Trashing the TV

Turn it off

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Yesterday I talked about some of the concepts/lifestyles that I would like to take from The Waltons and put into my own life.  One thing that I listed was getting rid of nightly TV routine.  I would like to have some traditions to replace the TV.  Here are some things that I have been thinking about introducing or doing more routinely.

~Reading a book out loud.

~Putting together a puzzle as a family

~Reading the Bible

~Playing Wii together as a family

~Praying the rosary

~Playing board games/cards

~Listening to books on CD

~Going for a walk

~Sitting on the porch and identifying sounds in the dark

Does anyone have any other suggestions?  Any suggestions for games that would interest the whole family, including adults?


Trashy Tuesday

I have a lot of things I could talk about today.

I could talk about how Hubby got a lot of his office organized. It looks awesome, by the way.

I could address that our Christmas tree is down and the rest of the decorations are gathered in one place, waiting to be packed neatly into boxes.  I love the way the family room gets suddenly bigger, but I miss the soft glow of the twinkle lights and the warmth of all my handmade decorations made by my parents and friends.

I could shout from the rooftops my overwhelming joy that while we were putting things back into the closet where the holiday decorations vacation, we were putting the remainder of the miscellaneous boxes in the order we want to go through them during the rest of the winter when Hubby found the discs containing all the pictures from our trip to adopt our oldest.  I thought those precious pictures were forever lost.

Instead I am going to talk about a different type of organizing and housekeeping.  The interior, emotional kind.

Ellen over at FatGirlWearingThin has started a challenge called the Hate Loss challenge.   I have joined this challenge because the only way that I am going to be able to continue to clean up and organize my physical house is to clean up my emotional/spiritual house.    I am constantly amazed at how one plays right into the other.  The more I learn to like myself, to accept who I am, and honestly look at the things that are good and the things that need to be tweaked a bit, the better I am able to cope with the stresses from the outside – I am able to let go of the unimportant stuff in my house and create a place of comfort for my family.

I find the best way to work on that interior side to be dispassionate and honest.  I do have some things that need a lot of work, but I also have some really great things about myself as well.  I am overweight – but I still have twinkling blue eyes.   I may not be able to keep up with my girls because I am so deconditioned – but I have the ability to create a plan to correct that situation and one day I will be able to participate in more of their physical activities.   My goal, my plan to defeat that little voice inside me that is quick to point out the bad about myself, is to counter each negative thought with something good about myself.    Eventually the positive WILL sound out louder than the negative.  Eventually I will be able to not cut myself to emotional shreds when I look at other people.

So here it to getting rid of the emotional trash in my life.  Is there anyone else who would like to join me?

Trashy Tuesday

9 trash bags full of clothes

1 bag full of toys

6 trash bags full of trash

That is what left my house this past week. 

Part of me is very mad at myself because I did something to aggravate my rotator cuff injury, so I spent most of the week on pain medication with a heating pad.  I feel as if my well planned vacation with the girls was totally lost. 

But in my effort to make positive decisions this year, I am trying to look at the positive instead of the what could have beens.  

My youngest now can use her closet.

By letting go of all those clothes I am accepting what is and looking forward to the next stage of life.

My house is much less of a fire hazard with all those papers out of it.

My girls are learning how to give to others.

My girls have created a home for each of their belongings and can put things away without having to think or work too hard at it.

My allergies will get better without all the clutter.

I really do feel freer with all those things gone!

I  am less overwhelmed and can see the individual jobs that need to be done to continue decluttering.

The time resting this week did allow my body to recover from the stress of the last few months and has given me the energy I need to face the next few weeks of darkness and joyfully anticipate spring.

Trashy Tuesday

OK – I am going to get really trashy.

Old trash can

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I have been getting up and doing my morning routine (up, shower, hair, sometimes makeup, breakfast and medication) long enough that it can be considered a habit. I tried to add exercise in there, but that just did not work. While I know I need to do that, I am not going to stress about it. I am making a conscious effort to not sit all day, but to get up often and get a glass of water or change the laundry, etc. So while it is not 30 minutes of increased heart rate, it is movement.

Instead, I am going to set a new habit routine.

I am going to dispose of something that is sitting around my house every day. This does not include disposing of the junk mail each day. This means looking around and seeing what I do and do not use, determining what I can live without and getting it out of my house. Does anyone want to join me? I would love to hear what people are getting rid of and how they are getting rid of it – trash, donate, recycle, freecycle, reuse, repurpose, Craigslist, garage sale?

