Wednesday, May 2, 2012

K - All Good Things Must Come to an End

Hey all!

Alas, our time has come to an end for this particular challenge. I will continue purging and trying to better myself. I think that we all strive to be better. The journey has been fabulous! My goal was to get rid of 100 items. I definitely got rid of over 100 items though on my list I got rid of about 40 groups/piles of things. This will always be an ongoing process for me...I'm an organizer. :p

Highlights for this challenge:

  • Getting rid of mental clutter. Wow that stuff weighs down a person!
  • Electronic clutter. I needed to pare down and get rid of email, phone, subscriptions, and other computer type clutter. I need to keep this up!
  • It felt really good to get rid of many procrastinated things/jobs. (Yet another weight off of my shoulders.)
  • Bad eating habits. My family and I are much more mindful about what we are putting into our body and are continually learning more. We are juicing raw fruits and veggies, cutting down on refined sugar, have introduced a meatless meal (1/week), cutting down on the unhealthy snacking and exercising more! There are so many additional benefits to all of these. 
  • Letting go of control and being more accepting. 
  • I got rid of clutter (mental and physical) Whoop whoop! 
Thanks for stopping in. I hope that your journey is fulfilling and remember: 

Take care and follow us over at! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

K - A variety of Odds and Ends

And the purging continues! It feels great to be back at it. :)

Like I said the other day when I was going through my youngest's room, there was not a whole lot of toys to get rid of. The same went for my daughters stuff. They got rid of so much last Spring that this year was EASY! YES! Here you can see a pile of papers, (old school work and pictures - she just kept her favorites), there are also a few toys, and a couple items to recycle. I just can't get over how quick this was compared to last years entire day of going through her stuff! It also helps if you break it up for the kids as they get really bored. An idea is to go through clothes one day and toys another or even break it down further like one area per day.

I also took Shawna's lead and gave back items borrowed. I had two of Shawna's books (one I had for over 2 years!) I know that I want to get into reading again but now realize that I am more likely to read an e book on my phone, a blog post, or short stories. I can handle that and I enjoy it! I also had a couple of items from another friend that I will return. 

I realized I forgot to put down that hubby and I went through the vehicles the other day when we were cleaning them. (I am counting that as 1!) Lol

Lastly I have two more procrastination projects that are getting done now!
  1. Paper procrastination (AGAIN!) Three school age kids = tons of forms, newsletters, and info.! That is caught up - for now. :)
  2. Receipts to send in and claim through benefits. Why do I put this off? It is money that we can get back and that's always a good thing. 
Another thing I am throwing away is a piece of carpet by our back door that our puppy thought would make a good pee pad for him when we are at work, (even though his actual pee pad is two feet away from the carpet!) :s 

  1. My daughter's odds and ends 
  2. Borrowed books
  3. Pee mat :s
  4. Paper procrastination
  5. Receipts sent in to claim
With a week and a half left we will see what else I can come up with to purge?! I cannot tell you how nice it is to get rid of a ton of clutter. Clutter takes up room in your home and your mind. This space can be used for things that matter. Hope you are finding this as rewarding as we are!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Letting Go of Kids Clothes

We made some time to get to those kids' dressers and closets. Bruce also tackled his as well. (I did my closet last week. I still have my dresser to do).

The kids pitched in and it took less than an hour. My car has a bag full of stuff for Refind and a bag of stuff for the Diabetes bin. We also have more than 5 bags of stuff for Once Upon a Child. One of us will head to Red Deer for that this week. We threw away about 30 rickety, misshaped and broken plastic hangers as well as a bag full of soiled/stained/damaged clothes and old socks & undies. One bag for each kid.

Item #1: Rebecca's old clothes

Item #2: Lucas' old clothes

Item #3: Bruce's old clothes

Item #4: Old hangers and other junk

I also got rid of one of those hanging organizer things that was just not working in Rebecca's closet. It will be going to the second hand store. It just isn't serving it's original purpose.

Item #5: Hanging organizer

K - Still Lucky!

