I mean nothing flippant here whatsoever! I mean no offense to anyone who has had to deal in more severe fashion with hurricanes, floods, fires, death of anyone in their lives and people who just plain suffer far worse situations than myself. I am only speaking from my experience about trying to declutter my house with Kon Mari method from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I think it was back in April when I set aside a Sunday to get started decluttering after having recently read this book and was full of enthusiasm! I made it through the closet, well, one third of it on that first Sunday and the next Sunday I worked on drawers and finished the clothes out of the closet. Yay, I was on a roll!
The next time, I worked to reorganize books and cull the ones I knew I was not going to read. This was a small pile because I love reading so on to the paper purge I went. I was barely into this one Sunday when I got a text from my sister-in-law. Now, my day was laid out to go through the many years’ worth of receipts and tax information-WAY more than the recommended 7 years-that were stored in the, can you guess it?, Yep! In the closet. So, I had kicked those out of the closet on a previous weekend so I could reach the clothing and moved it into the front room where I intended to set up a shredding station. The shredder had been there behind the couch since Christmas when my daughter gave it to me.
Now each time I walked into the house I would be reminded of my goal and that way keep my intention at the front of my mind. At least that was my logic.
Alas, that was probably my illogical thinking actually because I knew I had to go to my daughter’s college graduation for one of the weekends and then there was the whole exhausting end of the school year going on. Not to mention prepping for the move of recent college graduate from Florida to Texas in less than a 2 day trip there and time to help get her settled, so three weeks later I am into the whole summer vacation thing and should be able to swing this declutter thing. I didn’t want to spend the entire summer doing this process, I had only dedicated Sundays remember. I wanted to keep myself from either throwing everything out or becoming so overwhelmed that I would just shove it back into every available nook and cranny and hit resume on my cluttered life.
So I was getting my mind wrapped around the next five Sundays being my timeline and I know I can do what’s left to tackle inside the house in about 30 hours. The garage, well that’s another thing altogether!
But then I got a text from my sister-in-law telling me that her mom, my mother-in-law, wasn’t doing well and that she needed my help; would I please come. Of course I would! That meant setting up my house for a 19 year old male child to be in charge of two cats and a dog plus all the normal household operations with the watchful assistance of his grandmother across the street and the phone calls from people that are like second parents…..scary thought huh? Oh and then there was the whole book a ticket- one way- up north for the next day! Phew!
I certainly swept the idea of decluttering out of my mind on that Sunday-yes cleaning pun was intended. J
It would be three Sundays before I would be home again, only to spend that last weekend before heading back to school for the teachers work week so only the basics happened that Sunday—put away stuff from being gone and begin to wrap my brain around going back to work again.
That whole first week without students is a whirlwind of work mixed with insane amounts of sitting in meetings but I guess it is just building back in the tolerance necessary for the breakneck pace and too many decisions that lead to chronic overwhelm and exhaustion. But, hey I do love my job! I have great students and work with some fantastic people which helps, but still, I have not completed my declutter project.
Sure I worked a bit here and there to add to the Salvation Army pile but not as described in the book. Oh man! I’m not obsessive but when I set a goal and then boldly blogged about it I really want to keep the goal.
Well, such is life! Nothing is that easy and no huge amounts of time blocks opened up for me to resume my goal. I am not a big TV watcher at all either so that wasn’t sucking up my time. The Blacklist season 3 while with the daughter in Texas and a recent stint on Netflix watching “The Five” are all the TV I have purposefully watched. Pretty sure it’s the life of homeownership as a single mom—WAY TOO MUCH TO DO!
Hell, I haven’t even replaced the refrigerator inside the house that apparently died while I was away with my sister-in-law and dying mother-in-law. Luckily, I have another smaller one out in my cluttered garage, so it can wait as it has now for three months. Priorities change after dealing with death. Trust me it’s complicated with this old house.
Back to the school groove which feels faster than ever and then hurricane season kicked in on HIGH. Early September we were watching Irma heading for Florida. After having seen the devastation in Texas we were very nervous to say the least! School was cancelled on a Friday and we were told to prep our rooms (kind of) because our school was a shelter. Not knowing who or how many would show up, we did what we could.
Wow did things ever change! We thought we might miss Monday as well to allow for the schools to get cleared up but that turned out to be longer, like a whole week to clean up and get electricity back to residents—what a mess.
Still nothing for us compared to further south in Florida where many homes were destroyed by flooding, or the recent horrible Harvey mess and poor Puerto Rico—I cannot imagine what they are going through and my heart goes out to them.
Back to the “Decluttering Derailment”!
So, hurricane prep is not an easy task at all —lots of work to be done and much of it in the rain so no fun.
That Sunday was shot form sure we were hunkering down and anticipating the worst for our area. We were certainly spared the worst stuff here and I’m very grateful for that. One of my friend’s father lost everything lost everything on the first floor of their house further south, many people were without electricity, roof were damaged (my mom’s for sure) and trees and yard debris everywhere. The game of pick up sticks was intense. One of the days I walked over 11 miles between the three yards here. Great way to jumpstart calorie burning ….but still not getting the decluttering done.
So now, after a month of removing shutters and clean up in the yard, there is still sanding painting to do where those shutters go, but that will happen after the season ends. Then there is still some pesky porch furniture that needs to get moved back to its rightful place. One of the good outcomes is that I have had to (need to know where tools are and other supplies for potential hurricane preparedness) tackle some of kitchen and parts of the garage-yay me!
Now that there is calm with the weather, I am moving cabinet by cabinet around the kitchen until it and the pantry are the way I want. The amount of spices I’ve thrown out was amazing! I have the baking supplies and part of the pantry to get through and then I will be more at ease in that room.
The garage is another story. It has gotten worse over the last almost 5 years now since the husband became incapacitated and then ultimately died I have very little clue what is out there let alone where it might be if I were to need it. Okay, I can find the washer, dryer, extra refrigerator, and some tools but there is A LOT of stuff out there for sure.
Do I feel badly about myself because I have not yet met my goal?
I could but there have been a lot of road blocks thrown in my way and I could just stop but I would rather adapt and move at a pace that is at least forward although much slower than I imagined when I created my post-it of Sundays and what I would tackle. Somewhere I was listening to Ester Hicks (I enjoy listening to Ester but..) and she made a comment about us not being able to clean our own homes—that we weren’t “something” enough to handle it on own which created a feeling of less self-worth but only for about 15 seconds because of that whole don’t like the feeling change the thought attitude I have now, I decided that was bull spit! There are so many things in this house and especially out there in the garage that I have no idea what to do with them or if they have the potential to bring my joy. If I found a tool out in the garage say that could make my life easier in some other way I would be like OMG this brings me so much Joy! If I don’t have that feeling or get that feeling then I have to decide how best to remove it from my space and whose space does it go to-I believe in recycling and reusing. I wish I had the means by which to pay someone to help me but that isn’t happening. So, little by little is the best I can do.
I think I will revisit the book this weekend and create a new plan to get back on for the remaining Sundays in 2017. Barring any deaths, hurricanes, or other life events, I hope to have a much better flow of energy in my house when I walk in from work and have that same feeling when I get out of bed in the morning as I head out to the porch to sit, enjoy the morning and write.
If you missed my review link above you can click it here: Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.