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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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love the Home you're In!

Day 85 of 100

You know the song, that goes, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." Well, I think we should apply this advice to our homes. If the home you are in isn't the home of your dreams or the one you thought you would live in, embrace where you are now and show it some love! One way you can do this is by decluttering. It is amazing the transformation that occurs when you get all the excess clutter out of the way and allow what is special and precious to shine. Decluttering cost nothing and can transform any space.

Have you ever prepared to sell your home and worked to get it all fixed up and looking its best? Then, you step back and ask yourself, "Why are we moving? This is a great house! I would want to buy this house!" That is what decluttering can do! It can help you fall in love with your home all over again!

So, pick a room that you don't like being in and figure out what needs to go. It is the first step to making it into a room you will love!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clutter makes you FAT!

Day 84 of 100

A University of Chicago study found that when you live a cluttered life, you are more tired. This in turn, can increase the hormone, Cortisol, which causes a spike in your appetite and your consumption of an extra 200 to 1,000 calories a day! WOW! So by decluttering, you automatically reduce your stress, which reduces your cortisol levels, making you not eat as much!

In general, when I am calm and relaxed, I listen to my body more and make healthier food choices. When my kitchen in decluttered and organized, I have an easier time preparing and cooking healthy foods. When there is less clutter, I am less likely to grab a unhealthy, high fat snack to reduce my stress!

Go declutter and streamline your home and your waist line!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clothing

Day 83 of 100

For many of us, especially women, our clothing is a particularly hard area to declutter. We hold memories of when we wore something, the specific occasion, the person we were with, and the size we were then and wish we still were. It makes it very difficult to let go, even when we know we will never wear it again.

If you are struggling in this area, enlist the help of a good friend/family member. Honestly look at and try on each piece. Is it in good shape, not faded, torn, or missing a belt or button? If it needs repair, can this be done easily? If so, can it be done today or at least this week? Do you look good in it? Do you feel good in it?

Once sorted, if there is a pile of “not sure” clothing, make a commitment to wear each item (weather permitting) this week and discover the real reason why you haven't been wearing it. If you don't love how you look and feel it it, if it is a color that saps your energy, it is time to let it go.

Remember,just because you use to love to wear something, doens''t mean you have to keep it when for whatever reason, it isn't "you" anymore. Let it go with love to someone who can use it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Success Sundays!

Day 82 of 100

Today's success comes from Dawn, in Georgia:

She recently posted the following to my FB page:

"Yesterday I took over 30 things to the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store(at least 20 of the items being clothes), & I threw away a few things too. And then went to recycling. It felt cleansing getting rid of all of that. I decided that 30 was my goal. And I'm still working on it today."

"I'm trying to stay motivated. Your blog is VERY helpful with that. I'll send some pictures soon."

"Last night I cleaned out my file cabinet. It really needed it. Felt good to get that done."

Great job, Dawn! She is showing us that by continuing at a steady pace, we can make huge progress!

Keep up with your daily declutter and watch your home be transformed!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Questions to Ask Yourself as you Declutter:

Day 81 of 100

As you think about each item you own, look at it, and ask yourself:

What feelings or memories does it bring up?

Are these good memories?

Do I love this item?

Would I miss it if it suddenly went missing?

Would I replace it? Do I use it?


When you are in a space you want to declutter, ask yourself:

What feeling do I want to have when in this room/area?

What is the purpose of this space?

What do I want to do while in it?

What if I had a magic wand and could wave it, what would it look like?


Use these questions as a guide if you are having trouble making decisions!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Clean Sweep

Day 80 of 100

As we near the 100 day mark of our challenge, your home should have a whole new feeling. Go through the main areas of your home, quickly and without hesitating and look around. Is there anything that you did not invite here? Now that you have become skilled it spotting clutter, you may be surprised at items you did not see originally. Each day go to a new room/zone and take a look around. Is it the room you in-vision? Is is comforting, inviting and peaceful? What little thing can you move, declutter or change to make it “Your” space?

