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My favorite quote:

Keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Dunah Mulock Craik

April 1826 - 12 October 1887

Your Clutter Free Journey

Take the first step on your Clutter Free Journey to living a beautiful, clutter free life! On your journey, you will examine your relationship with the stuff in your life and it's impact on your overall well-being. You will learn to make choices over what you invite into your home. The way we feel inside is directly reflected in our living spaces. In turn, our living spaces affect our internal well-being. By making small, steady changes in our living environment, we can change how we feel inside and make our homes a reflection of what is important to us.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Freebie Germ Prevention

Day 54 of 100

I was thinking today about the commercials that show the hidden bacteria and germs that find way into our homes. I think some of our clutter is a lot like this. When you look around at your belongings, I bet you don't even know where some they came from or how they got there. It's almost as if they magically appear when we are not looking.

One kind of clutter that sneaks in and can really add up is all the freebies that everyone is always giving away. Whether your local bank, orthodontist office, volunteer or charity organization, many do this to promote their business or organizations and attract customers.But truly, how many visors, baseball hats, logo t-shirts, pencils, pens, magnets and balloons do you need?

The other day Timothy and I were having lunch at Chick-Fil-A. We had a free kids meal coupon and this came with a book. I was so proud when he said, "This isn't the kind of book I read so I don't need it!" Wow...I must be getting through. We brought the unopened book to the manager, so they could use it again and it wouldn't be wasted. He then told us that you can trade in the toy that comes with the kids meal and get a free ice cream! It worked out perfectly.

Even fliers can be excessive. They show up with smiling people handing them to you outside of stores and eating establishments and even on your car. If you need a flier for a phone number, that you can not find in the phone book or on-line, fine, take it. Then immediately when you get home, record it in you address book, planner or Rolodex. Do not hold on to it. This kind of clutter attracts other of its kind and before you know it you will have a big old pile of various sheets of paper you will have to deal with.

The next time you are some where and they are giving out freebies, think, would I buy this and if not, smile and say no thank you. Just because its free doesn't mean you have to take it. More often than not it will take the role of Clutter in your home!

Go find 10!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nap Time

Day 53 0f 100

How can something,that you don't even know you are doing while you are doing it, be so wonderful? Nothing beats a nap! Is it the Cozily snuggling up on the couch, the sweet bliss as you go to that in-between state from consciousness to sleep, the wonderful slumber or waking refreshed and renewed? I don't know but awww.. it is a favorite pastime of mine!

Timothy and I just woke from a doubly wonderful nap, as he was snuggled up next to me. He isn't feeling well, so what normally would not have won out over video games, did! As sorry as I am that he is not feeling well, it was a treat for me to have that special time. All the boys napped with me when they were young. I took to heart the “nap when your baby is napping” and loved the luxury of sweet snuggles! Now, it is a rare occasion as they are full of abundant energy and activity and a nap is a torturous idea. They do not understand how luxurious it is for me.

We had a busy morning and did not get in our routine “Family Clean up”. Tim had been gone all week and we multiple evening/nightly activities. I had not been feeling well and the Science Project Tri-fold board, which we intended to start this week, did not happen. So this morning Timothy and I began work on this. We ran out of the sticky letters he was using, so I made a trip to the other side of town to get the same kind. Alexander had injured his foot and knee at soccer on Wednesday, so I told him to stay off of it and not do chores. Benjamin left for a sleepover Birthday party, so he got off as well. What amazes me is that despite not doing our every Saturday family clean up, the house was neat, maybe not clean, but presentable. All my decluttering truly makes a difference in the overall presentation of our home and I was able to do something much more important, take a snuggle nap with my boy!

Yes, I am sure that tomorrow, we will do our Family Clean up, but it is nice to know that by decluttering it allows us to go with the flow without everything falling in shambles!

More on Family Clean up in future posts! Go find your 10 today!

Changes....

OK, so I need your help. For reasons beyond my control, I have to change the name of my Blog. I just found this out yesterday afternoon. All evening and throughout the night, I keep coming up with new names. I would love the input of my readers in coming up with a new catchy name!

