Have you recovered yet from all those pesky and guilt-provoking thoughts about New Year’s resolutions?
Although we’re almost far enough into January to be in the “safe zone”, if you’re like me, you really DO want to make changes in your life. As scary as it may seem, it is the only way to truly grow into the people that God made us to be, and to accomplish our purposes for being here.
I have been perusing blogs and other articles since New Year’s Day, thinking and praying about what changes I need to make this year in my life. If you’ve been reading my blog so far (the first three posts), you will know that my word for 2016 seems to be “Change”.
I shared how I especially find myself in a season of transition, and how I am purposing to embrace the good changes that God has for me.
In order to do that, though, I need some specific goals, and action steps which will help me to get there.
For so many years, I have felt like life was running me. Like a hamster in a running wheel, I have often felt overwhelmed just with getting “the basics” done. I’ve felt like much of my time has been spent trying to catch up or just to keep my head above water.
One of the goals I’m working on is to live my life more intentionally. I’m also learning to understand how keeping it simple plays am important role in the process.
I’d like to share some of this journey with you, and for January 2016, I wish to share with you some tools I’ve found that can help us to grow.
Now, don’t be tempted, as I have been, to try to join and accomplish ALL of these challenges. But if a particular suggestion sparks something in you and I can even help one person to live better this year, it will be worth my sharing.
Oh, yeah. It seems “too late” already, doesn’t it? I mean, most of you have already put away all your Christmas and New Year’s stuff and are getting back in the swing of “regular” life. And some of these challenges are already underway. It’s tempting to just forget about resolutions and change, and just get on with life’s routine.
May I implore and encourage you NOT to give up; to jump in whenever you can; it’s never too late!
ANY change, big or small, will be an improvement in your life and motivate you to continue to grow and make permanent changes.
I don’t know about you, but the condition that causes THE MOST STRESS IN MY LIFE is clutter.
It affects everything I do, my thoughts and feelings about myself as a person and homemaker. It distracts, taunts and discourages me almost daily. It’s been a problem for me for years, and I’m ready to CHANGE the way I do things to ban clutter from my home!
I’ve even noticed it affects something as basic as attempting to take nice photos for my new blog…..because too often there is STUFF in the way!
Sure, I’ve made baby steps in this area, but if there is one thing I would like to change most in my life FOR GOOD this year, it’s to deal with my clutter!
The first step is to DECLUTTER.
I anticipate some future posts on how to create better systems to prevent clutter in the first place. But we have to start somewhere.
Here’s one of the best challenges I’ve come across so far, and I’ve decided to jump in!
Check out this 91 Day Declutter Challenge and see if it’s for you.
Remember, you DO NOT have to do this perfectly!
In fact, as I began to investigate the challenge, my enthusiasm was quickly followed by discouragement, almost causing me to ditch the whole thing. But realizing how important this is to me, even though I won’t do it every day nor completely this time around, I have committed to the effort to do what I can.
There is even a Facebook group to join, where you can both share your photos and experiences and encourage others in the process. I have to say, I’ve been amazed at the level of kindness and encouragement of group members on this page! I encourage you to dive in and join the page, as well. You won’t regret it.
This is already Week #2 of the 91 Day Declutter Challenge, but as you will quickly see, it’s OK to start now, wherever you’re at, and do what you can in your real life situation.
Week #1 (last week) was focused on our laundry room areas.
Here are some photos I shared on the Facebook page last week:
(Please excuse the quality of the pictures, which were quickly taken on my little tablet for expediency. You get the idea, though.)
But WAIT…..that’s NOT the laundry room!
RIGHT! Get it???
I did what I could; what I had to do, in order to get my packages out of the door the next morning for a scheduled donation pick-up (one way to help force yourself to declutter). Over the holidays, I had already noticed several items in this cupboard that I’ve been holding onto for over twenty years! I even had little teacups (the ones we “modern” coffee drinkers don’t use any more), from not one, but TWO sets of dishes that I didn’t even own any more!
So I proceeded on “laundry room week” to declutter my buffet and hutch area, as well as some miscellaneous items that I had noticed around the house.
I even dared to share these photos on the designated Facebook page, even though I wasn’t on the “right” room.
To my pleasant surprise, I was SO encouraged and motivated in the process. I donated two large boxes and two large bags of dishes and other miscellaneous stuff I collected around my home. And I decided that I needed to share this with you!
I plan to continue this challenge, even though I won’t do it perfectly. It’s a great start for me on my process to decluttering my home.
When my boys were little, I remember watching a children’s video (on a VHS tape), about Mouse and Mole. Am I the only one who is often spoken to by teachings designed for children?
Anyway, the two friends, Mouse and Mole, live together with opposite personality traits. In this particular episode, they attempt to clean one room in their house, and succeed…….only to find they’ve deposited all of the stuff into another room instead.
Here are the words that have stayed with me to this day. It may have been intended for children, but it’s truth for all ages:
What would you rather have, “stuff” or “space”?