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Clutter and Stress Be Gone!

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I realized yesterday why there have been so many “BEST [insert something earth shattering here] OF THE DECADE!!!”. Next year is 2010.

Surely I’m not the only person who hadn’t paid much attention to what next year will be. Right? I mean, I knew that next year is 2010 but I hadn’t given it too much thought until a friend from high school mentioned that our 10 year reunion is coming up and I about spit out my coffee.

Everyone is doing their New Year’s resolutions posts and I did one last year but I don’t think I’ll be doing one this year – this post is about as close as I’m getting.

My thought on New Year’s resolutions has always been that if you’re waiting for a set date to start making changes then you’re really just procrastinating and you’re not going to really change anything. If you want to change, there’s no time like the present. But maybe that’s just me? And since I rarely change anything anyway, I doubt I should be considered an authority on the subject.

My main issue – and the thing that stresses me out the most – is clutter.

Clutter in my in-box, clutter in the house, brain clutter…wherever the clutter may be, it screws with me, stresses me out and leaves me despondent.

I took my first “declutter” step today by cleaning out Outlook.

I went through hundreds of emails that I had never gotten around to deleting. Stuff that I was waiting for more information on and usually had already gotten the follow-up email. Random emails from Twitter alerting me to new followers and the worst culprit was automatic emails from mailing lists I had subscribed to.

I don’t know about you, but have this habit of just deleting mailing list emails if I’m not interested in what’s in them instead of going to the bottom of the email and finding that hidden “unsubscribe” link. Today, as I was going through all of those emails, if a mailing list email hadn’t been opened and/or I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually read an email from that sender, I took the time to unsubscribe. Now I don’t have to worry about getting crap that I’m not going to read anyway.

Bills are another form of clutter and having a long list of shit to pay every month is beyond stressful.

Tucker and I started the Dave Ramsey program to kill debt and we already have the emergency $1k fund saved up and we’re starting the Debt Snowball deal this month. That means months of beans and rice [glad I like those] and don’t be surprised if I list some stuff on here for you guys to buy. I’m thinking of it as a blog virtual garage sale. It’s gonna suck and I’m sure I’ll bitch and Tucker will bitch and Cara will bitch since she refuses to eat rice but once it’s all said and done, bill clutter will be gone.

And then comes the apartment and the clutter that seems to breed like rabbits.

Slow and steady wins the race and shit so it’s a room a day until the place is put right.

It’s not bad…like you can walk through it without tripping on something and I wouldn’t be afraid to have someone over but it seems like every horizontal surface has something on it – particularly the bar deal that’s between our kitchen and living room area. That damn bar attracts clutter like it’s covered in that nasty, sticky rodent paper that I stuck my foot in when I was 8. It took me an hour to get that thing off.

I think I’m going to start at the back of the apartment and work my way forward so that means Ollie’s room first, then Cara’s, then their bathroom…you get the idea. The biggest issue I have with cleaning and decluttering and all that jazz is that no one ever showed me how. And I know you’re thinking, “But everyone knows how to clean! What the hell is wrong with you, Amy?!”.

What I’m talking about is the scheduled cleaning thing where people you know, dust on Mondays and there’s a set laundry day and bathrooms are Saturday. I never had that. Somehow my childhood home never got out of sorts, my mom doesn’t dust and the only thing I was ever “taught” was that once things get “bad enough” everything in my room gets thrown away.

That happened to me twice when I was growing up.

One time my stuff was returned to me after my mom made a good show of stuffing everything in my room into black garbage bags. The next time [a couple of years later] she did the same thing and since I was a bit older, I followed her around and while she was bag stuffing I was pleading and grabbing stuff before she could get to it. Though she never formally gave me my stuff back, she put the trash bags downstairs next to the trash can and she never said anything when the bags disappeared.

Yeah, I know I’m almost 28 *gag* and I’m not making excuses…more like explaining.

I told Tucker to make me a chart and we’re going to kick it pre-school style. I’m getting the gold stars and everything – I kid you not. Neat little columns for each day of the week and everyday will have a different thing to do. Hopefully that will keep things from getting overwhelming. I’d hate for Tucker to reach his breaking point.

So that’s the plan for this year.

No real resolutions…just things that need to be improved and we’re doing what we can to improve them though neither of us expect over night change.

Now that you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this behemoth [Bravo!], I’m curious about what stresses you out? What are you planning on changing or is everything hunky-dory at your place?

Leave your awesome and insightful comments below.

Image/Flickr

Comments

  1. Let me know how that Dave Ramsey thing goes. I hear it’s awesome. I need more discipline in that department. That is my first order of business for the new year.

    I’m also trying to be more productive and less time wastey, which is actually working out for me (well, I still waste tons of time, but work is actually being accomplished as well).

    And please shut up about how old you aren’t. That is all.