Here are a few I have thought of :
The Clutter Cure, Clutter Rx, Clutter Tx, Clutter Free Living, Clutter Freedom, Klutter Therapy, Klutter Kure, Clutter Work, Declutter for Life, Clutter Magic, Clutterfree Cure, Clutter be Gone, Simply Clutter Free, Muddle Free Life.

What do you think? Vote on your favorite and/or send in another suggestion!

This time around, I will be checking the Federal Registry first!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Creative Juices

Day 52 of 100

For someone who loves order and peace, when I am in a creative mode, watch out! When my creative juices start flowing, whether refinishing a piece of furniture, sewing a quilt or painting a room, I get very messy! My brain seems to create under these circumstance. However, I need to have order and harmony in the rest of my life, so that I can easily slip into my zone and create. Then when I come out, I have order once again in my everyday life.

Do you have an activity that you love where you get messy? Does the rest of your life allow you to go there?

Be clutter free and allow your creativity to soar!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Relationships

Day 51 of 100

What a fun time I had at the Athens Christian Women's Club today! I really enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones! I hope that I was able to provide some inspiration to the women present.

I encouraged everyone there to make their intentions to declutter public and to seek the support of their close friends. It has started me thinking about how our friendships and support systems are so important to our lives and well-being. One of the biggest perks of decluttering, is gaining the time to focus on our relationships. Every time you let something go, see the face of someone you love, knowing you are making more time for them!

What stuff in your life is getting in the way of your relationships? Go find 10 and then tell someone special in your life that you love them!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Halfway Point

Day 50 of 100

WOW! I can't believe we are on day 50 of our Clutter Challenge? How are you doing with your personal count? Are you continuing to add 10 a day or have you slacked off? It is never to late to get back on the horse! Look around and see your progress and just think what 50 more days could do. You could transform your home and life! Decluttering costs no money and gives you so much back: space, time and peace of mind!

If you are new to Clutter Therapy, Welcome and go find 10! Just follow the archived posts from day 1 and do your 100 days! Getting started is often the hardest part. Once you get going, you get a natural, internal motivation that is fed by your progress!

What will your home look like in 50 more days?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eat Dessert First, aka: Don't Save The Best For Last

Day 49 of 50

I remember very distinctly giving my maternal grandmother, whom I adored, a pair of silk Pajamas for Christmas one year. I thought they were just her color and would be so comfortable. She loved them. In fact, so much so, that she put them away to wear “in case she had to go to the hospital”. She had several items in this category. What is so sad is that I don't know if she ever wore them.

Are you using dishes that you really don't like, everyday, because you are saving the ones you love? What are you saving them for? What is more special than your family? If you love something, use it, wear it, play it, delight in it! Let the rest go, with love.

What do you love that you are “saving” for later? What do you need to declutter so you can make room for this?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunshine

Day 48 of 100

This weekend was glorious in Georgia! The sun was out, the sky was clear and my mood was great! I finally was able to get into our garage and declutter. Due to all the rain, cold weather and most recently snow, it had been severely neglected. This space houses my minivan, a plethora of bikes, scooters, skate boards, waves, stadium chairs for soccer games, as well as some camping equipment. Our garage sits at the end of a long steep driveway, so all the leaves in our culdesac make their way down and into this space. It did not take very long at all to make a big transformation! It certainly could use a paint job, but it looks so much better now!

The next pretty weekend, tackle your garage/carport or out side space! You'll be so happy to be out in the nice weather, it won't even seem like a chore! It is much easier now than in August!

Sunshine

Day 48 of 100

This weekend was glorious in Georgia! The sun was out, the sky was clear and my mood was great! I finally was able to get into our garage and declutter. Due to all the rain, cold weather and most recently snow, it had been severely neglected. This space houses my minivan, a plethora of bikes, scooters, skate boards, waves, stadium chairs for soccer games, as well as some camping equipment. Our garage sits at the end of a long steep driveway, so all the leaves in our culdesac make their way down and into this space. It did not take very long at all to make a big transformation! It certainly could use a paint job, but it looks so much better now!

The next pretty weekend, tackle your garage/carport or out side space! You'll be so happy to be out in the nice weather, it won't even seem like a chore! It is much easier now than in August!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Success Sundays!

