Shellie: Purge-a-thon the continuing saga

So it's been a couple weeks since I wrote my original post. And I am happy to say that I have had great success with portions of this plan. I took my list and I started in the kitchen and I did when I was supposed to do.  

Having the list really helped because as you know sometimes you don't see the things that are there because you're so used to them.  I think that without the list there are a lot of things that I would've missed. Stuff that has been there so long it's a part of the room. Kind of a can't see the forest for the trees situation.

So I cleaned and then consulted the list and then I continued cleaning and then consult the list and then I continued cleaning again and again until I completed all or nearly all of the tasks that I had set aside for myself.

My kitchen felt so good and so clean. Just being in it felt different.   So I moved on to the next room. This was a Saturday and on that Saturday I finished all the rooms in my house except my office/craft room. And the house felt wonderful my messes were the dining room, which is where I put all the stuff that I'm getting rid of, and that office.

So I began the office, which is a huge undertaking because I would say that about 75% of my possessions are in my craft room. It's ridiculous. But I scrapbook, I knit and I sew and have way too much of all of the paraphernalia required to complete these types of projects.   In that one room, I had four tables, 6 bookshelves and, of course, all of the stuff. And I proceeded to make a humongous and overwhelming mess. It has taken me a full week to finish. And at some point I lost track of the purging and basically just tried to get the place cleaned back up. I rearranged the furniture which was a big source of the mess. And all week it was hard to get things done because I was just saddened by the enormity of it all. 

So thankfully it's done. I will have to go back in ang purge after the fact but with less mess. I still have a shelf of miscellaneous paperwork to sort out and there's still all the stuff to get rid of in the dining room. But I feel so much better about my home environment. At least inside the house. The outside is still on the list.  

Update:  A few weeks has passed and it's nice not having so much clutter.  Now I have to work harder at keeping the house clean.  I'm still not very good at it.  But the mess is less, so that's nice and it doesn't take very long to straighten things up again.

I still have the purge stuff.  It's in the kitchen as I feared.  But it's hidden neatly behind the table where I can't see it.  Haha.  I still haven't purged the craft space.  I'm going to once I stop hiding from that task.  I promise.


Gina: The Crystal Ball and Creating Goals

Image Credit: anyka,

Image Credit: anyka,

There are many times that I think of things that I want to write about for this page on our website, but for whatever reason, I don't do it.  Somewhere in my brain is this belief that I need photos to write blog posts - what baloney is that?  When did I start thinking that?  Furthermore, images are always available.  

I think if I look deeper into the cause it's that I avoid writing like the plague when I'm not in the best mind space.  Lately, I've not been in the kind of space that is conducive to writing.  I've not been in a bad place, necessarily, just kind of avoiding everything that is swirling around in my head.  The problem with that is that nothing gets sorted out until I spend some time, by myself, writing.  And so here it is.  

I'm starting this new writing journey by writing in response to a prompt I came upon recently in a book called, oddly enough, 500 Writing Prompts.  I bought it in the bargain section of Barnes and Noble and threw it on a shelf until I was re-organizing lately and found it again.  I opened the page and the following prompt stood out to me:

"If you looked in a crystal ball, what would you hope to see?"

And if that isn't the beginning of examining goals and plans for the future, I don't know what is.

If I sat down in that candle lit room with the incense burning, the future I see for myself would, in some ways, be the same as the life I have today.  I see my home, my family, and especially, my Stewbert, but there are so many other things that I wish were different.

I see myself more self-disciplined, more able to focus on all of the areas of my life at the same time.  You see, I'm especially good at focusing on one thing.  If I say I'm going to purge my house, that is all I can think about and that's all I can work on.  I view everything else as a distraction to that goal: Work, family, friends, everything.  If there's a show that I'm interested in, I want to watch every episode to the exclusion of everything else.  It's like I get stuck and can't move from one thing to the other.  I can't balance my day so that this area gets this many hours and this area gets that many hours.  It's all or nothing on one project and if I'm looking in my crystal ball, that's the thing I want to see changed the most.

I see someone who can get up in the morning, work out, have that healthy breakfast, get ready for work, work diligently until lunch time, break for a nutritious lunch, then work until quitting time.  Then the gears will shift for a few hours to working on RED, a good dinner, working with Stew on our joint endeavor, some relaxation time and then off to bed for a relaxing night's sleep.  

That's the future I want.  In this future, I also see myself active and with a lot less weight on my body.  The weight discussion can be found over on the health blog, but if I'm seeing the perfect future, let me tell you, I won't be anywhere near the size I am now.  

I see a busy person, but a successful one.  The house is mostly clean, the laundry is mostly done, there are social clubs and sports teams, outings with friends, successful businesses, work that is rewarding and up to date, cooking, reading, watching movies, snuggling on the couch on rainy days without guilt over the things that aren't getting done that day.

I think through this writing I've found the one thing that I want most of all.  I want a future where I am fully engaged in this moment and to not have my mind in thirty different places thinking about all of the other things I should be doing.   I want to savor the moment that I'm in and be relentless about the goals that I have.  I want to see a woman striving to be the best she can be, one that lets go of fear and steps out of her comfort zone to achieve what she wants.  

The thing about crystal balls though is that they're nice to look at, but no vision of what you see will make that future happen.  Sure, there is self-fulfilling prophecy: changing your thinking from what you want to achieve to seeing what you know you can achieve.  And maybe, that's all you need to step forward and make the crystal ball visions come to fruition.  Maybe all you need is the belief that regardless of where you are right now in this moment, you control that future that stretches out in front of you and if you stop wishing it will happen and start believing that you can make it happen then it will be.  All you have to do is have faith in yourself and take that first step.  The road won't be a straight or smooth path, but if you stay on the course you set for yourself, you'll eventually get to where you're going.  You are your greatest asset.  I'm going to start believing that and I'm going to take that first step.  Will you join me?  

