Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New Year New Start

Ok I don't have a whole host of new resolutions Just a few commitments I thought would be useful to keep me in line.
  • To spend time each day sorting (I know this sounds like the intention is to move things about, but really the idea is to sort so I know what I can get rid of)
  • Choose a target area each day to clear (eg a particular shelf or drawer)
  • Work on finding homes for things ( a  lot of the things we use are lying about on surfaces.  I joke that when I tidy, it looks like we have been robbed because it looks so clear in the absence of the clutter ordaments.)
  • To put 10 items in a give away box/bag each day.  (I decided to go for a reasonable number that does not feel too overwhelming)
  • To give myself recognition for the above.
Today being day one I was fired up.  I chose a book shelf to work on.  It was fairly painless, I plan to pass them on to a local Cancer research shop.  I think it helped to think of supporting a good cause. As you can see this area needs some work.  It was one of those purchases that was meant to make me tidy.  I know it needs cleared, its largely inaccessable with the stuff on the floor in front of it.  Hmm need to work on that too.
Yes that is clear shelf, amazing isn't it?  I think my mind sees space and instantly thinks it should be filled.  I remember reading once about someone who deliberately left clear space, and of course people who purposefully have nothing in their roofspaces (lofts).  I think I will experiment with this and see how it feels.

Some of the books that are going happily on there way to new homes. 

Total culled 27 books and 2 audio tapes

Thursday, 15 September 2011

On Failed Starts

Ahem have you ever started a project and then been struck with a feeling of overwhelm at the prospect of tackling said project.  This experience is not new to be, I have a long history of good intentions and a trail of unfinished tasks in my wake.  Well my outlook has changed from how I used to view it.  I know I tend to be hard on myself and dare I say it am in possession of a few perfectionistic (a word?)tendencies.

The things that works best for me is to pick myself up from where I am.  Start again with some compassion, knowing all the while this is a path from which I have learnt many things about myself.  Sometimes it was tempting to think what would I be like if I could live the best that I could be without the struggle?  The view I have came to though, is that I am an individual, and if anything does define me, its the tenacity which encourages me to keep going going and strive to improve both my surroundings and myself.

With the help of Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons I have gained an insight into the whys of what makes me indecisive, moody and impulsive.  All I really need to do is eat a good breakfast of protein and complex carb within the hour of getting up, and my kitchen and laundry magically get done.  You think I am joking but its true, if I feed my body/brain it starts to work better, with very little effort on my behalf. 

I'm excited to focus in on whats important again, and live the life I am meant to live.  More to follow soon...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Day 1 of 21 items out the door

I decided that the best way to make a difference would be to commit to removing the items as the title suggests.  I tend to do the clutter shuffle alot, stuff get moved from one surface to a box or bag and doesn't get looked at again for years.  I am indiscriminate in my approach too, mobile phones and passports have been known to be buried in one of these clutter boxes. 

Today I removed to black binbags of clothes that I will bring to a charity clothing bank.  There is an excellent one near by me that gives the choice of charities to give clothing to.  There is also an Oxfam one to put books and Cds and Dvds in.  So that is pretty handy. 

I'm feeling a little bit lighter just from taking those items out of the house.  Its funny how things can stagnate and by removing things there seems to be more room to breathe.  This dynamic is probably something that people whose homes are clutter free have already caught on to.  There is along way to go, but doing this a bit at a time is the only way, as they say it took time to build up and its going take some time to get rid of.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

21 Day Challenge

Right, I am setting myself a challenge to declutter 21 items a day for 21 days.  The number was inspired by this amazing lady who is posting organizing videos on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFuhKg4WnLM Her method is to simply have 3 bags on your arm one for rubbish, one for recycling shredding and one for donating.  So the task is go around the house or one room and lift 21 items that fit suit the categories above.    I think doing this for 21 days will give me a good start.  Starting seems to be the hardest part for me. 

