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Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's Begin Our Decluttering Plan! No better time to start!

“Order is Heaven’s first law.” 
Alexander Pope


I sit here this morning, several days before the beginning of a new year, with great anticipation for 2012! For some reason, deep inside, I have a feeling it is going to be something special. It has been years since I have made " resolutions", for I never seemed to obtain them when I did. This year, though, there are several things that I want to do, so I am making a 2012 "bucket list".  The most exciting things on my list are to grow my organizing business,  raise baby chicks in the spring and to learn how to crochet. These things aren't just going to miraculously happen, so I am beginning to take a few deliberate steps. 




Is becoming more organized and less cluttered one of your goals for the new year like it is for so many others? Studies show, and this is obvious by all of the magazine covers at the grocery store, that most Americans long for a more organized environment in which to live, work and play. Has it been one of yours for many years? What has kept you from obtaining it? There are lots of random reasons that I have heard over time and here are just a few...
There aren't enough hours in the day
I don't have enough space
I don't have enough money
I don't know where to start so I just don't
I could sit and write a rebuttal for all of these but why should I? Sometimes I feel the same way..but at the end of the day, I know what it does to my insides to have things orderly and simple...to have drawers cleaned out, filing cabinets orderly, all things in their places and the excess gone...all you have to do is live that way briefly and it will change your world. I am not kidding. There is something that happens inside when things on the outside are uncluttered. You see, I was not just born with the uncluttered gene. It was forced onto me by downsizing to a small home years ago...and I thank God for that..otherwise, my currently larger home would be busting at the seams with a bunch of stuff that I do not need or want. You do not have to downsize to get there though...you just need to make the choice to make the change...little by little, with no excuses. And if the queen of "I can keep that and make something out of it" (me) can do it, SO CAN YOU!!
Let me give you some nuggets to start your wheels turning before the new year...I am reading a book right now that my dear friend Susan gave me called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, and in short, she is on a year long mission to find more "happy" in her life. She tackles a different area of her life each month..amazing, isn't it, that the first thing she goes for is her "stuff and clutter". She says that she "craved a existence of order and serenity". Does that speak to you like it does to me? go figure that I LOVED this chapter. Here are the "kinds" of clutter that she talks about in her book. Think through these one by one, and can I suggest that you even write them down on index cards of a sheet of paper to refer to when you are doing your clutter clean up in the weeks to come? I am..and over the next month, together, we will use these categories as we get rid of our unnecessary "stuff". 
Nostalgic clutter- things you hang on to from your earlier life that do nothing for you now..(5 million sorority tee shirts)
Conservation clutter- things that in their own right are useful, but completely useless to you. (30 florist vases in your cabinet)  
Bargain clutter- things that we have purchased because they were a great deal, but you now find little or no use for them. 
Freebie clutter-  things that have been given to you because someone else had no use for them and thought you did! Thanks a lot for that!
Crutch clutter-  things you use, but know you shouldn't..can't wait to tackle this one.
Aspirational clutter-  things you have that you want to use...but end up just causing you guilt..like my scrap booking paper....it's been in the house for several years...and not moved..it's not going to happen..its not in me..it's going bye bye!
Buyer's remorse clutter-  okay, we all know what this is...the shirt that has had the tags on it for a year...or the shoes you have worn twice in 2 years...
Okay, now instead of feeling overwhelmed, you need to try and think of this as fun...keep in mind how exhilarating that it will be to have closets, drawers and cabinets clean and orderly. And to be able to find things when you need them. Take baby steps...one day at a time...one drawer at a time.
I hope that you will journey with me, and If you know someone that may find this useful,  please share this with them..and encourage them to subscribe to my blog!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amazing Idea For Christmas Loot!


Just had to share this..For those of us that don't wrap....If you are like me, at the last minute, I fear that I don't have enough "stuff" for the wow! factor on Christmas morning..What? Really? Well, yes, unfortunately, I do. This morning we got it all out and took a look..and I had a grand idea..Get it all ready, out of packages, tags gone..and put it in clear plastic bins..DONE! Then, Christmas Eve is simple and stress free..and QUICK...for those of us that love our sleep:) Hope this helps! It took me all of 20 minutes! I'll never NOT do this again! 
Happy Birthday To My Savior!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Un~cluttered Christmas!

Ok, are you taking slow deep breaths? I am having to remind myself to! 

Do you, like me, find it a little annoying that every time you turn on the radio, they are reminding us how many more days until Christmas..as if we don't know!

LOVE THIS SIGN..AND NO IDEA WHERE THIS CHURCH IS!



How are you doing at keeping your Christmas season un~cluttered? I would say mine has been marginal. There are some things that I wish I had done different already. But instead of making myself feel guilt or frustration about my moments of disorganization, or things we missed, I am making notes and reminders for next year..and, yes, putting them in my calendar with reminders. A peak at a few of mine..there are lots!

Note to self, dated Sept 1, 2012: Do not sign up to be party mom for both Holiday parties..YIKES!
Note to self, dated October 15, 2012: Make list of people to buy for and begin buying locally made, unique items!
Note to self, dated Nov 15, 2012: Refer to folder on desktop that contains simple Christmas decor ideas

Ok, so you get the point...no reason that we can't get better and better at managing our holidays so that we have more time to spend doing the things that matter most this time of year! Maybe this is something that you can try..love my iphone for this...so easy to make reminders on the fly!

Funny, we had a "family meeting" of sorts this year at Thanksgiving when we discussed what each of us loved the most about Christmas..Our tops were sparkling Christmas lights at night, decorating sugar cookies, finding the elves and their mischief, watching a few of our favorite Christmas movies together, LOTS of board games and Christmas Eve with our church family and friends! Those are precisely the things that I have made sure happen for us....so I may not have the perfectly decorated home this year, (it's not even fully furnished) or have gotten my cards out on Dec 1st, but so far, though there are a few moments of panic here and there, The McClures are keeping it fairly un~cluttered!

Please take a minute to read this blog from I.N.F.O. if you want more inspiration on making your Christmas the best that it can be! Look forward to checking out some of the suggested readings..may, as he says, "kick my butt", but sometimes it needs to be kicked! It's never too late to slow the bus down!



And might I suggest, if you have not already, before Saint Nick arrives, supply each of your children with a clear plastic bin of decent size, hand it to them and tell them to fill it up with toys that can go to another child, things that are broken or that they simply do not play with..that is on the schedule for this afternoon! Then take off of your premises quickly!!!! Wish us luck!

Wishing all of you that read this, a very Merry Christmas! Looking forward to organizing in the new year, and continuing to strive for simplicity, order and contentment!

Luke 2:14
"Glory To God In The Highest, and On Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men."


See ya in 2012!~Jennifer