A Few Steps Forward

This week hasn’t been quite as productive as I had hoped, but the good news is that I’m actually starting to feel excited about house-related stuff again!

I had my consultation for my tooth (I have to get a dental implant, in case you missed that) on Tuesday. I so appreciate all of your comments sharing your own experiences! I’ve never had this done before, so I was expecting it to be similar to having my wisdom teeth out. But by the time I had my appointment, I had already read many of your comments telling me that this will be much easier than having wisdom teeth out, so I was feeling pretty calm by the time I arrived for my appointment. I go back for the actual procedure on December 22nd, and I’m not feeling the least bit anxious about it anymore. So thank you! Reading about your experiences really helped me know what to expect, and to feel pretty calm about the whole thing.

Anyway, Wednesdays are Lunch On The Patio with my mom, brother, and sister. We’ve been doing this every Wednesday for about a year-and-a-half. Everyone brings their own steaks, I grill them, and then we eat on my mom’s awesome covered patio. All of that to day that Wednesdays are never productive days for me, so I didn’t get a single thing done in the house.

But yesterday, I finally got started. I was hoping that I’d miraculously wake up yesterday morning just chomping at the bit to get started. Yeah…that didn’t happen. 😀 I dragged my feet all morning, finding convenient ways to waste my time. Then Matt and I had some lunch, and then I found a few more things to occupy my time.

Finally around 3:30, Matt said, “Okay, I know that you wanted to get started on the house today. Is there something I can do to motivate you? What if you just get up RIGHT NOW, set your timer for one hour, and see how much you can get done in that time?”

That’s exactly what I did. I got up, set my timer on my phone for one hour, put my earbuds in my ears, turned on a podcast, and got busy.

And do you know what happened? When my timer went off after one hour, I actually kept working! I was enjoying it! I just have such a hard time getting started sometimes, especially when my house is as out-of-control as it is right now. But once I get started, and I start to see progress, I enjoy it! And seeing the progress makes me want to continue.

So I’m actually looking forward to continuing today. But today, instead of listening to a podcast, I’m going to listen to the audio book that had such an impact on me at the beginning of this year — Decluttering At The Speed Of Life, by Dana K. White.

decluttering at the speed of life

If you’re having trouble getting your house in order, I highly recommend this book. I got the audio version, and then listened to it as I cleaned and organized. The more I listened, the more excited I got about the cleaning and organizing I was doing.

But I learned that it’s kind of like therapy. It’s not a one-and-done kind of thing, especially if you’re like me and have spent four-and-a-half decades developing very bad clutterbug habits. Just like a person may have to go to a therapist many times before experiencing a breakthrough, I have a feeling that I’ll need to listen to this audio book several times — maybe twice a year for the foreseeable future — in order to keep up the motivation and really develop some lasting habits.

Do y’all remember how excited I was about the purging and organizing at the beginning of this year, though? I mean, I was getting rid of a ton of furniture and clutter, hauling out bags and bags of stuff, and doing some quick and easy organizing projects, like organizing a few drawers in my kitchen

And then doing a little organizing in the hallway bathroom

But the bathroom organizing was the last organizing that I did. That’s when I started working on my mom’s kitchen, and then when I finished that project, I never back with the purging and organizing.

So even after I get my house clean again, I still have quite a bit of purging to do, and even more organizing projects that I want to get done. I’m looking forward to making a whole lot more progress on this front in 2021! But for today, I need to put my earbuds in, fire up the Audible app with Decluttering At The Speed Of Life, and continue with the cleaning. I’m determined to start 2021 off on the right foot!

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  1. I had to LOL at your post because I have to listen to this book at least once per year as well. I adore this book and I think of it as its own form of home therapy. It feels like the momentum energy builds so quickly once I begin working. But I often have to lie to myself in order to begin, “All I have to do is clean off this one corner of countertop.” And very quickly I realize that my whole kitchen is clean and I am moving onto other areas of the house. I cannot wait to see your progress.

  2. I absolutely love that you have “Lunch on the Patio” every Wednesday with your family! You say this isn’t “productive” time, but I respectfully disagree. Nothing is more important – or more productive – than the time we spend with people we love.

    You are such an inspiration and role model, even in how you manage your family relationships, not just your talents creating a stunningly beautiful home. Thank you.

