Pulling the Plug on What’s Not Working

Here I am, early on a Monday morning with nothing to show of in a 4Day Declutter Challenge Reveal post.

Again.

Why not? Because I didn’t post a challenge on Thursday.

Again.

I am frustrated with myself that I’ve missed posting each of the past two weeks’ challenges and (by no coincidence) each of the past two weeks’ reveals. I’m frustrated AND beginning to feel slightly over-run with guilt for not getting the challenges posted. Extra specially frustrated today because yesterday I made major progress in the front office of the warehouse. The room which has been, in my opinion, the least inviting area of my cluttered existence has been transformed into the closest thing to “homey” in only a few hours’ work.

I should have taken photos of the before.

I didn’t.

I just got a wild hair to have the unused refrigerator moved out of the corner and into the shop and started making that happen. Once that beast was out of the room, I set myself to moving the hall tree which has been sitting in the most tempting spot for clutter-collection (directly beside the entry door) into the spot vacated by the fridge. Now the black bench with over-head cubbies sits about 5 feet from the door. Close enough to be a handy launch pad for things like keys and sunglasses, purses and other travel must-haves, but not as convenient for depositing “whatever” we happen to carry in from the truck while being greeted by frantically enthusiastic chihuahuas whenever we come home. Clearing off the bench top has made a nice home (for now) for the duct-tape body form in my image that My Sweetheart helped me to create a couple of weeks ago as well as a home for the oscillating fan which normally takes up an obscene amount of floor-space and is mandatory equipment for My hot-in-every-way Sweetheart’s comfort. I hope that having those two items occupy the area most likely to encourage clutter on this particular piece of furniture we will be able to break the habit of dumping on it. Keep your fingers crossed that it works.

Still motivated to create change in this entry room, I took a pair of scissors to the carpet remnant My Sweetheart had positioned to run the length of the room, folded over at one end to fit the space, and I cut it down to size. The remnant’s remnant I placed in front of the front door. The comfy club chair which had been a sore thumb stuck out in the middle of the room and an obstacle to all movement within the room found a cozy little spot between the newly placed entry rug and the hall tree. My Sweetheart managed to sneak in behind me with a small tea-cart he just bought from the online auction for the whopping price of about a dollar, and he placed the cart between the club chair an the front door. It’s a really cute little cart and it’s a perfect fit in the space, but I’m worried that it may become the new drop-spot for “whatever” as we come in from where ever it is we go loaded down with random stuff. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. Cross more fingers.

The greatest assistance I encountered as I worked my way around the room, decluttering came from two other amazing online auction finds My Sweetheart has adopted in the past week: a small tower cabinet with about eight shallow drawers and a longish leather ottoman/bench/storage box. Into the cabinet went pens, pencils, sketchbooks and nail polishes, in other words, my personal clutter. Into the ottoman went beads and other crafting supplies, shoe-shine products and the like. It’s embarrassing how much clutter I create around here. I’m happy to have these two tools for hiding my mess! (Thanks, Babe.)

The greatest help I got with the cleaning aspect came from a new (to me, anyway) Kirby vacuum cleaner that My Sweetheart acquired for me on Saturday. I gotta hand it to The Kirby Company, they do make a product that sucks, but in such a great way! Every home should have a Kirby and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.

I didn’t get the whole room completely and totally decluttered by the time I threw in the towel, but I did get the major points covered… er… uncovered… before I sat down. Even the stack of boxes I have spent every day we’ve lived here trying to convince myself aren’t there really aren’t there! The best thing, though, is that when I finally called it quits, My Sweetheart came right behind me to place a new (from an online auction) open-faced, little cabinet in the corner where those boxes had been and topped it with what looked at first to be a sparkly, new microwave. On closer inspection, I realized that it was the same appliance we’ve been using (and neglecting) for over a year. My Sweetheart had polished it to a like-new shine.

All-in-all, I’m darn pleased with the results of the effort we put into it. I’m way less self-conscious about opening the door when there’s a knock from the other side. That says something, but doesn’t quantify the weight that’s been lifted from my shoulders. Whew!

