Clutter

The Pause and the Shift

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission, which helps support this website. Thanks.)

Dear Reader,

I haven’t been blogging for a while again. With all that is going on in the world I seemed to have hit the proverbial writing block when trying to write about decluttering.

This block actually started way before the pandemic hit the United States. I’ve been going through a mindset shift for the past year.  But once the the lockdown started, this shift really came to the forefront. Lots of questions started coming up.

My Personal Questions

  1. What is important to me at this point in my life?
  2. Do I want to keep writing my blog?
  3. Do I want to keep the website or close it down?
  4. What do I do going forward?
  5. Is anyone even interested in my life stories and lessons learned about decluttering?

For the past 12 years I’ve been blogging about decluttering and organizing.  I worked hard to share information, tips, solutions, etc. , yet I always felt like something was missing in my writing.

When I look back at many of the blog posts, I realize there is some pretty good practical advice in them. I’ve been updating and categorizing the better ones. They can be found on the Article and Blog Index page.

But I also realize that many of them a written in a dry, boring manner. Almost textbook like. My passion, my stories, the fun part, are missing in the writing, So maybe the missing part in my blogging is myself; my core being, my passion, my gifts, my stories.

 

Course Corrections

I’m not sure what direction this new awaking will take me. During the pause most of us have had over the past three to four months, I’ve come to realize I don’t have to make the decision right now. I’m still trying to notice all the emotions, feelings, and changing world around me before I shift into action.

I remember reading a post from Brian Tracy called “Making Course Corrections”. It talked about how airline pilots are constantly making course corrections because headwinds, tailwinds, storms, and many other factors are always steering the airplane off it’s original course. The same is true with life. I doubt many people expected to be blown so far off course during this pandemic.

So maybe it’s not about making any one big decision or change right now.  Maybe it’s more about making one small decision at time to help guide me on my journey’s path.

I have to trust that I’ll know if I’m on the right course and that I can make the course corrections that are needed.  I may find out that changing my destination is a better decision.  Of course, I’ll have to educate myself regarding different possibilities.  It’s not like I’m going to go, eeny meeny miny moe, then pick a path.  That’s probably not the smartest way to make a decision.

But constantly educating ourselves is a good thing. As long as we continue the learning process, we will continue to grow.

 

Pause and Learn to be Grateful

Even in this pause we continue to learn and grow. The pandemic may be only a small pause for most of us. We may just get to slow down and learn to be grateful for what we already have.

For some people it could be a huge pause, especially if they find themselves currently without a job. They may not even have one to go back to. Then again, there are the thoughts of whether they even want to go back to the same kind of job.

Life is changing for all of us. Because we can’t shake hands with acquaintances or hug a close friend or relative, we now see how important that those small physical touches are part of being human. The simple times of sharing moments with special people, like going out to dinner or to a birthday party or wedding, are not taken for granted anymore.

 

Holding on to the Memories

This pandemic pause has so much to teach us about ourselves, our relationships, our occupations, our morals, and even our ideology. For some, holding on to special “things” becomes more important. They are reminders of those special people or places or times in our lives.

For others, those “things” are losing their importance because we realize how much we took for granted of the non-physical things. Like time spent with loved ones and/or friends.

Neither way is wrong. Holding on to memories that are attached to the physical item may be helping some people take care of their mental well being. They get comfort in holding on to the past because the future is so uncertain.

I’ve been falling into the group of where physical items are losing their importance. I keep thinking that if something happens to me, then my husband and/or sons will have to deal with all my stuff. Although I haven’t read the book about Swedish Death Cleaning, I’ve been think about how I don’t want to leave a mess behind for my family members. Over the past 5 1/2 years I’ve had to clean out two homes, one from my mother and one from my mother-in-law. It wasn’t easy, especially emotionally.

