SOCKS!

Dec09

Because I gave my word I’d post about this project, here it is.

I decided earlier on to make a lot of my presents this year as they have a deeper meaning for me [plus I'm on a student budget]. I saw this little critter on A More Green & Simple Life and knew I just HAD to have one. So, I found some old socks, got out the two sewing kits we have and got to work:

It took four attempts to get the ears right, but I’ve finally conquered that.

Changed the eyes too…

My two little ‘uns – Roger and Boris (who shall be given to Yana in Spring).

I’ve two more to make and then I just have to finish making my mum’s bookmark, then I am done!

~Rose

Simplicity: Decluttering

Nov09 052

Simplicity is all about the essentials, about removing excess. On the physical plane, this is most commonly seen as de-cluttering.

These are just the steps I use. There are many lists and ideas out there and I’ve compiled a couple of articles at the end of this post with further information.

Step One: Rubbish

Remove all rubbish. For me this includes mugs of tea, yoghurt pots, used plates (from lunch, not from months ago, though if you have those, remove them at once!!).

Step Two: Project Materials

I’ve been making cats (URL) so my floor and desk are littered with bits of sock, cut threads, button eyes, different colour threads, different colour socks, a needle, scissors and two sewing kit boxes. Before I de-clutter, I need to set these objects aside. Similarly, the bill stating I owe the government over £6,600 already and receipts are part of my ongoing budget plan so need to be filed away or at least put on the other side of the room.  I also have the book I’m reading on my desk, so would move that to sit beside my bed or on my bookcase.

Step Three: Focal Points

Next, pick out no more than ten objects (I’m making this up) to be the focus of this area. For example, I’m working on my desk currently, so my focuses are:

Pretty clock, Inherited cat picture, old PC & keyboard, Laptop, Phone, cup, coaster, Lamp.

What else could I need? I’ve a calculator in a draw and post-it-notes on the shelf above my desk, a pen in the drawer. Obviously you can replace my “old PC or my laptop with “pen pot” or even “stationary tray” if you have a simple tray of paperclips/treasury tags/safety pins etc. My picture of cats may be a picture of your family or a calendar. You may need a dictionary or thesaurus to hand, so either find it a drawer/shelf or hold it up with a pretty picture/pen pot as a

bookend. At the moment I’ve got a lava lamp on here too; but then this isn’t a desk I use for work now I’ve half moved out, so I let that live there.

So, remove all things except for those focal objects. Those things with either simple practicality or sentimental value which make you smile. Now we can sort through the rest of the things.

Step Four: Sorting

Across all the articles I’ve read (I’d guess close to 100 by now!) they split this task into three sections and suggest two options. So, we have Donate, Throw or Keep. Sort each into a pile.

Then, I’d suggest you go through your “keep” pile and ask yourself about every item:

Will I use this?

Does this bring me joy?

Are there ANY negative feelings towards it? (If so, get rid of it!!! If it’s uniquely useful, hide it in a drawer/cupboard when not in use.)

When did I last use it? Do I have another object which does its job?

“98. Clean out the old. Get rid of anything that reminds you of a person or time in your life that brings up unhappymemories.”   – 100 tips to simplify your life.

In fact I use this quote to determine my selections:

“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” ~  William Morris.

Step Five: Your Keep Pile.

This can be split into further options. This may seem lengthy, but I fins splitting the process into this little steps can make it easier to spread the process out. If you only have 15 minutes a day to spare for de-cluttering, you can do step 4 on one night and step 5 on the next.

New Piles:

Belongs in Another Room/the Car

Belongs in someone else’s house [take to car]

Needs Fixing

Give it a home of its own.

Not sure if I need

For the latter option, it’s a common idea to place all these items in a box, seal it and write the date 6 month’s from today’s date on the lid.  If it’s unopened/the bits still in it by that date are to be donated/sold.

Step Six: The Aftermath & Routine

Looks at your suddenly tidy area/room/house and really feel the space. Open the window, light some incense or just lay on your bed for a couple of minutes and breathe in the scent of empty space. It’s so freeing and can be a major motivator for the rest of the house. Now is the time to work out some form of ritual or routine to keep it this way. A suggestion I liked is the two-minute pick-up where you put away everything not being used right now each time you get up from your desk so it’s fresh when you return.

Step Seven: Define

“Simplicity is…”

Fill in the gaps. For me, simplicity is not focusing on the things important to me; but having my entire life BE those important things. My life is truly mine and everything I do and feel is taking me where I want to go.

