waste

Mexican Squirt, listen and stop

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listen

Around the corner from where I live there is this Mexican Grocery store.  And right now I am enjoying a Mexican Squirt.  That’s Squirt made with pure cane sugar.  No high-fructose corn syrup in it and it is delicious.   I enjoyed being in the market.  The store clerk was friendly, ask me if it was my first time there, it wasn’t.  He was super kind.

They sell all types of peppers, homemade salsa, they even prepare fresh tacos during lunch hour, and they also sell cacti.  How do you even prepare cactus? I don’t know, but while I was there I felt like I was worlds away. Away from the normal unrelenting drone of this American life.  Yet, I was less than one mile from my house.

The point here is – I think I am suffering from too much.  Too much of everything.  Seeing too much, hearing too much.  Owning too much, and feeling too much.  Thinking too much.  Worrying too much.  I am officially on overload.

I need to shut it all off.  I need to shut it all down.  I need to try not to notice.  I need to listen.

I need to listen to that voice inside that has been screaming at me – STOP!

So today I stop.  I am really going to stop tomorrow,  I don’t know exactly what I will do, but it wont require me to worry, to think, or to rush here or there.

I am officially in the stop mode.  I don’t care if I don’t know how to be  a miracle worker right now…..I am stop mode.  If I don’t learn how to meditate this week, so what?

I already feel better just saying I am in “stop mode.”  Seems silly but it appears to be helping me.

I hope you can STOP also…..it’s awesome and I just started a few minutes ago. I guess it doesn’t take 40 day to stop.

Cheers!

Out of the snail box

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I am currently drowning in a sea of paper.  Paper that I never ask to recieve.  All junk.  Junk snail mail.

We closed on our new house in April, and I still have not changed my address.  I am afraid of the mail.  Actually I am terrified as to how much more will show up.

I have so many papers from the kids, the business, my many other non-profitable wastes of time, bank cards, student loans, medical billings….you name it, and it keeps growing.  I am sure some of you can feel my pain.  I just want to be left alone.  Remember Kramer and the post office episode:

That’s where I am….. “I want out, permanently.”

I am tire of the mindset that something important will be in the mail…..it is never important.  Never. If it is important someone  will knock on your door and make you sign for it.  Been there and done that a few times, and guess what ?  It is usually important, and usually not good news, so why would I want any more of that?

This is all getting to my clutter “issue”…..Okay let’s call this one a Problem with a capital “p”.  I have been trying to de-clutter for what feels like and eternity now, and I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere.

I want to be honest, but I can’t even bring myself to take a photo of where I am sitting.  Okay, you talked me into it…..I am only sharing this photo to make you feel better…..here goes…..gotta find my iPhone…. still too lazy to get my big camera out.  Ok ready……

This is bad.

Granted we are in the middle of a total renovation of our house, and we haven’t yet finished even one room.  The renovation is taking far longer than we ever could have imagined in a million years.

Dining room table/desk inventory:  Wine glass from last night (nice touch gonna have to rinse that out for tonight), dog brushes thus add “dog hair to my clutter”, a paint palette, a white board, a printer, a stapler , headphones, a new light fixture from Ikea….and of course junk mail, and papers.

This isn’t acceptable. I gots me a problem.

What to do when you are overwhelmed and unable to focus:

1. Drink alcohol.

2. Stay up real late browsing the web.

3. Make zero attempt to fix this situation because you know it’s only going to happen again.

4. Acknowledge you have this problem, because they  say that’s the “first step” to fixing it…..Do this so you feel better and can justify another glass of wine.

5. Talk with anyone around about funny things that have  happen in your life….This causes you to laugh and forget you even have a messy desk/table.

6. Make a plan in the back of your head as how to procrastinate cleaning up this mess tomorrow.  After all weekends were made to enjoy.  We only get so many summer weekends in a year. Make it a good one!

Cheers!

Okay, so yeah this isn’t the way to get anything done.  It’s the tomorrow of yesterday, and I am about to go to the park.  By nightfall I plan to have a living room and a dining room that are identifiable.  Wish me luck!

Sale time, yet again

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I am getting pretty good at organizing garage/house sales, and brother do I kill it with the signs.

I use Craig’s list and signs on major intersections.  That’s it.  I have a sale kit with a staple gun and signs and wire stands from old political signs.  All you have to do is take the political sign off the wire holder and turn it inside out and tape your awsome sale sign to the plastic.  So easy, and they go into the ground perfectly.

I never hold my sale if the weather is bad, and now because you can place ads for free at a moments notice that is easy to accomplish.

My signs are always florescent poster board, sometimes with added reflective wrapping paper.  It makes a difference having a great sign.  People always tell me they love the signs…lol.  Some of my best slogans are: ” Don’t MISS this SALE”  or “Something 4 Everyone Sale,”  “Best Sale Ever,” ” Turn Around Cool Items. ” Often my signs are a shapes, maybe a circle or the shape of a dresser if we have furniture.  Stars cut outs on top of the signs in a contrasting bright color also helps grab attention.   And note: If you tell someone not to “miss” something they just can’t resist.

But this sale I am going in for the kill!

Eat your heart out Storage Wars.

I am planning to have a table of “Name Your Own Price” items…..who can resist that??? Another sign will say,  ”  HAVE 2 HAVE sale” sign.   “Useless stuff Sale. ”  “TOO BIG wont FIT” Sale…. for my new house.  And a “too little SPACE Sale” sign…..”Help me I’m a Hoarder, Sale.”

I think you get the idea, I am not planning to have many more of these sales, so I am going to have fun. I am thinking I might sell sodas as well.  If it’s warm and the sun is out, I can make .75 cents a can. Plus it keeps people happy, they stay longer and might just buy something.

In our town, garage sales are the ultimate signal that summer is near.  Garage Sale-ing a ritual, every Thursday is always the first day of any sale.  People map out the sales they are going to hit and make a day of it.  I like to be open on Thursday and Saturday.  I cant stand Friday because it  is too slow and Sunday people are too cheap. We’ll see how it works out this time.

My real issue here is most the stuff I have is what I decided to keep.  Ouch.  Now I am going to have to measure each room and be realistic.  It’s going to be a challenge, especially since, this is it.  My last chance.  I am not moving all this stuff one more time, not going to do it.  Minimalism here I come.  That has been my goal all along, but talking and doing are two different things.

The tough cuts await……I have to empty the storage unit and a garage….ugh.

This was the first day of having a storage unit, it looks so naive.

And you know what’s in those three containers?  Pottery made by students and professors from Cleveland State.  More average pottery than anyone ever needs.  At the time,the pottery was the most important thing for me to pack up and protect, err to hoard.  I still love it.  Every item was made by someone learning about design and clay.   Sigh.

Tip: Price everything, people are shy and don’t want to ask.

Inspiration: “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” – Eric Hoffer

One-day one -thing: Remember the every decision is an action, and action is how you create change.

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.