But even in spite of all the progress I’ve made over the weekend, clutter-busting “to beat the band” as my grandmother might have said, I’m still aggravated with myself over the recent non-success of the 4Day Challenge. Not only am I frustrated at the fact that I’ve not posted the challenge or the reveal in the past two weeks, I’m also annoyed with myself that the only thing I’ve really posted, despite the fact that I’ve missed the challenge has been about it or somehow related to it, rather than whatever it might have been that inspired me to post in the first place, because I feel obligated to say something about the missed post… UGH! Since I’ve been the only participant lately, I’m not getting that team-spirit feeling out of it, either. But even with all of these not-quite-loving feelings I’m experiencing over this weekly meme concept, I would still be committed to sticking with it, just to keep myself motivated to kicking clutter in the butt. My progress in the front room this weekend, without the 4Day Challenge to hold me accountable, has given me a different outlook on the future of the challenge… Which brings me to the real reason for this post…

I’m suspending the 4Day Declutter Challenge… indefinitely. When the time comes that I need an external motivation for keeping up progress, I’ll bring it back. Unfortunately, I’m sure it will be back before long. What a sad truth. But it’s a relief to feel the freedom to post about whatever’s on my heart or my head when I want to post. I feel the freedom already! In fact, I’ve got a new pet-project that My Sweetheart and I are developing and fine-tuning; we even gave the idea a test-run over the weekend and I can hardly wait to tell you all about it.

I hope you all aren’t too disappointed in me for pulling the plug on the challenge, but I hope you’ll tell me about it, either way, in the comments.

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Week Five: More Clothes Than You Can Shake a Stick At

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is something seriously wrong with my head. It doesn’t work right. It’s kind of like a big truck with a little bitty battery; you turn the key, and it starts to turn the engine, but it just doesn’t have the juice to kick it over and let it run.

Here’s an example:

This morning, when My Sweetheart and I were waking up, he commented that today is another day for me to post a pic for the 4-day De-Clutter Challenge. When he mentioned it, I told him immediately that I planned on posting something really easy this week. “I think I’m going to post a photo of the bed of the truck.” That statement was turning the key in the ignition. Now that the time has come to actually take some pics and get them out there for you to see them and join me in the challenge, the engine just isn’t engaging like it should.

Instead of taking the easy way out, like I would do if my head was right, I am thinking about a massive pile of clothing in the warehouse. Make that 2 or three piles of clothing… Massive piles of clothing. All of it clean. Most of it folded or laid out flat, waiting to adorn hangers. If I had to quantify the amount of clothing waiting for attention, I would say that there is enough of it in the warehouse to provide modest wardrobes for nearly a dozen people… not counting the massive amount of infant, toddler and small children’s clothes.

The amount of clothing we have is sometimes the bane of my existence. And the most troublesome thing about the clothes is that most of them aren’t ours. Most of them have been tossed out by the bagful and sneak into the warehouse among the treasure that My Sweetheart brings home. Every now and then a few items which are sized to fit me will come through the door, but only very rarely. We go through the bags and pull out what we think will work for us and we make piles for alteration or upcyling, but I’ve only recently gotten the sewing machine needed for those projects. The task is pretty daunting at this point.

We need to make a trip to the donation center with a lot of the clothes we have here. I don’t know why we’ve been putting it off, but I do know that if I don’t post about the clothes today we won’t be accountable for doing something about it for at least a week. Posting a photo of the bed of the truck (which doesn’t happen to have much in it today anyway) isn’t going go very far in the progress department.

That said, this is my project for week number five: More Clothes Than You Can Shake a Stick At.

And this is but a fraction of the clothes I am talking about…. UGH!

See what I mean about my head not being quite right?! If it was right I would be showing you much less work!

I hope that some of you will join me this week!

(btw… Posting on a blog works a lot better when you actually publish your post rather than just previewing it and walking away. Duh! More proof that my head isn’t right…)

Stand Up Eight

Japanese Proverb, Graffiti, Seattle

I don’t know why I let a bit of chaos derail me from this blog (again). As difficult as blogging can become when life starts throwing curve-balls, it is always harder to come back and post after a period of not posting anything at all. The diversions that turned me from the blog some three months ago have been defeated for the better part of the summer and I have been ready to post again, just not ready to bite the bullet. I think part of the avoidance has been a lack of certainty about my Etsy shop and fearing that I might find failure in that endeavor while trying to promote it here. Hopefully I have found the support solution I have been needing for the shop because I am sick and tired of not blogging and I can’t stay away any longer.

