The Dead Weight Box

Life is weird sometimes. Sometimes you live through a pandemic and come out on the other end selling the house you bought just before the pandemic. We’ll list the house in 4-6 weeks. Everything is negotiable when you move. Moving is one way to discover everything you have. Moving is hard but on the other side is a fresh new start, a blank canvas. How much do I want to take into a new beginning?

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Kind Words

I love the women that I get to meet. One-on-one coaching gives us the chance to work through individual frustrations and personally tailored goals that group coaching is not designed to tackle. Sometimes explaining what I do is better said through someone else’s words. Jenny’s words truly sums up my passion for the goals I strive to achieve with anyone I work with. Living within the means of your house and defining your spaces can create new solutions for organizing your stuff, often times without spending any money. Her story is a great example. Shared with permission.

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Chunking Spaces

For Christmas last year, I received a 10 pack of flashlights. I don’t know who looks at a 10 pack of flashlights and thinks its the perfect gift for anyone other than a Boy Scout leader, but that’s what I got. I’m not a Boy Scout leader.

So we have these flashlights and I keep them in a drawer for flashlights and animal leases (because I also have several of those…because we have several animals). After a few recent weeks with power outage issues, these flashlights were dispersed throughout the house. During one of the last outages, I went to the flashlight drawer to grab one and they were all gone.

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Kids and Clutter

Stuff is about so much more than the physical objects that create our clutter. The condition of my spaces correlates to the condition of my mood. This can also be true for kids and I believe there are important principles that we can teach our children about their relationship with the things they own.

I come from several generations of excessive consumers. Women mindlessly buying things without much thought for what was going to happen to those things. I think we all do that to some degree, but these same women kept their things with great thought. They couldn’t possibly let something go and chance missing its opportunity to be used on the Great One Day. I grew up hearing, “You might use that one day.”, as often as I was told to eat my fruits and veggies. I was never taught to get rid of anything and no one ever considered that it might actually be good to let things go. These were not healthy habits to pass down to my children. 

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Selfish Empty Space

It’s easier to declutter a space than it is to maintain it. Once you have a space cleared off, it feels so good, but unless daily habits have been changed there’s reasonable chance that the empty space will become a catch all once again. When you feel like you’re in the constant cycle of clutter, declutter, and reclutter, only self-awareness will bring relief to the frustrations that arise from repeating the cycle. So while it may be doable to declutter and organize a whole room or even an entire house, committing to maintain it is a lofty goal. Decluttering is a slow process. True decluttering is essentially reversing life long habits that we all have because we live in a world that pushes and tempts us to over consume.

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Shopping and Self Worth

I’ve ruminated on thoughts for some time to find the connection between emotional shopping and self worth. I think the two connect, if not in the moment, certainly in the aftermath of what emotional shopping leaves behind – clutter.

We may shop because we are sad, lonely, offended, stressed, worn out or a number of other emotions we need to escape from, and in the moment the thought of having that new thing sounds refreshing or finding that great deal is exciting, but when we get home the thing we bought loses it’s newness and becomes one more thing to find a place for. Collectively these purchases become clutter, which plays on our self worth. “How did I let it get this far? Why can’t I clean up enough or keep up with the laundry? Why is my house always a mess? Look at all of the money I wasted. What will people think of me if they see how bad it is?”

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4 Four Letter Words

As we near the end of another semester in our declutter small group, I’ve been thinking about simple nuggets of wisdom from everything the ladies and I have discussed over the past 8-10 weeks. Because my approach to decluttering is to break it down to small, simple step, I’ve come up with 4 Four Letter Words to simplify some of the key points in my daily attempts to live life less cluttered.

Time. Work. Plan. Find.
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Wash Your Pots

PSA: Wash it while it’s hot!

Sometimes decluttering has nothing to with getting rid of stuff, but rather the habits you keep to maintain the things you have.

One such thing is the dishes. A full sink and dirty pots on the stove in the kitchen equates to piles of laundry on the bed in the bedroom. It’s clutter. We’ll really, it’s mess because mess can be cleaned up and put away. Clutter is where stuff goes to die and serves no purpose, but anyway, lingering mess, like true clutter, will still give you rising anxiety and stress.

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The Things We Shed

My exercise bike sits next to a window in my living room. On the mornings I ride, I look outside at the bird house and from time to time see sweet little blue birds coming in and out of the house. I love to watch them.

This morning, however, I noticed the peach tree. The peach tree sits behind the bird house and I noticed that after the barren winter, it’s beginning to rebloom. For whatever reason, I thought about a science lesson we did last year in our botany course.

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A Functional Kitchen

This morning in our delcutter small group, we got to talking about counter tops. My kitchen counter tops were actually one of the first places in my home that I tackled when I began to live life less cluttered.

I truly believe that if you love to cook or not, the kitchen may be one of the most used rooms in the house. You hear it on those house flipping shows, “The kitchen sells the house.” There’s good reason why the farmhouse Gather signs aren’t hanging in the bedrooms. The kitchen is a great place to start the declutter journey.

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