Saturday, February 23, 2019

Physical limitations to Decluttering

My biggest obstacle to decluttering has always been physical.  I know others who have the same problem.  So, if physical limitations are holding you back, enlist the help of a family member or that rare willing roll-up-their-sleeves friend. 

Take it slow, bite off small chunks of that big task.  Celebrate small successes because tomorrow is another day.  Tackle something else then or continue working on your current "small chunk."

However, just because decluttering is daunting right now, do not add to the current clutter.  Maintain the status quo (yep, spoiler alert, cleaning required) and try to do at least one additional decluttering bite or area each day.

I might be a turtle instead of a rabbit, but I’m slowly doing the “get ‘er done” thing.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Living Life Abundantly

 Are you living life abundantly, or are you just coasting along?

Do you wake up in the morning and take the time to meditate/pray?
Did you count your many blessings, upon waking up today?
You have family and friends, and get together now and then.
You can read and you can write (with paper and a pen.)

You have a roof over your head and food on the table.
For the things you have to do, you are certainly able.
“But, what about my limitations,” you might surely ask.
I say, “You are up to it, you can do the task!”

Remember, there are countless others not as blessed as you.
And you can ask for help from a family friend or two.
If you find you are blessed with too many things,
Then you can share with others, it is simpler than it seems.

Make your home simpler, cut down on all the chores
As you watch the many blessings, walk right out the door
To be shared with others, who have a greater need
For sharing is a blessing, and you are a friend indeed.

Thank you, my dear friend, for just staying in touch,
Throughout your life, may you always have enough!
Please keep following, leave a comment or two,
‘Cause I’d like to really keep in contact with you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Papers, bills, books, oh my!

Paper Problem …not only Bills

Although you may be able to, I have never been good at setting a goal of getting rid of a set number of items, such as 10 magazines, flyers, catalogues, newspapers, etc. per day or week or month.  I can only let things go as they come in or tackle a month’s worth of mail in a big group.

If incoming paper mail and catalogues are not in a designated spot in one room,
gather all paper/mail types from all your rooms into one area.  Then sort properly into bins, totes, trashcans or pin to a bulletin board.

□ All (out-of place) Books    
    If books go into different areas, sort into appropriate tagged room totes/bags/bin.

□ Bills, Envelopes, Notes    [Backlog?  Sort by year, initially]
            □ Recycle
            □ Shred
            □ Respond (Enter amounts into checkbook, pay)
            □ File (action completed)
            □ Bulletin board (action needed by date)

□ All magazines
            □ Recycle all but latest 3, 2, or 1
            □ Unsubscribe to magazines that are no longer of "interest" in your daily life.
            □ Reroute them to a local library, senior center, women's group, etc.

□ All Sales Catalogues 
            □ Recycle all but latest, date it with large marker
           □ Unsubscribe from hard copy catalogues, most are available online anyway. 
               If you do not see the sales and "savings" coupons, it is easier not to "shop."

□ All Flyers                             
            □ Shred old/not-interested
            □ Pin upcoming relevant flyers to board

□ Other mail: on all that mail offering you anything with free return postage
            □ Write "void, cancel, remove from contact list" in the place for your signature
            □ Drop it in the return mail
            □ Repeat process until the incoming mail stops
            □ Or call the toll free number, and ask to have your contact information deleted

Combinations of the preceding steps will help keep the clutter of paper down and additional paper clutter from entering the home. You will have more free time for yourself, family, and friends. 
The preceding actions worked for me.  I no longer have incoming magazines for myself.  I recently talked hubby into unsubscribing one of his incoming magazines.

PS: Now for my dirty little secret, I have six bookcases, full of books.  Yes, I know that is a lot; however, the bookcases now contain the limits of what I allow myself to keep.  No more boxes of books on top of the bookcases, or books three deep in the bookcases.  No more books stacked on the floor or books scattered into multiple rooms, etc.