The Purge-a-thon is on.

This was written on May 23rd...  

Lately I've been feeling really out of sorts and a big part of why is my environment.  I really don't like where I live.  It's a crap place but it's the right size, location and price so for at least the next few months, I can't really do anything to change it.  I'm hoping toward the end of this year to get my own place, but that's all still up in the air because we're waiting on other people.  Grrr. 

In the meantime, I'm going to get the rest of my environment sorted out so when it's time, I'm ready. 

I was cruising Pinterest checking out ideas on decluttering and found a few things I enjoyed that I’ll be sharing on this blog soon.  But one article held a few sentences that I really hit home about where I am at the moment.

Clutter, however you define it, can be bad for your health. According to Psychology Today, people tend to feel like life is out of control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage. The mess causes stress. If you’re not taking care of the clutter in your home, you may not be taking care of yourself either. 

A few weeks ago Gina did a major purge on her home and it's inspired me.  I have too much stuff just sitting around so even when my home is clean it doesn't LOOK as zen and clean as I want it to because there's just... stuff.  I always have stuff sitting everywhere.  Stuff that doesn't have a home so I just put it wherever I can find a spot.   One place in particular that always has stuff is the corner of my desk.  I like a big clear workspace.  One of my biggest pet peeves - but something that ALWAYS happens - is when I’m creating and I want to sit something down, my paper cutter is a prime example, and there’s no space.  There always seems to be a little pile, or several little piles of crap on the corner of my table that doesn’t have a home.  Or, I’ve been too lazy to put it away.  This is what I want to end.

Everything will have a home or else it doesn’t belong in my house and it’ll go away.

Step one in this process is making a solid plan.  I tend to spend a lot of time not knowing where to start and not knowing what to do next.  It’s one reason why I will spend an entire weekend in my craft room and end up with a lot of nothing to show for it.  Valuable time is just wasted because I don’t know what to do first, or next.  I’m not prepared or don’t have what I need.  For someone who plans a lot, I do a poor job. 

So before I begin, I’m taking the time to do a mental purge.  I’ve pulled out a notepad and have dedicated several pages to this process.  At the top of the pages are listed:  To Toss, Kitchen, Living Room, Bathroom etc.  Mentally I’m scanning each cabinet and corner and looking for anything that I think I can sell, trash or store better.  I’m also writing down what I need to make the room better and to make it feel welcoming and attractive, not junky or sparse. 

For example, I know that I have an extra set of dishes that I don’t use or particularly like.  They are taking up nearly an entire shelf of cabinet space and I don’t have very much of it – not enough for sure.  So that stuff is going into the “sell or donate” box.  I also know that underneath my kitchen sink I have about 92384923874 plastic grocery/shopping bags “saved”.  Seriously?  Do I need them all?  No.  It’s not like there isn’t a continual influx of them anyway.  Jeez.  So most of the bags will go.  Also there’s a tool box under there.  Well, okay it’s really a storage container with every tool-like object I own just dumped in it.  It’s a freaking mess that I have to practically dump out every time I need to find something so probably… it needs a little bit of attention.  And there’s also two boxes of ceramic dishes passed down from my grandmothers that are in torn and crappy old boxes that need to be repackaged for proper storage instead of piled in the corner next to my bike… and yeah, that’s gotta go too. 

You see where I’m going with this?

So when I go into that room and it’s time to do the dirty work, I know exactly what has to go. 

Corks – no sentimental value. Toss.

The 9 lighters in my silverware drawer.  Why?  I don’t smoke and I rarely burn candles.  Do I need 9? Toss.

You get the drift.  I know you do.

So I plan to do this for every room in my house. 

Step two is to get rid of the sell/donate stuff.  I don’t actually like to have yard sales because I don’t haggle, it annoys me, so I’m not sure about the sell items.  Maybe I’ll donate it all.  But here’s the thing…IT CAN’T STAY IN THE HOUSE FOR MONTHS WAITING FOR ME TO FIGURE IT OUT.  It has to go and it has to go as soon as possible.

Step three is going to be to organize what’s left and find a home for everything.  Every. Thing.  No more piles of “I’ll sort this out later.”  This is one of my worst habits.  (Also, I won’t put away my clean clothes but that’s another story.)

So that’s my plan.  I’ve been working on my room by room lists so I can attack with my full force.  I’m excited. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Wish me luck.


The year of 40 - ladies things are about to get real up in this place.

So this is our first post in our "lifestyle" type blog here at RED.  We wanted a place to talk about other items that interest us and that are happening in our lives without confusing the crafting blog area.  So we have 2 additional blog categories here on the site, Living for lifestyle topics and Healthy which is pretty self explanatory.

In July I will be turning 40 and I'll be honest, my life is not at all what I thought it would be at this age.  It's not bad - don't get me wrong.  But it's not where I want it to be either.  Some of the things I can't really change at the moment but the truth is, a lot of it I can.  So I am.

I don't really want to wait until I actually hit 40 to begin this process.  I just know that I want it to be complete before the year is over.  So I'm starting now.

Here are the areas of my life I'm about to get in order:

  • Environment (home and work)
  • Health and body and appearance
  • Creative
  • Finances
  • Attitude, mental and spiritual

I will be sharing my progress through this process on the different blogs on our site and I'm exciting to see these changes finally come to fruition. 

Wish me luck!  I think I'm going to need it.