Need a little support, accountability and friendship . . .

VOLUNTOWN, CT(Zone 6a)

Hi New Friends-- I need to get back on the wagon. Ten years ago I subscribed to the FlyLady method and had great support on a forum call Organized Home. OH is now defunct and FL is too complicated to sign up to. I'm hoping the community here can help me out . . .

A little about me . . . I'm 45 years old, married, no children. I'm a homebody at heart: I garden, quilt, cook and hold down a 50+hour a week job in Human Resources at a large company. Ten years ago, I was on the top of my game professionally. I was disorganized at home, but got that controlled, and was very proud that my home was my home. I married in that time frame. Six years ago, I got transfered to a stress-filled/disaster job and all of my organizational skills disintergrated. I could see and feel all my organizational skills fall apart at work and at home. It was really hell on me psychologically, emotionally and physically to just get through my daily demands. I gave up all my personal hobbies and my social outlets.

Within the last six months, I transferred jobs, weathered two health issues (DH & Mine) and am now progressing to a much better place. I am once again controlling my work life. But my house is a wreck, and I need some accountability to right it. My goal is to get rid of some accumulated weight and stuff, and improve how I'm living. And to be a better partner to my husband in the process and as a result.

And because I'm an intrrovet in real life, I'm looking for a little hand-holding in virtual life . . .

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hi Patchwork! Welcome to the forum. I think we can all understand your situation. Most of us here have been in it or are in it currently. And many people here will share their tips and experiences. And maybe some of the ideas will be just what you need to hear.

Getting started is the hardest part. Looking at the whole picture can be quite overwhelming. So I would suggest focusing on one room at a time. The living room, kitchen or master bedroom may be your top priority. Choose one and remove everything from that room that doesn't belong in that room. Once a room is neat and tidy, you'll feel empowered and encouraged to continue.

One thing I do is keep an ongoing to-do list of all the things, big and small, that I need to accomplish around the house. When you look at everything, you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. And you always think, "There's so much to do! Where do I begin??" And then you feel defeated before you even start. So make your list. Then when look it over and see what you feel like tackling at this particular moment. Maybe cleaning out the fridge is what you want to tackle now. Or maybe you want to get all those boxes out of the master bedroom and clean out the closet so you can close the doors. Whichever task you feel "in the mood for", start with that.

It might help to put next to each task on your to-do list the estimated time you think the task will take. For instance, cleaning out the fridge may take 30 minutes. Replacing the batteries in the smoke detectors may take 15 minutes. Cleaning out the closet may take 2 hours. Then when you have a few minutes or hours, you can look over your to-do list and find a task that will fit that time-frame.

As you see tasks being marked off your to-do list, you'll feel more encouraged to continue. I pin my to-do list to the fridge, and as I think of something else I need to do, I add it to the list. I can also see my progress daily, even if my home doesn't exactly reflect the progress yet.

If you have any specific questions or are dealing with specific items or situations, let us know. I'm sure someone here can offer suggestions for dealing with.

One thing I remind myself from time to time is that ANY progress is WONDERFUL progress. Make it a goal to do at least one task daily, even if it's just changing the light bulb on the front porch. Even the tiniest little imperfections, like a burnt-out bulb, drain our energy. Everytime we come upon that burnt-out bulb, we usually need the light it would have provided, and we curse ourselves for putting off changing the light. Little progresses make us happier and in the end, daily progress will eventually accomplish our long-term goals.

VOLUNTOWN, CT(Zone 6a)

Thank you for the welcome Butterflychaser. LOL at the burnt out bulb suggestion--I just replaced the one beside my bed that has been out for 2 weeks. It was aggravating me everytime I reached for the switch and realized I hadn't changed it yet.

In my frustrated first post, I may have not given myself enough credit. The first floor of my home is nice and tidy. I'm a fairly organized person at heart. Pantry is organized and labeled. Dishes rarely remain in the sink. However, my basement and spare bedroom have become dumping grounds for all kinds of random stuff, that I need to get rid of or find homes for. Not too many people see those spaces in my home, but I know they are a mess and it mentally bothers me that I haven't put that right yet. I also have four bins of Christmas decorations cluttering my bedroom because I haven't put them in the attic.