That is not to say, that I have beaten my attraction for books.  Hubby bought me a Kindle a couple of years ago--thousands of free books within the space of only one book. This changed the location of my newest book additions to one that is more manageable.

In closing, create a home for your paperwork, magazines, and books.  Stay on top of maintaining order as they come into your home.  Be sure to take reduction action at least once a month.

In addition, if paper accumulation is not your weakness, create a home for your current roaming “collection.”  Maintain order as your new treasures come into your home.  Set boundaries and limits.  Your cleaning “genes” will thank you!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Could this be you?

I am S.A.D.

No, it is not what you think!  I am Seeking Aid Decluttering!

Have you figured out yet that keeping yourself accountable is a sure way to get your goals accomplished?  How many times have you finished a project at the last minute because it needs doing immediately?  Do you seek activities that take you away from doing a stated goal?  Do you say, “yes,” to helping others, knowing that there is no way that you will be able to deliver on that promise.  You, my friend, are the problem; or rather, your attitude is the problem.

I have been there.  Judge me guilty.  However, I do not have to be the same today and tomorrow as I was yesterday.  God has given me the ability to change, to grow, to seek help when necessary.  It always begins with me, myself, and I.  I must change my perspective.  As I seek inspiration, I must ask for help.  I must do positive things for the ones whose lives I touch as well as myself.

“That’s a lot of I’s,” you are thinking.  You are right.  However, here is the thing…I am responsible for the decisions that I make.  [That is just the way things are.]  In addition, therefore by inference, you are responsible for the decisions you make.

“How do you figure that?” you might ask.

Make the bed or not?
Put the dirty clothes/towels in the hamper or not?
Check the email or do the laundry?
Cook lunch or go shopping?
Keep a promise or do something else instead?
Shall I cancel on a friend because something else came up?

Our lives are about promises kept or broken, whether to others or ourselves.  Therefore, I am S.A.D. [I’m Seeking Aid Decluttering.], because if I stay on track every day, and do what I should each day, in my house and for my family, we all win in the process.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Swedish Death Cleaning?

Have you heard about Swedish Death Cleaning?

Swedish Death Cleaning is actually a method of decluttering and cleaning.  You get rid of things that you currently no longer want or need, while you are here, so that other people will not have to after you die. Read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” (January 2018, Scribner), Margareta Magnusson.

Personally, I think it is a combination of many different methods of dealing with everyday household items.  You do it so that family or loved ones do not have the task of dealing with your stuff after you die.  It also makes sense that you do it before you reach a point in your life that you need to downsize or possibly move into the care of a family member, assisted living, or nursing home.  You need to do it while you are mentally capable of making decisions and can do the work yourself.

I remember when both of my husband’s parents went into a nursing home.  As the closest son, he had to deal with all their accumulated household items, property, and legal stuff---a nightmare.  His parents really did not have the time, energy, or capability of dealing with many of the necessary decisions during this stage in their lives.  Hubby used open communication with his father, a joint written will, joint power-of-attorney, a health care power-of- attorney, physical work, and volunteered family help to deal with the challenge.

After all this happened, unknowingly, I started doing the Swedish Death Cleaning Method in my own home.  It is an ongoing process.  Polly Wilson’s Method (my mom’s method) has always been my way of decluttering/cleaning.  Now, 60 years later, I am finding the famous Konmarie Method mirrors my mom’s method with certain aspects of Swedish Death Cleaning being included.  The best takeaway that I have from the Peter Walsh Method is this; only buy something for which you have a need and a space (home) for within your home.

Over the years, I have enjoyed the many DIY decluttering programs on television and all the makeovers.  I have now developed my own Adaptive Organization Method including a One Minute Maintenance Challenge.  It is a combination of personally employed methods in my life. 

The best thing is this, no matter which method(s) you choose, “getting up off that thing” and “getting it done” makes life so much simpler for you, your family, your loved ones, and your friends.  In closing, pick what organizational/decluttering method works for you best.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Play!  Live!  Enjoy!