Day 47 of 100





Amy, in NC sent in pictures of her successful decluttering! She reports this area had really been bugging her and so she finally decided to tackle it! She decluttered tons of paper items and found some new space!

Great Job Amy!

What success are you having?

Have you found your 10?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vulnerability/Insecurity

Day 46 of 100

Do you ever have those dreams where you realize you forgot to get dressed and you are in front of a group of people? What an awful, vulnerable feeling this is! Dream interpretation might tell you that it is your unconscious telling you that you are insecure about yourself or worried about the real you being exposed.

Sometimes our “stuff “can provide us with a false sense of security. Much like someone who overeats to mask their feelings, holding on to excess can be symptom of other issues in our lives. Not wanting to let go of something that is completely useless and meaningless to us is related to our own insecurities. Figuring out “why” we want to keep something and what need we are trying to fill is vital to being able to really declutter and move forward.

Do you see any pattens with your clutter? Are certain objects harder to part with even though you don't really like them? Does clutter serve a useful purpose in your life? Can you think of a healthier alternative to get these needs met?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent

Day 45 of 100

Since beginning this Blog, I have been thinking a lot about the clutter that is related to our time, routines and schedules. I have decided to focus the 100 Day Challenge on the decluttering of our physical environment. Yet, I have become keenly aware of how "clutter" has infiltrated all areas of our lives. We will look at this in more depth once we have made a dent in the physical clutter.

This brings me to this post and Lent. For the last year for safety reasons, I have only used my speaker on my cell phone while driving. This December, I read some statistics on driving while talking on the phone, even hands free, that showed a dramatic increase in your accident risk. I decided that I wanted to stop talking on my cell phone while driving, altogether. I have been slowly working on this. However, old habits die hard. Even though I was not using it to call out, the phone would ring, and I automatically would reach for it. Then in January, Oprah had a special on this exact subject, where she encouraged everyone to take the "No texting/talking while driving" challenge. (Personally, I could no more text while sitting in a non-moving chair, much less while driving. However, I see it at least a dozen times a day.) So after seeing this show, I decided that Lent was the perfect time to fully embrace this challenge and begin! Hopefully, it will be the beginning of a permanent change for me.

Like many modern conveniences, the cell phone certainly has its advantages. I love that my family can reach me at any time. When I am out working, the school can contact me easily, if one of the children gets sick. I love that when I get lost or confused, which is more often than I would like, I can call and get directions. However, like antibiotics, which have saved millions of lives but have also created super bugs, cell phones have their downside. Since when did we have to be available instantaneously, 100% of the time? What happened to down time/free time? Like much clutter, cell phone time has a way of sneakily moving in and taking over, without our realizing it. Before we know it, we are talking more to other people in the periphery of our lives, than our own family members. Have you noticed that you get in the car and think who can I call?

Yes,this will require scheduling phone time at home and returning calls when I stop. But perhaps, I will be more efficient in these. When you are driving, you "shoot the bull" to fill the time. How much of what you are discussing could be done in a quicker, more time conscious fashion? So, I am putting this out there for all to know, I will not be using my cell phone at all while in a moving car! If you see me on it, call me out, tattle, respond to my post and keep me honest! Help me declutter this area of my life and make the roads safer for everyone at the same time!

Do you want to join me in decluttering your cell phone use?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cooking

Day 44 of 100

Whether you enjoy this activity or not, chances are you still have to do it, particularly if you have children living at home. Look at your kitchen and analyze it: Are the dishes, you use daily, close to the dishwasher to allow for easy unloading? When you open the drawer/cupboard full of plastic containers, do they come flying out and can you find the matching lids? If you love to bake, do you have to run all over your kitchen gathering your supplies, or are they all in one central area making this a more efficient and enjoyable activity? Do you own numerous large appliances that you have never used or only used once and do not plan to use again?

How can you make this space as functional and beautiful as possible. A well organized kitchen makes for much more enjoyable cooking, eating and family time!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

10 Years From Now

Day 43 of 100

Last year, while perusing a local bookstore, I remember looking through a book whose basic premise was around asking yourself three questions when face with a dilemma or making a decision: What will the consequences be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years? I have since thought about this several times when faced with a choice or decision. It really does help put things in perspective when you look at a situation this way.

