Over the last week, I’ve moved the content of entire rooms and moved them back. We are in the middle of having the hardwood floors refinished (see other posts for before and after photos). As I moved things, I had a chance to go through items and evaluate their usefulness. Some items were tossed, recycled or repurposed.
When I started this year long clutter clearing project, I thought I’d get rid of a few hundred things (one for each day). I didn’t realize that I’d do that within a month or two. I didn’t realize how much I actually owned. Some areas of my house are organized and include only items that I use, and some areas are still out of control. I own more items then I could use in a lifetime. And yet, I still find myself wanting to buy more things. I’m much better now at waiting to make sure I don’t already own something similar that I can use instead. And most of the time, I find that I do.
I feel like if I was surrounded only by things that I love and use regularly…I’d appreciate those items more and use them more often. I’m distracted by all of the things I own, but don’t need or want. I spend time going through them (books), or taking care of them or organizing them (clothes). It’s a waste of my time and energy. As I get rid of more things, I feel the air/aura in the house getting lighter. I’m enjoying that. I realize I still have a long way to go, but it feels good to make progress.
My goal for the month of May is to go through my clothes. This is my worst clutter area in the house (besides Wayne’s stuff). It’s organized, but there are a lot of them. I’d like to get rid of at least a quarter of them and I’m aware that this is an aggressive goal. I have clothes that don’t fit me now, but I’d still like to keep. I need to figure out a system for what to keep and how to store them. I shift summer and winter clothes to the closet upstairs and this needs to be easier.
I’m currently keeping most of my clothes in large space saver bags. It would be easier to keep clothes organized by themes: summer, winter, clothes that don’t fit me now, etc. I know that Feng Shui dictates not keeping the clothes that don’t fit me now, but this is one thing I know I won’t be able to do.
We are also having our floors redone upstairs this month. And I will need to pack up and move almost everything temporarily. It’ll give me a chance to get rid of items I don’t use that are in the dresser or in the bedroom.
Yesterday, I reorganized my home office and moved quite a few things in order to make it flow a little better with Feng Shui. The door opened directly across from a window which symbolizes the Chi (energy) running right out of the room. I placed one of the bookshelves in between to block that. I also now have my desk facing west against a wall, instead of north in the middle of the room. This is suppose to help with the flow of money. When I read this a few months ago, I immediately pushed the desk out of the middle of the room. Almost immediately, I started making more money and have been ever since.
Interestingly enough, I found a book that’s a journal to keep a log of books I’ve read. I’ve never used it. It’s beautifully leather bound. It made me smile because I’ve been using an app called Good Reads for this exact same thing. I log what book I read (or want to read), review it with the most interesting points, and then place it on my virtual bookshelf. That app has made my book journal obsolete. I’m sure as I go through the books in my office this month, that I’ll find more situations like these. Technology has changed the way we live our lives. It certainly is more convenient. There are some books that I don’t plan on ever getting rid of, but it is convenient to read a book on my kindle app from my ipad.
I picked up a few library books about some Feng Shui ideas and plan to review them today. Tomorrow, I’d like to reorganize my home office to make it a little more efficient and flow properly.
Paperwork is one of those areas that can get out of control and I think I’ve streamlined it as much as I can. My banks keep records for 7 years, and almost everything can be found online these days. I also saved receipts in a taxes email file.
Last year, I better organized my taxes by keeping a note file (I called it taxes) on my ipad and when I spent money for a certain area I logged it there (I wouldn’t put the receipt away until it was logged). It made filing my taxes very easy. I just had to add up each category and insert the total on the IRS form. I filed in January, which is difficult with business taxes. Paper scanners are also helpful for keeping better records.
Organizing paperwork has become easier with changing technology. I no longer need a filing cabinet in my office, and my files are now saved in email files. It has made my life a lot easier.
I’m really enjoying dealing with one item a day from my office. I’ve updated all of my class boxes and gotten rid of a bunch of old textbooks. I still have quite a few items in my office I don’t need. I’m off work next week and I plan to reorganize my office for better Feng Shui flow, and get rid of the rest of the items I don’t need.
While reading a book recently, I came across this idea and I find it fascinating. Each thing we own flows through our fingers temporarily. Whether it is an item handed down from generation to generation, or a gift from a friend that is used and passed on to another friend or family member. Nothing is permanent. This made me realize that even the items we love dearly are just temporary. We need to enjoy them for the short time we have them. Kind of like friends. 🙂
So far this month, I have been working on de-cluttering my home office and it is different from other projects. This month has been more of what I imagined my 365 day journey of getting rid of the clutter would look like. I didn’t imagine working on such huge projects, but instead taking it one day (thing) at a time. I am VERY glad I did that, but I think easier or smaller projects are important in between the big ones.
Each day this month, I have stood in my home office for a few seconds and looked around. Then I focus on one item I don’t need or want and put it in a box to recycle, donate or sell. By the end of this month, I would not only like this room to be less cluttered, but I would also like to reorganize the furniture and make it flow better with better Feng Shui.
To me, this room has the best vibe in the house (and it goes without saying that I want every room in the house to feel like this one). I didn’t feel this way about this room until I re-decorated it last year and eliminated a lot of clutter in this room. I love being in it. It is bright and cheery. If at the end of March, it gets even better…that’s just an added bonus. I have cards and gifts I have received from students over the years, some teaching awards, and photos of family and friends and those are the things I want to keep. If I am not emotionally attached to it…it isn’t staying in this room.
January – bathroom area, kitchen and living room
These are the areas we spend time in everyday. If they are completely organized it would save us some time each day. I’ll collect canned goods and food for the homeless shelter that I’ll take my students to next month.
February – auctions and nearby closet
I have boxes of stuff that I bought at auction and sell online. It’s time to go through what hasn’t sold and get rid of it (toss it, give it away, donate it or try to sell it in bulk) and organize this area. I would like to go back to the auction in February to get more stuff to sell for this year, but I need to make sure I have space first. Take before and after photos.
The nearby closet (take before and after photos) needs to be better organized. I need some sort of shelving system to get the smaller items and boxes off the floor. I’d like to have some extra space in this area.
March – office
I just finished a complete update of this room last year and it has been streamlined, but now that it’s set up I can see there are things I don’t use on a regular basis. The bookshelves are a little cluttered and so is the closet. I’d like to have more open space on the desk. And figure out a good place for both lamps. I may need to move things around for better organization. This area needs better Feng Shui.