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onebyone 01-02-2014 05:30 PM

Free Yourself DeClutter Challenge:New Year 2014-Vernal Equinox aka Spring-Mar 20.
Free yourself. Make a decision about the part of your environment that weighs on you the most and take the steps to change it in the direction you want to go. Let's see what we can get done before we welcome Spring in March.

onebyone 01-02-2014 05:51 PM

boxes, boxes, boxes.
Hello DeClutterers and Organizers-welcome to the 1st challenge of 2014.
I was considering not starting this but here I am, moving stuff around, making headway while making a mess and any progress I have made has been via this board so, here I, and hopefully we, go again.

Today I made leaps forward in several areas: new livingroom seating from Ikea: a chaise lounge! I have wanted this decadent piece of furniture for over a decade. I'm thrilled to finally have one.

I removed a bookcase for donation and replaced it with a pantry with doors. I moved the pantry from the dining room to the back bedroom. great. I needed the space for two new buffets that I need to assemble. Since I can't find any screwdrivers (incredible) I am forced to delay the buffets until I have some.

BUT all the stuff that was piled up is now shoved into new spaces so I have to keep on this until I empty out boxes and actually reduce that pile. The good thing is I have nothing more to sort after this is done. I'm in the final push. It could take the year, but everytime I solve something it's moving me to my end goal: a calm peaceful home full of beautiful inspiring things that can accept visitors without causing me to feel fear, anxiety, embarrasment or shame.

What's your goal? What space would you like to reclaim for yourself?

EasySpirit 01-02-2014 06:28 PM

Thank you for this thread!

I have decluttered my kitchen cabinets and drawers and my clothes closets. It is now time to tackle a huge walk-in closet in a spare bedroom. It is FAIRLY neatly organized, but completely FILLED with seasonal paperware, wrapping paper, cute baking pans in different shapes, Tupperware carry things for cakes, cupcakes, etc. It also holds old hair dryers, picnic items, beach towels, sand chairs, CDs, seasonal decorations, step-stools, extra bathroom supplies bought on sale, fancy dinnerware for twenty that I have not used since moving here in 1989. It has items I have not looked at since my break-up - - the worst time of my life. I know it is FINALLY time to move on, and have been working on that for the past three years. After gaining SEVENTY pounds, I have managed to take off 35 of that. I have found a new group of friends - not close friends, but people to go to the movies, shopping , etc. with.

Sorry this has gone a bit off subject.

helping rachel 01-02-2014 09:33 PM

Hi OnebyOne and Easy Spirit!

I am thankful for this space to share my goals,intentions, action or stuckness. S

I would like to get my attic all cleaned out. Somethings should be sold on Craigslist or something similar. I am kind of afraid to use something like that but I have band instruments and some really nice sports equipment, that I just don't want to give away. I am going to start in the Closet in the spare bedroom. I simply need to give away some clothes. My needs that I would like to meet are Ease and goodwill toward those i will give away things to. I am working tomorrow and will begin with a plan to share one here.

Glad to hear what you both are targeting and it will be one movement at a time toward what the desired goal is…..

onebyone 01-02-2014 11:15 PM

Hello EasySpirit and helping rachel. So happy to have you join me here! I believe my house is weighing me down and it contributes to me not feeling good about myself, like a secret shame, and this kind of thing fuels my desire to eat in many different ways. I need to deal with it, and with myself. I appreciate the company along the way. I look forward to sharing our progress!

systemsaddict 01-03-2014 12:49 AM

Oh I am excited to see this thread on the Beck forum! Can I join in? Why is it that clutter and food issues go together ... My new daily / weekly routine plan includes both food stuff and house stuff, and if either of these go wrong, they both do. I have made big progress on both over the past week or so, now to stick with the routine and keep it going once work hits.

onebyone 01-03-2014 10:39 AM

Systemaddict welcome!Feel free to post your routine or the steps you need to take to get to where you want to go. Beck is all about planning and carrying things through day after day after day and getting right back on track if things get out of hand now and again.

onebyone 01-03-2014 10:44 AM

Hi everyone.

The plan for today is to assemble the rest of the furniture. I read the instructions last night and went out to get a screwdriver with asst. bits so I am ready to go. As a bonus, I have decluttered two cubes in my 16 cube shelving unit by sorting then using 2 of the 6 new fabric drawers that fit into the shelves. My sister suggested I try this solution and it works! Looks great! and it gives me a punch of coral red that I love. My chaise area is really shaping up. *credit*

So after the side tables are made I will be moving thin gs around to get them into place. It may be a major shift as I might switch out the current tv stand with these buffets. moving the tv cabinet into the dining room area. We'll see. Better get moving. I need these made today. Tomorrow is a planned day to get back on track with the other moving parts of my life.

