What Would You Do If You Had To Move?

Our neighbors down the street are moving. The moving truck and storage POD have been outside their home since the early hours of morning. Lots of commotion as they bring stuff out to take with them or put into storage. 

The day is a beautiful one, the sun shining brightly with a slight breeze. It seems more like springtime than winter. You couldn’t ask for a better day to move. No worries of rain or cold.

With my windows thrown open for fresh air, I could hear their banging and grunting, as they muscled and maneuvered their stuff out of their home into the awaiting open doors.

As I stood and watched from this vantage point, I wondered …

If I had to move, what would it take? How many boxes would I need to pack all my stuff? How many hours of preparation? What size truck would it require? How long to unload and put it all away?

And, how many trips to Goodwill or the dump to rid myself of all the excess?

I have to admit, it gave me a chill to think of it. After 17 years here, the longest I have lived anywhere, we have accumulated far more stuff than when we arrived.

We have managed to fill every room and closet in our home with more stuff than we’d need in several lifetimes. Stuff that seemed useful, necessary, and needed as we purchased or kept it.

Each room has furniture from wall to wall. A wall would open up, and we’d manage to fill it with yet another bookcase, table, cabinet, sofa or chair.

Over the years, we have moved the rooms around to give them a fresh, new perspective. We rid ourselves of a much loved sofa (can you say well-worn?) and replaced it with two chairs. Out went the coffee table, which had become more of nuisance than a needed piece of furniture. And, moved various pieces from one room to another, which often meant the back breaking work of managing the stairs.

I now wonder — What if, back then, instead of managing the stairs with yet another object, we had just gotten rid of it?

Much of what we have, we really no longer need or use. Our rooms and closets, not to mention the garage, could be pared down to contain far less. In fact, much of what we have in our 2,000 sf home, could be reduced to fit into less than 1,000 sf.

So, why not do that, you may ask?

Good question. It is one that I mutter to myself, as I wander through my home, opening closets and cabinets — What the heck is in here and why do I need it?”

Just to be clear, and not mislead, I, too, am a work in progress. Those who follow my weekly “Tidy Up Tuesdays” on Facebook Live, or watch my YouTube videos on the topic, may think that I’ve got it all handled. 

I do have to chuckle at the idea, because, here’s the real truth… 

You are never done.

The process of clutter clearing, purging, tidying and organizing is a DAILY task, routine, and commitment. There is no “one and done” when it comes to your stuff.

Even if you were to pare down your possessions to 52 items (like some minimalists do), you still have to decide in every moment what those 52 items will be. What if a new interest or item crops up? What will you give up to have it? What will you toss? What will you keep? Or, will you now make it 53 items?

Most of us would just increase the number of items we currently possess or own.

If you are ready to pare down your stuff, here is where I would guide you to begin — Visualize.

Yes, before you even take one action to purge, tidy, organize visualize what you want that area to look like when its done.

Do not go buy containers. Do not build more shelves. Do not indiscriminately toss. Do not shove it in a closet, or move it to another room.

Stop. Take a deep breath, and decide what you really want there instead. What would be the ideal? What is it’s purpose?

And, keep in mind, the biggie — tidying up is a daily task which requires vision, focus, intent, and diligence.

But, for now, just for today, let’s begin with your vision.

Tidy Up Tuesdays- Let’s Clean Out Those Bathroom Drawers!

Is it time to tidy up that bathroom drawer?

Have you noticed that most of what’s in there you no longer even use?

How often do you have to root around just to find what you were looking for? Or, even worse, is it crammed so full you can’t even close it?

Does that mean you stopped using the drawer altogether? What about the excess? Has it now found a permanent home out in the open on the counter top?

You may think the bathroom drawer in this video already looks pretty darned neat and tidy. And, yes, it is in fairly good order. I tidied it up awhile ago and got rid of a lot of excess, unused, and old stuff.

When I first decided it was time to empty and purge this drawer, I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to use old makeup on my fresh, clean face or eye makeup from years ago, near my very precious eyes?

I’m pretty sure some of that makeup was from the ICE AGE!

Can you say bacteria? Yikes. No thank you!

As you know, being tidy and organized is my “thing!” YET, what I have noticed is that I often keep stuff I truly don’t need, want, or use. At the time, it seemed a rational decision as I would neatly store it away.

Seems kinda crazy, doesn’t it? Yet, we all do it. We keep stuff we will NEVER, if EVER, use. Even stuff we HATE!

What is it that needs to GO from your bathroom drawers? What would motivate you to finally get rid of it once and for all?

For me, it was a comment made by a follower who said it was time to get rid of the hair brushes she no longer used!

 

 

Make Your Bed Mondays – Does It Really Set Your Week Off Right?

Psst! It’s not really about making your bed.
Each day, as we climb out of bed, we make it. The sheets straightened, the comforter neatly tossed over the top, and the pillows placed as the finishing touch. With a few easy moves the task is done and with it, we set the tone for the day. It is a routine we have come to honor and cherish. One that makes us feel like things are right in the world.

Does it mean that everything in life is handled and life is perfect? Heck no! But, this one thing is handled and life is good in that moment.

It literally helps you start your day off on the right foot — research has proven it. Not to mention it aids in a good night’s sleep.

 

A National Sleep Foundation poll found that participants who reported regularly making their bed also found they got a good night’s sleep most nights. This indicates that bedroom environments, including cleanliness, influences how well you snooze.
But hey, before you quote the research on the benefits of a messy bed, airing it out each day, or that making the bed is a total waste of time, let me just say, it’s NOT about making your bed.

It’s about the tone you set, the everyday habits you wish to establish, and how you would like to leave your environment each day.

And, let’s face it, some things just feel good when we do them. We step back, take a deep, refreshing breath, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

No matter how small the task.

In fact, that is the real secret here — pick small, easily accomplished tasks and do them. Do them with purpose and focus. Do it with the intent to complete it, then walk away with a sense of a job well done.

Build that muscle. Yes, muscle memory is what you are building. “Muscle memory refers to memories stored in your brain for frequently used tasks. It’s a form of procedural memory that can help you become really good at something through repetition, or absolutely terrible at something if you repeatedly do it wrong.” (Forbes, Mar 2015)

In other words, you are practicing for mastery.

And, when it comes to tidying up in life, whether it’s tidying your bed, closet, or money matters, it does require you build that muscle. It isn’t just the difficult tasks you must practice for mastery, it also for those mundane daily tasks.

Because, let’s face it, most of those mundane, routine tasks, can feel like a total waste of time. Life has so many more important things to take care of and accomplish. Why put your energy on making your bed?

At the risk of repeating myself — It primes the pump first thing in the day. Sets the tone you wish to set. And, your day is just better because of it.

Is it Time to Purge Those Files

Do you have file folders and cabinet drawers packed to the brim?

Are there stacks of paper not filed, tossed, or handled because your file drawers and paper storage areas are too full? Not an ounce of room left to squeeze one more skinny page.

I have those, too. And, what I have learned, and share, is that 80% to 90% of the paper we keep, we do NOT need to keep it. Isn’t that a kick in the pants?

Ever ask yourself why you’ve kept it all?

I’ll bet you don’t even LIKE to file, do you?

 

Need some guidance on what to keep and what to toss?

I’d be delighted to help … maybe 10 minutes of focused tidying is all you need.  

Sign up for my TidyUp10 for $25 and let’s dive into those stacks!