Two Years Later And I Am Still Waging A War Against The Evil Cycle That Entangles Me! Will This War Ever End?

WOW! I have not been faithful in keeping up with my blog and I am apologize but I have been faithful in a different kind of way, I m still battling against piles that are always abounding, surmounting clutter and the fight to simplifying my families lives by riding us of stuff and busy schedules.

 Two CHRISTmas’ past my two wonderful sister’s and focus driven brother-in-law gave me the most wonderful gift….. They gifted me with a, “Purge til it hurts weekend.”  Okay, I asked for it as my gift. Desperation will lead you to do crazy things.  The weekend consisted of minimizing the amount of clothes my whole family had, a total redo of my laundry room/storage room and craft supplies. My brother-in-law even went as far as helping my children totally clean out their rooms and minimize the stuff they had. It was such a wonderful time for me and my kids were even pleased.  We donated a van and car load of stuff!!!!! We felt so relieved afterwards and it could never have been done on my own. They were the catalyst that empowered us to step over the line of discouragement and self-condemnation. Thank you my sweet sister’s and brother-in-law!!

Fast forward to today, January 3, 2012. Ever since that day my family and I have kept a running donation box going and are frequenters of the drop off location:) I can’t say that I’m all healed and the cycle is totally broken but, I have been able to see  when things get too far out of hand and I’m able to put everything on hold for a bit and get busy retaking my rooms. I can still hear one of my sister’s and brother-in-laws voice say, “You don’t really need that.” Friends, I am still enlisted in the war and praise God my gear is a lot lighter and I am able to get rid of things a lot easier. I think I’m on the right path as I am often heard saying, “Just get rid of it.” One of the best parts is seeing my children reap the benefits of learning to get rid of items that will bless others and that their rooms are still clean, okay most of the time:) They are learning to care for their domain and it’s the first step to building good habits for their future.

I encourage you to continue on this journey with me. We need each other, one warrior can get discouraged but an army can encourage and uplift one another and even watch each others back. I implore you to keep seeking the Lord daily for help and victory in, “Breaking the cycle,”  in your life and the life of your family. They are worth the fight and so are you!

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Blessings,

Denise

Yard Sale Anyone?

I didn’t get to post about my latest yard sale experience. A few weeks ago my family participated in a community yard sale, we didn’t make a ton of money but I think that the over all experience was priceless! My children partnered together and had a lemonade/cookie business called the, “The Snack Shack.” I was able to talk about partnerships and how to plan for expenditures, profit margin and the risks associated with a business. They made corporate decisions on what items they would buy to make and sell. They went with me to the grocery store and purchased the items needed for such a business venture and slit the cost at the register. Then they worked on signage, the products and set up. They over purchased so they had quite a but left over but their fabulous Dad came through and saved the day and purchased the remaining lemonade and cookies. They realized some important principles, were still able to break even and even made a little bit of profit. No amount of money could make up for this experience! I will say that one of my favorite parts besides the life lessons was heading to the Salvation Army and donating all the remaining items, boy did that feel great! In the end I think the experience was a total success! ~Denise

Over Two months into Project: Break The Cycle and progress is…..

S-L-O-W! Hey there. I don’t know about you all but I love the story of, “The Tortoise and the Hair.” It’s so inspirational to know that slow and steady WILL win the race, in my case it’s a MARATHON!!! We’ll my bedroom is still NOT done but it is presentable.  I have had to put it on the back burner for more eternal things like;  family, ministries and guests.  Oh yes and the laundry room…. well,  I am still tackling that room:( I see so much progress and it isn’t that far from being totally and completely orderly but one step at a time is all I can do. I purchased closet maid shelving for the walls and my wonderful husband put them up for me last night! They make such a difference. Now, I am waiting for my husband to remove the large plastic sink from in there so I can rearrange the book-shelves. What a journey, I have been so encouraged to read and hear from you all! God is so good to bless me through your encouraging and uplifting words. I will keep all who have contacted or posted a comment in my prayers, may the God of ALL power and might equip us to be victorious over this issue of disorder and chaos!  May our lives bring Him glory!!~ Denise

One of my FAVORITE websites is…youtube!

I LOVE www.youtube.com, years ago a friend of mine told me, “if you need to learn anything go to youtube, they have it all!” Boy was she right, thank you Jamie:) I’ve even learned how to hem blue jeans from watching peoples videos! This is a great short video I thought you may enjoy as much as I did, if you are visual like me seeing is key to getting ideas going. This long weekend I was busy trying to get my laundry room finished and totally organized as well as get my clean laundry ALL put away! May God Bless our hands as we strive to care for the wonderful family and home:) The great laundry video I found on youtube is below enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoRhggE_xEI

~Denise

I’m still here:)

Hey there! I am so sorry I haven’t kept you updated on how things are going with my project. Well, for Mother’s Day my wonderful encouraging husband and children gave me a gift card to Home Depot!! I hope to use it this weekend and finish the laundry/everything room.

