Measuring Decluttering Success

I know when I’ve had a good decluttering session by measuring the following:

  • How much I’ve put in the rubbish bag
  • What I’ve managed to recycle (which is usually a larger pile than the rubbish)
  • What I’ve added to the charity bag
  • What I’ve put aside to sell

Today has been a good day as I’ve spent the afternoon going through some of the study/spare room. My husband (who I won’t let help me for fear he’ll throw everything away 😀) told me this week that the entrance to the room was a fire hazard. This did upset me a little bit but when I’d stopped sulking and really thought about it, I decided that he was probably right and I really wouldn’t want to tempt fate and leave it in a mess for any longer. Death by clutter doesn’t sound like a good way for me to go 😂!

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There is a Good Reason Why we Need to Slow Down

Even when we are busier than ever, people tell us we should slow down; however, no one really explains why. We know it’s something to do with stress and we know it sounds like a good thing to do, but we think we know better. When the message does eventually sink in a little bit or we wear ourselves out, we take a quick break and then go back to our old habits. I sometimes trick my body into thinking that I’m slowing down but then I go back to rushing around again once I feel okay.

Why we should slow down

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Being Inspired and Passing the Message on

Spring Cleaning the Conservatory

It never ceases to amaze me how reading a few inspirational posts in the morning can set the tone for the whole day. As mentioned in yesterday’s post I went to bed before midnight for a change which resulted in a good night’s sleep and when I woke up, I didn’t immediately get out of bed. I sat there and wrote in my planner, updated my lists for the day and read some blog posts.

One particular post that caught my attention was by Suzanne – Happily Decluttered titled Avoid the “Just in Case” Clutter Trap. I resonated with everything she wrote and delved into the comments to see what other people had written in response. I noticed that one person wasn’t sure about getting rid of things because she might need them one day (very much like me) and Suzanne suggested having a ‘holding place’ for the clutter that you cannot part with or that you think you might need again. In this particular instance she was talking about children’s things, but I thought that it could relate to anything. It shifted something in my brain and I thanked her in the comments.

It made me think differently about the remaining items that I just keep shifting from place to place that are still just getting in my way around the house. I already know that the reason why I do this is because of the attachment I have with those things. Ideas started popping into my head about what I could tackle today and how I could clear more space around the house by creating holding areas for items that I’m not sure what to do with. I was going to declutter today anyway and this just inspired me to get out of bed and get on with it.

Even though I will be creating holding places for my ‘stuff’, deep down I know I will end up giving the items to charity, selling them or just throwing them away; however, it made me happy just hearing someone else say that it was ok to put the stuff somewhere else for now. The way I see it, is that when I am in a better mindset to deal with these things, I will know what to do with them. The other way of looking at it is that by the time I come across the items again, I might have detached myself from them. I appreciate that this isn’t ideal for some people because they won’t have the space, but it’s worth thinking about categorising things in your current spaces.

Inspiring posts can stop you feeling stuck

I love to be inspired by what I read and learn; it’s why I listen to so many podcasts, audio books etc. I think that deep down I am searching for ways to move forward and I love learning something new every day. It’s also great when you find the right message just at the right time quite by chance. I could have read something similar before and just not absorbed the true message. In fact if I think about it, what I came across today is very similar to the idea of putting items in a sealed box with a date and if you haven’t thought about them after a certain length of time, you just get rid of them. I’ve never actually done that though. Messages mean one thing to one person and something else to another. Some people may never take in the true meaning of a message, some may take action straight away, and others will shrug it off due to lack of time, energy, or just not believing in themselves.

When you feel stuck (and we all do from time to time), reach out, because someone somewhere will have an answer or a nugget of wisdom that will help you. I have friends and family that help me and I return the favour and help them where I can.

I now have over 500 posts on this blog and a similar amount on My Writing Notebook and will continue to grow both by filling them with inspiration for others. Even if one person reads the post, it makes me happy. I think we should all pass our inspiring thoughts on in order to spread happiness to the world.

I’ve had a wonderful day… I sat on the swing seat in the garden in the sunshine this morning and it was really warm which was such a contrast to the snow last weekend. I then cleared and cleaned the conservatory so that I could get to the chairs that have been sitting behind a few items of clutter that has now been ‘dealt with’. I was then able to relax in the armchair in the peace and quiet to have a little bit of me-time. My newly purchased primrose plant that I picked up from the supermarket yesterday went well on the decluttered table.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to tackle the clutter by the back door (again) and also make a start on the study.

What or who has inspired you lately?

Until next time…

Sandra

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Day 50/2021 Following the Plan and Slowing Down

One of the challenges that I set myself at the start of 2021 was to work through Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s book A Year to Clear and it’s going well; I haven’t missed a day. Today I’m starting week 8 and day 50 is titled ‘Slowing Down’. I thought I would share my scribbled notes with you. I wrote down more than I thought I would when pondering the following… “If I dialed down my life a notch or two, it would mean…”

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Are We Adding to the Stress by Squeezing Out Every Last Drop?

