Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slowing down...

My life is getting busy right now and I don't have the time I would like to blog as much as I would like. I will still be blogging but at a MUCH slower pace. 
I thank you all for continuing to come here and commenting. 
I speak a lot about living a simple life, I have to remember that means with my time too. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life Simplified : Sort It All

This an ongoing series about how to live a more 
simplified life. Learn how to achieve it through purging 
unnecessary clutter in your home and life. 
You can view the first installment here.

It seems like a rather obvious task, just sort your stuff. 
Sort it, go through it, get rid of it. Right?
If you have ever done this, then you know it isn't easy. 
You have to touch every single thing. 
You have to lay your hands on it and decide at that moment 
where it is going to spend the rest of it's life. That can be overwhelming. 
I have some tips to help this process go smooth and help you conquer your clutter.

I sort in four piles and four piles only.
Do not be tempted to make numerous piles. This is an important point.
Too many piles will cause you more clutter and you will get less done. 
So, keep it simple. Four piles to help me not to get overwhelmed.
"Keep", "Donate", "Sell" or "Trash".
These piles keep the process fairly simple. If you don't re-sale like I do, feel free to eliminate that pile completely. I have some personal rules about selling to keep my clutter to a minimum. Establish your own so that your not just simply moving your clutter around but assigning it a job. 
Set personal goals of how to get this done. 
I find if I break down the project into more manageable pieces, it goes more smoothly. 
As well as it get's completely done rather than being left undone. 
For instance, I know my baking ware cabinet is getting unruly. 
Instead of setting the random goal of 'organizing' the cabinet, I set the timer for 
15 minutes and I challenge myself to just sort everything in that time. 
But whatever is not done in 15 minutes, I am okay with that. 
Most of the time if I am not done in that 15 minutes but just about, I will finish. 
But if the project was way more involved than I thought, 
then I will just stop where I am and come back to it later. 
That brings me to the next step.  

Plan your time wisely. 
And never move on to another area until you have completed the area you are working on.
Be prepared to reschedule your purging efforts as you go. 
If the baking cabinet is now going to take two sessions, be prepared to 
move back the next organizing project to make sure you complete this one.
Incomplete projects will turn right back into clutter and sometimes it will be worse than before. Complete each area before moving on.

I got an question from a reader this last week after my other post. 
She gave me permission to post her question here, so I can answer it for all of you.
"How often do you purge your whole house?"
Everyday. Seriously. I am constantly finding clutter that I use to feel is
important but now deem unnecessary. We use to live a very cluttered life.
I had and still do at times, have a healthy love for decorating. 
However I have learned to keep what I love not things that just look good.
So, I would want to encourage you to never stop purging and reconsidering the items in your home. I keep a bag or box at ready that the whole family knows is our 'donation' box. 
I fill it up every few weeks. When full it goes into my van for drop off. 
We reuse tattered clothes into some sort of cloths, and recycle any plastic 
or paper items we can that are no longer of use to us. 
The point is living a simple life takes work to get there and maintain. 
There is never a time I feel that I am 'done'. I may feel done with a certain area but never done entirely. Things are needed in life. Clothing, housewares etc. We try to buy for longevity but the reality is things don't last as long as we have hoped. 
Or that children don't stay small forever. :)
So, the process will always exist in our home. As we pare down, 
maybe it won't be a daily routine but we will still have to do it. 
Organizing isn't a destination but a journey.