So, I have not been active on here for the past week. Not-At-All! I have felt lousy for the last couple of weeks but it hit me most in this past week. In fact it knocked me on my @$$ and kept me down (literally) on the couch and in my bed. I am not the type to let it get the best of me but this time it did. I ached, I was hot then cold for days, my head felt like it was going to explode, I coughed and coughed, and then I coughed some more just for kicks. All the coughing made my muscles hurt.
So... I have been feeling sorry for myself. I just wanted to get back to things but my body wouldn't allow it. I felt like I was letting numerous people down. I wanted my normal healthy life back!
It's interesting what we can tell oursleves. This was the downer comittee in my head talking to me. It was telling me all the ways that I was failing. Saying things like:
  • You aren't able to provide your kids with a fun filled Spring Break. You fail as a mother.
  • You are a failure as a wife as you can not mange the household or take care of anyone.
  • You are letting your business partner down; what does she need you for?
  • You are letting down Home Care; you know how extremely busy it is there. 
  • You are failing yourself missing workouts, not keeping the housework up, missing a scheduled work day, and on and on.
  • Then there's the classic, "nobody cares or notices that I am not around." (Nothing like a good ole pity party hey?)
I have trouble asking for help you see. I don't like to admit defeat. I want to do things myself, my way.
But here's the thing. I had to let go of that control. I had to trust. And the truth of the matter was that things were ok. 
  • My good friend (bless her soul!) took my kids overnight. Like I said I don't often call and ask for help but this time I picked up the phone. I am sure she heard the tears and shakiness in my voice when I asked if she could just take the kids for an hour. I was just SO DONE.   Yes I was feeling nasty, but most of all I wanted my two youngest to be able to play with their friends even for just a bit. She was at my house in 10 minutes and prepared to take them over night so I could recuperate. (Did I mention she has three children of her own as well!) How lucky am I? I am so fortunate to have friends that will be there for me; when I am at my best and my worst.
  • My husband has been incredible as always. In sickness and in health... Yep I know he is here for me. He was bringing me teas, juices "full of vitamins", making meals, giving me hugs and the list goes on. It all just makes me love him more.
  • Shawna and I were supposed to film a video for this blog and do a little brainstorming. She was kind enough to drop off a sweet letter and homemade muffins from a group that I am involved with. It really made my day. I feel so honored and thankful that these people took the time to send me some good vibes and sunshine.
  • My coworker sent me some texts that reassured me that things at work would be fine and to just take care of myself and get better. Even though she had an increased workload because I wasn't there, she didn't complain for one single second. 
  • I had some sweet texts and messages from a couple of people from my workout group. I love this group of people! We are like a quirky family, lol. Each of us is encouraging and brings a different dynamic to the group.
  • How could I think that no one cared? I even had a beautiful present and card delivered to my door! It was really sweet and thoughtful. My cup overfloweth. My mom also offered to take the kids if I needed her to. My kids pitched in when they could. I AM BLESSED.
So there is always good that comes from unpleasant situations. Sometimes you just need to look a little bit harder to see it. A quote just came up that says, "You can't live a positive life with a negative mind." Ain't that the truth?!

Anyways here is what I gave up this past week starting with control.Whether I likes it or not! I realized that I do not need to be in control of everything ALL the time. Things will work out one way or another just as they are supposed to. 

I was not able to do much with my Spring Cleanse but I still did manage a couple of little things. I was fairly disconnected but I did manage to go though my I Phone Apps and get rid of anything that I really did not use. It was quite a relief really. I am down to one page plus one folder on the next page. It also clears up storage space so I was able to free up a wee bit of that too.
The other thing I did was go though my wallet/purse. Shawna and I are similar that way as we don't  want or have a bunch of big and pretty purses; we just keep it simple and functional (go figure!) Lol!

Today I was up and at 'em and I got a fair bit done. Yippee! Do you have any idea what it's like when an organizer can't organize! Not good...

Do you have those things that bug you that you walk by all the time and say to yourself, "I need to get rid of that"? Yup, me too. So I just started grabbing things that I wanted gone. That included (a ripped bath towel, on old body pillow, a book, a shirt, a pair of old PJ pants, and a hat.) These are all things that don't have to bother me now!

I went though clothes with my daughter and here is what we are donating (the stack to the right and the two dresses:

Which led to me freeing up hanger and getting rid of these cheap ones:

Earlier I finished up going through the main bathroom and decided to get the first aid kits up to par. Here is what I got rid of that had either expired or was not useful: 

I had two kits in the house so one is going to the car and the other I hung up. I must be getting better if I had a hammer and nails on the go today! (see First Aid Kit hanging up on the inside of the cupboard.)

I have all medical type stuff in here: First Aid Kit, bandages, wheat bags, hot water bottles etc. Yay! 