Put on those clutter goggles and move fast! Make it a game or challenge. See how quickly you can go around a room. Try not to think or analyze. Just look and let the clutter reveal itself!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life's Pleasures

Day 79 of 100

For me, one of life's little pleasures is a long, leisurely lunch with a good friend. Once a month, usually the 4th Thursday, I get to indulge in this ritual. I have just returned home from a 3+ hour meal with a dear friend! This is one of those friends with whom I can be truly myself. She knows my secrets and fears, delights in my success and helps me process my thoughts. It is a loving, non-judgmental,supportive friendship. I always feel so good after we spend time together.

So, what do my long lunches have to do with clutter? Let me explain. This friend and I have know each other for a very long time and always were saying we need to get together, but life, schedules, kids, routines and work always seemed to get in the way. Until we set a date and time and decluttered our schedules to allow for this, it did not happen regularly enough. Now, I get the pleasure of looking forward to this treat all month and know that it will happen!

What do you need to declutter in your schedule to make time for an important relationship?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Security

Day 78 of 100

I saw a quote this week, that really got me thinking. The more I pondered on it, I realized how it applies to our clutter as well. The quote is as follows:

"Security can only be achieved through constant change, through discarding old ideas that have outlived their usefulness and adapting others to current facts."
William O. Douglas

In life, as time passes, circumstances change, children grow, relationships evolve, moves occur, and jobs change, we can not expect that what once worked for us at one point, remains the most appropriate at present time.

Change can be frightening but also exciting. So often, people look at it as interrupting their security. Whereas, I think Douglas is saying the opposite. Through adaptations in how we think and live, based on what is working and by tweaking how we view things based on reality, we actually create security in our lives.

Think of how this applies to the clutter in your life. So much of what we hold on to, we do so for reasons of security. Whereas letting it go of stuff, when it no longer serves us, allows us freedom and room to grow, actuality giving us security.

What do you think?

Have you found your 10?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take the Plunge

Day 77 of 100

OK, all you procrastinators out there, today is day 77! Some people have difficulty with a long deadline and really can throw things together at the last minute. If this is you, it is your time to shine! We have 24 days, counting today, to get a huge chunk of the clutter out of our homes!

Is there an area in particular that you have been avoiding, but you really want it decluttered? Honestly, the thought of a job is often more overwhelming and causes more stress, than the actually job itself. Take the plunge, bite the bullet and dive in! Once you get started, often the "natural high" that comes with purging will take over and you will be on a roll! Think of how proud you will be and how good it will feel! You can do it!

What are you waiting for....make the most of the next 24 days!

At the minimum of 10 things a day, that would be 240 items!

Let me know how you are doing!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cookbook declutter

Day 76 of 100

Yesterday I tackled my cookbook cupboard in the kitchen. I had been putting this off, as I I knew it would require some time and decisions. When I first got married, (20 years ago) if you wanted to learn how to cook/bake etc., you either asked an experienced cook or looked it up in a cookbook. WOW...things have changed! Now, if I need an idea or recipe, I go online and within an instant have hundreds, if not thousands of recipes available. I don't even have to print them out, as I can bookmark them.

That being said, I still clip recipes that I see in magazines and have ones given to me by family and friends. I particularly love the ones written in the hand writing of the person who gave it to me. This is especially meaningful when they are no longer with you.

Going through my cookbooks was time consuming but liberating! I scanned each cookbook and assessed it for several things: 1. Do I or have I ever used it? 2. Does it have several recipes I have used or plan to use? 3. Is it the type of food I want my fmaily eating? 4. Will I realistically make it, or do exotic, difficult ingredients or steps make this unlikely? If the answer was no to these, I got rid of it. 10 cookbooks to be exact made way to my goodwill pile. For a few, there was only one or two recipes I used so I recorded these and let the cookbook go.

I also went through the hundreds of recipe clippings that I had filed. I threw away at least 2/3 of these based on the above criteria. I neatly filed the ones that I plan to try soon, into separate compartments based on type of recipe. Once I try it, if it makes the cut, I will write it on a recipe card and file it in my cute recipe basket!

My cookbook cupboard looks great now! There is free space and when I take a cookbook out, nothing is going to fall and hit me in the head! I am about to go to the grocery store and will be getting ingredients for a few recipes I discovered while decluttering!

