Minimalist 10 Day – 10 Minute Challenge

I spent nearly 2 years pouring over minimalist blogs, reading about minimalism, and creating minimalist boards on Pinterest before I jumped in with both feet. To be honest, I’m still a work in progress. Of course, minimalism is not a destination that you arrive at but a way of life. It’s an intentionally curated life surrounded only by the things that bring you the most pleasure.

If you’re like I was, a maximalist with hoards of books, clothes, dishes, and what-nots, those first steps towards a minimalist lifestyle are incredibly daunting. Every cupboard, shelf and drawer was stuffed to the max and I had run out of places to store the cast-offs. The garage was full, the attic was full, and the basement was full. When I came across an item I no longer needed, I had no where else to put it. My only option was to jettison some stuff.

I had spent so much time and money accumulating, process of letting go was foreign. Just like learning a new language, I had to start small and slow. One thing at a time. What I found was that when I focused on getting rid of 1 thing, I found 5 to remove. Or when I decided to spend 10 minutes sorting though items, I spent 20 minutes. When I actually started doing it, the time passed before I had realized it. Eventually, I built up the muscle of letting go to the point where I could feel the freedom and calm that goes along with it.

If you’ve been thinking of trying out minimalism but don’t know where to start, I’ve created this quick and easy 10 day challenge. Have fun with it. Take the pressure off and think of it as an experiment. Without a doubt, as you go through some of your possessions, you’ll learn some things about yourself. And that process of learning is just as important as deciding what to keep and what to toss.

Give it a try and let me know in the comments how it went!

minimalist, minimalism, challenge, declutter, organize, clear, clean

Continue Reading

I Did All That To Do This

organized, cleaning, coffee, scattered, write, productivity, good intentions,

True Story

Beep! Beep! Beep!  My coffee pot gives the ominous warning that its time is up and it auto shuts off.

Just one more cup is all I’ll need to get through the rest of the day.  I dump the cold remains of the last cup that had been forgotten in my attempts to be productive and rinse out the mug in the sink.  The mug that says, “Life begins after coffee.”

I slide the empty mug under the fill spout and press the button.  Hot coffee pours into it.  I set my steaming coffee on the marble counter to wait while I retrieve the cream from the fridge. When I set it down, I notice the bag of dog treats sitting wide open on the side board.  I look in and there is only a half of a dog bone left in the bag.

I pull out the dog treat and call the dog over.  He comes running excitedly.  He jumps for his treat and runs off to munch on it.  I take the empty bag to the trash can next to the kitchen sink.

Behind the stainless faucet I notice a cleaning rag that’s been left out for two days.  I’m cleaning up the house today and so I grab it before I forget about it and toss it down the basement stairs.  I’ll take it the rest of the way down later for the next load of laundry.

Then I remember that there are other dirty cleaning rags in my housekeeping bucket from the last job I had.  I locate the bucket and toss those cloths down the basement stairs too.

Beside the toaster, on the counter next to the basement door, there is an empty soda can left there by one of the kids.  I pick it up to take to the recycling and remember that I saw a few other empties in the living room.  I retrieve all of them before stepping outside to add them to the recycling bin.

Upon coming back inside, I remember that I had been in the process of sorting through some mail on the kitchen table earlier in the morning.  I pick up an old newspaper that had been left out because it had a picture of my kids in it and decided to clip the picture and throw away the paper.

I throw out the leftover newspaper and see some paintbrushes beside the kitchen sink that had been left to dry after the last art project.  The box of art supplies is right next to the box of photos and keepsakes, so I grab them up to put away while I store the newspaper clipping.

I’m feeling productive and creative thoughts are flowing.  Now would be a good time to sit down and write a few articles about what I’m thinking.

I head to my chair and then stop because I really like to have a hot cup of coffee by my side while I write.

Oh, yeah! Coffee!

It’s still sitting on the counter waiting for cream.  I head for the fridge as my mind back tracks through all the activities it took to finally arrive there.

I pour the cream into my still hot coffee.  I return the cream to fridge, collect my coffee mug and sit down to write.

So, I did all that to do this.


Whoa!  Can you relate?  In an attempt to be productive, I’m incredibly scattered!  What do you do to keep yourself organized and moving forward in an orderly fashion?  I need help.  Leave your best tip in the comments

Continue Reading

10 Unsightly Places In My House

cleaning, organize, declutter

cleaning, organize, declutter

I really wanted to start this post by telling everyone how organized and OCD I am.  I mean, don’t I have to have a spotless home to post beautiful pictures on social media sites?  Isn’t that a mandatory part of being a blogger?

Then I decided that listing ten embarrassing places in my house is just too much information.  Talk about opening myself up to be judged. No one needs to know.  I could list five places, sympathize with other slackers and vow to be perfect by the end of next week.

Then I thought… Haters gonna hate.  So what.  Judge away.

10 Unsightly Places in my House

1.  My bedroom.  I can’t seem to keep things put away.  It’s behind closed doors so maybe I don’t care as much.  There are too many blankets, papers to be filed, and clothes.  Just too much stuff.  There isn’t a place for it all.  I really need to get rid of some stuff in there.

2.  Hallway.  Our house is tiny.  There is one hallway.  It serves too many purposes.  Our coat racks and shoe racks are there.  The microwave.  A tote with our winter gear, hats, mittens, scarves, etc…  A shelf unit with pantry items. An overhead shelf with small appliances and extra paper goods.  My cleaning supplies.  The only thing it’s not good for is walking through… hmmm.

3.  Attic.  Who’s attic isn’t a wreck?  Really?  It tends to be a catch all for us.  If something isn’t currently needed or in use, it goes into the attic.  Some of it we find and use as needed, but a lot of it gets shoved to the back and never seen again.  I’m sure there is stuff there that could disappear and we’d never know it.

4.  Garage.  Ugh! It really seems like we clean out the garage every spring and fall.  And every time it fills up again.  We have never parked a car in the garage in the nearly five years we’ve lived here.

5. The kids’ bedrooms.  There are two of them but I’ll list them here as one.  My 13 yr old son just doesn’t take care of his clothes.  Clean or dirty.  They just hang around.  My 10 year old daughter collects things.  And most of them end up on the floor.  If anyone has any tips on motivating your kids to clean their rooms, PLEASE let me know.  I’m out of ideas.

6.  The screen porch.  This is probably most embarrassing because it’s the first impression to my house.  And it’s winter right now.  Shovels, patio furniture, returnables, and Goodwill fodder.

7.  The freezer.  It seems like we put things in the freezer, but very little ever comes out of it.  The last few times we emptied the freezer was because someone left the door open and ruined everything inside.  I’m so ashamed.

8.  Basement.  Okay.  So there’s probably not much I can do about this.  One wall is field stone and the basement is damp.  When it rains hard we get little streams of water running through to the drain.  Everything down there is up on pallets.  It’s not really a pleasant place to be.

9.  Under the couch.  It eats things like pencils, candy wrappers, and socks.  Actually, I’m pretty sure the kids feed it.

10.  Top of bookshelves.  We have a lot of books.  So we have a lot of bookshelves.  The tall ones that have five shelves. It’s pretty rare that I think about dusting off the top.  Anything that’s up there has a layer of dust and cobwebs.

 

Yuck! That list makes us sound like slobs.  I really wish I was OCD.  Maybe I will be by the end of next week.  Right.

What areas do you find embarrassing in your house?  What do you wish you were OCD about?  Comment below. 🙂

Continue Reading