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Barbie is a Hoarder

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I would not have believed it but I saw it with my own two eyes. Look at these storage containers that are for all her shoes, bracelets, hats, her books and her love notes from Ken. She is getting her containers this month, just like the rest of Americans. I hope she gets them on sale!

It took all I could muster up not to buys these, if as nothing more than a reminder, that out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of use. I don’t need more clutter no matter how darn cute it is!!!

Just think how many ways she could use these storage containers – endless possibilities.

We live in a world where even the toys our children play with, multiply and eventually end up unruly and in desperate need of their very own storage system.

In my household it’s Lego’s and Brio Trains. I have them stored. It literally never ever crossed my mind to think of those “holy” toys as something I would ever consider as clutter. These toys belong to my babies, they are sacred. (I am kind of shocked at myself)

I have high hopes that one day I will have grandchildren who will like Legos. Is that far fetched? My realistic mind tells me I am crazy. I mean seriously – who am I kidding?  When I see little children now they are playing on cell phones.

I will keep these toys until the bitter end of my journey, because I can’t bare to think about it…..about any of it right now. That’s the truth.

The good thing , I like to let you know, is I didn’t buy the mini containers, and I only swore twice ten times today.

Life is hard. And life is cruel. Sometimes it’s okay not to be super productive.

(Barbie has all sorts of stuff it wouldn’t surprise me if she had a storage unit. )

Tip: Everyday write your current goal at the top of your to do list. This serves as an affirmation and helps keep you on the right track.

Inspiration: ” What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection! ” ~ Rex , Toy Story

One-day one-thing: Throw away something that is in your way. Just throw it away. It wont be in your way ever again. :)

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Exactly what are you going to do?

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So another year’s over, and what have you done?

I’ve made excuses as to why I can’t get past my personal road blocks. That stops today. I know it’s cold as heck out there, and personally I am not a snow bird, but I have let the weather squelch my forward momentum, and for no good reason.

If I told you that everything inside this house was sorted and reduced to a minimum I would be only playing make believe. That would be easy to do, but it wouldn’t help me in any way. Oh I know I said I can’t sell anything in a garage sale in the snow, but what about all those pesky little things…like my belts.

Because little things don’t take up a lot of space they seem to be allowed to stick around. This is not good. They have to go.

No matter how large or how small your crap is, you have to get rid of it. Space displacement is not the determining factor when eliminating clutter and crap in your life. Think about it like a junk drawer. Who wants it? Who likes it? Every little space, drawer and/or container filled–I can’t even breathe when I think about it this way.

I read something recently, that said storage isn’t good. It only serves as vehicle to neatly hide your junk. It doesn’t solve any deeper issues, and it does not advance you to a goal of living better with less.

Advisory: Don’t go to Target, January is “store your stuff” month, containers galore on sale! All so you can make more room to buy more useless stuff, from guess who? -Target.

So for this week, and for the rest of these gloomy winter months, I will work on the little things in the little drawers and in the little containers. I actually wonder what I might find.

Cheers.

Tip: If there is something that needs to be fixed that you have been putting off – bite the bullet and fix it.

Inspiration: ” Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” ~Coleman Cox

One-day one-day: Old stationary-clear it out, when is the last time you actually wrote a letter?

It’s a S.H.E.L.L. Fund

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I’ve been a bit single minded, focused only on my self lately. This is nothing I am proud of or ashamed of, it’s just that there’s more to life then my problems. I share them in hopes to help others as well as myself , but depending on a person’s frame of mind (that day), my issues may seem irrelevant. I can’t help that and I can’t care.

But I do care about many other things in the world besides myself and my struggles. And today I am going to share a cause that is very close to my heart.

You probably know I have Siberian Huskies, and if you didn’t know, here’s their web site: Batman and Ice. My dogs are family dogs, they were purchased from a breeder and never suffered one day of their lives; pampered and loved, spoiled almost rotten. They are minimalist Gods.

Ice and Batman

It wasn’t until I met Kristen that I learned about all the abused, neglected and abandoned Siberian Huskies out there in our towns facing certain death. Kristen is an awesome lady and a true-blue advocate for the under-dog, for those dogs left to die, those who are abandoned and for those who have suffered beyond any of our worst nightmares.

When Kristen was a full time nurse, she began to rescue, rehab, and place Siberian Huskies with loving families. She found that working with the dogs was where her heart was, it was her passion. At that point she made a life changing choice. She gave up the security of a regular paycheck and all the other benefits of full-time employment. I’m not certain if she had any support for her decision. It was a bold move with a completely unknown future – that decision took a lot of courage.

(more people should follow their hearts)

Fast forward a several years, Kristen founded the non-profit Siberian Husky Emergency Life Line fund (a non-profit 501c3 tax-exempt organization) and in addition Kristen now owns and operates a boarding kennel she was able to purchase last year.