The last thing that i went through were the bath toys. My daughter does not bother with bath toys but my youngest like to have a few things in the tub. 

These toys were more geared towards a toddler age. So that is what we donated. and here is what we kept: 

Almost half gone!

Well there it is folks. Sorry for the lengthy post. That's what happens when I am MIA for too long! 
Here is the rundown of what I was able to cleanse in the past week:
  1. Control (ongoing)
  2. I Phone Apps
  3. Wallet Cleanse (expired cards), stuff I didn't use or need
  4. Daughter's Clothing
  5. Cheap Plastic Hangers
  6. Bath Toys
  7. Odds and Ends 
There you have it. If any of this does not make sense; I blame it on the late night and the meds.! Take care y'all. xo

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Letting Go of Lots of Stuff

Holy cow you guys! I'm so excited! Look at this gorgeous sewing/creating table my dad made for me from my old bedroom door:

I just had to set up this space tonight!! Let me tell you the story...

First of all, I really, REALLY wanted a nice big space for quilting, creating and working! Something with storage underneath. I talked to my Dad about it, and he came up with this fantastic table! (*NOTE* A huge thank you to my 21 year old who spent about an hour with me trying to get this downstairs....) It is made from the bedroom door of my room that I had growing up. I just love that it is recycled from a part of my life that I treasure, PLUS it is hand designed and created by the best father EVER! I'm so excited to start creating!

Anyhow...we had to make room for something new, didn't we!? It's the Simple Spring Clease after all! I forgot to take a before picture. Basically, this space had the treadmill, my old small sewing table and the workout bench.

The workout gear had to move to the "rumpus room". There were toys there...and an old TV...

The old TV is waiting with a free sign on the curb. It will be gone by morning...
ITEM #1 - Old TV

The toys are going to go to the second hand store. Before:

Toys in a huge box:

ITEM #2 - Toys (the kids helped with that one)

My sewing table:

ITEM #3 - Sewing table

My new Creative Space!

Look at it! Check out all my inspirations along the shelf behind. Pictures of my kids and stuff created by my kids, an old plate and candles from my Gramma, quilt books, etc. Some may think it's cluttered, but each item inspires me. It's cozy and warm and quiet!

Oh, I almost forgot! Another HUGE highlight of my day: My amazing daughter did some decluttering in their bathroom! There was a huge mess on the counter and under the sink. She's twelve and has a lot of makeup and cleansers and all kinds of things. It was a huge mess. I came home to this amazing job that she did:

There was a ton of stuff on top of the counter. Then she got a drawer unit and baskets that we weren't using much of and re-used them to organize her stuff:


Under the cupboard:

Drawer unit:

She did such an amazing job! I'm just so impressed!! Way to go Rebecca! She cleaned up any old/outdated stuff and tidied it all up!

ITEM #4 - Bathroom mess!

I just want to point out that I didn't ask her to do this. I have found that the more I do this kind of thing and get excited about it, the more they pitch in and want to help. Set the example, let them follow!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Letting Go of Old Clothes

Today, I went through the clothes in my closet. They say that if you haven't worn it in 6 months, you need to think about why you have it. For Canadians, we say 12 months (due to our crazy seasons). Well, some of this stuff was still in there from when we did the Minimalist Challenge last year...dusty, unworn, now too small and some I'm just not sure why I even kept it in the first place...

Off the big pile went - directly to the car and will be dropped off in the Diabetes Association bin when I go to work tomorrow. Simple and GONE! Let someone else love these items, they aren't doing anyone any good hanging in my closet getting dusty.

ITEM #1 - old clothes

While I was in there, I discovered my big, old green purse (pictured above beside the clothes). I bought it in Colorado Springs! I have not used it in years. I'm not a big purse person. I'm not a purse person at all really. I tried to be. I pretended to be. As you can see, it ended up in my closet for years.

Yet another example of me getting things to be "normal"; to try to "fit in". "Every woman has a big purse." "It's the fashionable thing to do." "How else do you carry all your stuff?" and on and on. I mostly bought it because I thought I should have a purse. Not really because I wanted one. My mom has given me a few different "purses" as gifts over the years. They are more my style - compact, plain, simple. She knows me better than I know me! LOL! I used to do that kind of thing all the time - have things or be something that I thought I should have or be...instead of being true to who I am. This is something else I'm working hard to let go of.

