Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week #4 Wrap up.....TIRED

Is it getting old for you yet? It is for me. The 40 bags in 40 days project that my awesome friend at White House Black Shutters does each year at Lent (And I follow along every year) is over half way done. And honestly.....I'm getting tired. Tired of trash, tired of decluttering, and tired of STILL having so far to go. 

I'm also tired of not having any pretty pictures or amazing results to share. Basically everything I'm tackling this year is down and dirty. No pretty fluffy things being done. Just loads and loads of STUFF being hauled away. It's exhausting really. 

But the good news is that while I still have so far to go, I have cleared 70 bags of STUFF out of the house. Most of it has come from the basement (Where my secret hoarding side spills out). 

I'm letting go of things so much easier now. At the beginning of the challenge, even though it's my third year doing it, I felt overwhelming and worried about tossing stuff. Now? I feel completely confident in getting rid of practically everything. Which, in my opinion is HUGE. 

So, here are my pictures from the week. Once again...nothing pretty or amazing. Just real life, down and dirty cleaning out. 

Organized the donation center and put away boxes of donations that were waiting to be sorted. 

25 Care Bags were delivered this week. 

Along with 3 more boxes of donations to the Children's Home. While these do not count in my project totals, if was work I completed this week. 

Everything on the table^^^ Was in this small space on the buffet below. Which is now cleaned and organized

And the trash is gone

2 more donations from Linen closet and MORE stuffed animals were dropped off at Thrift King

More trash (Aren't you excited to see trash)

Another bag of donations from my closet

Linen closet results. Cleaned and organized

Before picture of one corner in the basement

the "in progress" after picture

Here is my breakdown closing out Week #4

32 Bags of Trash

38 Bags/boxes of Donations

70 Bags Total!

Hope you all are working hard and clearing out too. If I can do can too! We have 3 weeks left to go.    I'm looking forward to the end. But really looking forward to the End Result!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Differently Normal

We went away this weekend to Splash Lagoon (An indoor water park) and I was nervous going. My kids require a high amount of accommodation (mostly on my part) to make things go smoothly. The weekend went great and something else came out of it that I was not expecting and was so happy to see. 

While I tend to "not care" how people think or feel about us, there is a small little part of me that wants that acceptance. So, when I see things that are special, people who go above and beyond it makes me happy and totally overshadows any of the negative we experience.

First let me say that being a special needs mother is tough....I want us to be "normal" but I want to be accommodated. It's hard to draw the line between being accepted as normal versus being allowed special things to make your little ones able to do the things that all other kids do. It's like you can't have it both ways. But this weekend I'm so happy to say I saw some really good people making our life "differently normal". 

Here's some examples and Thank yous:

Thank you to the lady who was listening to her IPOD for taking the time to take off the ear buds and talk to Little Baer. He wanted to talk to you and didn't understand that you were quietly relaxing. And thank you for talking back to him like you understood his babble, and showing him pictures and being interested in him (Different). And thank you for politely telling him no....he couldn't eat your fries (normal). ;) 

Thank you to the mom who chatted while our boys played together. Asking me Little Baer's name and telling me your sons name was Trent! And for sharing that Trent was 3 too! (Normal) And thank you for explaining to your 3 year old that Little Baer needed a little extra time on the steps to the slide, so to be patient with him! (Different)

Thank you to the mom who stopped me to say that Little Baer was a beautiful little boy and she had been watching him play (not creepin....I hope) and how amazing he was! (Differently normal?) It was so very sweet for you to recognize him and how beautiful and amazing he is. Thank you for taking the time to tell me. 

Thank you to the Heart mom (We are everywhere!) who explained to her little girl (A heart warrior) that Little Baer was touching her because he liked her and couldn't tell her. And for pointing out they shared a zipper scar! Thank you for making Little Baer feel normal while showing your daughter that it's ok to be different. 

All of these moms made a difference in our life this weekend. For treating us "differently normal" and for teaching their kids how to be the same. Us special needs moms appreciate the kindness. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Week #3 Wrap up of 40 in 40

Here we are at the end of week #3 in my yearly Lenten project with Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters . During this week, in our support group (YES! We have a FB support group. It's amazing and very needed) we took a lot of time discussing WHY we save clutter and how to work through the emotional ties that bind us to "stuff". It is my hope that once I complete this project and my basement is livable again that I will never go back to my hoarding ways. Something that has helped me is to imagine the basement as part of my house and not a black hole to throw stuff. If it's not acceptable to "live" with the stuff, it's not acceptable to throw it in the basement for later. I am also trying to have only what I love, keep only what I actually use (not what I "might" use in 2034) and to give myself limits on what I can keep. For example: I can keep the amount of clothing that fits into my drawers. Otherwise I need to make choices and pare down until it DOES fit into the drawers. Same goes with every space in the house and basement.  It was enlightening and helpful. I'm officially half way through the basement cluster and my "living" part of the house is about 80% finished! I also got a very special reward this week (You will see at the end). 

So....Basement progress. Again, not a lot of pretty pictures of fancy things, but here is the before and after. Note I did put away the holiday decorations from both Halloween and Christmas. :) 



From the Laundry area view:

That pile resting in that corner is my next week's project. Hopefully this entire half of the basement will be completed by next week. I made a trip to Thrift King this week and a TON more trash to the curb. I also cleaned out my car to prepare for our weekend getaway which surprisingly only yielded a half a bag! (Don't worry I filled it up inside the house!)

My reward for completing so much.....An amazing new bed set and matching 1600 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sheets. I also purchased a memory foam mattress topper. It is AMAZING! Completely transformed my ancient mattress into a nice and comfortable bed for sleeping. 

I cleared out 11 bags/boxes to the trash and took 6 bags/boxes to Thrift King. Taking my Total for the Challenge to:

24 Bags of Trash

35 Bags Donated

That's 59 Total Bags for the Challenge so far. I'm pretty impressed with the amount of clutter gone. *Note the Bags are either Garbage Bags or Boxes of items for donation. 

To all my decluttering friends out there: Keep up the good work!!