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5/5/18 11:15 P

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Oh yes, that's what it is called. I scrolled down very far. I didn't realize you started a new book.

By the way, I have a question. I was looking for a thread about someone who posted pics of their progress. Do you remember which thread that is called?

And also, there was another thread about someone who did really well and donated something like 100 bags. Does that ring a bell?



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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
5/5/18 10:46 P

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I think you're talking about Chapter 7 from the 'Hoarder in You'? We started a new book called "The Year of Less". Not working through it very fast because I don't like it much. The first few chapters were okay but it's gotten to be much more about her own life drama than the getting rid of stuff and not buying new stuff.



The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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5/5/18 10:24 P

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Chapter 7 is very helpful when you have some psychological reason for not really go of things.

It's the feeling if "wasting" money.

When I think about some things I have, I think I should sell them on Ebay, but that will take time and effort. So that makes me stop moving forward on it.

Also, I even save something like empty gift boxes, (like a perfume set that came in a nice box), and I have read that's about being a "perfectionist" and thinking you will need the box for something one day.

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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
4/12/18 11:16 A

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You will notice at the beginning of each chapter she puts how much she has saved! I guess that's how the blog s started, digging herself out of debt!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
4/12/18 10:31 A

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Thank you. This is going to be very interesting. But I want to get rid of the few debts I have while they are manageable.

Donna
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
4/11/18 7:34 P

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"The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store"
Here is more from Chapter One
"I couldn’t buy anything new, I also decided to get rid of everything old I didn’t use. One glance in any corner of my apartment showed me I had more than I needed, and I didn’t appreciate any of it. I wanted to start using what was already in my possession. I wanted to feel like everything had a purpose, and that whatever I brought through my front door in the future would also have a purpose."
"1 July: Taking Inventory
"I have always loved books and loved to read. But I have also always had a bad habit of buying more books than I’ll ever read in a month or even in a year. One of the many ways I mindlessly overspent money in the past was buying two books online instead of one, in order to get the total up to $ 25 so I could get free shipping. And even buying the first book was almost always done on impulse. I’d hear about something online or from a friend, jump on the website, then find something else that sounded good and add it to my cart, all to get that unpleasant shipping and handling fee down to $ 0. I did this at least once a month for probably close to a decade. At an average of $26 per order, that’s $ 3,120 and 240 books. I would guess I read 100 of them. The one good thing about all those moves I made in 2013 was that it showed me just how many unread books I owned but knew I didn’t want to read anymore.

Some were self- help books for things I no longer needed help with. Others were classics I thought I should read but which always put me to sleep. And more still were for projects I never seemed to get around to. I got rid of most of them in the course of moving—or so I thought. By the time I tackled the books during this declutter, I found I still owned 95. Deciding what to keep and what to donate wasn’t easy, but I committed to being
honest with myself. Was I really going to read this book one day? If the answer was yes, I put it back in its place on the shelf. If the answer was no, I put it in a bag. After making this decision 95 times, I kept 8 books I’d already read but still loved, and 54 I hadn’t read but still thought I would read one day. Then I donated 33 books (35 percent of my original total) to the Port Moody Public Library.

If I wasn’t going to read them, I wanted someone else to. Tackling things like office supplies was easy, because I didn’t have more than I needed of anything—except pens. For whatever reason, I had come into the possession of 36 pens. Nobody needed 36 pens. I kept eight, which was probably still too many, and gave the rest to a friend who was a teacher. Along with a few storage boxes, binders, and old notebooks, I removed 47 percent of my belongings from this room.

The kitchen was also a surprisingly—or perhaps not so surprisingly—simple room to put back together. It was already pretty minimal. I had what I felt was only a few too many cups, mugs, and dishes. I kept every appliance except for the blender, which I don’t think I’d ever used. I also sold my juicer, after realizing how much sugar the juice was putting into my body. Natural or not, I didn’t need it. I added half of my cookbooks to the bags of other books I was donating to the library. Even with the best of intentions, I had never used them. And after scaling back on the number of forks I kept in my utensil drawer, I got rid of 25 percent of what I once had.

Finally, I opened the cupboards in my bathroom and found three bags full of toiletries. I dumped the contents into the bathroom sink and watched them spill over onto the counter. There were the bottles of lotion and shower gel I had continually added to, but there were also a lot of tiny containers. Shampoos and conditioners I had picked up at various hotels. Samples that nobody ever asks to receive in the mail, but which are almost always kept so they “don’t go to waste.” Products passed down from family and friends who decide they don’t like them but think you might. Again, even with the best of intentions, I had never used most of it. Just the way I had always worn a uniform, I’d always had a minimalist beauty routine—and this stuff was not part of it. I emptied the containers of expired or half-used products, then bagged up what could be donated to a women’s shelter. Altogether, I got rid of 41 percent of my toiletries, and the rest fit into one bag that lived under the sink."

Edited by: IMLOCOLINDA at: 4/11/2018 (19:36)
The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
4/11/18 12:20 P

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I posted it on the first thread, "Reactions to What You Are Reading" along with a copy&paste from some Spark Mails I received! It should go here! But I don't think there will be many "chapters" . I'm still trying to figure out how to do it!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
4/11/18 10:07 A

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I can't believe it's been that long since we posted on this page.
I came back to look if you started doing the book and was amazed at how much time went by.
I am going to read the book with the link you sent, too.
I will keep checking back to see if you posted anything.
I know how busy it can get. Personally I spend too much time on this blasted thing. (I could be cleaning or gardening) I guess I will have to think about this as well.
Never a dull moment. emoticon

Donna
Lehighton, Pa
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Golden Phoenix
Focus....Eat right & keep moving!!
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
1/24/18 1:20 P

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emoticon I'm trying to do the same...not spend money on anything! Glad the new job is less stress and closer to home. I just finished up my 2 fill-in jobs. The old couple wanted me to continute to come and fix dinner for them 5-7 times a week. I just don't want to commit. I'm tired.

I had thought about offering to do Sat/Sun as the regular girl doesn't go there on weekends-which really makes no sense. I don't think he is very reliable about getting her blood sugar tests done and him filling those syringes using his huge magnifying glass is just not that safe. But that's the way they've been doing it. My boss at the senior center says, "not your circus, not your monkeys" and she is right. Still I worry.

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
1/24/18 11:27 A

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I agree with you. If we don't see it so much the better.
I follow along with the simplicity emails I get.
It is all about downsizing and living a minimalist life style.
If they try and sell a course I just follow along with the free blogs and emails.
I am still working on not spending days.
Today I did my old boss a favor and am driving for 2 days this week.
I already stopped in the grocery store, made a cash withdrawl, and stopped at the feed store.
ARRRGGGHHH! so much better not going into town.
emoticon

Donna
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BECCABOO127's Photo BECCABOO127 Posts: 17,533
1/19/18 12:10 P

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emoticon good for you! Glad your job is less stress too. emoticon

I unsubscribed to emails where I am tempted to buy something. I like my inbox for something other than a shopping tease.

If the mind mends, the body will follow.

Gluten free is working for me!

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Edison


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
1/19/18 11:46 A

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This month so far it is 7 days that I didn't spend or buy anything. (Includes food and everything)

I really have to cut down since I took another job and it is less money but closer to home and less stress.


Donna
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W,J,R&G
Golden Phoenix
Focus....Eat right & keep moving!!
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BECCABOO127's Photo BECCABOO127 Posts: 17,533
5/5/17 10:40 P

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I like the idea of how many days we don't spend money.

If the mind mends, the body will follow.

Gluten free is working for me!

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Edison


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
5/5/17 8:23 P

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I also am trying to spend less and pay off the bills we have.
I am working on saving money and I also try to see how many days I don't spend any money at all.

