Wednesday, April 27, 2016

31 Days of Decluttering

Towards the end of last year, I was feeling rather overwhelmed and...well...claustrophobic. After adding a tiny human and all of his tiny human things to my average size house, by the end of the year I was all... "That's it! We're moving! I can't live here anymore!". In my defense, it felt like every time I turned around I was tripping/stepping on a toy, animal, or a person. And I was.

So when my sister (review: ex-sister-in-law but also BFF so for all intents and purposes, "sister") emailed me some blogs about organizing and decluttering, I ate them up. I liked this particular calendar for 31 days of decluttering from Simply Stacie.

It was only a couple days until January, so I went through my usual list of possible reasons why I shouldn't or couldn't actually do this. When none of them panned out, I half-heartedly committed to it. (Does anyone else do this, too? Or is it just me?) But over the next couple days I started planning how I was going to go about it, and then I started to get excited about. I decided to post it on my Facebook page and post regular updates on what I was decluttering, and invite people to do it along with me so I could have some accountability. While everyone else was heading to the gym, I was busting out my duster. My sister was doing it, too, so I roped her into posting some pictures as well, and as the month went on, a couple other friends joined in and posted some pictures. It was great to have the support and encouragement.

Day One ~ Christmas stuff
I have to say, Day One was probably the best result and the most satisfying. I managed to get 11 boxes of Christmas stuff down to 6. SIX! I know my future self will thank me come this Christmas. I shouldn't take all the credit you can see, I had some help.

Some days on the calendar I had to modify: we only have one bathroom, we don't have a linen closet, I barely use makeup so I had nothing to clean out, etc. Instead of those things, I added things I wanted to get done, or gave myself an extra day on the garage or basement.

Day 3 ~ Panty
I loved the feeling of cleaning something out and then seeing it so clean and organized the next time I opened the door or drawer. It was refreshing.

Day 11 ~ Bathroom
By now you are wondering..."It's April...does any of this still look this way?" Well, yes and no. A lot of areas are still decluttered and some have gone right back.

Day 7 ~ Desk/Office Space (Or cabinets in our case)
I will admit that our "office" area looks just like the 'Before' picture again...but I hold on to the fact that the inside is still more organized and the trash was thrown out. Unfortunately, the part everyone sees is crazy messy with school papers and bills and whatnot. Meh.

If you want to see all the pictures I posted, you can see them on my Facebook page ~ Everything Evie

Come the end of January, this was what the calendar looked like. 

I didn't get every single day done. I mean, it was January and I don't have a heated garage so thanks. As far as paperwork, toys, and computer storage...well, the latter just makes my head hurt. So. Many. Pictures. 
I did keep the calendar because I fully intend on completing it. I just can't say when exactly. 

I'd say the biggest take away I got from this experience was shock at the amount of trash and junk that came out of my house. The pile on the curb on trash day one week was just downright embarrassing. We live in a world of more, bigger, and better and it's so easy to get caught up in that. It was very eye-opening to really scrutinize whether we needed that item or not and I do feel much better after clearing out those unneeded items. Not a lesson I will soon forget. 

Needless to say, I got over my "We're moving" tantrum. I love my house and after decluttering and reorganizing some things, we fit in it quite nicely. I do still trip over the occasional toy, pet, or person, but at least now I can breath when I get up again. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Back In The Saddle

It's been so long since I wrote a blog post...I almost forgot how to do it.
Type the words and click "publish", right? 
Shouldn't be too hard. 

So the last time I posted I was having a pretty bad day. 
No worries, today is a good one.

Today, I'm getting back in the proverbial saddle. On which horse, you might ask? Well all of them, of course! Hi, have you met me? I always take on too much! And then I procrastinate and whip it all out at the last minute. Ahhh, it's like college all over again. 

Ok, I jest. But I do take on too much at times and I definitely have an issue with procrastination. But I'm working on it....tomorrow. I've been participating in a community Bible Study on The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. It's all about seeking, learning, and using God's wisdom to help make decisions that are best for you and your family. It's been a great resource lately. 


  The first wise decision I need to make is for myself. It's getting back in gear with taking care of my body. If you've followed my blog, you know that I've been here before. If you are new, then the gist of it is I've been up and down in weight my whole life. Three kids really helped...mainly in the UP areas. About 3 years ago, I worked extremely hard and lost around 60 pounds. Well between two pregnancies, one being full-term, I gained back about 40. So this is where I am today. On the one hand, I'm glad I didn't gain back the whole 60, however I surely don't love the 40 I did find again. My baby is approaching one year old and while for the last year I've be able to maintain the same weight (huge win in my opinion!), it's time to start working on losing that extra 40 pounds again. 

