Thursday, December 30, 2010

Evidence that I don't actually have a hoarding problem

And here are my first "After" pictures...
(See, it was a CLUTTER problem, not a HOARDING problem!)  :)

Back room shelves (I know this doesn't look much different but I promise, it is!!)

Shelves in the back room (anyone need those wine glasses?!) Also, Susan, you need to come and get those blue plates.)

In the back room

Above the washing machine

Over the washer and dryer (it actually looks a little sparse, doesn't it?)   See my cute piggy bank for change found in the laundry?  And the basket for other items found in pockets, etc.? Clever, huh?  :)                

Above the spare refrigerator in the back room
I hope you can see from these pictures how busy I've been this week.  You can't even see the rest of that back room where there is now a visible floor and spare shelves over to the right and below. 

Next "zone":  Art space.  Here's a preview photo of Art Space "before": 

Oh, and thanks to everyone who guessed how many Easter baskets I donated to Salvation Army today.  The correct answer was 12!  It would have been 13 but I had to keep one because it was John's AND his mother's childhood Easter basket... sheesh, talk about sentimental.  Some people can't throw anything away!

Evidence of my clutter problem

Ok, I promised pictures so here they are... Honestly, it's embarrassing. 

I think the problem stems from a couple of things:
1)  A definition of what has value, and therefore, what must not be thrown or given away
2)  A sense of obligation to keep things that hold memories for ourselves, or worse, for others and not ourselves (e.g., an old picnic basket with a broken handle.  I've never used it, have no memories associated with it, but recognize it as something that was special to someone who was special to me, therefore have not been able to get rid of it.)
3)  Not taking the time in the moment to make a decision about something.  The old, "I'll deal with this tomorrow..." problem I share with Scarlet.
4)  Not scrutinizing the item:  Do I love it?  Will it bring value and purpose to my life?  Will I lose something by giving it away or giving it up? Would someone else benefit from or enjoy it more?   

So, here are a few choice photos to give you an idea what I'm dealing with... I've already starting the purging process so I will have a couple of "after" pictures to post by the end of this weekend. I've made 2 trips to Salvation Army, put 15 items on the porch for Freecyle pick-ups, posted one thing on Craigslist (hate that process, not doing that anymore!), and have filled four trash bags. 

Here is the laundry room and "back room" where the boiler and water heater are...


And here's a fun contest:  who can guess how many Easter baskets I took to Salvation Army today?  :) 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011: a year to simplify

I was tempted to give this post the title, "2011: a year to simplify, purge, de-clutter and let go" but then I realized that title was seriously redundant.  So...I simplified. 

This will be my theme for 2011. Cary Natiello asked me why I was wearing a necklace the other day with the word "simplify" on it.  He said he didn't see the connection to me.  Huh?  Doesn't everyone know I really like simplicity, and try to remove what isn't necessary around me?  NO?!  Of course not. Look around my office, my house, my closets, my purse - you'd never come to the conclusion that I believe less is more, in spite of the fact that I really, truly do.  I love eye-candy, that I'll admit.  I'll never be one to live in a home that is grey and white and clean and sterile.  But I really have grown to hate the junk that piles up on counter tops and book shelves and bottoms of closets.  It's cluttering my mind. 

So, 2011 is about de-cluttering.  I'm going to set up a monthly theme to help me achieve my goal of removing from my life all things that aren't either 1) beautiful or 2) useful.  I've been doing some reading and research, naturally, and there are lots of folks who have already done this and have wisdom to share.  They recommend breaking the process down into smaller parts because if you're like me, you've accumulated so much crap you're really drowning in it all, and that in itself is overwhelming and immobilizing, and it's a self-perpetuating problem. 

I'm going to chronicle my simplicity journey to hold myself accountable.  I'll take a few pictures of some choice areas of my home that need to be tackled, and I'll post them here.  Nothing like some embarrassing pictures posted for all to see to motivate me to take action. 

I welcome you to join me, if you dare.  Post your pictures, too, and we'll keep one another on task.

Watch for pictures coming soon!