Monday, December 22, 2008

Focus Challenge - Month 10

This month's Focus Challenge comes during the time that a person who struggles with mental clutter would identify as a "difficult" time of year. I'm not knowledgeable on the traditions of all religions and all cultures, but I am guessing that most of us are celebrating during this season by exchanging gifts in some way.

After working on ourselves and our spaces for many months to slowly (one-item-a-day) release clutter from our lives, this may be the time of year when we could take in a whole lot more. I say could because the choice is ours. There is no guilt allowed here in the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge...whether in decluttering past clutter or present clutter!

We'll receive an item and go through the wrenching dance between our mind and heart, or even between us and others, about whether we should keep the item. If, instead, we feel positive feelings and the sentence reads, "We'll receive an item and feel ___ (positive feeling here)", the end result will undeniably be we will keep the item.

For experiences that have a "should", realize that you've given up the power of your choice to clutter...both physical and mental!

An end result with a "will" in it is most importantly a decision of your own choosing. A much better way of living, don't you agree?

Hopefully, we have been taught civilized manners and are gracious when receiving a gift. Regardless of it feeling like clutter, mental or otherwise, we know (or are learning) that we are not obligated to accept mental clutter attached to a gift. And, we are already gaining momentum in purging physical clutter from our life. We won't be stopped by this physical clutter.

Only in a private moment with ourselves, after showing kindness to the gift-giver for their thoughtfulness, do we choose to allow the gift into our life or choose to let the clutter go.

Your Focus Challenge is to focus your decluttering efforts for the next month on mental decluttering. For now, it will be on gifts. As the new year begins, with a newer "you" than the last, you will also be setting up a foundation for purging even more clutter from your life.

Happy Holidays to you. Here's to an even Happier New Year!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

More on Defining Clutter...

A good question was recently posted in the comments on Focus Challenge - Month 9.

Sometimes, items put away nice and neatly stay under the Decluttering Radar or confuse us. I thought this would be a good post for most of us to read, just to make sure our Decluttering Radars are still charged up and ready. :-)

My answer follows Jacqui's question. What do you think? Do they count as clutter? I'd love to hear your input!

Jacqui said...

Do boxes stored in the attic and in the garage count as clutter? =) I have a hard time letting go. It's definitely getting easier since I'm running out of room to neatly store things out of sight. I'm mostly an "a place for everything, everything in it's place" person. But with the kids accumulating more things and with my sewing obsession (without a room to put it in), its getting harder to store them neatly. My daughter has no problem letting go of most things, but my son is more like me. Of course Mike would just like to see it all go. LOL

Blogger Suzanne said...

Jacqui: First, hello my long-lost friend!!! :-)

Clutter is any thing you don't Love, Want, Need or Use. Defining your own things as clutter or not is only a decision you can make.

Items stored in boxes, whether in an attic, garage, on a closet shelf or just on the floor are only clutter if they don't meet the above criteria.

Meaning...
- Do you want them? This is probably yes, since you've taken care to store them away. But, sometimes, this is the easiest question to answer because we surprise ourselves and realize that, no, we don't want them. So, out it must go!

- Do you use these things? If no, then they are clutter. Decide to use them and do it, or realize that you need less physical clutter in your life and let them go. When you purge the physical clutter, the mental clutter follows it out the door. Imagine, not having the friction against Mike's desires and your own, not forgetting what you have and spending money on more, not feeling emotional mental clutter about it (see next item), etc.

- Do you love them...or do they make you sad, feel guilty, make your life feel inadequate (as in you wish you had time for other interests, but don't, and these things just remind you of that dissatisfaction), etc.? If they bring on unhappy feelings, they are clutter.

- Do you need them? If they are used and loved, then think about whether you need them. For example: Say you have one of something in your kitchen but have another that a relative gave you. That one isn't really your favorite so you put it away for "special occasions". If you bring it out and use it, then only you can decide whether its useful in your life to have a duplicate of something. If you are only keeping the second because of mental clutter, let it go. Find it a better home. Selling or giving things to someone who WILL use, love, need and want them will not be clutter to them, as they were to you.

Happy Decluttering!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Focus Challenge - Month 9

While reading The psychology of clutter by Heather Grimshaw in the Denver Post, the picture really stood out to me. I feel like this, because I can't get on to the next thing. I have looked at some items, knowing they are clutter by definition, but have not been able to drop the ax on them. Why? It's that mental clutter.

(Maureen Scance, The Denver Post)

I firmly believe that mental clutter, in all its forms, can hinder our lives just like physical clutter, and even body clutter. If you haven’t read the blog tagline in awhile, I'll put it right here so you can.

Clutter comes in many forms--sometimes obvious and sometimes not. Physical clutter is obvious, although defining it is a personal opinion. Mental clutter manifests itself into visual clutter. When you purge the physical clutter, the mental clutter will follow it out the door!

You’ve done fantastic dealing with the physical clutter in your life. Do you want to work on some of the mental clutter too? If so, I’m going to lay out my Focus Challenge…I’ll also add a simpler, "basic physical clutter" one for those who don’t want to join in.

Our Focus Challenge


Examine physical items of clutter that have been able to stay around because of a mental clutter hold, whether it was because of sentimentality (i.e., missing someone), practicality (I can't get another like this if I want it again later), etc.

Is there a way to retain it but in an uncluttered way? For example, if it's a fabric item, do you really need to keep the item in its entirety or could you keep a swatch of it?

If it's not the item itself that you cherish, but the memory that it invokes, can you keep a picture of the item?

What about the mental "have to, should do, etc." that has been placed on the item, whether by others or ourselves? Do you "have to" keep this dish from Aunt Sally? If you feel it is a yes, do what you can to make it a cherished keepsake. Treat it with respect by displaying it yourself, or loaning it to a family member who will, instead of being destined to live its life buried in a box in the attic or closet.

Our Focus Challenge Lite

Examine these 7 areas of your home for clutter. Hopefully, you find an item that needs to go and you say "goodbye". Then celebrate another day of staying true to your challenge!

* Any flat surface in your home (i.e. tops of tables)
* Non-refrigerated food storage (Got canned food to donate to a food bank?)
* Any area hidden by a door that is not a room (i.e. cabinets, desk, etc.)
* Your room (This is our private sanctuary...what's in there that shouldn't be?)
* Your vehicle (Taking along extra stuff in the car reduces fuel mileage!)
* On you (anything that would go on you, i.e. skin care, makeup, accessories, clothing...)
* Seasonal (more holiday item decluttering...or even just decluttering a holiday obligation!)

