Today was an A-Ha Moment for me. (Yes, I realize I managed to quote both Beverly Hills Chihuahua and reference Oprah in the first 2 seconds....) I'm in a state of reevaluation. Feeling overwhelmed without a concrete reason. Cluttered beyond belief, though we've only lived here for 7 months. Struggling with weight loss/healthy eating/meal planning. Constant cleaning and re-cleaning of our house that we live in 24/7. Trouble with incorporating fitness into my lifestyle. Trying to keep up with homeschooling/parenting/keeping my sanity. I really could go on and on.
This month's O Magazine (yes, I'm a subscriber. Don't judge.) anyway, this month Martha Beck wrote about being a Hoarder. That would be me. Hoarder with the capital "H"- in bold even. ** bummer - no link on Oprah.com. well in a nutshell, she talks about two states of mind: The JIT (just in time) mentality vs. the JIC (just in case) mentality. I'm all about JIC. Save that electrical charger even though I have no idea what it goes to! I might find the actual appliance/radio/ whatchamacallit and I will NEED that. I have an entire storage bin in our hall closet of them. The JIC thoughts are keeping me surrounded in clutter. I don't have space for it, I can better use that space and it's holding me back from simplifying my life. I hold on because I'm used to not having extra money to pay for things. BigDaddy comes from a long line of Hoarders- but it's more of the sentimental mindset. EVERY piece of "memoralbilia" makes it way from my MIL's house to our house. Why oh why is this still around and has now made the trek, cross country, to MY house?? But I digress as usual... Being a hoarder means constantly being stressed. What if __________ happens?!? It also puts you in a state of panic and your body too, so says Martha. (like programing your body to hold on to fat JIC. Now my Whopper theory has some proof!!) So get rid of the JIC Hoarding and supposedly my life is easier and I lose weight. Viola! If only life were so simple. I think it goes beyond that for me, for us. It's time for a life overhaul.
Okay, now what? What the heck do I do NOW? Admitting you have a problem is the first step right? So, "Hi everyone. I'm Lisa. I'm a wasteful, not-so healthy, trying to lose weight and exercise more, hoarder." (Everyone, together now...."Hiiiiiiii Lisa!") Next step? I'm not really sure. I guess I need to figure out what exactly I want to do. here goes, in no particular order:
Focus on our Physical and Mental health. We are cutting out alcohol for a while. BigDaddy wants to detox a bit and while I do enjoy my vino here and there, I'm willing to give it up to keep all alcohol out of the house. Less sugar. Less items with fake anything. Using more whole natural foods. We don't use a ton of processed foods to begin with, but we are a bit dependent on them for the kids. No mas!
Exercise. I just need to do it. Starting with T/Th. build from there. I really can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can walk at night. Until then, do my tapes/DVDs. I've managed to do a bit here and there, I just need to do more.
Grow my own food. We had a little garden in Indy and I want a bigger one. More space, but also more work. Need to discuss with BigDaddy. (check out PW's tutorial on how to make a raised bed. ) BigBoy is all about Helping the Earth as I mentioned before. He really wants to compost. So we'll take the trip to Costco again, see if they their composters are in now, and call it a birthday present.
Which brings me to the next item. Purge the toys. With BB's bday just around the corner, I'm sure we will get more. We are actually mentioning the Costco composter and a swingset to family and friends when they ask for the "wish list". Nothing says I love you like a gift card to Walmart or Costco. ;)
Purge the baby stuff. Our friend just had a baby girl. The Babe has sooo much stuff we don't need now. I found a home for lots of BigBoy's stuff, so that's already done.
Cutting back on plastic. We have so much "pretty plastic" items. The kids are older now and we don't use sippy cups (per dentist orders). I'm not really sure about the whole BPA thing, but it scares me just enough. I'm in love with Corelle dishes- the open stock ones. Sexy? Stylish? no way. But cheap and chip/resistant. Call me a fan. I also love the old school glass storage containers. love them!
Scale back our wants and focus on needs. Downgrade cable (getting rid of it really isn't an option right now). Check out other bills (cell phone, regular phone, etc.) BigDaddy already walks to work. Talk to the kids more about turning off lights, TV when not using.
Buy cloth bags for groceries. Start with a few and add to them. Something I want to do but just don't ever go through with. so dumb. so easy, just a little effort.
Now I call on you, my faithful blog readers. I need all 7 of you to help me. What advice, suggestions, tips do you have? Cool website sites you love? Or just say "I need to do this too!" I challenge you, make a comment. ** Nikki is exempt cause she always comments :) and she knows I'm going to call her for advice like I always do.
