trouble picking a resolution

So i’m really struggling with my new year’s resolution.  I veered off track with my resolution last year but I have to say i think I was successful.  I am much happier than I was this time last year.  My mental health is better.  The OCD got in the way of the resolution but in way this was for the best as I’m freer than ever with the OCD and am able to do things I never could have done a year ago.

I want to continue on being happier.  I also want to continue decluttering.  I’ve thought about promising to get rid of 1 item per day as a fellow blogger has done.  I’ve also thought about committing to one healthy smoothie a day or trying to be healthier and lose some weight.  I’ve also considered retrying the Better than Chocolate assignments.  I just don’t really know.  I could also try focusing on overcoming more with the OCD or how to be a successful adult with ADHD.

I would love to write more helpful posts on ADHD and OCD and write about what has helped me.  Maybe I could give myself assignments tackling my barriers and write about this.

My biggest barrier right now is getting mentally healthy to lose the weight.  I’m a real large girl who wants to be healthier but the OCD is blocking me right now.  So much trauma and drama about weight in my life.

I would love to save money so reduce and reuse are huge for me.  I need to stop buying things so maybe to keep things fresh i could focus on a new area each week.

  • spending fasts
  • sugar fasts
  • declutter sessions
  • OCD assignment
  • ADHD assignment
  • happiness assignment

Dabble in each so I don’t give up or get bored.  don’t do it all at the same time but shake things up when I start to get discouraged in one area?  Maybe I could go a week without spending any money (with the exception of gas).  The next week go without sugar, next week declutter 30 items, next week address an OCD fear or compulsion, next week work on addressing my ADHD.

I don’t know – I need help.

Happier, healthier, more money saved, better mental health.  most I’m already working on.

have some fun and create some art!  that would be a great resolution!  design something each week?  could be interesting.

write a book?  don’t know what I’d write.  ideally it would be on parenting or mental health.  – or could be fiction.  drama and trauma?

write a book with my daughter?  short mysteries with a spunky little detective?  she would enjoy this.  illustrated by her.  written by us.

my husband and I would like to have another baby – i’ve told him that if we can free up enough space in our home, if i can get my ocd and adhd under enough control that i can go off my meds and if I could lose 100 pounds that we could have another child.  sounds like craziness there.  We are getting there with freeing up space.  I could manage the ocd for quite awhile without meds, the adhd is harder.  the weight loss is hard though.  at 315 – pregnancy would be tough.  I was overweight when I was pregnant with my daughter and that was tough.  now i’m bigger.  it hurt to walk last time – it would be worse this time.

 

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My Laundry Line Up

We recently attended a family Christmas party.  My husband and I decided that we would make a homemade gift that we hope the recipents will enjoy.  It started with us making a ton of these wool dryer balls.  My hands cramped while making them so it took awhile.  We made over 30.  it’s important that it’s 100 % wool or else it won’t felt.  eventually these will be wool balls and not wool yarn balls.  with each dryer use and felting continues.

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We also made liquid fabric softener, laundry soap and color catchers.  I found these cute little bottles on amazon – 4 and 8 ounce bottles.

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Love the way the way the labels look – the gray back of the label however makes the soap and softener look gray though.

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the font is Live Laugh Love by Vanessa Bays – found it at dafont.com.  I love it – it’s fun and super pretty.

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we including these bright index cards with the recipe should the recipents want to make their own.

these wonderful recipes were found at One Good Thing by Jillee

LOVE her site!

My family room – the before pictures

I don’t have my after pictures ready as I am still working on this room.  Three garbage bags full of donations to take to the Salvation Army tomorrow morning, 1 1/2 totes to set aside to sell.  Since we’ve moved to this home – quite a bit has been removed – giant toybox, 3 book shelves (1 remains), a very large computer desk, plants, and more.  At one point we had a narrow walkway to get from the door to the large bathroom.  We probably would have turned the large bathroom into a closet if it weren’t for the cat (litter box and feed station in the bathroom) and for the bunny who is in the bathroom (much calmer – was overly anxious all the time before.  I believe it’s from being a daycare bunny.)

