reshuffling priorities

As I mentioned, my birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  Naturally, this means I get fairly introspective.  I am approaching this introspection differently this year, which is good – I’m not overanalyzing!  Or I’m not focusing on what I’m lacking in life rather what I feel is important and how to better focus on this.

I didn’t want to say but yeah… these are true, too!

I’ve been de-hoarding and reading some minimalist blogs.  MissMinimalist is a good one – I like how she says minimalism looks differently for each person.  This is nice to hear since I am never going to live in a 25 sq foot house.  Nevertheless, I know I want less stuff than I currently have.  Watching HGtv has driven this home even more.  Some participants say things like, “I need a bigger house for all of my stuff!” or “I need giant closets!”.  I’ve said these things too – in fact, in the last year even!  But I don’t want my belongings to dictate my future house/apt.

Then there are the larger life decisions – do I stay in MI?  Do I stay on my current career field?  I know, these are definitely the “biggie size” questions and I don’t focus on these everyday.  Although, I do keep them in the back of my mind.  I won’t make any of these changes for a year or so but since change is tough for me, it’s better that I think about these in advance!

My health is also my priority.  I made a lot of progress this past year and I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish/gain/learn this year.  Yes, running is included in this and getting a running coach was the first step in this area.  Also included is healthy eating and continuing to lower my anxiety.

Budget-smudget.  Why can’t I find budgeting exciting?!  While I do enjoy watching my bank account grow the urge to spend seems to hit once I see the progress.  Curses!  Many of my friends are very savvy with money.  Talking about money seems kind of taboo in our society but I’ve started asking friends how they do it.  I really do find it fascinating.  I also pin/read a lot of budget suggestions and tips.  Some of them definitely do not jive with my personality and others are decent ideas.  For me, setting these priorities is a great way to start.

friends and family! don’t thank me now but look what you’re getting for birthday/holiday gifts!

I feel good about these priorities.  They are spurring me into action!  Last weekend I realized my apt is completely lacking inspiration.  So, I’ve taken some action on this front – my home should be a place I enjoy not one I just exist in.  Not to mention, I have some nifty ideas that I can’t wait to share with you all!  And I dropped donations off, have the “sell” items in the car and have another “need to get rid of” pile started – yay!  Progress!

How do you go about setting priorities?  Do they change?

Are you good with a budget?  What are your secrets?!

on a de-hoarding roll!

I have a number of posts running through my brain at the moment so I’m trying to FOCUS on one topic today.  Haha, hopefully I won’t verbal vomit everything all at once to create a million word post!

hoarding 4Yesterday, Meagan came up to help me do some organizing and de-hoarding.  She was on her way to meet up with another one of our friends and offered to leave early and stop here in Kzoo first.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous to accept this help.  It’s embarrassing for others to see how much I save, what kinds of things I save and just the quantity of stuff I have.  There is a part of me that is ashamed.

Nevertheless, I said yes to her help.  I knew having Meagan here would give me the push I needed and I knew exactly where I needed the extra “oomph”.  Storage #2.

We hit up some of the best pizza in Kzoo to fuel our upcoming endeavor.  We got to my storage and it seemed even more overwhelming than I remembered.  But we simply started pulling stuff out and putting it in piles.  One pile was for my other storage, one pile for what I would be taking to my apt, one pile for donation and one pile for garbage.  The garbage pile grew quite rapidly!  Why oh why do I keep empty boxes?!  And then there were the plastic bottles and cans!  In MI you can take them back for $.10 so naturally I’ve been saving them for years.

please add a few more bags to this pile
please add a few more bags to this pile

In total, there were 3 laundry bins full of garbage.  Again, tons of empty boxes – I have nothing on why I keep these.  Next up 2 laundry bins full of donations.  Meagan’s car was packed to the gills that we immediately drove out to Goodwill.  I told Meagan if we didn’t do it right away I would sift through it and pull out items I might “need” later.  Then after Meagan left, I filled another laundry bin that will be taken to Goodwill Wednesday.  (I left it in the basement of my old building so I wouldn’t have access to it!)

there might actually have been almost 4 bins of garbage
there might actually have been almost 4 bins of garbage

Allow me to pause for a moment… last weekend I definitely had some remorse about what I threw/gave away.  I was nervous about this round because while I knew I didn’t need it (I haven’t used this stuff in a year or more) what if I wanted it later?!  As far as the clothes go, a lot of the clothing was from Gonzaga (my undergrad/grad) so it’s sentimental.  Meagan pointed out, “things aren’t the memories – you still have those.”  This also helped when it came time to give away a few things my mom had given me.  I needed to hear this…

We took bottles and cans to the store, made the run to Goodwill and took out the trash.  When Meagan would ask me what I wanted to do with something there were times when I couldn’t make the decision so I let her pick!  I also have a large pile to take to a consignment shop to sell, a table and chairs to sell on Craigslist and 2 TV’s that I am still not sure what to do with.