ITEM #2 - letting go of being someone I'm not

Something else I'd like to share with you that I do regularly. This came up again when I pulled that big ol' purse down out of the closet. How often do you "purge" your purse? I try to clean my little purse/wallet out every week (an old FlyLady habit I picked up). Getting rid of receipts, notes, whatever else I've picked up along the way that week.

When I pulled that purse down - this stuff was still in it:

  • expired sucrets
  • dried up hand wipes
  • discolored hand lotion
  • an old bandaid
  • garbage??
  • business cards - some for businesses that don't exist anymore
  • old calling cards
  • two little mini sewing kits
ITEM #3 - useless stuff out of my purse

Needless to say, most of this was tossed. Obviously, it was not important stuff since it had been in there for years and never looked at. What are some of the strange things you've pulled out of your purse over the years? When was the last time you cleaned out your purse? :) Set a timer for 15 minutes and do it right now. Don't get distracted, just do it!

Let us know your findings in the comments! We'd love to hear your stories! Let's have a competition for the weirdest thing pulled out of a purse! For a fun look at some other purses, check out this post: 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Letting Go of Email Clutter

Krystal sets such a great example - she inspired me to get my email inboxes cleaned up. I'm a techie, so I've got a lot of email accounts that I monitor regularly for different purposes. I spent a bunch of time working on these this weekend. I do have a lot of "Rules" and "Filters" set up to automate many of these.

I ended up purging more than 140 emails. It was time to be honest with myself. Am I really going to "read those later"? I don't think so...I already have so much reading to do. Instead, I am focusing on those that call to me or that are important to me. There are many that don't "serve me" anymore. That's OK. It's ok to let things go that don't serve a purpose for you anymore. No one says you have to keep following along. Let them go. There's plenty of other gifts coming to your inbox every day.

ITEM #1 - Letting go of Email Clutter

It's also the beginning of the month...for many, turning the calendar often leads to chaos because I don't have everything marked down on it yet. I have a wall calendar for the family as well as my electronic work calendar, electronic business calendar, my electronic kids' calendar and of course, my personal electronic calendar! Yes, I have that many. However, what I have chosen to do is merge them all into my Google calendar. I can see my hubby's calendar and Krystal's calendar too along side all of these. This is all on the same page that I can turn off or on, whichever suits my needs. I can also see these on my iPhone, which helps when I'm on the go.

As you know, I went through emails - many of them were about important dates coming up. As I went through, I updated all of the calendars. I also have Rebecca keep the school calendar info up to date on the family wall calendar. She doesn't do it the way I would (I try to make it too perfect), but I let her do this - she feels like she is contributing to the family and it definitely helps me out. As soon as you get those notices from school - write them down on the calendar and get rid of the piece of paper. It literally only takes a minute. If the kids are old enough - get them to do this part. They are perfectly capable, plus it helps them learn about calendars and time management.

Every Friday, at the end of my work day - I look back on the week and carry forward any tasks that need to be done the next week. I book those into my calendar. I also like to sit down on a Sunday evening and plan my 3 priorities for the coming week (this is from my participation in the Inner Circle from our great friend Stacey Curnow. Read more here: Inner Circle) I then plot these priorities on the calendar. On Monday nights, Krystal and I set our SLC priorities for the week and book them on the calendar as well. Here's a snapshot of this week:

The SLC Gals teach classes on setting up your Family Command Center (the calendar is one part of it). Let us know if you'd like us to share with your ladies group sometime!

ITEM #2 - Letting go of Calendar Chaos

I'm continuing to work on the Letting Go of Perfectionism thing. This is a toughie. Sometimes I feel like throwing up my hands and say "Why bother doing this. It won't stay this way" or "It won't be perfect so I should just forget it!" This kind of thinking leads to nothing getting done. I'm getting to the point where I'd rather have SOMETHING accomplished imperfectly than nothing at all.

How to you fight that over-bearing "Perfectionism"? Is it a problem for you? Maybe I'm the only one? LOL!

I have big plans for the coming week - my closet and my daughter's room (she's helping with that one!). We both have some stuff to let go there. It sure accumulates over the year! Don't forget to share your progress here! We'd love to hear from you!

Don't know where to start on your own Simple Spring Cleanse? Our mini-session will help you. Both of us will come to your home for an hour and show you what to do to get started. After that, we promise, you'll be addicted! :)