I would really appreciate reading feedback on your thoughts about us working on purging mental clutter from our life.

Regardless of which Focus Challenge you accept, you can do this! Let's stay focused on our challenge!


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Focus Challenge – Month 8

We've been decluttering our way through spring, summer and now we're into autumn. As the weather in my area has done an abrupt about-face and went from 90 degree days to 60/70 degree days PLUS cold wind in the last week, I am suddenly feeling very autumn inspired.

It wasn't so last year. I'm kinda excited! Last year I was not in the holiday mood, did almost nothing to decorate our home and even let holiday gift-giving sneak up on me...anyone who truly knows me understands that I buy holiday gifts during the year and have only little things to buy after Thanksgiving. So, this year, I've signed up for The Holiday Countdown to inspire me via babysteps to gear up for the festive season.

Many of us have decorated for Autumn, Halloween and maybe even Thanksgiving already. If you've not done so and want to, c'mon, join us! Let's illuminate our spaces with little touches of the season to give thanks for the harvests; to enjoy the time of gatherings between friends, families and neighbors; and to celebrate the end of another year.

Let's use this inspiration for our Focus Challenge this month.

1) If you've got your holiday things here, there and everywhere, spend 15 minutes each day to bring it all together. If you've already decorated, look for stuff that you did not put out--odds are good there is a reason for it.

2) As you find things, give them the "clutter or not" once over. Do you love it?...Want it?...Use it?

If not, declare the item to be your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge item of the day and celebrate another day that you stayed true to your challenge!

For those who haven't decorated and want bonus points, choose a holiday decor item that passed the clutter or not test and put it up. ;-)

3) After all of your holiday stuff has been given a once-over, start thinking of a central way of storing it after the season. There's no use having to start at Step 1 (bringing it all together) next year.

- Do you have adequate containers, shelf space, etc. to store it together?
- Do you want to separate Autumn decor from the Halloween decor? Or separate Thanksgiving from Christmas, etc?
- Do you want to put everything that gets put up first during the season into one container or in one place? If so, maybe having the containers or spaces labeled as one, two, three, etc. will help you out next year.
- Can your holiday gift wrapping supplies be stored together and away from your regular gift wrapping supplies?
- How about storing seasonal cookware, cookbooks, etc, together and away from your everyday kitchen stuff?

No matter the task, my thought process is this: don't let stuff overrun me.

Since we are trying to declutter our homes, it makes sense to declutter our seasonal stuff too. If we use it/love it/want it, then we should take care to have it around for the next year. Use this season to declutter and give yourself the gift of order next year!


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Focus Challenge – Month 7

Please, take this moment to give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for all of the decluttering progress you have made in your life. WOW, over 200 days that we've been changing our life for the better and over 200 pieces of clutter that have been evicted from our life. WTG, I'm so proud of us!

You are over halfway through your challenge and are probably a changed person on both the inside and the outside. I bet your eyes are more tuned to identifying clutter and your Motivation Meter is going strong. The clutter doesn't stand a chance!

Now that we're feeling pretty good and read to face our next month, let's do a Focus Challenge! I bet a lot of the clutter that was right out in the open has either been purged, repurposed (to not be clutter any more) or may soon be on its way out. Let's focus on hidden clutter for the next 7 days.

Here are 7 areas to check for your daily decluttering item. If you find and declutter something there, great, because you're done with your challenge for the day! If not, you'll just have to keep looking for one thing to declutter that day. ;-)

* Outside space

* Purse and/or diaper bag

* Desk/dresser drawer in any bedroom besides your own

* Trunk of vehicle

* Refrigerator door

* Magazine rack or bookcase

* Least used kitchen cabinet

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Focus Challenge – Month 6

Can you believe that we are at the halfway point? Wow! Awesome! Yay!

H a p p y ~ M o n t h . 6 ~ A n n i v e r s a r y !

How would you describe your journey so far? In what ways have you grown & changed in a positive way by accepting and staying true to your challenge? Are there areas where you feel that you still struggle and, if so, how can we help you through those? What are your proudest moments about how your decluttering journey has improved your life?

For me, my decluttering journey has taught me that I can indeed do something routinely. It has also shown me that clutter is much worse than everyday dirt & grime, in that clutter has the biggest impact on making my home look dirty or relatively presentable. I would have never come to that realization without accepting my own 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge.

My biggest area of weakness is feeling alone in my challenge. I *know* there are many 365 Challengers out there. However, that doesn't help keep me motivated since you are all virtual friends. You can't stop by and declutter with me. You won't know if I *really* am staying true to my challenge....and for some of us, I know that the lack of accountability is something we struggle against. And, since many of you are not posting a comment on the blog every now and again, sharing your successes & struggles, I feel alone. If you find yourself with a minute, I would greatly appreciate you taking a moment to post a few thoughts to us all. I bet I'm not the only one who would get a motivational boost from it!

My proudest moment is the change in my perspective, by learning to define clutter and to realize that I need peace more than stuff.

So, how would you describe your journey so far?

For a really special anniversary such as this, I gotta give you all a HUGE gift...a la Focus Challenge! To keep our fun spirit of adventure burning and to even bring out the kid in all of us, let's do a Scavenger Hunt. Here's a fabulous list of possible clutter hiding in your home, that is just hoping you'll never find it with your newfound decluttering eyes!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Edited to add...

I put the Scavenger Hunt list in Word so that I could use it to keep track. I'm shading the square in purple and changing the font to white. I know, I'm a little ehhhh, LOL! Anyways, it looks pretty with the 2 colored squares that I've got right now and it will be fun to see more purple than white squares eventually!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's what I propose:
  1. Print the list.
  2. Alter the list, if needed (for example, making a substitution for sippy cups if you don't have children).
  3. Review the list each day to choose an item to find and declutter.
  4. Find it. Put it in your Donation Station or do as usual for your regular decluttered item of the day.
  5. Mark the spot--put an X on the spot, apply a sticker, color it with a highlighter, etc.
Now, a SH can be as easy or as hard as you make it. We are fun-loving and adventurous people, who love a little challenge, are we not? ;-)

Just don't let perfectionism frustrate you because you don't find every single thing. If you find yourself feeling that way, I want you to turn that attitude around and pat yourself on the back for every single item that you do find. Promise?

