February Clutter Challenge 2008

Are you up to the challenge?

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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby urbanpioneer » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:04 am

Yesterday's Oprah was a VERY interesting show. The guest was the Author of a book called "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big?" His premise was a cluttered, non- functioning house, and especially a cluttered, non-functioning kitchen is draining in many ways, and if you can't even find your kitchen counter top, you will be incapable of shopping effectively for food and preparing healthy foods. Instead, you will order take out or go out to dinner. I know you can read the gist of the show on Oprah.com.
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Cha! » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:33 pm

Thanks, Unity. This has been a tough winter. Normally we get about 40-some inches of snow for the entire winter but we are already at nearly 80 inches with two months to go! And now we are getting slammed with bitter cold temps ... wind chills of -40 tonight and a high of 2 tomorrow. Then Monday ... and more snow! It's been horrible. Part of my reason to declutter the house is to move. I am seriously considering a move to a warmer climate. I can't take much more of this nonsense! Today I got rid of a small bag of stuff from the kitchen. I cleaned out the pantry and also cleaned out my sock drawer. I never think to buy socks, but today I bought myself several pair of good quality socks. I also treated myself to a nice luxurious bath towel and matching wash cloths. They are wonderful! I also cleaned off my dresser and did a lot of laundry. I put away several items of clothing and get more ready for my charitable donation box. Tomorrow I'll most likely take the day off from decluttering to work on other things. But I can definitely see progress around the house and it feels great! I still have a lot to do, but I'm pleased with what I have accomplished thus far. Keep up the great work, everyone!
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Tituba » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:47 am

Yesterday's Oprah was a VERY interesting show. The guest was the Author of a book called "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big?" His premise was a cluttered, non- functioning house, and especially a cluttered, non-functioning kitchen is draining in many ways, and if you can't even find your kitchen counter top, you will be incapable of shopping effectively for food and preparing healthy foods. Instead, you will order take out or go out to dinner. I know you can read the gist of the show on Oprah.com.
urban - I'm reading the book now. So far, I really like the book. It is blunt and a "no more excuses" guide on how to get a handle on overweight/clutter connection.
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:27 pm

I've got a lot to do beginning later this week hopefully. How are you getting on Cha?
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Cha! » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:15 pm

Hi Unity, Thanks for checking in. I haven't done much decluttering lately. I am physically exhausted, really stressed by the never-ending snow and bitter cold we've gotten for 2 1/2 months. This winter is taking a lot out of me! I try to focus on the fact that because it's so nasty outside, I spend more time inside decluttering, but honestly, even that doesn't work much anymore! I am a "big picture" person so even though I have gotten rid of a lot, it's easy to sometimes focus on all that is left to do. One thing I've started doing is using the small plastic bags from grocery stores for cleaning. It's easier to fill one of those bags and feel like I've accomplished something rather than putting pressure on myself to fill one big bag each time I work around the house. I have done a little around the house today - I'm hoping to get some of the junk off my desk, which looks pretty bad! The good news is that I have maintained the clean spots I created from my previous cleaning spree! Keep up the great work!
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:37 pm

Cha, I'm planning to start some cleaning tomorrow. That's a good idea about those smaller bags. I'm a bit scared to start on bedroom to tell you the truth as there is so much that's out of place, but it's got to the stage that things are falling on the floor and i'm losing things. I wish I never got the silly idea to put a clothes contraption in there and move everything around :evil: Now I don't have any space for anything. I think that weather you've been having would drive me nuts!
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Cha! » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:29 pm

Hi Unity: I understand COMPLETELY about being overwhelmed by having so much out of place. I am cleaning out my parents' house ... they were collectors and hung onto everything. I've finally worked through much of the guilt associated with getting rid of all this stuff - now I am just dealing with doing it! I have found that as I worked in the "worst" areas of the house, my energy really improved as I just faced the task head-on and did something - anything, really, that made me feel like I was moving in the right direction. Do you think it would help to set very small goals for yourself? I really like Barbara's tip in one of her books - just focus on 10 items in a room per day. Do you think starting with something like that will help you tackle the stuff in the bedroom? I did manage to fill another small bag with trash this afternoon. My dumpster is really filling up - usually it's not this full, so I guess it means I"m making some sort of progress. I got about 1/4 of the stuff off the desk, which is good. I filed some papers and cleaned off one of the kitchen cupboards. I'm trying to wrap up a job application letter now before I head to bed. And of course more snow is coming on Thursday - insane!! Take Care, Unity. Don't be so hard on yourself, just figure out what sounds reasonable to you and give it a try. For me, I do want to make tangible progress, but it also has to be something that I can maintain because I don't want to have the same goals next month that I have this month! :)
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:26 am

