Posts tagged ‘october decluttering challenge’

MORE vs. less: 4 Things I’ve Learned in My Decluttering Journey

Day 31 – This spot no longer exists! Hurray for me.

I am done with this series, MORE vs  less: 31 days Devoted to Decluttering. My home, garage, car, and office contain a lot less stuff. But I need to declutter more. More importantly, I need to treat this project as an ongoing journey.

Let me share four things I learned during this process.

  1. Declutter before I organize. The fastest way to clean up a messy space is to toss everything into labeled containers. However, this is only a short-term, quick fix, because when stuff is put in a box, I rarely look at it again. In the long-term, it does not meet my goal of having a decluttered home. I need to declutter as I go and keep only what is necessary and loved.
  2. Make a plan for things coming into my space. Items still come into my home from my purchases or from others. If I don’t make disciplined, ongoing decisions about what goes, what stays, and where it will “live,” my spaces will fill up again, and I will once again have a cluttered life. I need to ask the following: “Do I need it?” “Do I love it?”
  3. Reinforce the why of my decluttering goal. When I feel overwhelmed or lack the desire to declutter, I think back to WHY I want a decluttered space. When I ruminate on the inspiration for my goal, my motivation stays stable.

Here are some of my reasons why.

  • A decluttered home is peaceful.
  • Company is welcome as there is no need for a lengthy house cleaning.
  • I save money and time by knowing precisely where everything is.
  • My kiddos will inherit thoughtful treasures, not containers of junk.
  1. Accountability is essential to my success. I started a private Facebook group that interacts on this topic. We share questions, challenges, wins, information, quotes, frustrations, and encouragement. And I recently started a regular Skype session with a friend on the same journey. Michelle’s positivity and steadfast pursuit of her own decluttering goals prod me on in my efforts. Both of these accountability avenues help call to mind my why and how, which keep me progressing on the decluttering journey.

Your Turn . . . How is your decluttering journey going? Share what you’ve learned.

Related resource – . How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and for All by Alan Henry

Day 31 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Several hours in the garage. This is a big project, but step-by-step it is doable.

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. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

Updated on August 17. 2018. Our Facebook group is still operational, in case you’d like to join us.

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MORE vs less: God’s Point-of-View on Clutter

Day 29 – Ouch! His viewpoint is different than mine.

Clutter is a crowded or confused mass or collection. Americans love to hoard their clutter. In 2012, the average American [was] hoarding 23 items in their home that they [had] absolutely no use for, according to results.” ~ (Sam Paul).

Decluttering is an ongoing pursuit and many of us have it on our to-do lists and New Year’s resolutions. However, like many lists and resolutions, these items are abandoned before we see real change.

That described me, too. But this past year I have been purposeful and mindful of my actions, possessions, and thoughts. Lately, I’ve been contemplating what God has to say about decluttering.

A well-known maxim about treasures is that they are to be in Heaven, not earth. And the fact that I’ve had a hard time parting with a lot of my things shows that I have considered my things treasures. I used my money to maintain, store, and buy more of them.

God says to keep my treasures in Heaven. These treasures will not be susceptible to rust, breakage, or thievery. Heavenly treasures bring freedom and blessing.

I clutched at my treasures due to fear and worry that I might need them later today or at most very soon.

I stockpiled extra frivolities like glue guns, teapots, art supplies, blankets, etc.

God says to not worry about what I’ll need tomorrow. Concentrate on my today. Many times I can borrow what is needed. Or I can go to the thrift store and buy the item (most likely a frivolity) inexpensively. And God says He will provide for my NEEDS for today.

Sometimes I feel bound to my things. It is almost like I am in love with my possessions. So I cannot get rid of them. That would be the height of unfaithfulness.

Isn’t that silly and wrong-spirited? God says I am to love people. Another like minded maxim says we are to love people and use things; not use people and love things.

A noble way for me to love people is to use more of my income on things people need: clean water, clothing, food, shelter, etc.