As you make your way through your Scavenger Hunt, you can even post "I found 5!" and we will celebrate right alongside you. And on it goes as you post "I found 10!", "I found 15!", etc., with a final post declaring your Scavenger Hunt grand total.

Enjoy your Scavenger Hunt Focus Challenge! I wish you all another awesome and successful 6 months of your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge!!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'd Rather Stay Home From Work and De-junk

The words below were from a post on the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge running on a Delphi forum that was the point of origination for our little challenge here. These thoughts were shared by Jan during the early days of our challenge. I loved them so much that I saved them. Sometimes, I like to find and read them. When I'm feeling the need for a kick in the pants, because my Motivation Meter is lagging, that is. ;-)

Actually, it is easier than I expected.

Purging one thing a day, that is.

At first I was thinking long term - 365 days!

Impossible!

But, taking it one day at a time is simple.

I got up this morning and purged two small things.

This is getting infectious.

I'd rather stay home from work and de-junk.

There is still room in the trash can, and tomorrow is garbage day.

Look out hobby room.

My reply to her was...See? Sometimes it's just taking one step and then another, and figuring out where you're going after that. :-)

So, let's keep going, just by taking babysteps and decluttering one thing each day. You're doing terrific!

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Halloween Costumes

If you're like me, you really want to buy an awesome costume for your child to wear but you don't want to pay so much. Unless they'll play dress-up in it during the year, you can save it for a younger child to wear next year, etc., it's a lot of money to spend on a one-time use object!

On Lisa's Twisted Blog, I saw her link for a great deal at BuyCostumes.com. So, thank you Lisa, and now I'm going to post it here to share with you all as well.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Get to Know More About Me

I admit, when I see "Get to Know Me" kind of posts in blogs I think "Glad it's you and not me". I also cringe about having to fill out the email forwards from my friends. I still do it. Why? Well, I did find out something by reading theirs and it helps me to keep expanding a bit past my comfort level. As a very shy person growing up, who decided I'd had enough of that at age 15, I have adopted expanding my comfort zone as a bit of a personal endeavor.

This time it was Journeyer's Chronicles that tagged me and it was fun to get to know her. I enjoy her blog so much and feel honored that she chose to tag me. So, here I am, answering my questions.

What were you doing 10 years ago?


Let's see...July 1998. I was 23 and at a turning point in life. My boyfriend and I had been together for a few days shy of 3 years; endured a very torturous year long separation while we were both in the U.S. Marine Corps that had begun only 6 months into our relationship; had been living together for a year and a half; and had already started accumulating debt together (credit cards, car loan).

Yet, he didn't think we were ready for marriage. I had always let the issue drop but, at about this time, I began to strongly feel that we needed to do it or realize that we were just wasting time. And, I believe that life is short. It didn't help that my older step-sister had announced her engagement a month before...to a man she'd known for 8 months...for a wedding the following June.

After a few weeks of discussions, he understood that I was very serious and we decided it was time to get married. My close friends know that I love math, "see" math in everyday things (ex: I play Yahtzee...roll three 6's, one 2 and one 4...and secretly think, "Cool, four 6's" ;-) and that this carries over to dates, as well. I pitched 9/8/98 to him, only half joking. I swear, I saw sweat on his brow! I begrudgingly agreed that date left so little time to plan. We had no financial help from family (my portion went to step-sister because my step-mom controls the money, grr) and had almost no money, so you can see by my two-weeks-away-wedding-date that it wasn't going to be a grand affair. I zeroed in on 1/9/99 and he was powerless to deter me. Finally, he agreed. He did admit that it would be a very simple date for him to remember!

Five things on your to do list

* Make a delivery (I'm a Mary Kay Ind. Beauty Consultant)
* Finish moving stuff from old computer to new computer
* Add some feng shui touches to my laundry room (family)
* Catch up on subscriptions emails (was gone on vacation)
* Wash my car

What snacks do you like?
* Nuts
* Fruit
* String cheese
* Chocolate

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

I would get a divorce, buy and furnish a new house, buy a closet full of clothing for my children and I. Then I would learn a lot about money management because I know nothing about having a lot of money. Once we were secure, I would gift some to everyone I know. And, since the money management would have included allocating enough money in the right care to handle the rest of our life's expenses, I would start looking at charitable organizations and efforts that I think would benefit from financial assistance. I'm sure there would be a lot left but I'm at a loss as to where it would go.

Three bad habits

* I yell in frustration
(thankfully, not a life-long habit--just one that has developed in the last few years because of stress...I am optimistic that when that stressor is out of my life, my calmer self will return)
* I hate flossing
* I don't estimate enough time and run late a lot

Five places you have lived

* My parents' home
* My mom's home
* My dad's home
* In 4 rental homes
* In a home I own

Five jobs you’ve had

* Asst. Manager of a photo studio
* Wal-Mart cashier
* Senior file clerk (at a bank's headquarters)
* Directory Assistance (411 operator)
* Secretary to the Commissioner

How did you name your blog?

I prefer less "structure" and "have to" in my day but wanted to begin having more routines in my life as far as decluttering and general home care. I decided to challenge myself to declutter one thing each day for 365 days because decluttering is a fairly easy thing for me to do...it would have been nuts for me to commit to cleaning every day for 365 days! I asked friends on the FlyLadies & More Forum if they'd take their own decluttering challenge and keep me company. It was such a positive influence in our lives that I created a blog about it to reach more people. :-)

Now you've gotten to know more about me and it's time to choose 3 people I'd like to know more about. I've chosen 365 Days of Decluttering Challenger blogs that I enjoy reading. If you've done one of these lately and I missed it, I apologize. And, of course, there's no pressure to participate.

House Takeout * Me, My House and I * My Little Cowboys

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Favorite Quote

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
~ William Morris

I love the quote above. It is a wonderfully simple way to say "have no clutter" because I don't know of anyone who thinks that clutter is beautiful.

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Focus Challenge - Month 5

It's anniversary time once again. We have been going strong on our own challenges for approximately 5 months now.

How ya feeling? Are you inspired by the challenge to keep the decluttering going now as a lifestyle instead of a fad diet? Do you feel you've grown through all of your hard work to keep true to your challenge and declutter an item each and every day? I hope you are feeling those things and more.

