Posts filed under ‘Decluttering’
Of all the categories of my possessions, the book category has the most items. And it is the hardest category for me to purge. When I get into a fret about what to keep and what to give away, my daughter reminds me that I have time. I can take the time I need to do this sorting at my pace.
Books hold many memories for me especially the ones associated with homeschooling. It’s been 11 years since I’ve homeschooled. (11 years? Where did THAT time go?) It really is silly to hold onto these books. I am not going to use them again. I am not a homeschooler any more. It is time to update my (internal) image.
This week and last, I’ve been going though the bookshelves again. I want to and need to pare down my possessions. Bye-bye four bags of books. They were mostly books associated with our homeschooling days.
NOTE: The middle photo is the 5th photo in my series, A Winter of Self Portraits. When I was brainstorming a list of items for my Winter Bucket List, I came up with the idea of taking 12 self-portraits.
Your Turn . . .
- Do you have a lot of books? Is it easy or hard to manage these?
- Is there something that is hard for you to declutter? If yes, what? Why?
- Take your own self-portrait and share it with us.
RELATED READING POSTS
- 10 Read Out Loud Tips for More Enjoyment
- 13 Benefits of Reading
- 21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth (baby shower devotional)
- Twenty Wishes Can Change Your Life (more than a book report)
- 4 tips on how to declutter books and 6 ideas for what to do with them are at this post, How to Declutter Your Bookshelf. It is written by Katie at Making This Home.
- Identifying Not Just Goals, But LEGACY Goals Makes Junk Tossing Easier If I don’t sort my stuff while alive, my kiddos will have to deal with it when I die. Some of that stuff (right now) is junk. That junk is part of the legacy I leave them. Embarrassing. Being purposeful about what I keep will ensure that legacy is not tainted. Read this post for more clarification.
- Junk Pyramid has a clear picture of what constitutes junk. But books don’t fit those criteria. So JP divides her books into 2 categories, adult and children. She asks different questions from each category in order to decide if the book is a keeper or not. Have a read and see if this is helpful information.
- Mrs. Green from My Zero Waste asks herself this question when trying to decide the fate of a book: “Does this represent me now, or who I was in the past?” Since I have been thinking along the same lines lately, this post helped me better define my own thinking. Read the rest of her post here.
For the past 6 years or so, we’ve been having a “Make It” contest at our women’s retreats. We choose an item (for example flip-flops, pot-holder, wand) and ask the women to decorate it according to one of the three categories chosen. Click on the contest rules link “Contest_Rules_potholders – 2009” to see the instructions for the Pot-holder Make It Contest.
Last year’s (June 2011) contest item was a pail. Through a time of brainstorming, my friend Geri and I went from pail to bucket. This led me to creating a Summer Bucket List using a turquoise beach pail.
I picked 10 goals for my Summer Bucket list. These 10 things were not specifically summer oriented, just things that have been on my mental to-do list for a l-o-n-g time.
I am good at picking goals. I am good at writing out how to obtain them by mapping out a plan and a setting realistic deadline. I am good at starting.
However, I am not too good at finishing. That’s why I look for creative ways like this to get things done. That’s why I put the retreat verse (Philippians 4:13) on the pail with puffy paint. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (I love using puffy paint even though it did come off in places.)
That’s why I wrote the following explanation on the required index card: “Because of God’s available strength, I am able to do many “impossible” things. I.e. Lose 10 pounds, declutter, and add new healthy recipes to my cooking repertoire.”
I started working on the Bucket List in Mid June. My finish date is September 30th. It is still Summer HOT here then.
I read this quote on FB the other day (thanks Anza): “When you have a desire, back it up with action or let it go. To believe you want something you’re not doing anything to achieve is actually deceptive” (Buster Carter). Ouch! It made me think about my Bucket List. I decided to see how far I had come.
To my amazement, I’ve completed 5 of the 10 items. And I still have 5 weeks left! I am grateful that God indeed has helped me with these items. I am grateful that I persevered in accomplishing these 5 things.
- Decluttered 3 boxes. I also went through my closet and gave away some clothing that no longer fit.
- Finished 3 homework assignments for consecration. One of the assignments took FIVE minutes to finish. I had procrastinated MONTHS and MONTHS in doing that final work.
- Bought new tops that look good on me and I like to wear. Last Spring I lost some weight and have been in need of new clothing. I am still looking for trousers that fit and look good. (Shopping is such a trauma for me.)
- Exercised 4-6 times a week doing something I loved. Since late April I have been exercising this consistently in order to get my (formerly) broken shoulder back into shape. However, I cannot say that I have found the exercise I love to do.
- Had a family outing. I was able to attend a dinner party my daughter had and both my son and I were able to attend along with some of her friends. I was hoping to spend the next day with both of them, but my son became ill. Had another great time with my daughter though.
This is good progress for me. Wahoo!
The other items on the list still to do are as follows:
- Write an e-book.
- Finish reading the Bible and then get a new one.
- Compile 7-10 new recipes that are healthy, tasty and become favourites.
- Read two books for fun.
- Lose 10 pounds.
Where have you made good progress? For what are you grateful that you’ve finished and/or that God has helped you accomplish? Go here to read what other’s put on their Friday’s Fave Five Gratitude List.
Related Posts . . .
