Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Jouney of 100 Bags - Chapter 1


Chapter 1 – The Beginning

            It all started one summer day.  I looked around my cluttered, messy house and felt like I couldn’t breathe.  The walls were creeping in and I couldn’t find things.  I decided in that moment that something had to change.  My mental stability and joy were on the line.

            I did what I always do when my life takes a new course – I bought a book.  (Eventually I bought several books.)  The book, The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark was recommended to me by a good friend who also struggled with housekeeping and clutter.  As it turns out, the title was a little misleading, but it was a wonderful book with a clearly laid out plan that appealed to my logical brain.

            I began with a small space that was not in too bad of condition – the entryway.  I took before pictures, a very helpful strategy, and wrote notes about what I wanted to change.  Then I took everything out, and held every object in that area from coats to junk collecting dust on a small bookcase.  I sorted those items into categories: belongs here, belongs somewhere else in the house, trash, and give away.  During these early days I did not try to sell anything.  I did not want to slow the process of things getting out of the house.  I filled my first two give away bags just in this small area.  Then I deep-cleaned this area.  As a final touch, I rolled up the area rug that I usually just vacuum.  I took a picture of the dirt underneath, but that picture will not be published! As I took the items that belonged in other rooms to those places, I did not obsess about where to put them.  I just delivered them to the correct room.  I chose to focus on one area at a time which allowed me to see faster and more vivid results.

            The entryway was gorgeous!  I took after pictures and could not believe the difference.  It felt clean, open, even pretty.  We have a small bench for the children to sit on and take off their shoes.  Of course it was always covered in stuff and unusable, so when I was done I posted a sign: “This bench is for sitting people, not stuff.”  It made us all smile and reminded us not to drop our stuff there.

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