Congratulations to you all! You are doing awesome.

How about we play a word game for our next Focus Challenge? For the next seven days, use the letters in the word C-L-U-T-T-E-R to inspire your decluttering. You can declutter something that starts with one of the letters (ex: cup, catalog, canned food...and so on for each of the letters), look in a location that starts with one of the letters (ex: cabinet, car, closet...and so on), etc.

Have fun with this...and don't forget to post your decluttering finds so we can enjoy your puzzle too! :-)

C =
L =
U =
T =
T =
E =
R =

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tally Tuesday – July 1

I'm on vacation this week and boy does it show. Thankfully, I'm very behind on my computer time and way up on my family time. ;-)

* Decorative/gift box
* Toy dinosaur my son didn’t want and chose to give away
* Toy shark souvenir my son didn’t want and chose to give away
* My son’s Easter basket he didn’t want
* Another pancake mold (3 circles)
* Old kids meal toy
* Big bag of hair clips & bands (daughter doesn't like them in her hair)
* Costume jewelry of my mom's that my daughter used for dress up
* Hung a picture that has been waiting to be hung for 2 years
* Put up an iron wall hanging

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Tally Tuesday – June 24

LOTS of decluttering happening again this week!

* Uncomfortable shorts

* Bunny ears

* 2 more shirts my son chose to give away

* 2 shirts my daughter chose to give away (sweatshirt & sweater)

* Hat my daughter chose to give away

* Toy camera my daughter chose to give away

* Princess kitty that my daughter chose to give away

* 2 pair of my daughter’s pants

* Husband’s jacket
(He threw it in the coat closet on top of the Donation Station rather than hanging it—I thought he wanted to FINALLY get rid of it—He caught the mistake before it went to the charity but, thankfully, agreed to let it go)

* 3 promotional t-shirts my husband got from the dealership when he bought his work truck


Almost forgot the decluttering my husband has been doing in the garage and back yard. Here is his list:
- Desk
- Boat motor
- Rototiller
- Aqua Glass 34" Round Corner Shower Kit

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Focus Challenge - Month 4

Where did my weekend go? Anyways, I apologize for forgetting our Anniversary yesterday and not posting our Focus Challenge. It is a short & simple one this time.

What is the weirdest/craziest/silliest item that you have already looked at once during your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge and thought it was clutter AND KEPT? Have you progressed on your lighter & brighter journey to a new life and would consider flinging it now?

For me, it is a pair of shorts. They are the most uncomfortable thing I have ever worn and have been since I bought them last summer. I love the color and the design but oh.my.goodness are they cut so, so wrong for my body. They are jean shorts and I guess I've hoped that repeated wearing & washing would loosen them up. Or maybe I hoped I'd lose weight in just the right spot to make them fit.

I can't remember how many times that I have worn them, cursed at myself over & over while wearing them for picking them to wear that day, washed them AND HUNG THEM RIGHT BACK UP IN THE CLOSET. Why? I have no idea...because I am seriously not into torturing myself.

Well, what made this last wearing so different? This time, as I ended another long & miserable time of wearing them and thinking, yet again, that I really should get rid of them, I was doing so with a different perspective on my life and the things I choose to be in it. I have decluttered enough items now to realize fully and completely that I DESERVE to be surrounded with only what I use, love, want and need.

How about you? What is the most memorable item that you have considered decluttering along the way and just didn't bring yourself to do it? Are you ready to do it now? See what others have decluttered in their Focus Challenge.

Your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge is to rid yourself of 365 unwanted, unloved, unneeded and unused items in your life. Join me in releasing it and affirming to yourself that YOU DESERVE to be surrounded with only what you use, love, want and need!

I'd love it if you'd add a comment here to share your feeling of victory over your clutter with your fellow 365 Challengers. You will definitely be an inspiration and motivation to us all!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Going Paperless

My nemesis is paper clutter. During my 365 Days of Decluttering journey I have realized that I need to go paperless, electronic or any other way that inhibits paper clutter.

We have went to online banking, pay our bills online and receive any statement that allows it online. Now I am looking into budgeting. So, of course, I am paying attention to useful online methods.

The Pear Budget has caught my eye and I now see that Simple Mom is giving away a lifetime subscription to Pear Budget! As I am still learning about the pros & cons to each system, I can't speak for this particular system. However, free is wonderful, so I must share it with you all.

Entries must be received by Wednesday, June 25 at Midnight (PST). If you're even remotely interested in this great giveaway, don't procrastinate--go enter now!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tally Tuesday – June 17

Grandma “Mrs. Claus” that my son won as a raffle prize (last weekend, LOL!)

4 computer game disks

Remaining bag & half of clothes and shoes given to me by my sister

2 princess toys from Easter basket

2 toys my son didn’t want and chose to give away

2 shirts my son didn’t want and chose to give away

2 of my daughter’s outgrown capri pants

Picture I’ve been wanting to hang for a year


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tally Tuesday – June 10

8 kids meal toys

2 dress shirts

Real Simple magazine (I finally read it; left it in break room at work)

Paper clutter (my nemesis ~ yay me!) for my Mary Kay business

Gave away 8 foundations to MK friend (free to me but I can’t use)

Box found in closet for Yahtzee game that lives in our camping trailer

From clothes given to me by my sister: 3 tops, 1 jacket/skirt set


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Congratulations Challengers!

While reading an article on Time.com titled Ask the Experts: 5 Steps to Clutter-Free Living, I read the following:

If that seems too daunting, there's the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge, which has people promising to donate, sell or toss one unused item from their homes everyday for — you guessed it — a year.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you "people" who have accepted your own 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge by way of the FlyLadies & More forum, through this blog or by way of someone else's challenge!!

You have been noticed and recognized for your commitment! Keep going, you're doing terrific!

I am new to the blogging world and am just noticing the use of badges to signify participation in an event. I've created one for us to use too! If you'd like one personalized with your start date, just let me know. I hope you enjoy my present to you. :-)


Right click on the button image, choose "Save Image As" and save it to your computer. Upload it to your favorite hosting site...mine is Photobucket.com. Finally, paste the link to it (where it is hosted) in your blog.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tally Tuesday – June 3

There was a lot this week...

