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Every year in March or April I get into the Spring Cleaning mode.  This year was the same though it started a little later and is going to a whole new level.  I am decluttering like I have never decluttered before.  I had that spring cleaning bug...  but it was a bigger bug than usual - partly I think because my youngest is 4 now and I'm not as worried about him getting into things and he can play more happily nearby and isn't as demanding of my attention this year and partly because my spring cleaning hasn't been up to par the last few years and I was really getting tired of the clutter and disorganization around me.  I just don't perform my best in chaos.  I need organization. I thrive on it.

In addition to my youngster's ability to entertain himself and not cause me quite as much worry, I bought a book.  It came up on someone's Goodread's list I think...or maybe it was another blog? Anyway,   it's called "Clutter Free With Kids" by Joshua Becker.  It's a rather simple book but highly motivational,  teaching a better way to live and demonstrating   true joy can come more easily by owning less and spending more time in quality activities rather than pursuing the latest toys, fashions and gadgets and spending too much time reorganizing the constant clutter. I'm not sure that I will soon, if ever, go to the 'extremes' as Joshua Becker, but it certainly has helped me 'rethink' my thinking on owning and holding onto 'stuff'.  I will certainly never do the challenge of 33 (Project 333)... (use only 33 items of clothing over a 3 month time period to completely eliminate excess clothing) but I certainly am looking at even my closet with fresh eyes and eliminating a lot of excess items!  Woot!

To further the motivation, we have decided to move.  (Don't ask me how many times we've done this... too many, but hopefully this WILL be the last!) My DH has signed a contract with a new work place and while we can still live in this house (It's only 25 minutes away for him), a move would allow us to get closer to friends, church and shopping and all the other activities that we rarely do because of the daunting drive (I greatly detest driving 30 minutes just to get to the grocery store...that's an hour in the car that I always think could be spent writing or reading or.....so much more!) So with the idea of moving in mind (We're not counting on it happening too soon as our current home is sort of out in the middle of nowhere) I'm more motivated than ever to get rid of the clutter and NOT take this unnecessary stuff with us.  And a yet further incentive to this, I've discovered the online garage sales for the area on Facebook - so not only am I getting rid of 'junk' or unnecessary clutter, I'm making money in the process!  Who would think one could make money cleaning their own home?!  Woot! Woot!

In case you're in the mood to do some decluttering yourself, or want some sources to help find some motivation, I've put together a few sources below to help you out!  I'd love to hear your own decluttering stories!

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"Carve out a space in your day for quiet, uninterrupted thinking.  Exercise and feed your creative self."  ~ Penny Raife Durant

Penny Raife Durant is a children's author.  She recognizes a need. Carving out time for quiet, uninterrupted thinking is sometimes nearly impossible...but so necessary.  I can tell when I haven't been doing enough of that or spending enough time with God.  Both of these things.... time for quiet and feeding your creative self and time with God are essential for the mind.

So how does one do it?  With all the hustle and bustle of not just the holidays but basic day to day life events and necessary tasks, how does one fit in that time for what's necessary for the soul and mind?

I'm not an expert at this....I am not always successful..but there are a few things I do in my attempt to acquire that time.

  1.   Get up early -   I hate to do it. I really like sleep.  My bed calls out my name and holds me tight.  But if I'm able to get up before the youngest, I'm able to get more of those morning tasks done and just might get my time in to do bible reading and write in my gratitude journal before the pitter patter of tiny feet hit the bare wood of the downstairs hall.
  2.   Get a babysitter -  I've started to do this once a week.  I take my son to a friend's home - she's a neighbor so it's not far and my son ADORES her....   It's twofold:  he gets time that he looks forward to and I cram in as much creative writing as I can get done in 3 hours time - It's the time I spend only on my manuscripts...no blogging, no checking email, nothing other than writing unless it's directly related to my actual writing.  I know not everyone can do this.  It's a gift I've allowed myself after much deliberation and have decided that I am a better mother (and obviously a writer) if I have at least that much time per week to feed my creative self.   This isn't daily, no, but three hours of time isn't something I can do daily and it helps the other days of limited time not feel so bad.
  3. Make a morning routine -  I learned years ago about making a morning routine from Flylady.  I do much better if I stick to my routine.  🙂  Having that list keeps me focused and helps me work more quickly.
  4. Limit Myself From Facebook and Other Distractions -  If I let myself take part in Facebook too early in the day, I'm distracted and lose sense of time.  I get pulled into it and keep wanting to check comments, etc.  If I force myself to leave it alone until I have all my tasks on my 'daily routine list', I get more done in a timely fashion and find out I can get a little extra time for me later in the day.
  5. Incorporate the time into your daily routine - If you actually write it down as part of your regular routine, you are more apt to do it.  Publishing my post for the day is actually on my routine list right after rebooting the laundry, writing in my gratitude journal and reading bible stories with my son.

These are a few pointers from me to you on how to find ways to fit in that personal time for your soul and creative self.  Maybe you have some ideas to share as well?  I'd love to hear them!!

Random Thoughts on a Saturday:

  • Whether you are a published author or an unpublished writer, treat your writing as a job.  It is important.  It does take time.  Give it the time it deserves.
  • Juggling that time with being a homeschool mom, cooking from scratch, being the mom of a toddler, giving time to your husband, kids and friends, finding time with God, sleeping, etc. is very HARD!
  • Throwing out your credit card accidentally with a paper towel while holding them with a gloved hand really can happen....but not such a good thing...though life goes on...
  • It certainly is easier to fall behind than get ahead.... true words spoken by a 15-year-old boy in this household
  • Stephen King has not lost his touch....  and in my opinion, is the only writer that can pull off such an amazing sequel to an incredibly amazing novel.  He is a talented author - whether you like his genre or not... he's amazing.

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I love my new writing style with my son. He is still 'reminding' me each day 'mom, we need to do writing!". Not that I need reminding. I just have a million things to do and am usually flying around the kitchen doing all the tasks on my MORNING ROUTINE list or my PODA (Parade of Daily Adventures - yes, I'm a FLYLADY fan) that I forget to look at the time.

I've decided that eventually, whenever I get back to writing and can figure out when to fit it in, I'm going to write my own homeschool writing curriculum. I love what we are doing so much that I really want to share it with others. But right now I'm still piecing it together for ourselves.

I wish I had more time to blog as well. I'm really enjoying it. But there's just too much to do in a day. And my time is running out with our nanny. We will probably have her stop working here sometime in June. I love having her and we will miss her, but can't help but feel I need to be giving more of the one on one attention to my son myself. And I got behind on the things I wanted to accomplish while she was here. I was behind on a lot of organizational things that I couldn't do since I was pregnant when we moved in. I still have some things I want to clean and organize while I have someone to occupy his time so I can do those things in a more timely fashion. And I want to get the garden started and things like that...and paperwork for schooling to end this year and to start next year.

So many things to do....and trying to do it all and not give up my prayer or devotion time or my own reading that I've finally gotten back into. Somehow I need to find a way to balance it all and still keep my dream of writing alive. YIKES.... is it even possible?