This blog post at Raptitude has had me thinking for awhile. It would be lovely to have everything at home in its place. Nice goal, wouldn’t you say?
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Hello and Happy New Year (almost!)
I’m recommitting to decluttering slowly this year – 15 minutes at a time (per the practical advice of flylady.net). First up is the dining area off the kitchen which is a catch-all for papers, work and errand bags, mail, and a box of recycling. It’s an area full of items needing homes. Anyone else have an area like this?
Simultaneously, I’ll be setting up new systems at work to make the flow of work more smooth, including adding boxes like those pictured to handle projects-in-progress.
Will be back soon!
Hello! I have missed you!
This week I have been focusing on flylady’s Before Bed Routine (BBR) as she calls it – and what I call plain ol’ getting ready for tomorrow while it’s still tonight. That way I can stumble out of bed half-awake and yet be dressed in clothes that look great and walk out the door with a yummy smoothie in hand.
To smooth out the morning routine, I prepare the night before by arranging the smoothie dry ingredients on the counter next to the blender. In the bathroom, I put out the items I need to clean/scrub along one part of the counter and the makeup along the mirror – in order of use.
Seriously. Going for no-thinking-in-the-morning.
Here’s what that looks like each night.
Kindly ignore the hot spot that brews on my kitchen counter each night. I dream of one day having perfectly clear counters!
What do you do at night to prepare for the next day?
Hello! Jumping back in here as I’m in the middle of rearranging, organizing and cleaning a bedroom, walk in closet and a den off the living room area. The den is a nook of a room that I’m contemplating making my sleeping area because it has high ceilings, a slant to one wall, and it’s a tiny little room. Cozy, really.
The inspiration for that room will be simplicity such as this:
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Welcome to the reorganization of my pantry/kitchen closet. The closet went from somewhere I wanted to close my eyes when the door opened to now making me smile each time I catch a glimpse inside of it! And yes, that is an empty shelf in the “after” photo.
How about you? Any organizing/decluttering projects in the works?
so my mind has been clogged up with Shoulds, Musts and Ought-To’s…and left my thinking muddled. It’s why I haven’t been here in awhile. (I may be talking to an empty room here…. is my voice echoing?)
I just read Leo Zabuta’s post on his mnmlist blog and since his words are meant to be shared, I’m putting them in below….. the ideas are too profound to keep to myself..(and Leo’s bajillion readers)
enjoy. I’ll be back soon.
As minimalists, we often talk about paring down possessions, and sometimes paring down what we do. But what about what we think?
Is there any use in paring down thinking? I’ve found myself doing this over time, in many areas.
My ideas about exercise have been simplified over the years. I used to worry about the ideal mileage, percentage of increase in mileage, intervals, reps and sets, weights and progression, lifts, workouts, programs … it was very complicated. But as I’ve learned more about fitness, I’ve dropped most of those ideas. I now know that none of that matters much, as I’ve let go of specific fitness goals. Now I just try to move on most days, and have fun doing it. I’ve dropped ideas about schedules, about programs, about loads and goals. I’m left with the simplest of ideas.
Same applies to diet. I used to worry about not eating grains, or soy, or processed foods, or fruits, or chemicals. Should I eat quinoa or steel-cut oats or amaranth or chia seeds or bulgur wheat or buckwheat? I used to count calories. Now I just try to eat real plant foods most of the time, and am mindful of my eating. It’s simpler this way.
About writing: I worried about structure and voice and style and terseness and grammar and schedules and tools and reading the best authors and the snowflake method and editing and much more. Now I just write when I’m inspired, and I let it flow.
About work: I worried about productivity and goals and action items and meetings and paperwork and the Pareto principle and the perfect desk and the perfect computer setup. Now I use simple tools, and do what I’m excited about.
The same is true of anything I’ve done. About finances, I just spend less than I earn, and have my bills paid automatically. About my site, I just write and publish and forget about comments and ads and stats and social networking. About my social life, I just meet with a friend and try to be present. I could go on all day, but you get the point.
