Monday, December 30, 2013

Pictures and Progress as Promised!!!

I've worked non stop for the past three days, today making four. I'm moving a little slower today as I'm pretty sore from all the trips up and down the stairs with bags full of everything from excess clothing, to fabric, even reptile supplies from when I had a reptile rescue years ago. I have one Iguana now and have no intention of getting anymore reptiles. So, if it's not used or loved, out the door it goes.

One van load, and there are bags on the kids' laps!
This was our first trip to a donation center, and there were two large garbage cans and about a dozen garbage bags full. I'm not even close to being finished yet. I can't wait!!!! Once it's all done and I've purged the clutter out of my home I can focus on finishing painting projects and such, not to mention my sewing projects I've been putting off simply because I couldn't find anything or even get to my sewing machine!
How is your great purge of 2013 going? Any progress?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Decluttering my entire life! Wanna join me?

Do you remember that post about my decision to try the Flylady method? Turns out I'm not real good at sticking to only fifteen minutes at a time. While I was putting away my Christmas decorations I realized something: I had way too many decorations that hadn't been used in over two years. So why was I holding onto them?

I have no idea!

While I was looking at my excess of...well, Everything, we had yet another flood from a backed up pipe. Turns out there was a bundle of roots growing in there. I digress. While these guys are walking through my basement I caught myself continuously apologizing for "the mess". There really is no reason my house should look like this every day! I clean from 6am until at least 8pm! Yet, no matter how hard I work there's always a mess!!!! Why? That's right - WAY TOO MANY BELONGINGS!

I spent over twelve hours yesterday purging anything and everything that I either a) didn't love b) didn't have a current function, or c) hadn't been used in at least a year. I've lost count of how many bags have gone either into my car to be donated or thrown into the garbage. Really, Christy? You need to hang onto things that "you might fix some day"? Oh don't worry, I promise to post pictures of my very full car before my first trip to our local thrift shop.

While I was going through every nook and cranny in the basement, I had the boys go through their clothes and pick out their favorite 10 outfits each. The rest is going out the door! If you realized how many pieces of clothing they had in their rooms, and how many they didn't wear or didn't fit you'd totally understand! lol My daughter's room is next, although she doesn't have nearly as many as the boys. She's been growing so fast I'm constantly having to buy her new pants to keep her from looking like Michael Jackson in the 80s! Last will be mine and the husband's closet. Mine will be easy because I'm slowly changing my wardrobe over to reflect the 40s and 50s, so anything that doesn't work, or I don't wear on a regular basis is GONE!!!

Once the basement is finished I'll move up to the kitchen and purge all those little butter containers, the tupperwear with no lids, all those extra plates and cups (my sister already asked for those! lol), etc. I'll keep you all updated as this little project moves along!

The husband and I have decided once this is all done I'm going to reward myself by redoing the a 50s remake! Seriously! I'm going to make my basement look like a 50s house! I'm so excited and have already started looking at paint colors.

Alright ladies and gents...who's with me? Who is willing to take this little challenge and completely declutter your lives? We can all keep each other accountable and on track! Feel free to post pics or leave comments as to your progress.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

If I Could Do It All Again - An original essay by Christy Parks

If I Could Do It Again
By Christy Parks

Like every new mother I stressed, yelled, and complained. I couldn’t wait for the day when my kids could do more for themselves and give me a break. I couldn’t wait for the day when I no longer had to stay up until three in the morning to ensure the visit by Santa would remain secret. I couldn’t wait for the day when I no longer had to sneak into my kids’ rooms, tripping over toys, and slip money under their pillowcase in exchange for a blood stained tooth.
Now that my kids are in high school, edging toward adulthood, I can’t help but wonder where the time went. Sure, I wanted the time to fly a little faster, to get some time for myself, to allow at least one day when I could sleep past six am. I was a fool.
As I set about decorating for the holidays, shopping for the perfect gift, my heart is a little broken. No longer do I get to hunt up and down the toy aisles, searching for the coolest and noisiest toys possible. No longer do I get a child bundled up in foot pajamas climbing up onto my lap to watch Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown. Sure, my kids still enjoy hanging around me at times, but there are no more little hands slipped into mine when we cross the street, no more tear streaked faces over tiny scrapes and boo boos.
Where did the time go?
I didn’t get the same amount of time as others, as my children didn’t come into my life until they were four, five, and six years old. There are no baby pictures hanging on my walls, but there are memories everywhere. There are no memories of the first step or the first word, but there are memories of the first time my kids called me mom, the first time they said they loved me, and the first time I realized my heart was swollen with love for these three.
If I could do it all again I would slow down, listen to every tiny detail of their day, let them paint, color, and build as many mud pies as they could fit into a day. I would pull them onto my lap and watch lightening bugs flash in the summer night sky. If I could do it all again, I would sing more, read more books to them, and take more field trips to the zoo, Grant’s Farm, Purina Farms, and any and every museum I could find. If I could do it all again I would let them cook alongside me no matter how big of a mess they made, I would let them roll the dough, and I would let them decorate the cookies by themselves, even if the gingerbread man’s eyes didn’t match.
If I could do it all again I would enjoy every single second and would never wish for them to grow up a little faster.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flylady Challenge: Day 1 Results and Today's Schedule

