Sunday, June 27, 2010

Upended by Natural Disaster

As you my know, we had an earthquake in Ontario last week, just a bit of a tremor in our area. In fact I didn't even feel it, although my neighbour and some of my friends did.

"What does this have to do with decluttering?" you ask.

A friend who was visiting walked into my office to check something on the computer. "What happened in here?" he asked.

It appears that the earthquake had had just enough power to bring a 2 shelf bookcase and all its contents tumbling from the wall - magazines, papers, books, too much I guess. I remember when we put it up a couple of years ago that we had only found one firm stud. I live in an old house built in 1870 and its innards are certainly not up to the present code of bracing every so many inches. So now, aside from my normal clutter, I had piles of books and papers lying all over the floor and desk, along with a hole in the wall!

Hopefully this "natural disaster" will help me make more progress in my office. I had been thinking for a while that I had too much on that shelf unit. So, the sorting has begun, and once more I am on the path to organization. At least that is the dream...

Friday, April 16, 2010


This is borrowed from YouTube, but when I saw it I knew I had to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Maybe we'll get our stuff done tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 30 - Letter L - Looming Prospects

Number 2 son and his girlfriend are coming home this week-end. It's amazing how the prospect of seeing them is motivating me to crack the whip and dig into the piles of paper that I have accumulated here. Did I happen to mention that the office is also the guest room?

I have made it through several piles already and wonder why I don't just do this every week. Maybe I could make myself a new habit. At the end of each week, I could take the time needed to tidy up all the loose ends and close the door knowing that my work space will be ready for a fresh start come Monday. What a wonderful thought.

You probably know by know that I am a bit of a dreamer, but as Prospero says, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on." The Tempest (Act IV Sc 1) I like the dream. Maybe I can make it the "stuff" of my life.

Speaking of "stuff", this little break is over and it's back to work for me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 29 - letter C - Continuing

Susan commented on my last entry. Yes, Susan, accountability is definitely good.

I have managed to keep my kitchen fairly spotless since my last update. Just doing the "clean as you go" routine has really helped. Mind you, when unexpected company dropped in yesterday. . . :(

Needless to say, this morning was a clean and vacuum morning!

It is a continuing process, this decluttering. I am someone who likes to create, finish, and then move on. But this process seems to always be there, demanding attention! I even heard about decluttering in a sermon recently! Convicted, I am once again determined to tackle my office.

Through the Word Guild Digest today, I found my way to a new blog by Laura Davis called The Writer's Keep. Todays entry was "How to Be Organized in Your Writing" She made some really good points, and although I will probably never be that organized, she did inspire me to try again. Thanks Laura.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 28 – letter C - Called to Account

Strolling through a concert hall at intermission, I heard the greeting, “Helen! Helen!” Turning toward the sound, I was greeted with a friendly smile.

“How's the decluttering going? I haven't seen any blog posts lately!” Susan, one of my readers, was calling me to account.

I do have my reasons, of all good procrastinators do. But, that is not the point. Susan's comment showed me once again the importance of accountability. She was making some progress, as was I, but the whole thing of laying it out before someone really is a motivator, at least for me.

Last week I went at the kitchen with a vengeance and brought it to a sparkling shine. The counter, cleared of all but the essentials, smiles at me every time I walk by. For me the lack of clutter becomes an invitation to enter and enjoy the clear working area or to sit with candles on the table, in other words to relax within the hub of my home.

As I have shared before, when one part of the home is happy with its arrangement, the other areas call for a few moments of care as well. Carpets vacuumed, newspapers put into the recycle bin, phone table cleared, closet and cupboard doors closed – these little things really take but a moment, but oh, how they enhance the feeling of freedom and light!

So, why not take fifteen and join me in clearing the clutter in your neatest rooms. The euphoria that follows just may push you to something more challenging. And when you get tired of the challenges, you can always grab a cup of tea and sit back and admire the spaces you've conquered!

Keep smiling. Keep calling me, and each other, to account. Thanks Susan for getting me back on track!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 27 – Letter I – Imagine

Can you imagine? “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” The well-known mantra for decluttering enthusiasts seems like a far-off vision at times.

I like to imagine what that kind of world would be like, what that kind of home would be like. I keep trying, but somehow, I haven't arrived yet. Perhaps it's because I take these long hiatuses in my journey to decluttering.

It's great to have grown kids, to see them every now and again (like at Christmastime)...and yes it's great that they hold me accountable when I need it.

“Mom, I haven't seen much on your decluttering blog lately! How's it going?” OUCH!

So here I am again, imagining, and trying to bring reality into line with my dreams.

Christmas is a great motivator for tidying! My house looks terrific when you come in the front door. Welcoming lights twinkle on the garland over the door. The living room is in order with all the newspapers and old magazines safely tucked into recycling. I can even see the dresser top in my bedroom. The windowsill beside my reading chair has an orderly feel, with all non-current material put away. My kitchen counter is gleaming, and the dishes are done.

Where did all the clutter go? Unfortunately it found its way to the usual spots in my home...the laundry/storage room and the office! Once again I have boxes sitting nearby as I type waiting to be sorted and put into their proper place. On the positive side, I did clean off the table by the computer this morning, knowing I was going to be getting back to my writing work, AND I do have another full bag of papers ready for recycling!

I guess it is a step by step process for me. Sometimes, when I am being hard on myself, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. If I look back over this blog though, I realize I have made significant advances this year. And for that I am happy. Here's looking ahead to 2010...hopefully a year of two steps forward and only one step back. I may as well accept the fact that I am never going to be a Martha Stewart, but I can enjoy being me and celebrate my small victories along the way.

Here's wishing you a good year on your journey to household sanity. I hope you will feel free to share your successes, and yes your failures with the readers of this blog as we battle on together. Maybe we'll encourage each other so much that by 2011 we'll feel like we have come through as conquerors!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Endless Circle

Here I am again, caught in the emotional wheel that has to do with clutter.

I arrived at a good space in my organization and felt triumphant about myself as the conqueror of the invasive monster. Going with the flow of that “high”, I took on new projects, got involved in more areas of interest, and have been working on sprouting this dream of writing, but . . .

You guessed it. Here I am once again, sitting by a desk that is covered with papers to file, junk to toss and a whole assortment of other things yelling at me to attend to them. HELP!

Emotionally I have gone into a bit of a funk, berating myself for never getting ahead. The whole “How could you possibly be in this space again?” battle of negative self talk is having a raging good time in my head! And that certainly does not help to lift the mood or feed the will to get back on track.

Maybe I need a twelve-step program for compulsive clutterers! I wonder if anyone has designed one. I'd be the first to sign up. After all, I'd rather be at a meeting talking about clutter, than out on the front line dealing with it.

Or . . . hmmm . . .

Perhaps I need to get off the computer, grab my 3 boxes and attack my house once again with Fly Lady's Boogie Fling. (See Day 2 of this journey)

This business of clutter really is an emotional wheel!