Being Orderly

Today is June 26, 2015. I am valiantly trying to Get My Stuff In Order. It is tough.... I brought 25 years of stuff to this marriage, and hubby has lived here for 30 years and has rarely gotten rid of anything, and has gathered MORE. I am not saying HE is the only hoarder, but he has a LOT more stuff than I do. Most of mine is in two bedrooms, other than the dining room table, my cedar chest, a filing cabinet and a dresser. Make that two dressers. My  little one is in the hall closet filled with gift wrapping supplies. Some of my craft supplies are in the dining room/computer area. My hope is to make that a grandkid-safe area...Some of the living room furniture was mine, or my parents' or my daughter's. Mostly it is a mishmash of junky stuff. l would love to toss it all and get new. One step at a time.

When my dad died, my mom had me take a load of stuff to donate. I said, "Are you SURE you want to get rid of this stuff? I don't want you to regret it."

She replied, "This is all stuff I have been wanting to get rid of for years and your father would never let me." She then made two fists and said, "I'm feeling the POWER!!"

Oh yeah. Sometimes I imagine what would happen if something were to happen to hubby. I imagine myself calling his sons and saying, "Hey if you want anything of your dad's you better get over here, I am TOSSING stuff!! I'm feeling the POWER!!"

I do want my hubby around for a long time, don't get me wrong. His stuff DOES drive me batty sometimes, especially stuff from past relationships that there is no need to keep. I'm working hard to deal with MY STUFF-- which drives me batty as well--my hope is to consolidate it into just ONE room, or NEATLY into two. Right now it is all shoved in there. I had started to take stuff to my mother in law's and sort it but when hubby decided that the house needed to be sold NOW..... well it threw me for a loop, and I stuffed it all back into the rooms. Although it has been TWO YEARS I am still tripping over everything. I know that I would be better able to deal with ALL of life if I could get a handle on my own stuff.

And I get overwhelmed in a JIFFY. Today I decided that ALL CRAFT STUFF must be in the middle bedroom. BUT, BUT, BUT....what stops me??

1) how can I get rid of _____?  That was so and so's, or that reminds me of ______...
how can I let go of my kids' baby clothes, or art work?? Do THEY want it?? For the most part, no, except my daughter who is just as much a hoarder as I am.

2) I want to keep this but where the heck am I going to put it?? Why do I need porcelain dolls, or another baby doll to make a wardrobe for, or yarn, or fabric, or paper or paint or other art supplies?? What is it about me that makes me want to CREATE?? How do I honor that part of me and have a sane amount of supplies?

3) How can I just THROW IT AWAY if it still has some good life in it? Oh, that would make a good rag. HOW MANY RAGS do I need? {{shaking my head}} but that might make a good purse, or some doll clothes, or be repurposed for something?? I understand that feeling, and DO need to save SOME of what I have, but there has to be a limit!!

4) How do I justify spending time crafting or sewing when there's all this STUFF that needs organizing?? But I NEED to create. The STUFF stifles my creativity, but when I am NOT creating, I get depressed and frozen.

5) How do I not have an extreme emotional reaction to some of what I find in boxes? Sometimes a wave of grief or regret or whatever hits me when I see what's in the box. Then I end up taking time to "feel it" and don't get it dealt with. That leads to #6.

6) How do I stop moving the stuff from one box to another? I know I am not alone in this,  I think all Crafty Sort of People have this dilemma, deciding where to store what they think they HAVE to keep. But it is such a waste of time, it seems, to just go through a box and take out part of the stuff and toss it but leave the rest. Of course, if I keep going through boxes, and keep consolidating, eventually I should get down to less boxes. Reality, I've been doing this for years already. HOW'S THAT WORKING FOR ME??

Sigh. It isn't.

BUT WHAT AM I GONNA DO??

I guess laugh as much as possible and.....



So this is a little journal of sorts to do that.

