More than decluttering, get Unstuffed!

Decluttering books are all the rage right now. Without much thought you could probably list off at minimum 5 books focused around this hot topic. Some of these books do a sweep of all at once get rid of everything you are not using, other books walk you through steps to clear out the extra a little at a time. One thing these books all seem to have in common is that they are all about the stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, I have found many of these books to be extremely helpful when I am feeling on the brink of never throwing anything away, but I always seem to get back into a funk. I even read through a “magical” book but honestly didn’t find much inspiration in the long run, the methods just didn’t flow with me. I think my needs ran deeper that just the physical stuff I would see laying around.

I came across a book that was due to come out from a blogger that I had been reading a lot from recently. I wasn’t entirely too sure on what to expect to get from the book but I loved her previous work (Living Well Spending Less 12 Secrets of the Good Life), I immediately put the new book, Unstuffed, on pre-order and waited. Well honestly I am still waiting right now because it is due out on April 5th. Ruth Soukup has provided me with a lot of inspiration on her blog as well as in her books. You may recall I took her Spend Zero Challenge in October (not the best success for me but I learned a lot!). I was so excited when the opportunity arose to apply to be a part of the book launch team, even more thrilled when I found out I was actually chosen! I received an early released advanced reader copy and I dove straight into it.

Clutter is more than the physical stuff that lays in piles and heaps on the floor. This book walks through not just the decluttering in your home and cleaning the excess (Unstuffed Weekend Challenge, anyone?). In a second section you walk through what is cluttering your mind. Too much to get done, yup checking this box on my list as well. The third and final section is for your soul. Friendships and wellness. End of book, I am refreshed and ready to go. Actually I worked through a bit as I read. I cleared my email in box of all those articles I thought I would get to, pulled clothes out of the closet I am just not loving anymore, and working more on the relationships that mean the most to me and fill me up with happiness.

One of my biggest takeaways from this book is that you are in constant work on maintenance when you are “stuffed”. As I work towards unstuffing my home, mind and soul I am finding so much peace with letting go. From the very first page I felt that Ruth was writing so close to my heart that I wasn’t sure how I would get through this book without tears. I read the first page, a short poem about stuff, and then stopped read it again then handed the book to my husband. His response, ‘Yup, that is you!’. I love stuff, my stuff, I can find a personal connection to anything it seems. This makes it hard to let go of. I am working on that, trying to see stuff as stuff and the connections in my heart rather than to stuff.

I decided to let this journey of unstuffing take its sweet time. We always have a large community garage sale over the summer so I have slowly been adding to my pile of things to sell. I do not feel tempted by the things kept in my garage set to be sold. My kids have a harder time when they see a few items but overall it is a great place to set things aside. Normally I do not just pack up and send the un-purchased items to donation center after the weekend is over but I have already told myself and my husband (accountability) that I will be sending a load off this year. We have a goal to clear the clutter by the end of the summer and reclaim the garage for garage things and the basement room will become more of a play room for the boys. Setting this goal has already relieved a lot of stress in trying to fit it all in some place and now I look at the stuff much more in a do I need this, will I use this way.

The pile of things to get rid of grows.
The pile of things to get rid of grows.

I have also been working on clearing the clutter digitally and virtually. I have worked on cleaning up my e-mail and now my inbox is under 10 items and they are all to-do items that should be completed within the week. New emails are addressed as quickly as possible and I try very hard to keep that number under 10 by the end of the day. I have set times where I allow myself to scan through the emails and take care of them, and I now find I am unsubscribing to even more than before.

As in introvert I do not find that I say yes to too many events in general, so I am instead concentrating on focusing more on the relationships that mean the most to me. I am finding new ways  to have special time with each of my children, and I am working on making sure that my husband and I get a chance to have a date night more often. We are often overlooking the time we need to be able to just be with each other.

Snuggle Time!
Snuggle Time!

I am so excited for this unstuffing journey.