How does your cookbook/recipe collection look? Could it use some decluttering?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Success Sundays

Day 75 of 100

Today's success story is from T.J. in North Carolina:

I love your blog and really enjoy keeping up with it. This week, you've inspired me to clean out my Tupperware cupboard (I have no idea how I had so many lids that didn't belong to anything), my daughter's huge basket of sippy cups that she doesn't use anymore (I kept a few for long car rides), and all those little plates we used to use for her when she was tiny. I kept a few nice ones that I just love and will save for the next baby, but we have almost a whole empty kitchen cabinet now! Yay! Thanks for this challenge...my house is so much easier and quicker to clean up now that I am decluttering it little by little. It's made me brave enough to invite people over more often at the last minute. How freeing!


So proud of TJ and all of you who are little by little decluttering your lives! TJ is right, it is liberating and freeing to let go of the excess!

Go fins your 10!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring

Day 74 of 100

Here in Georgia, Spring has been teasing us the last few days! The sun has been out and feels so good on my skin! I can almost feel my Vitamin D levels rising. The warm weather brings out a unique happiness in all of us. Moods are elevated and everyone migrates outside.

Driving down a long stretch of rural road yesterday afternoon, I was mesmerized by the beauty in nature. Everything had a "new birth" look, the tips of plants were budding with fresh growth, the grass and bushes had that bright green color, and everything looked cleaner, happier and more hopeful! I think the best part about our four seasons is the change. I am always so ready for Spring and Fall, in particular. The change from one extreme to a milder version of the other makes you stop and see things with fresh eyes and enjoy! If the weather were always the same, even if it were beautiful weather, I doubt that we would have the same appreciation that we do, when the change makes the beauty so obvious.

It reminds me of going away on vacation and then upon returning, being so glad to be home. Being away in another setting gives you an appreciation for what you have, which previously may have gone unnoticed. Are you aware of the beauty in your life and home? Do you need to make a change in your daily routine to make you more alert and alive so you can notice what is already around you? Is the hustle and bustle of everyday life putting a damper on your appreciation of your blessings. Step back, take a deep breath, and look. Really see all your blessings. Once you become aware of these and notice what you love, it is much easier to let the excess go!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reader Response

Day 73 of 100

Today's post is a letter is from Cheryl:

"One of my favorite quotes is by Arts and Crafts artist and interior designer, William Morris (1834-1896): "Have nothing in your homes which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Since I have a Craftsman bungalow here in Pasadena, I try my best to live to that ... but it is hard for me! Paper is the bane of my existence! I am grateful for catalogchoice.org. It's best if the paper just doesn't come in the door! Thanks for the great motivation!"

Cheryl


I LOVE this quote Cheryl! Thank you for sharing!

Do you have catalogs, that you never order from, arriving at your home weekly? Now, with the internet, we hardly need these. Take a step in decreasing the incoming clutter by getting off those mailing lists! When a catalog arrives at your home, scan it and if you know you will not be ordering, immediately put it in your recycling container. If you think you may order something, in the near future, flag the page and put the catalog in a designated spot, ie: file basket and then once a month go through this and toss!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The “Man Cave”

Day 72 of 100

A few weekends ago, our clutter free journey brought us down to the basement. This space, like the attic and garage is both a blessing and a curse. Our space consists of three rooms plus a bathroom. The largest room being the NFL/Football watching room, which I avoid during NFL season due to the intense levels of testosterone, male sounds and smells. Tim, the boys and his Steelers' friends hang out down there on Sunday afternoons, grilling manly meats, watching football and making prehistoric grunts and noises. Tim's beloved large screen TV is here, along with his football pennants, he collected in childhood. He refers to this space as his “man cave”. In addition, this room houses the varied gaming systems, which I can not even connect to the TV, much less play.

The smaller room, off of this, is the Snake room. Yes, you heard me right SNAKE room. Since we met, Tim has always had at least one pet snake. Currently, the snake nursery consists of 7, although he is attempting to declutter his collection down to 3 or 4 if anyone is interested?!? This room has a lovey aroma only a reptile lover could appreciate. (We also have a gecko, huge Bullfrog brought back from Maine, albino ferret and 95 pound Chocolate lab).

The third room is a catch all. It is at the bottom of the stairs and has housed action figures, an air hockey table, and once was a playroom, when the boys where smaller. Our piano is in there now and we are considering making it into a music room as Benjamin plays guitar and sings and wants to start up a band.

We made a big impact on this space, throwing away a lot of junk, putting some things in their proper places in other parts of our home and made a pile of items we no longer use/love to donate. It still needs some work but was a really good start!

