Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 31 - Decluttering Challenge

Here is a pic of the junk I decluttered off my counter. One is a crochet magazine that I had gotten out awhile back to show one of the kids what I wanted to make for one of the grandkids for Christmas! Good grief! How hard is it to put it away??? I am feeling so comfortable in my kitchen again. I love to cook and it is such an inviting and comforting kitchen now! Oh and I declutter my camera when I down load the pictures to my computer. I always click erase from camera after download. :)

During this challenge, I won Marcia's Household Management Notebook system. I am loving it and using it! Thank you for this wonderful tool! :)

What have I learned from this challenge? First of all, I have learned that I am not alone. That each of us have decluttering needs from small to major projects. I have learned that decluttering does not have to be overwhelming. I have learned to take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. I have learned that if I don't finish the decluttering project right now, that is ok. It will be there tomorrow and I can deal with it. And I have learned that decluttering can be planned and UNplanned and still be successful. Always have a plan - a goal but be prepared for the unexpected. (i.e. an unwanted critter! lol) Decluttering doesn't have to stop because you have guests - adjust your expectations for that time. Giving everything a home, a place, helps make your life easier. I used to declutter - from one area to another area! That wasn't really helping. It still left me stressful and unhappy! It was like the wound that wouldn't heal! Decluttering is not MOVING things, it is putting them in their place and removing what doesn't belong or no longer works for you. I have a close friend that keeps a lovely house and she has a friend that keeps even a MORE lovely house if that is possible. She asked her friend her secret one time. Linda answered her. "I never walk past something out of place without picking it up and putting it away, whether it is a weed in the flower box by the front door or a spoon out on the counter." I kinda looked at Billie, my friend and said, I would be running around forever if I did that!! I have found out not so. Seeing something brings on an automatic decluttering response - pick it up and put it away before it grows! lol My life is freed up so much more because things are decluttered, things are simplified and things have a designated place. Now mind you, I am not done yet. I still have a couple of major areas to deal with, but I am not overwhelmed with it and I have my written plan and my mental plan to deal with it. I love to craft but crafting often made me cranky because I knew that things elsewhere were not taken care of. Not so anymore. I am free to craft because things are in their place and not calling me to take care of them.

I have learned my decluttering style is basically NOT having a place/home for things. Bringing one item in, not putting it away and not getting rid of something to make place for the new. These are the habits that I am working on applying to my life.

I really want to thank Marcia, The Organising Queen, for starting this challenge and she is going to continue to have a weekly challenge for us. Marcia, you have been such a help and motivator and encourager to me. I just can't thank you enough! You are a wonderful new friend and "decluttering coach!" Somehow I found your blog when I really needed it in my life!!! Thank you, again!! And to EACH of the gals that have accepted this challenge and posted about it on their blogs, I thank you! Each of you have been an inspiration and encouragement to me in this journey. I hope that we will continue to encourage and keep everyone motivated when needed! I look forward to seeing how you will continue to be involved in our journey. This is not the end, it is the beginning!


Gifts That Say Wow said...

Marcia, that was well said. It has been a wonderful journey. I have cleaned and organized many times before, but this time was different. I gave all my stuff a home to return to, not just a counter top or drawer. One thing I think that helped, was labeling everything. When you see the label, you instantly think, oh this goes here. Thanks for all of your I visited other blogs I would see you encouraging others time and time again....I love what you said about this being the beginning, and it truly is. I have several other rooms and areas I will be working on. This has been a life changing experience...I am so happy I found your blog, and grateful that we connected as friends.

Anonymous said...

I agree witht he first comment, well said.

I especially connected with your statement, "Decluttering is not MOVING things, it is putting them in their place and removing what doesn't belong or no longer works for you."

I will continue with decluttering. I realized that I do not like to stick to a rigid plan and so learned it was ok to not declutter only in one room or area. I probably would have noticed a bigger difference if I concentrated all my efforts in one area. However, if I kep this up, I WILL notice an over all difference.

Thanks, Marcia, for your consistent encouragement and example.

I might have to try that labeling tactic. Just as soon as I find my labeler. :-)

Boondock Ma (Kim's Mom) said...

What a great post! I didn't join in on the challenge for a couple reasons. One of those reasons was that I don't have a digital camera that will work in the house. The other is that my whole house is in a transitional state of sorts. Basically, we're planning to completely redo the entire house, so it's beyond decluttering, it's completely redoing!, In some cases, tearing down and rebuilding! LOL

That said, you have been a great inspiration to me. The pictures you've recently posted are amazing. Just to show you all wasn't lost on me ;-), today, I gathered the kids together, and we cleaned out all the bookcase shelves things had been gathering on. I now have twice as many books on those shelves, and room for more that I'll be bringing in to their waiting home tomorrow. A small achievement perhaps, but I'm tickled with it! :)

Thank you for sharing your decluttering journey!

forgetfulone said...

Everything looks great! You did a fabulous job decluttering and organizing. Love your kitchen.

Amanda said...

beautiful post. well said. I totally agree with you and am going to continue to declutter too. this is the beginning of many new friendships too.

Marcia said...

Hey marcia

I've got something for you at my blog!

Marcia said...

oh, and BEAUTIFUL post!!!!!

It's late here, and I'm tired, hence the disjointedness :)


Anonymous said...

Wow Marcia-You really decluttered! Your kitchen looks great! After reading your first entry about the challenge I was able to declutter 2 areas in my dining room and my kitchen pantry. There is still more work to be done at my house-but I am thankful that you passed the challenge along. : )