I tried. I really did try. However, anyone who has a scatter brain knows how easy it is to get distracted. Yesterday was 1 hour home blessing day, and we were supposed to sweep our entry ways (front porch, or in my case front and back porch). Do you realize how many times I picked up the broom to clean the porch only to find something else that needed to be swept? *sigh* I did shine my sink twice, but ended up leaving something soaking in the sink overnight. And, I got up and got dressed to shoes yesterday morning, but I didn't bother putting on any makeup. I hadn't planned on leaving the house and with as much dusting as I was doing it would've just ended up running down my face.
Yeah, something like this.
In the meantime, I continued putting up and out more Christmas decorations, and being as the habit of the month is Pampering ourselves, I took time out to sit down and paint Christmas decorations with my daughter. I remember doing this kind of thing with my mom when I was little and wanted to share the joy with my girl.
Today we are supposed to keep shining our sinks, no new habits added yet. And here is today's mission:
Zone 1: Mission #2 Tuesday 

 We are going to have a multi room mission today, it might take you longer than 15 minutes to do it, so set your timer for each room and FLY through it!

For the Front Porch, Entrance and Dining Room, put out the fires that are burning in your hot spots. Get rid of the pile of shoes by the front door, get rid of the pile of junk mail and put away the magazines and school papers that are piled on the dining room table.

They are smoldering so get to it!
If you're anything like me you have a pile of shoes, socks, bags, and other various things lying around. I'm also notorious for hoarding paperwork. No, you'll never see me on the Hoarding shows, I'm not quite that far, but I'm always afraid to throw anything away for fear I'll need it later. So, today, we need to go hit these hot spots, of course only spending 15 minutes on it, and hopefully put out some "fires" before they are too far gone.
By the way, did you get dressed to shoes? I'm having a really hard time getting used to wearing shoes in my house as I feel they track dirt through the house, and being as we have hard wood floors, I fear they will scuff or scratch my beautiful flooring. I've dedicated a pair of shoes specifically for inside, but sometimes I've had to clomp out in them. At least I have rugs at every entrance! lol
Happy Flying.
Are you following along? How did you do yesterday? Any better than I did? (I hope. lol)


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 1 of the FLYlady challenge starts tomorrow.

I'm posting this tonight so that those of you interested can follow along and implement this into your own life. Supposedly, by following these steps you create habits for yourself. Of course, this isn't an exact science, and she doesn't promise to change your life, after all it's up to us to stick to it. This challenge will last thirty days at which I will post my results and sum up my experience.

Okay, so tomorrow is Monday. Here is what we're supposed to do, starting with waking up. The very first habit we are supposed to implement is shining your sink every morning and night. In other words, just make sure to dry out the sink when you're finished using it.

Monday is Home Blessing Hour. Here's the deal: you can only spend about ten minutes on each chore, thus taking approximately an hour to complete. Here's the list for the Blessing Hour:
  • Vacuum - center of the room only. No lifting furniture or getting on your knees to get all the crevices.
  • Dust - this is done with a feather duster, not deep and dirty dusting.
  • Quick Mop - supposed to be a damp mop, not carry a bucket around the house
  • Polish Mirrors and Doors - you can't be caught scrubbing. You're just cleaning these things.
  • Purge magazines/catalogs - self-explanatory
  • Change Sheets - Nice to have a specific day to do this each week. I've done my sheets twice in a week because I couldn't remember which day I'd done them.
  • Empty all trash cans - again, self-explanatory. I always recommend grabbing a garbage bag and emptying each can into it instead of carrying each can outside.

  • Seems simple enough, right? The real challenge to this is not trying to do everything at one time. You're supposed to stop with these chores at the end of ten minutes. We'll see how many of us can discard our perfectionist/defeatist personalities and stick to the plan. For more details on this, go here.

    Also, there are zones we work in each week. If the method works the way it's supposed to you're not supposed to ever really need to spring clean again. Because we spend time on each zone, really purging unnecessary items and deep cleaning it's pretty much done on a regular basis instead of once or twice a month. So, this week's zone is Entrance, Front Porch, and Dining Room. Go to the link to get the details on this zone.

    Here's the instructions:
    Zone 1: Mission #1 Monday 

     We are in Zone 1 this week, that is the Front Porch, the Entrance area and the Dining Room.

    Today you are to sweep your front porch area around your front door. Shake out your welcome mats and wipe down your front door. This makes a huge difference in how your home looks. We have a tendency to neglect this area and yet it is the first thing that people see when they come to your home.

    Spend 15 minutes taking care of this, you will be pleased with the results!
    I don't want to have to tell you every single word on this site, so make sure you go to Flylady's site and read everything. I would definitely do this when you don't have anything pressing; I got carried away soaking everything in for hours one night! lol Happy flying, and wish me luck!