I am taking this tidying up thing seriously and spreading the love.
Juliana emptied three trash bags full of clothes to give away. She rolled up her remaining clothes and stacked them vertically in her drawers so she could see what she has and created space. She loves to paint her nails and created an artistic space to do her work. I loved peeking in and seeing her be creative. She got it!! Tidying up isn’t about the process of tidying all the time. It’s about keeping your space organized and neat so that you can really enjoy your space.
Charlie’s room has been collecting clutter for months and there was so much stuff that there was no place to put anything anymore. I knew that he needed help and I knew it would take hours to look at each item and make decisions on what needed to stay and what needed to go.
I skipped yoga this morning and told him we would work on his room instead before we got distracted. We spent 3 hours decluttering and creating give away bags and lots of trash. Once we looked at everything, we found small plastic shoe boxes to create structure and organization for his treasures and clothes in his drawers and under bed boxes. He struggled and was bored but he kept going and didn’t give up. As we got close to finishing, he starting making a fort under his bed. He had a new space to play in and used it.
We moved out his desk and made more room for his drum set. As soon as the space was created, he started playing his drums and finding a place for his drumsticks. He was happy.
One thing we decided to let go of today was our Lego collection. I was proud of the boys for being willing to give them away.
I, on the other hand, struggled a bit to say goodbye to the two bins full of happy memories. I loved watching them play with them for so many years. Letting them go felt like acknowledging and seeing that the boys are really growing up. It was like being handed a receipt, letting me know that yes, the boys are big now. I already know that, but the act of letting go of the Legos was symbolic. I “thanked them” for the joy they brought to our lives and wished them well, bringing joy to new boys and girls.
Life is good!
Luckily my feelings of being anxious and lost went away today. That didn’t take long. I think it’s important to feel what we feel and to acknowledge the bad feelings too so that we can realize and process them and let them go as fast as possible because who wants to be anxious and lost? That is never my intention but sometimes life just is and that’s okay too.
I found my happiness at midnight and throughout the day, when I received a message from Juliana that she had landed safely. I could finally sleep but I kept waking up wondering if she had texted again and how she was doing.
I found happiness by volunteering with my PEO group and admiring the sunshine and natural beauty of the Redwood trees in Portola Valley. I enjoyed spending time with women and sharing lunch together.
Isn’t this the most beautiful and peaceful place? I want to come back here again.
I felt alive again and cleaned my house and got things organized for the weekend. It really makes me happy when clutter is gone and my space is neat. Seriously, it’s the simple things that make me happy.
Juliana FaceTimed with me when she woke up and SnapChatted throughout the afternoon. I was so giddy to see her face and to hear her voice!!
My sisters both called today and we had time to catch up and I got to talk with my mom too. Since they don’t live close by, I was thankful for our cell phones and time to connect because I love them and need them!
Jeff came home from work and the boys both had events, so we went out to dinner together, which was a great way to the end the day and crazy week with my best friend.
Found my happiness again.
Life is good. Thank you for sharing this life journey together. Have a wonderful weekend, filled with time for you, time to relax, time to exercise, and time to just be.
I was listening to NPR this morning and caught just the last little clip of a story about a woman from Japan who offered a unique way of thinking about decluttering. Decluttering is a daily conversation, thought, action and problem in my house. We have too much stuff, and decluttering isn’t necessarily helping. I have to purge. Most of us do, and the New Year usually sparks up dreams of tidying festivals.
Instead of thinking of getting rid of stuff, which brings it’s own emotional baggage, Marie Kondo recommends shifting our thinking to what brings us joy and what do we want to keep. I like that concept. If it brings joy, keep it. If it doesn’t, let it go. It’s that simple and I love it. Less thinking and more doing.
Another recommendation is to gather all like things and go through them one by one, instead of going room by room.
We talk about wanting to live in the present, and sometimes all our stuff and our memories holds us back and we live in the past instead of cherishing who we are right now. I love this and I think it’s why I struggle with my photo backup problem. I cherish the past and all the mementos, but it takes time in the present to sort, categorize, backup, print, etc. the old photos. Her suggestion to managing our photo crisis is to only keep 5 photos per day from any event. Typically these five can capture the essence of the memory and bring back the recollection of joy we had in those moments. This is BRILLIANT advice. I shall try this little nugget too.