So to reach this goal, I'm starting out small and working my way up. This week I decided to start walking. The weather is nice and I'm only shooting for 30 minutes a day. Then each week I will add 5 minutes. I am trying to do it right away in the morning after the older kids get off to school and after baby has his breakfast. That way it's done and I can't talk myself out of it. (Because I'm really good at that) I also called up a friend and asked if she wanted to walk with me once a week, so I have a little bit of accountability there. As far as food goes, like I said before, I'm starting small. I'm increasing my water intake by drinking 2 liters of water a day for now, and then will increase as I go. I'm also just cutting out junk. I'm not mentally ready to go full-blown Jillian Michaels I'm just skipping the processed sugar and trying not to eat a crap ton of food in one day. 

At this point in my life, I have to go at my own pace or else I will get overwhelmed and give up. I have to keep reminding myself that I've done it before: once the easy, way with pills and B12 shots, and once the right way, with a healthy lifestyle. I can and will do it again. The right way.

Another wise decision (I hope) is growing my little "business". I have continued doing my crochet and I still love it. I've been crocheting for almost 3 years now and I am still learning so much! I've had plenty of people ordering fun things and I've continued to participate in a local vendor fair, plus this last Christmas I added another vendor fair. In the last few months, I've also had my items placed in two local shops! That has been really exciting. 

My first full-size crochet blanket. :)

But now I'm at a I keep things as they are or do I push forward and keep trying to grow? I know what I want to do, but I'm afraid of failing. I've been on the fence for probably 5 months, going back and forth with the pros and cons, and waiting for someone else to make up my mind for me. Well today I finally made up my mind. I'm going for it. I don't know what that looks like yet, but I have some ideas. The thing that finally pushed me off the fence was on Instagram.

A month ago I decided to start a new Instagram account just for my Everything Evie stuff. I proceeded to find an amazing world of crochet and yarn I never knew existed! *squeal* It's such a supportive and inspiring community! There is a project called The 100 Day Project. Basically, you commit to doing something (whatever you choose) for 100 days and you post a picture on IG each day with your own made up hashtag. That way at the end of the 100 days you can go back and look at the progress you made on that thing. I wasn't going to praticipate because I was afraid I'd give up (do you see a pattern here?), but then I talked to my friend who she said she was doing it and it gave me the courage to try. So I decided my project is going to be growing my business. For the next 100 days, I'm going to do one thing each day to work towards growing my little network whether it be my crochet, my blog, facebook page, instagram, or any of that crazy social media stuff. I figure if I work at it every day for 100 days, and it still goes nowhere, then I have my answer.

Day One of the 100 days is this blog post. Check!

My Day One pic on Instagram

I'd say the last wise decision that I've made is to get back on track with pursuing God. In the past few months I've made a commitment to reading my Bible every morning. I'm taking my own pace at reading the WHOLE Bible, and right now I'm one book away from finishing the New Testament. I may only get a chapter or two read each morning, but I make sure I do it every day. I also have Bible studies that I've been doing and I've made myself complete the whole thing. Even if it's not on time, I still go back and finish the previous week before moving on. In the past I would just skip the lessons or not even finish the study. That's where I have been...but I want to keep moving forward, too. I want to listen to more podcasts, read more books, memorize more verses and just dig in deeper with God. Continually seek His wisdom. But most of all I need to spend more time in prayer. It's an area where I know I'm lacking and I know God keeps nudging me to do better.  

So there you have it, a recap of my last few months and a glance into the future of what I hope to accomplish. After proof-reading this post, I learned two things about myself: I am easily deterred if I think I could fail and I like to go at my own pace. Hmmm, I might have to work on one of those...

 I'm starting the weight loss journey all over again, so this time you can go through it with me rather than when I started this blog after I already did it. Lucky you!And hey, if you are doing it too, then maybe we can encourage each other! I also think that by being somewhat transparent about my hopes for my little business venture, maybe I'll be held accountable to not give up when it gets confusing or hard. 

Either way, I'm curious to see where I go and what I my own pace. Ha.
If you want to follow along with the 100 day journey on Instagram, find me at everything.evie and the hashtag #100daysofeverythingevie.