Thursday, January 15, 2015

Clearing Out



I started out this new year the same as everybody else. Amped and fully charged to forge some serious life style changes that would in turn hopefully better my state of mind from here on out. Things I mentioned previously in the brief resolution post below. To eat better, to excise more regularly, to write and read more, and basically - most importantly - to direct my focus and energy more intentionally in regards to every thing I do. Something I've been thinking about a lot leading up to this new year. The ever pressing issue of time management and how much we really are in charge of what we can accomplish based on where and how we devout our attention throughout the day. Though a few days in I started to feel the familiar sense of defeat already creeping in. And then it occurred to me. The weight of disorder plaguing just about every corner of my house, always in the forefront of mind, were in fact poisoning most hope of any successful new resolutions because how can you concentrate on writing when laundry is spilling out of your closet? And your desk is buried and your dishes piled? And how can you expect to exercise guilt free when your room is crammed with stacks of clean clothes but no place to put them? And the awful extent of your pantry is taunting you every time you pass it, and the sad state of your kitchen cupboards make you want to sit down and cry every time you attempt a new meal? And how in world can your children help clean it all up if in fact they aren't sure where so many things go either?

Basically, I hit a breaking point and felt the urge to toss out any damn thing in my way. I was SO incredibly tired of coming home to the piles and stacks and boxes and whatnot. So much that I stopped thinking about any other resolutions I made and dedicated myself to working through the clutter instead. With the help of my always dutiful sister we decided to tackle this house, one corner at a time starting with the laundry room and moving yesterday into the kitchen. As of now I am mid way through. Feeling so much lighter and freer already that I probably run the risk of sounding like a preach all by going into to much further detail about how enlightened my state of mind has become in just the few days of new organization I've been waking to. The peace of mind that comes with suddenly having so much less "STUFF" to think and deal with, feels something like a small awakening.

All the reason I won't be back here until I am close to feeling more finished. Slicing computer / internet time was the first thing I realized I needed to do to actually make a dent here. But when I return, I hope to hatch out a series of posts dedicated to this kind of desperate decluttering. Not because I am feeling anything close to an expert - believe me this will always be the furthest thing from the truth, but because I know so many others reading might be feeling the exact same way, weighed and defeated by things, and I want to encourage anybody out there who needs it, to just clear it all out.

As of now, I am working a second round of the closets, stripping more shoes and toys, and whatever else the boys have accumulated over the past few months that need to go. The working formula being: a little more coffee, a lot more patience, forced / faltering determination, and whole lot less phone time. Results, so far so good.



See you all soon,
J

10 comments:

  1. I've been trying to tackle the same problem in my own life, though I haven't had the long bouts of time (or energy) to tackle it in such big chunks. But yesterday we had a snow day, and I managed to get my closet under control and all of the kids' dressers. I'm trying the roll the clothing method so popular at the moment. I seriously hope I manage to stick to it. Tomorrow, the two junk drawers in the kitchen. Progress I hope.

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  2. I am so with you on this one. I was starting to actually feel like I didn't want to go home after a long day as it only made me sad and depressed. Over the last 3 or 4 years things have gone from bad to worse and I cannot stand it any longer. I believe the room by room approach works really well and although it is very easy to feel defeated, this year I'm determined! I wish you well on your journey. My motto is to simplify. I NEED to! Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to more decluttering posts.

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  3. It's happening here too and feels so good! I'm looking forward to moving into a fresh new year with less of the "stuff" that matters and more of the substance that does! Best of luck in your decluttering!

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  4. I've been doing much of the same in my home over the last year or so. Slowly and periodically. It started with my closet and clothes of which I swear I found things I've had but not worn since high school. It's fine if one wants to keep something from high school that still fits and they still wear, but if it doesn't fit or you're not wearing it...you get the point. Anyhow the 6 or 7 large garbage bags I donated made me feel so good and light. So I started slowly doing the same throughout the house. For Christmas my in-laws got me 4 rev-a-shelves for my pantry/kitchen cabinets. You can retrofit your cabinets to pull out and it forced me to clean out my pantry. I had so much crap in there that I haven't used in years and I didn't even realize it was in there. Once something gets pushed to the back, you forget about it. They were easy to install (so says hubby) and they've saved me so much room by making all the space actually useable/visible. I'd highly recommend them if you don't already have the newer cabinets that pull/roll out.

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  5. good for you, jess! im in the same boat, helps that i have the extra push of "nesting" pregnancy phase to keep me going. but seriously, the unburdening yourself with physical stuff just clears out SO MUCH emotionally and mentally, it's great. now, to try not to acquire new things...that is going to be my challenge! good luck, sister!

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  6. Ok, also, don't forget about my "de-burbing your house" post. Love you.

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  7. Decluttering is quite a task. Something I avoid at all costs. But, as you say, it begins to basically encroach on all your territory and you can almost get swallowed up in the mishmash. Deary. I have a friend whose place ALWAYS looks so neat & tidy. It occurred to me one day- she doesn't have a whack of ornaments and keepsakes all over (as my home does). When it finally dawned on me, I asked her how she was able not to keep all her "treasures." Her response: "I have no trouble at all with that." I asked her- Even when it is a gift, etc.? "Nope- I hate clutter." I really admired her forthright attitude about this and I remember it when I am having a hard time parting with some little token or other. Something about empty spaces is so appealing.
    Good luck with your task. Wonderful that you have a sis that doesn't mind getting her hand in the pie. I love my sisters dearly, but I would never volunteer in decluttering their homes. Cripes, it is daunting enough to tackle my own mess.
    Happy New Year to you and your amazing family and that sweet, sweet dog, Jack.I have to smile whenever I see him in your pics.

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  8. I have always struggled with the ups and downs of de-cluttering. And, for some reason, it always comes back! This past year I took a personal challenge to focus, really focus, on what comes into our home. Do we need it? Will it eventually be thrown out? Is it something I truly want or love? And if the answer is no then I don't bring it home. It's been very hard, especially with kids, but we focus on items we need or truly want. And with the kids I have taught them the importance of saving their money for items they will enjoy rather than toss aside because it's cheap junk.

    One room at a time, one closet and one drawer at a time! Good luck on the de-clutter. Hope it becomes a lifestyle change for you. And definitely lots of coffee :) xoxo

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  9. Hiya, I'm a new reader and I haven't commented on here before. However, I think you might like a book called The life-changing magic of tidying up, by Marie Kondo. She's a Japanese lady whose job it is to help people organise their clutter (apparently you can get paid to do that!). I don't have much of a problem with clutter so for me she was preaching to the converted, however I've seen lots of bloggers who do have a problem saying how great her book is! I did enjoy it and there are lots of useful comments in there, so I think it might cheer you up and keep you motivated!

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  10. I have just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

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