Staying at Home?
For many people staying at home is new to them. I read a post on a private coaching group that I belong to the other day from a lady who said her city has ordered people to stay at home and she was “just beside herself.” She said she was climbing the walls. She was already depressed. How long did it take her to get into this state? A week? Several days? No! It was three (3) HOURS.
I Love Being Home
I understand that I’m not the normal demographic. I love being at home. I don’t like going out. I prefer to eat my own food, usually. Crowds pushing, drinking, and saying things my ears don’t want to hear isn’t my bag either. Nor do I want to go to a concert where it’s so loud that my ears ring for a day or two afterward. I enjoy music, but it’s not enjoyable to me when my ears hurt or getting a headache.
I Do Like People
Just because I prefer being home doesn’t mean I don’t like people! I do like people. I just prefer being able to talk to people, play games, watch a movie together, have dinner together, etc. I would love to entertain on a regular basis. And, I just love being home and taking care of my house. I always have. So I don’t really understand people who get antsy if they can’t go somewhere every day.
Things To Do While Home
Today I want to talk about something you can do during this time when we are supposed to be staying at home as much as possible. I hope to continue these posts to give you ideas of things you can do. Today won’t be the most fun topic, but it’s a necessary one. For some, it’s necessary before the fun ones can begin.
Why I Chose Today’s Topic
About 18 months ago I saw a post from a young lady who was almost 8 months pregnant with her first child. She said they decided they needed to make room for the baby. She posted this picture:
I was shocked that someone that age had that much stuff to declutter, but I’m learning it’s not unusual. And it only gets worse when people have children. I saw this posted on another homemaking site:
The mom wrote a long post explaining how she yelled, screamed, threatened, demanded, etc. and she was at her wit’s end on what to do with this messy, disobedient child. She didn’t tell us how old the child was. I said, after looking at the picture:
You don’t mention how old your child is. From looking at the picture I’m going to say about 5 years old. She is too young to “clean her room” on her own. She has too much stuff for her age. At this age she can make her bed in the morning on her own and help you clean up, but really she is still learning by imitating you.
I recommend that you do a thorough cleaning and organizing, paring down her things to a manageable number. Then as she takes things out to play with them, work with her to put it away before she takes out the next thing. Also take time to train her on putting away her clothes when she’s done with them – either in the laundry basket or hang up, as in a church dress. Have her help you put away the laundry, too, so she sees how that is done. Children must be trained. Some take longer than others. It’s work. It takes diligence. But it’s all part of parenting.
The mom replied that the child was indeed 5 years old. I’m sure she wasn’t happy with what I said. Children take a lot of work. It’s why I firmly believe moms should be home with their children. The discussion about how to do that is for another day. Today let’s just talk about the clutter.
A Declutter Challenge
In that same group that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we were given a challenge for March. The leader says she does this challenge at least once a year. And since she’s been doing it many, many years, this challenge becomes more difficult every year. But she still makes it through.
She explained that removing things that no longer serve you makes room things that do. And it’s not trading “old stuff” for “new stuff.” Maybe getting rid of “old stuff” opens the door for more family time. The dining room table is cleared off and now you have an open space for family dinners together and playing games. That it’s usually more rewarding than adding more “stuff” into our homes.
Sometimes decluttering isn’t in the form of a physical thing. It could be decluttering your calendar of things that no longer serve you or where you don’t make a difference anymore. I gave up a ladies’ Bible study when the leader was telling the ladies to disobey the Bible and follow her instead (she sugar-coated it, but that’s what she was saying). I stopped teaching a Bible study when I was told that I couldn’t counsel Biblically anymore in certain areas. Maybe it’s a group you joined and it just doesn’t fit you or your schedule anymore.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t serve if there isn’t something in it for you. That’s not what I’m saying at all. Serving isn’t about you, it’s about giving to someone else. But if you belonged to a group for singles and you got married, that’s not for you anymore. Maybe there’s something you did before a husband or baby or some other life event that is in some way harming your family unit (even if it’s just “stealing your time”). An abusive person or boss are other areas. A month ago there were more jobs than employees. Now might not be the time to find a dream job with so many places closed, but it might well be the time to increase your skills so when the country gets back to work again, you will be ready to look for a new job with better skills.
Anyway…back to the purpose of this blog. The challenge…
What it’s the 27/9 Challenge? For 9 consecutive days, you declutter 27 things from your space. Maybe one day you go through your kitchen and find 27 things you no longer use. If they are broken, throw them away. If someone else can use it, sell or donate (preferably donate as that opens the door to receiving).
You release 27 things every day for 9 CONSECUTIVE days. If you miss a day, you must start over.
A stack of paper on your desk is considered one item. But if you go through your DVDs, you can count each one as one.
If you’re on a roll, as in doing you’re makeup drawer and have 50 items, that’s ok. You’ve done your day. Tomorrow you still need to do 27 items. You don’t get to count the extras from today for a future date.
What About the Kids?
That all depends on the ages. If they are still young, you will be responsible. I suggest you do more than one round, then. One for “the house” and one for “the kids.” If they are a little older, maybe trading days, one a house day, the next a kids day, or even 10 things from the kids area and 17 from the house, etc. might work better. Just understand that most kids have a hard time letting go of things. Let them see you making decisions about letting go of your stuff. That may inspire them.