6/26
Goal for the day.... empty one shelf of a unit in the middle bedroom. start moving craft stuff from the dining room and putting it in there. I do not expect to finish but I want to start at least.27

6/27
shelf not emptied. Don't know where to put it. I was reading a thing on getting organized and it says to take everything out of the room. Where would I put it????? It says even on a tarp in the yard?? So I thought, everything out of a section of the room? Again, WHERE DO I PUT IT?? The calm and collected Lindy is not available for this task. The overwhelmed and I-Just-Want-Chocolate Lindy is available but not helpful in the least.

I've been trying for years to come up with a Workable Plan. I've read and read. I've tried different things and no help. I'm quite stuck. I went to counseling. The "help" I got was that hubby is toxic to me and I should Move On. HA. Not Helpful. I don't WANT to Move On; I want to deal with the here and now. Then I say, do I really? If I wanted to wouldn't it be done already? I keep thinking, take that box and DUMP IT. Then I start rescuing things, and put them in a different box. What am I rescuing FOR? hmmmm.... an idea. List what I am rescuing and what for. Not every little thing of course but if I see it in writing could I let it go? Worth a try I guess.

Microsoft Front Page 2000... maybe I want to do web sites again...
Reality... if I do, it wouldn't be with Front Page 2000 would it? LOL no. I would want to take a refresher class or use Homestead. Do I really see that in my life? NO.

Then I start thinking, where did I get that? Did I borrow it, or is it hubby's? I don't even remember buying it. Why do I even have it? When I was doing sites I either wrote it in html or used Homestead or IE Composer. Except the PCS site... but that was before 2000... Then I start thinking that I need to stick it away so I can figure out where I got it, so I don't give away someone else's stuff... but if I have had it THAT long, do "they" remember that they loaned it to me? Then it reminded me that I was going to buy Photoshop from Davy and I never paid him. I need to find that and install it on my computer and get a check off to Davy. Oh and there's those books that Lee loaned me. Oh dear, where are they? Normally I would be off to search for that stuff; and Front Page would sit there, in limbo still. I stopped myself this time.

Now I know I can't go through this with every item. But writing down my thought process shows me the places I fall in the pit.

Still 6/27
Well.... got the other CD holder in the closet, and put my Cuttlebug stuff in it, as well as some stamps, and cuttlebug and spellbinder dies. I am almost to the point of getting rid of all that stuff and not making cards any more. Will see however. If it all fits in there and I end up actually using it, it can stay. Otherwise byebye. Loretta gave me a Cricut, an older one, and a few cartridges. Have to make a spot for that too. Then there's fabric-- I haven't started with that yet.

I don't know how many empty boxes are in there. Hoping for a lot. For tonight, just going to declutter the living room where I brought some stuff to sort. Find a spot for the Cricut. Winding down. Tomorrow is Sunday so no working plans. Planning on a walk, lots of quiet time.... go to bed early tonight so I can get up at 5 or so and enjoy the quiet morning, some Bible reading I hope, and lots of prayer. If I do spend some time decluttering in there, that is ok... but everybody needs to take some time off. We did Thursday, went to SF and that was really nice. Back to the Real Cluttered World.

6/28
Trying to figure out what I have the most of. Fabric. Paper. Yarn. Yes I have a lot of fabric much to my embarrassment. When I worked in a fabric store in the 70s I got quite a stash, who can resist a 50 cent 2 yard remnant? Fast forward to 2006...I had decided to quit sewing and had used up or given away ALL my stash. I did still have two sewing machines. But then I got a job in a quilt store. I had to sew some display stuff, didn't I?? And when I left the job when the store closed, my boss gave us a bonus IN FABRIC.

I had taken it over to Evelyn's to sort. Then hubby wanted to sell the place IMMEDIATELY so I shoved it back in boxes. That was 2 years ago, and I have still not gotten back to the task. I am still mad about that, I find. :(

I keep thinking I should be able to just take a box of papers and TOSS without looking at it. So far have not done that.

I have been putting little bits away but am taking it easy today. Planning a walk in a few minutes and then come back for a shower. Pray.... nap.... whatever. Monday is another day.