Today, I will resolve to put them away. I will also declutter one more bag of clothing, add that to the three in my car and drop them at the thrift store this morning. I think I just need some forward motion to get things set right.

Thanks again for your encouragement.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Most of us have a "dumping ground". Mine is the guest bedroom. When I tackle it, I usually start with the big stuff, like the empty packing boxes that my new computer came in. It's a simple task that I put off, but once the boxes are taken out to the trash, it makes such a big difference in the look of the room and the way I feel. You'll experience the same "giddiness" when you put the Christmas decorations in the attic.

I've always been slow to put Christmas decor away. And the last few years, the thought of having to put it all away after Christmas prevented me from dragging it all out in the first place. Last summer I gave it all away, so that is one less chore I have to dread and feel guilty about.

I desperately need to clean out a couple of closets. Maybe I'll focus on one of them today. I must have 50 T-shirts in one closet. Who needs 50 t-shirts??? Some could be cut into dusting rags.

If the rest of your home is nice and neat, you're doing pretty good. You just have a couple of spaces to tidy up. As you get the bedroom in order, I bet the basement won't seem so daunting. Way to go on your organization. I'm cheering you on to the finish line. :-)

Crossville, TN

pictures!!! I am 77 YO and not getting any younger....and I have tons of photos....I am in the process of going through them...dividing them among my 3 children and 4 grandchildren....and ending up with only a handfull. I have thrown away MANY MANY....no one would enjoy them after I am gone....and my DD's will thank me when my time comes to leave this world.

My guest bedroom is also my "catch-all". I look forward to having some one come for an overnight visit so I well be compelled to clean out the clutter....but until then....back to the photos. Jo

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Patch, the most important thing I took away from flylady (I tired of her political soapbox) is THE TIMER.

I use mine religiously. Set it for just 15 minutes every day & in a year you will have done, let's see ... um ... more than 91 hours of something or other!

Crozet, VA

Welcome aboard Patch. You are ahead of the game in that you realize a problem and want to set it straight. Your brief introduction could have been mine written about a year ago. In this group I found the encouragement and support to keep at things until I was satisfied at the time that I had done a very good job of ridding many of my dumping grounds of their debris.

Butterfly Catcher and her hints and tips are what helped me the most in my de-cluttering journey a year ago. I wanted the good feelings she talked about that were associated with down sizing and neatening our living spaces. What she said about momentum was true. And the just getting started bit holds true too. After seeing some of the small successes and feeling the excitement associated with a smoother running household, we do want to do more and more.

Anyway.....I will be looking forward to hear about your progress. I know that you will do a great job because the desire is there.

Ruby

VOLUNTOWN, CT(Zone 6a)

Thank you all for encouraging words! In the two weeks since I first posted, I kicked it up a notch, to quote Emerill. I still have not touched the spare bedroom, but I got some momentum. I started with my main floor, which I considered tidy and livable. Fifteen minutes at a time, I forced myself to declutter some more, and power cleaned. (This weekend saw some real progress.) I needed to start where it wasn't really bad to get my groove. I checked in on the Flylady site (I had subscribed to her once upon a time), set my timer and baby stepped my way back to getting things right.

So next weekend, the spare bedroom!

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Oh, I think most of us could use a kick in the pants lol. I am a collector by nature and love to stay neat and tidy but that is tough for me. I have several Spring projects I want to get done before warm weather gets here to stay and then I will be outside and the housekeeping will be on the backburner.

Teresa in KY

Crozet, VA

Way to go Patch......I can sense you excitement. I know and have heard others say too, that once we get in the groove and get going, things just sort of fall in to place and the task actually becomes quite enjoyable. I know that last winter as I was de-cluttering I could begin to feel some sort of lightness to my house that didn't seem to be there before. So, there was a noticable difference, even though most of the items I parted with had been stored hidden away in closets and such. It was almost as if my house were breathing a sigh of relief.

