This is the final part in my three part blog on getting my life in order so I get more painting done and have a more balanced life style.
Painting I did this week: Raising from the ashes, Galaxy Girls
So I am starting to get my head together now, I know what I need to do and are not relying on my hopeless memory to remember anything.
Funny thing is now I have it all written down my mind is clear to remember the important, what do I need to now stuff.
I am making an effort to spend time with the family and connect with them everyday. I'm enjoying looking good each day with planning out my wardrobe.
I am feeling happy that I have a savings plan in place.
So now whats next.
I still want to get my house in order. And I still need to make time for painting more regularly.
At this stage YouTube is suggesting I watch videos on decluttering and Minimalism . Well I could probably stand to do some decluttering. I don't feel that my house is too cluttered but things like the book shelves are starting to get pretty full. As for minimalism as I understand it, is not really my thing.
Then I came across The Life Changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo
If you are considering decluttering your house this is a great book to get you going. There is a lot in here that makes sense and some that seems a bit wacky but if you stick to it you do find even the more usual ideas in here starting to make sense.
Basically what she suggests is to work through your stuff systematically in categorises not by room. Gathering everything in that category in one place on the floor so you can see just how much stuff of that type you have then go through them one by one holding each piece and deciding if it is something you love. She says "does it spark joy?"
The idea is you only have to do this once and in the end you are surrounded by the things you love only, getting rid of the rest. You then will save money because you only buy what you love and will add value to your life.
Being surrounded by things I love and saving money by not wanting to buy so much sounds good to me.
I liked the idea of valuing and treasuring the things I own and not just having lots of stuff.
My problem was with this method started at step 1,
Yes believe it or not I had problems right at the start. She started with the category Clothes. She wants you to go through the categories in the order she has said. She states that she starts with clothes as it's the easiest to work through developing your throwing out skills as you move on to harder categories. My problem was I had just done a whole sort out my clothes thing and I just didn't want to do that again at this stage and feel I had wasted my previous effects. I was also liking my little autumn capsule wardrobe. And I don't find clothes an easy category for throwing out at all for me. So Rebel that I am I decided to start with the second category.
Again I had a problem with this method. The thought of pulling all the books off the book shelf where I have them all nicely sorted into categories. Going through them all and then having to resort them didn't appeal to me at all. So I didn't do that either. I just went through them shelf by shelf. Doing all the gardening books together and all the art books together etc. The process didn't take so long that way and I broke it up into different days, as I had time, without having to live in a mess of books on the floor. She says to thank each item for the being in your life before you discard it. At the end I am suppose to feel lighter and happy. I found it pretty depressing seeing all those books I had spent money on just going off to the charity shop. What a waste of my money, Why did I spend so much on these books. I guess that's why she says to thank the items as you let them go, Your chance to acknowledge them before parting.
I was surprised how much I got rid of. I have gaps in my bookshelves now.
I then went back to clothes at this stage
Although I didn't do this step like she said to. I did get some surprising things out of it. First off I learned a new way to fold my clothes. You know how when you fold up your tee shirts and then the draw only stays tidy for as long as you only want the shirt on the top.
Well with her methods you can see everything in your draw at once and can get what you need without disturbing the whole draw. I loved that so much I went through all my draws and folded things like she said. I also went through my husbands draws as well. Now when I sort the washing I am much more careful with how I fold and an unexpected spin off was, that I started ironing more. Now I'm the type of person that won't buy clothes that I will need to iron because I hate ironing so much. But something strange has been happening.
Someone and I can't remember who now, said on YouTube. If someone has a cheap tee shirt and it's nice and white and ironed and another person has a designer Tee shirt but it's all wrinkled which will look better. I remember that as I am ironing my never before ironed tee shirts.
As I have been looking after my clothes better I have been appreciating them more and this makes me want to look after then even better. Because I am only working with a small capsule wardrobe there is not so many to look after either which helps as well.