6/29
Can't believe were almost to July. Can't believe it is 2015! Anyway. Getting a little more clarity today. I pick up things from one box and then ?? Why do I do that? Don't know what to do with it, then I get overwhelmed. SO.... set up another Daughter box, stuff to take to her. It is HER stuff I am finding the most of, which is funny, because she moved out before most of the boys. I keep filling up the garbage can, and I have a box of "I want to keep but don't know where" and when it is full, I am thinking I might just sort it to a box for each room? Some stuff I know where it goes but can't get to it because of some pile. This is really crazy. I have never had so much clutter IN MY LIFE.

Was reading that trauma causes clutter. Sounds logical. The environment is a mirror of what is going on inside. Sounds logical too.

Sources of trauma
1. Divorce. Even though that was in 2001, the trauma from that began years earlier. By the time it was final I was mainly relieved. At the time my ex left, my parents had also sold the land where I was living. So I lost my home, my husband, my parents moved away... I felt like I was drowning. Sort things before packing? No. We had to move on pretty short notice. My father packed things and marked them "house" or "barn". When I tried to unpack, it was as if people had wandered from room to room and just put things in boxes. Trash got packed. My father tossed what he thought I didn't need, such as my archery bows and arrows, and the parts to my garden drip system. One of my sons insisted that boxes of his toys got tossed. He's probably right. My dad found different places to stash my stuff with friends-- and we rented a storage shed. Since they were moving too, stuff that they thought I might want got put in the storage shed too. It was a couple years before I got that emptied.

We had moved into a friend's basement until we found a place to live. I don't know how I got through that time, other than in Zombie mode. I didn't know where anything was. We finally moved into a house and all the boxes ended up in the garage. When I moved a few years later, not all of those boxes had been unpacked.
2. Moving again. I keep thinking, I should have stayed put awhile longer. But "it is what it is" and I just have to deal with the NOW.

Truthfully, I thought going through a divorce was tough. I felt so lost. K. helped me not feel so lost. So I married him right after my divorce was final. I stayed there one more year and then moved. Part of the clutter is from moving twice. Boxes just got moved again. I ended up going to work full time not long after I moved here. Hubby quit his job suddenly and I had to go back to work. My job was administrative and I worked 50+ hours a week. It was a stressful job all by itself. Dealing With Stuff was put on the back burner. Hubby didn't go back to work for four years!

3. Part of the clutter was dealing with so much for awhile. In 2009 we realized hubby's mom needed far more help than she was asking for. From 2009-to around 2012 I was the primary caregiver for her. I lived with her full time for more than a year. In the summer of 2013, three of my kids got married and we sold MIL's house. It was then that things got worse and worse. I was beyond overwhelmed just with dealing with life, much less dealing with the past stuff.  She died in 2014, around the time my dad's health took a nosedive and I had to spend more time with my parents. The last time she was hospitalized, my dad fell and broke his shoulder in three places-- months in rehab, lots of my time spent with my mom helping her cope. The year of 2010 was an especially hard one. I had funerals to go to that year; my friend Mare, my nephew; my aunt and uncle... and when I got through all of that my dog died. I felt like I was doing pretty well until that happened. I cried and cried and cried...

During this time there were also some grandbabies born, so I HAD to go help my daughter!! For awhile it seemed that I spent more time away than here. Also during this time my sister in law (from my previous marriage) fell and was in rehab. We are still good friends so I spent lots of time with her and helping to clear out HER house; we finally got her moved into a facility. Sad but necessary.

I think that just about anyone who develops a hoarding problem (and I am thankful that mine does not involve garbage and animal feces and crawling over crap to get from place to place) has experienced trauma that has left them in that place. I know that's true with me. I'm trying to give myself a break and remember the stuff I went through.. Even though the house is not pretty and very cluttery, you can get easily from room to room. Except That Middle Bedroom where everything has been stashed to get it out of the way When Company Comes.

Moving in with someone (my current husband, who had already lived in this house for 20 or so years, through two previous marriages!!) has its own stresses. I didn't feel like it was MY home. Still feel like that a lot! He already had HIS stuff where he wanted it and doesn't really budge about it. So MY stuff is still packed in boxes; I fight with myself about it. Why should I have to give up MY stuff??

I know I have made a ton of progress but it seems like such a mountain. It helps to remember the stresses that got me here. WAY more than I've talked about here...So for now I'm going to just keep truckin' one day at a time. Life is Ups and Downs and everything in between. Just Keep Breathing.