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Roughly a third of our home was unusable because of the clutter and chaos.  Also – there are no pictures of any room at it’s worst.  and these pictures are how we lived when no one was looking.  I would have never let even family who didn’t live with us see these rooms like this.  We were very, very good and stashing and dashing.  closets bursting at seems – comments about having a lot of stuff but never would I show anyone this.

Here is picture 2 – our plant is no longer with us.  We’ve had this neglected plant for almost our whole marriage.  I didn’t want to get rid of it but also didn’t want to keep it.  plant and stand were sold at one of the yard sales this summer.  bookshelf given to my brother.  I imagine many items pictured are no longer in our home.

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Our vacuum cleaning not put away but near the walkway so we can get to it.  a solitary dress on a garment rack.  nothing goes together and it’s all chaos.

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We have this gorgeous furniture set – my husband’s computer desk and matching book shelf.  beautiful set – was a yard sale find.  We obviously don’t take care of it.  it’s loaded down with too many items.  red bins on top full of stuff, piles everywhere.

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Okay so I couldn’t just post these and not give you some progress –

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Closet (taken in March) – kitchen set sold.  sewing box sold.  pink box full of motivation/ improvement audio CDs – donated to my work.  Will show updated pictures of the closet soon.

Now for some pictures I took about 10 minutes ago – I’ve been wanting to wait until it was “perfect” but I don’t really want to wait anymore.  I spent about 10 minutes straightening up before taking these pictures.

This first picture is what you see when you are looking into the room.  I’ve been going through things and decided that I’m separating out by who needs to make the decision to keep or get rid of.  The bright green bucket on the desk is my daughter’s items, the green tote underneath is my husband’s and the black (hunger games) bag next to it is mine.  The black cauldron still holds Halloween candy and once it’s empty will join the Halloween decorations in the shed.  The bag next to the desk is full of empty bags that were full of stuff.  The tall white totes next to the couch (2 of them) were full of stuff – now empty.

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Game shelf still full but not overflowing anymore as we purged a bit of games.

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Here is the tv from our bedroom – move to the family room so I can eventually exercise in here with the Wii fit and the Kinect.  Also – here is the printer stand and game shelf that was previously in the living room.  really cord heavy but eventually we will make it more attractive.  my husband’s bowling ball that he has yet to put away in the closet.

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some totes chilling where they don’t belong – empty green tote, white tote has yard sale items, gray tote next to it has our winter stuff – hats, gloves, scarves, boots, coats, etc., large gray tote has my daughter’s toys that she isn’t ready to part with but doesn’t fit in her room – going to the shed until she is ready to part with them or wants to switch out her toys.  white box full of empty bottles for homemade laundry soap and fabric softener to give away.  bag is full of stuff I still need to sort through.

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The picture below was not taken tonight but gives you a good idea on how it’s looking now.  my husband has decided to sell these two pieces of furniture which means we have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  red baskets still full of stuff.  shelves have less books than before.  those plastic shoeboxes are full of art supplies that we actually use.  he is also taking about selling his computer and buying a laptop.

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I wanted to share the dryer balls my husband and I have been making!  still need to be felted.

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My daughter’s room

Now I would count the items in this room but it’d take me forever.  She isn’t buying into the less is more mindset but as you look through the pictures please remember she had LOTS more.  I don’t necessarily think we spoil her by buying lots of stuff for her though we do frequently buy her stuff.  She is our only child.  For several years she was the only grandchild on my side and the only great-grandchild.  For even longer she was the only grandchild on my husband’s side.  My husband’s mom is a bargain hunting, yard sale junkie.  If there were trophies to be won for purchasing “bargains” she’d have them all.  What I’ve learned is that it’s not really a bargain if you don’t really need it.  I’ve also learned that you can’t base needs off of what a young child says they need.

My daughter absolutely LOVES all of her stuff.  Everything is her favorite and she remembers everything.  The squeaky turtle bought for her when she was two?  she remembers – where she got it and who got it for her.

