I am not going to lie, this weekend has been a struggle.
The funny thing is, that isn’t necessarily because of the challenge I have set for myself, I think.
This week was wonderfully productive personally and professionally. The sun was shining and greatly helped my mood and motivation, for the most part.
I am maintaining a ‘learning’ streak on Duolingo, still practicing yoga nearly daily, and while I am back on the sugar – I am not back on the booze.
Every day that is rougher emotionally, physically, or mentally then I would have liked it to be, I can generally see that, for whatever reason, the day did not start with yoga. Therefore, for my own sanity before the days end, I must find time to focus my breathing and stretch my body. It is amazing how much more manageable life is after I spend time on the mat. A few times this week I even came out of practice a little spacey, like I was a little high, for a moment or two.
However, Saturday I woke up tired even after sleeping for nearly 8 hours. I think this might be due to all the pizza I ate for dinner the night before. My son had a day-long playdate (he is almost 8, is he too old for me to call it that now?), which is incredibly rare these pandemic days. For dinner the boys requested pizza, so we picked up take-away from our favorite restaurant that we haven’t been to in over a year.
I overdid it though.
I’ve learned that I do better in general if I eat light for dinner, meaning a salad or something similar. I sleep better, have more energy the next day, and feel less lethargic and ‘blah’ from having to digest so much food overnight.
That pizza was delicious though, so delicious.
I love traditional Italian (thin crust) pizza. It is a top meal, behind American-style Mexican burritos. Yet, up there at the top with Sushi and Korean food.
On Saturday mornings, my family is really exciting – we clean the house.
I hate this. It is supposed to alleviate my stress and help to spread my tasks more fairly among the other members of my household. Perhaps most importantly, it is also supposed to help model and teach my son responsibility.
It still stresses me out because, if I participate at all, I end up managing everyone else in the house to ensure everyone remains on task…because, oh look something shiny.
Lately, because I have been rather overwhelmed with my studies and work, I have bowed out of the tasks altogether.
This week though, I thought I would clean my half of the house and proceeded to do so, moving furniture and all. I did not tell my husband what I was doing because I assumed he could tell since half of the toilet room stuff and kitchen furniture were in the hallway.
Well, almost as soon as I put all the pieces back, my husband pulled them all out again and was cleaning these spaces all over again.
Needless to say, I think, this was the beginning of our day of inability to effectively communicate.
This continued through Easter morning, with a disagreement over hiding real cooked eggs around the house. I said no way, as my parents did that when my sister and I were kids and lost track of just one egg, which made the house STINK for such a long time thereafter.
According to my husband, I am no fun.
However, I have made it a mission throughout my son’s life to collect plastic eggs that we can put small notes, gifts, or money in and hide for him, inside or outside our house.
Even after all this time, my husband did not know this, even though we have hidden eggs together before, and he was with me in America when I bought some of the plastic eggs from the Dollar Store.
*Here in Germany, so far, the only type of plastic eggs you can find that allow for surprise bits inside them are Kinder Eier (German chocolate surprise eggs). Plastic eggs are widely available, but they are closed, often for hanging on trees or displaying as a centerpiece.
Why decluttering sucks
Later Saturday afternoon, I said mentioned to him that we’ve got to start clearing stuff out. I asked him if he would prefer to clean out under his bedside or go through the electronics – he said neither and didn’t move. Ten minutes later I asked him again and he again said neither and keep working on his computer. My response was to remind him that he doesn’t use anything from underneath his side of the bed, it is where stuff just goes to accumulate. He agreed but didn’t want to touch it.
I reminded him what this month’s challenge was. He sighed but agreed. He remembered my warning leading into this month, so he said.
Meanwhile, I had started cleaning out the bathroom.
Finally, I asked him to just do it, please, begin to lean out his bedside and under bed storage.
A half-hour later he finally dug in, unhappily.
Look buddy, we all know the fun part is bringing it into the house. The crappy part is having to go through it, having an honest conversation with ourselves about if we really need it now, or if we should really get rid of it.
But, now it is done
On the upside, in having to go through old photos, my husband found plenty to help aid his current obsession with genealogy that was not previously online.
Whose clutter?! Mine.
It is fortunate that I run this house. Most of the clutter in it is, admittedly, thanks to me – so it will mainly my job to clean it up and out.
My hope by having my husband struggle with his main source of junk collection is to simply get it out of the way right away.
Believe me, we all know that most of the rest of the space is all my crap.
By dinnertime, it was difficult for me to not pour myself a drink.
I made myself a mock-tail instead and tried to go to bed early.
However, what was successful?
Look to the success, no matter how small
We began to clean out the bedroom, moving boxes of old clothes to the basement (to be dealt with later), things to donate to the car and things to toss or recycle into their respective containers.
My husband’s bedside and under-bed storage are finally clean, after years of collection.
The bathroom has been cleaned out. I went through my makeup, cleaning supplies, and medications tossing all kinds of random pieces.
I was even able to go through some of my son’s plastic crap to recycle it as well.
Essentially completing way more than I thought we would in our first weekend taking a walk at it.
It was difficult to stop once we started, but I must remember it doesn’t need to be done in a day – or a weekend. This is especially important since I do not want to overwhelm myself or burn out.
3 thoughts on “A slow start is still a start”
I’m working on decluttering my house too. I loved the video you posted – it actually led me down a rabbit hole of related Ted talks that were very insightful. Thanks for your post. The bathroom clutter photo is inspiring.
Thanks K. The bathroom has been a bit of a work in progress as I have tried for years to reduce our plastic consumption specifically in that room. What a challenge. I also don’t just want to toss otherwise useful items. I guess the key though is if the items are still useful to me or my family and if they are not – they need to go.
Decluttering is not necessarily easy.
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It definitely is not. I hear that. And good luck to both of us! God save the Queen lol 😂
Yes, good luck to both of us.