6/30

Triple digits today. Sounds like we will be not getting a lot done. Got some shadecloth from my mom and may tack it to the west side of the house today to see if it helps. The air conditioner is not working properly because the duct work needs replacing. Hubby is going under the house now with duct tape yet again. The under the house access is in my bedroom closet. Since I've been sorting I had baskets around on the floor. So now they are all piled on the bed. Discouraged. Something always seems to happen. Now I know that isn't true, this is only a minor setback. I tend to overreact. Just ask my hubby. Today I just blubbered when I was piling stuff on the bed. Poor me. LOL!

Back to Organizing. I know I am a good organizer. I proved it when I worked for St. Paul. I took a messy, disorderly office and made it run properly. I cleaned out drawers. and cupboards. I even found an old dictaphone! I changed the filing system. With the help of Outlook it ran smoothly.I can handle this. Many things I could just TOSS without figuring out "where they go". It's hard to even toss a clothespin. I know in my head there are plenty; and I know where to buy them if it comes to that. But Frugal Self says, "you can't throw away something perfectly good". What, put it in the "out" pile? What will happen to that lonely clothespin? Will it be put in a Safe Place until there are enough to sell? LOL!! No, it would be THROWN AWAY!! So why not save someone a bit of trouble and just THROW IT AWAY?? Reminds me of old teabags. Yesterday as I was taking tea bags out of steeped tea, I thought, now what was that use for old teabags? I almost saved them.

So I see that my thinking really affects all this.  it's EVERYTHING. Right now I am feeling cluttery inside and out. This morning I blubblered.... and it's like I've been holding on to the tears... I miss my dad so much... and I found out a precious friend from long ago is now in a nursing home... and I can't even go visit. My daughter just lost her baby. My sis in law is feeling abandoned in the facility...

I can dwell on all the sad stuff. Then my belly hurts, my back hurts. I can't make decisions. Somehow I have to look to the Lord in all this, look to the positive.

Off to fill the garbage can with garbage, and stuff that isn't garbage that need to be tossed anyway. Keep Calm and Carry on and all that.

July 1st

I've been working my way to the back wall in the middle bedroom. I'm all the way back to the dollhouse.  Funny, my mother in law Olivia had a "middle bedroom" and it looked just like mine. I had forgotten that. I really should take this cluttered self off the "shame on you" list and laugh. I remember cleaning out that room when she move to a nursing home. I shook my head at the stuff in the boxes.

And now I have my own.

Gotta laugh. Also gotta get this stuff dealt with. I don't want my kids shaking their heads at my boxes.

July 3rd
So many "keepsakes" boxes. I run into the emotions of my children's lives. I knew who I was. Somehow I wanted to capture those moments forever. My purpose was plain, fulfilling. Now it's no longer so obvious. My youngest will be 28 this year.  Nine years since he left home, I think? These last nine years have been incredibly stressful and other-centered for me, with my parents, with my mother in law. Now my mother and law and my father are both gone, my mother doesn't need me as much (or does she just not say?) at least for this moment.

It's time for me to let it go. I just don't exactly know what that means? Physically and emotionally I have let go of the "children"... they are Adults. Most have children (or soon will!!) of their own. I need to let go of their childhood stuff. But it feels like the final tearing away of who I am!

And so, I'm thinking, take care of everything but the keepsakes. I can picture my kids saying "I can't believe she kept this!" about that stuff but not about the boxes of STUFFED stuff from times when I couldn't stand things around so shoved them in a box to sort "later" which never really works.

Maybe I can get unstuck by giving myself permission to keep whatever I want. There's plenty that is obviously OUT.

:)

July 5th

A Picture Of The Way I Am.