I don’t believe God is asking me to live a bare bones lifestyle. I do believe He wants me to be more mindful of HOW I spend my money and to share more of it. And so do I.

Day 29 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Finished my closet.

Your Turn . . . What would you add to this post?

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. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

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MORE vs less: How Two Experiences Impacted My Decluttering Journey

Day 28 – Wise words or experiences, how do you best learn?

I asked a group of friends if decluttering is on their to-do list. Without exception, it is. I then asked, is it also on your ongoing to-do list? Most admitted that it wasn’t.

It has been on mine for decades. This year some things happened that made me serious about achieving weekly decluttering goals.

In fact, two experiences reshaped my worldview regarding possessions. The first experience was a trip to Mexicali with 18 people from my church. We fed and prayed for the homeless. We bought groceries for two orphanages. We held VBS and a women’s conference. Lastly, we upgraded the base camp (painting, staining, building a cabin, etc.).

I am sure we made a difference in many lives. I am positive they made a big difference in mine. The foster parents of each orphanage sacrificed to care for the children. In the smaller home, the “parents” foster five children in addition to their two biological children. Twice a week the father sells his plasma for $25 (each time) to ensure a steady income. Ten people live in a one bath, two bedroom home with a kitchen the size you’d find on a small yacht. There is no excess in their home. There is no room for it, or money to buy it.

When I returned and really looked at my home, I was troubled by my surplus. I didn’t have just a little; I had a LOT. I felt embarrassed enough to declutter within a week of returning. Five hours and three trips to Goodwill eliminated my catchall area. It was not wrong to have more than I need. But did I really NEED that many books, craft supplies, clothes, and dishes? It felt criminal to have this surplus, especially since I’ve hardly used these items in the past years.

The second experience is secondhand. While we were in Mexicali, a friend’s home back in Sacramento burned down. Within an hour, most of her belongings were incinerated. All the people made it out alive, but their pets perished. My friend has a new outlook. Things are not essential in life. Living beings are.

I want to have a comfy, streamlined home that is not overstuffed with things. I want to use the money I would use on stuff to help the lives of those around me. I want to use the time I would spend to maintain my things in the lives of others.

I am grateful for these two experiences. They have spurred me on in my decluttering work. I want to use my time and money wisely. And the experiences reinforced the idea that people not things occupy a primary place in my affections.

The following verse is one I’ve been thinking about.Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15  NIV

Your Turn . . . Do you learn mostly from your own experience or from other’s experiences? . . . Has your view of your possessions changed at all because of this post? Why or why not?

Day 28 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I streamlined the items in half of my closet. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all the tee shirts I get from my monthly 5K Fun Walks. (I don’t run.)

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. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

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MORE vs less: There is No Perfect Moment to Begin

Day 25 – There is no perfect moment to begin. Sometimes you have to “trick” yourself into starting.

Sometimes I feel motivated to declutter and lots of times I don’t. And when I don’t, I seem to be waiting for SOMETHING to push me into the right set of circumstances that will get me to WANT to get to work.

But I am learning that there is no perfect moment to begin.

I just could not get into the decluttering mood tonight. I came home and had a little nap. And woke up feeling I was just going to forget tonight’s 31 minutes. Oh, yes, I was.

Then I thought, “Just see what’s on the closet floor. Maybe you can put a few more things in the recycling pile.”

Well more than an hour later I had sorted everything on my side of the closet. I would still like to declutter more, but I am very HAPPY with tonight’s session.

There was no perfect moment to begin.

  • The clutter fairy didn’t sprinkle motivation dust on my head.
  • After my nap, I still didn’t feel like working.
  • Every time I checked the closet, it was still messy.
  • No one was going to do this for me.
  • My circumstances didn’t change.

But I did change my thoughts. I prodded myself with the sentence, “Just see what’s on the floor.”

Once I put all the stuff on my bed*, I KNEW I could do some decluttering. In fact, it was kind of fun seeing what was there. And it was fun seeing what I could get OUT of the closet.