I love having this space! It allows the boys a place to hang out with their friends, Tim a room to be manly and when decluttered is a great family space to spend time together!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Money

Day 71 of 100

Have you considered all the extra money you spend on conveniences to make life easier because you are so stressed out to due living such a chaotic lifestyle? What the money spent to repurchase the same item over and over, as you can not find what you already own? Or how about the money spent to maintain and or store all the stuff you don't even use? Some people actually rent long term storage to deal with clutter. There are more and more storage sites popping up in every community and commercials on TV for these. People will store items for years, sometimes decades, rather than deal with it. Often, if you ask them what is there, they can't even tell you.

Once you free yourself of the excess, you will begin saving money! You may even make some money letting go of your stuff. Sell it on e-bay, craigslist, garage sale or consignment shop. Or give it to charity and claim a tax deduction. No matter how you choose to let it go, do it with love and kindness and do it now!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stress

Day 70 of 100

Think of the last time you couldn't find your keys. Do you remember the panic, frenzy and bad mood that came along with this. Did you snap at your partner or children as a result? What about when your son needed his band uniform and he tells you this 5 minutes before you are both leaving the house. No one knows where it is because the last time he wore it (6 weeks ago) it was tossed in the “to be ironed” pile after being washed. ARRR...you just want to scream and pull out your hair. The rest of your day can be shot after an episode like this.

However, much of this can be prevented by decluttering! Having clutter in your life makes you late, hurried and rushed. Not knowing where something is and having to frantically search for it, while trying to get out the door, puts a damper on your whole day. Never feeling caught up and always being behind is bad for your cortisol levels and blood pressure. Too much clutter can literally make you dizzy and sick.

Living with all this excess makes our stress levels rise. More people are seeking out ways to cut down on their stress. New medications are being developed to deal with anxiety and depression. We are in a mad rat race but we don't know where we are running. We purchase items to relieve stress, but in actuality we are making it worse.

Now picture looking around your decluttered home and notice how everything in it, is something you love and use and have invited to be there. Gone are the piles and clutter at every turn. You have let go of the excess, so there is able room and space for what is important for the life you are living right now! When you need something, you know exactly where to find it! AHHHHHH! Isn't this a much better feeling!

Go find 10 and cut down on your stress!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time, Money and Stress

Day 69 of 100

Over the next three days, we will look at each of these areas. Today, lets think about how our time is impacted by clutter.

One of the most precious gifts you receive from having a decluttered life is time. Time is the one thing we all want more of. Everyone always says that their family comes first. When you look at how your actual time is spent, are your actions reflecting your words? Having so much excess requires extra time to clean and care for your stuff. I actually read somewhere, that by decluttering your home, you can cut s on cleaning time by 40 %! Just think, if normally your weekly cleaning took you 5 hours, when decluttered it would only take 3! That is a huge chunk of time that could be spent doing something you love, with the people you love. Your daily duties/chores would also be decreased by the same percentage! What about the time you spend looking for what you can't find, replacing what you can't find and then organizing and storing all this excess.

Give your self the gift of time by decluttering what you no longer love, use or need! Go find your daily 10!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Visualize it:

Day 68 of 100

Imagine the most peaceful spot you know: maybe the beach, the lake, a mountain stream, perhaps it is a place you have never been. What is it about place that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Wouldn't you love your home to bring you this same tranquil feeling?

Close your eyes, how do you see each room in your home? What do you want to do in each of these spaces? What do you love about them now? What drives you mad and causes stress? If you had a magic wand, what would each look and feel like. When you declutter, you allow this transformation to begin. Get rid of the excess that does not fit you visualization and allow your dream to become a reality.

Have you found your 10 today?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chili and Being in the Moment

Day 67 of 100

One morning recently, while cutting up chicken to put in the crock pot for chili, I had a realization. I have a difficult time “being in the moment” when it comes to routine tasks such as this. All the while cutting the chicken, I had to stop myself from leaving this task half fished. I wanted to get the canned beans and salsa out of the pantry and open them. It wouldn't have sped up my process any; in fact, it may have slowed it down, as the counter was full already. Why do I do this? I thought about how not completing the task at hand fully, before moving onto the next, creates clutter.