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The Pile Up

I hate that feeling of being behind. No matter what it is, behind on my day job tasks, behind on my cleaning at home, behind on my bills. Today I was able to take the day off of my job so that I was home for my 4-year old that had to have some dental work done. He was such a trooper and did so well he went right back to school. This meant I had the whole day to myself. I got home and went right to work.

I started a load of laundry and then took all the miscellaneous items up to my bedroom and laid out all the paperwork I needed to get through. I had hurt my knee yesterday after failing to get over the baby-gate in an appropriate way so I knew I needed to be sitting and relaxing but so desperately wanted to get some cleaning done.

I have already cleared out so many small to-do’s! I am still looking at a pile to get through but I still have a few hours before I have to pickup the kids.

My goal after some of this clean up to to actually take care of the little items as they come in rather than creating a pile to come back to later. Most of the time the later is much later and I have a pile of little things to get through instead of a 2 minute task I now have an hour of tasks. Not just the time but it leaves such a clutter of things, usually on my night stand or dresser.

How do you handle all the paperwork and little tasks in your house? Do you have a pile of small quick things to take care of or have you already implemented a method of handling things as they come in?

Making Over Mornings to Setting Up My Year

After almost over a year of working through change after change we had finally started to really settle into routines and really started to get more organized. Things were really starting to settle in and get comfortable. Of course this means something must change.

My husband started a new job, a job he was really excited about. I am so excited for him and the opportunity he has in front of him now. That being said this new job is throwing me through a loop. I had used the Make Over Your Mornings course from Crystal Paine to help me get organized and have a better morning based on  the crazy early start he needed for his job. I am now quite used to a 4am (yup, 4) wake-up to get the day started. With his new job he doesn’t need to leave the house until a few hours later, in fact with the way we had things working he now actually leaves after I do.

The first week I was fine, just kept on the way I had been but the second week started to get to me a bit and I knew I needed to get to work on a new routine. Thankfully Crystal’s course is re-workable and I am going back through it to make the necessary tweaks needed now. This lead me into reviewing the goals I had set for this year, in light of a significant change I wasn’t sure how our goals were going to be impacted, from feasibility of time and how the timeline of the goal may be impacted. I know Crystal talks a lot about goal setting and it has been a huge help to get me started in thinking strategically about my family’s life and the goals we set.

I am so excited to announce that Crystal now has a Make Over Your Year course (releasing March 18th, 2016 with a special introductory price).

Crystal’s courses have really helped me get my morning time set to be organized and purposeful. Since working through her Make Over Your Mornings Course  I stopped fretting about how to get everything done and stopped having to rush out the door. I was able to use the course and build in the extra time I needed by understanding where I was spending my time and how simple prep work could save me. Now that I am working back through my morning time I feel even more prepared as I already have the basic structure figured out, just some small changes and we are going strong in our routines again.

One of the biggest changes for us with this work schedule change is dinner time. Before my husband was able to get get home before me and the kids and get dinner started so we were able to eat shortly after I arrived home most days. I am so grateful that we were able to have that work for us for so long but I am honestly excited about getting the chance to cook a bit more myself too. One of my goals for this year (even before this work change-up) was to have a better meal plan for each week and eat healthier choices. This goal was a struggle before our change and it is certainly not getting easier now.

Goals are so much more than just losing weight or paying off debt. I never realized how I could really make an impact on seemingly simple things by setting a goal and breaking it down into smaller manageable steps. I am excited to get in to the Make Over Your Year course and learn more about goal setting. I have been stuck in the here and now, survival mode for a while and finally feeling like I can start planning for more. I have used some small goal setting with the simple stuff like setting a goal to get myself out of bed no later that 4:30 every weekday, but now I could really use some help in getting a larger goal achieved.

Crystal’s previous courses are setup in a way that you can always go back and rework them. As I mentioned earlier I am currently reworking my Make Over Your Mornings course to align with our new schedule. I cannot wait to dig into this new course and see what I can accomplish.

Have you taken any of Crystal Paine’s courses? I would love to hear more about what you were able to learn from them. Do you set goals or are you looking to learn more about setting goals? Leave a comment and I would love to chat more about it.


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