Today’s guest post is an update written by Tracy, whose “Life Management” project was documented during Year Four on The Simple Year.
It’s been several months since I wrote my final Simple Year post. I’d like to say that I’d continued plugging away towards my goal of a neater & more organized home, setting up donations, throwing things out.
But I stopped. I don’t really know why, because I certainly wasn’t finished. A break probably was in order, because I think I worked pretty hard during my year-long project. But I didn’t need to take a break this long. The familiar feeling of frustration with myself crept back, as I looked around and still saw too many things.
I don’t want to focus too much on gloom, doom and failure though. Last year I wrote a post or two about my disappointment with our front and back yard. Trisha took over The Simple Year at a great time, because it was starting to warm up, and I had a lot to do. With Bob’s help, I dug up dead shrubs and flowers and planted new ones (which are miraculously still alive, and even growing).
Our patio chairs and table were mismatched and the chairs needed some TLC, so I painted everything one color instead of buying new. I stained the deck by myself. And we’re nearly done laying a slate patio in the back, which is probably the second biggest DIY thing we’ve done after the kitchen.
So I haven’t been living entirely in Slacker Town. And I like to enjoy the summer without stressing too much about projects. But I was also feeling a little bummed, like I’d totally lost all my decluttering mojo.
But lately I’ve had what I’m interpreting as signs from the universe that it’s time to get back on track:
- Last month Trisha reached out to me, asking if I’d want to write a guest post. The timing was excellent, as the day before I was packing for vacation and couldn’t find my black sandals (which I still haven’t located and may have donated). I told her I missed the accountability I’d gotten from the blog, and here I am!
- Winter, though still a few months away, is on my mind. I still dream of putting my car in the garage, especially when it snows. We made a lot of headway. In May, before our town’s bulk garbage day, we dragged four old window air conditioners, relics from the prior owners, out to the curb. People often drive around at bulk garbage time, looking for items in good condition, and the air conditioners were gone within a few hours. It was looking almost empty, then Emma decided she is done with many of her toys, and tossed lots of stuff out there. On the one hand, I’m happy she’s taking initiative and happy she doesn’t seem to have the attachment to stuff that I’ve contended with, but it’s also created another mess which I’ve slowly been tackling. But she’s otherwise been a great help lately, always wanting to clean and organize.
- There’s a house in my town I often drive past, and like to look at because it’s neat and well-kept, with pots of red geraniums by the front door. Last weekend I drove by mid-afternoon as the owners were having a moving sale. I was surprised by the huge amount of stuff still sitting in the driveway, and realized I never want to have a moving sale. Though we have no plans to move, when we do, I don’t want to invest time in dealing with excess stuff we don’t need or want. I’d rather get rid of it now.
- I learned of a large “family garage sale” event being held at an area flea market, and tossed around the idea of renting a space. But I dithered because it was pricey, $65.00, and I wasn’t sure if I had enough stuff to make it worth the cost. During my project, I gave away lots of items without thinking twice because I just wanted it gone and couldn’t be bothered to try selling any of it. But I recently realized I have quite a few nicer things, like nicer handbags and wedding crystal I never use, that I really don’t want to keep but don’t want to just give away either. While I was debating the merits of spending the $65, I came across a posting for a community garage sale with a lower fee, so I sent in my check. It’s not till October, so I have a good amount of time to gather things, though I’ve already filled a couple boxes.
So, I’m trying to do a little bit every day because I’m back on my project. Thanks Trisha, for giving me the opportunity to pop in and write this update.