Please take a moment to look though her site, and learn about the many dogs up for adoption and those who are still in rehab. Many of my dogs’ friends were adopted directly from the Shell Fund Rescue. They’re all absolutely awesome and beautiful creatures who have adjusted wonderfully and are now living in loving homes.

Jagger, Niko and Lucas

Kristen’s expertise and continued dedication for the health and welfare, and placement of these abused Siberian Huskies is incredible and unwavering. If I been more educated before buying my dogs I would have certainly look to the Shell Fund first.

Here’s my plea:

Since this is the holiday season, please consider donating even 5.00 dollars to help feed and care for these homeless Siberian Huskies. Your donation is a tax write off and it would mean the world to me if any of my readers could show some love to this worthy cause. I know times are tough for everyone, and unfortunately in poor economic times donation are low.

Please help if you are able, really any amount is better than nothing. Maybe you could skip your latte today and help save a life at the same time. I would love that! Your small donation will help nurture these beautiful creatures until they are ready to be placed in loving homes.

Nothing would make me happier. Cheers!

“The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” -Mahatma Gandhi

I know Kristen will be surprised when she reads this, I didn’t ask permission. So Surprise Kristen!!!!! :) I hope this helps!



I want to be like Angelina.

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I’ve been taking mental notes of talk that puts my mind into a negative or an overwhelmed and hopeless place. Most of the time it’s discussions about something I can’t control, and I don’t like, or things that make me sad. Talking about issues that make you feel small and helpless can make you crazy. It can raise your blood pressure and it can causes stress. And even worse, once you’re finished with the conversations, nothing has changed for the better.

It seems this is time of year we are frequently reminded of the hungry, even though people are hungry every day. We are informed that some people don’t have heat, homes, or even shelter. We can read about countries withholding clean drinkable water as a means of political control and we see images of hungry babies. All these horrible scenes play out everyday of the year.

So why do I do it?  Why do I allow myself to go there?  Why?  I do it because I want “it” to change for the better. I want the world to get better. I want wrongs to be righted. I want life to be better for everyone. But I know talk is cheap and I know I can’t change the world. There are just so many different areas that need fixing. It is entirely overwhelming.

Still, I have to believe if we try harder we can find individual ways to actually improve another persons quality of life. If everyone contributes to a small improvement imagine the accumulated overall effect.

I like to use Angelina Jolie as an example when I explain my feelings about helping individuals. Granted she saved the lives of more than one, but I believe she is of the mindset that ” if I can help one person I will”  That’s a mindset I truly admire.  She didn’t have to do what she did, she did because she felt she had the means and she wanted to.

Same with so many other people not as famous as Angelina. People like my neighbors who vacationed in Africa, and never expected to come home with their new eight year old daughter. People like this open their hearts, homes and families to children who had little to no chance of a decent future in their own country.

Not everyone can adopt a child, I realize that.  It’s a recurring thought for me, but I realize I don’t have the resources required.  But there are other ways to touch, improve, and help someone’s life.

Below are few of my favorite sites that to do just that.  When you donate to an individual or family they actually benefit right away. (or shortly there after)

One laptop per child: http://one.laptop.org/

Buy a goat: http://www.heifer.org/

Micro lending, invest in people in other countries and get your money back plus some. http://www.kiva.org

Buy your eye glasses on-line, and someone gets a pair for free: http://www.warbyparker.com

Get the gift of giving water. http://www.charitywater.org/

Donate blood. http://www.redcross.org/

Please add your favorites unique charities in the comment section. Cheers!

Tip: Honor of someone else by giving in their name.

Inspiration: ” The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

One-day one-thing: On strike

Prefabulous

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I am in love.  I kid you not.  Thanks to Twitter I stumbled upon an affordable green house from Modern Green Kits. It’s a pre-fab, but less expensive and larger then so many I have seen before.  I was actually getting depressed looking at various designs, because they were all super expensive.

For so many reason, I really never wanted to purchase a home again.  I won’t go into that, if you want to read some of the reasons, they are covered in this post “Why I am Never Going to Own a Home Again” by James Altucher.

My DH and I have talked about it, and several variables have to be met before we even consider buying a house.  And when I say buying,  I mean no mortgage.   I basically hate dislike severely how the entire housing ball of wax works; mortgage bankers, realtors, appraisers,  tax deductions,closing costs….too negative—“snap back” – I tell myself.   The location for our simple home has to favor low taxes, both for businesses and personal, it has to liberal laws, has to be near decent medical centers, somewhat near a decent airport,  and it has to have good weather.   I also wanted a stream, or a lake, and a woods, and some hills, driving distance to a coast, but I can get carried away sometimes.

This is just the tiniest step toward where we think we want to be.  Talking about it.  Researching it, and thinking about another major shift in life-style.  I like this direction. It gives me hope that real change is possible.

Cheers.

Tip: Keep an open mind when discussing new ideas. Nothing is set in stone in the early stages of change so everything, no matter how crazy it sounds, has merit.

Inspiration: “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex.” ~ Steve Jobs – Business week 1998

Check out more  quotes from Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace.

