Sunday, May 22, 2016

Changing Gears

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am changing gears and will be focused on getting the house cleaned and packing for our upcoming vacation.  I have four full days to get ready and I already have the majority of my clothes selected, washed and ready to pack.  I will mainly work on final details of the trip so we feel organized, especially at the airport.

The cleaning is more than usual because of all the construction work that has been done but we are at the end of that road with one final task of painting the baseboards in most of the downstairs rooms. So we will be poised to put everything back in place as soon as that step is done and the next morning we are on a plane.  We have a house/cat sitter, a friend who will be staying here, and I want the place to be nice for her too.

Today I was able to pull together the remaining items to get 27Things which I think may be the final 27Things until we get back from our trip.  There were a couple of big items in this haul and many of the things are being moved on to better homes.  The world globe went to grandkids, the suitcase to my brother, some of the trinkets were put in my grand niece's bag, and so forth.

Most likely this is the final haul for a couple of weeks!
Tomorrow I am going to try a new rug cleaner on my master bedroom rug that is a dry carpet cleaner.  I hope it works to address some of the areas we walk in regularly.  Overall the rug is in pretty good shape but I'd like to clean the rug before I go.  There were good reviews for the Capture Carpet Care product and they sell it locally at Home Depot.  The living room still needs to be put together and thoroughly cleaned since the construction work put dust everywhere.  A little work in each room should be enough.  I'm looking forward to this week - really I am!

Oh and I can't forget my grand total ---- 378 items released into another life! Threehundredandseventyeight.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Reflection Time

I've been on a roll and today I am feeling the effects of non-stop decluttering. I am actually tired!  I currently have 8 items on the bed with 19 more to go to reach my 27 and once I gather the additional 19 items, I'm taking a decluttering break!  I will be changing direction to cleaning up and organizing the space I've cleared with over 350 items removed from my space.  I still have stuff I need to release, but with a vacation looming at the end of the week I need to refocus my efforts on packing and cleaning things up.

I follow Gretchin Rubin who wrote the book the "Happiness Project" and also has a podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft called "Happiness."  I follow the podcast which has been on for about a year and each week there are ideas and discussions about what makes us happy.  One of the sayings Gretchin has is "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" and that is where I am right now. There are still things to get rid of, especially in my closet, but right now the progress I've made is good enough and I feel very satisfied.  As I clean and organize, I will probably come across some things that need to go and I will box them or bag them so that I can really assess what to do with them at a later date.

I've enjoyed the past two weeks as I've focused time and energy on decluttering.  My sister has also gotten into the decluttering mind-set and told me it is contagious.  We've talked about our progress and I really enjoy hearing how she is making strides and using the 27Things approach to "releasing" stuff from her life!  The feelings that result from giving things you once valued a new life with someone else, is liberating.  I'm going to bask in that feeling for a while and enjoy the vacation we have planned!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Over 300 Items Going, Going, Gone!

My momentum is steamrolling and I'm enjoying this ride.  Knowing what I have and knowing where to find things is definitely a stress reducer and if you are like me, you can always do with less stress in your life.  Yesterday while we were having laminant installed downstairs, I took the opportunity to do some deep cleaning in the master bedroom.  Decluttering is definitely different from deep cleaning but I am doing both as needed and the master bedroom was in need.  It definitely helps to have done some decluttering first because you have a lot less stuff to clean and organize.  I moved furniture and vacummed thoroughly as well as cleaned the baseboards and the blinds.  It feels wonderful in there now - clean, fresh, and clutterfree!  The master bathroom is a different story and I'll be working on that room next.

By last count I had moved out 270 items.  Over the past two days, I've added 81 items for a total of 351!   As I have bagged and organized items for transition, I have made deliveries so that the stuff has truly been released!  This first haul includes things that were in the garage, magazines for Kaiser waiting rooms, a Christmas scrapbook which will be given to my granddaughter, shoes, a candle holder, several nice long sleeved JJill shirts that will be given to a friend, a knitted hat that still had the price tag on it and is too small for anyone I know, and a scarf, an old scrapbook, and an empty tin.

