Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Drop the Weight in 2008!

That is my one and only New Year's Resolution.

It seems as though everyone makes that resolution. Weight loss programs see a giant spike in membership with huge numbers of people sign up in January, responding to the promises made in the ads and price specials. I venture to say more than 1/2 (making up the statistic - could be more, could be less) are gone from local meetings, have stopped changing their eating habits, are back to their old ways long before their special membership runs out. I know that has been my MO over the years.

But, I'm not talking about that kind of weight - at least not initially. While I certainly have many, many pounds of love to shed (over 100!), before I can do anything about my body weight, I have to do something about all the other things weighing my life down.

Here are two examples (and these are not even the extreme ones).

One of many books shelves in my house. You might notice that there is also a "book floor" there. Every set of shelves has the floor as an extension. There are even segments of floor without bookshelves covered with books and magazines. This is clutter beyond clutter. I need to cull the books, saving my most precious and donating/recycling the rest.

The Yarn Corner in my room - the mere tip of the mountain of rubbermaid containers, boxes, bags and other storage vessels filled with yarn and patterns and notions and more which can be found around my home. Again, clutter beyond clutter deserving of a good sort.

Before I can wrap my head around taking care of my physical well being, I must take care of my surroundings. Changing my body needs me to begin from a place of peace rather than frantic clutter. I've been hiding behind the clutter and avoiding the process. I made myself a promise a while ago -- to drop the unnecessary, the unwanted, the unhealthy -- to conduct a radical purge and cleanse of my life.

I have been afraid. Perhaps I won't like, or won't be able to handle, the incredible changes that must take place. What if I don't like the me that is on the other side of the clutter, the other side of 100 lbs? What if I'm a fraud? What if?


What if I Drop the Weight in 2008 and Find 2009 to be just Divine?

By May 13, 2009:

I want my home to be peaceful, neat, tidy, simple.
I want my body to be healthy.
I want my spirit to be alive, active and open.

With God's help and my determination (and a few swift kicks from my sister!), I will meet this goal!



Julie McC. said...

Go for it Kathleen. We've been weeding out, too. The condo is bigger and our hearts are more open. It's worth it.

Mary Hawkins said...

Go for it! Those bookshelves really look familiar... I weeded through a lot of stuff when I first moved into my current place five years ago. It took me months to get things under control, but I loved working on it [even if I didn't love housework] and I love being in my house now. It's so restful and peaceful to not have stuff sitting around. You might want to check out flylady.com and apartmenttherapy.com. Both sites have a lot of decluttering advice, and both authors have books out.

A suggestion for the yarn? Find a good charity. If you don't know anyone local, try contacting people on The Greater Good on ravelry and see if anyone there needs anything for their projects. A lot of charities have specific requirements, but see if you have anything that matches what people use. The other day I went to the craft store and stocked up on crappy yarns so I can finish off my blanket for Warm Up America. I thought about putting out an APB to my friends in my stitch and bitch asking them to dig out their odd balls, but I bit the bullet and just bought stuff.

Kathleen said...

The de-cluttering began today. I fear it will get worse before it gets better - like a bad Cold! :)

Thank you both for the encouragement. I'll be working my personal space through this month and then I'll see about expanding my de-cluttering to the rest of the house! :)

omly said...

In my family the major problem is books. We just keep too many including the ones we really will never read again. I won't mention donating to the library, because I know you know about that.

Another idea for giving away books are Bookmooch . I don't know if you will have any use for it, but for my mom (whom I was helping go through her stuff over the holidays) this was great to know that they were going somewhere they were genuinely wanted.

Robbyn said...

Cleaning clutter is always tough - you grow attached to stuff. Even if you don't use it, it becomes part of the decor and you miss seeing it.

I applaud your resolution to declutter your house and yourself - Clean and lean in 2008!

Good luck!

Rosie said...

I thought I left a comment. Maybe I don't know how?

Craftydramaqueen said...

I'm right behind you! Let's go for it! Happy New Year!

Dorothy said...

There was an article in the NYT a day or so ago on this very topic. Getting rid of stuff is prescribed as a good way of becoming physically healthier (and leaner).

I am not always good at keeping the clutter at bay, but when I declutter, I am ruthless. So the average level of clutter never gets too high.

Happy New Year and happy decluttering!

Booktender said...

What a great way to put it! Losing that weight off your mind is simply huge!

I suggest starting with your books. I am a professional booktender. A librarian. And you can indeed try this at home.

1) It really is ok to throw out books. Especially if they contain medical advice. If they're more than 3 years old just thank them for their service and TOSS them! (this doesn't apply to self-help)

2) Water damage, yellowed brittle pages, falling out of its spine? TOSS IT!

3) Ready to give away some? Salvation army etc. or just make some stickers and "leave" them in public places where people wait in line. Don't be overly generous or a litterbug. Just tuck one or two in your bag a week. Here and there.

4) Start with one corner, one shelf, whatever. When you finish with that one place, bless it to its good use.

5) One year I took all of my white shirts out, got rid of the icky ones, reevaluated others and cut my excess by half. Maybe this would work for you and yarn? White, Black and then ROY G BIV for the other colors (I learned brown is in the orange family!)

6) And there's the age-old question. Can there be too much yarn? ;-) Trust me, start with the books.

Booktender said...

ARGH! And how on earth could I forget www.freecycle.org!

I even got rid of a cat-enhanced couch that way. Just post it, accept the first claim, leave the box outside the door clearly marked and you're done!

Come to think of it, I got rid of the ex bf's huge speaker's that way when he left them. Just put them on the stret with FREE on them. Gone in 20 minutes.