this wasn't even half of the donations
this wasn’t even half of the donations

So, how am I feeling today?  I thought I would in a sense, mourn the passing of my possessions.  But I am feeling surprisingly okay about it.  I thought I would want to go to Goodwill and buy all of my Gonzaga stuff back or get that roasting pan back (even though it was one of two).  What about those clothes I gave away that were way too big?  I could use those for when I am preggers someday (umm, yes, that is one of the reasons I held onto them for 8 years).  I don’t need them though.  (I will want cute maternity clothes, not clothes I’ve had for 10 years.)  In fact, at one point I told Meagan that the piles of saved stuff made me kind of sad.  Why did I put so much emotion in THINGS?!  I do think it’s a symptom of anxiety – at some point in time I wondered, “what if I NEED it?!”  And yes, I do know this sentence/sentiment is constantly shared on the tv show but I need to own it to fix it.

I can’t dwell on the sad part about it.  Instead I’m focused on my accomplishment!  We plowed through that room and I was decisive.  It’s time to get rid of some of this baggage – literally and figuratively!

giving away some “weighted” baggage

Happy Sunday!  I’m still in the process of moving (yes, this IS the longest move ever!) but I wanted to take a break and write this post because a) it’s 92* outside and b) I really wanted to write it!  Oh and c) I am losing steam ;)

Yesterday I was down in one of my storage rooms and I came across bins of old clothing.  I’m talking approximately 5 storage bins!  All of the clothes were from my heavier days.  I know they say don’t keep them but I did.  I was always afraid I would wake up and all 85 lbs would magically have become part of my body again.  So guess what I did?!  I GAVE THEM ALL AWAY!!  I can’t even believe it myself!  Yes, they’ve been down in storage for a number of years (7 ish?) but still I’ve always wanted to have them, “just in case.”

But not anymore.  I refuse to give myself a safety net of having a whole wardrobe in case I gain weight.  This is ridiculous.  It’s off to Good Will.  I feel it’s some of the last of my baggage from those old days of insufficient confidence, horrible body image and allowing myself to give up.  Let’s face it – giving up is a whole heck of a lot easier than fighting.  And I am going to keep fighting to stay in shape and have a healthy life!

Ahhh – I love a good self-pep talk!

only a fraction of the donations!


letting go – it’s a process!

Well, my plan for a tempo run and then a joyous caramel iced mocha was cast by the wayside this morning.  Part of me wasn’t really feeling a run since I was a bit fatigued from yesterday but mostly it was because I started some spring cleaning.  This had been my plan all along for this week off but true to form I waited until the last minute to actually do it!  Here is some evidence

this is pile number 2!

I am kind of proud of myself for this haul.  I definitely have an unfortunate habit of keeping stuff.  I used to tease my mom that she had hoarding tendencies and she got slightly offended.  The thing is, so do I.  I know part of the issue – I attribute positive memories with my stuff

these? I've had them since 2003

The above shoes were the tennis shoes I wore when I went on Semester at Sea and sailed around the world.  Why did I save them?  Because they reminded me of my trip, of course!  Nevermind the fact, I have neato souvenirs and boatloads of pictures, the shoes are the truly important, right?  (insert sarcasm)

my first real running shoes!

Yep, the shoes that made me a “real” runner… of course I had to keep these, I mean no brainer!  Because don’t shoes make you an athlete?  Not the HOURS spent running, nope, not those!

the red bag from the cult

Yes, you read that right.  I swear, I almost joined a cult last year!  It was kind of an accident.  Luckily a friend held me back from completely going off the deep end and joining the financial crazies that coined themselves as a motivational speakers.  So why keep the bag?  Who knows!  Sometimes, I can’t even understand myself!

Ugh!  After I decided I wanted to buy less stuff and save more money for experiences, I realized I wanted to get rid of some of the stuff I already had.  I could be moving in a few months and I want to make sure I’m not moving crap from one place to another.  Not to mention, I need to STOP associating good memories with things.  To a certain extent, I know this is natural but I don’t need everything to take on special meaning.  I mean, seriously Amy, old shoes?!  How can I put old shoes at the same level as pictures of my family or things my mom made me?  I want to simplify and prioritize!  So, I have a giant pile to donate and a smaller pile to try to sell at one of the local consignment shops – YaY!  Since I ended up going through the pile of clothes I thought I wanted to keep twice I found more I could live without.  My goal is when I end up going through it again as I pack, I can get rid of more.  I also put some shoes in a different closet because as of right now, I can’t part with them.  But if I still haven’t touched them in a few months then they will find a new home, too.

Truth be told, at first it was kind of hard to add clothes/shoes to the donate pile.  Thankfully, there was a marathon of Hoarding: Buried Alive showing today on TLC and that gave me an extra oomph! in my motivation!  Also, the more I donated, the easier it became.

Next weekend I am going to tackle the spare room, a.k.a. “Simon’s Room”.  It’s a disaster!