Take THAT clutter!

It looks like the same stuff, but it's two NEW big boxes of stuff leaving!

The contents of these mystery boxes:
a random assortment of linens, 
MORE clothes, 
Fiction and reference books, 
kitchen doodads
Halloween decorations that don't work with this house
All of which are in good enough shape for donating.

Also, not pictured: 
The books, pottery, clothes and toys that my sister scooped
The small bag of rags
The big bag of recyclable papers

I'm feeling really good about this latest purging success. 
It's like a switch has been thrown, the decisions are coming easier. 

Getting dressed in the morning... If I put something on and it doesn't feel right, it goes straight into the box! "Take that you ill fitting garment! I won't accidentally try to wear you again!"

Looking for something in a cupboard, if I come across something that makes me say "I forgot I still had this" then I seriously ponder why I do still have it. Basically I'm being a harsh landlord "what have you done for me lately?" If the item can't prove it's worthiness then it's off to the donate box!

Instead of pondering an items' value, I ponder whether my life will be missing anything if the item is not here. It's amazing how little we really need if we ask the right questions of our stuff!

For some reason I am past thinking about how much it cost, or how much it used to mean to me or it's "what if" potential! This is a revelation, truly, for how much I can freely let go. 

Making donations helps me let go too. Knowing it is benefitting the charity and maybe a new owner too gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that is so much nicer than hanging on to all this stuff.

More? How is it possible?

This morning I was preparing for the day and put on a top that made me say "ugh". Not that it was a BAD top, it just didn't spark "joy" and I wanted JOY!

I thought I already purged the heck out of all my clothes mercilessly.... But apparently I missed a couple of less than amazing tops. Okay, more like a DOZEN less than amazing tops.

It's not you, it's me... In short I think we should part ways.

I guess love is a fickle thing. 

Last week I still felt happy to own these things, this week I don't. Falling out of love is just as easy as falling in love when it comes to fashion. And I have reached a point in my life where I am getting VERY picky about what items I will share my closet with! None of those items are irreplaceable or valuable. Sorry stuff, it was nice knowing you, but it's time to move along.

Also in the donate box is a vast assortment of junk jewelry (some I have had for decades), a nice big wicker basket, and more unread books.


PS, Eating Paleo/Primal is going very well! 
I still feel good, my weight is steady at a comfortable size. Sure I indulge in the occasional bite of something off-menu, but a bite usually satisfies the craving (or impulse) then I go back to doing what feels best. I don't feel even the least bit ready to give it up, its a good way to be and I really enjoy the food so much! I have even found ways to eat out... though I can't control what oil they cook my omelet in, I can skip the cheese and get extra veggies. Eggs Benedict on a slab of tomato instead of english muffin is DIVINE! Stir fry without the sauce is pretty tasty too. (I do miss french toast, at least I think I do at the moment)



Diving in to mayhem

My sons are not tidy. (They take after mommy for that)
Sure they love a clean, tidy room but they can't seem to keep it that way. The obvious reason might be that everything CAN'T be put away, but that's not right. There is a space for everything. The items just can't  seem to make it back into the drawers and baskets! 
A familiar lament that I am guilty of too.

Before school I asked my youngest if I could rearrange his room today. He agreed. 

This is why....

Bits and bobs EVERYWHERE
And thats AFTER picking up all the laundry!

After a couple hours of sorting and moving and cleaning I came to this....

I hope he likes it

The desk has more light by the window

Amazingly I didn't have to throw anything out.... But I did toss a small bag of broken things and packages. Just through the act of putting like-things together and rearranging it looks so much better. Of course, this has fixed nothing. All the things in the baskets and drawers can make their way back onto the floor and desk easily!

The cupboard is now the designated home for his R.C. cars (his big hobby) and the cube baskets are for small toys. The desk drawers for Lego and the bins in the closet are sorted into theme (playmobils, bionicles, Star Wars) closet upper shelf for his large RC airplanes. It is organized and presently clean. I will plead with him to let go of more things. First by leading by example!


Big gains through letting go.

This is going great!

I did bags and dresses (but nothing to show there because my last purge was bang-on leaving me only the best, and very few). Ditto with accessories like scarves hats and belts.

But today I did SHOES!

Even after getting rid of some last week, Marie Kondo's method was far better at really streamlining. Sure some of them are cute or maybe even practical, but do they spark JOY when I am holding them? Wearing them? Now THAT is the question to ask!

Here is the "before" photo (don't judge).

Not pictured are the special footwear (steel toed work shoes, high top hikers, snow boots and proper running shoes) they are exempt from removal because of their specialized function.

Shocking that this is a post purge starting point!

I am glad MK doesn't have a numerical limit. I love a variety of footwear, much like how I feel about jackets, they can elevate or cozy-up an outfit. So easily. The criteria is "JOY" and I stuck to it.

Some decent brands and even some hand made cowboy boots got cut. Thank you footwear for your hard work supporting me when I needed you. Thank you for the thrill of finding and owning you and the service of helping me define my style. You were appreciated, and I hope you continue to give service to your new owners.

Feeling buoyed by this success, I went through my extensive DVD collection and packed 2 bags! I loved all of the movies at some point but had either watched them to the point of memorizing them or had moved past what attracted me to them (thank you for the entertainment). Either way, no joy left.

And some books (just because they caught my eye). No joy.