Having massive resistance today, it's 5.30pm and still unstarted. However it must be synchronistic as 2 separate charities have left bags to be filled by next Monday and Tuesday. They must have known I've been stalling :D
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:24 pm

Update, got off the chair and got on with it! Yipee. Avoided the bedroom though, began on the downstairs instead. Cha, does it feel strange doing your parent's house? Are there still items from when you were younger?
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:49 pm

Evening - surprised myself by starting bedroom sorting. Lots to go on with but did some filing and moving things round. And tore a lot of papers up too. I think this started after I washed and changed my sheets. It gave me an incentive to continue.
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:28 am

Just before I was due to get dressed and out today I surprised myself by getting stuck into a job I'd put off all week. Clean one of the rooms. That means that I can now move my bedroom excess in there while I work out what i want to do with it.
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Cha! » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:35 pm

Hi Unity: Congratulations on your progress!! Sometimes "tricking" yourself into doing just a little is the key to getting a lot done. I'm glad you've found what works for you. I haven't done as much as I would have liked to last week. We had more bad weather and I am so stressed about it. It's been going on for nearly 3 months, non-stop. Today I cleaned out my closet. I fluffed everything by airing it out in the dryer and filled a bag of clothes for a local charity. I also gave a few items to my sister. I pulled out all my extra hangers - I plan to sell them at a yard sale in the summer. I also invested in some really nice wooden hangers for my coats, jackets and blazers. I plan to finish the closet on Wednesday. The good news is that I've kept every area clean that I have cleaned off and cleared out over the past few weeks. I feel good about that. I also found that for some reason I have an overabundance of pens. Before I could never find a working pen when I wanted or needed one - now that I've gathered the pens I've found, I put them in a mug on my desk and the mug is full! Amazing. To answer your question, yes it is very strange and difficult to go through my parents' stuff. I sat paralyzed for years, unable to do anything, because I felt guilty and sad about being the one to decide to discard my parents' belongings. it has been a slow process. My dad has been dead for nearly 23 years and there is still much of his stuff in the house. My mother never dealt with it. She's now in a nursing home with dementia. Both were collectors and the house was literally stuffed full. I also have had to clear out stuff that belonged to my brother and sister. In all honesty, when I get stressed or overwhelmed, I find myself really angry with my family for not taking the responsibility for never clearing some of this stuff out without regard for who would eventually have to do it. It's been really tough at times. The positive side of it, though, is that I have had to face my own lack of control over my spending and consumption. I am finding so many clothes and things, like the pens, that I have accumulated over the years. I am trying to learn controls to prevent this in the future, like getting rid of the excess hangers so I can't/won't buy more than I need or can use. I have put my own life on hold for so long trying to deal with all of this, but I refuse to put anyone else in this position, so I am learning to clean up after myself. And the truth is that I feel much lighter as I get rid of the clutter and excess. Keep up the great work!! Cha!
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:11 pm

Thanks for your reply Cha. I'm always attempting to de-clutter but it seems to be uphill a lot of the time. My parents house is very tidy but I know there is an adjoining room, part of the garage that still has boxes from 2 houses back so one day I'll get quite a few nostalgic surprises. Compulsive buying - I can empathise with that. However, as my financial situation has changed literally overnight just this week, I can't do that anymore. I've still got that room I started the other day to finish but found that I need to also sort the airing cupboard in order to find new sheets - that is seriously cluttered. It will be a big job.
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby kashtanka » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:44 am

Major Decluttering This past weekend two of my sisters and I helped my Mom clean up her house...after living there for nearly 50 years. It's just unbelievable all the stuff she has, but she always knew where everything was. For example, I'd be talking to her and she would say something like "Do you remember that lady Mrs. Hatfield that you worked for 30 years ago? Well, there was an article in the paper a few years ago about her retirement. Here...let me show you the article", and she would retrieve it from a huge pile of papers, with no trouble. She was amazing that way. Anyway, my sisters and I threw out approximately 50 full garbage bags full of stuff...and her house now looks great. Now I feel energized to work on my own again!
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Re: February Clutter Challenge 2008

Postby Unity » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:35 am

Hi Kashtanka, so it was 1 bag for every year she lived there? That really was a major de-clutter, putting it mildly. How does your mother feel about it now?
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