Silver tea set (tea pot, tray, sugar bowl, creamer)

Picture frame

Girls knit hat

Zeiss Ikon Contina camera
(my grandpa's - I think he actually bought it in Europe in the 1950's)

Watch

3 piggy banks

2 decorative ceramic boxes

Lead crystal candy dish

Old traincase

Seashell shaped bowl

Baby doll that is bigger than my daughter
(she doesn’t like anything bigger than her)

Tiny baby doll

Framed art (seascape)…it's so “last house” ;-)

2 kitchen d├ęcor items (from closet to above-cabinet display area)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wants vs Needs

The topic of "Wants vs Needs" came up yesterday in a conversation with my 6 year old son. I told him that we will always give him everything he needs, but he may not get everything he wants. What he wanted, and was trying to get across to us through his unhappy frustration, was more money to play video games in the restaurant.

Today, I read Journeyer's post on Wants vs Needs. I could feel her words on her past decisions as if I'd wrote them myself.

In my home, we have been working on the "Wants vs Needs" realization for the past few months. Like others, my husband's layoff (and decision to go into business for himself) last November reduced us to a single-income family. As we had always had enough for the extra wants, it is difficult for us to be at the point of saying "I'm sorry, we can't" to financial requests from our children. And, that has included having to say "I'm sorry, we can't" to the requests from our inner child too.

I am very proud of our efforts to tame our wants quite a lot. I'm just getting used to this being our new "norm". I won't lie and say that when the finances improve we will continue with this frugality, though I do believe it has reinforced the idea of "Wants vs Needs" for our family.

It has also had a huge impact on my decluttering. Rather than buying my way through a rough day, I've had to look for other sources of relief that we could actually afford. I have turned to journal writing for the times when I want to feel introspective and have rediscovered the stress relief of using my body (cleaning with fury, doing exercise, etc.) for times when I don't want to be still.

This has had a two-fold effect. I don't buy clutter that I will later have to deal with and have used my "free time" to look inward...both at myself and my home. Doing so is what prompted me to commit myself to decluttering one item each day for 365 days.

It has also allowed me to go shopping in my own home. We are on the tail-end of a major remodel and, as we lost space, stuff from one room was shoved into closets of another. While looking through my home for my "declutter item of the day", I have rediscovered these lost treasures. I admit, I've also found some of my impulse buys from my stress shopping.

Thankfully, I know that guilt over the lost money and such isn't worth it. I pass them on and know that both the physical and mental clutter they were in my life is now gone.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tally Tuesday – May 27

Dealt with paper clutter in office (yay me)

Girl pants

Girl shoes

Discarded paper clutter in nightstand (cards I received, old notebooks)

Plastic sheeting we were using for painting LR (Husband wanted to reuse it…it’s not really useable with all the tape sticking to it so it’s finally outta here)

4 pancake molds (a leaf, turtle, duck and cat)

Book

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Focus Challenge - Month 3

First things first...C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S to all of us for working our 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge for approximately 3 months!!!! During this time, there have been ups & downs for each of us but we are still going strong, and still evicting clutter from our lives!

We can do this. Just gotta keep our FOCUS on our CHALLENGE!!!!!

For Focus Challenge #3, I am using Kris’ great idea about integrating it with the current FlyLady Zones. I tried to think up something really creative but, well, it didn’t happen. LOL! Here’s what we finally ended up with; hope you enjoy this month’s Focus Challenge. ;-)

As Kelly says in the Missions, your bedroom is your private retreat and you deserve to not be surrounded by clutter while you sleep.

--> For the 2 remaining days in Zone 4: The Master Bedroom (May 19 - 23), plus the weekend*, the focus areas for finding your decluttered item are:

* Nightstand

* Bed (look under it…use/love/need the linens you have for your bed…etc.)

* Closet/clothing/jewelry & accessories

* Miscellaneous pile, box or such that rests in the bedroom with you.

--> For the first 3 days in Zone 5: The Living Room (May 26 - 30), the focus areas for finding your decluttered item are:

* Entertainment center/armoire/whatever your TV lives on :-)

* Any table in the room

* Miscellaneous anything that lives in the living room with you.

If you find something to declutter in the focus area, that's great, because you're done with your challenge for the day! :-) If not, you'll just have to find one elsewhere. Hopefully, many of us can find at least ONE clutter item there that is ready to be evicted.

* Unlike Kelly's Missions, there is no day off in my 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge. Please remember: if you do schedule a day off in your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge, you are no less of a very worthy challenger ;-)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Tally Tuesdays – May 20

4 books

Picture album

Virtual makeover software

2 boy shirts

3 sheets

Picture in closet (hung in laundry room)

2 prints in closet of one room + 2 frames in dresser in another…
(put it all together and hung in bathroom)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tally Tuesdays - May 13

Bath mitt with pigs on each finger

Outgrown undershirt of my daughter's

3 restaurant toys

2 outgrown shirts

Cool Hand Luke DVD (part of a gift basket & I never watched it)

Some kind of electrical/adapter cord

Really old pictures (scanned them and threw their remains out)

Pair of pants my daughter doesn't like to wear

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tally Tuesdays

I'm on Day 84 of the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge and, I admit, I'm bored. So I've decided that I'm going to start posting my boring (really) decluttered items for the previous week on each "Tally Tuesday". I really hope you'll join in because I'm sure your items will really add some spice to the mix. And, you might just inspire a fellow challenger to look in places they didn't consider or to declutter items they thought of decluttering in the very beginning but forgot about. C'mon join me for some tallying every Tuesday! :-)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Decluttering, Our Own Way

After putting the children to bed, I start winding down from the day. This is when my brain has a chance to process a lot of miscellaneous stuff in my mind, because us moms are just go-go-going a lot and trying to juggle many thoughts at once during our day. I think of it as a brain dump and my mind is trying to make sense of things that I’ve “forgotten” or thoughts that were pushed aside during the day. This is when I remember that tomorrow I have a meeting or the boss will be out of the office as I’m laying out my clothes for the next day. Recalling a discussion with my child's teacher about a class topic, and my child's request to bring in a share item about it, will prompt me to put the item in their "out-the-door basket". Etc.