One of the things I learned was that many of the items had memories for my mother or mother-in-law, not for my husband or me. Although I didn’t let go of some of these items at the time, I’ve been slowly letting go of them now. I’ve also found that photos of the items really do bring up any memories I may have attached to the item. I don’t miss the physical item.

 

Current Path Forward

Right now I’m going to write blog posts as they come to me. The ideas, stories, lessons learned, are starting to whirl around in my head.  My thinking is shifting in how I look at the physical items/clutter in my home. I don’t feel the emotional strings having such a tight hold on me. The excuses for not letting go of some items are beginning to sound silly.

For example, this week I threw in the trash a couple of hair products that have sat on the shelf in the closet for at least 5-8 years. Obviously I didn’t use the product too much. Keeping them “just in case” didn’t make sense. Especially because the age of the products meant they probably weren’t good anymore and may even be harmful if I used them.

I bet you also have plenty of personal or household products that you keep “just in case”. When was the last time you used them?

But getting back to my current path forward (I do tend to get sidetracked sometimes), I’m not going to make any promises regarding this website at this time. I don’t like making promises only later to end up breaking them. I’ll take small steps forward then re-evaluate to see if I’m staying on the right course.

If you want to keep up with what I have to share, you can sign up for my email list.  I also post a link to new blog posts on the Facebook page.

If you have questions about decluttering or organizing I’m always happy to try to answer them. You can reach me by posting a comment on this blog, the Facebook page, or emailing me.

Facebook Page: Cut Clutter With Scissors

email: janice@cutclutterwithscissors.com

 

Thank you for your support all these years.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice Scissors

 

 

Tools to Control Paper Clutter – Part 3

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission, which helps support this website. Thanks.)

In this three-part blog series I’ve covered many of the tools I use to help me control the paper clutter. Setting up a system with the right tools will make the difference between being organized or having paper piles all over the place.

In Part 1, I talked about how I use folders and a mail organizer.

Then in Part 2, I talked about how I use file drawers and file boxes to contain the folders full of papers. In other words, I containerized them.

Now in Part 3, I’m going to show you the tools I use to actually reduce the amount of papers I save for those file folders.

 

Printer/Scanner

Printer/scanner      Printer/scanner

 

You don’t have to have a printer/scanner to save digital copies but I find it much easier than taking a photo of a paper. A flatbed scanner works best because it allows you to scan different size papers. You can scan a business card, copy of a check,  or multiple receipts. …

Tools to Control Paper Clutter – Part 2

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission, which helps support this website. Thanks.)

Now that we have all these project file folders, we need some place to keep them. We don’t want them piling up on our desks to create more clutter. So we need a way to contain them in an organized way.

That’s where file cabinets/drawers and file boxes (portable) come in.

       

I use all three kinds of containers to store my files. In Part 2 of this blog series I’ll show you how I use them. …

Tools to Control Paper Clutter – Part 1

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission, which helps support this website. Thanks.)

 

Having the right kind of tools in your toolbox can make any job easier. You wouldn’t try to clear a clogged toilet with your hand, you’d use a plunger. It would be messy to boil pasta in a skillet so you use a deep pot with lots of water.

It also helps to have the right tools to control paper clutter!

Over the years I’ve figured out what tools work for me to help keep the paper piles from becoming mountains. In this three part blog series I’ll show what I use. It ranges from a timer (my favorite tool) to desk organizers, different color file folders, and containers to hold all those files. You probably already have some of these tools but you may not be using them in the best way. For me, a tool has to help eliminate the excuses that lead to procrastination.

Using a Timer

I learned long ago that a timer is the best tool in my toolbox. My tendency to overestimate how much time a certain task takes usually creates a lot of procrastination. It’s not an uncommon problem for many people. I’m not sure why this happens, but I guess it’s because the tasks aren’t fun, therefore excuses pop up quickly to avoid doing them. With the proper tools and systems in place it’s hard to justify any excuses.

I set my timer to do all kinds of things. It turns a boring task into a game.  Beat the timer becomes a challenge. …