Donna
Lehighton, Pa
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W,J,R&G
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BECCABOO127's Photo BECCABOO127 Posts: 17,533
4/8/17 11:46 A

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My greater good is having more money in savings to pay various taxes.

My greater good is less stuff to dust and clean.

My greater good is less worry over how much energy I must conserve just to deal with stuff!

I am going to start a thread on this Linda! This will help me focus on all the benefits I will have to help me stay sane...lol!

If the mind mends, the body will follow.

Gluten free is working for me!

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Edison


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
12/24/16 1:42 P

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I get really frustrated by the billions of plastic bags too! I save them to take down to the senior center where they use them to send out 'meals to go' and also for the monthly commodities program. I also take them to the Salvation Army for them to use...but I get a couple bags of bags in the backseat of the car and they just seem to never make it to their destination!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
12/24/16 9:30 A

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Hi,
I am following along. I just read about the plastic bags. "That's me."
I am terrible with bags. I am trying to get better though. emoticon
I try to use my permanent bags but I do sometimes, (ok a lot of times) forget them in my car.
My goal from now on, this day, right now, is to "USE" my bags and stop bringing more into the house PLUS weed out those plastic bags.
emoticon emoticon

Donna
Lehighton, Pa
BLC 27-to-40
Powerful Prism Panther team
W,J,R&G
Golden Phoenix
Focus....Eat right & keep moving!!
Eastern time




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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
12/23/16 1:58 P

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Haven't had any comments here or in my Spark Mail about whether any of you are reading and enjoying getting the chapters in the spark mail?

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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MARIENOW's Photo MARIENOW SparkPoints: (14,101)
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11/14/16 8:37 P

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Thank you for posting all this info.

emoticon

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MARIENOW's Photo MARIENOW SparkPoints: (14,101)
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11/14/16 8:36 P

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(Edited - Just realized I should move my comment to a different thread.)

Edited by: MARIENOW at: 11/14/2016 (22:13)
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
8/30/16 1:43 P

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Thanks, Susan! All good info!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
8/30/16 9:15 A

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I posted Appendix A, COMPULSIVE HOARDING SAVED ITEMS QUESTIONNAIRE, in the Quizzes and Questionnaires thread.

All that's left is Appendix B, Dr. Robin's Love Your Life List -- But my fingers are tired from typing right now. I will get to it later after my hands get some rest. emoticon

Edited by: SPARKL3SUSAN at: 8/30/2016 (09:18)
"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


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SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
8/30/16 8:54 A

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[[The last chapter of The Hoarder in You, Chapter 9.]]


Chapter 9, KEEPING YOUR LIFE CLUTTER-FREE

….While a strong will and motivation are necessary elements for any type of change, these factors alone are not enough to combat the thoughts and behaviors that drive compulsive hoarding. The same is true, albeit to a lesser degree, for those of us on the lower end of the hoarding spectrum. Just because we fill up several garbage bags’ worth of unwanted stuff doesn’t mean we’ve conquered our clutter problem.

The good news is that maintaining the environment you’ve worked so hard to create will not be as difficult as it was to confront all of the issues that led to the clutter. And the other good news is that while keeping your home clutter-free will require regular care and vigilance, once your new habits take hold, they’ll quickly replace the ones you’ve been working to change. ….

As you maintain your newfound strategies of organization and order in your household, it’s important to manage your expectations. Clutter and the reemergence of emotional issues can sometimes creep up on you. For the most part, clutter is the result of your reluctance to make a decision about your possessions, and anxiety about those decisions doesn’t go away overnight. New decisions are likely to bring new anxiety, and you may need to learn and relearn how to question the cognitive distortions that led you to acquire and keep things in the first place. Like breaking any bad habit, learning how to think about things differently and substitute other, better habits is a process, and setbacks should be incorporated into that process.

….Viewing things as clear-cut successes or failures is a trap that only feeds procrastination and perfectionism. Sometimes my clients don’t even attempt to maintain their new sense of order because they fear that if they try, they will fail. It’s a common form of self-defeating behavior that many of us regularly engage in. Of course, when we engage in this kind of future-predicting cognitive distortion, we set ourselves up for failure.

You can either prove yourself right, or you can work toward overcoming your problem. Redefining success in this case to be something attainable, and celebrating your successes, small though they may be, sets you up for more success. Expecting a bit of “failure”—that is to say, building room for setbacks and imperfections into your process—is a way of keeping your expectations of yourself reasonable, and to continue moving forward. It’s a balance of being patient and compassionate with yourself, thinking realistically, and taking action.

….


THE GREATER GOOD MOVING FORWARD

What looks and feels easiest in the moment can create a lot more work and stress for you in the not-too-distant future. In the instant that you’re experiencing anxiety, whether it’s about what will happen if you pass up a good deal at a flea market or not wanting to think about the regret you’ll feel if you throw something away and need it later, you’ll do whatever you need to do to relieve that anxiety—which is usually to avoid the decision.

If you’ve been engaging in this behavior for years, you know where that gets you: a cluttered house. There’s a certain comfort in that predictability—even if it doesn’t feel good, you know how it’s going to feel. What’s not known is how you and your family will feel once you get your emotional and physical clutter in order, and even though that’s your goal, it can be a bit stressful to change your behavior and attitudes.

That’s where the Greater Good comes in. When you’re feeling anxiety or dread about organizing or clearing clutter, or even when you’re anticipating feeling anxiety about not being able to buy the things you want on your next trip to the mall, remember that you’re working toward a Greater Good that will improve your life in such a way that it’s worth confronting and tolerating the anxiety you feel in the moment.

…..It’s worth a few minutes now to think about what your Greater Good looks like. I’ll start you off with a few examples, and then you paint a picture of your own Greater Good.


YOUR GREATER GOOD

My Greater Good is having a better relationship with my spouse because there will be fewer resentments over our living space.

My Greater Good is having more money for things like vacations or those repairs on my house I’ve been saving up for because I haven’t spent it on smaller, spur-of-the-moment purchases that only add clutter to my home.

Now it’s your turn:

My Greater Good is ________________.

My Greater Good is ________________.



WORK WITHIN A SYSTEM

Think of maintaining your environment as a policy: There are things I simply must do because living in a calm, chaos-free home is important to me. Creating a daily system for yourself saves you from having to agonize over your decisions again and again each day. Your policy might include things like: I will make it a point to sort through the mail before dinnertime; or, “If I haven’t read the newspaper by the time I’m ready for bed, it goes in the recycling bin. Having these kind of simple rules in place prevents you from backsliding into behaviors and bad habits that led you to clutter your home in the first place.

Here are 5 tips that will help keep your system on track.

1. Schedule time every week to complete at least one project around the house. Don’t let anything interfere with that appointment, just as you wouldn’t let anything interfere with a work appointment or a doctor’s appointment.

2. If you are married or live with other family members or even have roommates, consider including those people in your clutter cleanup. Even if it’s not their problem or clutter, you might be surprised how important your family feels when they are asked to help.

3. Be a host: Invite a friend to come over once a week for coffee or offer to host book club meetings at your house. Knowing that others will see your home on a regular basis is good motivation to stay on track.

4. Keep a journal that will allow you to track your progress and accomplishments. It is critical that you acknowledge the positive steps you’re taking, as it will reinforce your new system and keep you on track. Focusing on what you haven’t accomplished is likely to lead you to start cluttering again.

5. Make your reward automatic. In other words, don’t decide that a clean space is reward enough. If you’ve accomplished your goals for the week and stuck to your system, maybe the family gets to enjoy Friday pizza night in your comfortable den, or you all get together and cook dinner in your clean, organized kitchen. Remind yourself of why it’s so enjoyable to have a clutter-free home.


STOP CREEPING CLUTTER WHERE IT STARTS

Keeping clutter to a minimum requires action on your part, as well as inaction: deciding not to bring something into the house if it has no home, for instance. Here are some tips on how to keep clutter from creeping up on you.