By this time next year I figure I will have a house  purged of a huge amount of junk, an oldest daughter who does not feel like she is living her nightmare in the house, a younger daughter who will have learned how to not be a hoarder, a husband that will lift my yarn buying ban, fewer allergies from all the dust that is collecting around the house, and a routine for keeping my house neat!

So, for those who want to join me, here are the “rules”:

Typical advertising mail

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If paper comes into the house, it must be dealt with as soon as it enters the doorsort, act on it, or throw it away.

Constitution-Java battle plan

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Create a loose plan of attack – (especially if your house is a bad as mine is right now) – I am choosing a couple of counters in my “Butler’s pantry” and kitchen that seem to collect junk. I want to get those cleaned off so that I can create a “landing pad” and “control station” for my family. As those get cleaned off, I will head to other parts of the downstairs, then move upstairs. I also intend to throw one thing away in my office until all those boxes and stacks on the credenza and in the corners are gone.

Assymetric in/out boxes

Install the One in/One out rule – This means that if anyone in the family gets a gift, they must get rid of something else.  That also means they need to immediately find a home for the new item.  It can’t just lay around the house.  This is very important since Christmas is coming up!

TraderStar's screenshots - Feedback

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Come back each Tuesday (or more often if you like!) and let me know how you are doing – I am one of those people who need be held accountable for what I am going to do.  So I promise to be your accountability partner if you want one.


Today I am going to clean out my “purse basket” on the butler’s pantry counter.  This is a basket where I normally keep my purse and keys.  It is so full of other stuff that I can’t fit my purse in there anymore, and my keys become lost.

So awaaaaaaaaaay we go!

Trashy Tuesday – Noise

I know, I know.  You are seriously wondering what noise has to do with decluttering.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I have found it have a lot to do with it.

The iPod family with, from the left to the rig...

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Have you ever noticed how you work more efficiently with a clean desk?  OK – don’t laugh.  I know it took me a long time to figure this out, but I did learn my lesson.  Well, what about a clean mind.  If my head is so full of noise and constant sensory input, I find it very difficult to focus on my priorities.

The first thing I would challenge you to do is to turn off the radio, the I-Pod, the TV – anything that is making noise.  Listen to the quiet for a moment.   How many people think they will go crazy if they don’t have some sort of noisy input at all times? I did for a long time.   How many people are actually comfortable with their own thoughts?  I wasn’t.  But now I have found that the more I experience quiet, the more I am able to think and get to know myself better, which leads me to crave more quiet time.

I used to crave sound.  The TV would come on as soon as we entered the house.  In the car, the music was playing constantly.  But one day I got busy and forgot to turn it on.  Before long I was making a list of things that I wanted to get done.  Then I was actually working on that list because I was focused on what I was doing.  All that space the noise was taking up in my brain was  clear, allowing me to think clearly (No remarks about there being such a small amount of brain that music would fill it up!).

So let’s go back.  Turn off all the sound making equipment around you. What do you hear?  I like to take a few moments and just close my eyes and breathe (more on that in a later post) and relax.  Before long I hear all the house sounds around me (I can find the leaky faucet and put it on my honey-do-list, I know when the temperature is rising outside because of the sounds the house makes),   I start to recognize the sounds outside the house (the leaves rustling, the birds singing, which neighbor is coming and going based on the sound of the vehicle).  Then I start to turn inward and hear myself – my breathing, my heartbeat, my emotions.  That is when I start to be productive.   This is when I can calm myself and pray, or fly through that to-do list, or just be.

Now when I pick out music during the day I tend to choose  instrumental pieces – music that does not require me to think about it.  Music that inspires emotion without forcing it on me with words and booming bass.  Music that allows me to interpret it instead of spoon-feeding me.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I crank up the music and sing and dance around the house – and yes the windows and blinds are closed!  But I no longer use it to hide from all the other clutter in my life.  Ensuring that I get at least a few minutes of quiet time each day allows me to discover more about myself.  It helps me get rid of all the clutter in my brain so that I can prioritize and organize and enjoy all the other important things in my life.

So here is my challenge to you – find a few minutes and turn off all the artificial noise around you.  Are you comfortable spending quiet time with yourself?