Day 162 Savour the moment

Due to all I have learned since starting my 365lessthings resolution where I have taken a relaxed approach to a job that could otherwise be quite unpleasant I am really starting to mellow and learn to savour the good feelings evoked during the process rather than just being satisfied when I am done. Through links to minimalism and inspirational web sites that I have discovered along the way I am learning to live in the moment and enjoy the process.

If you approach an event with dread, determined that you will not get any enjoyment out of it, chances are it is going to live up to all your expectations. If you resign yourself to the fact that an event may not be your favourite way to spend your time but are determined to make the most of the situation there is a chance you may be pleasantly surprised.

For example, I set aside one day a week to do the bulk of my housecleaning, dusting, vacuuming, toilets, basins, showers etc. Every week I dread this day simply because it is what it is, a crappy job but someone has to do it. I have taken this attitude for the last 20 years which is quite pointless because I love the end result. I like the feel of the house being clean and tidy around me but I could not stop thinking this way until now.

Since I have learned to savour the moment my attitude to doing my housework is changing dramatically.  I find myself feeling the atmosphere clearing while I vacuum the floor as if the the vacuum cleaner is filtering the air as I work. I am noticing how my micro-fibre cloths start to glide more smoothly over the surfaces as they meet less resistance as the grime is wiped away. I delight in knowing that the freshness is returning as the clothes tumble around in the washing machine.

Strangely enough these kinds of feeling were there from the beginning when it came to my decluttering project simply because I was determined from the get go to take a calm and steady approach. I receive so much satisfaction from knowing that with each effort I make, my home is getting more clear and efficient. There is another level of satisfaction knowing that most of the items I no longer have use for found new purpose for someone else.

ITEM 162 OF 365 LESS THINGS

I had procrastinated for months over buying new bed linen. The old down comforter had seen better days  and the cover was too dark for our now tiny bedroom.  I finally made a decision but  now these cushions no longer match and I am sick of putting them on and taking them off the bed anyway so off they go to Lifeline.

IMG_1646


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Day 113 Too much pressure I read forums and posts on other blogs and I can't help but think that people put themselves under too much pressure when it comes to decluttering. Below are a few suggestions I have to […]
  • Fight or Flight Once clutter has built up in ones home there is no doubt that it is going to take some effort to expel it all. This task can appear  monstrous, frighteningly so,  which is likely to set […]
  • Stumbling Blocks to Success Cindy's Weekly Wisdom We all want to succeed. We all want  a clutter-free, clean, and peaceful home. Yet sometimes we struggle. What are some of the stumbling blocks to success? Making […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Terrific post Colleen! I like your approach. My decluttering has been rather slow as well. It took me forty years to accumulate a lot of the junk I’ve been hauling around, so I knew from the get go, it would not be cleared away overnight. The clearer my home gets, the more I enjoy cleaning it, and the less time it takes. It is easier for me than most, because there is only one person living here, and I work at home. I’m diligent about cleaning up after myself; doing the dishes within a half hour of eating, make bed and straighten bedroom each morning before leaving it, wipe off sink and tub after using, and each evening before going to bed I do a quick pick-up of anything out of place. ♥

    • Hi betty Jo,
      I had two weeks in my home at the start of the year when both my husband and my son were overseas and boy did it stay tidy. It doesn’t take a whole lot of diligence to clean up after yourself does it. It was nice while it lasted but I was glad to have them home.

  2. I will come back and read this post again when I need motivation to clean. I LOVE to declutter, and probably spend way too much time doing it to avoid the actual cleaning. One major benefit of all this decluttering is that it only takes me about 5-10 minutes to straighten up the whole house, as everything is usually in its place – a BIG improvement for me 🙂

    I bought some new pillows last week, as the kids’ ones were so manky. Why do we deny ourselves these basic household items and spend money on unnecessary rubbish instead?!

    • Hi Loretta,
      Unfortunately my husband proof reads my post and now I may have given him the impression that I enjoy housework a little to much. I was sure to straighten him out on the fact that I still resent cleaning up other peoples messes.
      And you are right about buying rubbish and neglecting things you do need. Now that we are starting to get a clearer view of our home we are finding a few things that need replacing. Luckily I work for a furniture store and get items quite cheap because our sofas have issues and we needed a new desk to streamline the office space. Since I am not wasting cash on meaningless rubbish I feel justified in a few sensible purchases to make my home more comfortable and effecient.

  3. The less clutter there is to clean or to move in order to clean, the quicker the cleaning goes, and the more satisfying the results. Of course the downside is that the dirt really sticks out when there is no clutter to distract the eye :p

    • Hi Meg,
      you are absolutely right and the less clutter one has the less room one needs to store it in the smaller the dwelling one needs which leads to even less cleaning. Win win situation I would say.

  4. This is a really good post. I have also been working on attitude adjustment re my daily chores and weekly cleaning. I am looking at them as the means to a calm, clean, orderly house which I love. Before I would be resentful and irritated about cleaning esp after others, now I am focusing on the steps like you do and it’s almost zen and relaxing. (almost!) It is easier when the clutter is gone so that makes things even better!

    • Hi jessiejack,
      it’s it strange how you have to get to a certain point before you are prepared to let go of those negative feelings. I stop and analize those feelings when I get them and I sometimes think I want to feel sorry for myself in some instances other times I can just shake it off. I know I am imporving all the time though and I am sure it is due in no small part to what I have learned over the last six months while doing this challenge.

  5. Two comments: 1) I think it’s great that you are learning to savor the process. Especially since I don’t think we are ever “done” with decluttering. I’m sure it slows down as we get rid of more stuff, but it always seems that more can be done.
    2) I was like you that I hated spending one day a week trying to get the house clean – I’d get cranky and irritable, and upset when hubby or the dog would track dirt into the house. In January I started reading Flylady.net. I don’t follow her methods per se (too many emails), but I started breaking down my household cleaning into different days. 10-30 min per day on Mon-Fri, and my house is presentable for company for the weekends. Sure, there’s a touch of dust accumulated by then because I dusted several days before, but I’m pretty sure only I notice it. Plus, it leaves my weekends free (in case we’re out of town) and the dirt and dust never gets overwhelming.

    • Hi Carmen,
      I actually prefer to get the bulk of my cleaning over and done with on one day. I don’t think my method was ever the problem it was just my attitude. I must admit that having a much smaller home that is easy to clean has helped me with my attitude adjustment as well. But it is more about what I have learned psychologically over the last 6 months. Don’t get me wrong I still have plenty of areas to work on but I’m getting there. I suppose the mind in like the home you never actually finish decluttering.

  6. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve really been enjoying reading your posts. I feel like we are kindred spirits.

    I am approaching the end of a nearly identical quest. I started back on August 1st, and have gotten rid of at least one thing every day since (www.reedisdownsizing.blogspot.com).

    With less than 50 days to go until I complete my challenge, I know exactly what you are talking about regarding savoring the moment. Not just while cleaning, but when doing anything to simplify my life.

    Keep up the great work!
    Reed

    • Hi Reed,
      nice to meet you. I went over to have a look at your blog and will go back later for a better look. Seems like after 10 months you are still digging up some gems to put on ebay. It’s nice to get a bit of cash back occasionally isn’t it.

      Do you think you will be done on day 365 or do you think you will be doing reedisdwonsizing part 2? I am not sure whether I will be finished within the 365 days I would like to think I might run out of things before then but I doubt it.

      It really is a learning experience in so many ways isn’t it. I have grown in so many ways since this all started and I feel I am already a better person for it. I bet you feel the same way.