Keep up the good work.

Ruby

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I can do 5 times more work if I am in the mood. If I am forcing myself to tidy it is a very slow process.

Good luck everyone, we CAN do it!

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

heres that hand- go for it...

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

You know, Patchwork-- I think it all works together! Losing weight, changing jobs, improving your relationships and cleaning out clutter in your house.....you deserve all those things and you can do them...and when you start trying to do them, you do!

I just retired from being an elementary librarian for 30 years--and I brought home huge piles of "stuff." I gave lots of it away here in town--but I took big piles of school supplies down to my sister's house to donate to her school. Yesterday I visited her at her school--and she introduced me to everyone, "This is my sister--the one who's given us all those great supplies!" The teachers just beamed at me!

One of the things that I've found helps me when it comes to uncluttering is designating a spot for discards. I have a stack of baskets in the entryway and when I pick up something and realize I don't need it or use it, I put it in the basket. When I get a couple of full baskets, I drop off at Goodwill. I try to pay attention to things like when I put on a shirt and think, "This itches" or "I just don't like the way this looks" or "This is just a little too short" and drop it right then in the give-away pile. After all, it's never going to be longer, look better, or not itch!

I do longer projects, too--right now we're redoing our kitchen and replacing all the floors in our house...so I've been especially busy with weeding things as I packed them....but I find that I don't get so overwhelmed if I just chip away at a lot of things. (Another thing that helps me when I'm looking at a hobby I've moved away from, or a drawer with little things that I've been "saving" because I "might need them sometime" is that if you don't use it, you won't generally remember that you've got it when you could use it. Does that make sense?)

And boy oh boy does it ever feel good to take a car full of stuff and pass it on to somebody somewhere!

Let us know how you're doing, Patch!

Sue

Crossville, TN

Welcome to Dave's Garden, Sue....You have given us some good advice! Jo

Crozet, VA

Welcome Sue and you are correct about it seeming to be inter-connected and it all working together. It seems as though we get one area of our lives addressed and in good order and that motivates us to do more and more. So glad that your sister's school was able to use the supplies you donated. That is always a win-win situation.

Ruby

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I am trying to lose weight again :( This time the dr said I have lupus that is mild or in remission.
I am trying to walk or do some type of excerise each day. Change my eating habits too.
I have found that I like salad with a bit of ranch.

I have been a happy person all my life, the extra weight has always been a burden for me. My doc said that for 1 extra pound it = to 3 lbs of pressure on your joints. I have lost it before it just keeps returning :(

On house cleaning I am trying to overcome the pack rat syndome. When first married we didn't have extra money. Now if I donate items to charity or the local mission I tell myself, someone needs this more than me. If I do need it again I have the resources to go out and purchase another.
Teresa in KY

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hi Teresa. My 58 yr old sister has Lupus too, as well as fibromyalgia. Episodes come and go without any notice. She says the key to her survival is "good drugs". She takes her medications religiously as prescribed to reduce the severity and frequency of the episodes. She's very active--an attorney, wife to a judge, lots of social gatherings and nights out, mother to a busy college student, an active fundraiser for her community, etc. How she does it all, I have no idea. But she does say being busy helps keep her from getting mired down in her diseases. They say avoiding stress helps too, but I'm not sure my sis can avoid stress in her busy life. She does have days where she retreats to her bedroom and no one bothers her until she comes out again. She's dealt with lupus for 30 or so years, so she's an old pro at it now.

I think one thing that helped her get a handle on it was forming a Lupus foundation. Other people in the community joined and she got lots of support and tips from others suffering with the same disease. Do you have a support group for Lupus in your community? If not, maybe you could start one? Or find one online. Sharing tips and ideas with others in the same situation could help make life easier.

With weight, losing it seems to be the easy part. Keeping it off is much harder. Somewhere I read that the extra weight changes our hormones, and that our bodies want to keep the weight. So if we lose it, the body remembers the weight and misses it and sabotages us so we regain it. Even the bacteria in an overweight person's stomach is different from the bacteria in a thin person's stomach. So there's been some research done about using antibiotics for weight loss. And there may be some merit to that. I know when I take anitbiotics for a kidney infection, I have no appetite.