Almost empty bottles ready for recycling

This evening I was about to run a bath when I noticed that my daughter had started using the new shampoo and conditioner bottles when there were clearly small amounts left in the old ones that she’d put to one-side.

I was going to say something to her along the lines of ‘There’s still some left in the old bottles. Can’t you try and squeeze some out?’ but then I stopped in my tracks.

I gave it some thought and decided to discard the bottles for a change. Do I really want to teach my youngest to do things ‘my way’ which is to squeeze every last drop out of everything including myself?

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I Was in the Midst of Clearing and Vacuuming the Floor When…

I just had to stop vacuuming to write my thoughts down on clearing, as words were just popping into my head….

After having a good night’s sleep, I woke up and planned my day sprinkling in some me-time breaks throughout it. This is one of them. I didn’t rush to make a start as I always like to have a leisurely first hour of the day having breakfast by myself, reflecting in my journal, updating my lists, and planning my day. Days always go better when I do this. I then spent half an hour with my husband before making a start on the things I wanted to get done today.

I told my husband that I was going to work in the study and our bedroom and would be able to let him know by the end of today what ‘stuff’ needed to be stored in our room and what ‘stuff’ would be left to organise in the study. To give you a bit of context, he is planning on building some furniture for our bedroom and wants to know how much storage we need.

Something he said drove me to get going. “I don’t think you’ll be able to do it by the end of today”.

He probably didn’t know when he said that sentence how much of an impact it would have on me, but I left the room quietly and got to work. Now, if you are thinking, why can’t he help, the answer I would give is that I don’t want him to. He’s lived with my clutter for so many years and usually doesn’t make much of a fuss (luckily). Occasionally he asks what it’s all doing there but I usually come up with some sort of excuse. Sometimes, I think I might wake up and see it all in a skip but so far he hasn’t done it. I don’t let him touch any of it, as I want to sort it all out myself. Can anyone else relate to that?

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I love listening to inspirational audio books and podcasts and today I did that whilst clearing. The words pouring into my head were spurring me on somehow, making me look at it all in a completely different way. I made a start with something easy and then stopped after an hour to write this as it was going so well.

Today, I want to prove to myself and my husband that I can move forward and contribute to our plans to build storage in the bedroom. I feel well with no aches and pains in my head and neck; the sun is shining; it’s lockdown so there’s nothing else to do; and there’s snow on the ground so I probably won’t go out for a walk, Everything is on my side, and there’s nothing in my way.

Is today the day where I’ll make a significant amount of progress that will make a difference to our lives?

I believe so.

I will write back later to let you know how it went.

Until then…

Sandra

(Edited: WordPress have just informed me that this is my 500th post)

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The Time Consuming Job of Sorting Out Clothes

My husband was designing our new bedroom wardrobes today and wanted to know how many hanging sections we needed and what sizes. I couldn’t really answer because it obviously depends on what I’m keeping, so my mission today was to go through all my clothes once and for all and make decisions.

After pottering about doing other things this morning and then watching a film this afternoon, I didn’t really make a start on sorting out the clothes until around 4.30pm.

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A New Boiler Gave me a Reason to Clear a Bit of the Garage

I got up a bit earlier this morning to clear the utility room so that our new boiler could be installed. The engineers from Drips Plumbing & Heating spent the whole day removing the old boiler and installing the new one. They did a fantastic job and due to lockdown rules etc., we just left them to it and stayed out of their way when they had to bleed the radiators etc.

Turning the gas off was a challenge

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11 Ways to Keep Warm When You Have no Central Heating

Fingerless gloves to keep your hands warm whilst typing

Our gas boiler packed up last night and whilst we knew that it was probably on its way out anyway, due the noises it was making over the last couple of weeks, we didn’t think it would grind to a halt at the coldest time of the year.

Thankfully the plumber/heating engineer who renovated our en-suite a few months ago was available to come round at lunchtime today to have a look at it. To cut a long story short we need a new boiler as our one is so old you can’t get parts for it anymore. He’s ordered a new boiler for us and will install it on Wednesday this week. We’re lucky and very grateful that he can fit us in so quickly.

So, we have a couple of days where we have to find ways to keep warm. I’m used to being cold during the working day as my office is in the conservatory; however, the rest of the family aren’t used to it. Here are some ways that we’re going to try and keep warm over the next couple of days:

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Turning the House Upside Down Looking for Important Paperwork

I needed to find a couple of important pieces of paperwork today for our tax returns. As I had this morning off work, I ploughed straight in looking through the ‘backlog’ boxes of paperwork in our bedroom without first thinking through where I might have put them. After a couple of hours I was physically and mentally exhausted and at lunchtime my husband offered to help.

We decided that his time was better spent making us some lunch so he cooked us fillet steak with a home made peppercorn sauce and some spinach and I cooked some oven chips. We work from home in different rooms all day and don’t always coincide with our lunch breaks, so we like to make the effort at least once a week to have a ‘lunch date’ and we both enjoy it.

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