First Haul

The second haul came from multiple locations and includes some outdated costmetics which can't be donated and will be thrown away.  Included in this group was a beautiful leather bag I got at the San Francisco Ballet Company gift shop and the leather is soft and a beautiful color but the handles have cracked and frayed and I no longer used it.  Even though I didn't use it I found it hard to include in this group. As I worked arount the house gathering items, I noticed some pants and a sweater sitting on the bed and realized my husband had contributed some of his items!  Yeah as that got me to my 27Things much more quickly.

Second Haul

The momentum is there and I gathered another 27Things as the day progressed.  Because we are in the middle of major work downstairs with all the reflooring that resulted from a slab leak, our bookcases are empty and I have stacks of books here, there, and everywhere.  This has provided a perfect opportunity to look at books and move some of them on to new and interested readers.  In this third haul I was able to gather nine books and to date I have thinned out my library by a total of 27 books.  That is 29 books that I won't have to restock in the book cases!

Third Haul

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Yesterday I posted about momentum and I was concerned that I was losing mine in the decluttering arena.  Writing the post helped me refocus and it was good to acknowledge that I have to push myself to keep going.  It is not an easy task but it is very satisfying and so yesterday did see progress in my 27Things project.

I worked in the master closet and pulled out some bags that had been tucked away last  year and found more hotel soaps, shampoos, lotions, and conditioners.  I was pretty sure I had more but I had hidden it away so beautifully that it took some time to find.  And the good news is that I already have a home for them as the majority are going to the food pantry my friend has organized for this Saturday. Last Monday I dropped off the bag with soaps and toothbrushes and now I have another big bag to add to that.

I'm holding out a couple of the soaps and will add them to the chest I set aside for my grand niece who is five and will enjoy the pretty little round soaps.

I also am starting to evaluate my books and would like to thin out my library.  I love books, and I like the look of books in the bookcase, so it is not so easy to move them on.  However, there are some that I can live without and I'm going to work on that.  I did select seven books for the Friends of the Library and will drop them off.  If they won't take them I'll donate them to Goodwill.  I also pulled 3 magazines that I'm going to move on either to friends who may enjoy them or I'll drop them off at the Kaiser facility waiting rooms.

So at this point I have gathered another 54 items and will add that to my 216 total which brings my total for the week up to 270 items.  I'll give myself a big pat on the back for that.  I have already started another 27Things and have about 15 items on the bed with another 12 items to find!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Definition:  momentum
: the strength or force that something has when it is moving
: the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes

The very nature of momentum requires that you keep moving.   Once you take your foot off the gas pedal you start to coast and coasting may be okay as a break but it doesn't cut it in the momentum department.  So I'm trying not to coast although it feels as though I am.  It takes an effort to focus on the next 27Things and I'm trying to get there today. This quote from Bruce Lee "if you spend too much time thinking about a thing you'll never get it done" is speaking to me today.  I realize I need to get up and get moving on the next 27Things to keep the momentum going.  Okay so do it already!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Future Comes One Day at a Time!

Today's post title comes from a quote by Dean Acheson in which he says "Always remember that the future comes one day at a time."  It is a simple truth and one day at a time is all we really have.  I'm a big believer in taking small and consistent steps toward whatever your goal is and at some point you will reach that goal.  That philosophy takes persistence and faith and being willing to keep it small.  We so often overwhelm ourselves with the tasks at hand and that is an invitation to stop or quit or not even to begin a thing.  In my world, small is beautiful and I'm seeing the benefits of doing small things each day and transforming my world as I move through it.

Okay, so I've been busy the last few days.  Our tile is in and it looks really nice.  I should say it looks beautiful but I always second guess myself and wonder if it was the right choice but I do like it and it fits well with our color scheme too.  All of the chaos we've had going the past month or so has motivated me in my 27Things endeavor.  It is such a freeing feeling releasing some of the stuff we've been holding on to and my husband is adding his two cents here and there so we are definitely working together on this.

When I cleaned out my boxes from my work office I found old software disks as well as some of the hard/floppy style disks.  Some of the software may be of value to someone so I put that in the Goodwill bag.  The hard/floppy disks I tried to bend so that the information can't be accessed even though I really don't think it is readable any longer and they were put in the garbage.  There were also some cords as well that are being passed on and some earphones that we no longer use.  