Flylady if you can keep up or just take the hints that work for you and avoid the rest (it's another kind of obsessive/compulsive thing if you're not careful). You're like me in that in your quest to get rid of stuff you mention getting more stuff :) LOL
Good for you! I need to do more of this, too. To start, I've been washing out my glass containers (salsa, peanut butter, etc.) and reusing them for leftovers. I also don't buy anything with HFCS if I can help it. Loved seeing you guys - hope to come your way, soon!
I have a one year rule on clothing. If I haven't worn it in a year, it is off to Goodwill. I understand about the MIL sending stuff your way. My MIL is the same. Just last week she sent home a warm up suit that Justin wore as a teenager. What am I going to do with this?
I could have written (most) of that myself, as a fellow JIC Hoarder who is in a new home/city for just about 6 months. Chargers, hardware, buttons, singled socks, etc. In January, I vowed to get more organized, purge some things (not necessarily as detailed as the items above, but I'll get there), and work on health, diet, and exercise. Surprisingly, Improving my diet and activity have gone a long way toward eroding that sense of being overwhelmed all the time. I'm losing weight, we're all eating better (like you, fresh foods, very little processed), and I'm working out at least 4 days/week.
My biggest source of clutter and overwhelming-ness is mail and the kids' art & paperwork. I need to be better about sitting down and taking care of things and filing them away as they come in the door, but I've known that for a long time....it's just not me. So, I'm struggling with either accepting it for what it is and trying to make a few improvements, or finding a system that will keep me on track.
That was a lot of rambling w/ not much advice or tips, eh? I guess my point is, I know how you feel, and I'm only 2.5 months into a similar self-reform. ;) Good luck!
Janell- I love flylady and do use some of her stuff, some. I like to get ideas for babysteps too. I mentioned more stuff?? I need to go back and read now...
Anon- who are you?? I actually started doing the jar rinse yesterday!! Great minds you know.
Gina- Hi! I'm good on clothes. I purge all the time and don't have much to begin with since I don't work outside the home. If I actually lose this weight, I will have an entire new collection of clothing! It's in boxes in the attic and my motivation for getting thin again.
Plaidfrogg- Go you!! I get backed up on mail now too. I DO go through it right away and then toss the junk, but it's the "important stuff" that gets tossed into a pile. I've also gone hardcore on the kids artwork. Out it goes unless I LOVE it. I also saw a blog where the mom took digital pics of everything they did and made photo albums at the end of the year. I like that idea too.
Do you have a home binder? I have one and just need to use it more. Where did I see it??? Maybe flylady? If you are interested, I'll find out where I first saw it.
I definitely need to make these my priorities, too. and what excuse(s) do I have?! I don't even have little ones or a hubby to keep track of-- just myself. ugh!
May the force be with us!
That's funny, I decided that I was going to clear out all my JIC stuff..and for the last three weeks I have been listing 1 item a day on ebay.One a day isn't overwhelming and I have made close to 400 dollars. People buy the ink cartridges for the printer that broke, old cell phones, chargers even all my baby's newborn clothes ( that one I just put them all together for one auction). I feel like I am contributing more to the house and got to buy my honey a great birthday present as a surprise.
Now, if I could get my husband to part with his JIC stuff...
I think that you have stumbled onto life's true questions. It is not what came first, but what comes next?? I am married to a JIC, and he goes through our trash to make sure I don't toss anything! ARGH. I started putting all the randomness on his pool table in the garage. It never came back in the house! I have 4 kids, and love their artwork and school papers. Each kid has a binder full of their items. Works for me. I hope you find that exercise time, and when you do, blog about it!
My MIL is a Hoarder...like one you see on Oprah. We have found that if someone helps her go through her stuff, she will release some of it, but if she is alone, she always finds and excuse to keep it. Find a friend to come over with a simplistic attitude and when the day is done, take it to Goodwill, don't let it sit or you will unpack it all. As far as money goes, I am not embarrassed to say that I love Goodwill. I buy all my dishes and silverware there. With 4, they lose it, throw it away, break it. And it's always a fun treasure hunt! Just my two cents to add to yours!
My sis blogged about "Stuff" last week too - it's an epidemic!! I'm in the midst of Un-Stuffing at the moment too and have decided to take it room by room... starting with our master bedroom in the hope that once it's nice and clean and decluttered, that I will sleep better and be less stressed about all the other Stuff... in a feng shui kinda way, you know?? Good luck, let us know how you go!!
So glad I read this!! I love what you are doing/ trying to do!! I feel like there are lots of us out there trying to tdo some of the same things!! I am inspired again to go for round #2 in my attempts to eliminate more processed items from my family's diet! But I must be honest, while I don't eat fast food, there is one thing I can't quite part with, pizza! This will have to be something my family does in moderation!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Renee- you could always MAKE pizza. Even if you just use Boboli or pita bread. The kids Looooove making pizza. Fun and super easy.
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