Anyway, good luck with your progress in all areas. I'm sorry you have to deal with Lupus; it's such a tough ever-changing disease with so many unpredictable symptoms. You'll accomplish your decluttering process, I'm sure. You've adopted the right attitude to let go of the items. Keep us posted on your success.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

I love that she has such balance & love in her attorney life that she can retreat to the bedroom like that & recharge & she is allowed to do so.

I've always been thin but I love to run & climb trees & whatnot. At 49 though, I see what other people have dealt with -- I have to pay attention just a bit or 5 pounds creep in! At the same time my knees hurt a bit on occasion these days so we certainly do not want to encourage that with even an extra ounce.

I just want to encourage anyone dealing with unhealthy fat to FIGURE OUT what will work for you so that you can lose it. We have so many tools these days, from pay plans that DO work, like Weight Watchers or Medifast, to online support groups like us, plus just a wealth of knowledge about where calories come from & what is a healthy diet.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Could not help but post about the weight issues. I am now 70 years old. We never expect to be THAT OLD! Only the lucky get there. I have weighed 92 and I have 172 in my adult life. Have settled now to around 152. Used to be 5'1", now I am 4'11". A few years ago I was a Fox and had it alll together. Life happens, things change. Got a call early this morning that a long time friend died in his sleep last night, 69 years of age. There was a time when I would have said that was OOOLLLLDD. Life is so very short. We worry about our weight, our looks, our clutter, cleaning the oven........etc,etc,etc,

Guess I am feeling rather melancholy this evening as another friend is dying of cancer. Only weeks left in her life. She, too, has always worried about her weight. In the big scheme of things, JUST WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE.

Guess I have burned my bridges here.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Lou, I am so sorry about your friends. And how glad are we that you are still here in the land of the living? VERY. You have always been a huge addition to DG.

You made me think about something == without kids, I will never have grandbabies to keep me young. But perhaps because of my relative level of immaturity, I have always had luck making friends with youngsters & twentysomethings. That may come in handy when my age peers are kicking the bucket, no?

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm sorry about my bad attitude a short time ago. I should gone into my room and closed the door. Just a lot sorrow today and I dumped it here. I will try to do better tomorrow.

Christi

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Sweetheart, no bad attitude came across! Seriously, in this forum we take the bad with the good. You simply sounded thoughtful to me and, yes, sorrowful.

My heart is going out to you. How can we help?

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

On my knees tonight. Thanking God Our Father for my many blessings. DG is most certainly on that long list. When confronted with our mortality, everything else gets very insignificant. But that is what makes up life so we will trudge on and hope to help others in any way possible. I love all you so very much. One big family.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Yeah, just TRY to burn bridges. I've already shed a couple of tears on your behalf, and I will add some eminently more-useful prayers right now.

I always figure that losses should remind us of how fortunate we were to have so much to lose. Of course, I can never actually apply that to myself.

Sweet dreams, Cristi.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Cristi, I know I've not "met" you yet here, but I will add my prayers to Summerkid's for you as well. Ya just can't see someone who's hurting and not hug 'em or offer prayers... at least that's the way I see it. And, by the way, that *is* how I saw your first post here, as a person hurting and in need of comforting and understanding and big fat hugs.

Very Warmly,

Susan

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

LouC, your post really hit me.....32yrs old 103lbs 63yrs old 202lbs......I used to turn heads big time, now I meet noone's eyes...feel great shame....I have my heart around you & know that you are very special inside....Keep it up....

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

No cause for shame over your weight, child. My daughter has fought that demon all of her life and even had gastric by-pass and almost died.......all for loosing weight. It didn't stay off very long and now she has more health problems that ever. This world is truly messed up in that we all measure ourselves by a mirror, clothes size, and scale. It is very obvious that the depth of love in your heart is great. I have a friend that has maintained her "looks" for 50 years. Sure hasn't been the golden ring for her. Our Lord doesn't look on the outside (btw, He made us so why do we question His creation all the time?) but on the inside of our souls. Every single one of you are white as snow. The imperfections that we perceive are pointed out to us by satan to take away the joy of the day.