One-day one thing: Sort you CD collection, be brutal. ( this is hard for me again because they are small and I think I have the room….but, I know better.)

I have too many names, just like The Cat in the Hat

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Well this is a nightmare. I am having a digital meltdown.   Remember the days of the early internet:  predators, scammers, and identity theft? Oh My!  Well I was afraid.

I created several email accounts, that go with different blogs and different networks, because I was so afraid to let anyone know who I was. I wanted to protect my privacy, stay safe and not hurt anyone’s feelings.  My business was my business. I didn’t want people to know where I lived, how many children I had or where I worked.  It was a safety concern for me as well as a way to set boundaries.   I wanted to be free to say whatever I wanted without risking any negative consequences.

I created one blog just to express sadness (I have bouts with depression), I call it my “sad blog.”  No one would ever need to see that.  It was for me and me only, but it needed to be connected to some email account.  So I created yet another email.

I also like to post comments.  I have to add my two cents, I don’t know why I like this, but I do.  The problem is many sites use different sign-on applications to allow comments.  So I would sign up, and not even remember what name and or password I used.  I didn’t keep good records, too much work.  So how many names and password do I really have?  No clue.

( btw – #$%@ passwords )

Now,  if you don’t use your real name people think you are the creeper. I believe Facebook and Linked-in changed the game.

This brings me to my secondary issue, I don’t even know my name.  What I thought was my name for 20 years turned out not to be my name, according to the government.  The IRS informed me that I either had to change my name to match my social security card or get a new card with my married name on it.  This posed problems because of medical records, school records, property documents, insurance policies and a few financial items.  I didn’t what to go through all the work of documenting the changes to all these different places.

My super easy solution – I’ll just tack on the married name.  No hyphen. I always hated hyphenated names.  I wanted nothing to do the hyphen.  So the last name is just added at the end of my name sequence; my first name, my middle name, last name, and now a second last name.

How many times am I asked, “What name is it under?”

” I don’t know, ( they look at me like I am nuts) my first last name or my second last name.”

“Hyphenated?”

“No.”

Look at The Cat in the Hat, he is very talented. ( but he does have 5 names)  I tried to be him.  For decades I tried.  But that kind of balancing act is far too much for me to handle anymore.  I am not at all interested in even attempting it and that why I am changing.  I no longer what to exist so many places with so many log-ins, and passwords.  It eats up the limited space in my brain.  I won’t change my physical name ever again (never say never), but I am able to declutter my digital existence.

Right now, one singular  identity will not work for me, however,  I figure that three focused areas and dedicated id’s will suit me fine.  I have work, personal, and personal work. Eventually they will meld together, I am sure…..maybe.

I am saying good-bye to my personal Facebook (deleted it last night), and keeping my business Facebook, ditching some twitter accounts, and eliminating old email accounts.  I am also going to delete old emails, on my personal -work account.  I don’t need to see that huge number at my inbox.  I am never going to read them anyway.  Just letting go feels good.  Phew.  This is a start.  What can you delete?   Cheers.

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**In writing this, it spurred a thought to unclutter my name to singular name you know like Cher, Prince and Batman. Hmm.  As long as I am tied to a Social Security number I don’t think it matters. (?)

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Tips :   25 Areas of Digital Clutter to Minimalize

A Minimalist’s Guide to Using Twitter Simply, Productively, and Funly

Plug all Your Leaks Or You Will Die

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Today’s One day- one thing: Deleting old accounts, horrible photos and old emails.

I never met a box I didn’t like

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I love boxes!   It’s true!  I never met or saw a box I didn’t like.  The problem is once I own a box,  I put stuff inside it.  End result, I have a lot of boxes with God-knows-what inside.

By not knowing what is inside, I definitely can’t just throw it away. Therein lies one of my many problems.  Sorting, blah!!!  I hate it.  It takes forever, so of course I don’t do it.

This is the cutest box ever. It’s tiny.  I have saved this box as a reminder to myself -NO MORE BOXES!!!!

The mass marketers would like you to believe that if you buy a container then all your “stuff” will be protected and organized.  They want you to believe that your children will suddenly want to put away their toys or that your house will instantly  become neat and orderly.  They do a good job.  Now  plastic containers come in all shapes and colors. One is bound to be perfect for your “whatever.”  I have a plastic box just for a wreath.  The wreath’s original box was perfectly fine, but no….a green and red one is better. It’s all bullshit.  (I didn’t need the wreath either, but that is beside the point.)

Buying boxes, containers if you will, is a license to hold on to unnecessary stuff!  Don’t do it. I realize there are valid uses for a containers, but if you are anything like me, a storage container stores stuff we don’t need, we may not even want, and stuff that we usually forget we have until we look inside. (we’re never going to look)

Next time you see that shiny new container that is going to miraculously solve your clutter issues, remember my tiny box.  Get rid of the stuff you want to store – you aren’t going to use it anyway.  Be brave, be box-less.