Computer Misc 

I dug a little deeper to gather this next 27Things which included  four purses that I'm moving on and for me that was a big deal.  I hang on to stuff but really I had not used those purses for years so it was time to clear them from my space.  The children's book was delivered to my great grandson who I know will enjoy it.  The plastic easter eggs were offered to a couple of people who didn't need them so into the Goodwill bag they went.  In my closet I had a pretty raspberry colored tin which was originally a cookie tin from Costco and realized I didn't need it and wouldn't use it so it went into the Goodwill bag as well.  I have lots of scarves and some I don't wear so I added two to this group.  That is one of the things I like about the number 27.  I can grab a few things here and there without a big disruption or heavy decision making as in the case of the scarves.  If I had gone through all my scarves with the intent of only keeping a few I would have been stressed with the magnitude of the decision, but picking two from my pile was easy and achieved my goal of gathering 27Things!

Closet and Bath Items 

Lastly, I gathered pens that were in a big class candle holder in our office.  Everytime we picked out a pen we had to work hard to get the ink to flow.  Because we were having carpeting put in the office I was trying to clear some of the clutter from that area and thought I would donate the pens and highlighters to Goodwill.  There are some nail files thrown in to make my 27Things but the majority of items are pens.  I now have a limited number of pens and sharpies, as well as scissors in a pretty Paris box in our office.  It will only hold so many so hopefully it won't get out of control.  After all how many pens do two people need who don't write an awful lot but use the keyboard!  LOL!

Pens and Stuff

So the big question is where does that put my totals of moving stuff on to a better life.  My last count was at 135 so the addition of three hauls of 27Things would give me a grand total to date of 216!  It may not sound like a lot but it was about 5 big bags for Goodwill and lots of small bags of stuff passed on to friends.  When I think of the space that has been cleared it puts a smile on my face.  We always think stuff will make us happy but too much stuff becomes clutter and weighs us down. It is freeing really to move these things on and I feel lighter both physically and mentally.  I'm looking at my stuff in a different way these days and there are things I cherish and will hold on to forever, but so much of the stuff has lost its original value and moving it to someone who will value it is a good thing.  

One step at a time, one day at a time - the difference it can make is incredible.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Empty Cup ...

All this activity is filling up my cup of knowledge and I'm learning alot about myself -- my need to hang on to things, my buying tendencies, and the feelings all this stuff generates.  I do love order and have felt that I have been in a constant state of "organization" my entire life.  The more stressors I have in life, the tighter my need for organization is.  When you have a lot of stuff, organization is much more difficult because you frankly have more stuff to organize.  I'm thinking this go-round, I may really be able to streamline so that organization isn't such a challenge.  It all goes toward a simplified life and that is the direction I'm putting my efforts toward.

As I go through the stuff  I have, I am cognizant of the fact that I often buy something to fill a void or I really think I need it to make my life better.   In some cases I've bought something  because I don't know I already have the item somewhere in the house in a drawer or closet!    This is particularly true of cosmetic and beauty products.  Yikes, I have so many things half used and I really have a hard time throwing half used items away.  Over time, the stuff gets yucky and rancid and really can't be used and it has to be thrown out.  As I go through my cosmetics and skin care products, I'm setting out one, two, or three items that are in the half used state (but still good to use)  and my goal is to use them up. There is a satisfaction to using product up and squeezing the last drop from the tube or jar.  I don't like to be wasteful and I'm going to keep this mantra (use things up) in mind as I purchase items in the future.

Some questions that I should ask myself as I shop include:
  •  Why am I buying this?
  •  Do I already have something at home that will service this same purpose?
  •  Will I REALLY use this?
  •  What has motivated me to even consider this product such as commercials or magazine ads? 
The benefit from asking myself these questions is that I'll think twice before making the purchase. The question that will be the most  useful is "Do I already have something at home that will serve this same purpose"?

Here is a picture of the three items I will use up in the next few weeks to help reduce my costmetic and skin care inventory of products!

I'm embarassed to say how many skin cleansers I have but I have a lot.  I'll use up this Mary Kay product before I move on to others.  I also have several good sized samples of toner and pictured is a good one I'll use up as well.  Finally I have a salt scrub from L'Occitane for my hands which is a really good product but it got stuck way back in the drawer.  I will use this up as well and probably won't purchase this type of thing again but a scrub that is more multi-purpose.