Posts tagged ‘Decluttering’

MORE vs less: Decluttering While on Vacation

Day 7 – Invisible clutter is bothersome, too. But my email inbox is finally looking bare.

The past several days I’ve been on vacation and I’ve been able to keep up with my decluttering commitment. I wake up early – even on vacation – so I’ve spent a couple of hours decluttering my email inbox before anyone gets up.

My personal email account started with 6,000 emails. Isn’t that pathetic. BUT – it is now down to 48. Yes, you read that correctly, 48! Want to know my tips? Good because I want to share, even they are not anything out-of-the-ordinary.

  1. Unsubscribe. I was on too many newsletter and retail lists. I unsubscribed to everything! E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! I can always resubscribe. But, if I do, I am going to be more cautious about giving out my email address.
  2. Delete all emails associated with those I unsubscribed from. So say I unsubbed from Fleet Feet, I then put “Fleet Feet” into the Search Box and hit enter. Then ALL emails from Fleet Feet would show up. I deleted ALL those emails. It was a QUICK way to delete 100’s and 100’s of emails.
  3. Be ruthless in deleting. Delete! Delete! And then delete some more. If an email is a couple of years old, you probably don’t need it now.

The 48 emails that are left need attention. I am hoping to be down to Inbox ZERO by the end of the week.

Day 7 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I went from 6,000+ emails to 48 in two days. So I obviously spent more than 31 minutes at a go. But I found time that didn’t take away from anyone else … while folks were sleeping … while driving in the car … and while folks were taking a break from each other.

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

Your Turn . . . How is your email inbox? . . . Do you have your emails under control or are they a cluttered, chaotic, worry?

Related Posts . . . How Does One Person Have 624 Emails In Her Inbox? (2008)

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Simplicity Day Reminds Us of the “Simple” Life

Today is #National  Simplicity Day. When was the last time you looked to simplify your life in terms of goals, balance, meaning, and social media?

Answer the questions below to get you started on this reflection.

  • How balanced is your life between the various areas like sleep, work, and recreation?
  • Are you spending quality time with the important people in your life and on projects that advance you towards your goals/dreams?
  • Is your spiritual life a relationship that you cultivate?


One of my goals for this summer is to finish unfinished projects. And one of these projects is decluttering. Yesterday, with the help of my daughter, I went through ALL of my clothes. I tried on everything and only kept what I really liked or loved. The rest is in the give-away pile.

I have given myself a month to mend (mainly shorten) the clothes that need it. Otherwise they, too, will be given away. And after a month, I will check to see what I’ve actually worn. My tentative goal is to do something like Project 333.

I still need to do more work in my closet. I am surprised at how many non-clothes items are in there. I am also surprised at how many scarves I have. Tons, I tell you, tons!

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” ~ J. Botherton


I tend to work too much. As a result I neglect the important people in my life. That is one reason I wrote a Summer Bucket List. I want to make sure I have friend-balance in my life. So far this summer I have done well with having “dates.” Read #4 for an update.

These non-romantic times have been fun. I’ve eaten, chatted, walked, viewed vacation photos, and crafted. It may seem weird to some to have to schedule in dates, but I am finding that works for me.


One thing that gives meaning to my life is a relationship with God. I want to and need to spend daily time reading and meditating on Scripture. I need to and want to spend time talking and listening to God. And finally I need to and want to spend time at church and with the people of the church. This type of focus keeps me maturing and balanced.

Also to add meaning to my life, I am thinking about what’s important to me. I am listening to an audiobook, Thrive. Arianna Huffington wants us to consider four areas to get back to living a life that counts: wonder, giving, wisdom, and wellness. I want to focus on these as well.

Joelle from 21 Delights wrote a list (of 21 things) that brings meaning to her life. Her top 10 are as follows … her husband … her children … her relationship with the Divine … Her extended family … witnessing goodness … life stories … friendship … solitude … Music … and art. Go here to read the complete list and post about why she wrote it.

I haven’t written such a list yet. What would your list include? What do you want to do more of? Less of? Read how a STOP DOING list is helpful.


Social media use can, at times, consume way too much of my time. I go on for just a quick minute. And then an hour later I am still on there. I want to and need to declutter that area of my life, too.

 It’s good practice to look at your social media use the way you would closets full of stuff. Ask yourself: Am I using social media intentionally or out of habit? What benefits does it bring me, what are the trade-offs, and do I need to change anything? If I cut back on social media, how else do I want to use that time? ~ Ellen from Simplifying at Home: Living Better with Less

In conclusion, in honor of National Simplicity Day I am reading a real book and not something from social media. I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. If you’ve read this book, what are your take-aways?

Your Turn . . .  How “simple” is you life? . . .  Where would you like to make a change in the areas of GOALS, BALANCE, MEANING and/or SOCIAL MEDIA?

Related Posts . . . Check out the article that was the brainchild of this post: NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY from the National Day Calendar website.

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Identifying Not Just Goals, But Legacy Goals Makes Junk Tossing Easier

Artist and blog author Luann Udell thinks the “How-to” articles in magazines are not all that helpful. They don’t live up to there titles. So, when cleaning out her attic a pile of ArtCalendar magazines was an easy toss.

But it was time for a 10 minute break and a cup of coffee so, Luann grabbed a magazine that declared, Summer Project: Declutter Your Studio/Three Easy Steps. This article, written by Jo Israelson, a master stone carver, installation artist, AND personal organizer, actually proved helpful. It taught Luann how to make some hard choices.

