I didn't realize I was such a pack rat. It was very difficult sorting through old files and other stashes of "treasures." I knew it was going to be difficult, but not this emotionally stressful!
I didn't feel the need to scan everything and save it digitally. I just needed to let it go. Here are files of past Smart Martha seminars that I combined into one photo and one Excel file with all of the information stored in all of these folders. I tried this for lots of other files--but when I could find the strength---I pitched as much as I could!
but yes, after lots of sorting and clever reductions, I finished.
For someone who is an “expert” on clutter and home management, I am currently a failure in my home. Did you ever notice how few pictures of my home I’ve posted on Instagram lately? That’s because I just don’t have my act together in my house. ( Also, I despise those folks who are always showing their “perfectly neat and stylish” living quarters along with their “perfectly neat and stylish” children. I wouldn’t want to be in that category, not that I ever could.)
So my house is a mess along with my messy life. The latter, I really can’t do anything about--these are God-given messes in my life. The first one, I probably can.
I keep saying to myself, “when this is over” (like my daughter’s wedding) or “when I get this project done” (like painting the kitchen) or “when the weather gets nicer” --”I’ll get my home in order again!”
But it just hasn’t happened.
With my recent purchase of the Homemaking Bundle--there were several courses and ebooks in there about decluttering, cleaning the house, and even organizing your life. I probably spent a couple hours pouring over all of them--and really, there was nothing new. This was all the stuff I’ve written about and blogged about in the past. I thought the fresh reminders might be helpful, but what I found out was that reading about decluttering and cleaning, doesn’t get it done.
Also, neither does writing about it. (Darn!)
I just need the discipline and final push to start.
This is where I need your help.
I need some commiserating.
And I need some accountability.
I am going to do my own 16 week challenge to declutter my home!
If you want to join me and want some accountability, I’d love to have you.
It’s not a complicated or difficult plan. I am simple going to declutter one area of my home per week.
My goal for that area will be that every single item follows this criterion: (And if possible--cut everything down by ⅓. In some cases, even more.Yikes.)
My process simple: take everything out, put only those things back in a specific place that are wanted and used. Everything else is either tossed, given to charity, or put in another place.
It’s really not simple, yet it is. Decisions have to be made. This can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ll need that virtue of detachment and wisdom.
And I’ve got one week for each area.
By August, my house will be decluttered and simplified. I’ve got to keep that end vision in mind.
Along the way, I will post some pictures, some motivational sayings, etc. I will also talk about my failures, I’m sure, like things I just can’t throw away or closets too full to even begin.
Right now in writing this, I’m having some signs of anxiety and a panic attack. My heart rate has increased as I think about the spaces in my house that are just too much--of everything--to declutter.
But now that this is in writing--like a formal contract or something, I hopefully will be able to complete it.
Follow along on Facebook! I will post some on my website, but will definitely be more up to date on my SmartMartha Facebook page. Just follow me there. https://www.facebook.com/SmartMarthaMinistry
One area per week!
Like I mentioned, join me!! You don’t have to do all of the areas that I do at the same time, but maybe do some of the rooms/areas that I am doing. I’ve posted my schedule below.
Perhaps if you need this kind of Spring/Summer Cleaning Out, you can make a similar chart. I’ve taken into account our vacations and other summer events and put “easier” rooms in those weeks. I hope it’s not too much or overwhelming--as a Smart Martha, I must always keep my priorities smart. This means that my relationship with God and with others comes first. In most cases, this shouldn’t have to be an either/or.
But sometimes things come up. . .
I’m starting with my home office. Ugh! For example, this is my desk drawer.
I also have lots of files, too many books, dozens of pens, etc, that I have to sort through and pitch.
Is this something you feel you need to do? Is it hard to get motivated? Do you feel like you just don’t know where to start? Come over to my Facebook page and we can cry together: https://www.facebook.com/SmartMarthaMinistry
As always, I’ll put this whole project to prayer (because it’s going to take a miracle to pull this off!)
St. Martha, pray for us!
St. Mary of Bethany, pray for us!
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Frances of Rome, pray for us!
Mother's Day is May 12th. If you don't get to see your mother, make it easy and send her something special, but not too hard on the budget. Books are a great go to--as are candles, kitchen towels, or something else unique and special to her. Here are suggestions from Amazon. This covers shipping, too, if you have Amazon prime. Put something in your cart, and mark you calendar to pay for it and ship it on the Wednesday or Thursday before. I often do this for birthdays of relatives I don't get to see. It doesn't really cost much more than a card. It just lets them know you are thinking of them.