I realise that there are some hoarders that cannot control their hoarding but I really do feel better when I see some of those hoarding TV shows…
I guess its always nice to feel someone is worse off than we are…
What started out as a personal decision to try and sort out my junk has grown into something much bigger than I could imagine. A couple of ‘before and after’ photos placed on my personal Facebook page resulted in lots of positive comments and a small Facebook group for fellow hoarders trying to sort out their lives…
Then my daughter suggested I do a blog to write about my journey. Knowing nothing about how to do a Blog I did some research and set out on this exciting adventure. Since then so many people have contacted me privately and told me of their own journeys, their successes and failures. I am quite humbled by how my very simple story has inspired others….
So today I thought I would honour and applaud some great achievements.
My Gold Star of the month has to go to Pam. In about a month she has transformed her entire home!!! It makes me feel exhausted just looking at her progress! While I wouldn’t usually recommend such a full-on attack on a whole house it clearly worked for Pam. I know I would go mad for a couple of days, get tired, and the rest of the house would be left untouched. Here are some of her photos…
Laundry Before and after
Living area before and after
Bedroom before and after…
I asked Pam what she felt was her biggest achievements and if she had any hints or dos and don’ts..
Pam said – I would say my bedroom was my biggest achievement. The biggest don’t is don’t do this for someone else, it has to be done for you. This I found saved me resenting people as I cleaned up. Don’t put too much pressure.on yourself. Set small goals. Pick a corner of a room and start there. When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is ask yourself can you 1. Use it 2. Find a home for it without it being shoved somewhere and 3. Can you be bothered dusting it.
Paperwork only needs to be kept for 2 years unless it is legal documents or initial contracts such as insurance.
These days everything is stored electronically.
Make use of hard rubbish collections.
Also take photos of everything that way if you do get rid of stuff you will always have a picture of it.
Take lots of photos as you clean up from start during and to finish. Sometimes you get overwhelmed and it feels like you are getting no where. These photos help you to see you are making.progress.
I think these are all great tips – especially about having to do it yourself!! I would hate someone going thru my stuff and telling me what to get rid of…I think you need the control of what stays and what goes…. even if you only throw a few things out it is still a great step forward…
A couple of other special mentions are Mich with a couple of completed rooms..no before photos I’m afraid…
Mich tells me that hidden in this room are two overlockers, 3 sewing machines and a cover stitch hidden on that table area. And that in the kitchen is another sewing machine plus there is the new industrial, currently parked in the middle of the family area. And a new one in the laundry…so perhaps I have an addiction!!
Mich’s laundry with the aforementioned sewing machine…
And the last special mention is another friend of mine who has started to sort out their wardrobe….
So I hope these people’s success stories inspire you! They have certainly inspired me!
And always remember that it doesn’t matter how small or large your goal is, or even whether you reach your goal or not – it is all about doing the best you can and achieving what you can – and then start again and not giving up…
Well done to all the achievers….
So I have now got all these resolutions how on earth am I going to achieve them? It’s all very well to say take one bite at a time but now I have to organise myself so I can do all the bites I have undertaken to do!! And it’s a scary thought…
It’s very easy to say I am going to do this and this. But if I am going to be more successful this year with my resolutions I need to have a plan and I need to stick to it. So the plan has to be practical and it needs to not be overwhelming. Because I know the way that I am, and if it is too easy for me to make excuses I will.
So how do I make a plan that I will stick to? I clearly need to try and allocate some time each week or day to do different tasks. Even the thought of doing that scares me. I’m not sure why.. perhaps because if I make a plan I need to stick to it. And I am not good at sticking to plans.
I notice one of the reasons they say people procrastinate is the fear of failure. When I read that I thought that was an odd reason to procrastinate – surely achieving a goal would give you a sense of achievement? But just now when I am trying to create a plan to do all the things I want to do I understand that fear of failure.
If I make a plan or a list then to succeed I need to follow the plan or cross things off the list. I know the overwhelming feeling I get when I make a list and it weighs heavily on me all the time because I am not making the list any shorter. It is the same with my cluttered house. Just looking at the mess makes me feel a failure. And yet I procrastinate about doing something about it. Why is that? Perhaps it is easier to want to do it and plan to do it than it is to start something and fail, or plan to do something and not do it.
So instead I procrastinate about making a plan. I have spent the day researching personal organisers and online organisers. Should I just buy a paper diary or use my phone calendar? Should I create a spreadsheet and allocate time to certain tasks? Or download a digital organiser and see if that works? It is easier for me to think about how I will make a plan than it is to do the actual planning. Thinking about how I am going to plan my schedule isn’t a stressful thing and so I am happy to spend hours doing it. And when I do decide on what method I am going to use I will spend a lot of time setting it all up. But I will still eventually have to do a plan!
So I have actually learnt a lot about myself today – and even writing this article – has helped me see things that I hadn’t seen before. I see now how the fear of failure can stop you doing things, that it is so easy to set yourself up for failure (I will make a list but I know I’m not going to do it) and that for a procrastinator planning is a very scary thought!!
But it has achieved something practical as well. I can see that actually allocating times to do things for me would be fatal. So much better for me to make a list for each day, week and month. That gives me the flexibility to still achieve my goals over a period of time but not have the 2 hours on a Tuesday afternoon set down for cleaning, not achieve that, and then instantly abandon all other plans because I have failed to achieve one. A bit like someone trying to lose weight abandoning their diet entirely due to weakening and having a donut!