The help came in the form of identifying the goals for this project:  “Understanding why we are doing this will help us stay centered and focused when the process gets hard.”

The following suggested goals are for artists, but they can be readily adapted for those of us non-artists.

  • Downsizing
  • Retiring
  • Trying to be more organized
  • Make room for larger pieces
  • Getting ready for a studio sale or tour
  • Overcoming a block

There are more that Luann didn’t list. I NEED to find a copy of this issue to see what I’m missing.

Luann goes on to share, “But the part that is absolutely brilliant to me is when she [Jo Israelson] asks us to define our legacy goals. This will help us move through the inevitable emotional wall we hit when the initial euphoria of de-junking ebbs, and the sadness, confusion and frustration of the process overwhelm us.”

 Jo Israelson says, Your legacy goals will serve as the framework for the distribution of the remaining items.”

A legacy is what is passed on to others,  whether it be ethereal like advice, values and love or more practical like physical stuff. Usually a legacy is given upon death.

But it can be given while still alive. And that’s how I choose to look at my decluttering. First, look at the meaning or memory behind the item. Then decide who could best benefit from that meaning. Some times it will be Goodwill because there is no good memory or no there is no attachment to the object.

I have some ornament kits that I thought I would make with my children. My children are now 24 and 25. I held onto these because of the potential memories they had in my mind.  Mafia Princess would love to create with her children. And these memories will move from potential to actual. I can now release those items.

What I give away can help someone else in their legacy. What I keep helps define mine. I am no longer a homeschool mom, a procrastinating crafter, a mindless collector of miscellaneous stuff.

I am  . . .  a grad student . . . a mom with adult children . . . .  a finisher of projects and books . . . .  a purposeful collector of fine art. Thanks to my artist daughter . . . And I’m more.

Although, I am not too sure -yet – of ALL of who I am.  I’m sure all of my stuff does NOT accurately express my legacy.  

With this legacy-focus on decluttering I have a direction. And I have a permission to release who I was and grow into who I am becoming. . . . without guilt, restraint, or hurry.

Go here to read the whole post by Luann Udell. It is tip #5 in the series on “Cleaning the Attic.”

I hope to see you all sign up for Friday’s Declutter Challanege at Marcia Francois’ Oranising Queen.

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Month Long Decluttering Ends with Wahoo, Links & Lessons Learned

Marcia from Organising Queen says I deserve a huge pat on the back since I decluttered every day this past month. You know what? I agree.

There are some others who also did the same.

Wahoo & congrats to ALL of us


This is what I did this past month.

  1. For Week 1 Decluttering go here.
  2. For Week 2 Decluttering go here.
  3. For Week 3 Decluttering go here.
  4. For Week 4 Decluttering go here.
  5. For Week 4.5 Decluttering go here.

If you want to see what others did, go to this link.

I learned 3 things this past month.

(1) Decluttering one item a day is doable and adds up over a month. In order to NOT get discouraged about the huge task, I need to concentrate on the one thing I can do today. Because I was able to keep that focus, I usually decluttered more than one thing. Of course, I celebrated that. But, for the days I decluttered one thing, I celebrated just as much.

(2) I learned that I’ve been decluttering more than physical things. The act of decluttering, for some of us, is an emotional task. Thankfully, I’ve been dealing with some of these emotions. So, I was able to declutter some expectations, memories, and guilt associated with various things.

(3) Boy, do I expect a LOT from myself. You should see my to-do list. I admit, pretty unrealistic. The same is true for what I think I can declutter in a day. My expectations were way off, and still are on some days. I didn’t get all this stuff in one day, one week or even one month. So, it will take me some months to declutter fully. I know that Clean House is NOT coming here to rescue me  – to get me all decluttered and organized. I can do this.One item at a time. And with God’s help I can decide upon and follow a doable schedule and to-do list.

Finally, what is the biggest impact on my home? To be truthful, at times, it is still messy. Mainly because I’m not too good about putting things back after I’ve used them. I know that having a clutter free home takes more than just getting rid of the clutter.  I’d like to answer this question after another month of decluttering. maybe then, I’ll have an answer.

Thank you to Marcia from Organising Queen  and Beth from My Simpler Life for this challenge and for giving me (and us) the opportunity to declutter and grow as individuals and as a group.

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How Does One Person Have 624 Emails In Her Inbox?

Isn’t that over board? I am going to declutter this in-box to zero by September 1!!!!

With so many emails to declutter, I knew I just had to do an extra declutter shift. I might have to do an extra shift every day (in the inbox) unitl the end of August.

I will either outright delete the email as not pertaining to me anymore, do the action required or save very few (not in the in-box but in a computer folder).

BRB (Be Right Back)

I now have 444 emails. I ruthlessly deleted emails from the running club, the Spanish ezine and updates on health issues. Still have a long way to go.

I think I need some help. Tomorrow. I’m off to bed now.

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August 30 Day Declutter Challenge – Day 1

My Simpler Life and Organising Tips are hosting a decluttering challenge: Toss one thing every day for a month. Go here for more details. Be sure to read the details as there are prizes involved!

Here is My Simpler Life’s first day of decluttering. Here is Organising Tips’ first day.

Here is my first day:

  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 top
  • 1 tee-shirt
  • 1 sweater

What have you decluttered today?

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

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