I apologize for this being my first post in over a month. Especially to Andrea. December was a month full of appointments, a few disappointments, some good news and I’ve had super low energy for most of the month plus a migraine that wouldn’t end. Onward to my discussion about what I focused on for November for the happiness project.
For the month of November, I focused on my apartment and my possessions. Not only did I want to declutter some areas that needed it but I also wanted to take care of the possessions I had that needed fixed, like my favorite pair of ankle boots. I also wanted to do a deep clean because my mom is coming in January to stay for two months. Things need to be clean and decluttered!!
Clutter is something that I am constantly battling. It seems to creep into my apartment and if I don’t keep on top of things, it will quickly get out of hand. Like so many other people, I have a hard time focusing when I have a lot of clutter and this makes getting things done really hard.
As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I’ve been through the process once and wanted to do it again. The reason this really clicks for me is instead of decluttering by area (like the closet), you declutter by category such as shoes. You pull out all of that category and determine what brings you joy and what doesn’t. You keep what brings you joy and remove the rest from your life. If you have trouble letting go of things, I highly recommend this book. It changed my life!! While I had high hopes of doing most of this in November, I actually didn’t do that much. I did the bathroom cabinets and got rid of a lot of products I don’t use. I was also able to reorganize the cabinets and now my bathroom counter top is clutter free and it brings me great joy to see it this decluttered every morning. The bathroom sub categories are pretty much all I finished this month. I did get rid of a lot of stuff when I was deep cleaning, but I didn’t focus on any more categories. I am going to focus on a few problem areas before my mom gets here and then do the rest of the categories throughout the year.
Cleaning out the garage
My garage has been in a state of chaos for years. When I would get my Christmas decorations out every year, I would think to myself that I would clean it up after the holidays. That never happened and it got progressively worse. So for this task, I enlisted the help of my good friend April who understood what it was like to tackle a big project like this as she had recently cleaned out her storage unit. We set a date and she arrived promptly at 8:30 AM to start the big clean out. I already had started moving things into piles of donate, trash, give to someone and keep. She put all of the donations into her car (Thanks so much for taking care of them!!) and we filled an entire recycling dumpster with all of the boxes of everything I have ever bought the last few years. Why I kept them, I don’t know!!! We were done by 10:30 AM. We didn’t completely organize in this session because I couldn’t find key pieces for my shelving unit and we weren’t going to tempt fate at The Container Store at Fashion Valley Mall, aka Hell. After chatting for awhile, we said goodbye and I thanked her multiple times for helping me. It is a lot easier to tackle a giant task like with a friend. Not only does she keep me accountable by showing up and saying “we’re going to do this” but it was more fun with a friend. As April was leaving she said something that really struck me. She thanked me for allowing her to help! She said it’s not easy allowing someone to help when you may be embarrassed by the state of things and she appreciated me letting her in to help. Gratitude for allowing someone to help is something that is going to be with me forever. Thanks for teaching me that April!
I have a carpet steam cleaner and I got it out of the nicely cleaned-out garage and set about to tackle my carpets. I decided to do it Thanksgiving weekend because I had four days off of work. By chance, the Santa Ana’s were also in that weekend and so the carpets dried very quickly. I was only able to do my living room/dining room because other unexpected things happened that weekend, like my router dying and I had to make an unexpected trip to Target to get a new one. I still have yet to do my bedroom carpets but will get to it soon.
Taking care of possessions
I did take my favorite ankle boots to a cobbler and he was able to fix them for $35. Much cheaper than buying a new pair. I have a pile of clothes that need to be mended and some other things that need to be glued. I haven’t gotten to those yet, but I am getting closer to starting and finishing those things.
I am pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish in November. Clutter is something I am going to have to keep constantly working on but doing the Konmari method really helps me tackle it.
Your fellow traveler,
Photo credit: Remembering the past by Ian Sane