So this article has changed from what I originally planned it to be. I was going to write about my research for finding the best organisers…but I think I have learnt a much more valuable lesson about myself instead….. We have to try and understand why we procrastinate, what motivates us and what works best for us to help us become more organised. I think I will work better on lists that need to be completed than set time slots for activities…what do you think works best for you?
My daughter sent me a website address she thought might help with my Blog….. it has lots of ideas about storage and decluttering but there were a few I thought I would find useful
Enlist the Rule of Five every time you clean!
Whenever you’re cleaning a room, get rid of at least five items, whether it’s a piece of trash, an old magazine, or just something you haven’t used in ages. You could also change this rule slightly and try to tidy up just five minutes every say in your allocated room.
Simplify your clothes shopping to this simple question.
I have so many clothes that look lovely in the shop but when I get home they dont look as nice, or I dont have anything to wear with it or just arent comfortable to wear…so they hang in the wardrobe and are never worn…
When you buy a new shirt get rid of one.
This would actually work for everything you buy – one in, one out! Go thru your wardrobe at the end of each season and throw out all the clothes you didnt wear for no good reason – and all those skinny clothes that you know realistically you are not going to ever fit into again.
Use compartmentalised boxes for those little things that you need to keep organsised.
This is a great idea but you also need to have an organised place to keep the boxes where you can quickly find what you are looking for!!! I would have a wonderful time putting stuff in boxes – and labelling them (love labelling things!) – and then never remember where I put the box or forget to restock it….
Fold your bedsheets up and put them in matching pillowcase
I thought this sounded good but I can also see disaster here…for starters my fitted sheets never fold up that neatly! But it would be good not to have to hunt thru the entire linen cupboard to find matching pillowcases!
And if you don’t have a smartphone, hole-punching your discount and gift cards and adding them to a single key ring can keep your purse organized.
I actually did this over Christmas – I have an App on my phone (I am trying Stocard at the moment) and put all my Loyalty cards on the phone. It was simple and easy to set up and now instead of looking thru my purse for my card I have them all in my phone.
There are lots of other suggestions on this website but some of them I couldnt see myself doing and some I thought were a bit silly…but if you want to see them all go to
I realise that I have forgotten to mention one of my New Year Resolutions! Not sure how I forgot it…perhaps it could be that I have been procrastinating about it for so long that my mind has shut it out of my consciousness!!
The problem is that this particular resolution needs to be commenced soon or it can’t be completed in time – and it probably isn’t something that you can take short cuts with…
In July this year I am going on a holiday to Europe. I have never been to Europe – but my friends that have, tell me it could involve a lot of walking…now that’s the problem…
I have never understood people that love exercising… I am just one of those really unco people that are hopeless at any form of sport… so I learnt at a very early age that any form of sport was a bad (read humiliating) thing to do… … I have often sort of envied those motivated souls that regularly go to the gym or get up for brisk morning walks in the morning… I am not one of them! I have wondered why some of us are less motivated.. I guess not being good at it is a disincentive, also I tend to be a bit of a stumblebum… I have been to classes where the teacher and all the other folk follow the steps and do the moves so easily. I just work out where to put my arms and legs and they are already onto the next movement. Embarrassing. On New Year’s eve a couple of days ago, as I was sitting by the river having tea with friends I saw so many people run past with intent in their eyes, ear plugs in the ears and sweat pouring off them….I pondered their insanity while I sipped my wine….
My idea of sport is watching it on TV – or maybe something like 10 pin bowling. I do a reasonable amount of exercise in my job and I am not a complete sloth -just an unfit one. And anything that requires getting up early in the morning is doomed from the start (I am a night person and work at night).
So back to my New Year resolution… When we booked our holiday it was more than a year from when we were leaving. So I resolved that I would get fitter so that I could walk all day and see all the sights to be seen… I had a whole year to gradually get fit…and I figured that getting fit was a good thing to do even if I wasn’t going on holidays… One of my friends that does a lot of walking (serious Bibbulmun Track walking) was very keen. You need walking poles he said – they help your balance and save your knees and back. So I did some research and found that Dr Google agreed….walking poles were the thing to have…. My hubby said he didn’t think poles were very cool!!
So of course you can’t start exercising until you have walking poles can you? I didn’t feel guilty at all about not starting my exercise regime as I needed to get walking poles first – and some good sensible walking shoes. My serious walking friend kept asking me if I had started walking yet and I kept telling him I needed to get the poles first….
So finally in November I bought the walking poles. Cute purple ones that telescope down so they can fit in our case. And some good walking shoes.
Just after I bought the poles I went away with my girlfriends. I made the mistake of saying I had bought some walking poles. They had a lot of fun at my expense! They know I am a procrastinator and so they also gave me a hard time about the time I had taken to start my exercising..
So it’s about 6weeks since I have bought the poles. I have practiced opening them out and worked out how long they need to be to suit my height. I also got the shoes out of their box the other day. But no walking yet.
So that’s my other resolution. I must start walking at least 2 times a week. Otherwise I will get to Europe and be restricted by my own lack of fitness. That thought should provide plenty of motivation but I know I will have to be really firm with myself and get fit. It’s just too easy to put it off until tomorrow – when it is less hot, when I have more time, when I am less tired, when the cricket isn’t on the TV….