*I put the stuff on my bed because bending over a lot hurts my back. And getting up and down from the floor is hard on my body, too.

Day 25 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I worked in my closet about 90 minutes. I am not done in there but it sure looks pretty good. I am encouraged by the work I did. I stopped because I want to do my laundry and see if I can donate any more clothes.

Your Turn . . . How is your closet? . . . How do you get yourself into a decluttering mode when you are not in one?

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. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

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MORE vs less: Know Your Decluttering Purpose

Day 22 – Where are you going with your declutter mission? In other words, WHY are you doing this?

When you identify why you want to let go of your stuff, it’s more likely that you will protect your decluttered space. When you approach decluttering with the purpose of creating a calmer space, less stressful work-week, or a healthier, happier life, you won’t be easily derailed by the allure of more stuff. ~ By 

 

One of the things I love about my cell phone is that it has access to GPS. Since I am direction challenged, having this tool is a necessity. When you use GPS, Siri periodically gives course directions and reroutes. But in order to do this, she has to know where you are going.

This is true for us as well as we are on our decluttering journey. Where are you going?; or in other words, what is your why? What do you hope to gain by decluttering your space? Knowing this answer will help when the decluttering gets hard. And it will get hard.

Are you decluttering so that you can . . . 

  • Find your library books?
  • Have company over without advance notice?
  • Park your car in the garage?
  • Be worry free if someone opens the door to your closets?

Those are great side benefits of decluttering. But are they a strong enough motivator or purpose to decluter? I don’t think so.

When I started really getting serious about putting my house in order, it was because I was fed up with the disorder. But more than that, I was tired of the disorder standing in the way of everything I wanted for my life. I was determined to create the environment I wanted for my family and the ambiance I needed in order to focus my attention on what mattered to me.

I was tired of shuffling clutter from one room to the next. I was tired of organizing and reorganizing stuff. I was tired of wasting time on stuff. I had a bigger vision for my life. Honestly clutter felt like a ball-and-chain around my ankle. I wanted to make more room for worthwhile things that are intangible, not just more stuff I had to manage. ~ Melissa Michaels, Make Room For What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying

To determine your purpose, answer the following questions . . .

  • What kind of environment do you want at home? What emotions do you want to experience at home?
  • What matters most to you for your home?
  • What is clutter preventing you from doing in your life? In your home?
  • What worthwhile, intangible things do you want to pursue in your life? In your home?

“The endgame is how this new way [of decluttered] living makes you feel, how it allows you to operate, and what it inspires you to do next.” ~ Fay Wolf, New Order: A Decluttering Handbook For Creative Folks (and everyone else)

Your Turn . . . What is your purpose for decluttering? As you answered the above questions, were any of your answers a surprise?

Day 22 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Back in my work office. Man, oh, man, do the papers ever PILE up.

Related Resources . . .

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. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

 

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MORE vs less: Decluttering My Fantasy Self

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MORE vs less: Does This Belong in My Dream Home?

Day 3 – Decluttered a pile of papers – no surprises.

This one question is helping me purge with clarity. 

“Anytime I’m not sure about whether or not I should toss something [or if I even want to toss something], I close my eyes and think of my dream home, would this item make it into my dream house, if I were ever lucky enough to get it?” ~ If It’s Clutter… Quick Tips for Decluttering the Home by Kim Rinehart

My dream home would be a Hobbit Hole or Tiny Home as near the ocean as possible. Both of these spaces are small. And to live comfortably my belongings need to be thoughtfully considered and few. I like the idea that I am decluttering with my future, dream home in mind.

Day 3 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Decluttered a pile of papers, I did not find anything fun, unexpected, or nothing to-do. But I am one pile of papers down.

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 . . . Ponder the question in the title of this post. What do you think about that? . . . How did your decluttering go on Day 3?

Related Post . . .  31 Days of Finishing: Advance Your Dreams

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MORE vs less: How to Think Clutter-Free

Day 2 – I am on track with decluttering 31 minutes a day.