I don’t tend to think about decluttering as I am going through my day. It is a second nature behavior for me and is so routine that my auto-pilot mind just doesn’t register it. Now, since I have accepted the challenge to declutter one item each day, I have to pay a little more attention to it. During my evening brain dump, I think back about what I decluttered today. If I can’t recall anything, then I find something right then and deal with it. For example, decluttering by doing (such as putting up hardware on the wall for a picture that’s been stashed in a closet & hanging it), throwing it away or tossing it into my “Donation Station”—which is just a bag in a coat closet. If it’s in the bag, though, it’s as good as gone. We never take anything out; it’s as if it doesn’t exist to us anymore. When the bag is full, I put it into my trunk and run it over to my charity of choice after work in the next day or two.

I have heard from others in this challenge who are nearly the opposite. They are thinking decluttering, decluttering, decluttering all throughout the day. It’s as if their eyes are sending a picture to their mind about every object they lay their eyes upon, with a note attached asking, “Is this clutter?”

It has been amazing to hear about this change in their perspective. Items they have had in their home for years but haven’t really been seen for so long are now being seen. Purging items that they don’t want, use, love or need has been so uplifting. Rediscovering the items they do truly enjoy and having those items around them has had a great effect too. The sense of accomplishment has been fulfilling and finding so much new space in their home has created happiness. As well as purging the burden that those things brought upon them and feeling the peace in their minds, hearts and homes from decluttering it.

As your 365 Days of Decluttering journey continues, I am eager to hear from you about the happiness, fulfillment and peace you are bringing into your life and home.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Decluttering by Doing

I’ve been asked by several people if doing something, i.e. an unfinished hobby project or a household repair, counts as decluttering for the challenge. According to my opinion, it does. We declutter to rid ourselves of anything unwanted, unloved, unused and unneeded, and doing these jobs replace the decluttered stuff with good stuff instead.

Then, we go on to talk about how unfinished things make us feel. Some feel mad, some feel guilt and some feel frustration with themselves, but not one person I’ve known has felt good about unfinished things in their life.

In my eyes, the completion of an unfinished thing is one of the top three ways to declutter. Why? Well, let’s start with the obvious: physical clutter. The item in its unfinished state, i.e. a box full of pictures that you want preserved in an album or a small hole in the wall from the doorknob, doesn’t make you feel good when you see it. It might be something that nags at you, like the unfinished pictures project, or unsightly, like the hole in the wall.

Additionally, you may have other pieces of the project that, by themselves, are clutter. For the pictures, you may have a photo album and a myriad of scrapbooking supplies. For the hole, you may have tools and supplies for patching the wall. Once the project or repair is completed, those items will no longer be sitting around waiting to be used. So, you’re actually decluttering many items instead of just one!

Then there is the mental clutter. If you’ve walked by that hole and every single time you see it, you think “I need to patch this”, mental clutter is growing in your mind like cancer. That thought will infect all other thoughts around it and poison them. That small “need to do” thought will become thoughts where you attack yourself (Uh, I can’t believe I haven’t taken care of this yet), where you attack others (Those darn kids need to stop running in and throwing open the door) and, worse, when your ability to overcome this clutter gets weaker by the minute (Geez, I can’t do anything right….which leads us to feel defeated and why bother doing it at all).

For the picture album example, it gets worse. Undone things that would result in happiness are the ones that make me feel the worst, anyways. It’s put away in a cabinet and one would think that it doesn’t enter our thoughts too much. In my opinion, we are happiness and fulfillment driven beings. When we are denying ourselves of these things, the resulting feelings permeate our more conscious thoughts, and, the negative feelings we are experiencing throw a shadow over many areas of mind.

You may not realize how unfinished “happiness items” make you feel bad now, but, when you complete them, you should notice that you tend to feel better than the item should make you feel. That is because the happiness that you now receive from the unfinished item (being able to share and enjoy those pictures more readily is but one part). Overall, you may be feeling something more--joy, a sense of being connected to your past, and a surge in your motivation meter, for example. All of those feelings allow us to feel a more authentic sense of happiness than just the literal representation of a photo album.

I encourage you to Declutter by Doing during your 365 Days of Decluttering journey. You will love the results!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Focus Challenge – Month 2

For our 2nd month’s Focus Challenge, I thought it would be fun to gather suggestions from other challengers. So, I sent an email out to several people asking for their best idea(s). Thank you to those who submitted an idea!

For the next week, the focus challenge is to find one of these items in your home & decide if it is clutter—OR—to look in one area each day for your decluttering item of the day.

* Address sticker sheets received from various charities
   (How many do we really need to keep?)
* Business cards from companies or people we won't ever use
   or don't remember
* Warranty cards/manuals/receipts for products we don't have
   anymore
* Souvenirs
* Medicine cabinet
* Desk drawer (or the area where we put pencils/pens)
* Glove compartment

Let's keep this fun! Tell us what your decluttered item was by posting a comment. That's a terrific way to show appreciation to the great challengers that helped supply ideas! :-)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life is Sweet When Shared With A Friend

I'm sure many of you know that friendships are a valuable thing. We don't get to pick our family, but we do pick our friends!

Believe it or not, I didn't have much clutter in the grand scheme of things when deciding to commit myself to decluttering one item each day for 365 days. What I needed in my life was building the routine of doing something each day, so I chose decluttering. Decluttering is easy for me, because I have already done the major decluttering that has led me to FLY, and because I employ the "Do It Now" principle in my life. With the exception of paper clutter, my nemesis, I deal with much of my clutter in the moment. But, decluttering doesn't end. We all consume. We all buy. And we all have the potential of letting clutter in the door or keeping it here when we get more stuff.

The Flyladies & More forum, where the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge first began, is a network of friends that I find invaluable. By sharing my challenge with those friends, I have also gained a much deeper respect for each of the individual decluttering challenges my fellow friends are taking. Some have been waiting for the right inspiration & the right push to prompt them to begin dealing with the clutter overwhelming them. They have found it! The changes they are making in their lives are the most awesome & inspirational things that I have seen in a long time. Others have decluttered now & again throughout the years, but this time they are learning the value of consistent decluttering. They are excited by their results as well.

I could have done this all by myself but, thankfully, I asked some friends to join me. Decluttering my life is so much sweeter when shared with my friends!

I definitely encourage you to share your 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge with your own real life or online friends! There are several good reasons for doing so--Accountability, Fun, Inspiration, Support.