When we start out with something, we usually will try everything. But as we learn, we can pare down ideas that we find out don’t matter. We’re left with the essentials.
My office at work has been piled up with papers on every surface – which is driving me crazy. So when an office supply order arrived this morning, I jumped at the chance to tidy up the shelf that I’d revamped two years ago and had barely touched since.
Things at home have piled up again. Just call my bedroom a teen’s room - with the pile of clean clothes and a pile of other laundry ready to be folded and put away. (Note: I am able to toss dirty laundry into the duo-sorter that fits neatly between the washer and dryer. It’s folding and putting away the clean items from the dryer that I procrastinate on.)
Speaking of procrastination……at work yesterday I put off one task that someone left for me to do. I put it off and off and off – until the afternoon when I sighed and resigned myself to just spending 15 minutes on it to start it. Oops! Turns out the task could be accomplished in a mere four minutes. Lesson learned.
Overall, words are just words. I can promise you here forever that I’ll post photos of my organizing projects and never do it. Therefore, I’ll stop with the promises and just do it – organize and take photos – feeling that I’m not alone while doing it – you all are with me in spirit!
Ooohhh..motivational photos. I’ll find some of those. (click on photo for source)
Hmm..seems this warmer weather of spring is having me crave colors of all kinds!
People matter more than things.
I’m simplifying spaces at home to have more time with friends such as a recent spontaneous afternoon with friends Anna and Jocelyn (pictured above before we all put our cell phones away!). We took a Saturday afternoon to get lunch and go shopping. I love that having a minimal home means more time with friends and family with no “home guilt” (examples: “I should be home doing laundry” or “I should be mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors!”)
Valuable. This word keeps coming to mind when I pick up items that have no home (yet) in my apartment. I recently decluttered my kitchen table so that it could be used again. The messy tabletop contained grocery store mailers, coupons, the latest netflix DVD, items from a trip to China, and a journal, I thought, “How valuable am I treating these items?? I let them take up valuable space in my small apartment?” I treated those items as if they were special instead of the truth: most went to recycling, some items were put away, and a small pile was tucked into a tiny bin marked “memories”.
It’s the same thing when I declutter and end up with black trash bags of garbage to be tossed and I think, “I was storing all of this in my little home?”
What are you storing in your home that is taking up valuable space on what could be clear surfaces or sparsely furnished cupboards?
Friends, meet the four “hot spots” (as FlyLady likes to call them) that live in my apartment. Starting with the top left photo and moving clockwise:
- Top o’ the Stairs: The cart + bin are for Goodwill, the blue IKEA bag is a collection of items from my car’s trunk, and behind those is a Christmas Day bin that needs to be emptied which is on top of a bin holding a sewing machine that’s on loan from my sister in law. Since the photo was taken, the Goodwill items have been taken care of.
- Area Near the Top o’ the Stairs: Welcome to the spot where I dump a work bag, a gym bag and a box that arrived at work from an item I ordered. The box should be recycled, the work bag put on a hook, and the gym bag in the bathroom closet.
- Magazine Central: A bin of torn-out magazine pages and magazines to go through.
- The Counter Near the Stairs: Coupons, keys, mail, matches and candles seem to party here.
The good news is that when I look for items to give away, it’s becoming more difficult to find anything to donate! That, my friends, is cause for celebration.
Finally got the flu that has been going around for weeks so it was a stay-at-home weekend which worked out just fine. Here you see where I spent most of Monday while watching a film (Brothers Bloom), reading, napping and occasionally venturing over to the table to the left of the television to work on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. (those buggers are tiny pieces….who knew?!)
As you can see from my deck, it was also a snowy day – which made being inside all the better.
That’s a wimpy snow photo. Here’s a better one taken at the office of the picnic table out back. I find the untouched snow beautiful.
This weekend I did clean out this five-drawer cart that had been sitting there under the kitchen counter for a year. (wow…long time). I cleaned it out and was going to keep it and kept coming up with reasons to keep it -but realized I’d rather just get it out of the house. So it’s on its way to Goodwill!
How was your weekend?