If you’re interested in learning more, her book is called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up here.
The link to the NPR Here and Now discussion from today is here: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/12/09/tidying-up-kondo-westmoreland
I think I will start with my clothes first and have a clothes party, holding each piece and deciding if it makes me smile or if it needs to go. I can do this. Where will you begin? I can’t wait to create new space. I know there are clothes that have been sitting around gathering dust and I can’t wait to say adios!!
Lent began this month, which is the 40 day countdown until Easter arrives. Typically Christians will give up something, practice kindnesses or practice mindfulness in different ways. It’s a time to slow down and reflect on our lives and to be aware of the sacrifices that Jesus made. When we act in this way, it helps us to connect to our Christian faith and to live out our values. I am sure this is typical to other religions that encourages followers to spend time being mindful or fasting and being present to honor their faith.
I’ve chosen to follow along the 40 bags in 40 days idea that someone shared, which so nicely coincided with Lent. Basically I am trying to fill a bag everyday of stuff and clutter that we don’t need and to create space. Typically I don’t want to take the time to declutter because it takes time and can be overwhelming. However, while I’m being mindful and looking for a way to organize my house and to create decluttered space, this challenge is just right for me and is something I am enjoying doing everyday.
Today I worked in the kids’ bathroom and emptied out all the empty or nearly empty bottles and cleaned up their space. It looks so much nicer now and actually makes me happy when I walk into their space. Clutter makes me crazy, but I’m also lazy so sometimes I just look over and around it, when in reality, I think it took me 10 minutes to finish this little project.
Last week I emptied out our silverware drawer that collects everything imaginable from straws to plastic spoons and knives and disposable chopsticks to a gazillion serving spoons and forks that I don’t need. I spent 15 minutes emptying it out and repurposing it and now every day when I open the organized drawer and can find what I need without the chaos of moving 25 other pieces, I smile. I’ve created space and I love the new look and will not be embarassed when a friend opens the drawer.
I’m liking this project and am thankful that I’m taking the time each day to declutter. There are lists you can create to help manage this project, but for me, I’m just flowing through the house and working through where the need arises each day. I have a couple ideas for tomorrow and the next day.
Want to join along? Here is a link to the challenge:
I didn’t get dressed until 3pm today. Instead I decided to sort and work through the piles and baskets and bags and to clear the dirty surfaces that surround our house. I commiserated about this eternal dilemma while chatting with April about our shared burden. This made me incredibly happy. Not that we were both dealing with similar situations, but that I wasn’t alone in my “misery” and that she understood what I was going through. Ahh, a connection and a shared story makes it so much better. And of course while we were talking on the phone, I was busy sorting and folding and putting away piles of laundry. I’m sure she was doing the same thing at her house too.
I like when everything is in its place, but the troubling thing is that things don’t stay that way for long. Today I got through all the paperwork and bills, washed and folded all the laundry, and even scrubbed the stovetop for at least 20 minutes until it was squeaky clean, one of my least favorite jobs.
I vacuumed and washed the kitchen floor and the house feels peaceful again. I think it’s nice to have one day of the week to have an organized existence even if it only lasts for a few hours and takes a lot of work. It felt like a peaceful place and I lit a vanilla candle to celebrate the calm and order…that’s almost there, just as soon as I put away the laundry that was all sorted and folded!!
How are your piles and surfaces?
The two highlights of my day today were having Pinkberry yogurt with Elizabeth and her girls, and grilling juicy steaks for dinner with my family and eating outside on the patio.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning and decluttering and organizing and donating and selling stuff! We have so much stuff, it’s ridiculous! At least I can see the floor in our garage again, which makes me very happy. Clutter is so stifling and I need open space to have a clear head and to move around and to have a place to start organizing the stuff we want to move overseas. I hope to only take 20% of what we have, and leave the rest or give it away. Wish me luck and/or stop by to recycle some treasures!
Now it’s time to go fold the 5 loads of laundry I washed today. Oh what fun!!How much laundry do you do a day? Do you fold it as soon as it comes out of the dryer, or let it sit like me?