She got bit by the clutter bug hard.  Gotta love my daughter – but she doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I always dread seeing certain family because I know we are going to be bringing home new “treasures”.  porcelain dolls, dollar tree finds, funky clothes, books, coloring books, their junk mail.  Yes my daughter falls in love with junk mail, catelogs, coupons and scraps of paper.  She collects rocks, coupons, stuffed dogs, squinkys, mighty beans, littlest pet shop animals, polly pockets, my little ponys, zhu zhu pets, leaves, books, candy wrappers (not laziness but because she likes them), pieces of yarn, paper, acorns, pine cones, winter gloves and Christmas socks.

I’ve asked my mom to do a lending library for books and toys so that I can bring them back to her for the other grandkids to enjoy.  She graciously accepted and understands how overwhelmed I get so she has cut back dramatically on gifts for my daughter to bring home.  – small measured doses.  His mom would flood us with yard sale treasures every Saturday.  Toys and items constantly flowing in for my daughter.  People give her stuff – every Polly Pocket item ever made? Check we got it for free.  More My Little Ponies than what 10 girls could play with?  check.  again for free.  Dora kitchen set, baby doll strollers, carseats, giant snowmen, check, check and check.

When we did that yard sale for a friend she told my daughter she could have whatever she wanted.  I cringed inside.

I’m complaining – they all mean well.  We’ve gotten so many things for free from who care.  I get flustered and overwhelmed but some of the things we really needed and couldn’t afford.  My daughter’s bed and sheets were all free.  We couldn’t have afforded such a nice mattress set for her and sheets are expensive.  Our couch and recliner, though not my style were free, given to us by his parents.  Our couch in our family room that I love also free courtesy of my mom, who gave it to my brother, who gave it to my sister, who gave it to us.  Many of my daughter’s beautiful clothes including her favorite pair of Uggs and some high end clothes given to us for free from my boss.   Winter coats to keep her warm.  It has really helped us stretch our money.  I typically only have to buy her 2-4 outfits when she outgrows her clothes because my boss’s friend’s daughter must go through growth spurts at the same time so when my daughter outgrows hers we always seem to get a new bag.

Our microwave? a wedding gift, our dressers? a yard sale find.  My daughter’s dresser? free from my brother.  I need to be a better guardian but I also can succeed by not letting the unwanted items linger in my home.  I’ve sold alot of stuff which often feels selfish as I should be blessing others but I sell the items super cheap.  I also donate quite a bit too.  My massive amount of clutter came in super helpful when my town flooded.  They needed clothes – I had a 100 white t-shirts from when I owned a tshirt press.  All the beautiful clothes?  there was a desperate need for clothes my daughter’s size.  Underwear – the extra packs I bought and were given to us put to good use.  All those unused coloring books went to children who had lost everything along with boxes of school supplies, art supplies and hygiene items I had unfortuneatly stock piled.  Bags of towels and sheets were donated – given to us by friends and family put to good use by people devastated by the flood.

That flood helped us.  It brought our community closer and brought my family closer.  My husband, daughter and I felt so fortunate that we didn’t lose our home and stuff.  We felt sorrow and grief for those who lost.  Countless pictures of lost and devistation called us to action to part freely with items that were just taking up space in our home.

Most people don’t know how much we had.  I was so ashamed by the sheer amount that I couldn’t have people in.  My storage unit was bursting and I made regular trips there to add more.  I couldn’t stop accumulating whether it was free, given to me or purchased.  I needed stuff.  People weren’t invited in when it was at it’s worst.  Pictures weren’t taken inside the house because I was ashamed.  ASHAMED!   I would love to have more before pictures but they simply don’t exist because I would never have taken them.  I have various pictures from the last two years but that’s after I found Fly Lady and then Miss Minimalist.

Here we go!

Embarassment awaits – I found some before pictures of my daughter’s room just now.  These are not before before but beginning of summer before.

This is what you saw when you were near her doorway.

This is what happened every time she played.