Lexxiss 01-04-2014 07:52 AM


Originally Posted by onebyone (Post 4909929)
Beck is all about planning and carrying things through day after day after day and getting right back on track if things get out of hand now and again.

Hi Everyone! I consider myself in maintenance after more than a few years of decluttering. For me, I have committed to everyday tasks through many seasons now. I try to do something everyday because I find that if I don't I start heading in the other direction very quickly. Finding time was essential for me and I find that my greatest success is found when I spend 15-20 minutes in the morning before I head out to work. I am inspired here, and I've learned lots of tips from the flyladywebsite. My normal routine in the morning is to do dishes, make the bed and do "something" with laundry. As far as laundry goes it can be in the hamper, in the washer or in the dryer BUT once it's out of the dryer it gets folded and put away-pronto. It saves me alot of time in the end.

I'm still working very hard on my mom's rental projects, which just continues to reinforce keeping things current. She hadn't done work on any of them for years and now it's having to happen all at once. Fortunately, applying daily tasks to these projects they are finishing one by one.

So, here I am, doing my stuff everyday, although I probably won't post every day. I have to keep pushing forward with the rentals. What is most challenging to me is that I have always had a tendancy to start things but not follow through and finish. I am the sole decision maker with these projects and have a budget which won't pay for someone else to do all the work, although I do have helpers. I try to use them wisely and have to persist and do everything that I can do myself. credit.

Even so, my home needs care. Yesterday I looked around and decided to start the New YEar with a room to room. I cleaned and organized in the dog/laundry room. It looks so much nicer. Afterwards, I had some spare time so I vacuumed and picked up in the bedroom and tv room. 3 rooms down and I'll keep moving forward. This morning I did some decluttering in the kitchen and dining room.

I have found that one of the most beneficial things for me was to actually switch my brain on a daily basis to wanting/needing less. Although the major decluttering is done, I always have a thrift box so I can easily place items that don't serve me anymore. yesterday I put 4 or 5 items in as I worked in the laundry room....several baking items I never use and a pair of earrings a customer gave me that I will never wear. Every item adds up. When I was at our other home last week I was looking for a swimsuit. I had 5 extras, none of which fit properly....They all went to thrift. credit.

Take care everyone!

onebyone, I love your new chaise by the bookcase. IT looks very comfy and inviting!

silverbirch 01-04-2014 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by Lexxiss (Post 4910667)
I always have a thrift box so I can easily place items that don't serve me anymore.

We always have a charity shop bag to put unwanted items in. It makes things very efficient, I've found. When it's full, I put it in the car and take it to a charity shop when I'm passing.

Happy New Year, All!

I've been whirling around this morning, tidying things away, putting in the charity bag and so on. The DB has also worked on this, as well as his English homework. The SO is also on board.

My main aim is to paint the kitchen wall. This was replastered in late October and the kitchen hasn't been put back together since. It can take until the vernal equinox (although sooner would be better) as long as it gets done.

After this, I'll do the sitting room. It's the same story.

onebyone, I love the chaise longue too.

onebyone 01-04-2014 11:47 AM

Always great to hear from you Lexxiss and you too Silverbirch :)

The phrase "you can't organize clutter" keeps running through my head, meaning, if you have too much stuff, you just have too much stuff and some stuff just has to go. I need to keep this front and center as I approach the task of reducing my box pile. Since the new cabinets will be completed soon, my next job is to reclaim the kitchen and to clean off the futon in the back room.

Must go. Will check in later.

SeeMyFeet 01-04-2014 01:48 PM

Hello all,

I would like to "free myself"; however, I have to confess, I'm not a Becker. I haven't read the books, but I have peeked into the Beck forum every so often. So can I join in?

My area of concern is our office and all finances. To my liberated chagrin, I have left most of the household budget issues with DH since we started a family. He has done a fine job, but is not nearly as tidy and organized as I am. Also, I constantly have that "out of control" feeling. I'm not sure I can finish the job to my satisfaction by spring, but I need to get started.

First place to start: the office closet. One shelf at a time.

Lexxiss 01-05-2014 08:26 AM

SeeMyFeet, Welcome! Anyone is welcome here! I can say getting my office organized has made a world of difference. I got rid of all the old/outdated stuff and found a way with my newfound space to organize and access what I needed to keep. It is very freeing!


Originally Posted by onebyone (Post 4910871)
The phrase "you can't organize clutter" keeps running through my head, meaning, if you have too much stuff, you just have too much stuff and some stuff just has to go. I need to keep this front and center as I approach the task of reducing my box pile. Since the new cabinets will be completed soon, my next job is to reclaim the kitchen and to clean off the futon in the back room.

