I’ve been reading a lot about ways to declutter the mind and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what will do it. There are a few things that make sense to me. One is exercise. I can work through a problem or think about what needs to get done that day when I take a walk. As one writer put it: “Spending some physical energy clears the mind.” I can relate to this because I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. At times, I’ll take a long walk just to get something off my mind.
The other side of this is overthinking things and driving myself crazy doing it. In the big picture of life, I know it doesn’t matter, but I still find myself obsessing about certain things. Lately, I’ve had so much on my mind that I can immediately dismiss these things because I just don’t have the time or energy to deal with them. But it would be nice to have a better system in place to deal with them when things slow down.
Another thing that helps me is to write things down. When I feel overwhelmed, making a list of what needs to get done is helpful to relief stress. I have a free app on my ipad called “Errands” and I can put to do lists on whatever day they need of get done. Things don’t slip through the crack when I use it. And it helps to keep my mind uncluttered.
Today I spent the day cleaning out the closet and end table in the bedroom and getting organized. This room has been is disarray for a month because of the hardwood floors and waiting for rugs to arrive. I think part of my cluttered mind has to do with the fact that the house has been turned upside down for the last month. Getting everything (at least in one room) back in order makes me feel better, and now I know where things are. My summer clothes are now hanging in the closet, and that makes me feel better too.
This morning, I started reading a book about chakras and keeping them clear. It’s interesting because keeping them in balance means keeping the mind uncluttered. I’ll be happy to have everything back in balance again.
From Oprah’s, Conquer Your Clutter Room By Room:
After you’ve done a surface purge and decided on a vision for each room in your home, the deep cleaning begins. Now it’s time to go through your house room by room and overcome your attachment to items that don’t help you live the life you want.
Use these ground rules when cleaning out any room in your home:
Think it through. In each room, think about what’s particular to that room in terms of the stuff that needs to be in it, the stuff that tends to accumulate in it and how you’re going to approach the task.
Set it up. The setup is the same for every room:
Establish zones for the different activities that take place in the room.
Figure out what doesn’t belong in the room.
Make it happen. This is the action plan that will help you make your vision for the space a reality.
Which room do you want to start with?
This week, I went through the items I bought at an auction and listed some on ebay. It amazes me some of the junk they include with these auctions. I don’t even know what some of these items are. Sometimes though, I find something that I think is junk until I look up what it might be worth.
Once, a bag of American flag stickers came with an auction I purchased. There were thousands of them. My first thought was to donate them, but I decided to look them up on ebay first. As it turned out, they were selling for about $1 a piece. I listed them in sets of 20-100 and sold them all over the next year. It was nice because I also didn’t need to go to the post office…I could mail them from my house in a regular mail envelope. But something that I perceived as junk was worth quite a bit to other people. You just never know until you do your research.
Our hardwood floors are being finished today and I’ve fallen behind from my May goal of going through my bagged clothes. It may need to get pushed until June and that’s ok. I’m still happy with the progress I’ve made this month in my clutter clearing process.
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.
Today, we are having half of the hardwood floors in the house resurfaced (the other half will be done in 2 weeks). As it turns out, these are the original floors from the 1950s. They have some rough spots that will need to be filled. But the last owner of the house had carpet put in over the floors and they are in pretty good shape for being over 60 years old. I’m glad that we decided to check these floors before we just replaced them. I like the fact that we are recycling in a sense.
Cleaning out everything before we moved it has been a good time for me to slowly go through things and get rid of those items we don’t use. Knowing that the living and dining room areas will be clutter free makes me feel good.
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.