Not Martha

Spring cleaning for my brain

I’ve found myself in the middle of some lack of inspiration and I decided to give into it. Recently it feels like nothing I try really works out: my very cool Easter project idea failed spectacularly (but I still have hope that I can do it for next year), I bought a pair of really comfy shoes I wanted to tell everybody about only to find that they squeak loudly when I walk, I cannot seem to capture what I want in my photographs. Graaah! Feel the power of overlapping small frustrations add up!

As part of my downtime I’ve decided to declutter the house, Spring cleaning for the house as well as my brain maybe? Shown above is a collection of keys that both Scott and myself have somehow collected over the years. With the exception of one we have no idea where any of these keys might work. There was a Nissan key in there and neither of us has ever driven a Nissan. That padlock was from my high school years and I couldn’t remember the combination even back then. So I’ve tossed the keys and my house became that much literally and figuratively lighter. High five, it’s working.

I’m making slow progress because I’m a very lazy person at heart. It’s overwhelming because this is the first place I’ve lived in for more than two years at a time as an adult and, predictably, I’m finding the amount of stuff you can shove into closets and forget about is incredible. Turns out I’m way better at shedding stuff when faced with the imminent threat of having to carry it all to a new home. These days it’s easier to pull everything out of a closet, toss a couple things and put it all back in, only a little more orderly looking this time. All the work and sense of satisfaction with none of the desired results!

I really need to get motivated, like Hulk Smash! style motivated. So far my plan is:

  • Highbrow: Watch and re-watch this TED talk by Graham Hill on less stuff equaling more happiness. I found this though a article by Jessica Adamiak that I will revisit when I need to remember bullet points.
  • Lowbrow: Watch episodes of Hoarders because nothing will inspire a craving for minimalism in me faster. Maybe I’ll write a prescription for myself to watch one per week.
  • Read Dinah Sanders’ Discardia. It’s in Kindle forrmat as well as good old fashioned book. Something I like from the first chapter: “Your first Discardian act should be to let go of feeling bad about what you haven’t gotten done by now.” Done! (I know Dinah from way back, hi Dinah!)
  • Rearrange my digital life as well. I need to set up a schedule (shudder) for backing up my iPhone, computers and cameras. And back up those back ups somewhere not in this house. I also need to rearrange and weed my bookmarks, Google Reader lists, Twitter lists, Gmail labels and be a better Facebook citizen. My hands feel heavy just thinking about all these things, but I know they’ll break me out of my current “I wonder if The Hairpin has posted anything new?” form of comfort surfing. Or at least I hope.
  • Remember that trash and recycling pick up is early on Friday mornings. Remember that on Thursday afternoons.
  • Acknowledge that crunchy snacks are a vital part of the process for me. Trader Joe’s Crunchy Curls are on the top of my list.

But I also could use help! Do you have any good motivations? Resources? Playlists? Scare tactics? Share, I beg you, if only so that I know I’m not alone in my sea of half-emptied closets.

· comments [54] · 04-20-2012 · categories:misc · mumbling ·

54 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kristen // Apr 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I wish I could say that I had ideas to add to your list, but I really don’t. In fact, I think I’ll use your list as a guide! I tend to get very, very overwhelmed by all this get-rid-of-your-clutter business (I overthink it to the point of just keeping everything, even things that don’t make me happy) but your list is concise and to the point. THANK YOU. And I am off to at least cleanup my online bookmarks on this computer, at least! :-)

  • 2 just barrie // Apr 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    A few suggestions:
    -Read The Happiness Project if you haven’t already. That in itself is a good kick in the pants.

    -Get carbonite for your computer. I can’t do things like dropbox because it forces you to remember to actually save stuff manually. Carbonite saves everything on your computer automatically, all the time. You can even access your computer from other computers, even if it’s stolen or burned to a crisp. It’s great!

    -Make a big, pretty list and make that the first thing you see in your office. Give yourself something to actually cross off. For me, I need the actual act of crossing something off to make it seem like a goal I’ve successfully accomplished.

    -And if you want to take it a step further, read Smart Women Finish Rich. It has literally saved my financial situation for the better. I followed every last thing he wrote in his book and I couldn’t be happier with my no debt status I’ve been upholding for a few years now! I believe I was able to buy our house because of it.

    Good luck! It’s daunting at first, but it’ll get better. I promise.

  • 3 Megan // May 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    The Library of Congress has a great site with tips about archiving all kinds of personal digital stuff. If you’re making plans to back things up regularly, they have some other helpful tips that you could work into that schedule, too.

  • 4 megan // May 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks Megan and barrie! Great tips.

    And thanks for the support everybody, may we all clear out our cobwebs in time for a great summer.

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