I do agree with this. I firmly believe that I could not be maintaining the way I am had I chosen to try and organize everything I "had". As I started letting go of "stuff" that had been precious to me and "stuff" that I might need someday I gave myself permission to go acquire that item again should I ever truly miss it. In over two years I haven't repurchased anything and have not woken up one time pining for something I let go of.

This is what flyladysaid, which really struck home with me;

"Why is that we feel we have to hold onto everything?

This stuff is suffocating our creativity and holding us back from what we are really supposed to be doing. It is so hard to clean house when you have clutter everywhere!

Anything can become clutter when you don't use it, don't love it, and you don't have a place for it. We collect things because we think we may need them one day. All this does is clog up our homes and our lives. That clutter becomes a stumbling block to our daily routines. It gets in the way of living. We become the caretaker of stuff instead of living our lives. We have a choice; our houses can become a museum, a landfill or a home!"

Why would I want to pay money to store stuff that would make it even more difficult to use/access? I chose to repurpose I can say it's a wonderful feeling.

Well, yesterday after work I had some time to myself. DH had to go back up to the project. I wanted to make quinoa (15 min) and so I took out the mini-vac and delved into the corner lazy susan in the kitchen. I took everything out, looked at everything, got rid of some stuff and cleaned. It looks fantastic!
I have noticed many times during the last declutter challenge that although I'm keeping stuff clean and organized on the "outside" that I have many storage spaces that aren't seen by anyone but me that bug me now.
I think I'm going to focus on those unseen spaces for awhile. One at a time is all I need to undertake. By the end of this challenge they will all be done. Yay!

Today, it's time to switch my files to 2014. Here's my new process:
I have all our personal papers in 3 files
1. Bills Paid
2. Credit cards paid
3. Statements (bank/financial)

I created this system last year and it worked perfectly!1. make new files for the current year.
2. go through the previous year files and get rid of all bills/papers that arent' necessary to keep (shred)
~I keep all bank statements
~I keep electric bills for the big house (history of usage $$)
~I go through credit card statements and only keep ones that have tax decuctible purchases
3. I condense all that's left to one file labeled 2013 and put it in the office cabinet
4. I move the oldest year I need to keep to the basement file (2007) and when I get there I take 2006 and bring it up for shredding, although I keep the tax file forever.

That's my project for this morning....why wait? :dancer:

onebyone 01-05-2014 10:25 AM

cabinets are a go!
Hello and Good Morning

I finished my cabinets last night *credit* and just moved boxes out of the way so I could place the two cabinets in place, side by side. Now, for some unknown reason, the cabinets are not exactly the same height but there are adjustments I can make to get them that way.

O Ikea, this is why I suffer for you.

I alos *credit* cleared off the futon in the back room collapsing two boxes and sorting through 3 bags, most of which ended up in the trash. I did move a few things into a newly created/located pile, but the main goal here was to clear the futon so DH can move the bookcase from the kitchen, where it sits cutting off all the flow in that room, into the closet in the backroom. I did my bit. *credit* DH now needs to take it from here.

The rest of today's work goes as follows:
2) sort each box into giveaway and keep done
3) place books onto shelving unit by chaise done
4) break down these boxes for recycling

5) open 2 more boxes with unknown contents done &this is as far as I got today.*credit*
6) sort these boxes into giveaway, trash and keep
7) distribute or re-box.

NOTE: EVEN IF I RE-BOX IT IS *NOT* a failure as I have decreased my overall clutter by one box. THIS IS Progress NOT Perfection and slowly it will get done.

If I want to continue, I can work on the clothes pile in the bedroom which is totally out of control now. Again
1) sort into keep clean, keep wash, giveaway and throw away(don't think I have any of that in there but you never know)
2)put away clothes and whatever else I find

onebyone 01-05-2014 10:34 AM

SeeMyFeet welcome! Glad you've joined us. I think it's wise to tackle things in small bits. Just keep at it, stay focused, and it will get done. What the Beck folks do is give themselves credit for taking specific actions to get us toward our goals. Make a plan, post it here, and then take credit for the steps that are complete. That way you cannot dismiss the whole thing as not good enough, or when you feel overwhelmed about a lack of progress or it gets hard or whatever, you can come here and see you are making progress and it is just a sabotaging thought -also a Beck strategy: to recognize when we are having sabotaging thoughts and to ignore them. I am easily discouraged by housework/clutter/organization but I am improving and each step I take brings me that much closer to my ideal.

Flylady is a definite help as Lexxiss mentioned. Without her I don't think I would have ever started this process. She recommends working for 15min intervals-setting a timer and stopping when it goes off. You didn't create your clutter in a day and it won't be gone in a day. She's also a big fan of not aiming for perfection. Trying to be perfect often stops us from even starting. I am a big fan of good enough for now--and later I can make it better. I do both now. *credit*

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