I started thinking how this could be a great tool to use when decluttering your home and life. Ten years from now, will you remember the ceramic cat you won at the fair? What about the yellowing, lace curtains that came with the house when you purchased it? What will the consequences be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years if you let them go? As you declutter, ask yourself, "Will I miss this object, will I even remember it in 10 years?"

See if asking yourself the 10/10/10 question may help you to say goodbye to the excess in your life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Procrastination

Day 42 of 100

Is there an area of your home, a drawer, room, closet or cupboard that has been heavy on your mind but you have been unable to approach it to declutter? Whether emotional reasons or fear that it will be such a huge job, the thought of what it entails is probably so much worse than actual job itself. Anxiety can build and make something minor into a much bigger deal.

Close you eyes and see this area transformed and then figure out the best way to do this. Make a plan and get started! Do you need to invite a friend over to give you moral support? For women and our clothing, this is sometimes best. A good girl friend can safely and lovingly tell you that “yes”, it is time to let the pants you wore in the 90's good bye. She can also help you see what you look good in. (More on clothing in future posts!)

Break down an overwhelming job into sections and complete one per day. You can do it! The stress that comes form procrastination is exhausting and time consuming. Bite the bullet and go tackle that area...you know what it is!

Send me a message of the area you have been putting off and then go get started!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Anticipation

Day 41 of 100

Remember as a child, the feeling of the few days leading up to Christmas? What about the hope of a big snowfall and missing school? Or how about your grandparents visiting from out of town? I can feel the butterflys now, just thinking about it!

As adults, our minds tend to focus on the anxieties and stresses of daily life. When was the last time you got really excited about something? Saturday, in the middle of a “Georgia snowstorm”, I was anxiously waiting to see if the roads were clear enough for safe travels to Atlanta. My brother, John, is turning 40 and his wife had planned a party to celebrate! Luckily, the sun was out and the snow melted enough and we were able to make it and have returned home, safe, tired and happy!

Have you noticed how decluttering can really open you to the excitement and joys of daily life, helping you to recognize what is really important to you.

Say good bye to the excess stuff that ties you down and make room for what is important in life, spending time with those you love!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winner Picked

Day 40 of 100

Happy Valentine's Day!

In a random drawing, the winner of the Dymo Electronic Label Maker has picked and notified by e-mail to get permission to publish their name! As soon as I get this it will be announced! Check your e-mail to see if it is you!

Go hug someone you love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Day 39 of 100

What a rare site to be looking out the window at our snow covered yard! What a difference blanket of pure, white snow can make. Everything looks so peaceful and beautiful! The snow covers the imperfections of our lawn, weeds and fallen trees disappear and all you see is the beauty of nature. Decluttering has the same affect on our homes. By getting rid of the excess we see the beauty that lies beneath all our clutter.

Let nature inspire you to transform your home into a place of beauty and peace!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Refrigerator Canvas

Day 38 of 100

Today begins a 4 day Winter Break weekend! How fitting that the weather is calling for snow! It was great to sleep in this morning, not having to rush and go to work. As the children were eating a very, late breakfast at 10ish, I was in the kitchen piddling around. I began, unconsciously decluttering the front and sides of my fridge. This wonderful “magnetic wall” is a great collector of recipes, pictures, school notes, notices, phone numbers, invitations, a huge family calendar and “to do” lists. I took all the items off and wiped down the exterior. It is usually so packed, that this is impossible. I then carefully selected what would stay, the boys Square Art magnets, some family photos and our calendar, which we could not function without. I filed the recipes I wanted to keep and would realistically cook and threw the rest away. What a difference a tidy refrigerator makes in my whole kitchen!

I, for one, like this “canvas” and don't want it totally empty; however, what had collected there was ridiculous. You may feel comfortable with more or less “stuff” on your fridge.

What does you refrigerator exterior look like? How do you want it to look?

Do you have any spaces that you look at so often, you don't even notice the clutter that is amassing before your eyes?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Music

Day 37 of 100

Isn't it funny how the music of our youth can transport us back in time? You can almost smell the gym of your high school, when you hear a song from your Senior Prom.