I have read many books on mindfulness, taken meditation classes and practice this regularly. One thing they teach is not just mindfulness in your mediation practice but throughout the day. I try really hard in my interactions with others to be fully present and in the moment and not let the clutter of my insensate thoughts get in the way of the relationship. However, during, what I consider mundane, repetitive tasks: laundry, cooking, dusting, making beds etc, I let my mind slide into that dangerous abyss. The lists, chores, conversations I need to have, calls I need to make, etc., occupy my mind, taking me away from the present moment.

I decided that I really need to work on doing one thing at a time, rather than constantly multi-tasking. Why do we try and crunch so much into each day? Should we be more realistic in what actually can be done, while maintaining our home and having healthy relationships with our family and friends? Does all this not add to the clutter in our lives?

You'll be proud to know, I made my chili one step at a time, focusing on the task at hand, rather than moving forward, at warp speed on auto pilot, oblivious to what I was doing. I realized that this made it much more enjoyable. I am going to really work hard on trying to find pleasure, or at least awareness in the simplest of tasks and be conscious and in the moment, no matter what I am doing.

Do you ever get so caught up in all that you need to do, that you don't realize where you are? You could be missing a great moment in your life! Let go of the clutter in your mind and enjoy the present!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Long Weekend!

Day 66 of 100

Don't you love a long weekend? Numerous times during the school year, the boys get a Friday or Monday off. I typically take the day off from work, as well, and we get to play! It is amazing how this extra day makes such a difference. Today, they are off for a teacher planning day. We are going to see a movie this afternoon! It is such a treat for me to get to spend some time with all three of them, at the same time! Due to school work, clubs and commitments, sports, guitar and friends, they are often spread out at multiple places and so busy during the weekdays. The weekends are full of their own agendas and the regular routine that keeps our family running smoothly. Having this “mini break”, where we have no commitments or obligations, is like a tiny, little vacation!

We were talking about the three day weekend and how nice it would be if every weekend were like this. That got me thinking about how quickly we adapt and that after a while, this too, would seem too short and would quickly fill with obligations, schedules and routines. That is the beauty in a day off, we are able to step back, enjoy the free time and relax! Don't let the “to do” lists in your head clutter up this mini break, take a time out and enjoy those you love!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Polishing Silver

Day 65 of 100

I have always loved to polish silver. I remember when I saw the movie Grease in 1978 and desperately wanted the record album. I had no money, so my mom told me if I worked and did extra chores that Saturday, I could earn the cash I needed to make my purchase. I remember cleaning the oven and polishing every piece of silver we owned. It is such an immediate sense of satisfaction, with just some silver polish and a little elbow grease, a tarnished, darkened piece is magically transformed to a bright, shiny and beautiful object.

Today as I polished silver, I had many on my mind. I thought of my grandmother, Meme, whose baby cup was engraved with her name, my dad's name and mine, my great grandmother, Josie whose dish is engraved with her initials, my mother in law, Charlotte, as I loving polished a tray given to her parents on their 50th wedding anniversary. She gave this to me a month before she died. All these are treasured and cherished items that I love caring for. Just looking at them, brings me joy, as they remind me of my loved ones.

What pieces in your home bring happy memories of those you love? Are you honoring these memories by caring for them and making them a part of your home and life?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's good to be queen

Day 64 of 100

I never mow the grass nor do I hard, manual labor, yard work. I plan my grocery shopping excursions for when there are able bodied males at home to help me unload and if we are traveling, there is always some one willing to help me with my luggage. Yes, its good to be queen!

I am quickly being out grown by my boys and in a few years will be the smallest one in the house. I choose to embrace the wonder of boys and the joy of being the only girl in the home! I get doors opened, jar lids unscrewed, bugs captured and hands held when I am scared at a movie.

I've reminded the boys (regularly) that I am “THE QUEEN”. One morning, when Timothy was barely 3, he came into the kitchen where I was having a chocolate brownie with my coffee. He saw this and exclaimed, “Mama, how come you gets a brownie for breakfast, Oh I know, cuz you the Queen!” What a proud moment. I had instilled “my title” into his mind!