This was the top of her dresser.  There were too many clothes than what the dresser could handle.  Please note this room also used to have a student desk in here and a night stand (the one that is now in my room).

After!

This didn’t happen over night but rather over the course of 6 months.

Still cluttered but a lot less stuff.  The before picture was after downsizing.  This one is much better.  I’ll share what she chose to keep on her dresser – Goldie and Goldie’s tank and food.  A jar/ vase with a few rocks and shells from her collection.  the plants vs. zombies house, the signed bowling pin and birthday hat from her 6th birthday, a timer, a toilet paper owl she made at school, a rather large pack of C Batteries (bought with yard sale money) and a jewelry box that she rarely if ever uses.

Her purse hanges on the door, nothing behind or under.  Her two monster high wigs hanging on the door.  I HATE the stickers all over but you really have to pick your battles.

That massive white tower used to be full of Polly Pocket with an additional tote for Polly Pockets.  Now?  just the three bottom drawers, this also now houses her littlest pet shops, her squinkies, her jewelry and assorted small toys.  The black set of drawers?  her dress up clothes and dress up clothes for her babies and toys.

Not too bad – much less than what used to be here.  a box of for paper collection, and her musical instruments.  a shoe box hanging out next to the tv stand.

Her toy net and shelf.

her toys whittled down enormously

more floor space

her bed.  The two giant snowmen are not regular guests.  she typically has a small stuffed dog and small elephant, her dog happy napper and her dog pillow pet, two pillows and tons of blankets.

so definately not a minimalist room or even a Lagom room but no longer the room of a hoarder.  it’s a work in progress.

 

My living room – the update!

Living Room

Our living room is definately better.  More or less it’s similar to my previous numbers posting.  We have removed most of the video games out of this room. (now in the family room)

We kept the PS3 in this room so we can watch netflix and movies.  I liked the bins so much in my daughter’s room that I bought one for the living room.  I chose not to put the top two baskets in so that I could use the shelves as a place to display my favorite Christmas decorations.  I could never be a minimalist with no Christmas decorations but I did realize that I also don’t need four totes full.

Usually our living room is plastered with holiday stuff to where it’s overwhelming.  not so much this year.

As you can tell there is quite a bit less here than before.  7 of our favorite Christmas decorations are on the two shelves but my snowman sitting on the floor next to Jack’s bed.  The PS3, two controllers, tv controller and surge protector make up the other items pictured.  Want to know what’s in the basket?  Two Christmas collection DVD sets for easy access!  Hanging on the wall is my TV and my picture frame.  It seems cord heavy in the picture but we will have to make due.

Second view – our Christmas tree full of ornaments and a newly aquired tree topper to replace our beloved but broken tree topper.  our snowman tree skirt, a wooden santa, our recliner with my husband’s sweatshirt and coat.  Two pictures hang on the wall – will be moving them to a better location eventually.  Hidden behind the recliner are two folding tables for when we have parties for my daughter.

This is what you see when you walk into our living room.  our couch was moved because my husband wanted to see the tv better so it no longer rests flat against the wall.  my laptop and a tiger pillow on the couch and my cat sleeping.  9 pictures hanging on the wall and blinds but nothing hanging from the ceiling anymore.  Our cat’s tower against the wall.

behind the couch – jack’s crate with his blankets, toys and treats.  Our bench to the kitchen table and 4 of my daughter’s favorite toys for Christmas.

Hidden on the window sill are about 15 acorn squash and mini pumpkins.  I’m going to have to throw these in the woods soon as they will be rotten before long.

So another glimpse of my life – not minimalist, not a hoarder but comfortable and lived in.  My living room makes me happy

Jack and the Kitchen Purge

Recently we took our dog to my mom’s house.  He loves being with us so was extremely happy to be going along for the ride

We’ve gotten through quite a bit of our kitchen.  We downsized our drinkware to a small cabinet, downsized our plates and bowls into another small cabinet.  I removed our storage containers from three different locations and placed them all in the larger cabinet.  I pulled some pyrex to sell in the yard sale.

