Monday, July 23, 2007

Plan of Attack Initiated

Remember this post about decluttering? Well, I have finally started the war in my home, and thus far, I am winning. (Sure, there are about 12 more battles to go, but BOY, OH BOY did I make progress this weekend!)

I was going to provide some 'before' and 'after' pictures, but I failed to remember to buy new batteries for the camera. Besides, I was also feeling too embarrassed to post a picture and admit how bad my basement has been for the last few years. Last-minute searches to find something really important and water-in-the-basement episodes (for various reasons) have not helped the situation any. What started as a somewhat-organized mess after so many moves became a disorganized mess, and that eventually became a disaster. So, I became determined, and I knew I needed a plan.

With the delivery of a new washer and dryer (new to me) approaching, I arranged the pick-up of my old washer and dryer by a family that recycles scrap metal. I was happy to have them also take the old 50s freezer that was left in my house after the auction and an old refrigerator. (George, Rusty Red Fridge is no more!) Then, I set up tables all around the back room of my basement and created stations. And, I attacked that room. If it was for the office supplies, arts & crafts room, business files or keepsake box, it went in those specific piles and crates. But, if it didn't, it went into the trash, recycling, yard sale or give away boxes.

Brother Tom came over to work on the outlet for the dryer (more on that later this week), so Sister Elaine was wonderful in helping me sort. What a difference it was from the night before when I was working on the project by myself! While I was working up a sweat and was exhausted both times, it was much more fun with her help. And, I found myself hesitating less (which is good for me), so I was getting that stuff out, out, out! She was great at keeping me motivated. I even did a little more on my own late last night, and after 36 hours of work, I came up with the following tally:

4 old appliances out
2 new appliances in
5 loads of laundry completed
Many preparations made for the vacation trip
4 garbage bags of clothes for Goodwill
1 huge garbage bag & 3 tall kitchen bags of trash
2 large rectangular clothes baskets full of papers to shred
6 piles/boxes of things to put away in specific rooms
Lots of stuff for the yard sale
(YIIPPPEEEEE! I become giddy just thinking about it!) :)

So, I still have to put the piles away, and I'll be gone with my family on vacation next week. But, I'm super-motivated about attacking the 2nd room in the basement and my garage after I return. And, I am thankful Lydia has agreed to help me. You know those organizing shows where the people take all of their belongings out into the yard to separate them? Well, that's how we hope to attack the garage, and I have high hopes for having a big "Decluttering My Life" yard sale before the month of August is over.

I get by with A LOT of help from my friends (specifically, brothers and sisters in the church), and I appreciate their help in cleaning up the mess that I've created. And, I continue to keep these parting thoughts (from my last post about clutter) on a continuous loop in my mind:

I pray for freedom from lugging tubs and boxes from place to place. I pray for open spaces to work on the activities I want to fill my life. I pray I never have to make another trip to the store for something I know I have but just can't find. Most of all, I pray for contentment in what I have so I have more time in working on who I am and how I can better serve others. SORT! ORGANIZE! CLEAN! SIMPLIFY! GIVE! PURGE! DON'T GIVE UP!


Siren said...

Isn't that the best feeling? It always seems like I've lost weight after a good decluttering. (And since my husband is a pack-rat, there's always something to work on!)

My current projects involves sorting, identifying, labeling and storing (hopefully in a nice matched set of albums) decades of family photos and random memorabilia Mom's had crammed into unorganized bins. I can only work on it for an hour or so at a time before the sheer magnitude of the mess gives me a pounding headache.

strem said...

Go get 'em, Siren! Your project is motivating me even further. Of course, I am nowhere near the step you're on, and I have a ton of big steps to work on before I get there. It's so funny how my surroundings affect how I feel - physically and emotionally, so I know exactly what you mean! I think this whole process is going to help me in so many ways!

Dani said...

Virutal non-fatting, but still unbelievable awesome tasting double chocolate chip cookies for you.

I finally am more or less settled in, still working on my own boxes and laundry, but... back, and finally caught up on all the good blogs from this month.

I missed you!

Sandy-san said...

I'm a clutter bug, so I have to force myself to get rid of things I have collected over these many, many years; that's not an easy task for me. I have a full upstairs and downstairs to work on... and I don't even know where to start. I may just throw everything into garbage bags and take them to Goodwill.