Thursday, January 22, 2009

Focus Challenge - Month 11

Over the last month I have been thinking about February 22nd, which will be the official end of the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge. I have already heard from some challengers that they are signing on for another 365 days. Way to go!

To me, decluttering doesn't end. We all consume. We all buy. We all have to decide what stays and what goes, because there is always more clutter trying to make its way into your space and into your mind.

Only you can decide how you will proceed after February 22nd. Has this been fun while it lasted and you are ready to put your efforts into a different area? Has decluttering become routine and you can't imagine not regularly decluttering? Have you run out of things to declutter? Did you finally begin addressing mental clutter and don't want to stop?

With a month remaining, I want to use our final Focus Challenge for introspection.

1) Think of the 7 pieces of clutter that you purged that were the most difficult, the most meaningful, the most inspiring (i.e., decluttering it led to other things being decluttered that had a fabulous effect on you or your life), etc.

2) For each item, write the name of the item on a piece of paper in the very center of the page. Draw a circle around it. Then, develop a mind map. To do so, draw a line out from the bubble with emotions/feelings you associated with the item. Then, from each of those feelings, draw branches out from it relating to how you felt when you possessed the item and later once you let it go.

It is my hope that our remaining Focus Challenge will provide insight to you on your clutter. Each item that you let go of during this challenge was only a thing, an item, an object, stuff. The emotion we attached to them (aka mental clutter) was the part that was the most difficult to purge.

Gaining this insight will aid us in the days to come by, hopefully, preventing more stuff from having an advantage over us by tapping into our emotions. As you might have heard before, you are not your stuff. You own your stuff; it does not own you...or, at least it shouldn't.

Thank you for taking this challenge with me. I greatly appreciate what I have learned along the way. I hope this journey has also been wonderful for you as well.

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  1. Hi!
    Early congratulations for your completed challenge.
    See you around.

  2. What a great blog, Suzanne! I hope you keep the declutter theme going :)

  3. Lunaticg: Thank you.

    Catherine: Thank you. I wasn't planning to, because there weren't many comments on the blog over the past year. I might keep going, though...if there were more posts indicating an interest.

    During the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge I had much more to say but it seemed like spending the time on my home & its decluttering was better spent than posting and feeling like I was talking to myself. :-)

  4. Suzanne,
    Interesting timing - your WOW on my article at today . . . which is the same day I gave up holding on to my quilting life! I have not quilted for ten years, since I entered the world of Marriage and Family Therapy. Even though the supplies were out of sight, the mental piece of When will I ever quilt again was a constant source of low level noise.

    Clutter is a huge resource drain that sucks the life out of living in the moment. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the coming days.

  5. Mary Ann: That is an interesting coincidence. I guess we, as 2 intelligent and positive women, were meant to read each others' work. :-)

    WTG on purging the physical and mental clutter! It's a shame that you aren't able to enjoy a hobby that you once did, but, your life has moved on.

    Thank you for the nod towards writing more. I'm not sure what will happen to the blog on February I noted above, it wasn't very interactive and I'm the kind of person that needs that.

  6. February 22 is fast approaching. I intend to keep on decluttering my life and I really thank you for your blog and encouragement!

    If you drop this blog and resurface with a new one let me know, please. :)

  7. Lydia: So glad to hear that the 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge was so successful for you. It was you who accepted the challenge and kept at it day after day! You are very welcome for any help I gave along the way.

    I have decided to keep blogging...both on here and on a new blog altogether.

    In the coming days, you can find me at :-)

  8. When I moved from MI and a big house to AZ into a small home I got rid of sooo much stuff.

    Even when we arrived some furniture went to chairty becuase it didn't fit. Now the clutter I have is always in my office. I don't know how people go paperless. I'm too tactile I guess. Glad to see you're going to continue writing.

    I began my blog Oct. 31 and I've found I spend a couple hours a day commenting on other people's blogs. These are the same people who come back and comment on mine.

    The other thing I've started doing is asking my favorite bloggers if I can be a guest writer on their blogs. Most say yes and now I'm getting more comments by doing that. My goal was to write on one guest blog a week but it's only been a couple times a month.

  9. Tess: Thank you for the ideas. I appreciate it!


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