Nip it in the bud. One bowl in the sink can so easily become a bowl and a glass and then a sink full of dishes. …. If you’re prone to clutter and procrastination, it’s best to make the effort in the moment so a small project doesn’t turn into a daunting one.

Remember the OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. If you pick something up, do not put it back in the same place, unless it truly belongs there. Once in your hands, it should go where it lives, into the recycling, into the trash, or to the person it belongs to. If you find yourself picking things up and not actually decluttering, that’s the time to put the OHIO rule into effect.

Set a daily maintenance schedule. Consider putting 15 minutes aside in your day to go through a problem area (your desk, the kitchen table) and declutter. Set aside a half an hour on the weekend (or on your days off) for things like filing or more tedious projects. Think of it like brushing your teeth and showering—it’s basic maintenance that will keep your environment healthy.

Finish what you start. Shopping for groceries includes putting them away. Doing the laundry includes folding it and putting it away. Washing the dishes includes drying them and putting them where they belong. Leaving any job partly undone leads to procrastination and clutter, which begins to feel very overwhelming very quickly.

Regroup. If you find that you’re having a hard time staying on top of the clutter, go back to the principles covered in Chapters 5, 6, and 7, such as One In, One Out.



A WORD ON ACQUISITION AND AVOIDANCE

…..

It’s important to anticipate the old patterns you may fall into and plan to avoid them by creating new habits that support your Greater Good. If you tend to shop during your lunch hour at work, for example, set up lunch dates with coworkers or use that hour to go to the gym or walk outside and get some exercise. If you’re tempted by the dollar store you always pass on your way home from driving the kids to school, take a different route, and reward yourself by stopping for coffee on certain days instead.


IF THE CLUTTER IS TAKING OVER AGAIN

While I hope that this book took you a long way toward clearing the emotional and physical clutter from your life, sometimes you need more help than a book can provide. There are some powerful reasons that drive people to hoard or clutter, and if you are unable to make changes on your own or just want a bit more support, it can be helpful to see a therapist. Compulsive hoarding, as you know, can come about or be exacerbated by many factors, such as a person’s biology, childhood trauma, past abuse, a major loss, or deprivation. These issues can be hard to process on your own.

How do you know when you could benefit from therapy? Consider seeing a therapist if any of the following statements apply to you.

• You’re having trouble dealing with the emotions that are arising as you attempt to organize and clean your home, and the sadness or anxiety you’re experiencing is interfering with your everyday life.

• You are living with someone who is not supportive of your efforts to improve your home and may be trying to block your success.

• Your relationships with family members are not healthy, and you’re not sure how to get back on track.

• You are in a crisis situation (your home is unsafe, for instance) and need immediate assistance.

I very much hope that you’ve found the tools and information in this book helpful and that you’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding of your relationship to your possessions, and of your place on the clutter continuum. While I believe we can all agree that possessions are a useful and potentially enjoyable part of life, too much stuff can have both physical and emotional consequences that affect us negatively. I know that the steps you are taking to manage your clutter will result in a more enjoyable, less emotionally cluttered life.

Finally, remember to be kind to and patient with yourself. Change takes time, so give yourself that gift. With an eye toward your Greater Good, you will have a new direction that will have paid off and been well worth the work.


[[I will repost some of these checklists in a separate thread for those who aren't keeping up with this thread.]]

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


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SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
8/30/16 8:50 A

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Here's the end of Chapter 8 of The Hoarder in You.


OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

It is the rare person who jumps for joy at the idea of spending the day indoors, dressed in work clothes and making stressful, sometimes emotional decisions about his possessions. We all come up with excuses to avoid doing what we know we need to do. One of the most common ones I hear is that the person doesn’t have the time or would prefer to spend her time with her family. To people who say they don’t have the time, I answer, “Really? But you have time to go to garage and yard sales, on shopping sprees, and on other tempting acquiring trips? It would be interesting to log how many hours were spent hunting and gathering and compare that to how long it would take to declutter.” ….

And remember, no one is suggesting that you’ll be able to do everything in a single day or do it all perfectly. Many people who struggle with compulsive hoarding and those with clutter issues have unrealistic expectations about themselves. Make a schedule that works for you, and begin to trade some of the behaviors that have led to the problem for behaviors that help to remedy it. If you have a setback—and you probably will—it is not a tragedy. Just dust yourself off and get back on track. As for wanting to spend time with you family rather than decluttering, consider what it would be like to spend time with your family in an ordered, uncluttered environment. As your house becomes organized, you will likely have less stress, less guilt, and more of an opportunity to give your family the kind of quality time that you and they deserve to enjoy.

When people say that they don’t have the time to declutter, often what they mean is they aren’t in the mood or don’t want to have to go through the work of making the hard decisions. …. Put those uncomfortable feelings on the shelf and move toward creating change. It’s been my observation that when clients give themselves a little distance from those feelings, and can do something positive in the meantime, they will feel better about themselves and the situation, and perhaps determine a different response than they might have had otherwise.

Lack of storage space or the right kind of shelving is another common excuse for not decluttering. Decluttering is not about making more room to accommodate all your stuff by finding space in closets, makeshift storage bins, or those plastic vacuum-packed storage bags that you see on TV. You’re looking to make your home comfortable and livable, relaxing, and peaceful, one that is pleasing to the eye and that doesn’t contain so much stuff that you can’t access what you need. Instead of thinking about where you’re going to put everything, think about purging what you don’t use or need and seeing what’s left over. In the future, focus on controlling what comes in. This will help you to determine whether you truly do or do not need more shelving, or room to place items.

The truth is that defeatism is often at the root of these thinking patterns—“No one will help me”; “I don’t know where to start”; or “What’s the point? It’ll just get messy again.” And it’s understandable that you might feel overwhelmed before you even begin. Trying to change habits can be a long, exhausting process. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that you’ve had difficulty in the past. But now, you have new tools that you didn’t have before. I am frequently reminded that most people who have cluttering or hoarding problems don’t truly know how to go about clearing the clutter and changing their behavior. …. This is where you need to give yourself credit for trying, and to put into action the concepts you’ve been learning in this book.

In fact, rather than thinking about the past, consider moving forward to the future. It’s time to start looking at what you can do, not what you can’t. You will have struggles, and you’ll feel like giving up. But remember, those feelings are temporary and have only as much power as you give them. It may be a cliché, but it’s true: Take one step at a time, or in this case, get rid of one item at a time.


CLUTTER AND PETS

…If you have a pet or are considering getting one, evaluate the impact on your environment before you commit.

• Pet hair can be time consuming and difficult to clean up. If you do have a shedding pet, investing in a vacuum that is designed for pet hair can help keep it under control.

• Litter boxes require daily maintenance. I recommend linking the act of cleaning it out to something else you do every day without fail, like taking out the garbage. Do it before or after, which will help to reduce the accumulation.

• Pet food and accessories add clutter to a home. Just like any other family member, your pet should have a place for his things: a hook for his leashes, a bin for his toys, and airtight containers stored in a designated place for his food.

• Properly caring for your pets and maintaining the environment they (and you) live in requires a substantial time commitment. If you already have a difficult time maintaining order in your home, this is an important consideration.


[[Next: Chapter 9 (the last chapter), KEEPING YOUR LIFE CLUTTER-FREE]]

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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I am in the process of cleaning out my car so I can get it all packed up with lots of stuff I am taking to OR on my vacation and not bringing back. And when I get back will tackle the garage so my mom can get her car in this winter.

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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THE GARAGE AND ATTIC

…. Many of the people I work with can’t even park their cars in their garages because they’re so filled with stuff. Storing items in garages and attics is often an example of churning, or simply moving things from one space to another instead of dealing with them in a more permanent way.