I have been carefully folding my children's clothes as well. Showing respect for them and their belongings. Only trouble is I forgot to teach them to respect their belongs as when I go into their rooms the next day their clothes are just thrown on the floor with the dirty ones instead of being put away.
Marie Kondo says that you can't declutter for someone else they have to do it. You also can't force someone else to declutter and tidy. But then she also says that as children we are not taught how to tidy up we are just expected to know how. And judging by the state of my girls rooms I have definitely failed to teach them how to tidy up. I don't think my kids would be able to handle her decluttering methods. But I find other methods later that are starting to get their rooms in order with them doing it themselves, with a little help.
So I have now decluttered my kitchen, all my drawers,papers, Dvd's, cd's then I tried my office/ hobby area and came to a stand still. It was to overwhelming and I just couldn't find very much to throw out. But there is to much in there and needs organising better. Also hadn't been near the worst areas as I just didn't want to go in there. Like the laundry and the sheds.
Okay so I got rid of some stuff but I just didn't fully get into this method it was useful as a starting point . With less stuff they say I will feel less stressed and find out what really makes me happy. I am feeling less like buying things between wanting to save money and not wanting to clutter up my house again. So where to go from here. I have set up systems to save money and feel like I have the right mindset to help me now, but still not getting my house clean or painting anymore often.
So finally I came across the flylady. She is all about systems to get your house in order and get it clean and decluttered and maintain it like that. Because you can't tidy clutter.
So she gets you to start in baby steps, working up a morning and evening routine that keeps the place tidy through the week. Then you do a one hour cleaning once a week of all the main high traffic areas. That's been pretty easy as I have been doing this anyway. Although I haven't done as much in the evening and morning routines in the passed. It is definitely making a difference. If you are interested in her methods I would suggest you read her book, Sink Reflections and check out her website flylady.net I don't want to go into to much detail here.
After you go through the baby steps your house should be getting decluttered and have a basic clean. You can then go into Zone cleaning. She stresses that you don't start cleaning in a zone until you have decluttered that area. "You can't tidy clutter." This is where she breaks the house up into Zones for the 5 weeks of the month. You do more of a deep clean in that zone that week. For instant, This is week 2 of the month so that is the kitchen. She has a whole list of suggestions of what you can do. But the idea is not to try and do everything but pick four things in that zone for the week and put your timer on and do 15 minutes on each job. That way you don't get overwhelmed and not get back to it for another six months when you end up having a huge job again. You are doing a little bit in each Zone every month. This way appealed to me as my previous system wasn't working for me. So how is this helping me? For a start off her website is great and gives you ideas for everyday of what to do and get you going if you are having trouble getting motivated. There are a ton of great Youtube videos using her system to inspire you. Also I am finding her system great for getting the kids to declutter and clean their rooms. I am starting to enjoy my house again. Love that shiny sink!
Some of her sayings have really resonated with me. I love that she calls the hour you spend once a week cleaning. The weekly home blessing. You are blessing your home and your family by making it look nice. Just by changing the words you can change how you are feeling about something.
Love the idea of the timer. She says "anyone can do something for just 15 minutes" This has been a really useful tool to tell myself to get me started on things.
" A little bit is better than not at all" is another one that I am finding good. You adapt this system to your lifestyle and your home. Whether you work outside the home or not.
Another one is "good enough is enough" so you can give yourself permission to not be perfect.
A lot of what she is teaching me I can see applying to my art work as well. I don't usually work in 15 minutes blocks when it comes to painting, but as I have been having trouble getting going with art. This has been a useful starting point for me lately.
Her system also fits in well with the other things I have been learning.
Breaking big jobs into small bits and not doing to much at once. So it doesn't feel overwhelming and you get exhausted and don't want to try that again for a good long time. I would say this journey is more about being a complete person and having a more balanced life style. I have had some interesting revelations along the way.
