Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting my Best Life in Order

Though productive, I've been really neglecting myself.

Related, an image of this has been going around the internet. Turns out you can buy it from the creator on Etsy:

I've been feeling overly critical, that I talk too much and do not listen enough (or well enough), that I'm scattered, rushed, and just a huge mess. I can't even tell you how huge a mess my house was. I didn't have people over for a long time because of it. My sink was filled with dishes past the faucet and I hadn't seen the bottom of it in over a year. My counters were filled with dishes, my kitchen table filled with jars of food, dishes, probably onion peels, the floor was gross, the main room of my house was impossible to walk through without stepping on anything. The futon always required some shoving of items in order to sit down. Things constantly were sliding off of the pile on my coffee table, on my chest, and glass jars perched precariously in my pantry constantly were falling off the shelf onto the floor below, crashing into other glass jars and frequently shattering. There was so much stuff near my back door that trying to step over it to take out the trash was a huge struggle. Everything was gross and smelly and awful and when I had to have anyone in my house, I would give them a twenty minute warning first.

I don't know that I have any pictures. I'm sure there are pictures of cats with mess in the background but I'm not pumped about trying to find those right now. Suffice it to say, I started worrying that I would die tragically and my parents would have to clean out my apartment and have flashbacks of what it was like to clean out my hoarder grandmother's house when she passed.

I hit an extra low point in December when I ended up confessing to my closest friend something totally unnecessary and hurtful I had done months earlier that I had regretted ever since. What was wrong with me that I could have disparaged someone who meant so much to me to someone who was a near-stranger?

It was time to start getting intentional about being positive. In the time since, I've cleaned out my bathroom, kitchen, main room, a large portion of my sign painting studio, and my office / sewing room / illustration studio is still a huge mess. It's the lowest on my priority. Also! I've managed to keep my passenger seat relatively clear. No more "sure you can get a ride with me but give me 5 minutes first." I don't want to write about all of these things longform, I just want to have a place where I can collect all the resources, tools, devices, tips, tricks, etc, that have been helping me. Maybe they'll help you too, or maybe a refresher will help me down the road.


Tips, Mantras, Methods, etc:

  • Screw inbox zero, SINK ZERO
  • The one minute rule! (if it takes less than one minute, do it right away)
  • Put it away, not down. (I like this more than the 'touch it once' rule - that makes me not want to touch things at all and gives me a lot of anxiety. This one has me carrying things around the house but results in way less mess.)
  • Be real with yourself - will you ACTUALLY use this? Have you used it in 5 years? Does it REALLY have sentimental value?
  • Really Really Free Market, Clothing Swaps. So useful!
  • Bullet Journal has been super useful - write it down, schedule it, organize it, tuck it away. 
  • Don't check your email first thing in the morning. Their priority / emergency is not yours.
  • TIMERS! I don't have time to clean this huge mess but I *DO* have 5, 10, 20 minutes to chip away at it, bit by bit, until the end is in sight. 
  • Wake up early! Exercise, read, lemon ginger tea, eat a good breakfast, make lunch, plan your day.
  • Gentle, motivational wakeup. 
  • WRITE IT DOWN! Seriously, you'll probably forget and recall at an inopportune time.
  • Start each day (or try to) by sending a letter of appreciation to a different friend or content creator.
  • Ask for more information before sharing a related tale
  • eye contact!
Some of these came from some of the resources above, or resources I can no longer remember. My friend Jenn put me on to the bullet journal - it's a method of organizing a notebook to be a planner and place for all your task and goal lists. I was a touch skeptical at first but now I'm a believer. 

I once got my place so clean I was able to take photos for an Apartment Therapy contest. This was years ago and my place was arranged differently then. Here's a link to that. Also, I moved my screen printing studio to The Pajama Factory in Williamsport. Here's a photo of that:

I share this studio with a writer / painter / genius friend.

PS If you read my blog and feel the need to report your findings to my mother, you're definitely not living your best life and please know that this is a crass move.