[Another] problem with storing things in attics, basements, and garages is that items kept in these spaces tend to suffer from climate control and sometimes even exposure to the elements or to pests. … Basements are also prone to leaks and flooding, which can create mold problems.

Tips to declutter an attic, garage, or basement:

• Don’t simply store stuff without a plan. Many people store items in these spaces that they simply don’t know what else to do with. While the attic is the perfect place to keep childhood memorabilia to share with your grandchildren, it’s not idea to store a box of toys that are usable but not especially valuable. It might be better to donate or dispose of them after they’ve outlived their use.

• Recruit a helper. Ideally, this would be someone, perhaps a family member, who would find it fun and interesting to dig through family artifacts. If your helper is a family member, he or she may even be interested in taking some extra items off your hands.

• Find new homes for your stuff. What do you do with the children’s snow boots that were worn but not worn out? Or the luggage that works fine, but you have luggage that you prefer to use? Why not sell them on eBay, or post a listing on Freecycle.com, a network made up of people across the country who are looking to pick up free or donated items? If you decide to resell or donate in this way, though, make sure to make time within a week to do so; otherwise, the stuff finds its way back into your house and contributes to the clutter.

• Donate whole collections. …. It’s fine to donate whole collections of things [[such as an old electric train set]] that once had meaning but no longer do.

• Accept that some things will not be put to use. This includes projects that you started but not completed….. Acknowledging that you were not able to complete a project allows you to move forward to those that you can actually get to.

• Dispose of anything that has an odor or is destroyed by mildew or other contaminants.


[[Next: OVERCOMING YOUR OBSTACLES]]

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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THE CAR

…. A cluttered car, of course, means a less comfortable driving experience, and on occasion a less safe one. Digging around for a toll pass in a compartment full of papers, eyeglass cases, and cell phone chargers can distract you from the road and become a safety issue. For that reason alone, it’s important to declutter your car.

Some tips for a clutter-free car:

• Toss, don’t just relocate. When you get in your car, rather than throwing the soda can or other loose items into the back, take the 30 extra seconds to collect and throw out garbage. Also clear out things that don’t belong in the car…. Bring them inside and distribute them where they belong.

• Set aside a few hours a week as purge time. Go to the recycling center, the food pantry, or wherever it is you’ve been meaning to bring the things in the back of your car. Trying to fit it in between commutes and drop-offs adds stress to your day, but taking care of things in the moment will make you feel accomplished and help to declutter your car.

• Invest in some inexpensive over-the-seat organizers for the back seat so children can learn to put away their things rather than tossing them on the floor.

• Place a canvas or nylon bag over the back of one of the seats and line it with a kitchen garbage bag for food or other items to be disposed of. Empty the trash as you would in your home as you leave the car.

• Stay on top of it. Every week go through your car to ensure that there are no items that need to be thrown away or taken inside to be put away.


[[Next: THE GARAGE AND ATTIC]]


"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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Chapter 8, Room by Room continued...

THE BATHROOM

Most of us use far fewer toiletries and cosmetic items than we have, but we have a hard time parting with even our unused goods….. Give yourself permission to throw away an item that you bought with the best of intentions but that is now only cluttering up your bathroom. The guidelines below will help you determine how long it is safe to keep various bathroom items. Be sure to dispose of any products or medicines that are past their prime.

• Medications: These should be discarded after their expiration dates, and this includes both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Most lose their efficacy and are not dangerous, but especially if you have children in the house, it’s a good idea to discard anything that is expired. Mix unused medications with coffee grounds or other garbage to render them unusable to anyone who might be foraging for drugs.

• Toiletries: Like most medications, toiletries such as shaving cream or shampoo will not become harmful if they’re old, but they may not work to their full potential. Odds are, if you haven’t used them in months, and continue to buy a particular brand and use it before you use the bottle that you have in your shower, you’re not going to use it. The value of a clutter-free bathroom is greater than having a just-in-case bottle of shampoo that you don’t use occupying your counter.

• Cosmetics: Manufacturers are not required by law to put expiration dates on labels, so it’s hard to know exactly when to get rid of old makeup. Some ingredients in moisturizers tend to become unstable and lose efficacy over time if they’re opened, so if you haven’t used an item in 6 months, it’s a good idea to get rid of it, simply because even if you do get around to using it, it won’t work as well. As for those travel bottles you accumulate from hotels and the like, pack a bag that you can have ready to go for your next trip, and include some there. Whatever doesn’t make it to that travel bag gets tossed, or you can bring them (that same day!) to a homeless shelter where they’ll be used. Toss any makeup that smells odd, has dried up or separated, or has changed color. Do not keep mascara after 3 months, and never save any eye makeup that you used when you had an eye infection (you can reinfect yourself). Some products do have expirations dates, but if they’ve been stored improperly or left open, they may contain bacteria even if they aren’t expired. Natural products tend to deteriorate faster.

[[Next: The Car]]

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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More of Chapter 8, Room by Room

THE BEDROOM

"...clearing the clutter from your bedroom can afford you peace of mind and help create a sanctuary in which you can unwind at day's end. The emotional clutter that will be cleared away along with the physical clutter can help you feel more refreshed and in control of your environment.

Tips for decluttering the bedroom:

• Set up a sorting station. This can be the bed or the floor, but it’s an area to be used only for sorting. If you store anything there, you will wind up frustrated and create more clutter.

• Secure four bins or bags: donate, laundry, throw away, put away.

• Start with the floor and begin to sort. Everything should wind up in one of the above bins or bags. Move on to clothing that’s thrown over chairs or on surfaces. Then start with the things that are hanging in your closet. You may want to do one section at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed.

• If an article of clothing doesn’t fit, it goes in the donate box. There are many shelters and charities that would really appreciate your gift.

• If you haven’t worn an item in a long time, only keep it if it truly has a special history, or if it is a classic. Otherwise, consider donating it. If you hesitate about whether to keep something, it’s usually a sign that it should go.

• Decide how you want your bedroom to feel, and exile everything that doesn’t fit into your vision. The bedroom can become part workspace, part library, and part storage area, with all the stuff you’d expect to see in those places causing it to be cluttered….. Try to keep only what you actually use in the bedroom in the bedroom, and you will wind up with a more serene space in which to unwind and may even find it easier to sleep…. Keep the best three sets of sheets you have for your bed, and consider donating the rest or make them into rags. If you need more at a future date, you can get them then. Remember: You don’t need to keep something because it has potential to be useful.


[[Next: The Bathroom]]

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


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Continuing Chapter 8, Room by Room.

THE LIVING ROOM OR FAMILY ROOM

"The living room is where families congregate, and keeping it uncluttered can be an ongoing challenge. If your living room doubles as a family room, at any time you're likely to find toys, games, reading material, and backpacks with school supplies spilling out of them thrown down on the couch.

In some homes, the living room is a formal room and is decorated more carefully than other parts of the house. This is where many people entertain, and if your living room is used less often than other rooms in the house, everyday clutter is not so much the issue as the room becoming a museum of sorts, housing artifacts and knicknacks you don't know what else to do with. Too many of these, of course, creates clutter. Oftentimes the living room contains our grandmother's Depression glass vase, or our great aunt's antique clock--in other words, things you would probably not have chosen for yourself. These family heirlooms may have been passed down through the generations, but they can also create a lot of clutter on tabletops, mantles, and other areas. Remember, just because an item is old or came from a family member doesn't mean it's truly valuable and meaningful to you.

....Tips for clearing your living or family room of clutter:

* Ask yourself: Do the items in your living room please you to look at, or have you displayed things in a way that you think will please your visitors? Does that ceramic figurine on the mantle make you happy, or do you feel like it's not your taste but you'd feel guilty getting rid of it? Our living rooms should be attractive places for entertaining, but the most important thing is that the room is attractive and functional for you.

