Goals, Housekeeping

Necessary New Year: Lighting A Fire and Keeping it Lit

While I complain on Twitter and Facebook about how long it’s taking me to dig through, analyze, and re-post the content I had up before The Great Takedown of 2017? I’ve come to realize that removing everything from my blog has probably been the best decision I’ve made in two years

Sure, it’s a dreadful job. It’s horrible, in fact, and I hate it. But it’s given me the opportunity to reflect on how things have gone for me since I started the blog in 2012. More specifically, it’s shown me my failures and accomplishment since marrying the love of my life in 2015… And I’m really disappointed, because there are more failures in the last two years than there are successes.

Granted, I’ve been in a pretty terrible place for a while; between stressing over the Wedding and Renovating our first House, working for my Mother, eventually disowning my Mother (or, more correctly, being disowned by my Mother), a Misscarriage I suffered near my Birthday, new Health Problems, and more? Things haven’t exactly been all that great up in my brain space. But the fact of the matter is that I’ve blundered far more than I’d like to admit, let alone even realized to begin with. And unfortunately I can’t blame it all on the happenings– nor the dank place it’s drug me down to.

Digging through my blog to assess my content has really lit a fire under me to stop this trainwreck before it gets any worse than it already has; it’s made me realize that at some point I need to buck up and take responsibility for the fact that I’m the only one that can pull myself out of this mess- and boy, do I really need to.

That means putting our finances back in order, getting off my rear end, and ultimately getting back to being the Pillar of the Home that I vowed I’d be for my Husband “till love no longer lasts”.

So what’s the plan?

Step 1: Enlist Bjørnen

I call my Husband “The Bear” (or, more affectionately, Bjørnen / Bjørn) for a reason: He’s big, his primary concerns are food and sleep, and he’s got that intimidating Viking-Biker look down pat; though I know him better than that, he looks like he’ll ruin your day if you so much as look at him cross-eyed. And when he uses “The Voice” I know it’s time to get things done– especially if it’s combined with “The Look”.

He doesn’t like doing that to me. He hates it, really, and avoids it at all costs; it makes him feel controlling- which goes not only against his upbringing, but every fiber of his moral being. Right now, though, that sort of presence is exactly what I need to make sure this fire stays lit. I’ll be counting on him to keep me accountable and ensure that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing throughout the rest of the steps.

Step 2: Clean and Declutter

It’s hard not to hold onto every little thing when you grew up impoverished, and that’s something my Husband and I both struggle with; we’re not necessarily hoarders, but we definitely hold on to more useless or unused stuff than we need to. And right now we have so much stuff cram packed into such a small house that it’s just too much.

There’s a lot in our house that simply needs to go. So the first actual step? Making sure that actually happens by deep cleaning the house from top to bottom, one room at a time, and decluttering as I go. And to do this I’m actually going to pull a page out of Minimalism’s handbook: Hobby and Heirloom items excluded, if it doesn’t serve an aesthetic or practical purpose then we don’t need it. Especially if it hasn’t been used in 6 months; no more of this “but what if we need it later” mentality. If we haven’t used it by now, then we’re not going to– and there’s no point in keeping it around.

Books we never read? Gone. Kitchen items we never use? Out. Old furniture we just haven’t gotten rid of yet? Say goodbye! Videogame we never play? See ya later; it’s all finding it’s way out of the house one way or another- whether that means donating, selling, gifting, or just flat out dumping it.

Step 3: Reestablish Routine

This one’s pretty self explanatory: Once the house is cleaned and decluttered, I’m going to re-establish a household cleaning routine and stick with it. For this, I’ll be using three main tips from Perfectly Imperfect, whose blog I’ve come to love in the past couple days despite not having children of my own: Sneaky Ways to Cultivate a Tidy HomeSurvival Mode Housekeeping, and Leaving Every Room Better Than You Found It.

No more slacking. No more “I’ll do it tomorrows”. Just straight up determination, a lot of elbow grease, and the holy fires of hell and Deathwish Coffee to fuel me.

Step 4: Gauge Finances

I have a pretty good idea where our money goes to. You don’t handle all of the household finances without at least having an idea. That being said, though, I know there are areas for improvement- especially in the realm of food and miscellaneous expenditures. And getting a routine re-established means regular grocery trips, meal planning, and meal prepping… Which means figuring out where in the heck we keep blowing all that money we used to spend on Groceries until we became Fastfood Fiends while neither of us were looking.

That means getting our finances in order- a task for which I’m enlisting the help of apps like Wunderlist and Thrifty– along with a modified version of A Modern Homestead’s Money Saving Worksheets [Affiliate] for Grocery expenditures.

Step 5: Nothing Necessary New Year

I first heard about Nothing New Year on Keep Thrifty- the same site that (if I remember correctly) produced the Thrifty App mentioned above. I absolutely love the concept! It’s such an incredibly smart way to save money and support local businesses… But “Nothing New” Year doesn’t really address the main problem I’m having: Getting rid of unnecessary items that we’re holding onto, and making sure we don’t replace them with equally unnecessary things in the future.

Buying nothing new (if you can help it) is great… But it’s only great if you have the self control that I’ve personally just never been able to master; I’ve found that it’s easier to fall into the trap of buying more when it’s used because the cost of used prices are usually lower. But an item not being new doesn’t mean it’s a necessary item to have. So instead of focusing on not buying new, I’m going to focus on not buying anything unnecessary. There will be a few exceptions to this, but I’m really excited to try it out.

Necessary New Year

Steps 2, 3, and 4- decluttering and getting my routine reestablished, and getting our finances in basic order- will be done first as a sort of “Prep Phase”. Then once January hits, #necessarynewyear will officially start; at that point I’ll be participating in Step 5 all year, and doing my best not to buy anything unnecessary for the household.

I’ve done Yearly Goal Lists and Recaps for the last three years, and if cleaning out my blog this month has taught me anything? It’s that each year many of my goals have been far too broad to actually be achievable for me… And I don’t function well when that’s the case; I’m far less likely to actually achieve them when I don’t have singular goals that are clear. So right now, I’m KISSing it up.

First: Get the household back in order, top to bottom.
Second: Free up space in the house without refilling it.
Third: Make it easier and less daunting to upkeep the house.
Fourth: Reduce our purchases of unnecessary items.
Fifth: Reduce total house expenditures overall.
and Sixth: Build up a bigger savings.

So here we go… Let’s do this!Signature Blue

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2 thoughts on “Necessary New Year: Lighting A Fire and Keeping it Lit”

  1. Years ago before brain injury, I used to subscribe to The Fly Lady, who tackled these issues with humor and understanding. She taught how to do schedules in baby steps etc.

    My main take-way was routines. Set up minimal routines. After brain injury, they serve me well. Each day is a scheduled chore. So I only do that chore that day. Fly lady also had the 21 fling bogie and the 15 minute de-cluttering. The 21 fling bogie was to get ride of 21 things a day such as 21 sheets of paper saved for when you run out….. 15 minutes was to set up a daily thing to de-clutter FOR ONLY 15 minutes. I was surprised at how much I got through in 15 minutes. If I did it for longer, I got less done. It limited the end point so things could be done. I do the 15 minutes even today.

    Anyway, break it down in baby steps. I kept a clean house this way while working full-time, commuting 3 hours a day, and having a family. I still do it now with my brain injury. Baby steps and routines are the key. Small increments build up over time……

    As for the hoarding stuff, I grew up poor too. We used up everything before getting a new thing. Yeah, it is something that I struggle with too.

    Like

    1. You wrote such an incredible and informative comment. Thank you so much for the advice! I’ll definitely see about whether or not I can put it into practice during this ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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