and allergy remedies. Preventative measures. Aromatherapy is somewhat new for me. I’ve been exploring the possibilities of essential oils in a therapeutic sense.
  7. Create a routine – this goes back to where I started. I have to make an outline of my week and stick to it somewhat. Let that be the guide instead of the other way around. I am too flexible with my time and so when I shuffle my blocks of time around something gets pushed off the grid and either forgotten of the next time I come to it there is double or triple the amount of work to do. That is in part why I can never catch up. Something is always falling to the wayside that shouldn’t.
  8. A good weekly planner to make my days run more smoothly – writing down things has always been a thing with me. Whether is list scrawled on a back of a piece of mail or written neatly in a planner it helps me through my day. As well as keeping things organized there is a great satisfaction to crossing items off or looking at it by the end of the day and seeing what you accomplished.  I am a visual and kinetic learner, so it also imprints a virtual list in my mind when I physically write it down. This is why lists on my phone or the apps don’t work the same way. I need the actual action/sense or holding a pencil and paper. I have had a hard time finding a planner that works for me. I have tried many that left me dissatisfied with wasted columns and pages or layouts that just did not fit my lifestyle and actually distracted me more, instead of assisting me. I tried bullet journals, and this did not work for me either.  I journal a lot. Sometimes a short scribble or thought, other times it is a full out article.  So, what do I do?  I created my own planner.  It was a bit of work, in the beginning, to lay it all out, and I still fuss or tweak something occasionally, but it doesn’t waste my time and aggravate me when I am using it.  It is beneficial that I can make changes as needs evolve.