Monday, January 30, 2012

Deb's Big Plan

As promised, I will share my plan to achieve "disappear" in 2012.  I suspect it would be easier to become a wizard and practice with a wand, but since I am no Harry Potter, I will just have to do it the muggle way.

I recently went to a training on "Stages of Change" and learned some interesting things.  In order to change a behavior, we have to go through specific steps/stages to get to a point of "maintenance."

The stages of change model started with people looking at the behavior of substance abuse, but has come to encompass changes for any behavior. 

Stage 1: Precontemplation.  Well,  I have moved beyond that stage on my goals, but it is essentially "what? I don't got no stinkin' problem with (fill in blank with your own behavior)."  It's that behavior that others may bring up to you, and you think it's not a problem. 

Stage 2: Contemplation:  This was me for the last few weeks...actually longer. Contemplation can last anywhere from hours to days to years! Is this really a problem? Could others be right?  At this point, it is still in the "mental" stages. No action to change the behavior is happening. 

Stage 3:  Determined Preparation: this is the planning stage.  Calling the gym to find out how much it cost to take that exercise class you have been wanting to take. Looking on line for budget ideas.  

Stage 4: ACTION:  This is where I want to be! It's actually taking that exercise class; cooking those low fat recipes; writing out and following that budget.  

Stage 5: Maintenance:  This is when all the hard work of the action phase has become a habit.  When you no longer have to THINK about exercising or throwing out that clutter. In the words of Nike, you "Just Do It." 

Stage 6: Relapse:  Uh-oh.  Been skipping too many exercise classes.  Holding onto too many un-needed items. Eating too many cookies.  Stopping at the fast food restaurants a little too often. At this point,  it's time to start over.  Hopefully, with the work one has already done,  it will be easier to work through the steps again. 

So, with this simmering on the back burner of my brain, I hatched my goals for behaviors I want to change in 2012. 

1)  Lose weight/get healthy!  My plan so far: I have a Visa money card to pay for my annual membership at the community center near me, where I can work out on their gym equipment and walk on their walking track.  I hope to exercise at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes each time.  Health? Cut back on soda/pop and fast food visits.  Increase home made lunches and dinners (this one also overlaps with my financial goals). 

2) Financial Goals:  pay off a credit card which is more than I want it to be.  Learn to live with a budget! 

3)  Declutter:  current goal is to document how much I declutter, to give me a sense of progress.  I want to continue following my version of 365 Less Things and average at least 7 items every week. And by doing so, I will have more room and time do what I REALLY want to do:

These are lofty goals for me, but I think if I continue to plug along one day at a time,  I can be physically and financially healthier and less cluttered by 2013! 

Taa-taa for now! Tomorrow, sewing news!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disappearing Deb

Sure seems like it, doesn't it?  It feels like so long since I have posted anything. HOWEVER that does not mean I have been lacking in things to post. It just means my real life keeps interfering with my virtual life. Dang it anyway!! Where does it say kids and husbands have to eat everyday AND have clean socks? Oh well, at my house, they seem to think so!

Well, onward and upward. What pearls of wisdom (gag...cough) have been rattling around in my brain?

Many bloggers, such as Kellie at Charming Chatter  pick a word for their "theme" of the year. It can motivating, introspective, what ever one thinks depicts their life or the direction they want their life to move.  I am a word person. I love words.  I love quotes. So, I found myself mulling this concept over. What word would I choose?  Something motivational? Something inspiring? Naw. Not me. Why would someone like the Cluttered Quilter chose that type of word!  That would make sense!!  No, the word I have chosen for 2012 is:

Yup, Disappear!  Why "disappear"? Because in 2012 I want these things to disappear:

My weight! 

My bills!

and, of course,


My weight? A few years ago, after a bad run in with a medication, I put on about 80+ pound.  From 2009 to last spring, I was doing a really good job of slowly losing it. I lost about 40 lbs of it. Then,  mid 2011,  my activity level slowed down and I have been steadily gaining the weight back. Ugh!  So,  time  to "get to getting" (my favorite Niecy Nash saying!) and take care of my health!  

The financial one is a new one for me this year. In the last three years,  I  have left a job which paid about twice what I make now plus throw in a few months of unemployment and you get some major life style changes! My family and I are learning to live with less. But, I think it is a good lesson for me. I am truly learning how to be frugal. To quote Edison, "necessity is the mother of invention" and necessity has been teaching me how to live the 1930's depression mantra of my mother "use it up, wear it out, make it do."  Sometimes I find it daunting,  (like last week when I had to do some fancy financial work to get enough money to take my Collie, Marshall, to an emergency vet visit.) But mostly, I have been trying to look at it as a challenge to not be so materialistic. 

