Friday, August 25, 2017

UnCluttered: Another Round Begins

Twelve weeks is a long time.

When I started the spring session of the course, we were working on the downstairs bathroom. My house was in utter chaos.

I didn't consider this cluttered, however. It was messy, yes, but everything out was either because of projects related to the bathroom or because it was just part of the ebb and flow of everyday life.

Oddly enough, when I decluttered, I chiefly ignored the main rooms of my house (except when told to do otherwise) and concentrated my efforts elsewhere right up until the final week when I finally woke up, had a look around and decided that everyday mess was clutter and needed to be addressed.

I'm happy to say it only took me a couple of hardworking days to get things in order. That felt like a kind of vindication. My goal is to keep the house "10 minutes to company ready." I'm not quite there, yet!


When I started the course, I questioned whether or not I "needed" to get rid of any more stuff. But I kept finding stuff I could let go of!

The way the course is structured, there are six weeks of decluttering. I vowed to have something for each of those weeks. I almost made it.

Donations from the first run through the basement:

 Bedroom week:

The homeschool stuff:

Consider these four boxes for just a second. These four unassuming boxes held more than well loved homeschooling curriculuum. They held hopes. Dreams. A few realised, a few not. They were cherished. But they were no good to anyone sitting in my basement.

One of the things that makes this course so great--and different from other decluttering programs, is the shift in perspective from "me and my stuff" to "could this be useful to someone else?" It's subtle but profound and it happened to me when I considered the homeschooling stuff. I'd thought I'd sell it. But then someone suggested finding someone who may need it. So I did that. I found someone--and I was thrilled my stuff --still valuable--still meaningful-- could truly go and bless someone else.

Wardrobe Week:

Kitchen Week:

Declutter "a common area" week.

I started losing a bit of steam, here. We shifted our attention away from decluttering and towards establishing clutter-free habits. So, for decluttering, I turned my attention to some dead easy stuff outside.

The garage: These boxes had been here for probably two years or more. Ridiculous. Nothing more than forgetfulness and lack of intention.

The playhouse. My youngest will be 17 in a few weeks! We have not needed any of this stuff in a long, long time.

I am extraordinarily proud of all I accomplished in the basement. Especially this little area:

Decluttering gives me a sense of control over my surroundings. I am hoping to transfer that over into housekeeping.

I also cleared out areas not specifically "assigned" like the freezer:

and my inbox.

As a result of doing my inbox, I decided to pursue replacing some Canada Savings Bonds I had purchased before I was married. I'd lost my copies of the bonds, so I put the wheels in motion to replace and redeem them (since they matured about a year ago). I'd tried handling it a few years ago but got bogged down in the process. (At that time, I was able to call and have them re-invested.) So, there should be a tidy sum coming my way in a few weeks.


Joshua assigns the first habit: clean up the kitchen before bed! I did well the first week and then it all fell apart. I jumped into Uber Frugal Month which required a lot of planning and food prep right at the start of the month. Doesn't matter. I shifted my focus. I lost my intention--and the kitchen turned into a disaster area again very quickly.

It's taken me a while, as I mentioned above, but my second habit is to pick up the house for 10 minutes every day. Set the timer and go. It's the only way to stay clutter free!


Again, Joshua assigns the first one: try out Courtney Carver's 333 wardrobe experiment for three weeks (not 3 months as Courtney advocates.)

I had a really difficult time wrapping my head around this one--not because I have too many clothes, but the opposite. I may have less than 33 items--depending on how you count them.  And I discovered, I am profoundly uninterested in counting my clothes.

A pair of capris I bought during the course. 

We were to experiment with simplifying other aspects of our lives. I chose to cut our grocery bill in half for the month of July. That wasn't exactly a challenge which simplified my life....but it did help me pay down some of our debt!

A few meals made "ahead." Life savers.


The whole twelve weeks was an extraordinarily positive adventure. At one point, I actually wondered why I signed up--surely I was "decluttered." Turns out--not quite!

And it's not about decluttering anyway. Decluttering is simply a means to the end. What end? Whatever you decide. You get to choose. Your stuff, your life, your adventure.

My adventure includes mason jar Chicken Cesar salads! 

I'd love to have you join me and all my (Uncluttered) facebook friends. Registration is open only until September 3rd.

 Follow this link: Uncluttered: The Course and use the coupon code FF25 for 25% off. (Not an affiliate link.)

I'd be thrilled to see you there.


Carol-Anne said...

What an amazing job you've done here! I bet it feels like such an accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

You have rocked the decluttering! You look great by the way!
Gina in Chattanooga, TN

t said...

Great work, Alana. Again, you have inspired me.

Bonnie Haupt said...

I am always inspired by your accomplishments and your openness with struggles. You inspire me to carry on towards peace in my home.

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you all so much!

MMarie said...

Hi Alana,
I joined Uncluttered in January and have really enjoyed it. I invited a local friend along and we took turns every week or 2 helping each other (that was super helpful...far easier to let go of something my friend told me to than if it was just me making decisions!). The only bummer was not seeing you in my Uncluttered Facebook group! I'm by no means a minimalist but have made good progress in my home and garage. Thanks for your info about this and the discount code. Hoping to get another friend to join us in May!

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