* Reconsider what "value" means to you. You might have an expensive painting that doesn't particularly go with the decor in your home. It is worth a lot of money, or would be if you sold it. But you don't care for it, and you are not planning on selling it. So what value does it have, in reality? Unused and unsold, probably not much. It may even make you feel uncomfortable, like you "should" like it, because it was expensive. I would encourage you to think about the item's value to you personally--do YOU like it and does it add to the environment you want in your living room? If not, consider selling it or pass it along to a family member or friend who might enjoy it.

* Take care of what you are getting rid of right away, putting it into the trunk of the car or calling the friend you're giving it to and asking her to come pick it up as soon as possible. If it sits, it will likely be reabsorbed by the room and become part of the clutter again. What's more, the longer it remains, the more likely you are to second-guess your decisions to give it away or donate it.

If this is the room where your family spends the most time together, insist that each family member adopt the rule in effect in national parks: Whatever you come in with, you need to carry out. ....

THE HOME OFFICE OR WORKSPACE

.... Your home workspace should allow you to catch up with your work without having to actually go into the office--it should be a space that feels positive and productive. But when you walk into a cluttered home office, it's likely that you dread having to work from home.

I believe that disorganized home offices are largely a result of the fact that most of us don't know what is reasonable to toss and what needs to be kept. That, combined with the cognitive distortions that rise around the items we keep in these spaces, makes the home office a prime clutter spot.

...If you take the time to clear the clutter from your home office, you'll find yourself far more efficient and the work you do there more pleasurable.

Tips for clearing your home office of clutter:

* Schedule a work day to organize and purge your home office....If you consider [organizing it and putting things away properly] part of your job to make your workplace the most efficient it can be, it will save you time and effort in the long run, and make you a more efficient worker.

* Focus on the Greater Good. Few of us enjoy big projects like tackling the clutter in our home offices. Almost anything seems more important in the moment than decluttering. That's when you need to remember the larger goal, in this case less stress and a calm and organized work environment....Ask yourself what Greater Good you would benefit from if you got your home office in order.

* Reframe self-defeating talk as success. As we were sorting through her [client's] papers, [the client] made comments like, "I hate this" and "I can't believe I let it get this bad." I validated her feelings that what she was doing was hard and that it was understandable that she hated doing it. But I also encouraged her to consider that negative comments about the condition of her home office only resulted in her feeling worse about herself. We focused instead on the progress she'd made, and what she was doing to prevent the clutter from accumulating instead.

* Acknowledge the fact that you may, in fact, lose something you need. Sometimes when you do a major cleanup, you accidentally throw away a document you meant to keep--but it is never the tragedy that you anticipated it to be. You'll work through the situation and figure out a solution to the problem (locate a replacement document, or live without it). Realizing that you can manage your feelings if you lose one piece of paper will actually help you feel less anxious about getting rid of your clutter in the future.

* Pluck and purge before creating a system. Instead of going out and buying bins and files and storage drawers and then tackling the room, spend some time plucking and purging. By this, I mean standing in the space and first collect the things that can definitely go. These include trash, junk mail, broken items, and things you've been meaning to give away but haven't. In so doing, you'll make room for what you do want to keep, as well as give yourself space to organize. If there's too much stuff, it's hard to tell what kind of system you even need, so make sure you get rid of enough so that you can evaluate what kind of system makes sense for you.

* Keep your system simple. Many people who compulsively hoard have such optimistic and elaborate ideas of what their organizational system needs to look like that they become paralyzed in inaction. A system doesn't need to be complicated. You could create a simple, color-coded filing system (red folders for interviews, blue folders for drafts of papers, green folders for financial documents, for example), or you can organize your documents alphabetically, chronologically, or by category--however you best remember things.

* Question your thought distortions. [The client] held on to each draft of her various papers and said she didn't want to discard things she may later need, but the reality was she also felt a deep emotional connection to these papers, which for her represented years of hard work. To discard them felt like discarding those many hours of work and research, and the recognition she received along with it. We talked about this concept, and when we questioned it, she saw that she was basing her decisions about keeping her documents on a belief that wasn't accurate. Getting rid of articles she no longer had any use for didn't discredit her hard work. In the end, she decided that she needed to keep only the final versions of the articles."

[[Sparkle's note: I will be posting a list of ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS that you need to keep. I'll post the list in the "Quizzes and Questionnaires" thread. I think it would be good to look it over before you begin pitching and purging your documents.]]


"* Start scanning. If you don't have a scanner, consider borrowing one and digitizing your documents. If you don't have time to do it yourself, it's the perfect job for a tech-savvy teenager. You can put everything on disks and back it up on an external hard drive so you'll be doubly covered should you need anything. The way you organize things digitally can also be very simple--by date, by project, whatever works for you. Then you can toss the papers, since you can always print them out again if you need them. There are very few things you need original documents of.

* Start shredding. The junk mail that comes along with your bills is a major source of clutter, says Dorothy, and is highly likely to be completely useless, so it should go right in the shredder. As for financial documents that you no longer need, those too should be shredded. Many statements and tax documents contain account numbers and other personal bits of information that are valuable to an identity thief. It's always a good idea to shred these rather than simply recycling them.

* Work on one area of the office at a time, and stay focused on the task at hand. While you're organizing the desk, avoid answering e-mails and reading through the letters or journals you find there. Remember, you are there only to organize.

* Declutter your e-mail inbox. Your e-mail inbox can be a frustrating source of clutter, even though e-mails do not take up personal space.....The reality is that people are getting overwhelmed by all of the e-mail entering their inboxes. Information can get buried, and it's hard to know what is safe to delete. Start by consolidating your accounts if you have more than one for work and one for home.

* Begin deleting conversations. Within each account, sort e-mails by whom they're from, and start deleting. You can often delete entire correspondences with some people with whom your business is over, or even Facebook alerts. That will help you to make progress more quickly. As for e-mails you're not sure you want to delete because you don't want to lose critical information, create "action required" folders ("action required--salary negotiation," "action required--family reunion," etc.). Mark your calendar with the days you will work on these virtual folders. You can do two or three a day until you're done. I recommend devoting 15 minutes per week to deleting e-mails to keep the project from becoming overwhelming that you just avoid it.

* Moving forward, sort through your loose papers and e-mails at a scheduled time once a week or once every two weeks. This is where the Greater Good comes back in: It seems much easier to just drop a bill on the desk or leave an e-mail in your inbox, but how much longer would it take to make a decision about where it really belongs? Making the decision to file a paper in the moment helps you achieve your larger goal of reducing physical clutter, which will in turn reduce emotional clutter."




[Coming up next: THE BEDROOM.]

Edited by: SPARKL3SUSAN at: 8/20/2016 (10:53)
"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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emoticon emoticon emoticon

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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I just saw that there's just one more chapter after this one, and the rest are appendices, so yes, I think I'll be able to finish it. emoticon

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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I can do what I can. I'm borrowing this ebook from the library and I don't know when it's going to disappear. Also, since it's an ebook, I have no idea how much of the book is left. But I shall do my best.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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Great! Do you think you could finish out the book as I am trying to get packed and ready to leave for vacation but first have to finish up harvest and drive down to the VA for a knee injection so it would be a great help!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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"HOW LONG CAN FOOD BE SAFELY STORED IN THE REFRIGERATOR?

