Eating Crow…

(….Well, just a small ‘no thank you’ helping, please.) Two short weeks ago I mentioned that I wasn’t a fan of the ‘self-help’ genre of articles about de-cluttering because the majority seemed to be sponsored by some retail organization in an attempt to get you to SHOP.

I am, however, a semi-regular reader of Zen Habits. I enjoy the writing, the variety of links,  and the intellectual aspect of living with little makes some serious amount of sense. (But not in the reality based world I inhabit.  Again, let me state…I LIKE MY THINGS!!)

Zen Habits often has guest blogs, and I am lead hither and yon around the web, discovering one after another fascinating blog to follow. This post gives a quick and simple approach to de-cluttering that complements what I have said over the course of the year (and in far fewer words, and all on one page!) I may spend a good amount of time poking about on the blog that this came from!

So, to recap. It’s ok to read these types of articles, if only to see you are not alone, and to find what level of de-cluttering and simplifying you can handle. You don’t have to commit to their entire philosophy.  (Which is why I will not be linking the blog I ran into discussing trying to pare down ones life to 100 items.)

I did get my website all set up for the holiday gifting season. BREATHE color

Check out my WordArt and ABC’s as I see them! A unique, personal gift……

(Now, if my daughter reads the blog, she will find out that it’s entirely possible that she will be sleeping on the couch or an air mattress, because it is almost impossible that the carpet will be installed before she arrives, as I still haven’t had a firm estimate. If she doesn’t read the blog…oh well…surprise…!!) I am still going at the flinging, albeit slowly and I am attempting to use the 9 rules that were set out in the blog I linked above. 

What do you think of those criteria for de-cluttering?

You can’t force it…

I said last week that I would be putting the pedal to the metal, and getting on with it, right? No more procrastination, and no goofing off online. I was going to DO IT.

Uh huh.

I did get up into the attic, and emptied out 3 totes of stuff. The majority of it, I admit, were Halloween decorations. But that means I can state that I have finished decorating far earlier than normal for Halloween. (Somehow, it sneaks up on me. It might be that I am surrounded by the decorations at the store from August, so it’s not fresh in my mind. Or the fact it was almost 90 today could be contributing to the lack of belief that time is moving so swiftly.)

I told myself (although I don’t think I said so here) that I would do the studio last. I Can’t. I feel somehow compelled this week to weed through my quilt magazines and books, collected over the past 20 years. Who am I to deny the urge to purge? Two bookshelves in the living room also saw the axe…they are still full….just not as over-full as they were before. Goodwill got a visit from me, with a load from the back of the Aztek. I almost have everything set up on the website the way I want.  And I bought my first Christmas gift.

Overall, not a spectacular start, but not a total dud, either.

2010 halloween-2 

IMG_3612

2010 Hallowee n

27-thing Fling. Super-size me!

Happy New Year!!!!

Have you ever heard of the 27-Thing Fling? It’s like a low impact de-cluttering project.

In my version, you make it a part of your day, or make it a concentrated effort, to eliminate 27 things each day…(or period of time you allot, or each time you decide to conquer clutter…)

Fly Lady came up with the name, but she has all these rules, lol, like getting dressed every day, first thing, and keeping your shoes on in the house and -–and, well, it just isn’t happening….

However, with the new year here, and the piles growing again, and the desire to accomplish something, my brain started wandering….(I am far better at brain wandering than say, cleaning…)

What if I were to try to find 27 categories for potential flinging, instead of simply flinging 27 things a day? And here you have the number one reason WHY I can’t accomplish things:

Here is a proven method, and I MUST complicate it. (Like the time I decided I would design my own cross-stitch pattern. On 18-count Aida cloth. Never mind the fact I had never completed a counted cross-stitch in my life, I was making one from scratch. It’s not finished, in case you were curious.)

Anyway, these are the categories I came up with.  All categories subject to change. I will post details on them a few at a time.

Clothes-closet and drawers

Clothes-undergarment/socks

Toiletries/makeup

Spices

Kitchen utensils

Dishware/cookware

Under the sink

Refrigerator/freezer

File cabinets

Knick knacks/home decor

Linen closet

Cat toys/supplies

Shoes

Jewelry box/hair do-dads

Quilt fabrics IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Quilt books HARD!!!

Quilt patterns HARD!!!

Art supplies HARD!!!

Paintbrushes/paints HARD!!!!

Glues and adhesives HARD!!!!

Papercrafting/scrapbooking HARD!!!

Jewelry making HARD!!!

Magazines HARD!!!

CD’s HARD!!!

Books HARD!!!!

Kitchen cabinets/pantry

Photographs HARD!!!

But I Work, you say. Yes, I do, too. 40 hours, quick commute. No kids at home, but still there isn’t time in a day, is there? There really aren’t any hard and fast rules to this. 27 is just a number. It’s the ‘Thing/Fling’ that rhymes! Remember these things:

  • You do not need to sign up, or even let me know you are flinging, but it would be nice to know I am not alone. If something is working for you, do share!
  • I am NOT coming to check up on anyone… (unless you live somewhere warm, with beaches, and send me a plane ticket).
  • No one is going to check your piles/bags to see if you cheated. If you really can’t find a 27th thing to throw out one day, dry your hands with a paper towel and fling that!
  • I don’t need to see photos of piles. (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours??? Well, maybe I will post some….) There are no rules, there is no prize, there is no timeline. You can make up your own categories that suit your needs.
  • There is no deadline. You don’t need to do them in order. You can even keep going after you hit 27 at one time…(54, 81)
  • Motivation by accountably? Telling the world I am doing this makes it real. So are you telling, too?
  • This task is not supposed to supplant general housekeeping. Don’t get so overly motivated by the counting or the flinging that dinner is forgotten, or laundry ignored, etc…
  • Try to do one category a day(or one round of 27 on a big category) Or one each day off. Or every Tuesday. Some areas may be quick. Some torturous.
  • Hint: Do not clean (which in my world would be using a sponge, vacuum, spray bottle, etc) while you are in the middle of counting to 27! The cleaning thing is a whole different ballgame. You figure out when to fit that in, but don’t let it break your stride. Part of why the clutter built up in the first place is probably because you got sidetracked anyway.
  • Even those whose houses are clean, organized and ‘clutter-free’ tend to be able to throw away another 27 things…(Which EXPLAINS how it is their house is clean and clutter-free to begin with!!)
  • How you dispose of these things is up to you. Many things–empty envelopes with someone’s old phone number shoved in a coat pocket count for an item, by the way– are obviously trash. If you do yard sales, if you KNOW cousin Sally would want to own it, or Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, Freecycle; if you prefer, Goodwill. This is up to you. Just make it leave.
  • (Subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a thing…. look to the sidebar for two easy ways.)

Know this: This is a “Do as I SAY, not as I DO” kind of blog!  Look, I am not an organizer, I don’t play one on TV or on the internet. I am probably ADD. I am not the person to prove anything to, yet I am more than happy to encourage and tell you keep it up! You are taking advice from me?? It’s worth about this (.) much, ok?

The the longest journey begins with a single step… Put one foot in front of the other….(insert whatever motivational ditty works for ya, ‘k?)

I have commenced the flinging. You may begin when you are ready.

And again, Happy New YEAR!

May 2010 be the best one yet!