I’ve been really busy since I last posted, I spent some time at my sister and brother-in-laws house  helping them get ready for their first child who is it to be born soon. They are also working on project break the cycle. I have also begun tackling the HUGE laundry pile in my bedroom, all the laundry is clean but hasn’t been put away in quite a while. Something else I’ve been doing is going through all the magazine pictures and articles I’ve been saving for months and taking notes on which ideas I’d like to emulate. I’m a visual person and seeing great ideas helps me visualize how  I hope to implement them in my laundry room. 

I am happy to say that the kitchen clutter seems to be conquered, hopefully forever or at least a long while! Having two get together’s, guests over for dinner, a board meeting and people over for fellowship have been the catalyst to having it stay in order. I think opening my home to hospitality has been something God has been calling my family to do with more frequency. If I really believe that everything belongs to Him than I need to demonstrate it with my actions and hosting people over in a moments notice without reservations to do so has been such a blessing to my family and our guests.

I have heard from a few of my dear friends and family that they have been inspired to conquer their lack of order right along side me and I am encouraged to see God working in my life and theirs as well. I have a suggestion, if you too are implementing project break the cycle, please post a comment with your first name and lets keep each other in our prayers, the more prayer the better:)

I need to feed my family have family time so I am going to sign off. May God bless you and your hands as you seek to honor Him in all you do! More to come……….~Denise

Saying Good-Bye To Clutter And Hello To Order!

“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends…” ~Samuel Johnson~The Rambler, November 10, 1750

Today marks my two-week anniversary writing this blog, “project break the cycle,” my journey from disorder to order. I have to be honest I am no where near where my “over achieving self” would like to be but, Rome wasn’t built in a day right?  I am moving towards organization one step at a time and that will have to do for now,  getting the “h.s. laundry room” in tip-top shape is atleast in my grasp. This past weekend, I purchased 2 super tough industrial shelving units and 1 faux wood shelf with 2 cabinet doors at a neighbors garage sale. Yes! I hit the jack pot and I am happy to say they are in place and working well for me. Last week, I also began an organizational curriculum with my children, “Helping Kids Get Organized,” it’s written by Robyn Freedman Spizman. My children have been an inspiration to me and I look forward to the benefits that awaits us all as a family and individuals. I gave them their assignments and they had them done even before I did, talk about accountability! Now their desks are in order and actually being used for the purpose they were created. Boy, this reminds me of my creator and His purpose for me! I hope that through this journey He can say the same thing about me and my family, that we are living the purpose we were created for~bringing Him glory!  I’ll write more tomorrow:)

Blessings,

Denise

Day 6! “Let all things be done decently and in order.”1 Corinthians 14:40

Wow! I am really learning a lot about organization and where the core issues steam from, at the same time I am using these new tools to tackle each room in my home.  Right now the laundry room is my 1st challenge and it is a challenge due to the combination of functions the room is used for besides washing laundry. Today I felt so great when I threw away a large black trash bag and actually have some items in my donate box!

Last night I went to youtube and typed in organizing and found some wonderful videos of Peter Walsh, Expert Village and FlyLady. I really was enlightened and my eyes were opened to the fact that, “Clutter is not about stuff, it’s about the underlying issues.” Peter Walsh. Here are some more wonderful quotes from Peter: “Experiences rather than expenditures,” “More is NOT better,” “Don’t focus on the clutter, decide what you want to do with the space and go from there,” “When clutter fills your space, nothing else can get in that space,” “The email syndrome is what most people suffer from, “We are responsive instead of having a clear vision where we want to go, rather than our views of what we want to be what drives us and our lives.” “Clutter is what separates you from the life you want to live!”

Now, here are some key ideas that Peter shares on the videos I watched.

Drawers: Empty out and put in small plastic container, what you use in a months time you keep and put back in the  drawer, what is still in the container at the end of the month you donate it!

Piles of books and magazines: Keep 4 and give 1 away.

Clothes: Turn all the cloths hangers backwards on the rod and what you use in a 6 month time frame return the hanger the correct way. All the clothes where the hangers have still not been turned get donated at the end of the 6 months.

Mail: Create a mail center with a sorting tray, label files & sort daily. Choose one location to check mail daily. The files should be labeled; “Taxes, Home Management and Bills.”

“Clutter is what separates you from the life you want to live. Look at the area and envision what you want to accomplish in that space. It’s important to have clarity-a vision where you want to go. Self awareness be responsible and make mindful decisions daily to help accomplish your goals. Commitment you have to make small steps daily to have change and new habits.”

There are 2 types of clutter: 1) Memory Clutter and 2) I might need it someday clutter.

“When you de-clutter your space, the ripple effect on your life is amazing!” “What you have should reflect the life you want.”