If I save some money and spend more thoughtfully even if I don't sell any art that month I am still in a way earning us some money because I take that money I didn't spend. Which in the passed I would have and put it into a separate savings account. This takes the pressure off me feeling bad when I don't make art sales.
I realised I was using social media to procrastinate instead of doing other things.With the thought in my head. "But I am working" as the only reason I am using it is to share my art.
With that realisation I also had to ask myself why I was doing that instead of spending more of that time painting. Well light bulb moment here. Turns out my mind has been working against me.
When I do a painting I am thinking about if I can use it to write a blog. Do I need to film it for a video. I will need to put it on the website. Take good photos of it and resize and straighten them for the website and print ondemard sites. I will need to write a description for the website then share on social media. I will need to upload that picture to my print ondemard sites and edit the products and share them to Pinterest, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. If I am writing a blog on it. I need to write that and share it. Same with YouTube I will need to edit that and share. I will also need to be social on social media so people will find me.
There is a lot to do for one painting. I think my subconscious has been working against me telling me " If you paint that picture you will then be giving yourself a ton of computer work and you already have lots of that to do."
Wow really, is this what I have been telling myself. We are so silly sometimes.
The flylady systems are helping me to overcome these thoughts that are stopping me. I seemed to have decided somewhere along the way I should be painting everyday or I'm not doing a good enough job. She tells us to be kind to yourself and make sure you are looking after you. I need to give myself permission to have days off and realise the days I write my blog and The days I edit my YouTube video, I often don't have anymore time that day to do art work. And that's okay. Stop betting myself up about it.
Her 15 timer method helps me to get started on painting or writing this blog etc.
Her idea of the weekly home blessing I can see changing my thinking for my art as well. I can think of the computer work more like I am blessing that painting I have worked hard on by sharing it the best ways I can with the world.
If I had found the flylady right off would it have worked for me? Hmm... I not sure. I think it has been a process and each time I have found something new it has answered a question for me. Even when I didn't know I was asking it. There have been a few aha moments. Such as dressing nicely each day to feel good about myself and honour and respect my family.
Doing a brain dump and stop tying to remember to much at once. Braking things down into projects and listing the steps so I'm not constantly trying to remember what I need to do next
That the daily to do list just isn't enough
That everyone has only 24 hour it is just how you choose to use them.
That saving just a little consistently does make a difference.
We should should surround ourselves only with the things we love and get rid of the rest.
The more we appreciate what we have the more we will look after them. The more we look after them the more we appreciate them. This can also apply to people. Spending time with and thinking in positive ways about those we care about help use to appreciate them more as well.
That I should be kind to myself and do the things that really matter to me.
I feel calmer, my mind is clearer. I am sleeping better and waking up feeling good about getting on with the day. So I'm saying that's a win here.
As I walk the dog in the morning I have been listening to audio books like How to change anything by Kerry Patterson
Walking Wisdom by Gotham Chopra
How will you measure your life by Clayton M Christensen
These have been helping me to really think about my life and the way I want to live it with the people I love. Also I hope to help me make changes in a lasting way or at least to understand why something didn't work, so I can make adjustments.
My house is getting cleaner everyday and I am enjoying it again. I am loving spending more time with my family. My reflections on why I haven't been making the time to paint will hopefully sort that out. I did get two paintings finished this week, which was great.
Second painting done this week: Sunset at the beach.
Sometimes the universe seems to help us out. I just found out that I will be losing my art studio so I will need to fit it into my house now. Just as well I had already started making more space in the house. Our car which we took in for repair, for what we thought was a minor dent in the boot. Has been written off. Just as well I have started some savings as insurance won't cover the whole cost of a new car. Two of my family have just recently got heath issues that could be long term, So glad I have got my own head together now so I can help them without having issues myself.
I hope these 3 blogs have been helpful to you too. They have helped me to clear my thinking and think deeply about how to solve my problems.
I promise next week I will be back with more painting tutorials.
Keep well and Happy painting.