And being "materialistic" is what has gotten me to my problems with clutter!  I have been faithfully reading  Colleen's posts at 365 Less Things. Her posts have been so helpful with the mental/emotional part of  my decluttering. While I do my own version of it--instead of 1 per day, I try to declutter at least 7 things every weekend. For 2012, I have decluttered 36 items!!  And that's not including the sheets and sheets of paper junk which accumulates every week that have been tossed! 

Goals are good. No doubt about that. However, they are only good if one has a plan to reach those goals. And I have a plan!! 

Since this post is getting really wordy and really lengthy, I will share the plan with you tomorrow! 

Until then, time to get back to decluttering!! 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The last few days have felt like Alexander And The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

Last week, after additional problems with my digestive tract, my doctor suggested a colonoscopy.  So, Saturday I work all day so I can make up for missing Monday. I jump into my car to rush off to work, but my engine won't turnover.  My husband, Quail and I work to get it started. No luck. So, when in doubt, call my 22 year old son, the mechanic. (Bit of advice: if you have 1 or more children...encourage at least 1 of them to become a's a worthwhile investment!).  So, Quail & I traded cars and I sped off to work.Later, I find out it took  Quail Jr about 45 seconds to diagnose the problem. I need a new fuel pump.  Fortunately, it is covered by warranty. Whew! 

Sunday is spent: 
Monday is spent: 

Which brings us up to today....Tuesday:   I was hoping to be back to work, but the laxative decided to work for longer than just Sunday and Monday. So, another day at home, near the bathroom. :( For the record, while colonoscopies may be a necessary medical procedures, they are NOT fun!!  

This is my third colonoscopy over the last 20 years...but this time, I had a secret weapon. My new Kindle!! So nice to be able to have something to read while I was in bed between trips to the loo. I went through 2 books of the series I am reading!! 

They are shorter than your basic novel, but entertaining and light reading. The series is about a woman who lives in Freeport, IL and is a private investigator for the paranormal/ghosts. 

 I did get a few items decluttered this weekend: 
1) Three old window valances
2)  two tee shirts
3)  1 book 
 Plus, I threw away, two t-shirts in not-even-good-enough-for-thrift store, and 2 stray holey socks. 

I think I am up to 29 items thrifted or tossed for January 2012!! Woo-hoo!! 

Here's hopin' you have had a better week, then me!! 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Think I Can...

Decluttering continues at the Cluttered Quilter home! Yesterday, I donated 7 books, a bag of silk flowers, and 5 articles of teen boy clothing.  That makes 13 less items out of my house! 

Then, I went through a box of old school papers left over from my elementary school years. I whittled it down by about 3/4ths. It went from a good size shirt box of papers to about ten papers which make me smile, even 40+ years later! 

No sewing yet, but I have less stuff cluttering my sewing room. 13 less items plus a big box of old papers. I just have to remember the words of The Little Engine That Could:
Whoops! Not that engine!!

Yes! This is the right one!!
Have a great day...and I hope I have more to report tomorrow! 


Monday, January 2, 2012

It's 2012!


THIS will be the year that I get all the excess crap out of my sewing room and have a REAL place to create, dream, sew, sing...what ever I choose to do!! 

Okay...I have now made my resolution public. Lets hope that help keeps me motivated! 

Just because I haven't posted lately, does not mean I have been slacking on the decluttering.  Every weekend for about the last six weeks, I have tackled a different area of my home (which ever one happened to be buggin' me most at the moment) and had a box of no-longer-useful-to-me stuff for my husband to take to the thrift store. I think this year, I am going to estimate how many items are in each box load and keep a tally. 

And, I have a family room again!! My youngest help me box up all the crap  treasures in this room in a mad dash-n-stash before Christmas. Although, that is a decluttering tip, which should be a choice of last resort, I was just not making any progress on my living room with this excess stuff taking up space. Unfortunately, I think my camera battery charger is a victim of this stashing effort and now I have to dig through bins to find it. So, no new pics until I find it!! 

Additionally, and I KNOW there are a number of you out there that will be truly amazed by this disclosure...but I haven't bought any quilting fabric for over three months. Yes. Over 90 days. And although I have admired all the pretty fabrics on other's blogs, I am on a quest to not bring more into my home until I can manage what I have.  Two things have led me to this quest. The first is figuring out what the heck to do with all the bins of fabric I already have!!   2nd?  Poverty. You know, it's funny, but when you don't have any money,  there seems to be less opportunities to buy fabric! 

Here are a few Snickers to get you through the week! 

Enjoy your week!! I am off to do some more decluttering. I want 2012 to be the year I becoming a Sewing Queen!! 

Ta-ta for now!