Here is our newly purged drinkware cabinet.  We did decide to get rid of our stemware and all of our glasses.  This is really hard for me but truth be told I have been accidently breaking these glasses left and right.  I on the other hand really LOVE my brightly colored plastic cups.  My daughter loves her cups with the lid and straws.  We dropped down to 8 mugs – husband won’t budge below since we make coffee when family visits.  Our two wonderful fly lady water bottles have enough space now to rest easy in the cabinet.  Before the purging the bottom shelf with glasses, the top shelf was coffee mugs stacked two high.

There were three surprising things we are putting out into the yard sale.  The first two are our toasting glasses from our wedding.

and the third is our souvenier glass from our honeymoon.  While we were in Williamsburg we went to two different dinner theaters – Rosie Rumps Regele Dump and then the Mystery Dinner Playhouse.  I loved them both and will remember them with or without this glass.

We were able to downsize our dishes.  We had this lovely white set for as long as we’ve been married.  I really do like the set but since we moved into this home we barely use the small plates or the bowls.  We prefer the plastic bowls.  The dinner plates however we definately use.

Here is the newly purged cabinets – the contents requiring 1/2 the space needed before.

As we were purging I realized that our bowls and storage containers were the hardest for me to declutter.  I really didn’t want to purge with any of them.  I was so frustrated though with the kitchen today – i was trying to prepare dinner and yet again an avalaunche occured when I tried to pull out a pot to cook.  The cabinets were hiding too much stuff.  we cut it down to this

I got rid of any without the lids, that were stained or were missing pieces.  I had this lovely lunch box styled set that had an icepack built in but i lost one of the inner containers so we placed it in the yard sale pile.  I really do have more than I need but I use many of them for homemade play dough to use with my kids at work.

Pictured below is our yard sale pile – the items we purged today.  The tote is full of the drinkware plus some extras.

I went through our spices while my husband is in bed.  We’ve purged our cabinet with our pantry items pulling out enough to fill one of our reusable grocery bags.  I’ve pulled all of our seasonal dishes down from ontop of the cabinet and washed them so we can go through them in the morning – I have my eyes on a few that will be leaving the house come yard sale day.

In the kitchen all the really remains is the china set that my husband thinks he is ready to part with.  I intend to keep a few pieces from it as they were his grandmother’s.  My thoughts are a few are better than all or none.

Some before glimpses

I know it’s not much in the way of before pictures but I’ve been looking for before pictures for some of the rooms.  I don’t have any before Fly Lady pictures inside the house because we lost our external hard drive and I of course didn’t have things backed up and I was also very careful not to take pictures of the clutter.  I used to be very good at stashing clutter if I knew people were coming over.  I think this is how my family room got so bad.  I think this is also how “hidden” clutter got so bad too.

Here is the corner of the living room on a “good” day.  It is decorated for Halloween (spider webs and witch cat).  We’ve already decluttered quite a bit by the time this picture was taken as this book shelf used to house much more video games.  There also used to be another shelf – yes – two shelves hanging out on top of a coffee table blocking our second entrance to our home.

This was considered really good to me.  Since this picture was taken we’ve gotten rid of the wooden box under the table, the table, the book shelf and a good number of items included in this picture.

Leave it to my daughter to have some of the best “bad” pictures.  The picture below is a good example – the left side of the picture shows the box spring “hidden” behind my dresser and the tall piece of furniture on top of my dresser is the 9 bin rack that used to be full of clutter.  There used to be two of these 4 foot tall mirrors chilling behind furniture in my living room.

Below is a self portrait my daughter took.  It’s completely normal to have two coffee tables right next to each other right?  This room also had two couches and a recliner for a family of 3.  if you look you’ll see that the tables block the usage of one of the recliners on the couch.  this picture was taken on a very good day.  notice the paper lanterns?  not party decorations – every day decorations.

Wow – this is after I found and started following Fly Lady.  This was good.  Notice the television ontop of the television?  yeah – (heavy sarcasam) i tricked ya with the busy quilt right?  there is usable floor space so this definately was a good day.

