Animal shoes

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I haven’t wanted  to sort my shoes this second time around.  I know I have shoes that need repair, and my conscious mind says,  “If you really wanted to wear them you would have had them fixed already.”  Pfft – I am not going to listen.

So instead of sorting my shoes today I am going to pick on my shoes.  The pair that first comes to my mind as “annoying” will go directly into the box.

I have a winner!  (I think I have tried to get rid of these several times)  Here’s the lucky winner, what beauties, ha,….they aren’t even that great.

dim witted mule shoes- clomp clomp clomp! be gone!

Let me explain why these shoes are annoying.  Have you ever walked down an aisle in a grocery store, or a long hallway in a  school,  or even an art museum all alone and you sound like a slow moving dim witted mule?  Clomp clomp clomp.  Here are my dim witted mule shoes.  (Different from shoes that are mules)  They are great on grass or carpet but completely awful every where else.  They are fun inexpensive shoes good for casual summer days and art fairs.  Clomp Clomp clomp.  They are toast.  Poof. Gone.

(Ah… much better.  This little task makes me want to get rid all my annoying clothes, like the rain coat that is an awful color and every time I wear it I feel like a clown, or even better underwear that wedges, or socks that feel awkward… I digress)

So it’s your turn to take a mental inventory of shoes that bother you.  You don’t even have to get up right now. Just make a note of it and finish your coffee.  After you finish your breakfast find your victim and throw them in the “box” and viola you have your completed one day- one thing  task for today.

Stay the course.  I am planning on working on some other areas today as well, but not too many.  I might  am going to paint this afternoon. Cheers!

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Give away clothes box

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I rate this habit as easy. Everyone can do this without much effort at all.

I have too many clothes.  I think you might have too many clothes also.  Here’s what I do and am doing.  I have a “give away” clothes box.

No mistake what goes in this box.

It’s nothing fancy, so when I finally finish the de-cluttering of my clothes,  if I want,  I can recycle the box.  Smart thinking right?

The box is outside the laundry room, so that when I am folding I can make decisions to keep or donate.  And this way the clothes are clean.  Children can easily learn to put what they won’t wear any longer in the box.  And it’s really good for them to learn to donate and how to let go. I line the box with a large heavy duty trash bag and when it gets heavy but I can still lift it, I put it my car and take a trip to our local Good-Will.

Funny thing is, when I am shopping at  Good-Will sometimes I see my old things.  I still like them, but I never ever want to buy them back.

Anyway, Good-Will gets more money per item than I could ever get  in a garage sale, and money  is put to good use.  It’s all good,  a win-win.

( I recognize this is a box.  Oops!  My rationalization: it’s a temporary box being use as a tool to get to my goal)

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.

Don’t dwell

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This is particular difficult to achieve one hundred percent of the time.  I mean if you are like me, you spent the last 20 plus years buying stuff.  You bought for your house, your garden, your dogs, your cats, you bought for the new baby, and the new baby after that and so on.   When I am faced with looking at those things I bought sometimes I see the joy it brought, but more times than not I see a price tag.  Front and center my mind tells me, “Man that was expensive.”  The next thought is “and we barely used it.”

My item today: our pool table.  I bought it as a birthday present for my husband, back when the children were little.  We thought they would grow up have friends over and shoot pool, like we did when we were younger.  Not so much.  Video games, organized sports, movies and social networking was the main stay of their teen years.

This particular purchase is more “dwell” worthy than just it alone, because when we moved we actually put an addition on our house to hold the table.  Ugh!  I recently tried to sell it for weeks – not a single bite.

I can’t dwell.  Currently the pool table is in storage, at a U-store-it place.  It’s been in storage before , so there still may be hope for future usefulness.  I am not sure.

My key here is do not dwell on it.  It is what it is.  Move on and do one thing today to move closer to living better with less.

One day – one thing

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The minute you realize that you have too much stuff, a sudden feeling of dread and hopelessness is sure to follow.  It can break you and make you cry.  The work appears endless, and overwhelming.  I have cried, and drowned myself in music and random car rides. I have fabricated needless errands as a method of avoidance.  Many days I can be found  aimlessly wandering in stores.  I like TJ Maxx to mindlessly wander in because they have music and all different departments all in one place.   Sometimes when I return to the house I like to buddy up with my friend Chardonnay.

Eventually, avoidance will become boring and you will want to move on, you will want to be free of the clutter.  But you still will not know how to even start.

Here’s my rule.  One Day – One Thing.  In the most difficult areas, that’s is all you have to do, and more realistically it’s all you can do.  The goal is to do one thing that will move into the direction of having less and being more.  Do this every single day.

Dress I never wore - now it's on eBay

Today- I am taking photos for some items for eBay.  That’s it. That’s all I am doing on this.  I worked a full day at the office, and I am burned out.

(Side note: I definitely like to write my task down, just so I can cross it off.  )

Find one action item for your tomorrow, put it on your list and do it.

$200 clutter

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I realized the other day that I lost out on 200.00.  It’s as simple as that.  I saved the coupon that encouraged me to go to a new bank and open a new account. I saved it, I put the coupon in a file for future use.  Problem is I opened my new account forgetting all about the coupon.  BAM!  Two hundred bucks straight out of my pocket.  I didn’t find this “saved” coupon until well after I opened my new bank account, and way past the coupon’s expiration date.

This is just one example of the many dollars I have lost due to my cluttered life and cluttered mind.

Suggestions:  Only save food coupons for items you know you will buy within the next 7 days.   Place your coupons on your refrigerator in plain sight.

Be strict with yourself.   Write down the item or service that you will be using on your to-do list or make sure to mark it on your calendar.  For service coupons, schedule the appointment right away, do not delay.   You’ll will find over time you will  be able to identify coupons that work for you, in reality, not just in your mind.