Saturday, June 17, 2017

Positivity: Accomplishments

Today was another good day, but perhaps not spectacular...or maybe it was!  I may be on the 'not good enough' treadmill.  I really want to just be done! I want to succeed at my goal to live a clutter free life, with less time spent cleaning and organizing and more time doing the things that really matter.  I want to walk into my home and think, yes! I'm home, I can relax; rather than oh my gosh!  I have so much work to do.

At the end of the day I have not reached that goal.  In fact I am not even feeling like I'm half way there. And, so I think I have failed again.  But this mindset will not help anything.  And I have had a productive day.  I was reading, somewhere, that I need to take account of my accomplishments. Rather than worrying about what I did not get done, I need to give myself credit for what I did do.  In this way I can create a growing sense of success, that will spur even more success.  It certainly sounds better than dwelling on the negative lack, and letting that drag me down to giving up.

Each day I will challenge myself to write a post about what I did that day.  I will hopefully be able to use the practice to figure out how my actions can contribute to my overall goals.  Perhaps I will even be able to start appreciating that which simply makes me happy, and not feel guilty that it was not more.  After all, if the purpose of my end goal is to be happier because I have less clutter, then being happy on the journey is the ultimate success!!!

Soooo Today:
We collected all of the recycles and trash, and brought them to the transfer station.  This included the grill cover that was disintegrating in the sun (we are deciding on the grill, still serviceable but we have not really grilled since we went vegan, although I really love grilled veggies and want to try pizza on the grill especially in the heat).  Then we literally filled the dinette area in the camper with donations to take to the church my mother donates to, it was about 12 bags.  We dropped a kids desk off at my brothers for his daughter. Then we gave the laundry drawers to my mother, and dropped a laundry basket of clothing off at friends house for her daughter! 

After that the kids vacuumed my mothers van while my husband took my father, who recently had a heart attack, to buy some lumber.  An hour drive home, and we made some cookies and pizza while my son and I (I directed, while my son used his young muscles) weeded the back side of the house.  Last week we finally admitted we had not used the hot tub in 6 years and gave it away.  We turned it off when I had to have all of my surgeries and never turned it back on.

With the weeding half done my son noticed how dirty the back of the house had become.  He grabbed the hose and a broom and was trying to clean it.  It needed a little more help, especially higher up. So we purchased some mildew cleaner and they sprayed it down.  It looks new again! while at the Home Improvement store, I almost wanted to buy a power washer, fortunately they did not have a 'good' for a reasonable cost, and I think that in the end, while it may have done a better job, we got it 90% done without spending or having to store more equipment.

At the end of the night we sat in bed and started talking about what the house would need in order to sell.  Inspired and wanting to accomplish more I dumped my  bedside table drawer on the bed.  About half of what was there was removed, thrown away, put away or put to donate!  I found a mess of gift cards that I will make a point of actually using if purchases must be made :)

So the house is not zen, it's not even tidy.  We did have a good, productive  and meaningful day. We helped others and made our house a little better.  I am looking forward to doing more tomorrow.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How We Think About Money May Relate to How We First Earned Money

I was surfing the internet after a rainy Saturday that was only somewhat successful in reducing our excess.  I made great improvements, I just don't feel like we are making them fast enough.  So everyone is asleep, my mind is racing, so I'm cruising Youtube.  Because maybe someone out there has THE answer.  All right, I know that is not the case.  I do find inspiration, I can take notes on decisions I make while sitting here quietly.  Then tomorrow when i only have an hour before heading out for the day, I will not have to make decisions.  I will simply try to remove or list for sale whatever items i have decided will go!  Now I honestly don't end up following it exactly, but it sure helps!

Tonight, I came across this Ted Talk Unconventional Ways to Save Money by Kerry Taylor cross It really did address the idea of clutter in terms of the cost of buying all that stuff.  The best way to save money is not to waste it.   She goes on to say that as a farmer she looks at what it cost her  to earn the money to purchase it. Many hours do we have to work to earn our 10th pair of jeans, or our 3rd computer? I am watching this thinking doesn't everybody think in terms of how long it took to earn the money? Then I realize my first job was on a farm! And this is not the first thought my husband will have....he first thinks, how much will I be able to sell it for when I no longer need it LOL! His first job was in retail!

Thing is even if i can get $5 back on $10 purchase I still spent $5.  So we need to ask do we REALLY need or even want the item.  We have to ask:
1. Do we already have something that works?
  If so, does the old one still work?  IF we get the new one are we willing to let the old one go? if the answer is no, why? If it is because it cost a lot and the old one still works, can you continue to use it? If you really need a new one because the new version has features you need, can you sell the old one? If you cannot part with the old one, then perhaps that is a clear sign that you do not need a new one.

2. If you don't have one, then you have been living without it, can you continue to do so?
Do you already feel crowded in your space? Perhaps you think of something(s) that take up twice as much space as the new item to purge from your stewardship!  Yes, you have to look at it in terms of space, you cannot acquire a yoga ball (even a 'free one) and give up a marble.  In addition to the economics of space and money, you have to consider time.  This new item will take up some amount of time in your life.  Even if it is just a knickknack, it will take time for you to clean around and dust it, is it worth it? Are you already feeling overwhelmingly busy?  You have to assess how much time that new item will take to make it worth buying and then decide if you have that much free time to fill.  If you don't have free time, what other activities and their accouterments are you willing to part with to make the time to use the new item.  If you really want new golf clubs are you willing to quit racket ball to free the time to play, and get rid of that equipment to make space and free up funds to join a golf club?

3. Do I have the money to spend on this?  If so, is it worth it?  I am willing to work at my job for 30 hours to buy a new lap top when the old one still works?  Will I regret not having the money to spend on something I do need or really want?  In my case I have to ask, is it worth my husband spending 30 hours away from his family.  If my kids suddenly need medical attention will I feel like I made a mistake buying something I did not need.

If you don't think its worth going through the hassle of asking these questions, then it probably is not worth your time to earn the money, and the space it will take up in your life!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Today it is Gone!

I am on a purge kick again.  I realize I am yo-yo purging, I purge, then things accumulate and I need to purge again!  Like dieting I can see clearly now that I need to make lifestyle changes, that will make my house lean.

A classic rule is 1 in, 1 out.
I have started trying to do this.  But often there is a Holiday or Birthday, and these are times when we let this rule go.  Or if we are out shopping and find a great deal on a bunch of stuff.  Much easier when we are just buying what we need.  OK, I got a new scrub brush for the kitchen sink, i throw out the old one--I wonder if the plastic brushes can be recycled.  I don't buy them often, but i did just replace one and chose one that has the replaceable head so that at least I am not having to replace the hole thing every time.

BUY QUALITY-something that can handle being used repeatedly.  Even if it is an item that will be used short-term or outgrown, so that it can be either gifted or sold to someone else rather than being tossed in the waste stream.
Arriving home from a trip it was easy to spot things that we were no longer going to use!

I wrote the above words a few years ago, never finishing and publishing them.  Reading them now, I still agree.  I do think that  I have made progress.  For the most part I have only bought what we need when we need it.

 No more buying sale items for later.  Just yesterday I gave away 2 new with tags pairs of girls shoes.  To be fair I thought they were girls size 4, they were women's size 4, which means they were actually a kids 2 or 3, so by the time I had the kids try them on they had already outgrown them.  I put a sticky not in them with the kids size on them and gave to my niece to grow into.  I still have some things that we outgrew and put in the attic, but even that stash is dwindling. I am mostly just giving everything away.  The house is too full.  And these things should be getting some use by someone and the space and peace of mind of letting them go is so nice!