My couch – on a bad day.  In the past this is what you might find if you stopped by unannounced.  I would say I was in the “middle” of reorganizing.

if these pictures have shocked you into a state of shock here is the after pics blog link.

Funny thing is – these aren’t even pictures of the room at its worst.  I guess I really have come a long way!

 

adding some happiness to the day

This poster makes me very happy.  I love the layout, the heart shaped smile and the 10 points.  You can buy the print at Yes Magazine for $3 or download the PDF for free.  I heart that:)

– found at Yes Magazine

The second thing that brings happiness to my day is doing laundry with the homemade laundry soap that I actually made a few weeks ago.  It smells fantastic, my clothes are bright and clean and it costed very little.  If you’re interested I have the figures for how much it costed me.

This blog entry on How Does She? got me interested – Organized Cleaning Supplies…before and after

and this blog entry has the how to – Cheaper AND Better! DIY Laundry Detergent

I used Fels Naptha instead of the Zote because Walmart didn’t carry it.  I also used Sun Oxygen Cleaner (walmart brand) instead of Oxi Clean because of the huge difference in price.  We went with the Fresh Spring Waters scent for the Purex Crystals Fabric Softner (daughter’s choice).  It’s lasting forever and it works.  Happiness abounds.

I’m also super excited about trying vinegar and baking soda to do most of the cleaning around the house.  It works great (especially in the bathroom and kitchen) and is less harmful then all of the other chemicals I used to use.

Dark side of Mental Health

I think that I’ve been abused for so long that I don’t know how to be happy or healthy.  From birth there has been violence in my life – such is the curse of being a child in a domestically violent home.  Certain messages get stuck with you for life.  I’m going through a particularly bad phase of my mental health right now.

I’m seeing dirt in my dreams, I can’t line up the unorganized patterns on my walls, I can’t get the dust and cobwebs vanquished from my home.  My house is not clean – I’m not one of those “fortunate” OCD types.  My brain keeps going and going.  I visualize every possession, every square inch of my home in my head and my mind imagines all the different creavases that dirt can hide, that bugs could hide.  I think if I actually found a bug in my home I would not sleep for days because I would need to tear everything apart and throughoughly detail the entire home.  back to the visualization.  ticking away is an ever mounting to – do list of how it needs to be done.  counting each item in my head.  graphing out each room on graph paper – to scale.  one square to each inch in my home.  if i mess up i start over.  it takes more than one sheet of graph paper to chart out a whole room.  i carefully tape each page together.  the lines have to line up.  if i mess up i start over.  pen in the windows, the doors.  measure out the arc of the door.  try to figure out how to convince my husband that we need to remove doors and get rid of them – they block escapes and take up too much room.  have to do it in pen.  pencil leaves smudges and then my hands get dirty.  can’t function if my hands get dirty.  can’t continue if my hands are dirty.  can’t touch anything until my hands get clean because i can’t make anything else dirty.  if i mess up because i used pen instead of pencil i start over.  room is graphed.  onto furniture.  lost in thought, how to measure plush furniture.  how to measure the rocking chair?  it’s not square or rectangle.  the recliners – have to measure them open and allow for that space to be in consideration.  it doesn’t line up – there’s not enough space.  graph out furniture.  carefully glue furniture onto cardstock.  cut around furniture pieces.  exactly 1/2 block border around each piece of furniture.  if i mess up i start over.  space is important – been told repeatedly when I was younger that I take up too much space.  space is essential.  I take up too much space.  my stuff takes up too much space.  how can I be comfortable?  with all this space taken up?