It may help to talk about kids who don’t have as much as they do. Help them fill the donation box you’ve started for your stuff. It’s also a good time to talk about landfills getting really full and learning to enjoy what we already have, not getting more stuff and filling up the landfills with our discards. Be thoughtful at this time.
What About My Husband?
Your husband is your husband. He is not your child and you are not his mother or boss. As a wife, we don’t “tell” our husbands what to do. We don’t “require” them to do what we want. Some husbands might look at this as a competition. If you say, hey, I’m going to do this decluttering challenge. Here are the rules I have to follow… He may say he will help you, or he may look at it as a competition. He might say that he can beat you at it in decluttering his stuff or he can make it the 9 days and feels you can’t. Either way, it’s a bonus. You know your husband and if you think he’ll do it, you can present it in the way that’s best for him.
But there are plenty of men out there who won’t want anything to do with this. Don’t expect him to participate and, in most cases, don’t ever declutter for him. Some men have attachments to things that we don’t understand. They can get really angry if you get rid of their favorite shirt or something. For example…
I remember my husband having an empty beer bottle in the garage. It came empty. It still had the metal cap crimped on. He saved that bottle. It meant a lot to him for whatever reason. It was on top of some cabinets we installed in the garage as part of a display (like we women do on top of our kitchen cabinets). His was just guy stuff.
Anyway, we lived near a major airport. Things vibrated and hopped around at times. That beer bottle must’ve vibrated off the cabinet. He found it shattered on the garage floor. He was SO upset. He thought I broke it. But I hadn’t been out to the garage and I certainly didn’t get out a ladder, climb on the workbench just to go up there just to throw it down and smash it, leaving the glass all over for someone to hurt themselves on. But when we are upset about losing something we treasure, sometimes people can get irrational.
Don’t let that be you. If your husband gives you permission, go for it. If not, don’t. Just don’t.
My Experience With The Challenge
I have started the challenge now four, maybe five times. I’ve made it three days at most, then have a day when I don’t feel well and skip a day. Then I have to start over. 🤣🤣 Oh well, I plan to move to another state later this year (when this whole pandemic calms down) and I’m getting up there in age. Time to really pare down my “stuff.”
There are many more things I have in mind to share with you. I often get busy with my house and don’t take the time to blog regularly. But I hope to share more things with you in the upcoming days. I hear we may be doing this for a long time. I’m content to just stay home, I have much I can do taking care of my own house. Along the way, I hope to share some of those things with you.
Have a beautiful and healthy day! Enjoy your home and family.
#declutter #decluttering #stayinghome #keeperathome #industrioushomemaker #cleaning #coronavirus #thingstodoathome
Well, I certainly don’t need a challenge to declutter and stay organized. I am anyway and I constantly look for things to make my (and my wife’s) lives easier.
When I do my monthly major cleaning of the house, I don’t have to concern myself with getting rid of things or organizing or anything – I do that daily….keeping things tidy.
But, I have my projects…..some that I’ve put off for some time. For example, there was a box in our fourth bedroom that had all my papers, pamphlets, and other things from my time in Oklahoma. These are things I was saving to use to complete a book I had written when I was stationed there. I was hoping to update it on a trip back to Oklahoma in April 2020, but as you know – with this COVID-19 virus thing going on – that trip was canceled.
Because all my volunteer efforts have been shut down, I now have my days, in their entirety, to do things. Back to that box of things from Oklahoma and then about a dozen files in the file cabinet that were related to my days in the military.
In the last three days, I have scanned into my computer nearly 1,000 pages of things from that box and in those folders. I’m in the process of shredding most of those papers as they contained personal information from my days in the military. And yes, those scanned documents have already been backed up to several devices and to the cloud.
I am now reorganizing that file cabinet, where one drawer was empty anyways, and putting any items I want to keep from that box and those folders. Not much, but some things need to be kept. I have organized those folders such that they are labeled by the towns, sites or organizations (like museums). I should have that project done in the next day or two. Then, I’ll tackle the nearly five years worth of magazines that I have – all related to Oklahoma. I’ll scan the pages I want to keep and then box up those magazines. The next time I’m in Oklahoma – I’ll donate them somewhere who will appreciate those magazines.
So, my decluttering project is keeping me busy, but being that things were already organized – just not located where I wanted – this is an easy thing to do. Just time consuming.
As for any other decluttering in the house – I go through my closet, two offices, bathroom, garage and other places in the house about once a month – generally on those clean-the-house days. I also look through the refrigerator, freezer, pantries, and cabinets for anything expired or no longer wanted. I look at those things, decide if it’s worth keeping, and if not – donate or toss it.
My wife and I have donated at least $5,000.00 of household goods and clothes to St. Vincents in just the last 18 months or so. There is another load in the garage for the next time we can do this (although they are shutting down today until further notice).
So, the point to my story is just this – even though I consider myself very organized and keep the house looking good (as does my wife – she gets much credit too) – there is always room for improvement.