My plan to create 10 beautiful blog posts by the New Year certainly did fall by the wayside. I have so many creative projects to wrap up and get out as blog posts, but we have been attempting to move from our house back to my mom’s. I just didn’t have the time I wanted, or the space I needed, to take nice photos and create good quality crafty videos. This is the reason I am working so hard massively de-cluttering both houses during this move.
Moving Back to Mom’s “The Year of Clearing Clutter”
At least we are only a 10 minute drive away and everyone is happy about the move. It still isn’t easy to sort through all your possessions and fit them into a smaller space though. In actuality we are moving into a bigger house but we added a baby, and the existing space was occupied by my mom’s, dad’s, and brother’s stuff.
Basically that means we have to go through 2 houses worth of possessions. Both of our houses are so full of stuff they are bursting at the seams, I’ll tell you the complicated story about how they got that way another day.
We struggled, but we did get enough stuff sorted and moved from our old house in order to make space for extended family members to move in. This means that we won’t be spending money to maintain the heat, at that house, which is fantastic!
Why would we have to maintain the heat where someone isn’t living you ask? Pennsylvania’s winters are typically very cold, January through March.
Temperatures under 32 degrees will wreck plaster walls. Not that the walls are in great shape at our old house but we certainly don’t want to speed up it’s decline. So back to getting the family able to move into our old house.
So Many Cats, It’s Like a Kitty Soap Opera
Since the family moving into our old house had extra space, they adopted 2 of the kittens we had rescued from mom’s backyard. Then Billy’s mom adopted the last kitten, who was the most temperamental tiny little thing. She is coming around finally.
Billy’s mom is a wizard with cranky baby animals, so we really did our best to make sure she got to live there. Miss kitty is still cray-cray though. Her name is Ninja because she bounces off of walls! We are happy that she is doing well and super happy that we accomplished re-homing 6 kittens, there were 7 in the litter. Can you believe that? Crazy!
We certainly couldn’t keep all of them but we are happy to continue to watch the kitties grow. We only kept 1 orange male and boy is he handsome. Now we have 3 long-haired cats and I am looking at buying a cat genie litter box because no one likes scooping cat litter.
The main thing I have been working on besides childcare, cooking, and cleaning (and going to work) is downsizing! My mom, dad, and brother collected a ton of stuff and our 5 person household is full to brimming with anything you can think of. When we combined our pets, we had fish, 1 dog, and 2 cats and we have added another cat since then. We were also taking care of the 8 cats outside until we re-homed the kittens.
Now we just have to catch, fix, and release “almost-feral” momma kitty, the week our name comes up on the vet’s waiting list. I’m like, she isn’t guaranteed to wander through our yard the week surgery comes available. We shall see if we can get this done before she gets pregnant again. I hope it doesn’t take long to get the PAWS voucher and schedule surgery!
How We Plan to Tackle Our Clutter “And How it got Worse, Before Better”
Back to the houses, you would be amazed at how fast things accumulate in our 2 homes. Unfortunately chronic diseases, disabilities, and life in general doesn’t make it easy to keep up with sorting and getting rid of unwanted items quickly.
Clutter clearing wasn’t a priority for me when I was working full-time while pregnant. After that, my motivation didn’t improve when I was caring for baby. My word have I enjoyed my adorable baby though. She is precious and my last kiddo so I am holding on to every moment.
Back to too much clutter, we didn’t have a system in place for getting rid of items and the clutter situation got out of control quickly.
We made sure to organize and purge things while we moved into mom’s house. We would make a little space at mom’s, and then we would bring boxes from the old house to sort and disperse, or store, repeat forever…
We actually made a lot more progress then I thought we would. We have been very intentional when we bring things over from the other house. We have been prepping strategically so that we can put things away as soon as they come over. The hope is that we can maintain order and keep our clutter in check. We still have way too many things but we are making progress!
My Office & Why It’s Important to Me
Now for my exciting news! I have a dedicated office space, yippee! I have worked so hard to get a specific place for craft supplies, papers, and products. I have sorted my face off!
It took a lot of effort carrying heavy stuff, creating storage solutions, constantly rearranging, and creatively managing time in order to fit everything into an already jam-packed schedule. I have finally gotten to the point where I am not totally embarrassed by the background in my photos and videos (at least in this room haha).
I’m not fully proud either but I consider it acceptable. I guess this means I am not a minimalist! I hope having space to create will speed up my creative process and production. I may not be able to make myself more time but this should make it easier to take advantage of any spare moment.
Having a dedicated work space also helps me to de-clutter a little faster. I have a nice space to shuffle papers and take pictures of items for listing. I have just started trying to sell some of our valuable vintage items on the Mercari selling app. Unfortunately this app also makes it easy to buy so I will have to manage that temptation as well.
Being able to photograph collectibles and upload them quickly will hopefully speed-up the downsizing process. It also has the benefit infusing our life with a little more cash. We have always said we need to have a thrift shop so now we “kind of” do.
If you are looking for somewhere to shop, or a place to sell without having to meet up with people, check out Mercari. If you use my link you will get $10 to spend on a $20 purchase. If you end up finding something you like and make a purchase I will get $10 too. No pressure, probably most of you reading this are thinking you need less stuff instead of more. Don’t we all, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting new shoes.😄 Anyway, your choice. Click here to visit Mercari
Personally I am looking forward to simplifying further. It’s a struggle agonizing over whether or not we might want or need something in the future! I keep telling myself, and my family, that we need the space more then we need the stuff.
Since there is so much to go through, I focus my time on clutter that feels easy to let go. I can clear space fast this way and I have time to consider more complicated items before making a final decision.
For 2 weekends in a row I got to focus on cleaning and sorting this house and it helped me get a lot done. This weekend coming we will be bringing over another car load or two. I’m not looking forward to doing the work but I am looking forward to getting it all done! At least I have a nice place to spend time processing possessions.
I snapped a pic of my desk while I was sorting across the room. My WIP (Work In Progress) stack looks so much more managable this way.
It makes me happy to know it would literally take me 3 seconds to clutter-clear my desk! The biggest perk is being able to spend time in a room that is comfortable, functional, and makes me happy! Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!
Talk about improving your mood! I happily wrote this blog post and I am looking forward to enjoying some crafting and sewing time this weekend. After 10 hr days working and running kids to activities in the evening, I am ready for some fun in “my studio”.
My Strategy for Keeping Inventory & Working Efficiently
But first I am uploading inventory from my Avon business to an app that reads bar-codes. I wanted to be able to track product digitally somewhere I can record my wholesale price. I want to be able to easily see what I have in inventory, and view it’s wholesale price, so I can price items fast and keep loss at a minimum.
I believe in keeping track of your business numbers but I also like to automate everything I can. It’s also nice to have information at your fingertips. That way you can answer customer questions without having to physically go search your inventory.
Moving Forward: 2020 The Newest New Beginning
It certainly has not been an easy season of my life but I am looking forward to real change. I have goals to replace my “employed” income this year because I want to work from home. It plagues me that at any moment someone in my family might need my full-time care and that would involve a devastating loss of income.
This is the year I’m setting-up systems in order to get myself in a place where I can still earn an income even if I am home-bound. I don’t want to wait until it actually happens and suffer more stress and uncertainty that is already present in those types of situations.
I am hoping setting-up systems and simplifying my life will help me to make the switch quicker and smoother.
Here is to making life easier and celebrating small wins! What small wins are you celebrating right now (or should be celebrating)? What would be a reason you would want to work from home? What systems do you count on to save you time and make your life easier?