When I was younger I read this article about this girl – everything she owned fit into a large box plus her futon.  only keep what you find to be important, what you use, what makes you happy.  I remember that one of her items was a bottle of glittery nail polish.  At this point I was already on my way to becoming a hoarder.  FREEDOM! my very young brain shouted to me!  Freedom from too much space being taken up.  stuff was packed under my bed, in my closets, my drawers, everywhere.  none of it was particularly valuable but I had to keep it.  Freedom from the chaos around me.  I excitedly told my mom about the article I had read – she promptly stated the article was stupid and who would want to live like that.  right then and there my need for space was shot down and I was called stupid yet again.

disposing of items was particularly hard many times in my life – when I was young money was spent on alcohol and cigarettes instead of paying the monthly garbage bill.  the need to keep, to hold on to, in case we may need it was very strong in my mother.  She was married to my father – the abusive, self-centered jerk who thought little of his family.  He squandered away his paychecks on cigarettes, booze, fishing lures and magazines.  his lunch pail hosted an array of foods while the 5 of us split one package of ramen noodle soup.  thankfully we had chickens who ranged free surviving somehow because dad surely didn’t spend money on grain for them.  thankfully we had a daily supply of eggs to keep us nourished and somewhat regular trips to the food pantry when it was held at our church because money was tight.

like I said, hoarding runs strong in these bones.  my grandmother is a hoarder – there were always piles everywhere.  her sheds packed full, closets full, table, drawers, nooks and crannies full.  my other grandmother a hoarder.  They filled one home to the brim so they bought another.  When my grandfather died, they barely could get to him.  the hoarding was so bad that they removed my grandmother and condemned the home.  their plumbing didn’t work and they couldn’t bring a plumber in because of the STUFF, the garbage.  My aunt is a hoarder – her home was so full that she couldn’t get the in-home health aide that she so desparately needed.  she almost died in that apartment.  When she was in the hospital my mom had to go in and clean out.  bag after bag after bag of garbage.  it was the only choice.  she was in danger of losing her subsidized apartment.  boxes and boxes of items that never seen the light of day, reaking of cat piss and water damage.  piles on piles on piles everywhere.  empty mayonaise jars, enough pasta for a family for years.  so much stuff.  the apartment always reaked.  not only did her stuff take up so much room but she takes up so much room.  largely obese – she is my biggest fear.  if i don’t start taking care of myself and breaking my hoarding tendancies, breaking my eating compulsions, getting healthy i will be her when I’m older.

my brother gets so paralized when going through his things that when I see his stuff it looks like garbage mixed in with important stuff.  The garbage ruins the good stuff eventually turning it all to bad stuff.

my mom would take everything I would ever try to get rid of or at the very least try and usually succeed at convincing me that I needed to keep everything that I have ever wanted to get rid of.  I never could get rid of anything because she would never let me.  but she always would tell me how much SPACE I was taking up.

I moved into this home – i broke down crying when we walked in.  we had rented a large moving truck to make the move up.  we moved into the “family” house.  I was told that it would be ready for us to take it over.  We walked into a dusty, dirty, cat pee smelling home full of STUFF.  everyone’s stuff.  every room full of STUFF.  i sat on the toilet with the door locked crying for a long, long time.  it had been a long drive and we were going on very little sleep.  outside was a giant truck full of too much stuff that needed to fit inside a house with too much stuff that had a shed already full of too much stuff.  Can i get rid of this?  no, can i get rid of that? no.  what about these 3 coffee makers?  they are still good, you can use them.  But I have a coffee pot that I love.  that might break someday and then you will need a new one and these ones work just fine.

almost two years to the date later and the home still has items that were left behind.

back to the graphs – many hours later and the graphs are finished.  a trash bag is full of the errors.  I lay the graphed room on the table and put the furniture in place where they currently are.  I try to move them around, make it fit better to give me more space.  as hard as I try to make it work it doesn’t fit better.  there is just too much stuff.  try to get the husband to help and he says he’ll help me with it later.  i say it’s always later, why not now.  it doesn’t get done.  it doesn’t fit.  I don’t have enough SPACE to breathe, to move, to be happy.  the walls are closing in on my, there are too many nooks and crannies and my brain is hurting thinking about all the dirt that is hiding everywhere.

