Say hello to, Calvalyn, the third of our Regular Contributors! Calvalyn shares a little about herself, and some great thoughts on organization and clutter with her introduction and confession. See her brief bio at the end of the post.

 

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You Can’t Organize Clutter!

An Intro and a Confession

 

As I get older, I realize how often things really do happen for a reason.

When I signed up to be a regular contributor for Life with Lorelai, I didn’t exactly know what I was signing myself up for. I knew that I wanted to do more blogging, sharing the musings of a mommy/counselor on my site, The Indy Parent Coach, but also I wanted to exchange information with a broader base of people. Low and behold, just as I was finishing my last project, I get the notice in my email about being selected for this fun new challenge.

So, as my intro, I thought I would share a little about me, and where I am in life. I am a wife, mother of four (All GIRLS!), Mimi to one precious grandSON, and a counselor turned parent coach who is as passionate about helping teachers and parents connect with their kids, as I am about connecting with my own. This is a picture of all of them at Malachi’s first birthday party this summer.

 

Family Photo - Calvalyn

 

I am a lover of all things frugal–from coupons to yard sales–and always have been. Literally, I preferred Goodwill WAY before it was chic. I binge watch home improvement shows, and I’ve got my kids hooked on Shark Tank. I am an entrepreneur with a heart of service and enjoy carbs way more than I should.

But, there’s this other side of me that comes out more and more lately, which up until recently, I would have denied even existed. I am a creative. The process of writing and crafting has become so pleasurable that you would have thought I was always this way. But alas, there is something about the 30’s that allow you to truly explore and come alive, if you allow them to. And I am.

But with all this creativity, I have discovered something else. I’m going to blame this on my mother, as the youngest of her five children, I’m sure she can handle it. I have discovered, I have a nasty little habit of attracting and maintaining clutter. I have baskets, yes, baskets of mail, most of it junk, some that is a duplicate version of the electronic version I have already addressed, and others things that I should get to with some expediency. I’m sure some of this is due to my hectic schedule, and I can admit that some of this is due to my creative genius side, since I can get quite carried away in the middle of a project. I’m sure I can blame at least a little on my kids and husband, but the cold hard truth is most of it can be attributed to me. And, I’ve decided in an effort to make more time for the things that I love, I have got to get this clutter under control.

 

Freed From Clutter by Becky Mansfield

 

Now, you remember me saying that things happen for a reason? So, about this time I was offered a sample of a great book that struck me as soon as I scrolled through the first few pages. It’s called, Freed From Clutter (affiliate link). Author, Becky Mansfield had me at hello, literally. I am longing to be freed from the endless stacks of mail, lidless storage containers, and never ending streams of kid papers that seem to drain me of my energy. As an entrepreneur, I spend a good deal of time locating resources that end up as newspaper clippings and unfinished tasks. I needed some accountability to make me get my butt in gear.

One thing you will learn about me, as I blog here with Lorelai, is that I am as honest as I can be; because, I find that hiding is an enormous waste of energy. So, in full disclosure, here is a few photos of my most notorious clutter spots. Thanks in advance for not judging me.

 

Basket of Clutter

 

You’ll see a hodge-podge of various items (gloves my sister picked up for me on the clearance rack a few weeks ago, a purse I was going to change into and never did, and the markers from my last workshop presentation) have all made their way into a basket next to my bed.

 

a collection of lids

 

This lid container, yea this is a complete travesty, not only are half of the containers no longer in existence, I hate most of these and they don’t serve a good purpose. I know I should get rid of this stuff but I can usually convince myself of more important things to do.

Then, I picked up Becky’s book, here is the bold faced line that jumped out at me.
“You can’t organize clutter!”

 

Is there life without clutter

 

I think I had what Oprah would call an aha moment! I am routinely moving and stacking, shifting and sorting. I sometimes feel that my house is reasonable for guests, but I rarely feel that it is what I want it to be. And here’s why this is so important. I don’t have time to waste. I don’t have energy to waste. And, the mental space taken up by the feeling of overwhelm that the clutter brings up in my life would be so much better spent elsewhere. So, here’s what I have decided to do.

Over the next few weeks, I will be working my way through my clutter and documenting it along the way. I’ll share the “after” of these sad spaces and a few more I was too embarrassed to share. I’d love to hear about your roughest spaces, it will make me feel better, AND maybe we can help each other! Keep in touch with me every couple weeks, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or my other guilty pleasure Pinterest. So glad to meet you, and the best is yet to come.

Until next time, here’s to clean spaces and a clear head!
-Calvalyn

 

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Visit Calvalyn at her blog, Indy Parent Coach!

Where are your secret clutter stashes?

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