You could even take turns decluttering together at each of your houses. That would make the work easier--especially if you have very good (and honest) friends. They won't let you keep the junk. Right? Hopefully! ;-)

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

How I Define Clutter

Defining what is or is not clutter is a very personal choice, in my opinion. Just as one man’s trash is another’s treasure, the same is true for clutter. To me, clutter is anything that I do not use, want, love or need (the real one--not the guilt-causing kind!)

When I declutter, I look for the obvious. Such as stuff that was laid down here or there to deal with later and now I do. My procrastinated filing falls into this category too…the paper was put in a pile but I still need to do the real “work” and deal with it so it will no longer be clutter).

I also look at my stuff with someone else’s eyes and, with that different perspective, I decide if it is clutter or not. I look at my clothes, my furniture, my knick-knacks, my housewares, etc. When I see these things with this perspective, it is so much easier to see the clutter for what it really is. I don’t see it as an emotional attachment, a fear of not being able to have what I need when I need it, etc. I see it as an inanimate object that has no more meaning than I am placing on it at that moment…and, remember, I’m seeing it as a stranger would.

Finally, I allow reason to override emotion. I need peace more than stuff. I want to see every single thing as something that I would choose to bring into my home today.

If I purchased the item, I will evaluate it in today’s dollars—not ones I’ve already spent. Would I buy this today? If the answer is no, then it is out of my face and out of my space. There is no guilt allowed. The money is spent and there’s nothing I can do to undo this buying mistake. I don’t allow that object to own a time period of my life sufficient to justify its purchase.

This way of thinking was not how I started, I assure you. I grew up not having much. If anything was useable (and I admit that I used the definition loosely sometimes), I felt I had to keep it.

Having those things around me didn’t make me feel more secure. Instead, I felt unsettled. I was keeping the past very close and always worrying over the future. The present wasn’t even in my thoughts. When I started letting go of things, the priorities changed. The present became of utmost importance. This is the time I controlled. And what I wanted to feel right now was fulfilled, happy and peaceful. I can’t change how I felt in days past and I have no way of knowing what the future brings.

No matter how you choose to define clutter, please remember: surrounding yourself with things that make you fulfilled (not wanting), happy (not sad) and peaceful (settled) will allow you to make “the present” the true gift it is.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ever felt afraid to declutter?

Or felt any kind of apprehension about dealing with your clutter? It’s not a glamorous job and many times we feel that doing it is going to make us feel bad, one way or another.

Looking at the clothes in my closet is just going to make me feel bad for not wearing them, and wasting that money.

If I even think of giving away that gift my Aunt gave me, I will feel so horrible.

I don’t have clutter.

(Everything is stuffed & hidden away in closets and cabinets.)

So, we put the job aside for another day…and another passes, and another.

My best advice is to allow yourself to do it little-by-little so that you don't feel you gave up or lost so much. For example, set up a declutter system. Choose 1 thing from each room or 7 things in one room, etc. Then, do that each week (or each day if you feel that motivated). That way you're not faced with a huge declutter process, i.e. declutter a drawer.

I'm the type that will pull everything out, reminisce about the stuff or somehow get lost in daydreaming about it…I need to replace these bath towels but when can I go? Well tomorrow I have to... and then Friday's no good because....Then I snap back and am in left field because one thought leads to another. I also see the huge mess that I’ve made and feel deflated that I now have to clean it.

If all else fails, remember to start small! Don't have an "all or nothing" attitude. Adopt a babystep...anything I do today is better than yesterday, kind of mentality.

TODAY choose one thing...tomorrow one more…and on and on. Decluttering doesn't have to be "a project" or something to set time aside for; it just has to be started. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. To me, decluttering is about A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE OR ATTITUDE more than a project that gets crossed off a "to do" list.

AND...the one thing counts if it was something small, huge, garbage anyways, etc. If you deal with a piece off the desk pile, or table pile, etc. it counts. If it's a holey sock in the laundry that doesn't just get thrown back into the drawer but in the trash (over here they get a new life as a hand glove for cleaning), it counts!

In my experience, and even for others that I know, we have found that decluttering is liberating, a bit addicting and, yes, fun! So much of our responsibility in life feels hard. Doing this one thing that frees our life from visual clutter, mental clutter, etc. is absolutely terrific! Serious.

I dare ya....can you find one thing to declutter today? :-)

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Blog Tag - I'm It!

I've been tagged by my friend Patricia at Digiheaven Designs. Here are the rules for this tag.

1. Link to the person that tagged you and leave a comment on their blog, so that their readers can visit yours. (Her name is linked above).
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 7 Random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 random people at the bottom of your post, linking to their blog. Let each person know by leaving a comment on their blog. (Sadly, I'm so new to the world of blog that I don't know 7 people...If any of our fellow 365 Days of Decluttering Challengers wants a link for their blog, post a comment and I'll add ya!)

My 7 random facts:

1. My brother's full name & my full name (using my maiden name, of course) have the same amount of letters.
2. I was deathly allergic to bee stings from age 5 until about 15.
3. My 2nd grade teacher wanted to promote me past 3rd grade to 4th but my mom wouldn't allow it.
4. The only TV shows I watch are on HGTV.
5. I scored 95 out of 99 on the ASVAB that I took to enter the U.S. Marine Corps. (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery--the test you take to decide your military job :-)
6. For approximately 30 years, I've lived in California. That's *nearly* all my life and I don't want to live anywhere else.
7. I am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.

Now, I need to tag 7 people…As noted above, that will come with time. :-)

For now, I’ll start with Amy, Kristianna, Anna and Paula.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I want it out of here…but where do I put it?

They say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So, where do you ditch your clutter? ;-)

I am very un-inventive when it comes to where I ditch mine. If it's trash, it goes into such a receptacle. If it's useable, it is donated to Goodwill. The rare exception is for large items. My husband will want to put it on Craigslist or I will put it outside with a large FREE sign on it.

Book decluttering is easy for me. I buy books that were donated to the "Friends of the Library" organization for the price of anywhere from 25 cents to $1 apiece. When I'm done, I donate the book back to them. :-)

My biggest problem is with magazines. They are read one time only (if that ;-) and then what? They are still in very nice condition and I just can't throw them away. Thankfully, I cancelled my subscriptions late last year, when I realized that having kids & a computer meant very little leisurely reading time. I still have some holdovers and am slowly reading them all. I think I have stumbled onto something good for how I will declutter my remaining stash. The last 2 magazines that I finished were "donated" to the breakroom of the newspaper that is right across the street from the library. Win-win!