Okay – I just need to get rid of some stuff.  how about some books.  pull them all down off the shelves.  carefully dust each one.  clean each shelf.  wash hands to clean hands.  sit back down.  carefully flip through each page of each book.  i tend to stash things places.  i don’t want to unwittingly give/ throw away something important.  set book down, repeat.  start piles.  one pile for keep, one pile for giveaway.  keep gets taller and taller and barely anything gets put in the giveaway.  i might read it again someday.  i might need to reference it.  i may start training others again.  my daughter may want it someday.  i can’t part with that yet, i haven’t read it.  i can’t believe that i spent so much money on books when we are in debt.  i can’t part with it because then I’ve truely wasted our money.

office supplies – try to purge and wind up c reating a wish list of supplies “needed”.

craft supplies – look at all the unused craft supplies and start berating myself for not crafting more.  also convince myself that I need to keep all the crafting supplies because I’m going to start crafting again and then my daughter will want to craft too and I will just be wasting money if I get rid of it.  vow to self to craft.

scrapbooking supplies – become instantly overwhelmed at the amount of supplies and start to berate myself for having so few pages completed.  vow to self to scrapbook.  nevermind the fact that scrapbook is much like the graphing.  mess up, start over.  over and over and over again.  in the time it took my to scrap one page someone else could have 20 completed.

need I go on?

last summer I tried a medication for the OCD.  it worked like a breathe of fresh air (only not unpleasant) but I quickly stopped it because of the immense sweating.  in that short time however my possessions lost their hold on me and I started purging.  out went my wedding dress, books, extras and more.  I was always so embarassed to have people come over because everyone always said, you have a lot of stuff.  ouch.  even my mom uttered those words multiple times even though so much remained that was once hers.

if you have been following this blog you know that I am leading up to a yard sale.  I’ve been sorting and pricing and stashing in the shed.  I just realized that I’m ready to part with more.  why is this so important?  I can’t think straight.  all i can think about is the stuff.  I’m learning that once I free the stuff from my home I no longer worry about it.  I feel lighter, freer.  It hurts me to look at all of the stuff.  patterned items especially.  too much visual stimulation.  Most of the scrapbooking supplies are leaving with this sale – never to return to my home.  as is the sewing machine and much of the crafting supplies.

I realized that I’ve built up these fantasy selves – I’ve never particularly liked myself so always dreamed I would cultivate all these skills and would be AMAZING and people would love me and want to be around me.  I realized I don’t need those skills to be loved.  I do have a select few people who do want to be around me.  I don’t need those things to create an identify for myself.  so what if I’m not a scrapbooker, or a crafter, or a writer, or a journalist, or a fantastic cook, or an amazing housekeeper.  I don’t need to be and I can let those things go.  I also hate dust and hate to dust.  why keep a whole bunch of stuff that requires me to dust them?  it’s so much easier to dust 3 or 4 pieces or a flat empty surface than to dust hundreds of items.  Am I ever going to be fluent in 20 different languages?  no.  fluent in spanish? no.  enjoy the occasional french movie? of course – oui:) the nature adventure books?  I don’t even like being outside.  out you go.  haha.  can I drop these expectations of myself and just allow myself to be as I am?  I’m definately going to try.

back to the obsessively clean part – my house is not obsessively clean unfortunately.  I wish it were.  By the time I’ve mentally mapped out my home, then graphed out my home and then dusted my bookshelf and flipped all the pages I’m exhausted.  or maybe i tackled the game shelf and counted all the pieces to all of the games.

Long message short – I take up too much space, my stuff takes up too much space, i will never live up to the expectations that i’ve given to myself.

fix? – get rid of all the stuff that does not truly reflect me  – but the rather fantasy version of me, practice self-acceptance and create a space that makes me feel at home.

Still Smiling

Our eggs are dyed – all 18.  20 fingers dyed as well.  part of the tablecloth, a paw on the dog and some small spots on the rug.  My daughter got up and banged into the table spilling some dye.  She tripped over the dog while sitting back down and spilled quite a bit more.

normally at this point I’d be freaking out, losing my patience and smile would be gone.  I guess today is different.  Even my husband noticed a difference.

Her hand shortly in – much more colorful now.