Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm Back!

It has been almost two weeks since we got home from our Oregon Coast trip and I have been busy with multiple projects but have not gotten back to my Lillie House project.  I have been focusing on our backyard for the last 10 days and thoroughly enjoying the outside work, but it has put a crimp in my Lillie House project.  Well today I did both -- I worked in the yard for almost 2 hours and also drove over to the Lillie House and put in a couple of hours there as well.  It was good to get back into the house clearing project and my hope is that over the next few weeks, I keep the momentum going on both of these projects.

Today I gathered two groupings of 27 Things at the Lillie House which were mostly glassware and a few books.  I have put off working with glass items until I could find a place to easily and conveniently donate the items.  I've been donating most of our things to Goodwill as well as a few things to friends and family.  However, for most of the stuff, I drop things off at the Goodwill truck and they are not really set up for fragile items.  A friend told me about the Delta Human Society Thrift Store in town and so I visited today to see what they stocked, what their hours were, and when they can take donations.  Their hours work well for me -- 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday and they take donations during that period.  They stock clothing, books, jewelry, and glassware as well as small appliances and small furniture pieces.  This was good news for me and I proceeded to make my trip to the Lillie House and work with my more fragile stuff.

After gathering the items, I boxed them up and dropped them off at the Thrift Shop.  The lady was so nice and very appreciative of the items.  I plan on making another drop tomorrow.

This additional 54 items pushes my total up to 1,184.  With the 2 hours of time spent on this project today I am now up to 16 hours toward my 27 hour commitment.

There is still a lot to do but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Tomorrow I will clear out the dining room completely, as well as the living room and the laundry room.  That focus will help move this project along and build momentum which I desperately need right now.  Today was a definite start and it was a good one!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

27 Days - Another Approach to Getting Things Done!

Today is my first day home from a week long trip to Oregon.  We spent three glorious days in Seaside with family, and then the two of us were off to Klamath Falls and Crater Lake for golf and some down time.  We had beautiful weather and Oregon is a really scenic state so the week was a good one.

Today I'm resting up from yesterday's long drive home.  In the next day or two I will pick up the slack of cleaning out the Lillie House but for now I'm taking it slow.  There is plenty of time, and rest time is productive time in the long run (anyway it is in my book).

One thing I have done periodically is take the 27 Things principle and bring it to other parts of my life -- not just decluttering or working around the house.  In early July, I decided to give myself a goal of not drinking any type of soda water, regular or diet, for 27 days.  I figured I could do it for that period and in fact I did!  Setting the 27 Days goal really worked for me and a couple of times when I found myself even going for a sip of my husband's soda - I stopped myself.  I wanted to finish out my 27 days and for me that is the power in the 27 Things approach.

What did I drink instead?  Mostly water which I like and frankly is a lot cheaper than soda.  Once I had iced tea,  unsweetened, but the majority of the time it was water or coffee but mostly water which is so much healthier.  Since I reached the 27 days goal, I have had a couple of sips of soda (my husbands) but only after I reached 27.  I am tempted to do another 27 days of soda free drinking.  I can't say that I felt better or even different.  I haven't been a big soda drinker in the past, but have relied on diet pepsi or diet coke when I'm out for lunch or dinner.  And of course free re-fills make it more than an 8 oz or 12 oz serving.  I know that soda is really not healthy, sugared or sugar free so I believe it is a good habit not to drink it.

It is amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it or when we frame our goals in a way that is both motivating and doable.  I have more goals to set but I am still thinking those through.  Now back to resting from our vacation!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Respite from De-cluttering

Tomorrow we leave for the Oregon Coast for a much needed break in our routine.  This past week I have worked intermittently at the Lillie House as well as our current home sorting through things and making decisions about our stuff.  Yesterday I spent several hours at the Lillie House and collected 6 bags that I needed to take to Goodwill.  I also took one bag of books to the Friends of the Library.  I had blankets set out that I took to my brother.  Moving things out continually helps with momentum.

We will resume our Lillie House activities when we return next week from our vacation.  I have put about 14 hours toward my second 27 hours committment and will focus on reaching 27 hours when we return.  My goal is to have the house emptied soon and then finish working on the garage.  We are very close and we have made so much progress which is encouraging.

I was able to give my cousin's daugher a couple of books and items I came across in my decluttering.  It is always a good feeling when I can pass perfectly good things on to others who are excited to get them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Phone Apps and Digital Clutter

I have been somewhat successful with my email inbox and what a difference it makes each day as I check my mail.  The app has proven to be a very valuable phone app and I would recommend it.  I like apps and am constantly checking to see what is new and innovative on iTunes.  What that means though is that I have a lot of apps.  Prior to yesterday I had 134 apps and realized some of the apps are just not things I use.  So, in keeping with managing digital clutter, I started reviewing my apps and was able to delete 9 apps that I know I won't miss and which clear up some storage space on my iPhone.  The apps I deleted were:

  • Tipcheck - I've had this app forever and really don't use it.  I use my calculator when I'm figuring out a tip
  • Drudge - This is a news app which I never checked 
  • Pulse - Another news app I didn't need
  • BP Monitor - I downloaded this when I was regularly checking my blood pressure and monitoring it.  I'm no longer doing that.  If I resume that practice, I can always download the app again.
  • Flip gram - I didn't even know what this was.  It is some social media video thing.  I don't need it.
  • Equanimity - This meditation app was something I used years ago to meditate - it is primarily a timer for meditation.  I use Headspace now.
  • Packpoint - I downloaded this to help with packing for trips.  I didn't really like it and didn't find it practical.
  • USA Today - Another news app.  
  • Yahool.mail - I already have access to my email and use it regularly on my phone.  Yahoo.mail did change the formating and it looked good but I don't need two ways to access my email.