Embrace who you are and your unique situation. Capitalize on the positive, get rid of the negative (clutter) and as Oprah says “Make it your best life”.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Family Changes

Day 63 of 100

When my parents downsized a few years ago and had furniture and items that they would have no room for, my two brothers and I gathered and an auction of sorts occurred to divide up what they no longer needed. Many of my friends asked if I was sad they were leaving my childhood home. I truly was not, as I was so thankful that my parents are healthy and happy and close by. Just a few months before we had lost my mother in law to lung cancer and were trying to figure out how to live without her. Stuff, as valuable or sentimental as some of it may be, is simple stuff, not a person or a relationship. It is sad how sometimes a great loss puts it all in perspective.

As time goes on, children grow up, families change, people move, but through it all, the relationships you have can evolve and grow and become even stronger. Don't let stuff stand in your way of happiness!

Monday, March 8, 2010

If only I could sing and spell.....

Day 62 of 100

If I had a magic wand and could give my self gifts I am lacking, these two would be near the top of my list. I love to write, the problem is I am a horrendous speller and nothing ever looks wrong to me. Thank goodness for spell check! I love music and have very musically inclined children; however, I try to muffle my voice while singing happy birthday so as not to scare the birthday child. I guess I could take voice lessons and study words like you do in elementary school, but no matter what I did, I seriously doubt that it would make that big a difference.

I remember once hearing someone speak who said we are a society who wants to be good at everything and that if we are not strong in one subject we feel the need to study up and work hard to learn it. However, this individual believed the opposite. He felt you should work really hard in the areas you are naturally inclined and interested in and you will be far happier and more successful in life.

I agree wholeheartedly. When you look around at the people who really happy and great at what they do, you will see they are following their heart and living their dream. Embracing who you are and your individuality, unique strengths and gifts allows you to grow and shine. Let go of the mind clutter that says you have to be good at everything and focus instead on being the best YOU there is! Are you holding on to something you think you should be good at but really is not an interest or strength? With a breath of kindness, blow it away and be YOU!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Success Sundays!

Day 61 of 100

Today's success story comes from Abbey, in Georgia

Hey Dianne!

I just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog and I've really enjoyed it! We have been moving and we have a lot less storage at our new house. So, I have been having to get rid of some things. You have really motivated and inspired me to throw all my "junk" away, or give it to Goodwill. I have always been a fan of giving stuff to Goodwill, and boy are they in for a very large load of stuff coming from our house(Thanks to you, haha). Between school and babies it's hard for me to get organized, but I'm taking it one day at a time. Sorting through all of our stuff has been a challenge, and our house is far from being clean and organized, but I'm working on it! I'll probably have my thousand items to throw out in about a week rather than 100 days! Anyway, thanks again for the inspiration!!

Abbey

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oh, Happy Day

Day 60 of 100

Benjamin and I just returned home from the Hardware store with new paint for his bedroom walls! He did an amazing job this morning decluttering! We started at 8:30 and with only one quick food break, we finished at 12:30. I lost count after he had tossed over 200 items! We threw away 2 large, overflowing bags of trash and have 50 plus books and a large bag of items to give to goodwill. His room looks fantastic and he is anxious to start painting! We even went through his dresser drawers and closet and sorted out all that he has recently outgrown. He kept saying how much easier it was than he had thought it would be and how good it felt. He discovered how nice it is to allow the items you love to take center stage. You can already see the Beatles theme shining through, since he decluttered all the excess stuff that was not important or meaningful to him. I can't tell you how far he has come. I can hardly believe that this is the same child who use to keep his chewed gum! It made me so happy and proud to see that something that previously was so difficult for him him, brought him so much pleasure today.

Keep modeling healthy decluttering habits for your children...You've heard the old saying, "Don't worry that your children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching." We are setting an example of behaviors that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Friday, March 5, 2010

TGIF

Day 59 of 100

Yeah, its Friday! It is crazy that I am so excited to be tackling Benjamin's room with him this weekend? He has been working up, to being ready, to take the plunge and declutter! His older and younger brother both have commitments on Saturday, so he and I will make a fun day out of it! I told him that if he gets up early (granted...this is highly unlikely, Of all the boys, he loves to sleep in...) but if he does, we will ride up to the local coffee house and get some yummy coffee drinks, (he prefers a Vanilla Chi Latte), to wake us up.