Nostalgia is one reason it is hard to let of some items. We attach memories to “things” and give “stuff” power, based on this. A dried up, molded corsage from 1985 isn't going to make a memory of a special night, any more special.

If you hold onto everything that reminds you of the past, where will your future go? What about your present?

Keep the memories, let go of the excess! If there is something you really want to keep, give it a place of importance in your home.

Are you holding on to stuff because it reminds you of a happy time? Let go, embrace today and create happy times NOW!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Being YOU

Day 36 of 100

For young children, this is very easy. It is all they know. They are who they are, warts, dimples and all. They don't try and hide or pretend to be anyone, other than whom they were meant to be. Somewhere, somehow, this all changes and others' opinions about you become far more important to you than your own. With age, comes wisdom and confidence in being, doing, liking, dressing etc, the way you want!

The way your home looks only has to reflect you, no one else. You do not have to keep up with the Joneses. If you love the latest home fashion/decorating trend...great. However, if you don't, DO NOT DO IT, no matter how popular it becomes. You want to come home to a haven, made just for you. The only way you crate this is by making choices about what comes in, what stays and what goes! If you love it...keep it! The rest.....say goodbye with love and watch your space transform into the home of your dreams.

Are you being true to yourself and what you love? Does your home reflect this?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What if I need it?

Day 35 of 100

This is the mentality that maintains much of our clutter. I once read that by keeping/hording/holding onto excess you actually perpetuate this and bring it into reality. I know that sounds kind of “hocus pocus” , but think about it, will you ever really use that (fill in the blank)? I mean, you've had it for years and there is an inch of dust covering it. Perhaps, by holding onto it, along with hundreds of other similar items, you find something to do with it, that if you had let it go, you never would have needed it in the first place. Finding a way to use something, just because you have it is very different from loving something and honoring it.

Are you finding uses for your clutter, just to enable it to hang around?

Go find 10!

Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Create a Habit

Day 34 of 100

Nicole, from North Carolina sent me this, as she thought it might prove beneficial to my Clutter Therapy readers. I agree. Each day, as you spend time decluttering your 10 items, you are creating a habit that will change your life and how you look at your stuff.


HOW TO CREATE A HABIT


HABIT: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: No better time than the present!

HOW To's:

1. Only one habit.

2. Start small. Just commit to 10 minutes a day. This might sound too easy, but you will almost guarantee success if you do this. You can increase later.

3. Commit publicly.

4. Write your plan. Write out exactly what habit you'll be forming, when you start, what time during the day you'll be doing it, rewards you might give yourself, how you'll overcome any potential obstacles. Write it down to succeed!

5. Find a trigger. Find something you already do consistently every day -- wake up, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, shower, arrive at work, have lunch, have dinner, anything -- and tie your new habit to this trigger. Do it every day RIGHT AFTER this trigger.

6. Be consistent. Do not miss a day. Try to get a streak going -- 30 straight days! If you miss a day, keep going, but the more consistent you are, the more likely the habit will stick.

7. Report progress. Every day, report your progress.

8. Motivate. Give yourself rewards each week. In fact, give yourself a reward each of the first few days, and then weekly after that.

9 Be positive. Keep a positive attitude throughout the entire challenge to be successful. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, squash them like a bug! And replace them with positive thoughts. It really works.

Thank you Nicole!

Is decluttering becoming a habit for you?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Success Sundays!

Day 33 of 100

Today's success story is different than previous ones, as it is written by me about my 10 year old son, Timothy. I am so proud of the amazing decluttering he did yesterday. You know how sometimes, suddenly, you realize that all you have been saying and modeling has actually been heard. Not only heard, but understood and advice taken! Awwww...a golden moment for any parent!

Yesterday, Timothy spent the majority of his free time doing a major declutter of his room! He yielded a huge, over flowing garbage bag of trash, 9 baseball hats, about 50 books, and tons of toys he has outgrown. This is not to mention all the clothing that we have been weeding out as well. His room looks amazing and he is very pleased with himself! It took me back several times, when I would ask about an item and he would hesitate, then think and reply, "Throw it away, it will just clutter up my room!" Music to my ears!