Katrina at Mama Manuscripts is hosting Goal Planning Monday (GPM). I am participating so I’ll have a record of what I complete each week. I’ll also have a tool to energize my (sometimes) flagging motivation to complete (1) the jobs I tend to avoid or (2) jobs that get overshadowed by the urgent items on my to-do list.
Her plan is to post 5 things to complete during the week. I am tweaking this a bit and posting 5 categories with two (sometimes three) actions to be done. (h) is for home and for work.
I will put a line through the task and date it when I am finished.
(h) Walk 30 minutes (4-6 days)
Sign up for the Idita-Walk (1/11)
Take a 5 minute stretch break every 90 minutes (3 times this week)
2. Declutter project
(h) Table in dining room area
(h) Plan menu for week from anti-inflammation diet
Buy and bring in snacks for 3 weeks for work (1/7)
Fix my godson’s blanket (1/11)
Decide on and buy present for soon-to-be 15-year-old niece (1/12) Email chronic pain resource list to Brittney (1/7)
Call to see if part is in for car (have an appt. at 7:30a.m. on 1/8) Take food to food bank (1/7)
Your Turn . . .
- What’s on your goal list for this week?
- Do you plan by category?
- How do you motivate yourself when your energy or motivation is flagging?
This is due in part … to my family/friends … to deepening my relationship with God … to finishing my education (received my BA and MA) … to a supportive church and work environment … to working on the pain … and … to writing down and following wishes (a.k.a. goals).
Only four more months of 2010! Plenty of time to reach more goals. Ample opportunity to discover who I am now and where my life is going.
Here’s my list of putting things put back into my life.
1. Save money for a trip to NZ in March. Read books and watch movies that are based in NZ. Study NZ travel guides and pick 2-3 new experiences.
2. Upgrade my health: Prepare for walkathon in April 2011; Take vitamins, eat meals, and sleep on a set schedule; Lose 20 pounds.
3. Spend quality time with a friend each week.
4. Learn how to use MP3 and add current music to playlist.
5. Finish afghan (knit) for my office.
6. Read the Bible twice (in different versions).
7. Write a post for this blog 3-4 times a week.
9. Go on a silent retreat to meditate on work and personal priorities.
10. Cook/bake something new with Michelle and do something crafty each month.
Some of these items might seem frivolous or not that life-changing. But these are things that will help me focus, have fun, and stretched out-of-my comfort zone.
- What will go on your list for the next 18 weeks?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- What activities/events will give you a fresh sense of self and a new interest in life?
- What do you need to do to heal your physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or intellectual self?
- Answering These 6 Questions Will Turn Wishes Into Attainable Goals
- Falling Into Place
- How To Get Unstuck (From Grief) By Using A Wishes List
- Loss Leads to Depression
- There Can Be No Trust When Perfection Is Your Goal
How content are you? Always? Never? Sometimes?
Pastor Mike is doing a series on Generosity in a World of Greed. Sunday’s message was titled, “The Lost Art of Doing Without.” One of the gems from the sermon was how to be content.
The most important step to contentment is . . .
. . . Seek the Lord above all else and you will have what you need
- How do you fare in this area on a scale of 1-10?
- Do you seek God before seeking goods?
- How will you seek the Lord today…Prayer…Read Scripture…Obey Scripture…Other?
- Make a list of your needs. Share this list with a friend. Would s/he agree these are needs? Share this list with God in prayer. Compare it to Scripture (I.e. Matthew 6:33). Are they truly needs or are wants mixed in there too?
“At one time or another, we’re all guilty of allowing wants to live in our hearts as needs.” Jim Fay & Charles Fay
Pastor shared 3 more secrets to being content. Read the 3 following statements. Pick the correct answer.
Fight the impulse to . . .
(a) “have it now!” (b) shop. Shopping is evil. (c) share.
Don’t buy things . . .
(a) you can’t afford. (b) ever. (c) that are cheaply made.
Remember your most important needs are . . .
(a) food, clothing and shelter. (b) good quality chocolate. (c) to be put on hold until you tithe.
The correct answer for each statement of truth is letter (a). Delayed gratification and correctly identifying/buying needs versus wants are actions that lead to contentment.
How are you doing with the above secrets? Is there a change you will make today? What is that change?
Pastor based his sermon on 1 Timothy 6: 3-19. Read and ponder these Scriptures. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you from these verses? Share what you learned/heard with at least one person today.
I’m still being mindful of the 30 Days of Nothing & the Friday Decluttering Challenge. Sorry that I haven’t made it to the keyboard to post about my progress and thoughts. This next week will prove to be just as busy – some deadlines coming up for school.
So what are you up to this week?
September 9: Went through a box of clothes and books. Both yielded items that no longer fit who I am.
September 9: One Basket . . .Two Clear Ornaments . . .Three bottles of glass paint.
Read this post to see why I gave them up. The pertinent part starts with these sentences: “I have some ornament kits that I thought I would make with my children. My children are now 24 and 25.”
September 10: Pile of socks. Mates are MIA and have been for several months.
September 11: Decluttered my inbox: Down to 83.
Go to Marcia’s place, Organising Queen to sign up for this week’s challenge or to see what others have accomplished. If accountability, camaraderie, and encouragement would help you with decluttering, consider joining the decluttering challenge and then share your results next Friday.