Accountability, in which I noted my desire to remove clutter and take back my home. I detailed some of the things that allowed all of this clutter to happen. I failed to mention that my mind helps me hold onto clutter. I am an extremely sentimental person and I hold on to things because they remind me of happy times or people I love. Part of it stems from my childhood. As I mentioned in my post about rage issues , I was bullied a lot in school. I would hold on to items that I friend gave me because it reminded me that someone did like me or that someone was actually nice to me. Obviously, I have some things to work out there. I'm really trying. I'm learning how to let go. I'm learning that the stuff isn't as valuable as the memory.
I got side-tracked in November and December due to everything surrounding the treatment for my daughter's hemangiomas. I wasn't able to complete the goal I had set for myself in November. We were able to start getting the ball rolling towards the end of December. I told my husband that Santa was not welcome unless we got rid of a few things first. We did pretty good. We cleared out a lot of things from our spare bedroom. I was proud of myself for being able to let go. One of the things I do that helps me is take pictures of all the items I donate. It serves a few purposes. It helps me remember exactly what I donated. This is good for tax reasons if you like to deduct your donations. It also helps me preserve memories. Do I need to keep a shirt that doesn't fit just because I wore it on some happy day? No, not really. It could serve someone else. So, I take a picture. If I miss it that bad I can always look at the picture. It's been a really helpful and simple method to allow me to let go.
There was a moment where our decluttering fervor backfired. In December, we went through a lot of stuff and purged a good deal of junk. There was one night where the hubby and I worked in the spare room while the kiddies slept. I emptied and consolidated boxes/bins. I put all of the boxes into our hallway and our living room for hubby to take outside and leave on the front step for Purple Heart to pick up. I managed to get about 7 boxes into one big storage bin and one small cardboard box that night. There is still a way to go, but it's a start. I put a lot of sentimental things that are important into one small cardboard box - my wedding album, pictures of my husbands family dating back to the early 1900's (my husband's parents, grandparents and most family members are dead - he only has about 5 living relatives), cards from when my hubby was born, an Israel Tree Memorial thing from his father's death, pictures of my sweet, sweet kitty, Abigael, who is in Heaven, the little bracelets that my son wore in the hospital when he was born. Things like that. I put that box aside from the other boxes and went to bed. The next day, I walked into the room to appreciate the work we had done the night before. I noticed the box was gone. I looked all over for it. Gone. Purple heart had picked up our stuff about 8 hours earlier. I frantically called my husband who frantically called Purple Heart. The lady on the line was sad to hear our story and said she would try to help, but it's over a month later and they pretty much told us to give up hope. I'm devastated, but trying to move on. That brings us to the here and now.
My son is 5 and says he wants his own room. He told me he needs privacy. I respect that. We are a co-sleeping family and he has been in our room since birth. Our apartment is small and we planned to milk the co-sleeping thing until at least 5 so we could avoid space issues. Our spare bedroom is the catch-all for our crap. It's where I keep my computer desk. The plan is to keep getting rid of the clutter and to get a new desk. My desk is huge and takes up a lot of space. It's not necessary to have such a big desk. My parents need to replace a desk in their basement, so I'm thinking of giving them this one and getting a much smaller and simpler one for myself at Ikea. It'll free up space in the room. We're going to get the Little Dude a bed and do up the room like a regular kids room.
That bedroom is one of our goals. I would like to have it completed by the middle of this year. There is still a lot to be done around the house. I'm not proud of my home at all. I hate it, really. I hate what it's become and it feels so overwhelming. I never invite people over because I'm embarrassed with this place. After I had the baby, I didn't invite people to see her because I didn't want to show off my clutter. It was okay because most people who had made a fuss when I was pregnant forgot about me the day after my baby was born, so I never pushed the issue. Still, I want to be proud of my apartment. I want it to feel like a home. Right now, it feels like a place that I have to put up with. Just a place to sleep at night. It's not homey or personal. It's not comfortable to me. My son is a little on the hyper side and needs structure and focus. I know that I am doing damage to his sweet little mind with all the chaos of clutter around him. A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind.
So, I told my husband that my goal is to get rid of 2012 items in 2012. I am throwing myself into it and committing. There is a forum on Mothering.com that is devoted to de-cluttering and organizing your home. There is a thread specifically for people who want to get rid of 2012 items in 2012. I joined that thread for the support, motivation and the accountability. I also downloaded two apps to help things along - Cozi and Chore Checklist Lite. They are both free. They aren't specific to decluttering, but you can customize them to make lists of things you want to accomplish. I like to check things off of lists. For me, it's highly motivating. I also found a website called My Simpler Life. She has a calendar that lists daily tasks for getting your home simplified, organized and decluttered. The point is to do small things each day and not try to overwhelm yourself with a complete overhaul of your home in one day. I find the calendar to be helpful in guiding me along. Honestly - it's another thing I can check off and say, "I did it!"
Anyone with me? I'll post along with updates every few days. Join me in simplifying your home, your life and your spirit. You'll find that you are happier for it!
Eggs are a symbol of resurrection and rebirth, which is why I chose that picture. Also, because it's pretty. They were our breakfast this morning.
Note: You can find an update on my challenge HERE.