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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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I have a LOT of catching up to do....   here on the blog, in my own manuscript writing, critique groups, homeschool plans, catching up with friends, decluttering and organizing and oh so much more.  My "To Do" list keeps growing.   I write it out once a week or so and cross out things as I accomplish them but seem to always add more than I cross out.  I never get it all done.  I'm always rewriting the things I didn't get done from the old list to the top of the new list.

I have had some recent achievements though:

My little guy and I are halfway through Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons.   I'll try to get an update on that out soon.  He still enjoys the lessons.  Sometimes we skip a few days, sometimes we do two in a day because he brings the book to me and wants to do it.  He is starting to pick out a lot more words in the books I read to him.  🙂  It's exciting!

I am in Spring Cleaning Decluttering and Organize Mode..   I finally succeeded in cleaning out my closet!  It's a nice walk-in closet with lots of shelves...also, unfortunately, the place I was learning to put things if I didn't feel like dealing with it at the moment...and was no longer very 'walk-in-able'...  But NOW IT IS!  Woot!  I have it all done but one shelf...  lots of pictures and papers that need sorted and put into the right boxes.  But just this one MAJOR task accomplished and the $65 I made cleaning out the game closet (I sold some games and an old keyboard on a Facebook online garage sale) gives me HUGE motivation to continue.

I finally watched the Charlotte Mason video seminars that I bought LAST year at the CHAP (Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania) conference....with only 7 days to go before the next conference!  It was worth it.  It did convince me that I really need to make an effort to get to know more about the Charlotte Mason approach and stay on track with it.  I definitely feel it's the right approach for us for the little man...  if only I had researched it when the others were younger 🙁   Oh well....I did the best I could,

I completed the May Menu.  But I really need to get cracking on the grocery list for next week or I'll have a menu with no food!

I finally wrote the blog post I've been meaning to write for some time.  I posted it last Thursday and it got over  198 views thus far...making it my 3rd most viewed post.  Not a lot of comments were made, but it pleased me that that many people read it and am hopeful it gave   If you haven't and you want to read it, it's right here:  Why I Refuse To Support Homeschool Diploma Programs.

I made a LOT of revisions on my manuscript in the last month or so.  Unfortunately, the last time I sat down to work on it my goal had been to CUT word number...and ended up with 35 extra words....  LOL... but I think the revisions I made were important and beneficial.  I hope to cut some more on the word count today and maybe even write up a draft query letter!

Well, that's certainly not all I've been doing - but it's the highlights of quite a few.  And now, I need to get back to the manuscript!  Wish me luck!