December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's Your Clutter?

Hola darlings!

Today I saw this article at Yahoo News, and found it very apropos my current situation, as I've been "woken up" to the fact of clutter in my own home.  Not so much decorative objects -- but my books!  Oh my!  And my stacks and stacks of paper research all over the house, stashed here and there to hide it when company comes and then I forget about it...  Under beds.  Inside drawers, on shelves (overflowing sometimes).  Not to mention the cyber-clutter on my two laptops and yes, I have an ancient desk top upstairs that is no longer hooked up to the internet but holds vitally important images, irreplaceable photographs, and research.

So, what's your clutter?  Personally, I like me some clutter, but not too much.  Like Pappa Bear's chair, Mama Bear's chair, and Baby Bear's chair, I like me something that's just right.  For each of us that will be different, and that is what is so wonderful about decorating.  We can follow our own personal drummers and as long as we passionately believe in our vision and what we're doing in our homes, it will work -- for us! 

Excerpted article:

Why clutter matters and decluttering is difficult

"I feel like if I could just get rid of all this clutter, I could go on to do great things," I say as I am pouring out my heart to Jennifer Hunter, a perfect stranger who happens to be a professional organizer.

"Maybe that's why you keep the clutter," she says, without any hesitation. ...

Hunter tells me about the time she was organizing a client's house and a contractor who was there to paint the ceiling asked her what it was she did exactly.

As she explained, the painter began nodding. "I see," he said. "So you're sort of a therapist." ...

Clutter matters, Hunter says. It matters because it takes up space — not just in your surroundings, but in your head.  Of the two, the psychological effect of clutter is the most important.

"When we clear the clutter out of a space, people breathe a sigh of relief." The mood changes instantly. People feel lighter, more serene, more focus. "The effect is profound," she adds, "even when people say they don't notice it."

...

The other effects of stuff-gone-wild are equally compelling, even for those whose clutter status does not rise to hoarder levels.

Clutter is expensive: It costs an average of $10 per square foot to store items in your house and almost 10% of American households rent storage units, spending more than $1,000 annually in rent. One quarter of people with two-car garages can't even get their cars in there because they are storing their junk instead. Twenty-three percent of us pay bills late and incur fees because we have lost the statements.

How's this for a reality check? The average American spends one year of his or her life looking for lost or misplaced items, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Get rid of the clutter and you will eliminate as much as 40% of the housework in an average home.

...

But clearing the clutter and becoming organized is no easy feat. That's because a lot of what we hold on to is weighed down by emotional baggage.

People have intimate relationships with their stuff. It carries memories and obligations, reminds them of things they can't do anymore, things that upset them at one time, things they are feeling guilty about. Some of Hunter's clients refuse to part with gifts they don't like, simply because it was a gift. "Even if they hate it!"

Others may have problems with inertia. Depression and attention deficit disorder can become big barriers to becoming and remaining organized. Hunter advises clients with those types of inclinations to become really strict about keeping down the number of their possessions. If possible, don't bring stuff into the house. "Since your ability to wrangle it will be diminished, do your best not to take it on to begin with," she cautions.

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Clearing the clutter is doable. Becoming organized is doable. Like any other discipline, it depends on how motivated you are. Think of how a sudden ailment can drive you to change your diet and exercise habits, suggests Hunter. It may help to consider the morass, the fast-rising piles of junk, the quicksand of things that have no utility in your life in the same way.

...

If you want to be good at organizing, you have to know yourself.

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