Fall Clean up and Clean out

Fall is definitely that time of year when things need to be cleaned up. You need to head out to the garage and start putting summer stuff away and bring out the winter stuff (wait not yet.. please not winter yet..). Honestly, though this is the perfect time of year to start decluttering. My wife and I did this last year and pretty much downsized our bedroom to 1 dresser (total) and a closet that is only 8×4. Needless to say, we got rid of a lot of stuff and it was the best thing to do.

We honestly didn’t have a specific approach in mind as well have just cleaned rooms from time to time over the 8 years we have lived here and as kids grew up and changed rooms we would then clean that room. More specifically, we would just move the junk to another room. So we finally realized that with 3 kids and all the stuff they have we obviously needed to make some changes and we felt that our room was the best one as it was a space we could control. So instead of doing lots of spaces or things at once we just focused all our efforts on that one room. It did help that once we got started we had the goal in mind of getting rid of one dresser in order to feel like we had more space in our bedroom and it didn’t feel like everything was stacked on top of each other.

A year later and we have still been working on the other rooms of our house but it is something that takes time. Decluttering your house is not an easy feat unless you are just moving from college and haven’t acquired anything. We got derailed this past year with the kitchen remodel but in a way that helped us declutter all of those rooms affected. The one thing if you move from room to room like my wife and I are doing you need to make sure you don’t just go dump things back in a room you have already cleared out. However, that is one of the hardest things so when you get down to only a couple rooms left (like we are now) it gets harder and harder to get it to what you want. However, I am looking forward to the challenge this fall again as the seasons are changing.

If this is something that interest you and you have been wanting to get rid of a lot of stuff I would suggest that you check out what Anthony Ongaro is doing over at Break The Twitch. In fact, the video below is a good way to get started with the 6 most Popular Methods.

via 6 Popular Minimalist Decluttering Methods on Break the Twitch.

Do you use Fall or a change in seasons as a good time to clean up or clean out around the house? If so what is your best method of doing so or how do you approach it?

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Slowing Down to Redirect

I stumbled across this article over the weekend and it really resonated with me and I had to share. You should take the time to go read it and come back, but honestly, Seth Levine’s 5 points are really all you need to know.

  1. Slow down.
  2. Spend more time with the people I love.
  3. Define myself more through my relationships than my work.
  4. Speak out.
  5. Breathe.

via Drowning by Seth Levine (@sether)

I can sympathize with Seth and everyone else as I feel like a lot of us fall into this trap of always trying to take on more and more. Then eventually we hit a wall and have to assess our current situation in order to try to redirect our efforts. That happened to me about 9 months ago when work was getting busier and I was still involved in a lot of other volunteer projects and side projects. I think it finally hit me when I was at a couple of my son’s basketball practices and realized I spent the whole time in the hallway on a conference call for a non-profit I volunteered for. During this same time, I was getting swamped with some side projects I was working on as well as since it was that time of year when lots of work needed to happen with them.

So I took a step back with all the information I had and told myself pretty much the five steps that Seth outlined above. I NEEDED to slow down, I was doing extra things outside my day job that was cutting into my other relationships (i.e., Family and Friends). Ultimately, I knew nothing could change right at that moment as I had made commitments to the people counting on me for the side project work that was being done and the non-profit needed me till they found a replacement. I decided at that point I wanted to take the step of letting the non-profit know I had to move on. I don’t have anything bad to say about the non-profit and in fact, I really enjoyed all of my time working for them and still, today wish I was on the board. However, that was the first best step. As for the side projects, I decided to not take on or start anymore until Fall when I would reassess my current workload and family time.

Fast forward today, I think my redirection of my where I was spending time paid off. In fact, it made the summer more enjoyable as it was fewer things to worry about when we took our 17-day road trip. Also, as the school year just started it has allowed me to be more involved in my kid’s activities by assist coaching.

As for my existing side projects, I am still trying to figure out if I need to cut back on them but for right now I think with the other smaller things I cut out of my schedule through the summer I should be in a good place come next February to push through the work on those projects and continue to support those that are counting on me.

Do you remember a time you have felt like you were drowning and what did you do to get back on track? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your story.

Finally, speaking of side projects, I just started this 30-day challenge this month with Pete over at Do You Even Blog?, and one of the first task is to grow my email list. Now, this is something I have never done before as WordPress notifies most of you when I post something. However, I would like the opportunity to send out monthly newsletters in the future. So if you are interested please sign up using the following link and thanks!