Supposed to 80 degrees today. Out to the garden to play in the dirt.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/disneys-habit-heroes-accused-fat-shame

How ironic. Disney is in the news for having a new area at Epcot that was dedicated to "fat-shame". Please check out this link and you will see that the reaction was so hard that Disney has closed it down after only 3 weeks. What in the world were they thinking?

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Well imagine that, the link says that the website is either no longer available, or simply not available at this time. Doesn't take them long to run and hide, huh? Tsk tsk tsk, the SHAME is on THEM!

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

How disgusting. It was on the Shine website and I got a heads up on Facebook.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I did do a Google search and found the story elsewhere. Makes me SICK. I'm glad they shut that area and their website down, hope it stays shut down for a long long long time! I just gotta say, I've been "fluffy" nearly my whole life, and I'm WONDERFUL just how I am! < =)

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

That you are!

Crozet, VA

I just read the article about Disney and the fat shaming. I find it interesting that two out of the three threads I have read this morning are concentrating on weight issues. Hmmm.....message from the Universe to me? I was always the chubby girl in elementary school and now at age 56, I still feel the effects of some ugliness that was directed at me.

Many of you have given some really good insight to the issue, such as God made this body and he loves it, so should I. My weight too has been all over the map over the years. I now happily carry about twenty five to thirty pounds of extra cushioning around each day.

I learned way back when that dieting and I don't do well together. I often became a nervous wreck and it really had an emotional affect on me, so I have pretty much left dieting to those who have stronger consititutions. With me, what you see is what you get. I have had two ex husbands who knew that weight was a sticky topic for me and they would often use it to push my buttons. I have now been with husband number three who has never in twenty years of marriage mentioned that I should lose weight. In fact, he married me while I was on Prednisone and was at my heaviest weight ever of 202. That says a lot about his character.

Anyway.....I too am of the mindset that a person really caught up in their looks are of a very simple mind. I have much better places to direct my energies than being too overly concerned about how I look.

Anyway.....Lou, please know that I agree with everything that Summerkid said to you. You are a very lovable person and you feeling that you acted less than ideally is no problem among friends. I hope that you will allow yourself to have whatever emotion you happen to be feeling at any given time a voice....that way it will get out of you and disperse in to the atmosphere and leave you the heck alone. No one can continue on a positive note day in and day out. I work hard on trying to maintain a positive attitude, but only I know how sometimes I find myself with a really negative outlook. I much prefer how I feel when thinking the positive, so am usually able to get rid of the negative feelings a lot quicker than I used to be able to. I call it allowing someone or something to steal my joy, and I don't put up with that for too very long if I can do anything at all to prevent it.

I hope that as you close your eyes tonight Lou, that you will know that all the time and energy you extend towards being involved in Dave's Garden has not been for naught. You have helped so very many over the years you have been here. When you do find yourself having a tough go of it, allow us to repay your kindness and caring to you.

I heard something once that has stuck with me, though I admit I usually first get angry when I feel someone has treated me wrongly, but then I recall this saying and realize that they are lashing out because they are feeling hurt over something. "Hurting people, hurt." If we can remember to try not to jump to conclusion when someone is treating us less than ideally, but to think that behind their hurtful ways, there is a hurting person, maybe we can begin to feel differently about them. It certainly isn't easy and I don't admit to always being able to do this, but it does ease our own sting if we realize where the sting is coming from.

You folks all have a great weekend. Think I am going to get my walking cane and take a walk around the yard and see if anything new has bloomed since earlier in the week. Take good care everyone.