STORAGE TIMES FOR REFRIGERATED FOODS

Ground Meat, Ground Poultry, and Stew Meat
Ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, and lamb.............1-2 days
Stew meats.....................................
..................1-2 days

Fresh Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb, and Pork)
Steaks, chops, roasts...................3-5 days
Variety meats (tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings..........1-2 days

Fresh Poultry
Chicken or turkey, whole............1-2 days
Chicken or turkey, parts...........1-2 days
Giblets............1-2 days

Bacon and Sausage
Bacon..........7 days
Sausage, raw, from meat or poultry..........1-2 days
Smoked breakfast links and patties.........7 days
Summer sausage marked "Keep Refrigerated".......Unopened, 3 months; opened, 3 weeks
Hard sausage (such as pepperoni).........2-3 weeks

Ham and Corned Beef
Ham, canned, marked "Keep Refrigerated"............Unopened, 6-9 months; opened, 3-5 days
Ham, fully cooked, whole........7 days
Ham, fully cooked, half..........3-5 days
Ham, fully cooked, slices.......3-4 days
Corned beef in pouch with pickling juices........5-7 days

Hot Dogs and Lunchmeats
Hot dogs........Unopened package, 2 weeks; opened package, 1 week
Lunchmeats.....Unopened package, 2 weeks; opened package, 3-5 days

Deli and Vacuum-Packed Products
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, tuna, ham, and macaroni salads........3-5 days
Prestuffed pork, lamb chops, and chicken breasts.........1 day
Store-cooked dinners and entrees.........3-4 days
Commercial-brand vacuum-packed dinners with USDA seal......Unopened, 2 weeks

Cooked Meat, Poultry, and Fish Leftovers
Pieces and cooked casseroles.........3-4 days
Gravy and broth, patties, and nuggets........3-4 days
Soups and stews.......3-4 days

Fresh Fish and Shellfish
Fresh fish and shellfish.............1-2 days

Eggs
Fresh, in shell........3-5 weeks
Raw yolks, whites........2-4 days
Hard-cooked.......1 week
Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes.......Unopened, 10 days; opened, 3 days
Cooked egg dishes.........3-4 days

Source: The United States Department of Agriculture Refrigeration and Food Safety Fact Sheet."
---
[My own disclaimer here: I have proofread this, but I take no responsibility for any typos. Use this list at your own risk. You can probably find this information online.]

Edited by: SPARKL3SUSAN at: 8/16/2016 (10:04)
"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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More on Chapter 8. The Kitchen.

"Here are some strategies to help you organize your kitchen and cut down on clutter:

-- Make a weekly grocery list after fully surveying the contents of your refrigerator and cupboards. When you shop, try not to deviate from this list. Knowing exactly what items you need to create a week's worth of meals and purchasing only those items will allow you to cut down on kitchen clutter significantly.

-- Treat yourself and your family as you would guests in your own home. If you wouldn't serve something to them, it's likely you wouldn't to you and/or your family, either.

-- Rethink your concept of waste. It may feel wasteful to get rid of uneaten food or food-storage containers that you're not using, but if you don't have room to keep them, it's wasteful to let them take up space. Plus, their presence in your kitchen is a constant reminder of the fact that you feel as though you've made a mistake by purchasing them.

-- If you have a newer, fresher version of a food item, throw out the older version even if it's "still good" in theory. For instance, if you have a half-used box of pasta that's been sitting in your pantry for 2 years and you just bought a box of your favorite brand of pasta at the supermarket, throw away the old, half-empty box. It's likely that you are not going to use it if you have a newer one. If the item is not expired or opened, you can donate it to the food pantry.

-- Treat countertops as work areas, not as storage areas. If something doesn't fit into your pantry, cabinets, or refrigerator, then it shouldn't be purchased. Even if you have a small kitchen with little storage space, you can still avoid clutter by not bringing in more items than you have room for. It may require you to make more frequent trips to the grocery store, but having a clean, organized kitchen is worth the extra work.

-- Organize your pantry in a way that makes sense to you--and remember that it doesn't have to be perfect. Your goal here is to be able to see what you have and ensure you have easy access to everything you need. Storing foods like rice, cereal, and pasta in clear containers is often helpful for visually oriented people. The same thing goes for pots and pans and cooking utensils. It might be helpful to store seldom-used utensils in a separate drawer from the everyday knives and spatulas, so you needn't sort through them to find what you need. Likewise for pots and pans; a hanging rack is a good way for visually oriented people to store them, and it saves storage space for things that are used less often.

-- Consider quality as well as safety. Food kept in the freezer (0 degrees F) is safe to eat, even if it has freezer burn, but the quality and taste suffer the longer it's in the freezer. In cleaning out the freezer, think realistically about the likelihood that you're eat an item that is gray and crystallized, even if it's technically safe to consume. If you've passed by frozen pork chops in favor of ones bought more recently, it's likely that you're not going to eat the older ones. You deserve to eat food that tastes good, even if you made the mistake of buying too much of it so that some of it has spoiled or been damaged by freezer burn. Part of getting a handle on clutter is thinking about the kind of life you want to be living, and in all likelihood that's one in which your food is enjoyable as well as safe."

Edited by: SPARKL3SUSAN at: 8/16/2016 (09:37)
"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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I got the book back from the library, so I can help out with posting parts of the book. Okay, Chapter 8, where you left off.

"Here are ways to organize your entryway and cut down on clutter:

-- Install hooks. Consider a hook for your keys so they're always in the same location each time you enter and leave the house. Hooks for other items you use daily (such as dog leashes, reusable shopping bags, sunglasses, and coats) are also helpful.

-- Create a family message center. Dorothy suggests using an inexpensive cardboard vertical file and marking a slot for each family member. Any mail or flyer or classroom permission slip that enters the house, any photograph you want your husband to look at, and any note that you want to pass along to your child goes into that person's slot.

-- Keep a small, attractive trash bin near the family message center. It should serve as a constant reminder that trash doesn't need to come any farther into your home. Flyers stuck under your door, receipts that were in your coat pocket, junk mail, and other unneeded items that can cause clutter go straight into the bin.

Edited by: SPARKL3SUSAN at: 8/16/2016 (09:13)
"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
8/12/16 11:12 P

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More from Chapter 8.
The Entryway, Hall or Mudroom
"This is a commonly cluttered area because it's the first place you walk into - it's where you take off your coat and put down your things after you walk in the door- and it's where stuff tends to accumulate."

"While entryways are often small spaces, they have high potential to increase your emotional clutter, because so many of the things we need on a daily basis get lost there. And because we must pass through that area several times a day in order to go about our daily lives, it's especially important that it's organized. Perfectionism and procrastination often play a part in cluttered entryway, because we think, "I'll just put it here for now" as a means of putting off finding our items the right home."

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/22/16 2:00 P

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CHAPTER EIGHT ROOM BY ROOM
I'm only going to skim the high points in this chapter. Will try to post some every day but I won't make any promises.

"Each of us has our own unique clutter issues, but there are some common struggles we all face when it comes to keeping our homes tidy and organized. Because most people tend to have one or more 'problem areas' in their homes, I've structured this chapter by locations in and around the home so that you can easily find the advice most relevant to you. Bear in mind, though, that even if you don't have a problem with clutter in one of the area of your home listed in the pages that follow, it an still be beneficial to read the recommendations in each section to learn more about organizational systems that could work for you."

Many of these tips are from the professional organizer, Dorothy Breininger from the show, "Hoarders" so if I type, 'Dorothy' that's who I will be referring too!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/22/16 1:53 P

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Laziness lurks in the corners of every room in my house...and I do understand about the heat wiping you out too! I've had a pretty good week...using tips from the book and it's getting easier. Plus having to start my harvest cooking job a day early made a kind of 'emergency' that made it easier to just chuck stuff to get it out of the way. I have to haul coolers full of ice so the car had to be cleaned out and most of the stuff I just chucked. I didn't do the donate or recycle. Just seemed like too much trouble and let the stuff go. Was easier than 'saving' it. I didn't even feel guilty about doing that which is new for me!