    • Is your kid peeing on the floor in your avatar? ?:-) I’ve always wondered that and couldn’t remember if I’ve asked before.

      The time wastey thing is an issue here too but I’ve always been a world class procrastinator.

      And as for bitching about my age, it’s my blog and I’ll bitch about it if I want to…well…until the birthday happens and then I’ll shut up until this time next year. :party:

    • He’s mooning you while modeling his hockey skates. Doesn’t translate well to a tiny avatar but I’m too lazy to change it. Ahh, procrastination.

      You will look back fondly and laugh about bitching about this age in about 6 or so years. Hahahaha. It is, after all, just a number. In my brain anyway, I have yet to reach your age.

    • You’re right, I am more mature. :clap:

      Is it bad that I’m stuck thinking I’m 23? That’s the first age that always comes to me when someone asks how old I am.

    • Um, I’m still stuck on 23. MAYBE 25 some days when I am like, “OH I am a parent and have responsibilities and stuff. I have to be older than that.” And I am way older than that. However, I have been blessed and am well preserved. Hahahaha. You look like you’re 18 dude.

    • Oh, and sometime I will take a pic of my breakfast bar thingy. I try to make sure to crop it out of Deacon pictures. It is heinous. I will not post it, but email it to you. You’ll feel better. I cleaned it exactly 18 days ago and you should see it now. Books, junk mail, DVDs, assorted crap…

    • Oh, you don’t want to email it to me. You never know what I’ll do with it. :devil:

  2. Charles Colp says:

    Hell yeah, that is what I am doing as well. Using the time the kids are home to get some help. That way @Twingly25 can come home from work, put her feet up, smoke a pipe with fuzzy slippers on, oh and shoot MW2 bad guys all night. I am the person in my house that stresses the most over clutter and it drives me insane. I have been known to secretly throw stuff away when the said owner wasn’t looking. Good luck and hope you get lots of stars!!!

  3. Decluttering is high on my list for next year, too. Even higher? Reclaiming my living room. Toys have taken over, and, sadly, most of them aren’t even played with. They’re just taken out and put on the floor to bug me. I’m convinced.
    I should probably exercise a bit more, too.

    I’ve heard great things about Dave Ramseys’ program – good luck!
    .-= LZ´s last blog ..My Granny-fabulous Christmas Gifts =-.

    • Exercise should be on my list but I’m not the best at keeping that promise so I didn’t add it.

      Though I suppose “body clutter” could totally go in this post. :rotfl:

  4. I am so over the bills thing myself! I’ve had a couple of friends do the Dave Ramsey thing, and have had great success with it! Good luck!

    As for the whole gold star thing…I swear that is what made me do stuff as a kid myself! Now, did it carry over? Meh, not so much. lol Anyways…I find going through things and de-cluttering them seems SO therapeutic in some ways. (I also may just be a bit nuts, but hey…whatever works right?) To know that there are things that I might have been holding on to for stupid reasons, and they are now onto folks who might actually USE them…feels good!

    Hope your little clan has an awesome new years Amy!!
    .-= Jolene´s last blog ..The Magic Word =-.

  5. I’ve been working on decluttering as well. We have one declared clutter-free zone so far – the dining room table. I’m slowly working on creating more clutter-free zones but no luck yet. I’ve had several friends do the Dave Ramsey thing and it’s worked out well for them – we’re not quite ready to take that step yet. Good luck to you!
    .-= darkfairymomma´s last blog ..Happily Ever After =-.

  6. Danyelle Bragwell says:

    well luckily every time I move I declutter so thats not really my problem since I move like most people change their underpants:)….my problem is the all or nothing syndrome….when I workout I’m like the energizer bunny for 4 months and eat nothing but rabbit food which in turn means I get where I want to be weight wise then all of a sudden its nothing….:/….so this year I’m going to cure myself of this disease….but not just in the exercise and weight department….because I do the all or nothing with just about everything lol….I may just have to use your system with the gold stars and all lol…my refrigerator will be a perfect place for it:)

    • SO like you. All or nothing but I tend to fall off the ole wagon after a few months of that.

      Trying to get better with that.

  7. Wow, sounds like you’re off to a great start. You’re the 2nd blogger I know doing the Dave Ramsey.. I should but I think I’m still in denial.

    Best luck to you in 2010!
    .-= Ari´s last blog ..2009 in Review: October – December =-.

Trackbacks

  1. Amy Tucker says:

    What stresses you out? Are you planning on changing anything for next year? http://bit.ly/6WRdeL

  2. Amy Tucker says:

    New Blog Post: Clutter and Stress Be Gone! http://bit.ly/8r2U2K

  3. Jenna Borum says:

    RT @Tastelikecrazy: New Blog Post: Clutter and Stress Be Gone! http://bit.ly/8r2U2K

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