Start in the kitchen. There's something that goes in the china cabinet. Too many boxes to get to the china cabinet (L's stuff for the planned Garage sale that Liv wants to do.) so I set the item on the table. I notice something on the table that goes into the middle bedroom. I go in the middle bedroom to figure out where to put it, think, well I need to move these boxes so the table is available. And there's the doll house (my father and two of my kids built it! It's gorgeous!) that should go back out in the dining room. So I go back into the dining room, and see that the spot that I am thinking of for the doll house has some things piled on it, so I stand there wondering what I should do with it. Don't know. If I put it under the table then it will get mixed up with the Garage Sale stuff. If I put it in the middle bedroom then it will be harder to get to the table where the doll house is. So I just throw up my hands and try to figure out another thread to follow. I think, I'll just shred this pile of stuff. That should be easy. So I start and the shredder bogs down and I spend an hour picking paper out of the little blades. Still won't work. So I find a box to put the unshredded stuff in and then try to figure out where to put it. Then I am back at "If I put it under the table then it will get mixed up with the Garage Sale Stuff." I can picture a flow chart with a never ending loop.

Ok then. Just get whatever is Yours out of the living room, including that pile of towels you found in a pile and washed and folded. Into the hall closet with the rest of the towels. BUT.... that closet is full of wrapping paper, and towels, and records, and children's books, and empty boxes. No room for the towels. We must not really need them. But they would make good rags? I feel the Need to sort out ALL THE TOWELS and get rid of the rattiest. So suddenly I'm cleaning out the closet, and there's still stuff in the living room. And hubby won't get rid of the records, and children's books... and there's wrapping paper here and there in the house because of how much he bought. Grrr... angry at this hubby.That's silly. Okay then. Back to the endless loop on the flow chart.

I read that you should take everything out of a room and put it somewhere else if you want to really organize it. Even if you put it on a tarp in the front yard!! Does that help anything? Maybe if you just leave it out there and someone steals it, then ok you don't have to deal with it. Or maybe it gets rained on and ruined so you can throw it away? I hear you can't organize clutter. True. I go around and around and around and finally I sit down and get on the computer and play games or do research or whatever or get stuck sitting there with hubby watching TV that I really don't want to watch, Gunsmoke or The Rifleman or Rawhide or Perry Mason or NASCAR races.

I'm dealing with two decades of emotional crisis here. Several moves...and boxes unsorted from even then, when I had a crew helping me and shoving things in boxes. Then I get mad at hubby #1 for just abandoning me. Then I'm mad at me for being someone he could abandon. And I'm back at angry that I can't seem to get this under control And it's even gotten WORSE the last couple years.

I want to stop going there. I want the EMOTIONAL crap to END. I'm tired of feeling, I GIVE UP. I don't want to give up. But I'm swirling, feeling like I am going down the drain.

So drag racing on the television. I don't want to watch. I need to stop writing and go get something done. But what??

And it doesn't help matters that my computer keyboard and touchpad are wearing out. I just accidentally deleted a bunch and had to re write it. According to some people, that's because of the Law of Attraction, so I must be pretty goofy since all this negative stuff has been happening. I guess it's my own fault. If only I had a Better Attitude.....

{{shaking my head}} Gotta find something to laugh about!

So does it help to write this stuff? I think so. There's a pile of my clothes from my closet here in the living room, because hubby wanted me to move them so he could get under the house. He's not done, so that's in limbo. Can't put it back, he got a lot of dust in the bedroom closet, and I need to clean it before I can put it back. But I can't clean it, because he's not done. But if things go as usual, he won't really get back to it, and in a few days I'll just clean it and put my clothes back, and the heat wave will be over so he won't care about it any more... until the next heat wave when we will just do it again.

Gonna go laugh somewhere like a maniac. LOL

7/19
Time goes by so quickly. Suddenly it has been fourteen days since I wrote here. Feeling quite heavy today... bogged down. Discouraged. So much is still in limbo. No kitchen floor yet, no roof, no new carpeting. A hall full of stuff is still there. I keep thinking, well we have a new screen door. He did call the AC guys and they added coolant stuff. So at least the coolness is better. But now I know that the vents won't get attention this year; that's the way it goes.
The cars got washed today though. That's good... rain expected Monday. Can't win, huh.
Filled four bags of stuff. I don't really want to get rid of it all, but there's no room. Something has to give.

And as usual it's me.
(such a pity party I'm having)

It's going to goodwill in the morning, along with anything else I can stand to part with. I keep thinking, if I am ever on my own, such a shopping spree I could have, if I get rid of this junky stuff. And I wouldn't have to make do with ratty towels and mismatched dishes. It wouldn't cost THAT much to replace dishes and such.