At Abundance Blog, simplicity is defined:

“97. Simplicity doesn’t mean going without, it means taking the time and making the effort to decide who you are and what you really want, what’s most important to you, and what you want your life to look like, so that everything in your home and in your life is a reflection of your authentic self.”100 tips to simplify

For a longer and more in-depth look at clutter I recommend:

Abundance Blog

Small Notebook

Zen Habits – Living Simply

Zen Habits – Clutter

Main themes again mention clearing visible and most-used spaces first, scheduling in de-clutter time, no matter if it takes five minutes at the end of the day or 3 solid days of it.

However, reading and writing an article on de-cluttering doesn’t work unless you de-clutter: Whoops. I better get started then!

~Rose

Words: Focus pt.ii

Focus

Since I pulled focus out of that hat last week, I’ve been seeing little lights in my tunnel of future plans. I’ve looked into possible career and further education choices again and looked at different methods of learning, teaching, and earning.

I know my fear of it is “Oh no, that means I have to work hard”, so, in facing this fear and knowing I have to increase my attention on my studies (and hopefully on other parts of life too, like relaxing and exploring spirituality); I added it back into my hat and chose again. Hoping it would be either Quiet or Focus, as that’s what I’ve had before, I put my hand in. So far I’ve had:

Quiet

Serenity

Focus

This final draw was no exception, as Focus came up again.

Thus, it’s with a little fear I announce, Rose’s word of 2010, to be Focus; whether she likes it or not.

Now, since I’m already fighting this, I figured I need to research this a little more, and found this lovely idea. I can easily make/find/wear a bracelet to remind me of my word. That way, when I’m hiding from it, it’s right there for me to see, to keep an eye on me and coax me out.

And in researching, I find this and think my uncertainty is similar to hers. I can’t find a post for the word “focus” and a part of me knows I want to be a guest post next December, explaining how ‘Focus’ changed my year. But I did find Proactive, the closest word to focus form the list of posts. Others included “Refine” and “Clarity”, but the Proactive element of Focus is most important to me right now. It’s the bit I need help with.

And I got thinking. I’ve made a bracelet as a reminder and I’ve been planning. I’d love to focus more on my writing. This means I want to do some guest posts, invite people to guest post on my blog, enter more poetry contests and perhaps finish one of my books.

So, I’m happy to do topics I know about… living green, simplicity, minimalism, getting things done/motivation, student life in the UK, feng shui, tarot, runes, pagan spirituality, cats, healthy eating?, music and meditation. I’m happy to give anything a go if you feel I could bring something different to your blog.

Many thanks,

~Rose.

Five by Nine

Inspired by Dianne Sylvan, I’ve compiled a list of fives. I call it the 9×5 because I’m a little bit nerdy.

5 Items in my Bag

1 – phone
2 – MP3 player
3 – How to Practise by the Dalai Lama
4 – bottle of water
5 – purse

Titles of 5 Files in My Documents Folder

1 – Blog 2010.doc
2 – I guess I.doc
3 – poetry in motion.doc
4 – report500.doc
5 – self sufficient.doc

5 Things on my Coffee Table Desk

1 – lava lamp
2 – mug of green tea x2
3 – laptop/speakers
4 – fingerless gloves
5 – digital clock

5 Things in my Fridge/Freezer [at University]

1 – frozen spinach
2 – mixed vegetables
3 – a lemon
4 – light/space
5 – butter

5 Things by my Bed

1 – psychologies magazine
2 – The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
3 – pair of husband’s socks
4 – box of tissues
5 – remote for CD player

The last 5 songs I heard

1 – “Heaven Touch Me” – Eden’s Curse
2 – “Ignorance” – Paramore
3 – “A Little Piece of Heaven” – Avenged Sevenfold
4 – “The Harvest” – Sonata Arctica
5 – “Spookshow Baby” – Rammstein (Rob Zombie cover)

5 Things on my Pin-board

1 – 2010 calendar
2 – picture of myself with my husband in early 2007
3 – a poem I wrote in August
4 – a mini-dream-catcher
5 – a sketch of a horse my old best friend drew for me

5 things I can de-clutter

1 – Power Thoughts: 365 Daily Affirmations [replace in bookcase]
2 – milky way wrapper [bin it!]
3 – bowl&spoon [take downstairs and wash up]
4 – notepads [gather into one area]
5 – a dried up glue-stick [bin it!]

5 Things on my Floor

1 – two sock-cats [pictures to follow]
2 – box from University [yet to unpack]
3 – tarot cards [in their box]
4 – slippers
5 – two sewing boxes [from making the sock-creatures]

If you do one, I’d love you to leave a comment with a link to yours.

~Rose.