Two things that I have done to help me figure out why certain spots keep getting cluttered are 1) I took pictures of the “problem spot” and then I print a copy from my computer printer and evaluate the mess and see what stuff doesn’t belong. 2) After I figure out what I want to accomplish in that spot I tape up a piece of paper that is titled, “Things needed in the (and I name the room), then every time I walk in the room and I think about how I would love to be able to do this particular thing in this space I write it down on the paper. I plan on keeping my wish list on the wall for a couple of weeks while I am getting the room organized, then I won’t be guessing what I need to buy to make the space workable.

Okay, I know this is a lot of food for thought but, it really empowers me to know that there is hope for change and refinement!  I hope what I learned encourages you as well!

Blessings,

Denise

Day 5!

Hello! I am sorry I didn’t post anything all weekend, just jammed packed with family events:) I am still on track with full force although today I was tempted to be discouraged and down about how I just wish EVERYTHING was all done!!! Nevertheless, I am focusing on the laundry room which triples as a craft room and homeschool resource room! Whoa! I don’t think this room is big enough to hold all three of these resources and am praying that God will enlighten me with new/fresh ideas that will enable all these things to be housed in one small room. If you have any ideas I am so interested in hearing them so please post a comment and share them with me. I might post some pics if I can get over my pride! I have found some great websites that I have read and am using in my big plan of BREAKING THE CYCLE! The links are below for you to check out. More to come~~~Denise

http://www.tips-to-organize-life.com/declutter-your-house.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_4522997_declutter-room.html

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-declutter-your-home

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Penny_Scott

Day 2 Review

Well, I have by God’s grace been able to complete my small goals for day 1 and 2! Yippy is all I can say. Earlier today I mentioned how I would share what I had set as my morning goal for #2 listed in this article: http://lifeorganizers.com/cm_articles/89_get_motivated_to_get_organized_97.html  Tuesday evening I had decided I should do a small area to feel a sense of accomplishment so I choose my master bathrooms private room solely for the Loo (fancy word for toilet.) I accomplished this task right after my shower and decluttered the magazines, books and little odds and ends. The room looked great and after I was done  I felt as much pride as a person can feel in having a clutter-free Loo:) I then spent some time working on my Bible Study, I am currently doing “Apples of Gold” by Betty Huizenga. I am on the last chapter which I know was part of God’s providential plan for me, it is fittingly entitled, “Hospitality.” I have learned so many lessons from this amazing study. Sometime I will take the time to document them all but for today I plan on sharing with you just one thing that God has taught me in this chapter.

Amazingly the first thing that spoke to my heart of hearts was the scripture she choose, “…Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.” Titus 2:3-5 (rsv) I italicized what I felt the Lord was saying to me, “Denise, are you training those young ladies in your household to be domestic?” I wouldn’t have to look very far to see the fruit of my training, sadly I was not trained to be a keeper of my home and now just as much as I hate that neglected area of my training I too was furthering the legacy or lack their of! Recently I watched the movie, “Julie and Julia” in it a young women who wanted to learn how to cook decides to start a blog that follows her progress in learning how to cook using one of Julia Child’s french cook book. She sees the correlation to having accountability from her blogging her progress and after much hard work, trials and lessons learned finishes the cook book and becomes a wonderful cook and better person. Then the thought occurred to me, “Why don’t  I start a blog documenting my journey from pigsty to palace. So here I am on day 2 of this challenge. It is my hope and prayer that God will enable me to overcome the bad habits I have formed over my lifetime and start new positive ones. I want my actions to speak louder than my words so besides my husband I haven’t told my children that  I am doing this blog thing. I want them to see change in me and then hopefully they will follow the, “pied piper of organization” down a new road, one paved with new habits that encourages order and  sense of freedom of clutter and an open heart and home to hospitality. I want my family to feel like V.I.P.s and the house is clean and presentable for them first and then others second! I also choose to fold and hang up all laundry that has been sitting on my couch for a while. I documented it on this blog and proceeded to get it done, after dinner I was able to see the couch again!! I also began a diligent search amongst my magazines and books on organizational articles and began to tear the pages out that I feel will be most beneficial to my newest task, a “Neat Notebook.” I hope to write out my goals and have a visual picture of an idea that I wish to implement in my home. It may take longer than I had hoped to create long and short-term goals for myself and my family but I feel like it will all be worth the wait. Thank you for encouraging me and following my on this journey, I really need your accountability. I’ll continue the lessons learned a little at a time. More to come……….

Blessings and Good Nite,

Denise

I did it!

I was able to get my target goals for today done early this morning and boy do I feel motivated! I think I’ll tackle the clean laundry that has been piling up and needing to get put away. I hope to have it ALL (clean and dirty) caught up and put away by noon Saturday. I know this sounds like a long time but I am wayyyyyyyyyyyy behind! My other goal is to work on #s 9 & 10, this evening and have nailed down solid goals (short and long-term) for myself. God-willing I will have them 9&10 done by tomorrow noon. Tonight I’ll let you know how it went, give you details on what my goal for this morning was and what I learned in my quiet time. Asta luego (Until later:)

Blessings,

Denise