So taking a deep breath, get out another bag, and FILL IT!!!

JULY 2016 update. A YEAR LATER. STILL no roof, no kitchen floor. We DO have a new cooktop, after months of fighting Sears and then Best Buy over the thing. So in the last few years, we have a new screen door and a new cooktop. And yesterday, I said, let's go get a blind for the kitchen window. And so we did. AND I INSTALLED IT after waiting most of the day for him to do it. So is that a smile or frown?? HA. 

AUGUST!!! 19th
a whole month *poof* gone. It's not that I've done nothing. My mom ended up in the ER on the 20th of July, spent a couple weeks in the hospital and then is recovering at home. Dutiful daughter spent THREE WEEKS with Mom. Not that I wasn't glad to, but there it goes. I did spend time on an afghan. My time wasn't wasted, for sure. I got some good time with my mom and three weeks of no TV blaring or fans going or NASCAR races or ball games or Perry Mason. HA!!
Today I'm catching up; cleaning didn't happen here when I was gone. And the first week home I've been like a blob. Today I am finally feeling like I can actually get stuff done. It helps that I'm here alone. Breathing at the moment but the timer's going-- and back to cleaning.

 August 31st
I've actually been to my mom's and my daughter's. Some interesting thoughts from several websites... prompts for letting go. Good challenges.


  • Get rid of something that you keep only because "I paid good money for that"

Sometimes I hang on to things only because I bought it, but I regretted too late to return it, besides, I can't just toss it in the trash....... STOP IT!!
  • Get rid of something that you keep "just in case I might need it"

The biggest category of this for me is TOWELS. I have WAY too many. But... but....
I can do this, one towel at a time. I am going to pack away 3 sets for Later and clear a section in the garage cabinet for "rag" ones.
  • Get rid of something that you keep ONLY for sentimental reasons
piles and piles of kids drawings and writings. I can't keep them all. I have established a notebook for each child... then when I fill that, enough. I guess I should have a photo album for each one, too? Or will that one be enough.... see that's what makes me crazy, I can't decide. How about fill the first and then decide. LOL
  • Get rid of something you rarely/never use that you could borrow

well... I have this car air compressor. I've used it one time. It sits there the rest of the time. I keep thinking I Ought to Keep it but it is NEVER used.

  • Get rid of some "decorations" that you don't actively use during the holiday

oh this is an easy one. I've gotten rid of some, then regretted it... but there are many that need to be passed on to kids. OR TOSSED.

Today I cleaned out my "cleaning supplies" drawer, my "garage-ish things" drawer and my odd sock drawer. I finished putting the yarn away and rolled up a wonky ball of yarn. I cleaned the kitchen AGAIN and eyeballed the bathrooms that I cleaned yesterday. Still on the list is vaccuum out part of the car (my back won't allow that all at once!) declutter the dining room, sort through my blouses and pack or toss what I am not actively using. That's enough, if I do more great but I don't want to set myself up for failure.

I  have also been walking into the middle bedroom with my eyes closed and making myself take care of the first thing I touch. That's been helping, because I tend to go in there and move stuff around.

I also must clear off my bed and change its sheets. I will be glad at bedtime and things won't end up back on the floor.

September 2

Today I sorted out my socks and tossed ten pairs. I went through my odd sock sack yesterday.... and if they do not have mates by December 31, they will go away.

While I was sitting last night, started my scrappy afghan. I used up a whole big ball and part of another. Now I have two projects going. It's ok. That's going to be too big for the car I think.

Back to the blouses. I think I found a suitcase for them, but am going to have to find the step stool to reach it. Always something to do Before.

But I am off to find the step stool. And will there be something already in the suitcase?? HA.

July 10, 2016

As usual, side tracked. It isn't that I have been doing nothing, but somehow it feels like I am not making much progress.



from this article... http://www.becomingminimalist.com/jumpstart-decluttering/



If you feel overwhelmed with stuff or struggle when it comes to letting go, start with some of the items that don’t come with major emotional attachment—or at least, the items without positive emotional attachment.