Now the physical part. Loading the selections from the last few days into my trunk.... Oops! They don't all fit! So I loaded the back seat too. (It looked like I was moving out).  

Happily I was able to take the DVDs to a local music store. I agreed to take store credit and traded the 2 bags of DVDs for 8 vinyl records of an artist that I have loved since I was a teen. (Great trade IMO)

The rest of it (there was still all the coats, shoes, bags, and clothing from the last purge plus all the mountains of stuff from this ultimate tidy-fest so far) 

I found a thrift shop that was happy to get it. As I walked in to ask them if they take donations, a porcelain lamb caught my eye. It filled me with joy when I touched it. And even though I wanted to pay for it, the store owner gave it to me as a thank you. It's goofy, but honestly I love it. And this wee trinket will remind me of this lovely experience...

... until I don't feel joy from it of course.


Jackets, coats, etc

Next in line for strick culling is jackets!

This was more challenging to gather up. Jackets (and blazers) are kept in the master closet, front hall closet and mud room. Then there are the off season ones in the crawlspace.

It took me longer to dig them all up to pile them together than it did to purge them!

It's a big pile! I know I purged them not too long ago, but I didn't follow MK's method of putting them ALL together before starting. It really puts things into perspective. 

Coats are a category that is so finicky. Dependent on weather, destination, activity and the clothes worn under the coat.... For example, my fall gardening coat is not the one I want to be seen in for a dinner out -- even if the weather is similar. And my dirt bike riding jacket is not something that is comfortable just wear around. Business meeting coats, grocery getting coats, off to yoga and off to a lunch date with friends.... So many occasions.... so many weather situations too...

Obviously I love a good coat!

That's why it's good for me to honestly ask "does this spark joy?"

I did find some that I actually dread wearing (even if they have their function). Those are the ones hitting the bricks today.

It's weird, one of them I have hung onto for so long because it's a "good" four season jacket. Weatherproof, nice brand, lots of pockets, stylish colour. But it rubs my chin and bunches up awkwardly when I sit down. Next winter I may need to go shopping, but it has to leave! I put up with it long enough. The others are so specialized that I can't anticipate needing them for their intended design again.

Still a whole lot of coats in my life, but at least there are empty hangers in my closet and a bit of breathing room.


Bottoms out!

Today, I put MK's "Tidying" audio book back on and dug into the next category..... BOTTOMS!
Shorts, pants, skirts.

Dutifully, I pulled everything out of the closet and drawers, then went into the crawlspace for the off season slacks (lots of corduroy) and piled it onto the bed:

I touched and then sometimes tried things on. The pile for keeping was pretty big in relation to the give-away pile since I am good at getting rid of ill fitting pants quickly (bad pants are so annoying!)

But I still found 14 bottoms that don't give me joy!

The closet looks better, and nothing went back under the house. 

This happened in such reasonable time that I followed up by going through all my sleepwear. I found a box of nightgowns that I forgot I even had.... I had tucked them away when I was feeling fat and unhealthy. These are items I love to touch, very pretty things, so I will be incorporating them back into regular circulation now that I feel good again. I found several tatty and stretched PJs that I happily discarded to make room for my newly rediscovered night gowns. I'm looking forward to getting ready for sleep tonight!


My new favourite things

My new favourite things are digital at the moment.

First off my library membership for digital loans is AWESOME! I have borrowed a few fun movies, tried new music and found inspiring audio books.
More on that in a moment.

Secondly, facebook's local "FREE ONLY" page. I mentioned it before, but since then have passed on several more items within minutes of posting them, and managed to pick up a healthy patch of oregano plants (all I had to do was bring a shovel and bucket). Finally a use that I can understand for that social media super-giant.

Not pictured was the two sets of garden shed shelves that lingered in my yard for too long, but found a new home quickly once I posted them.

Vintage chair that was snapped up in an afternoon
Helpful books picked up by an appreciative parent

Back to the audiobooks... "Essentialism" was inspiring and motivating to be sure, but yesterday I listened to Marie Kondo's book "The life-changing magic of tidying up" and it was a game changer.

Her focus for successful decluttering is on what you are keeping - and her selection method is very simple: Does it bring joy to my heart? If the answer is Heck no! Then say a simple thank you for the lessons the items has taught and then release it without guilt nor hesitation. It's an interesting angle to be sure. I thought it might be a little touchy feely but I gave it a shot with the first suggested category: clothes (specifically tops).

Well it worked!

Over THREE DOZEN items that I had missed on my last purge! (and I thought I had done so well before LOL) Thats just tops! I'm not sure I have reached the "click point" that Marie talks about, but my closet sure looks better. It's amazing how many things were in there that I had kept because of good quality, trusted brand or appealing colour. Some of these things I hadn't even really tried to wear yet (hand-me-downs from my stylish sister). Funny how saying "thank you for teaching me a little more about myself" made me feel far less guilty about folding it carefully into the give-away pile!

Physically touching the tops as they are piled high on my bed, pondering my feelings about it. Pride wasn't good enough, comfort on it's own, adventure, or pretty style wasn't good enough. I had to feel "JOY" at the thought of having it! Ironically some of my less pretty tops do give me genuine joy. (They all stayed.)

I own far less bottoms. That's for tomorrow.

(While I was at it I found a blanket in the back of the closet that I forgot I owned, and a less favourite suitcase. Some books that aren't relevant to me today caught my eye too)