I share this success to encourage all of you who have written in about children and how to motivate/encourage them in decluttering their spaces. I write this because this was no easy task for Timothy nor did I expect him to do such an amazing job!

It all started last week, when he was telling me about these "really cool", mechanical pencils that he saw and really wanted. I responded, "I tell you what, when you totally declutter your room, I'll bring you to the office store and you can pick out any mechanical pencils you want". So, Friday evening, I casually said, "Do you want to do your decluttering tomorrow, because I have time and can help you?" He responded that, sure we could do that. So Saturday morning, after breakfast, we got to work!

This morning, as I told him again how proud I was of his efforts and that every time I passed his room, it made me smile, he said, "It's kind of funny, I did all that for some pencils. But really, I was tired of you talking about me decluttering every day and wanted to just get it done, all at once!"

So all my modeling, especially these last 34 days and incessant conversations about freeing your self of excess, worked. It sunk in or perhaps it annoyed, but whatever the case it worked! So keep the faith, all you parents. Keep modeling good decluttering behaviors, have conversaitons about why you are decluttering and if you hear about something they are wanting, perhaps, a little bribery is in order.....

Are you modeling good decluttering behaviors for your children and discussing on a regular basis the importance of letting go?

p.s. Benjamin has decided he wants to paint his room pale gray to coordinate with "The Beetles" theme he wants in his room. Guess, what I said, " I tell you what...."


After our 100 Decluttering Challenge is over, we are going to focus on motivating/encouraging others. I want all of your input on what has worked well for you and your family!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Dis"honoring our past

Day 32 of 100

Do you have your great grandmother's china (insert any inherited family item) tucked away in an old, mildewing, cardboard box at the back of a closet, covered with an inch of dust?

Is this honoring her? Is it honoring the china? Or, does it actually, stress you out whenever you see it, because you feel guilty for where it is and the condition it is in?

If you love something from the past, love how it makes you feel from the memories it evokes, then take it out of the box/storage, etc. and use it, display it, honor it! Make it a part of your daily life!

If you do not love it or how it makes you feel, particularly if it brings painful memories, release it and release the pain you feel each time you look at it.

If it is neutral to you, you don't love it but it doesn't make you sad, let it go with love to find a home where it can be appreciated and treasured. Perhaps your niece would love this for her first apartment or maybe you could make some extra money on e-bay. However you choose, with a breath of kindness blow it away.

If you worry that by releasing it, you will hurt the one who has passed, think about it...Do you really think that in the spiritual world "things" matter? Wouldn't your late, great grandmother want you happy and peaceful, rather than guilt ridden and stressed? Clutter is very stressful and letting go of it can be extremly liberating!

What do you have packed/hidden away that is causing you stress and anxiety ....release it with love and honor your past.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reader Perseveres

Day 31 of 100

Today's post is a question from Dawn, from FB:

"I don't feel like I am doing very well. It feels like it takes all of the time I have just to maintain the place. Even if I throw away 10 things, it seems like so much stuff comes in. It seems like I'm not really getting ahead. But I did a little bit last night. Then I get so tired or one thing or another hurts, etc. I will do better though. I'm determined."


Dawn,

You can do it! Remember, new habits take time to develop and you are sorting through 40 years of stuff! That is a lot of catch up! Look to a place where you have made progress and keep that area up! In fact, go to an area that you have decluttered, whether a counter top, dresser, pantry or room and give it another look. Is there anything else you can declutter to make it "just right"? Declutter, then dust, polish and refine this area and keep it like this. Do not allow ANY clutter in and use this as your example of what you want in all areas of your life. When you feel overwhelmed, look at this area and know you can do it! As far as stuff coming in, did you read yesterday's post on shopping? Please keep me updated on your progress
Dianne

How are you progressing? Remember, excess stuff/clutter can be exhausting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shopping

Day 30 of 100
One great thing about decluttering is making room for beauty to enter your life. You'll see, you get rid of your torn, tattered underwear and new comfortable, pretty ones will make their way into your home. It is OK to buy something, but only if you LOVE it, it makes you smile and you need it!