The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
7/19/16 7:31 P

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Hi,
I got rid of a lot of my Yoga Journal Magazines and I mean from 2013. That was a lot.
I am going to clean and declutter all day tomorrow.
Yesterday I couched it. It was so hot to do anything. Laziness took over.
Hope you have a great evening.
emoticon

Donna
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/14/16 5:19 P

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The LAST subsection of Chapter Seven!!!!
"WHAT NEXT?"
"In Chapter 8, you'll discover how to apply the principles you've just learned in different spaces. Some people have certain rooms in their homes that are more cluttered than others, or particular areas - clothes or financial paperwork - that they have a hard time organizing. As you read through Chapter 8, you will likely see yourself in several of the scenarios; what's important to this process is to take the best and leave the rest. That is, not every bit of advice, tip, or rule is going to apply to you or work well for you. There is no single right way to declutter or organize that works for everyone, so stay close to what feels right for you and your environment and your mind will feel clearer in no time."

***I love this!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/14/16 4:31 P

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emoticon I haven't gotten nearly as much done this week as I had planned. I took more breaks and slept more than I would have liked but still feel like it's been a pretty good week and have today and tomorrow to knock out more stuff. The book reallly 'spoke' to me in ways that others haven't! I'm glad that it is speaking to so many others and appreciate all the comments and sharing of what is working. I think it's great that we have this sounding board!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
7/14/16 10:34 A

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I got my e book yesterday and am trying to catch up.
It is very interesting and I can barely put it down. I am still reading all your posts and I enjoy and value your input.

Donna
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/14/16 1:04 A

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"WAYS TO KEEP THINGS WITHOUT KEEPING THEM"

"In the treatment..., I often discourage clients from photographing items as they get rid of them in order to 'save' the item without physically saving it. Even though a photo of an item takes up less space than the item itself, I encourage them to get rid of it without a photo as part of their exposure therapy: It's important that they experience the anxiety of letting go of an item, to learn that they can handle letting go."

Get rid of the piano you inherited but no one plays but take a picture of the family around the piano to keep, place it in a beautiful frame and donate the piano where it will be used and enjoyed. Other ways to 'save' items without keeping them include making a quilt out of old clothing; using an item for a different purpose elsewhere in the house (a beautiful latter could be hung on your wall); framing a treasured item in a shadow box; or rather than saving every bit of art a child creates, framing one piece, and replacing it each year with a new piece in the same frame."

***None of these things would work for me, because it would be another craft project that I wouldn't do so would just stay in a pile or a box. It needs to just be gone in my case...Linda


The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/14/16 12:56 A

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Still in Chapter Seven and this section is called 'WHEN YOU JUST CAN'T DECIDE ABOUT AN ITEM' and I will only do the highlights as it could also be under the Quizzes tab.

"When I work with people who struggle with compulsive hoarding, I encourage them to go through their possessions carefully and question their beliefs bout why they need to keep specific items. But when you have excessive amounts of clutter to sort through, lingering over decisions about whether or not to keep any one item will only add to your frustration level and the amount of time you spend on decluttering."

"Dorothy and I have created a list of questions to help yo weigh the relative importance of any item so you can make these decisions quickly and keep moving forward. Ask yourself the questions below, in the given order, and answer yes or no as honestly as you can (try not to overthink your answer). The examples I give are based on decisions that need to be made when sorting through your clothing, but you can use these questions to help you determine whether or not to keep nay type of item."
***My note. I am going to type in the questions but not much or any of the answers (examples) she uses. She has already explained that it is for your clothes but you can use it for any item.

1. Is it functional? If 'yes', proceed to question 2.

2. Do you love it? If it's not your favorite, how likely is it that you're going to choose this item? If the answer is 'not likely', it goes, if the answer is 'likely', proceed to question 3.

3. Is it a classic or utilitarian item? There is an exception to the 'do you love it' rule, and that's when an item is a classic (a plain black cardigan, for instance, may not inspire love, but will be worn regularly and would have to be replaced if you get rid of it). The same goes for seldom-used items that you do, in fact, need and are glad to have, like a lobster pot or an exercise mat. Ask yourself: Is it a classic, or will I have to buy another when I need it - and I know I will need it at some point? If the answer is 'yes', it stays. If the answer is 'no', proceed to question 4.

4. Is there a worthy story attached to the item? If the answer is 'no', it goes. If the answer is 'yes', proceed to question 5.

5. Does the story make you feel good? If not, let it go. If it does, proceed to question 6.

6. Is the item relevant to your life today? If not, it can go. If it is, then you can keep it."

I think this is a pretty good list to keep in mind when sifting through the clutter but for me it's still just easier and faster to think about the Greater Good. Does the item help create the life I want to be living? Fit into the big picture of what I want NOW?



The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMEMINE1's Photo IMEMINE1 Posts: 8,369
7/13/16 9:24 A

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I have enjoyed your and Susan's posting of this book and I definitely want to get it.
I find that I am in between a controlled chaos and a clutter crisis person.
I am going to get to work on those photos and paper clutter and thanks to you and Susan I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am a procrastinator for sure. I have to get over that one, and I suppose a perfectionist fits in there,too.
But, I am ready. I will let you know how it goes.
emoticon emoticon

Donna
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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/13/16 2:19 A

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Chapter Seven...."HONORING THE WAY YOUR BRAIN ORGANIZES"
"Getting rid of things you don't need and won't use in only part of the clutter-clearing battle. Organizing your space via a method that you will be able to continue is another component (the third is maintaining your new habit, which I will cover in Chapter 9). Personal organizer Dorothy Breininger is very much a believer in working with - not against - the way your mind works."
"Everyone thinks about things differently: Some people are more logical and linear in the way they order the world in their minds, while others are more creative; some people rely on visual symbols to remember things, whereas others are more verbal and respond better to the written word.
People who struggle with hoarding often experience difficulty with disorganized thinking and problems with categorization. While most of us would look around our homes and see different categories of clutter - a pile of laundry in need of washing, a stack of mail waiting to be sorted, and perhaps some photographs that could be organized and placed in scrapbooks - someone wrestling with disorganization in their thinking might not be able to sort these items into three separate categories. That person might simply see all these items as "things that need to be dealt with," and they'd wind up with one big pile of stuff."

"I worked with a woman years ago who struggled with clutter. We organized her kitchen cabinets together by a method that made sense to her. Rather than putting all the canned goods together on a shelf, she found it more intuitive to group food items by other categories. On one shelf, for instance, she grouped together dessert items - boxes of cake mix, cans of fruit, bags of sugar and flour, and tins of homemade cookies. She also placed ingredients she used to make soup (beans, chicken stock, etc.) together, even though the beans could be used for things other than soup. She frequently made soup, so that's where she'd most likely need the beans. This way of organizing was the strategy that worked best for her.
The point is to have a system that makes sense to you, and that accomplishes your goal of reducing clutter and having predictable places where your things can be found. Someone else might not think it makes sense, but if it works for you, that's all that matters. The idea that there is one 'right' way to organize can lead to frustration and paralysis, especially among perfectionists, and is a trap."
Go to "Quizzes and Questionnaires" and check out "What Kind of Organizer Are You?"

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/11/16 5:43 A

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More from Chapter Seven GETTING STARTED: PLUCK AND PURGE!
"What do you do when you've decided that you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, but the clutter is just too overwhelming and makes you want to do anything but dive in? You don't know which room to start in, let alone which area of which room. Here's my step-by-step guide to getting started. Remember: You don't need to do it all in one day. Your goal is to make a difference, not make your home look like a photo from a decorating magazine.

You'll need heavy-duty black (not clear) garbage bags, and three boxes - a 'keep box', a 'recycle box' and a 'donate box'. Caution: Some people think it's helpful to have a 'decide later' box' but , I strongly discourage that. The reason your house has become cluttered is because you've opted to decide later too many times. Now's the time to decide, and with few exceptions, if you can't decide, then consider that you don't need it. (We will get into more detail later about how to make these decisions.) I also discourage listening to music or having the TV on while you declutter, because it distracts you and prevents you from remaining mindful while working.
1. Start with the easiest room to clean first. Decluttering can be overwhelming and it's easy to get discouraged, so you're going to want to have a success right out of the gate that reinforces your decision to take action.

