It’s time to take my “decluttering” mission seriously.
In that vein, I’m going to be painfully, brutally, embarrassingly honest.
(I can’t seem to do life any other way.)
I’m going to show you pictures. (Embarrassing pictures.)
This is such a big deal to me (and to you, I hope) that I’m giving this sucker a name: The Well Well Well Project.
I’m doing this for two people-groups:
Why did I list myself first, when my purpose for this blog is to help others live their best lives?
Well, you know how the flight attendant always instructs you to don your own oxygen mask first, before you help your child or other helpless loved one do the same?
Same principle applies here: I have to help myself so that I can help you (does that make you my helpless loved one?). I can’t guide you on how to declutter your life without doing it myself first. With pictures. (Ugh.)
That’s my oxygen mask: starting the ball rolling on my own mess. It’s also how I’ll be able to tell what works and what doesn’t, what I can recommend and what you can skip, plus other helpful information. (With humiliating pictures.)
My desire is to dispense with everything that’s cluttering my life so that I can live it without regret, confusion, delay, displaced priorities or any other kind of stress. And I want that for you, too.
WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN
Here’s what I want to declutter:
- My home (household items, personal files, finances, car and property).
- My body (with exercise, healthful eating and weight loss).
- My mind (family calendar, freelance scheduling, email inbox and other things that tend to stress me out on the regular). This one is the real challenge.
Most of the process involves purging the unnecessary and organizing the necessary (after deciding which is which). I have many sources to draw from (I’ve been reading declutter/organize books and articles for years), and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
This will require a lifelong maintenance plan, but let’s get the clutter out of the way first. We can learn about maintenance along the way.
I’ve already started this process in a few areas:
1) Home: A year ago, I reorganized my bedroom closet (just mine; I didn’t touch Bruce’s). I wrote a bit about it on my other blog, including a “before” photo (above), but I never finished the whole-house project. I’ve been taking baby steps along the way (started working on a kitchen purge last month), but this time it’s going to happen – by Dec. 31. Period.
(What’s gonna be different this time? My expectations about how much I can get done at one time and how much time I have to write and post pictures about it. Also, setting a deadline makes a project much more likely to be completed – so the experts say.)
2) Body: I’m on Day 7 of a 30-day elimination diet (one that excludes potential “trigger foods” in an effort to find out what might be causing certain physiological problems). I’ll tell you more about that in a future post, but I can say that it is a CHALLENGE and I’m glad I’m on vacation this week. Being home makes it sooo much easier.
3) Mind: The best nonfiction book I read last year was Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. I wish I could say I had published a review of it, but that was one of my “good intentions” that I didn’t follow through on.
One of my failures to follow through involves my blogs (I’m probably cray-cray for having two, right?). For instance, I finish a great book and intend to review it, then I don’t. Or I start a great book and decide to write a multipart series on the book’s sections, then I write one post and don’t write the others (or finish reading the book). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, anyone?
Sometimes I think I have attention-deficit disorder (maybe I do), but a lot of it has to do with blogging and freelancing on top of my full-time day job. My schedule is overloaded, and my mind can’t keep up with the clutter.
BOTTOM-LINE IT FOR ME, SISTER
Here’s how I envision this project:
- I tackle a particular area, take pictures (if appropriate – I will NOT be posting pictures of me in my underwear for the weight-loss portion), post here and on social media (this is going to get interesting) and basically humiliate myself – all for you (and, yes, for me).
- You decide to join the fun by tackling a challenge in your own life. (Don’t worry; we won’t expect you to post pictures of you in your underwear, either.) Your challenge can be about ANYTHING you want it to be. Maybe you need to get into the habit of flossing your teeth every night (I finally started doing that this year, and I’ll tell you later about the two things that helped). Or maybe you want to start eating better. Maybe you need to start going to bed an hour earlier each night. Or cut out the late-night Oreos (not that I would know anything about that). You just pick a thing and tell us about it.
- Or you wait awhile. Maybe you know you need to change some things but you’re not ready yet. I hear you, my friend. Change is hard (I believe I said that once before), and no one can make you ready before you’re ready. I’m here to hold your hand, though.
- Expect at least one post a week. I’m not going to promise more than that (see? I’m learning), but I might write more if my schedule permits.
- Let’s figure out together whether this needs to be a bigger thing: Do we need our own Facebook page, Instagram challenge, Pinterest board? Crisis hotline? Pint of Ben & Jerry’s? (Oops – nevermind that last one!)
Tell me what you want and need. Better yet, tell me what you’re going to commit to. Then you can tell me what you need.
Life is hard enough on your own; let’s do this together.
SOME RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED
Here are a few books I’ve read, apps I’ve used and websites I’ve visited over the years that have helped me along the journey to sanity. In fact, I plan to read a few of the books again. Take a look at some of them if you need help deciding what to tackle.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
- Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself by Marla Cilley (aka FlyLady).
- The Bible App (I love this app and have it on all my devices).
- Way of Life app (the best habit-tracker I’ve found).
- Compass – finances God’s way stewardship ministry (I’m a budget coach and small-group leader with Compass).
- Debt Proof Living website (I’ve subscribed to the newsletter since 1994, when it was called Cheapskate Monthly and delivered via snail mail, and I have many of Mary Hunt’s books).
IT’S YOUR TURN
Ready? Your first assignment, once you’ve decided what you’re ready to tackle (something small, like flossing, or something big, like eliminating processed sugar from your diet): Tell me about it in the comment section.
Let’s do this!
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