I’ve joined an Etsy group (groups are called “teams” on Etsy) and I think membership alone will help drive my shop to success. Luckily, in case I’m wrong about the placebo effect of membership, the Upcyclers team is behind me with lots of help and advice and support. Oh, and I don’t think it will hurt anything that things are going pretty smoothly on the home front and I’ve got lots of merchandise to begin posting in the shop, too. Things are lookin’ up and I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities coming my way. Can’t wait to tell you all about it and get you caught up with all that I’ve been up to!

So, enough about all that for now… What’s been going on with you?

Stuck?

Something is amiss in my corner of WordPress.com. I’m having trouble posting as often as I would like to post. It isn’t lack of inspiration that is preventing me from posting; I have a little leather-bound notebook I carry everywhere and write lots of ideas that I want to write about. I am just having trouble with the flow of blogging…

When I have an idea, I lack photos of the project which is the subject of the idea. When I do have the photos I want for the post, I don’t have time to stylized them to have the “feel” I want them to have, upload them, tag, title, caption and describe them for publication and write the post. The final result of my blogging inspiration ends up something like selecting the photos I want to use and getting them ready to post and “running out of time to write” so I go surf through the blogs I follow instead because I enjoy it.

I would really like to post something here daily, but I am falling short of that goal. Then I feel guilty for not posting every day I don’t post. I feel guilty to the point that I don’t even comment on the blogs I follow because I am afraid that someone who might follow repurposedKATE if it appeared to be active may click-through my comment and see that I haven’t posted in EIGHT days! I am not sure how to get over this hump and let my workflow, well… flow.

I get the feeling that I’m not alone in this muck, either. My favorite reads are either openly expressing the same discomfort or I am sensing it when I visit their posts.

No, that’s not true. Not all of my favorite blogs are winding down, Home Sweet Here is a posting powerhouse demonstrating substantial posts with plentiful photos about 5 times every week! How is this possible?!! Another favorite who isn’t slowing down is Janey’s Room. There was a lull over there before the first of the year, but it seems that activity is on the upswing now. Clearly, these two are not to be counted among the others I mentioned before. 

As of yesterday, I’ve got the feeling that the blog which originally inspired me to start repurposedKATE, 100 things 100 days, is getting back on track after a little down-time and Christine’s consecutive confessions about self-sabotage and procrastination. I’m glad to see that she’s continuing to post and I have a new (to me) power washer in the warehouse waiting for me to fire it up for the first time that gives me the idea that I’ll be getting my second wind any time now.

Bloggers I love that seem to be feeling the same malaise that’s hanging over my blog are both contributors whom I admire a great deal and delight in reading have both posted on this very subject, although with slightly different meaning and direction. The inspiration behind this post, in fact, comes directly from ReStitch Me’s near-anniversary post and the Not Messy Confession MrsJ published in the past week and a half or so.

In the earlier post of the two, ReStitch Me asked for approval for some time off to sort out some things so she can come back a to her blog with a greater sense of balance. She had me fooled for sure, because sure looks to me like she’s got it together. MrsJ, was equally frank in her post, confessing that she didn’t feel she had a significant contribution to make when so she posted from her personal life, just for the sake of posting something. I thought both entries were very admirable. I wanted to offer my supportive comments, but here I was… Not posting on my blog.

See what I mean about something being amiss in my corner of WordPress? How do I go about fixing this so I can get back to the purpose of this blog in the first place? I have an idea or two that I’m not quite ready to put out in the open yet, but if the situation doesn’t change soon, I’ll have little choice. In the meantime, I am hoping that someone who has a suggestion

for getting me back to posting and getting my flow flowing will offer it in the comments… I hope everyone who reads this has an idea and leaves a comment.

Have you had this problem? Did you solve it? How?