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Clearing that email inbox

6 Apr

I follow a blog called Zen Habitsand I have to tell you that it’s a total wealth of information on simple living and without a doubt is an AMAZING resource for simplifying every area in your lives!

I started tackling my email inbox thanks to a chapter in his Minimalist Guide to Simple Living book and have realized that he also has an excellent article on this on his blog that spells out exact steps on regaining your email sanity.

I’ve been processing my email, I realized my inbox was RIDICULOUS, before reading the book or even this article I started feeling like it was just too much and began unsubscribing from emails, great first step, this stopped having over 20 emails on a morning of stuff I mostly deleted anyway (why I didn’t do this before I have no idea).

So now I’m not adding to my email clutter, great! But I had over 4,200 emails in my inbox, yup you’re reading that correctly! It’s unbelievable how I mounted so much clutter in my inbox without even realizing it telling myself in case of situations determined me leaving them there. But what I didn’t consider was a neat little button in my gmail called archive. Why didn’t I know about this before?? How great would it be to look at an empty inbox? I am in the process of deleting mass amounts of email before I hit that archive button, because archiving 4200+ emails is just totally unnecessary!

So I’m in a mass wipe out session, and you’d be insanely amazed to know that I’m down to 1,855! And I will continue going and let you know my final number, but I do know I will never let it get like this again! After I’ve determined how many are actually going to be archived I will be sure to tell you and let you know how my ongoing efforts are!

I also have several folders on the side, which I’ve recently realized are just totally useless, of them the only one that’s actually important is the ‘important’ folder where I keep original login info emails from sites, I’ve started to manually input these into my household notebook. However, I will sort through this folder also so everything is easily identifiable and more efficient to use.

Other than that folder and an action folder I will delete, add to my to do list or archive right away. I’ve actually been effectively doing this for a couple weeks now and I’m very proud to say I’m regaining my sanity in my crazy email inbox!


Letting go… Part 2

4 Apr

So… My whole book organization thing brought me to this next part of letting go, and it’s what I’ve learned for myself.

Magazines and books are dangerous things… The inspire us to hang on to them, no matter how old, or how irrelevant they are to our lives. I’m a book packrat, and find letting go of them very difficult.

Magazines I’m a lot more forgiving on myself, but spend time ripping out articles which I think are so necessary to never ever see them again!

Why am I telling you this? To show you you’re not alone!

What I’ve discovered, at least with my magazine collection, thanks to the Internet, honestly this even applies for the book collection too but I’m not emotionally ready ok!!! Sorry back to it, thanks to the Internet, we can find almost anything (probably everything) online! In a digital format that doesn’t take up any physical space creating visual clutter and disturbing our auras!

Yup I said it… So goodbye to my magazine collection, and all those stupid pages I’ve never even read again! Man am I proud! One less thing to go through! 🙂

I promise I’ll tackle my book collection after I see if having them out of the containers has made any difference to my use of them!

My Book storage – FINALLY!

2 Apr

I have a good amount of books, I can’t say a ton or anything, but it takes up two plastic containers worth. They’ve sat inside of there for over 3 years now! I analy organized them in there that I could see every spine and choose any titles I wanted to easily and loved that it protected my books.

Why did it stay in the boxes? Well I had no bookshelves, so I left it in there and would, hmm can’t say frequently or even semi frequently, I’d check on my books and pull out a couple to read. Usually seeing about 5 at a time insisting that I’ll skim through them all at once. That’s another post, my lack of attention span, this has been put into my todo list for another post…

Back to where I was going! So I had my son on my bed kicking and playing and said alright let’s pull out those containers and sort NOW! If you remember my Christmas decor post, you can vaguely see my beautiful shelf.

My husband built this! I have to admit I wasn’t happy when it first set foot in this house, but several people have come to our home and admired it. I feel guilty now for being such a nightmare! I digress… I told myself ok I’m putting the books on the ‘bookshelf’ mind you this bookshelf isn’t a very traditional one, but it’s beautiful, and is housing the books very nicely!


In the bottom right, I’ve added some of my daughters books, as I was organizing she pulled out one of my books and said ‘I want read’, so immediately I thought well duh let’s make a corner for her too! I haven’t put all her books here only a few, just some she may enjoy to sit on the couch and go over.

I hope our bookshelf inspires us all to grab a book and take a read, because it’s been far too long!

Letting go…

1 Apr

Sometimes we attach such importance to stuff, it takes up space and without realizing it, time and energy as well. Oh that’s crazy you must be thinking but it’s true, it’s a box of things we know we just ‘can’t’ get rid of. We go through it and most of it stays! I have one underbed storage container that it’s never easy for me to empty.

Truthfully I’m very merciless, I don’t hang on to sentimental stuff too much and I’m usually able to objectively get rid of a lot of stuff. But what do you do with all those old pictures and what about that year book? I’ve allowed myself to keep these things because honestly, it doesn’t take up THAT much space that it’s affecting me mentally to the point of a break down. But I do try to revisit that container ever so often to objectively remove one or two more items. Maybe, one day I’ll reach empty! 🙂

What about those ‘what if’ items, oh yes! You know what I’m talking about! The pack of chalk pastelles that costed so much money and you hate chalk pastelles but refuse to get rid of! (This example so won’t apply to most of you lol!) But we do this with so many items, luckily for me I gave it to a friend who loves them and would have use for it! Don’t mind I’m sure he hasn’t touched them yet and it’s been 3 years.