I thought it might be fun to use our creativity and brainstorm ideas of where to pass on our stuff. It's clutter to us, but if it is still usable and nice, shouldn't it find a new home with someone who does need it?

Please, share ideas that you know of to help us all find a new home for our clutter. Here are just a few good ideas that I have seen:

1) Pass on Magazines/Catalogues:
- Contact a day care center, preschool or elementary school. They often need magazines and cataloges for the kids to cut up for collages.
- Donate them to places with waiting rooms, breakrooms, etc.
* * * * * 365 Days of Decluttering Challenger Suggestion * * * * *
Pamela Watson says: My library has a bin for magazine give-away and people donate their old mags to us. They are free for the taking.

2) Donate to an Animal Shelter
- Household linens...old quilts, sheets, blankets, large towels (beach towel size) or small washable throw rugs for the smaller cages

3) Donate to a Women & Children's Shelter
(The ladies there will have to make a new home for themselves, and, if they left an abusive environment in "emergency mode", they likely left with very little.)
- Household appliances & furniture
- Unopened samples of hygiene products

4) Let Someone Else Sell It & Keep the Proceeds
- Donate it to any organization you choose that holds a "yard sale" (like church rummage sales) or that has a shop for such things (like the senior center, charities, etc.)

5) Donate Unused/Unwanted Art Supplies
- Contact day care centers/preschools/elementary schools/churches with children's rooms/your city's Parks & Recreation office....or any other places in your community that offer children's crafts

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

With everyone starting on a different day, I want to define just one day as our “Anniversary Day”. Should it be the day I started and sent out the call to everyone to join me? Should it be the first day that someone did? The first day of the month? So many possibilities.

One of my most inspirational people, Marla Cilley who is known as FlyLady, chooses to use her favorite number as a date to remember an important event. So, in honor of her, I will do the same. My favorite number is 22. Both of my children were born on the 22nd of the month, so I hold that day near and dear already. Now, I’ve just added another reason for importance.

From here forward, the official anniversary of the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge will be on the 22nd of each month.
H a p p y ~ M o n t h . 1 ~ A n n i v e r s a r y !

On our Anniversary, I will also send out a gift—what I’ll call a Focus Challenge. Decluttering all alone isn't much fun. It can be, if we make a game of it! The Focus Challenge will serve to remind us that, actually, we are not doing this all alone. Many other people are right there beside us doing the same thing, at the same time. Some are going through the same challenges, and some face others, but we are all united in one purpose!

Again I say...Happy Anniversary! This is an important day. You began a journey 30 days ago, give or take, to do something, anything, towards evicting clutter from your life. That determination to make a change AND actually taking action on it is something that should be applauded all on its own. Starting is almost always the hardest part of doing something.

So, are you ready to rev up your engines, have some fun and work on this month’s Focus Challenge? OK, here we go……



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Focus Challenge – Month 1, March 22

A friend shared a philosophy with me that has given me some great perspective. It’s the philosophy of “Let It Bother You”. Pretty much, if you acknowledge an area or part of your home that bothers you, it will make you more aware of the area and that will give you the greatest thrill when you tackle whatever the bothersome problem is for you.

Our very 1st Focus Challenge is to Let It Bother You—BUT—we are going to do it our way…and that means slow & steady, the one-thing-a-day way!

Think of 7 areas or such that bother you (for example: a drawer/closet; a flat surface that always has stuff put on it, your desk at home or work, etc.) For the next week, the focus challenge is to look in one area each day for your declutter item of the day.

I encourage you to post a comment on this discussion sharing your success story with us all. Believe it or not, you will be an inspiration to others! You will also make that spark in you that wants to stay true to your challenge burn hotter & brighter because you shared. Believe me on that, I’ve seen it happen!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Motivation Meter

So, this challenge has been going on for a few weeks now and the newness & flurry of fired-up inspiration has lost its shine somewhat. It's to be expected.

I do my best to remember for myself, and will share on here, is that every effort you give, every day, is worth it. Sure, it pays off for accomplishing staying true to your challenge of decluttering JUST ONE ITEM a day. What I also want to teach everyone about is what I call The Motivation Meter.

You may be a self-aware person and know of this, even if you call it something else. Human beings haven't evolved enough to have unlimited motivation. Some of us have strong internal motivation that will keep us moving in a forward & positive direction in our life. It does take us far. Some of us rely solely on external motivation to do anything and everything, and many fall somewhere in between.

One thing a day sounds deceivingly simple. But, seriously, life has ups & downs. There will be a hard day (or more than one) during this journey when just accomplishing our goal of decluttering one item will seem too hard to do that day.

Once someone does overcome all those external AND internal forces trying to derail them and is able to JUST DO IT on those hard days, I encourage them to take a short moment to let the feeling of Accomplishment, Pride in Yourself, Overcoming Adversity, etc. WASH from the mind down the body.

Besides the short-term accomplishment of doing your decluttering commitment for the day, you will begin collecting "motivation points" for later use. Every time we collect a motivation point in our day, they group together and inspire later efforts. I am living proof that refilling your motivation meter with motivation points will drastically change your approach to many things in your life. :-)

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Introducing the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge

From the discussion that started it all comes the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge blog!

Myself and others have challenged ourselves to declutter at least one item from our lives per day for the next year. We have accepted the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge...Want to join us? :-)

I have learned that, for me, I must never wait for "the right day" to start and must start in the here & now. So, I started my 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge the day I put up a simple poll on a forum asking if anyone else was interested in starting a challenge. My name is Suzanne. I began my 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge on February 19, 2008.

With that said, I want to make this personal to each of us. It helps with the motivation when we are true to ourselves and not worrying about what others want, IMO.

- Anyone who doesn't care when they start must start the day they read this!

- Anyone with a preference for a Monday start, must start on the very next Monday after reading this!

- Anyone with a preference for starting on the first day of a month, must start the first day of the next month after reading this!

I encourage you to share with us about what's going on in your journey along the way. We can chat about our declutter challenge progress, post if we need a motivational "kick in the pants" from our 365 challenge friends, share a picture of a decluttered item or share it's "story", etc.

If you are in the challenge, please post your name and start date loud & proud. You are on your way to a great sense of accomplishment!

I have defined the challenge. Are you willing to accept it? :-)


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