Ruby

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you, Ruby. We are having an "Easter Spell" right now....pretty early so we may have another. All of last week was in the 70s and it was just beautiful. Thursday we had a Blue Norther' hit us with rain and high winds. We really, really need the rain so no complaints there. In the lower 40's today and it feels like it is much colder because of the sudden contrast. I can hardly wait for the sun to come out because I have a jillion poppies and larkspur up and they are loaded with buds. Lots of things beginning to bolo,, now. The colors of the leaves just budding out give me a lift as well. This is waaaay OT but I do that a lot.
We have been battling sugar ants all over our desks and laptops for several months. I don't like poison but I did put out some Terro bait traps and all it seemed to do was feed them. Went to "Google" for help. One of the suggestions was ground cinnamon. Not toxic to any living thing but ants don't like it and won't cross it. Since yesterday morning I have seen only 3-4 or ants and the aroma of the cinnamon is intoxicating. Just thought I would pass that little bit on in case any of you are having problems with ants.

Another website I recommend is "Pinterest.com". Oh my word! It is addicting. I can get lost there and accomplish nothing all day. Right now I am watching a white wing dove sitting on top of the covered bird feeder. It is all puffed up to keep warm. We have multiple feeders and water stations and our yard had been covered in all manner of birds. The blue jays are gathering nest material. A house sparrow was already feeding a fledgling this morning. The robins and cardinals are here to stay.

God has blessed me and I Praise Him.

Crossville, TN

Ruby, I subscribe to the "full bucket" idea.

I was at at 4-H leaders meeting in Georgia one time and the speaker said he started each day with a "bucket full of happiness". As the day progressed folks would dip in his bucket and take away some of his happiness. So...Tell folks to "keep your dipper outa my BUCKET!!! Jo

Crozet, VA

I like the bucket idea Jo. Thanks. Gosh, I haven't read any threads for a while now and I can't even remember the subject I last wrote about while here. Anyway.....it is good reading about the interesting things that Lou has going on and also to hear Jo adding another way of looking at our lives.

I too Lou am loving the weather we are having in Virginia. This is week number two of temperatures in the 70's and that is just perfect for working in the yard. Slowly but surely I am addressing cleaning up beds left all winter. Things are looking good and I am sure that all the plants trying to pop through are appreciative of the work I have been doing in order that they may breath better. I still have loads to do but after working a couple of hours yesterday, I realized that I am actually getting a lot taken care of.

My houseplants too are thriving currently. Oh what a difference stronger sun makes in the way they look. I have some Coleus that are really going to town. I have been rooting some and have now actually started potting up some of the Coleus in hopes of selling at the Farmers Markets when they open next month.

It was a very, very mild winter here but I am so looking forward to some months of good temperatures before it turns too hot to do much outside. I am getting neither house plant work nor yard work done sitting here yakking, so I will be off for now. Hope that where ever you are today that the sun is shining brightly upon you.

Ruby

Crossville, TN

SNOW! In Southern Arizona....we have had the best winter ever...and today it is snowing. It will not stick here in the valley (4500 Ft), but will on the mountain tops (7,000 ft). Going to get back to nice weather Wed. I hope. "Mother Nature" has dipped into MY bucket! LOL Jo

Crossville, TN

SNOW! In Southern Arizona....we have had the best winter ever...and today it is snowing. It will not stick here in the valley (4500 Ft), but will on the mountain tops (7,000 ft). Going to get back to nice weather Wed. I hope. "Mother Nature" has dipped into MY bucket! LOL Jo

Crozet, VA

I think that deserves being said twice there Jo. hahaha That is what I am fearing. It is going in to about week number three of unusually high temps for our area. I want so badly to get out and sow seeds or plant plants, and I am afraid that as soon as I do it, along will come somoething such as you are speaking of......snow or ice.

Anyway......I will just have to occupy myself with cleaning gardens for now. That will take a lot of time, so I won't be in too much of a hurry on getting anything in the ground.

Thanks for writing to share this news though. Very interesting.

Ruby

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes Ruby, I'm like you in that I've had those unusually high temps as well, and been really anxious to get out there and put some stuff in the ground, but posts like Jo's are a good reminder that ya just never know what might be coming our way. I'll just patiently chomp at the bit and wait a little longer. =)

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