The creator of these vids (she has lots) also has a website http://clutterbug.me/ which links in with a blog she writes and some nice ideas as to what kind of clutterbug we are (I also like that name way better than hoarder,collector, or packrat)  I think I'm a butterfly because I like to see my stuff and don't put my things away, because I will do it LATER! http://clutterbug.me/2011/02/feature-butterfly.html

I did my first 21 items last night which really was put 21 items away.  Hmm maybe I need to include this in a category return things to their home.  It could be complete avoidance, as the idea of making decisions and 'getting rid of' kinda freaks me out.  I will see how it goes and post pictures along the way.  Its gotta be done.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Day Trip to Ikea

Whew I spent most of today walking around Ikea.  It was as always a truly lovely experience.  I love the whole notion that anything can be organised.  I've heard it said that you should declutter before you buy the storage containers etc, but Ikea just makes you want to buy the stuff first and then sort.  I am still deliberating over my clutter problem.  I do feel I need to do some sorting and clearing.  It has been about 6 months from I last removed anything from the house.  I think its possible stagnation has occured and I need to get the process moving again.

I've been reading a bit of Peter Walsh, trying to get motivated.  Its hard because my clutter problem is unique, like me!  Plus I don't believe in just bringing all our unwanted stuff to the dump.  That would be the complete antithesis of why I have so much stuff.  I feel it has to go to a good home at the very least.  I think on a smaller scale I could make these decisions with relative ease.  The fact that I have amassed a sizable clutter collection, I think contributes to me seeing the problem as 'big'.  The obvious solution would be to break it down into smaller jobs.  This all seems good in theory, in practice however its a little more difficult.  I am hoping to make a start at least at the weekend.  I will share my process here and some photos.  Should be a good incentive.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

On My Mind

Have you ever had one of those days where the thought processes run deep?  Today I just feel I am questioning what I want my life to be like and what I can do to implement change.  I feel I have operated for a long time with blinkers on.  How can I best distract myself? How can avoid being overwhelmed by clutter, responsibilities, my failings?  It really has been a journey of switching off to things when they get too hard, or too much. 

What would happen if I did decide I am not going to accept this anymore.  I feel the energy bubbling under the surface.  The possibilities of what would happen if I stepped up and stopped kidding myself.  I am not saying it would happen overnight.  I got suggested a book on amazon the other day which said that our minds do a great job at deluding us.  This certainly struck a chord.  If there is one area I think I excel its in looking at things in just the right way to suit my purpose.  To be real and say I am not going to accept this way anymore is pretty big deal for me.

It ofcourse poses the question of how exactly does one go about changing the habits of a life time.  Do we delve wholeheartedly into a self help book in the hope that it will realease us?  Do we look to our own instinct of the right way to proceed?  My gut feeling is I have to find my own way at the outset at least.  I have a strongly honed stubborn streak which sets in whenever I receive advice or attempt to follow someone elses rules.  If I make it my own I have much more success, then if I feel I need to get it just the same as someone else.  I am terminally unique afterall.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Clearing up is hard to do!

I attempted to clear my kitchen bench last night.  This is an area where everyone dumps their stuff.  It also seems to maganetise clutter to it.  I have cleared it before, only to have it build up stuff more or less straight away.  I'm thinking one reason for this is I have not paid attention to keeping it clear, and just resigned myself that is is going to be cluttered.  I am coming to realise if I want it to stay clear, I have to pay attention and check that its in good shape everyday.  So above is how it was when I started.

After 15 minutes I had removed a couple of layers.  At this point I was feeling kind of fed up.  It seemed such a big job.  I will admit I decided to put all the stuff in a box to tackle today.  Now I know I have done this before.  There are boxes from years ago in my roofspace, still full with the things I have cleared off.  The difference this time is I really will empty the box.  I will share how that goes later ;)

Ta da! This is the end result.  Now here's the funny thing.  I really was quite despondent after doing the initial 15 mins.  Cleared the stuff into a box, and suddenly it didn't seem so bad.  I ended up emptying my kitchen bin (its a lovely cream Brabantia 50 litre, I have to say I love).  On doing this I discovered a vegetable which was in bad shape in my fridge.  This led to cleaning the fridge, not a perfect clean, but a wipe over.  I then clean my kitchen windowsill and threw out a plant which had died.  I was so surprised how energised I felt after doing this.  Amazing too considering I had really felt like giving up.  Good lesson for me is it just takes a start to get me motivated!