Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Positive out of a Negative

This past Sunday we had an ice storm and it knocked out the power, but luckily for us, only for the day.

The sadder part is that the internet was also knocked out.

We are now into day 4 of no internet.

At first you might think no big deal...but once it is gone you realize how much you depend on that connectivity.

My kids and husband were bummed because they couldn't use their devices and watch shows on Netflix.  It also meant that many of the video games we have, which require an on-line connection, couldn't be played either.

This perhaps drums up imagines of Lord of the Flies and that my house has gone completely crazy.

Actually I am pleasantly surprised to report that just the opposite has happened.

Instead both of our boys have decluttered and minimized their possessions.  They took the Marie Kondo approach and emptied out their clothes, the desk drawers, assorted electronics and went through their komono...and in the end have traded rooms.

My oldest, who is 16, decided he wanted a smaller bedroom so that he could be mindful of the number of possessions he has.

Our middle child, who is 11, was overjoyed to get his older bother's room and for both of them there is a fresh sense of joy that they have for their respective spaces.

When you look in their drawers the clothes are folded neatly and in rectangles and they radically minimized the number of clothes that they have.  Once you pull that stuff all out you realize that there are a bunch of clothes that you don't really wear or like...and that when you are forced to fold them up don't want to and that there is no joy/happiness in that item.

When we haven't been decluttering we've been enjoying time together as a family and watching regular tv (via antenna).  Last night they discovered the fun of Jeopardy.  What is mind blowing to them is when my husband and I say this is how we used to watch don't get to just pick on demand what you want to see.

It's come with a learning curve but it has been it nice to hang out together at for me, I might not mind if the internet is out a little longer.

What are some fun activities that you like to do with the power, or internet, are out?  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

We All Make Mistakes

So one of my resolutions this year was to use no plastic straws.

Seems easy enough? 

Just don't use them.

Yeah well today, 9 days into my list of resolutions and I've made a mistake...I used a straw.

I had a gift card to Starbucks so I decided to get a coffee (didn't break my resolution for this part) but then without thinking grabbed the straw on my way out.

As soon as I popped it into the drink I realized what I had the quandary was what to do about it?

I couldn't put it back in the paper and return it to the I decided instead to make a $5 donation for each straw I take.

I don't mean this to be a way for me to keep using straws and then paying off my debt with a donation...but I thought I should have a stiff reminder.

I looked around and decided the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center would be my charity of choice.  They do some wonderful work to help out the local population of sea turtles in South Carolina (turtles can have some very sad injuries from straws).

I am going to keep a tally on my resolution spreadsheet so that at the end of the year I know how much to donate (I am hoping that it is only $5).

So this is the first expansion to my resolution list but it is also a reminder that I need to stay on top of my selections for this year.  One item I was going to take care of was to sew a pouch to carry my stainless steel straws...looks like I need to get on that tonight.

What have been your remedies for not keeping a resolution?  Do you give up?  Or do you find a way to work with the error?

Hopefully you aren't too harsh and show yourself some grace.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Weekend Decluttering

I mentioned in my last post that my family, and I, were watching the Marie Kondo series on Netflix "Tidying up with Marie Kondo."

Watching the variety of families transform their spaces into neat and tidy places that feel like home really inspired us.  So on Saturday we embarked on a mission to tidy up our family room space (still lots of work to be done there...but we started) and my husband's closet.

My husband would often tell me, when I would mention decluttering his closet, that he:

"didn't have that many clothes"
"had space so why clean things out"
"not sure if he will need some of the items later"

Well to work on the project together I told him I would help and pull everything out for oh man was he surprised when he saw the amount of clothing he had tucked away.

This is about half of what I pulled out

He quickly went through the process of seeing which clothes sparked joy and amazingly he only kept about a quarter of his items.  I helped him refold everything and now his drawers are nice and neat (I should have taken a picture but I forgot).  

He mentioned that his closet feels lighter now that he removed the items that no longer serve a purpose for him.  He can see the things that he enjoys and wants to wear and can select them with ease.

The second decluttering task I took on this weekend was to sort through a box of pictures that I had (probably 1000 pictures were in this box):

I had pictures that spanned over a 25 year period, from high school trips to Europe, my wedding, snow days, to birthday parties for my kids.  It was wonderful to go through these and keep the ones that brought us joy and then as a bonus those pictures that I thought my friends and family might like I pulled out and mailed them off to them.

So be on the lookout my friends for a card coming your way!

It was fun to think back to all of the good times and to look at how people have changed over the years.  I thought this might be really tough, and that I might not want to let many pictures go, but I realized that keeping the ones I enjoyed the  most and store them in a picture book would allow me to enjoy them more often.

Do you have any areas in your home that you could go through and declutter?  What spot do you think needs it the most?