The Road So Far

Cue up “Carry On My Wayward Son”… because that’s how you end the season

Yeah, I know. Everyone and their dog is doing a year end wrap up/review kind of post.

This isn’t one of them. Especially since it’s January 6th (or whenever it is you’re reading this).

Since this blog is mainly for me to keep myself accountable, to make notes of what’s working and what isn’t, and maybe help someone along the way, I’m just gonna share what sticks out in my brain from the last month or two. And being perfectly honest, That’s about as much as I can remember – darn leaky memory center.

Anywho, these last two months have basically been consumed with our house and our stuff. Specifically, packing up nearly all of our stuff, moving it out of the house, then moving back it back in. Not only that, I was looking for a way to keep the house tidy once we started bringing things back in. The Pack Up and Unpacking was a project, but we were still living here day to day and have a tendency to pile things on any flat surface.

A small bit of backstory that I touched on in a previous post: I read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I was all in. I even printed the amazing, detailed list that was put together by Laura at HowtoGYST (sign up for her newsletter and get access to lots of great printables and content). I plowed through the first bit – clothes, books and papers. Then I stalled – the Komono category is huge and I was exhausted, so we put it off until we were forced back into it.

So here’s 5 things that I learned along the way:

  1. It gets easier. Really. Decluttering is really, really difficult for those of us who never learned that it was ok (or necessary) to let go of things. I was raised with an abundance of stuff, and things we held on to Just In Case. I struggled a lot when I first got going. There were a lot of efforts, but nothing really stuck. I don’t know what changed this time, but I know I was really ready to make a shift, and I sought out ways to help me accomplish it. I first thought that Marie Kondo was smoking something when she said that you need to discard things in the right order. Now I realize tackling things with minimal emotional attachment first, and then working your way up to things that have more emotional meaning helps you strengthen the decluttering muscle. At first I really wasn’t ready to face some of the sentimental items that cropped up in the random piles of stuff. Now I’m (mostly) able to recognize if something will truly bring me joy, and I can keep it and find a way to treasure it; or if I’m only holding on to it because of guilt.  It’s also easier to keep the house clean when there’s less stuff as well, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
  2. It’s even easier with help. I am SO very lucky to have a supportive spouse who wants a tidy home as much as I do. I also started without him. This was initially my project, and something I was doing for me, and I had waaaay more stuff than he did. And as I was looking for ways to keep the house in order, I started implementing them without really talking about it. Again, I was doing it for me, but to bless us with a sink that’s not overflowing with dishes, with laundry that’s caught up, etc. When you do things that are “chores” but do them without complaint, sometimes the people in your home will notice. They may even start doing things on their own. There’s even a chance they’ll do it without asking. Don’t count on it, but it can happen.
  3. Put that thing back where it came from! This is huge… I’ve know it, but forget about it and have to be reminded. When you get something out: put it back. Don’t leave it where you were using it, because next time you need it you won’t be able to find it and it will make you super grumpy, and may cause a rage purge/cleaning session. Ask me how I know…
  4. It’s the little things. It takes one* monumental effort to declutter your home, to find places for the items that you are choosing to keep and breathe that sigh of relief as the house is all tidy. It takes lots of little efforts every day to keep things tidy. The first step is the project, it takes habits to maintain it. Loading and unloading the dishwasher; wiping the counters; picking up the pile of papers on the counter and dealing with them; washing, folding and putting the clothes away; vacuuming the dust bunnies before they breed (the life cycle from speck to full blown breeding adult is 2 weeks. You’re welcome); etc… all these things take a little effort every day to deal with. As a spoonie, that effort can seem huge, but the nice thing is that with the work we’ve done so far, even skipping a day doesn’t have the disastrous impact it used to.  
  5. Find your muse/teacher/taskmaster. It’s super important to find one or more people that inspire you, help you focus, keep you on task, motivate you to keep moving through the roadblocks you face. I’ve shared some of mine, but here are a few more to peruse. These are mostly YouTube Channels, but most have a corresponding blog if you prefer to read, rather than watch.

The Messy Minimalist

Abundantly Minimal

Break the Twitch

Clutterbug

How about you? Who inspires you? What lessons have you learned along the way?

See you next time!

*One being a relative term. It may take several sessions to finally go through every item, but in general, this is a one time thing.

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