If you haven’t used it in a year… Get rid of it… Sometimes we have to admit that our lives just don’t allow for these items. Or, if you feel as though it is something that you would like to start back and want to make the time for this is where time management comes in (we’ll tackle this another time) but you’d have to actually schedule time for this to occur!

I have to admit like I said before… Sewing isn’t going to happen and I’m going to sell that machine soon, I have to admit I just don’t have time for art in my life anymore and decide to pass on all those great paints and left over pencils etc to my daughter so we can spend some quality art time together instead! 🙂

What have you been holding on to? Is it time to let go?

Simple Living/Minimalism

23 Mar

As a result of my organizing missions, I’ve read and come across many many interesting suggestions and tips on organization, but I have to tell you nothing has hit home as much as simple living/minimalism has.

The movement’s definition is different for everyone, taken from wikipedia is this summary

“Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in “quality time” for family and friends, work–life balance, personal taste, frugality, or reducing personal ecological footprint and stress. Simple living can also be a reaction to materialism and conspicuous consumption. Some cite socio-political goals aligned with the anti-consumerist movement, including conservation, degrowth, social justice, ethnic diversity and sustainable development. ”

In the world we live in today, it’s honestly a refreshing twist and has instilled a sense of calm in me, of which I didn’t even think existed. As I look at my open empty space I’ve told you I feel free.

I spend time appreciating what’s before me, I spend time hugging and kissing everyone in my family, smiling, stressing less and just enjoying everything that life has to offer. For the first time I can say I’m living, and when I tell people I only have one life to live, I actually have follow through on those words, as I’m living the life I want to without the hustle and bustle and stress that accompanies what everyone thinks it should be.

I’m not keeping up with the joneses nor do I intend to. I intend to be me, not listen to what ‘they’ have to say and continue to spend my days with a sense of peacefulness, which I thought could only exist in books and movies.

I’m free… and happy… what’s stopping you?

My big empty space – Discovering minimalism

10 Mar

I find myself recently very drawn to everything minimalism. I spend a lot of time reading about the movement, and when I look at my space often feel very light at how much I’ve emptied the living room over the last few months to adapt a more open airy space.

Thankfully my beautiful wooden floors and 6′ x 4′ windows, which bring in lots of beautiful light all add to that open airy feel.

How does this impact me? I’d like to think I’ve become a lot more of a relaxed individual. For some reason when I sit in the space, though I still see things that need to be done, I don’t feel a weight on me the way I used to.

Everything about my being feels lighter as a result of looking at less and I have to tell you the feeling is amazing.

I made the living room into this big empty space before I even knew a thing about being minimalistic/clutter free/living with less. This was just something I did instinctively to create a more adult looking space and soon realized the benefits of the emptiness. Then came the finding of the minimalist movement.

Am I crazy? You probably think I am, but I can tell you, I haven’t felt more liberated in a LONG time! And I’m thankful for the breathing room! 🙂

SmartPhone Free

3 Mar

My cellphone is making me stupid…

I mentioned a while back on the Facebook page that I was considering a cell phone free life. Every month bmobile cuts my cell phone before my bill is even due, (my payment is due the 3rd of every month and I usually get cut way before as early as the 17th/18th of the month) because of their stupid ‘credit limit’. So even though my account isn’t even in arrears or anything I get cut thanks to it.

I go through this almost every single month, and stupidly just take it! However, this time I just left the phone, let it get cut and it’s been around 3 weeks maybe more now that I haven’t been able to dial out and I don’t care!

I use my cell phone primarily for these three reasons 1. To whatsapp friends/family 2. Take pictures 3. Web browse/read. Note well receiving calls isn’t even on that list! Seeing that the handful of people I see and talk to often in life either Skype, whatsapp me or just come over!

I spend a lot of time on my phone browsing and using whatsapp, I mean A LOT to the point where I now feel as though it’s making me a bad mother/wife. (I used to spend too much time on the computer but that’s another post!)

Think about how many people you see on a daily basis buried in their phones, utilizing this ‘tool’ we no longer effectively use it, but let it run our lives.

So now I find myself withdrawing from technology on the whole, realizing that my family above all is the most important thing to me. I love blogging, but not at the expense of my family time, so I’m happy to say I maintain a very happy medium between the two.

So I’m selling my cellphone *shameless plug an iPhone4 factory unlocked in white!* and I am going to be cellphone free.

Since I will have no cellphone I’ll have a house phone instead, which will be significantly cheaper to maintain per month than a stupid postpaid phone. I’ll also have my work cellphone, which is really for phone calls related to work only. My husband has also decided to get rid of his postpaid phone, and maintain a work cellphone.

You may ask but how is that different you will have a cellphone anyway, but the answer to that is simple. I will have a work phone, a very simple basic phone made for just receiving calls, which is on from 8-5 for business calls relating to the community newspaper I work for. No Internet browsing, no whatsapp nothing just a basic phone and that’s it.

I’m tired of being a slave to technology because I don’t have the willpower to resist, using it aimless and mindlessly. Now I will use the computer/iPad for any of my major communication needs and get rid of the iPhone, which unfortunately is a time waster for me and doesn’t make me productive in anyway. Damn you smart phone and all your bells and whistles!