This was a good exercise and I will probably go through my apps on a quarterly basis.  I get my news in other ways now - and rely heavily on google and twitter for information.  My apps are now down to 125 which is still a lot of apps but I like most of them and at this point I could not find others I could comfortably delete.

In going through my phone storage though I discovered that a lot of space is taken up by saved text messages - about 4 G which is one heck of a lot of space.  The other big storage hog on my phone is pictures and I have over 7,000.  Now most of the pictures are backed up Amazon cloud but for some reason I have a really hard time deleting pictures.  Both messages and pictures will be a project down the road to help clear up digital clutter.  I know this will take baby steps and I know I can do it.  Intention followed by attention followed by action is the key!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Inconsistent Week ...

This has been an inconsistent week.  I took a break last Saturday, the 23rd, and it seems as though that little break broke my momentum.  One of the reasons I really like doing something every day is it keeps me on task and keeps me motivated,  and so I approach my meditation that way, my French language lessons, walking, etc.  so that I make progress each and every day. Because I didn't work on the Lillie project each day as I had the past week,  I had to go back and put the pieces together to really identify which days I worked at the Lillie House.   Okay, so that is something I know about myself.  Part of the lesson for me is to keep better track when I am not doing something everyday so that I at least record or document my time spent on the project and I'm not trying to figure it all out after the fact.

So that does not mean I did not make progress because I definitely did!  The total hours I put in from Monday through Saturday was 11 hours.  So I've completed 11 hours of the 27 hours I've committed.  I'm not sure if I will make the 27 hours before we leave for Oregon on August 4th but I should be close.  And it is not the end of the world.  The other big deal is that I am now over 1,000 items.  I added 81 items last week for a total of 1,080.  That is significant. Some items are being passed on to family and friends.  The majority of items are being given to Goodwill.  

I made a trip to Goodwill this past week to drop off several bags of stuff.  In addiiton, I made a trip to Friends of the Library to drop off books.  I am trying to move things out as they are bagged up and that helps me feel as though I've really released the stuff.

I also worked extensively in the garage this week and opened plastic tub after plastic tub to find things I haven't seen in years.  Some of the stuff belongs to my daughter and much of that is being boxed up for her.  Some of it is stuff that I haven't missed in years and really can be released.  I found boxes of books that will be perfect for the Friends of the Library.  Yesterday I didn't gather any items but did go through bags and boxes of stuff and threw things out and I'm not documenting those items.  I also cleaned shutters in the living room and did that while I talked on the phone with a friend.  It felt good to really get the shutters cleaned up and I'll probably intersperse some cleaning with decluttering as I move forward just to give myself a break.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Email Inbox Maintenance - Success!

On June 12, I decluttered my email inbox and after it was cleaned up I downloaded an app called to help keep it under control.  It has been about 6 weeks now using the app and it has made a tremendous difference in the management of my email inbox.  I'm pleased to say that I have maintained a relatively up to date inbox with only 6 emails currently in my inbox which require action on my part.  For me that is amazing.  The app gathers together multiple subscriptions and provides those daily/weekly/monthly emails in one massive email each day.  It is easy to review what is in the email and decide if any of it is of interest to me or requires saving (like special coupons and stuff).   I also can see the individual emails if I want to in the file folder.

I still have work to do in some of my individual file folders and I will be decluttering them (deleting old and obsolete emails) but for the time being, my inbox is functioning the way an inbox should function and I feel like a weight has been lifted.  The maintenance process is working well and that feels wonderful!

The more I use the app, the easier it gets..  I have updated my email subscriptions several times since I installed the app and have added more to the rolled up emails as well as the unsubscribe category.  I no longer dread opening up my email inbox.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Almost but Not Quite ...

I took a break on Saturday and returned to the Lillie House for a couple of hours today.  I ended up gathering 3 groupings of 27 Things so that my total to date is now 999.  What?!  I actually thought I was over 1,000 until I was updating the blog and did the math and realized I'm one shy of 1,000.  It is kind of funny really.  Anyway, today I made a lot of progress and am very close to clearing the entire interior of the house of stuff.  To be realistic I think I still have few days more work but I am very close and it is motivating.  Today I not only bagged up 3 big bags for Goodwill, I filled up a laundry basket with stuff to bring to my current home - things I need and things I will use.

The stuff pictured is a mix of what I had moved to the dining room from upstairs, as well as stuff that has been boxed or bagged in the garage.  I was surprised to find an entire big plastic bin of clothes, my clothes in the garage.  I recall storing them but had totally forgotten they were there.  All are clothes I will no longer wear but someone may.  I found an old doll that I had been given as a gag gift, some old empty binders, picture mats, more sheets, utensils, etc. that will all find a new home at Goodwill.

Tomorrow I will commemorate the 1,000th item in some fun way.