2. Determine how long you are going to work on the room. You can either give yourself a time period, such as a half hour, or you can set a goal, such as 'sort through three piles of clothes on the right side of the room.' The key here is that you make a commitment to spending a scheduled amount of time on one area or project and not work beyond your tolerance level. This will be the plan going forward, and you will literally schedule times into your week in which you will work in your home.

3. Pluck and purge. When you get started, scan the room to see if there are things that you can randomly start plucking and purging - things that are easy to make decisions about, like garbage, wrappers, or broken items - which will help get the process started, and make room for things you want to keep. If you come across any junk mail, it goes right into the recycle box. If you haven't gone through it by now, odds are it is expired anyway. There is no need to double-check.

4. Break up the room. Once you've plucked and purged, you should have a better idea of what is left to do. Let's say you're in the bedroom and you need to clean off the top of the dresser; organize the drawers and get rid of clothes that don't fit; clean off the vanity; go through the night table drawers; organize the bookshelf and DVD's; clean out the closets; get rid of shoes that don;'t fit; shift summer clothes to storage and bring out your winter clothes; and figure out what to do with that pile of who-knows-what in the corner. It may be one room, but that's a lot to do, and it can be very overwhelming to consider all of it at once. Remember, you can either work for a set amount of time (set a timer and do what you can in that time) or pick one area and make that the day's project. There's no right answer - do whatever works for you and feels manageable. Give yourself permission not to get everything done in 1 day."

Now there is a block with a thing called the OHIO Rule which means Only Handle Items Once. I have posted that complete section in the Quizzes thread so you can refer there if yo are interested.

5. Stay on task. As you go through your chosen section of the room (let's say it's the night table), remember that the night table is the only thing that matters in the moment. Once you pick up an item you must do something with it (other than put it back down to decide later.) If you are keeping it, put it away where it belongs, or if that space is not yet cleared, place it in the 'keep box'. Are you donating it? Into the 'donate box it goes. Is it recyclable? There's a box for that. If it doesn't belong in one of these boxes, it's likely that it needs to be thrown away.
One thing to avoid: Try not to leave the room you're working in. If you come across an item that belongs in another room while you're working in your chosen area, place it by the door of the room you're in, and when your allotted cleaning time is up, then you can put away the pile that's accumulated by the door. Otherwise, it's too easy to get distracted and stray off task (you take a glass to the kitchen and realize you're hungry; return a pair of socks to your child's bedroom and are tempted to tidy up her room first.)
Be careful, also not to engage in churning, simply moving something to another room to avoid making a decision about it. That does nothing to reduce clutter. The item needs to be kept and put away (which means there needs to be a place for it), donated, recycled, or thrown away. If there's no place for it, there's a decent chance you don't need it.

6. When you are done with a task and have more time, either move on to the next one, or save it for the next scheduled purging time. You will get to everything eventually. It's better to pace yourself than to burn out.

7. Act on the three boxes. Put the boxes with the items to be recycled and the items to be donated (seal the boxes so you won't second-guess yourself) where they belong or in your car for a trip to the recycling or donation center. Put the trash where it belongs (no second-guessing yourself here, either - once something is trash, it's trash). If the items in the 'keep box' for that particular room still do not have the space cleared in which you are intending to place them, it's fine to leave them until that area is available.

8. Acknowledge the progress you've made and give yourself credit. Do not look at all you have left to do. Of course there is a lot to do, but you will get to it. It doesn't have to be perfect, and now is the time to reward yourself for doing something difficult, not to feel discouraged for not having done everything. It takes time to declutter a space and learn new habits. If you've done one area, you're doing great. You've taken the first step!"

9. Reward yourself. Perhaps you give yourself some time to read a book, watch a movie, or meet a friend for coffee. You've done something that you've been avoiding for months, perhaps even years, so you want to finish feeling good about the experience."

Edited by: IMLOCOLINDA at: 7/11/2016 (05:43)
The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/10/16 4:30 P

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From Chapter Seven "WHEN ENOUGH IS FINALLY ENOUGH"
"If it's hard enough for clutterers to address their disorganized environment, what does that mean for hoarders who need to make a change? Sometimes outside factors like concern from family members, financial debt, or safety issues prompt a hoarder into action. But other times, people who hoard are able to find ways to take action on their own. Habituation and inertia are powerful forces, but I believe that simple human frustration can be a more powerful one. At a certain point, the emotional and physical energy it takes to function in a cluttered environment becomes more frustrating than cleaning it up would be, and you simply take action.
This feeling of bottoming out can lead to positive change. It can be extremely powerful. Once you have changed the way you live, you may look back and wonder, "Why did it have to get so bad before I took action?" That's a good question to ask, as long as you keep a positive attitude: I don't believe in regret, but in learning. You might want to ask yourself, "What will I do differently next time?" and/or "What do I need to do to prevent myself from making this mistake again?" By thinking this way, you allow yourself to move forward in your new way of living."

I loved this!! I think this is where I am...enough is enough!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 31,994
7/9/16 6:35 P

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Next section in Chapter Seven MINDFULLY EVER AFTER
"An important practice during the purging and decluttering process is to remain mindful. By this I mean that it's a good idea to try to be mentally and emotionally present. That entails focusing on the task at hand and allowing whatever feelings may arise in the moment to surface, and relinquishing all thoughts of what's happening in the office, what you're making for dinner later, or which other parts of the house you to need to get to tomorrow. Not only will remaining mindful make you more productive, it will help you learn to make good decisions about your things on the front end next time, before clutter can accumulate.
The concept of mindfulness includes being nonjudgmental toward yourself and observing your thoughts as they arise without deeming them good or bad. If you've been procrastinating about decluttering your space, there's likely something you've been avoiding about the process - avoiding taking the time, perhaps, or avoiding the feelings that may come up as you begin to sort through your things. Approaching the process with an attitude of self-acceptance ("Whatever comes up for me is okay - I don't need to control the thoughts") will make the process more effective because you are not spending time feeling bad about your feelings. For example, if you go through your refrigerator and purge expired food, you might experience thoughts of being careless or wasteful. If you are mindful as you clean, you can notice these feelings without letting them bring you down. Being present in the task and not judging what has happened in the past allows you to move forward with the positive steps you are making.
Being mindful when decluttering will also help you recognize and disprove your own cognitive distortions, the ones that are keeping you in a cluttered state, both emotionally and physically. Let's say you're cleaning out the refrigerator and come across a head of lettuce that is moldy and watery in the crisper drawer. On top of feeling wasteful, which makes you feel like a bad person (labeling), you might also feel like you'll 'never' have a clean refrigerator (all-or-none thinking) because cleaning it will be such an ordeal. In the moment, to avoid dealing with these feelings, it would be tempting to throw the head of lettuce back into the drawer and kick it closed, out of sight and out of mind. But taking a mindful approach will allow you to observe these feelings without labeling yourself or getting caught up in defeatist thinking. The important thing is that the lettuce goes into the garbage, which is a positive step to be acknowledged.
The truth is our stuff can keep us stuck in the past, which robs us of our present. Avoiding things because you want to avoid the emotions that come up prevents you from moving on and achieving your goals of living a healthy, balanced life, both emotionally and physically. The longer you stay stuck, the more you miss out and the more regret builds, and all of these negative feelings ultimately lead to increased avoidance. No one wants to face discomfort. But like many things in life, such as applying for a new job, running a marathon, or losing weight, you will need to do some hard work in order to reap the reward and take pride in your accomplishment."

Another great section that really spoke to me! emoticon

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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