That being said, during the rest of your 100 day challenge, try to curtail any spending or purchases. It will make it easier to stay on track. If you do buy something during this time, however, the number of items you bring in need to be added to your daily 10, so as not to upset the outflow.

If shopping is an addictive behavior for you, it is important to figure out what is causing this, in order for it to stop. Often it is a symptom of something else. When working with a young child, who is behaving in an inappropriate way, it is important to figure out what happens before the unwanted behavior occurs. Often, with observation you will discover a pattern. This is an important clue into changing any behavior. Perhaps you shop when you are sad or unhappy, or when you are bored or to celebrate. Once you know why you are doing something, you have a better chance to make a change in an unwanted behavior.

Then it is vital that you replace the behavior you are taking away with a healthier one. With a child, you might say, when you are mad you can hit a pillow, stomp or make a mad face (replacing the behavior of hitting others). So, if you recognize that stress makes you go shopping, you have to come up with some other behaviors to replace this with. Perhaps you will call a friend, go for a walk, meditate or read a book. Everyone will come up with what will be their best options to allow for change.

Do you shop to fulfill another need?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Consignment Bliss

Day 29 of 100

Today I dropped off some items to a new children's consignment shop, A Child's Closet, in downtown Watkinsville. What a great experience I had! I ran into Benjamin's parapro teacher, from when he was in first grade! (He turned 14 today.) We had fun catching up with one another. Another woman in the shop, purchased my Brio Train set right then and there for her three year old grandson, Will, who loves trains! The owner of the shop was as nice as she could be and took many of my items to consign! She even purchased one outright, for kids who come in the store to play with!

It is such a wonderful feeling to know that what you no longer need, will be useful to someone else. A friend who has bought and sold items through this shop, told me how her stroller/car seat combo was bought by a grandmother who needed this to care for her grandchild.

In today's economy, consignment particularly makes so much sense. It benefits many: You, as you free yourself of excess and make a little money, the shop owner, as you are adding to their inventory and business, and the purchaser who obtains what they needed at a discounted price! It is a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Consider your local consignment shop, as you weed out your excess and remember them the next time you are in the market for a particular item. You might as well start there...perhaps you'll come away with a bargain!

Have you found your 10 today? Do you have some items you could bring to a consignment shop?

p.s. I love that at A Child's Closet you can sign a waiver that says what doesn't sell is donated to a local charity!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Morning After

Day 28 of 100

Have you ever noticed that no matter how bad something seems at night, after a good nights rest, in the light of day, it seems so much better. In fact, you often wonder what exactly had you so worked up to begin with.

If you have an area of your home that is really giving you fits and you are having difficulty making the decisions you need to, let it sit, let it stew, move to another area and then come back with fresh perspective and vision. Often, you are just overwhelming and need a breather in order to think clearly.

Don't let a block in one area stop you or slow you down! Go find 10!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Knowing what you love

Day 27 of 100

One beautiful, spring day I was shopping with my mom at a favorite antique market. I spotted an old, rather beat-up cupboard/armoire that I fell in love with immediately. It was not in great shape, but something about it spoke to me and I knew it belonged in my home. I told the gentleman who was selling it that my husband would kill me, if I came home with another piece of “old” furniture. He looked me square in the eye and boldly said, “Your husband should be thanking Jesus everyday to be married to you!” Well, that sold it! He knew what he was doing!

Mom and I barely fit it into my minivan. I truly had no clue where it would go in my home but I loved the shape of it and knew how great it would look with a little love! A year passes and it is restored, fitted with new shelves, (Thank you Grampa Steve), painted and stained. Last spring, our Television, which was 20 years old, died instantly. The armoire that we had it in was narrow and deep, like the televisions of that era. When Tim went out, the very next morning, to purchase a new one, we realized it would not fit in the original cupboard. But, guess what? It was a perfect fit for my newly restored, bargain, ($65.00) armoire! It is perfect in my room and makes me smile when I think of how it came to me!

You see, I did not know where it would go, but I new it was meant to be mine. Knowing what you love opens you up to wonderful possibilities!

What do you LOVE in your home? What do you need to declutter to make room for it?