I had told him a while ago, we could paint his room to go with his new Beatles theme, once he decluttered. So, he is ready and I have challenged him to find 200 things. I think this should be easy.....by the looks of all his stuff. His room is actually fairly well organized and neat. There is just LOTS of stuff in it! He, however, has always had great difficulty parting with anything. At one point, when he was quite little, I even found “chewed” chewing gum, he had saved in a little container! So, keep your fingers crossed and I will let you know how it goes!

What area are you going to tackle this weekend?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hold Out Pile

Day 58 of 100

OK, so I have to confess.....I have a “hold out” pile that I have not let go of yet. It is made up of things that I want to try and sell on E-bay or Craigs List but have not seemed to find the time to do so. It is comprised of some items that to the appropriate collector/buyer would be worth something but to bring to Goodwill, seems kind of sad, as they would probably go unnoticed and appreciated.

So, I have decided to set a deadline for myself to place these up for auction. By Monday evening, 03/08/10 they will be on line, period. What sells, sells....What does not, is let go with love!

Giving yourself a deadline and making it publicly know can help you move things you are still holding on to. What is in your “hold Out” pile? Can you set a time frame to do what you need to do and let it go?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Red wine, dark chocolate, black coffee

Day 57 of 100

I know what I like when it comes to food. There is very little that I do not like, but I have very particular tastes when it comes to my favorites. I like my coffee strong and black, my chocolate dark and bitter and my wine, red and dry. If given a choice, why would I consume milk chocolate, white wine and creamy coffee? To me, these would not be worth the calories or time to consume them.

It is the same with our homes. If you love something, celebrate it, use it, honor it and share it with others. Don't keep it hidden away, wrapped up and protected. Don't use the ugly plates you have never liked because you don't worry about them breaking, while the ones you adore are carefully stored away in boxes. Are they not yours to enjoy? If you don't enjoy them who will? If you think your children will, think again! Are they not watching your example? Will anyone ever use them or will they remain in pristine condition from lack of love?

Do you know what you like/love? Are you enjoying these things or just storing them? Get rid of what you don't love and make room for what you do!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The "ME" generation

Day 56 of 100

Most of my generation has never knew times of shortage and scarcity that our grandparents did. In fact many of us have grown up in the “Me” generation, where any thing you want, you get. My grandfather never bought anything he didn't pay cash for. Borrowing on credit, not paying for three years, no money down, all these crazy deals just get us into debt. Where has this got us? Well, we all know, into a big recession. What are we teaching our children when everything is instantaneous? Learning to save and really think about a purchase, before making it, are valuable skills and often prevent buyers remorse. Do they see you practicing this? Take the time to really think about something before you buy it: Will you really use it? Are you willing to spend the time caring for it? In 6 months, will you still be pleased you have it? Ask yourself these questions and really think about your answers and prevent adding to your clutter, physically and mentally.

Go find 10 to let go of and prevent excess from coming in!

Monday, March 1, 2010

No Phone While Driving Update

Day 55 of 100

I previously posted that for a while, I had been seriously considering stopping the use of my cell phone, in any manner, while driving my car. I shared that I took the plunge on Ash Wednesday for Lent and officially “hung up”. I have to share that the first week in the car it felt very awkward, almost uncomfortable...like I was naked. I didn't know how to act, knowing that I would not make any out going calls and would not answer any incoming. It took a few days, but slowly I adjusted. Now, I can honestly say that I love it! It is almost like a little break each time I get in the car.

I have had to pull over a couple of times, into a parking lot and make a call. I tell you my calls are more efficient and to the point. I can't wait to see my cell phone bill, as I am certainly using a significant less number of minutes. I thought I'd be on my phone much more upon arriving home, but it really hasn't made a noticeable difference.

Best of all, I am setting an example to my children. My oldest is 16 and we have told him that he is never to use his cell while driving. Our excuse for our use was that we had been driving for years and years, prior to ever getting a phone and were much more experienced....phoooy! Don't you think my example will make much more of an impact than my words?

It's funny how I now have a heightened awareness of this. You know how when you get a new car and suddenly you notice the same make and model everywhere? That is how it is with my cognizance of how much people are on their phones while driving now. It is almost a game that I unconsciously play, throughout the day, counting the drivers I see talking and texting.

Could you, would you, consider trying the No Phone use while driving? You are decluttering your mind and incessant stream of thoughts and making the roads safer for everyone!