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Thread: 40 Hours Decluttering Using Flylady's Timer Method - July 6 - Aug. 30

  1. #31
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    Still putt-putting along. Another hour today. New total: 22.

  2. #32
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    30 more minutes today: 22.5.

  3. #33
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    30 more minutes today - decluttering a bathroom cupboard. New total: 23.

  4. #34
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    Yesterday I did two more hours, so my new total is 25.

    I have to do a bit of a push for the next couple of days because I told my daughter she could have a friend sleep over next weekend and our handyman is coming to put some new furniture together on Tuesday. Deadlines tend to work well for me!

    I think my motto for this stage is "Neat and tidy goes a long way."

    I still have boxes of clutter, but my priority at the moment is to make sure every room in our house is tidy and presentable even if there is clutter tucked away in spots. I think I always feel like I have to get clutter out of every nook and cranny before doing things like vacuuming or organizing surfaces, but then the house never feels calm and peaceful because I'm constantly in the process of spreading things out to "organize."

    So for the next few days my priority is to make the house tidy and presentable and to let go of worrying about every stash of hidden clutter. I feel like there's an aspect of self-forgiveness and self-love in this decision. I can give myself and my daughter a tidy, nurturing home even if clutter is still an issue for me. I don't have to punish myself by leaving it all out everywhere.

  5. #35
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    Sounds like you are doing very well, ejchase! Congrats on all your progress.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  6. #36
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    Ejchase, congrats on your progress, and your new resolution!
    You may be pleasantly surprised that the decluttering comes easier, once you have “neat and tidy.” It did for me.

  7. #37
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    Thanks, happystuff and mschrisgo2. Mscrhrisgo2, that's good to hear that "neat and tidy" makes the decluttering go easier. I think it's the right priority for now.

    I did 1.5 more hours today, tidying and sweeping and organizing in our new guestroom - the smaller of our 3 bedrooms that was my daughter's until she moved into a bigger room a month ago. Right now, the room just holds our guinea pigs, a desk, office supplies and a printer. Over the next few months, I need to get a small rug and sofa bed for it. But today, I just organized what was there.

    New total: 26.5.

  8. #38
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    I am not one for counting hours, but I do find your posts and totals motivating, ejchase. I thank you for that.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    I am not one for counting hours, but I do find your posts and totals motivating, ejchase. I thank you for that.
    Thanks, happystuff! I'm glad these ramblings are motivating!

    I did another 2 hours today. New total: 28.5.

    I had a bit of a revelation today. As I mentioned above, I decided to prioritize just making my house tidy this week instead of pulling out all my stashes of clutter and trying to deal with them. And as I was doing that, I realized a connection with my recovery from compulsive overeating a couple of decades ago.

    I've always felt like my clutter issues were some kind of compulsion like overeating was - not a sign of laziness or lack of discipline or whatever but something with emotional roots.

    I worked through my eating issues with a bunch of extremely helpful books that approached overeating from both psychoanalytic and behaviorist perspectives, both of which were helpful. One of the behaviorist techniques that one of the books suggested was to dress for my body the way it was (I was 50 pounds heavier then than I am now). At the time, that was kind of a revolutionary idea to me because like many people who want to lose weight, I was waiting to be thin to buy the clothes I wanted. So dressing for my body as it was then felt pretty radical, and it was very powerful. It helped me avoid putting my life on hold and helped me accept the possibility that I might stay at that weight forever. And it helped me love myself and care for myself even though I had issues with overeating.

    I also learned a lot from dressing for my body the way it was then. I learned my basic body shape and what clothes looked good on it which didn't actually change all that much once I lost weight - because I was pear-shaped when I was overweight and even now that I'm thin, I'm pear-shaped, so many of the same styles still work. I learned what my taste in clothes was and what colors looked good on me. But of course, the most powerful part was just to live my life fully where I was instead of waiting for "someday" to dress how I liked.

    I realized today that making it a priority to make my house tidy and aesthetically pleasing as possible as it is now (instead of feeling like I have to get rid of every bit of clutter until I focus on decorating and making it pretty) is sort of analogous to dressing nicely in my heavier body. It gives me a chance to love my house now and to discover what elements in it make me happiest and to stop putting my life on hold until all the clutter is gone.

    I also think both my eating issues and my clutter issues are a symptom of a really deep-seated fear of intimacy, a way I keep people at a distance. But when I was working through my eating issues, I reminded myself if I got thin, I could protect myself without the fat, and I have. And I think if my house is decluttered, that doesn't mean I have to let everyone "in" all of a sudden. I can still set whatever boundaries I need in relationships and with my space and my house, and I will probably be a little more protective of myself than the average person.

    So ... all of this is a long-winded way of saying, I think for the next year or so, my priority is going to shift to making my house aesthetically pleasing and nurturing now and let the clutter getting weeded out a second priority. In truth, the two priorities are pretty entwined anyway. Making the upper hallway tidy today resulted in filling up a couple more wastepaper baskets with trash and putting more items in the Goodwill box.

    I'm sorry if this is TMI - it just really helps to have a place to record these insights as I have them!

  10. #40
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    I actually did one more hour tonight. New total: 29.5.

    And I found out the handyman is coming Wednesday not tomorrow, which gives me a little more time to create space for the furniture he is putting together (a desk for my daughter and a bookcase). We are preparing to give away three pieces of furniture, so we're still coming out with one less piece!

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