  3. Yay for progress! And remember, PROGRESS is more important than perfect. As a recovering perfectionist, I have to remind myself of this truth. Nothing derails progress like perfection; and perfectionism destroys contentment. Here’s to a strong end to 2020! Cheers to and for you!

  4. My husband and I purchased one of your alcohol ink photography canvases and absolutely love it! We have the Spring #3 in 48″x36″ and it looks great! I am in awe of your artistic talents!

  5. What a balanced way to handle things, Kristi! Sparked on by Matt whose nudge remark was a gem, you are off to bigger things to be done in little steps.

    I am listening to a book called, “Tiny Habits” by B.J. Fogg (he is not in one, by any means.) I downloaded it via Kindle from Amazon.

    Best wishes.

  6. Matt’s suggestion to set a timer for one hour brought back memories of my sister and I sharing a room when we were kids. Our room was always a mess! When my mother pressed us to clean it up, we did the same thing by setting a timer for 20 min. and running around as fast as we could, picking up, dusting, etc. It didn’t seem like such drudgery if we did it that way.

  7. You have an amazing husband! So glad you are back. I have really missed you. I went and cleaned out all the kitchen appliances I have never used, brand new and I kept saying I might use them someday. Well, someday never came and years and years later they still sat there unused and brand new. I have a dining room table full of stuff to donate and I can’t wait to get rid of it. I feel so much lighter already. I have cleaned out my closets several times and still haven’t worn the stuff I’ll wear someday, still someday didn’t come and I just keep wearing the same 7 items over and over. Time to tear up the closets again. On another note, I had a root canal and I was so terrified out of my mind that he was going to cut my gum open to get to it. All he ended up doing was just drilling down through the existing tooth and put a post in and it was temporary until the permanent one came in. Of course, he numbed it and I never felt a thing. I thought, had I know that was all it was going to be, I wouldn’t have worried myself into a panic. Good luck with yours.

  8. Consider the Sonic Fusion waterpik. It will brush, rinse and floss in one device, just by pushing buttons. I can’t believe how much better it cleans my teeth. Good luck!

  9. I missed your posts. But I will never believe you are messy from looking at the pictures of your house. Maybe inside the closets and drawers but that is not too bad. A little trick I do is go into a room. While I straighten up. I sit down every now and then and look around and see how the room could be improved in neatness or arrangement. But I believe you already do this. Take one closet or drawer at a time, you don’t have that much to make up for. Relax.

  10. Yep, I’m another procrastinator…and that “just do it for one hour” is a GREAT suggestion. Thank you Matt!

  11. Glad you are back! I love the timer thing…I’ve used it with my children, myself and even friends…always works for me.

  12. I can only do 1/2 hour any more but it’s amazing what I can get done. Then I rest my back & go for another 1/2 hour. Like you, it’s just getting started. I usually make a list at night of what I want to do tomorrow. Sometimes I get all done, sometimes I don’t. But it’s something.

    This week my chiropractor is trying a new treatment. It seems to be working but it’s really kickin’ my butt! Finally got started on Christmas decorating yesterday. Tiny bits of progress! Yay!

    So glad to hear from you again. Missed you.

    1. I do the very same thing. My lower back is fused and my mid back and neck or a mess..I see a pain specialist at least yearly. But, half hr of work, then rest and repeat. Until…….I push a little too hard, do something stupid or trip on 1 of 2 of my little companions (furbabies). Life as we know it.

  13. One trick I use is to turn my back and look at the room holding a mirror. To me the room looks different in the mirror and I can see what I need to do next, or see how clean the room is. Why this works for me I don’t know, but it does.

  14. I bought the Kindle version of Decluttering at the Speed of Life back at the beginning of all of this COVID shutdown all because of a previous post by YOU! (Thank you, Kristi!!) Wow, what a GAME CHANGER. First book that really ‘clicked’ for me, so now I have so many areas organized and I just love it. It even got the family starting to look at belongings differently and starting to purge too. We’ve taken loads and loads to donate – it’s just great. Highly recommended read/listen!

  15. Hi Kristi, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one that does that, heehee! I died laughing when I read what Matt said to you, oh my, thanks for making my day! You go gettem and I will try too!

  16. Kristi.
    I think you would really enjoy listening to the Miracle Morning book (on Audible) (Hal Elrod)

    Kindest regards,