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This thread is intended for discussion as well as support for those who wish their both their inner and outer lives to become more organized, productive, peaceful, and happy.
Rebecca“We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.” ― John Wesley
So I've been "eating the elephant" over the past few days to try to get my life back in order, and more organized and productive, and thought it would be neat to have a thread dedicated to this sort of thing for anyone and everyone in the same boat. I'll likely revise the thread summary at some point to be more descriptive, but as I don't ordinarily create threads and didn't want to keep procrastinating on this idea, I went ahead and just created the thread!
I've figured out that paper calendars, planners, etc. don't work well for me, so over the past week or so, I've set up a bunch of things on Google Calendar, Tasks, and Keep. I sorted through, decluttered, shredded, and organized ALL the papers I'd had around the house, and have been working on my "office" room in general. I have a couple of printer stands waiting to be put together...one for an actual printer that has just been sitting on the floor in the way, and the other a small under-desk sort that will replace the plastic milk crate that I've been using for my woofer and backup UPS, router, and cable modem. I'm still not entirely sure how I want to organize these to make them both accessible and not looking like a jumble of devices, but this little printer stand should help.
I'm also trying to slowly get into some daily and weekly routines.
I'm also working on being very mindful about cleaning. I've never particularly hated cleaning, but would often get overwhelmed and let things go for days on end.
I've been reading a book called A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind that has been giving me a good bit of inspiration in this area! Apparently, they clean a LOT in Zen monasteries.
I've been doing some cleaning. I was shocked by the amount of paper I had. I've been putting my shredder to work. I was also shocked by how many toys I have so no more toys until I make more space. I have some cool stuff with nowhere to put it.
I thrown out a bunch of useless stuff like a scanner. My printer has a scanner that I never use. No need for two. Gave away a razor scooter I only rode twice before getting a better one. Tossed a bunch of game controllers that I will never use again. Got rid of a large number of game cases and a few games that I now own on steam or other places.
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The paper just keeps coming and will start piling up again in less that a WEEK if one is not vigilant at staying on top of it. I wish I could just cancel all the daily mail with the exception of anything that I've ordered or asked for as a start.
It seems like the more I work on getting things decluttered and organized again, the worse the house looks. I *know* that ultimately it will look the opposite, but I have so many boxes of things that need to be put together all over the floors on top of all of the dust and everything, but I just keep plugging away at it little by little. Finally finished putting a wheelbarrow together today, so perhaps it will help me in getting the outside sorted without having to bend over so much to pick up things.
Last night I conked out at 6pm and was in bed until 11am this morning, so my daily routines I set up are already off kilter, and I still have a lot to do this week for an online class I'm taking.
I put up one of these little keyholder things next to the front door because I've been trying to take my shoes off at the door and put on at the door and then realize once I've put the shoes on, I forgot to get my keys and sunglasses in the dish in the other room where I'd been keeping them. So I'm going to try keeping them near the door.
In the last month I've probably *thrown out over half of my collected amassed things from the last 10+ years. Some of this stuff I carted up here to Canada in the first place just to store and end up throwing it away now, so I know it was the right choice.
Due to the mixed bag of feelings of this divorce, there's a lot of stuff I probably should have tossed that I'm not ready to let go of, yet. Those are things I need time and distance to process, and they will be dealt with at that time. For now, I take comfort in their sentiment.
What I now ave could have probably all fit in the back of a pickup truck if it wasn't about to be winter in Manitoba. Just mailed it all in the post instead. It really helped to assign monetary value to weight; I literally will have to pay for everything I choose to keep. I feel I want to look at slowly reducing and simplifying to someday achieve something of a minimalist lifestyle.
I'm gravitating towards small. Small, long-lasting, well crafted. Organized. Clean. Austere. It calms me in a way I used to fear made me seem boring. Thankfully, I'm nearly forty and give 0 f*cks anymore.
As a former interior design snob I love it, I love konmari, and I will fight anyone who feels the need to tear it or Marie Kondo down right now. Let her thrive, she did a good thing.
*includes recycling, donating, and giving away.
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I've been wanting to see Marie Kondo's series on Netflix, but I only have Amazon Prime Video, so perhaps one day! I have read her book though after seeing it recommended somewhere a couple or so years ago as one of my favorite categories of books to read are about decluttering, organizing, simple living, and the like. (Back in the 90's, I had a collection of every Don Aslett cleaning/decluttering book he wrote as well as a few others lined up on the bookshelf and people would visit and laugh that I had so many books on decluttering cluttering my shelves.
I do have Kondo's book on Kindle though. Found it for $1.99 during a daily deal.
I can't imagine why anyone would want to tear Marie Kondo down. I love how respectful she is of her and others space and the things that "spark joy".
I first started decluttering after I moved out of my parents' home and I took what seemed like half the house with me. I grew up in a cluttered environment (though not anywhere near like hoarders) because my mom didn't like to throw away anything that was still good, especially if it seemed valuable or we paid good money for it, so rather than get into an argument about it, I would just stuff it in the closet or wherever there was space.
Then once I moved and was in a much smaller apartment, all the stuff and boxes did look almost like something out of a Hoarders episode, and I started slowly getting rid of things and would read decluttering books for motivation and inspiration.
I've gone through many waves of it over the course of my life, and only in a very few cases have I regretted something I've gotten rid of. This sort of regret would occur when I would declutter for the wrong reasons. For example, my anxiety would crank up to insane levels and I was convinced in my mind that I was teetering on the border of homelessness, and since I would be driven from my home when it happened, there was no point in having anything and so I would just go through and slash and burn, and so I wasn't making rational decisions about much of anything at the time. Even so, I still didn't really get rid of anything completely irreplaceable, but I ended up using up more money to buy back some things later.
I still get these pangs of anxiety, but it's been decades and I still haven't been driven to the point of homelessness, so I have allowed myself more things simply because I enjoy having them around me, but after having gone through a couple or three years of having extremely low energy as well as anxiety over yet more major life transition and menopause on top of that, things began to pile up, get disorganized, get dirty, etc. and so now I have another big job to tackle.
I can't start in the closet though like Kondo recommends. I've gained weight and still have hopes of getting it back down again once the hormones are more settled and so I'm putting that off until later when I'm not reminded of the last time I got rid of nearly my entire closet and then spent a few years literally having nothing to wear when income was also drastically down.
But I have a lot of other areas to work on and tend to use a mixture of cleaning and decluttering methods that I've picked up over the years.