If you are looking for a good place to start, let go of these 10 items to jumpstart decluttering:

1. Clothes you don’t wear. Clothing is a great place to begin. Most of us have too much of it, but we still wear the same things over and over again. Donate the jeans that don’t zip. Toss the socks with holes. Remove the outdated fashion. And if you have an extra coat or hat, give it away. There are lots of people who could use it this time of year.

2. Unidentifiable items in your junk drawer. It might be too soon to jettison the entire junk drawer, but you can easily remove the items that have no name, no place, and no meaning instead of saving them just in case you remember why you put them there in the first place. If you don’t know today, you won’t know tomorrow.

3. Lotions and potions. Get all of your lotions, potions, makeup, shampoo, and other products into one place. Put the things you use every day back where they belong. Toss the rest.

4. Lonely items. If it can’t be used without a match, and the match is long gone, it’s time to let go. Think cassette tapes without a cassette player, Tupperware tops without containers, and lone socks.

5. Kid stuff. Instead of shaming your kids into decluttering, make it fun for them. Announce a prize for every 10 things they can collect for donation. The prize can be a family activity or your child’s favorite meal. If you have more than one child, offer a bonus if everyone hits their goal to encourage them to work together.

6. Stale food. Set a timer for 15 minutes and go through your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator. Dump anything out of date, or opened and stale. If you find things that are good but you’ll never eat, bag it up and drop it at a homeless shelter or church.

7. Extra dishes. If you have two sets of dishware, silverware, or glassware, one can go. If you love your good dishes, use those everyday. If they are stuck in a box somewhere and you never use them, give them to someone who will.

8. Other people’s stuff. If your home has become a storage facility for friends and family, make a few phone calls. Be kind, give notice, and politely ask them to remove their stuff or offer to help if they aren’t interested.

9. Things that bring you down. Sentimental items are usually saved for later on in the decluttering process, but letting go of things that remind you of people, places, and events that have hurt you in the past will make room for more joyful memories.

10. The guilt. This might not fall in the “easy” category, but if you let it go now, it will make the rest of the journey more meaningful. You paid enough already with time, money, and attention. Guilt is the worst payment of all. With guilt, you continue to pay with emotion, by holding onto the past and by punishing yourself for old habits. Say goodbye to guilt.

Letting go of these items will lighten things up and encourage more decluttering, more simplicity, and more freedom. Once they are gone, celebrate your progress and dig back in.

A simple life is waiting.

And I can't just copy everybody's but this is a just-for-me sort of unadvertised blog... and I am crediting when I can.

I like this guide for decluttering clothes. Lots more thoughts here too.

https://www.ahousefullofsunshine.com/2016/02/250-things-to-throw-away.html


July 18, 2016

Not feeling like I've made much progress. However, I've been working on the "computer area" in the dining room the last few days. The bed is set up instead of blocking the cabinet. I moved all the kitchen stuff that has accumulated in the craft cabinet and reorganized the grandkids' shelves so maybe they can actually play in here. I had to take a break, but I think all that's left is taking out the trash and taking the empty storage containers to the middle bedroom. Then maybe take a NAP.

A sad thing is I am ready to let go of my "Christian" books. They quit being relevant awhile ago, and only reminded me of a friend who decided she didn't want to be a friend any more (these are the books she gave me, they do not bring me joy... I am not throwing away my Bible or anything, or throwing out The Lord... but some of these authors are just not, in  my opinion, very I don't know what, they just don't speak to me. If that makes me a Heathen, so be it).

Decluttering is so much more than just stuff. It is Old Beliefs, Old But-That's-How-We-Have-Always-Done-Its. I'm a caterpillar crawling out of the chrysalis, and I don't know what it is I am, but I am changing.

Gonna go admire the area I just cleaned.







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About Me

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just a crafty grandma experimenting with all sorts of things. My main interests are paper craft of any kind and quilting/sewing. But I've done leatherwork, polymer clay, on-the-wheel pottery, painted molded ceramics, papier mache, stained glass, plaster casting, linoleum printing, paper making... you name it, I've probably tried it. A few I actually stuck with. :)