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my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…

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Tip #28 – Pick a number, any number…

Tip #28 – Pick a number, any number.   28 Days of Decluttering


My friend Shannon asked me the other day – “how do you get started with decluttering?”  

This is a great question.  As you can tell by all that I shared this past month, it seems that all I really have time for is running the vacuum and washing the dishes.  I certainly don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to decluttering.  That is unless I am doing a series on it and find some inspiration.

I think the easiest way to make a little impact without too much time invested is to pick a number – let’s say FIVE – and try to trash, put away or organize that many things.  It might be five toys, five books, five pieces of paper on your desk, five shoes, five worn t-shirts, five throw pillows.  Go around your house and just find five things in different categories that aren’t in their home and put them away.  If needed, give them away.  Or throw them away.

Maybe do this every day for a week and see where it gets you.  I would think that after a short while you will see a big impact with very little effort.


PS – I hope you enjoyed this series, I know I got a lot of out of it for sure.  Over the course of this past month, I’ve sorted through my closet, cleaned my junk drawer, am applying the 30 Day Method to my kitchen utensils, and cleared away a corner in my office that hasn’t seen the light of day in months.  Thanks for coming along with me on this ride!

What’s up next – stay tuned to tomorrow – I’ll announce our next 28 Days Series.


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Tip #26 – 28 Days of Decluttering

Tip #26 – Pick a corner

office pile

That’s my dog in there too.

I feel like I’ve been over sharing all of my dirty secrets of my house and how much clutter is in it.  And here I thought I was pretty neat and tidy and pretty well-organized.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  It happens.  Life happens. And junk drawers, Tupperware drawers, kitchen utensils and more take a back seat to the other demands of our days.  I hope you have gotten some benefit out of this series and tried your hand decluttering the space around you.  I know, I have.  And I’m inspired to do more of  it!  I’ll probably keep going even after our 28 Days.

So for tip #26 – pick a corner.  Or a table, or a counter and just get started. Order a pizza and put some tunes on and tackle that one section. Even just a little project and a little decluttering can make a huge difference in your outlook.

The picture above is a corner in my office.  In all honesty, it will probably take me less than an hour to sort through the stuff here and figure out a game plan for the items.  Nothing in there is important and nothing is time sensitive.  And probably because of that, I’ve forgotten about it – so much that I don’t really see it anymore.

But it is still clutter.  It needs to be handled and cleaned up.  So my weekend project is to declutter this corner and get it clean it up.  Stay tuned to Facebook and I’ll post a follow-up picture soon.

Happy Friday!




It’s more about distractions….

Happy New Year!

So it’s day six in the year 2014 and I’m six days into my No Wal-Mart and No Yelling resolutions.  I have to admit – – so far – so good!

I’ve not once been to Wal-Mart although there was an occasion on Friday when I was right next to Wal-Mart but remembered my personal goal and diverted to a local grocery store instead.  That was easy.  I don’t really see this one being a hard one, it’s mostly just getting out of the habit.

The no yelling portion is going well also.  My patience was even tested one night with my boys refusing to listen to me and would not get ready for bed.  After six or seven times of saying “it’s time to get ready for bed” and them ignoring me, I finally told them  that I was getting upset and I didn’t want to yell – so they had better get moving.  It sort of worked, it still took a few more attempts to get them motivated and it was tempting to raise my voice.  Alas – I prevailed and held my cool.

One tip my friend Sally suggested was to come up with a code word.  Something that anyone can say and once it is said – everyone stops what they are doing and listens to what is being said.  I have to admit, my first thought of this was “oh – like a safe word in S&M?”  (Jeez, Amy – read 50 Shades of Grey much?)  (Not really, I hated those books…..I digress).

I’ve been thinking of a good word to use on these occasions.  Of course when I mentioned the idea to my boys their suggestions were “chupacabra” or “butt”  – – remember they are nine and five and little boys love to say and giggle non-stop at any mention of the word “butt” or any combination or similar word.  I don’t get little boys.

I don’t want a word that is necessarily funny, I want something that will get their attention yet not annoy me.  We’re working on this part.  I’ll keep you posted when we agree on our word.

My friend Sally also sent me this article, The Important Thing About Yelling.  I, in turn, had other friends post it on Facebook.   The timing of the article was ironic and the fact that a few of my friends shared it  made me think that when they read the article, it resonated with them on some level too.

That’s because the author is spot on!  My situation isn’t exactly like hers – but I know exactly what she is saying.  I’ve seen the fear in my sons’ eyes, I seen their eyes water up with tears, I’ve seen them withdraw  – – all because of me.  And my yelling.  I have to say again, I’m sharing this with you – but it is hard.  And I’m so ashamed….

But another thing the author mentions is – distractions.  100% of the time that I’ve yelled at my husband or my sons is because I was distracted.  Sure – sometimes they are just not doing what I’ve asked of them – – yet my reaction to their non-compliance is because I’ve been distracted with something else and annoyed that they aren’t doing what I’ve asked.  So, in a sense, my reaction in yelling – is my frustration with too much going on in my head.  Maybe I’m tired, maybe I’m hungry, maybe, like the author, I’m distracted with something else on another level – – – it doesn’t matter.  It’s the distractions that leads to yelling.

So – the non-yelling thing isn’t just about not yelling.  It’s about taking control of other influence in my life and learning to leave those at bay while I’m dealing with another situation.  It’s going to be hard but it’s a life change I need to make.

I wonder if we cut out distractions in our lives, how will that improve other interactions?

For 2014 – I’m introducing my 28 day series.  Each month and for 28 days I’ll share a tip on a topic of the month.  I know by my implementing short and easy changes to my daily routines, I will see improvements.  This is an exercise for me that I’m sharing with you and I hope you find some value in it too.  I’d love to hear your thoughts along the way.

One way to make sure you keep in touch with each daily tip is to subscribe to my blog (see the button on the right?) or like me on Facebook.  Up and onward – – stay tuned for the 1st day of the 28 day series on reducing distractions.

Happy Monday!  Happy New Year!