Did you know that a person who doesn’t have issues with stuff thinks differently from someone who does? I’ve never thought about that before. But Lorie Marrero, author of The Clutter Diet has. She shares five such thoughts in this video,

Here is a one sentence description of the thoughts. Watch the whole 5 minute video (below) to get the explanations.

  1. Boy Scout Rule – Leave every space better than you find it.
  2. Clutter Goggles – Use these to see what the area REALLY looks like.
  3. Future Self – Declutter for the happiness of your future self because she will appreciate it
  4. One More Thing – At the end of the day, do one more thing NOW to make tomorrow more efficient and easier.
  5. The Heisman Habit – Be protective about what comes into your home.

This morning while I was in the bathroom, I was thinking about these 5 rules especially The Boy Scout Rule. I thought, “I can apply that one right now.” So I tossed a round hair brush (which I never use) and a shower brush that is ancient.

I am one thought closer to thinking clutter-free.

Day 2 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I started out by the area by the front door: the catch-all bowl, the hooks for coats, and the box for shoes.

  • The catch-all bowl had 50,000 keys. WHY? I tossed them as I evidently don’t need them. I either replaced them or someone gave me a key. However, I am so tempted to make this key snowman ornament. Maybe I should get the keys out of the trash before it is too late.
  • The hooks had a sweater and suit jacket that don’t belong there. I hung these up in my closet.
  • I think I am going to get rid of this box. Besides holding shoes it has umbrellas and reusable shopping bags. Surely there is a better place for these items.

Then I decluttered the side table by my bed. I tossed lots of paper. And I found a pile of notecards. WHY do I have so many of these types of items? The best thing is that I found some mad money. I will put this towards my vacation at the end of the month.

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 . . . Which of the 5 thoughts that Lorie Morreno shared stand out? . . . How did your decluttering go today?

Related Post . . . Checking Your Heart for Leaf Scars

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MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering – Introduction

#Write31Days starts today, October 1st.  100’s of bloggers will write every day on a single topic.

  • Some bloggers will complete projects and write about their experience.
  • Some bloggers will write on a pre-assigned topic.

2017 WRITE 31 DAYS CATEGORIES

  • Family Life
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food, Health & Wellness
  • House & Home
  • Hobbies & Goals
  • Inspiration & Faith
  • Instagram Series (for micro-bloggers)
  • Simplicity & Organizing
  • Too Awesome to Categorize
  • Writing, Blogging & Tech Stuff

My category is Simplicity & Organizing. And the project that I will write about is 31 days of decluttering.

  • Every day I will declutter for 31 minutes.
  • And every day I will write about this topic.
  • Sometimes I will write about the specifics of my decluttering.
  • Sometimes I will share resources.
  • Sometimes I will share tips.
  • At the end I will see whether my home/life/calendar is different.

WHY am I doing this?

I need it. Despite the fact that I’ve participated in other decluttering challenges, I still have too much stuff. Will this be different? I don’t know. But this time I have identified my “why” my goals for why I want less and not MORE in my home.

I have two goals.

  1. I want to live in a smaller place like a Hobbit Home or a Tiny House. Either one requires that I own less stuff.
  2. I want to be able to leave home more often and more easily. I’d like to visit the grand kiddos, go on extended mission trips and visit more places around the world. Having less stuff to keep track of makes those things easier to accomplish.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

Day 1 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = The bookcase by the front door. It was CROWDED and messy. I set the timer for 31 minutes and actually kept at it until the project was done. There is even an empty space on the bottom for library books and videos. Tomorrow I will return borrowed books, go to the Good Will and take out the trash. This bookcase is decluttered!

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.

Your Turn . . . Are you participating in #Write31Days this year? If yes, be sure to leave your link . . . Are you in need of a dcluttering challenge group or encouragement? Look no further. Let me know if you’d like to be part of the private FaceBook group.

Related Posts . . .

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